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And that standard of whiteness not only erases the experience of people of color; it reflects the actual exclusion of these people in poly life and communities.

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Polyamory may be more accepted than ever, but it's still largely portrayed as an exotic, vaguely kinky alternative to the institution of monogamy.

Atlanta is currently the most diverse polyamorous community in the U.

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A white, affluent image that reflects a troubling reality: When people don't see the communities as diverse or accepting, they will be reluctant to join in. It's racked with many miles and generations of societally constructed guilt and shame.

As Chen told Mic, "The reason I put pressure on the poly community is because of its general mentality and philosophy of radical inclusion.

These factors contribute to people of color's marginalization from poly life, thus creating an unfortunate feedback cycle: The perception of poly as white extends beyond media and pop culture and into academia, where nearly every study of polyamorous people to-date focuses on white subjects.

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But there's a prevailing problem that cannot be ignored: A vicious cycle of exclusion: If so, the sentiment shouldn't be too surprising given the current state of poly communities. Andy Izenson, an associate attorney at a firm specializing in nontraditional families, told Mic, "Living in chosen families, living in collectives, living in multiple-parent parenting situations Solving Polyamory's Jealousy Problem" reads one in Salon.

What's great is the ubiquity of polyamorous relationships in the media and pop culture. Poly relationships, meaning romantic connections involving more than one person at a time, seem to be making more headlines each day.

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Even if some white polyamorists are aware of the issue of exclusion, there isn't a clearly defined solution to reducing barriers to entry and creating a more accepting community. One explanation is that white researchers may have difficulty convincing people of color that they have good intentions in studying their sexual habits.

Those people of color with lower income can feel marginalized by poly community culture's financial demands, which can include dishing out cash for a fancy play party or a plane ticket to Burning Man.

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They have a large, downtown apartment with a sweeping view. The cost of actively participating in the community can be an intimidating barrier.

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She wears pretty skirts; he wears jeans and trendy glasses. The existence of groups like Black and Poly at least confront the matter of exclusion head-on.

People of color, especially black polyamorists, report feeling "othered" and excluded in poly environments such as meet-ups, with women feeling especially at risk of being objectified and fetishized as an exotic sexual plaything.

A hot "trend" portrayed as sexy, youthful — and rich and white: If so, the problem of racial exclusion in poly communities, one that mirrors so many other instances of racial exclusion elsewhere in society, may act as an hopeful model for inclusion and changing the current default to whiteness.