What Is Kitchen Table Polyamory?

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Here’s What You Need To Know About Kitchen Table Polyamory

Polyamory is a form of ethical non-monogamy and is defined as engaging in multiple romantic relationships. These relationships may or may not be sexual in nature. That being said, poly relationships can take on different forms, depending on the needs and boundaries of the partners involved. Kitchen table polyamory is just one subset.

Read on to dive deeper into what kitchen table polyamory means. By the end, you’ll hopefully find out if it’s right for you.

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Kitchen Table Polyamory Meaning

The most common definition of kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous setup where everyone in a polycule is on friendly enough terms that they can share a meal or have a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. A polycule is a network of poly partners and their metamours (partner’s partner).

More specifically, kitchen table polyamory is where the people involved enjoy spending time with their metamour (partner’s partner), whether as a group or individually. This is in contrast to parallel polyamory, with separate relationships.

KTP is a highly personal and customizable form of romantic love, which can be appealing to folks in polyamorous setups. Some individuals in the polycule may not be sexually or romantically involved. What matters is that their relationships with one another are rooted firmly in mutual respect, good communication, and friendship.

According to Ryn Pfeuffer, a sex and relationships writer and author of 101 Ways to Rock Online Dating, “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building a polycule. It’s hard to predict how a particular dynamic will impact us emotionally.”

To make kitchen table polyamory work, each individual must constantly practice open communication, empathy, and transparency. Only through a collaborative effort from all parties involved can KTP work and ensure that everyone is happy and emotionally satisfied.

Young restful couples sitting on sofa while gathering after work or on weekend


What Are Other Types Of Polyamory?

Just like people’s sexualities and orientations, polyamory is part of the spectrum of ethical non-monogamy. Aside from kitchen table polyamory, we’ll tackle one form of polyamory that is the complete opposite, plus another one that may be loosely described as the subset in between the two.

Parallel Polyamory

Parallel polyamory, or “parallel polyam”, is a polyamorous relationship setup where different partnerships exist without ever intersecting, similar to parallel lines.

This is intentional, often as a way to respect the partners’ emotional boundaries. While folks practicing parallel polyamory don’t mind that another metamour exists, it can still hurt for them to see their partners being intimate with anyone else.

For example, let’s say Angela has a husband, Dave, and a girlfriend, Jess. Jess and Dave have never met. Dave has no desire to meet Jess and vice-versa. In parallel polyam relationships, it’s perfectly normal for metamours not to want to meet each other.

Parallel polyamory can also exist due to external circumstances (e.g. metamours living far apart from one another).

Garden Party Polyamory

In polyamorous relationships, encounters with metamours aren’t uncommon. Especially if you all run in similar social circles.

This kind of polyamory is known as garden party polyamory or sometimes “birthday party polyamory”. The name comes from the idea that metamours can be sociable and friendly to one another during important social events, such as birthday parties, graduations, etc. Unlike parallel polyamory, metamours do not feel awkward seeing one another during these social events.

For instance, Cat has a wife and girlfriend, and she invites both of them to her birthday party.

Is Kitchen Table Polyamory Right For You?

All romantic relationships are different, and polyamorous relationships are no exception. Different kinds of polyamorous relationships are highly nuanced and come with their own unique set of challenges. This can make things complicated, especially if the parties involved aren’t on the same page.

Boundaries are vital for a KTP to succeed. It takes continuous good communication, empathy, full disclosure, and transparency throughout.


If you like the idea that you and your metamours can all get along and want to expand your network, then KTP might be worth a try. Kitchen table polyamory is a fantastic way to deepen connections and be in more meaningful, loving relationships with more people. On the other hand, if you or your partners prefer to keep your other relationships separate, that’s okay, too.

Remember: no form of relationship is better than the other. What matters, in the long run, is knowing how to make your individual needs and wants work with your partners’.

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What Is Kitchen Table Polyamory?
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