The 20-year-old musician opened up about her preference in the latest episode of Red Table Talk, the chat show hosted by Willow’s mother Jada Pinkett Smith and grandmother Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Norris.
“With polyamory,” she said, “I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just [to be] stepping into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do.
“So I was like, how can I structure the way that I approach relationships with that in mind? Also, doing research into polyamory, the main [reason] …why divorces happen is infidelity,” she added.
Polyamory is defined as engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with more than one person with the consent of everyone involved.
The “Wait a Minute!” singer told her mother and grandmother: “Let's say you haven't always been the person wanting sex all the time, but your partner is. Are you going to be the person to say, 'Just because I don't have these needs, you can't have them either?'”.
While Willow’s mother was supportive of her approach, her grandmother felt the approach was too focused on sex.
In response, Willow said: “In my friend group, I’m the only polyamorous person, and I have the least sex out of all of my friends.
“And so that’s kind of one of the reasons why I actually was interested in poly because I was introduced to it through kind of a nonsexual lens,” she added.
On the prospect of having a series of different partners, Willow said: “I honestly couldn't see myself going past two outside of myself.”
Jada, 49, supported her daughter’s approach, stating that most people were only monogamous because they felt this was their only option, an approach she called “antiquated”.
She said: “Most people are practicing monogamy because they feel like they have no other choice. We all know that most people out here [are] doing unethical non-monogamy any-damn-way, OK?
“Practicing monogamy has to be a choice that you make, just like practicing polyamory,” she said. “It can’t be because I’m told I’m supposed to do it this way. That, my dear, is deeply antiquated and no longer works.”
On Willow’s decision to pursue a polyamorous approach to relationships, she said: “When you were like, ‘Hey, this is my get-down, I was like, ‘I totally get it.’ Wanting to set up your life in a way that you can have what it is that you want, I think anything goes as long as the intentions are clear.”
Rumours that Jada Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith are in an open relationship are well established, with Jada admitting in 2020 that she had had a relationship with singer August Alsina.
In an interview with The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee, Alsina claimed he “gave years of his life” to a romance with the actor and that Will had given him “his blessing” to pursue this.
While the Girls Trip actor admitted that the two were romantically involved, she contested the suggestion that her husband had given “permission”, adding: “The only person who could give permission in that particular circumstance was myself,” she said.
She added that she and Smith had since reached a place of “unconditional love”.
“We ride together, we die together. Bad marriage for life,” the couple said in unison, riffing on a quote from Smith’s Bad Boys film franchise.
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