SATRC: Opening up and staying safe


So I have realized that, in my 20s, I was living a polyamorous lifestyle but not really realizing it until recently. I just figured I was dating multiple people and they all knew about each other. Fast-forward 15 years, I’ve been married to my husband for 13 year and we’ve discussed opening our marriage.

My question is: How do you figure out where to meet like-minded people? I am now a mom and am not as social as I used to be. Do you just go out and hope to meet someone, or am I really just overthinking this?

– What’s Happens Next?

Kenna Cook

Dear Next,

If you are looking for people to meet face-to-face or possibly date, OKCupid allows you to choose “polyamory” as part of your profile, and you can also select a filter that only shows you other polyamorous people in your area. I would also suggest that you be upfront with people you are interested in dating that you are polyamorous and what that means SPECIFICALLY to you.

Some people relate polyamory to cheating or to only sex-focused intentions, so if that isn’t your idea of polyamory, it’s best to make sure you’re on the same page as the people you’re interested in right out of the gate.

If you’re looking for stories about people that run the spectrum, from brand-new to just experimenting to decades of doing polyamory, check out “Stories for the Polycule” and “The Polyamorists Next Door,” both written by Dr. Elisabeth Scheff.

Dr. Sheff is a polyamory pioneer when it comes to the academic study of alternative relationship styles. She is the foremost academic expert on children in polyamorous families and the only person I have ever come across that blends sociology and research without stigmatizing a population that is often seen as “predatory” and “sex-crazed.”

If predatory and sex-crazed is your thing — and I say this in jest, as well as throwing subtle shade at the folks who do lurking the shadows of alternative lifestyle groups — there are some interests that overlap into polyamory (such as BDSM or swinging). You can also look for groups or websites that focus on those things. focuses on the wide world of BDSM, which stands for Bondage, Dominance and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism. What can you expect at a BDSM party? Chips, dips, chains and whips.

Thank you, Weird Science for foreshadowing my adult interests.

A quick Google search of “swinger lifestyle sites” will bring up the best websites in your area for finding other swingers, or people that consensually have sex with other people and their partners in group settings. Some of these folks are interested in long-term ethical relationships, and some just wanna get their rocks off for the night. To each their own, as long as it’s safe, sane and consensual.

Without knowing specifically where in Sacramento you’re located, I would suggest looking on Many cities, small and large, have a local polyamory group that meets once a month or more often. That would be a good place to get yourself introduced to others in your community. Those groups are often strict about not being used as a dating platform, so make sure you read the group rules to see if it is a good fit.

Almost a week after I received this SATRC question, I got an email from the Sacramento Polyamory Meetup Group announcing its official disbanding. The leaders said, “It has become clear that Sacramento Polyamory, as it once existed, is no longer viable.”

Remember that shade I subtly threw earlier about the “predatory shadowlurkers?” Sacramento Polyamory had more than its fair share. The group was cliquish in-person and hellish online. When claims of sexual assault and harassment were brought to the attention of the group leaders, it was hushed and people were shunned. This is a similar story for the Sacramento Fetlife Mixer — a group that had a large handful of overlap.

It seems that these groups are no longer viable because the people that are interested in polyamory are interested in the ethical side of ethical non-monogamy. The side that is built on consent, trust, honesty, boundaries and accessibility. I hope that a changing of the guard means having to be less guarded when exploring polyamory in Sacramento — but keep your guard up just in case.

Got a burning desire, a burning sensation, or a relationship issue that’s about to burn all your bridges? Let Sex and the River City throw you a lifeline and answer your questions! Send them via email to V:RC sex columnist Kenna Cook at And don’t forget to follow her at!


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Kenna Cook
Kenna Cook is a pansexual, polyamorous, pun-loving professional sex educator and parent born and raised in the River City. Whether you're inspired or mystified by all those nouns, send your sex and love questions to her for deep-dive discussion featured each month on "Sex and the River City."