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Hoteliers must embrace the rise of non-monogamy

Opinion

Published by:

10 February 2020

Author: Rachel Wilson

Image: Mood perfume by Tamburins

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Retreats, hotel rooms and services for more than two will emerge as people begin to take up multiple relationships or seek connections with various partners

Romantic getaways were once based on the assumption that romance only adds up to two. But in an age of shifting values from younger generations, who are flexible and fluid in everything from living arrangements and their gender expressions, there will be an increasing demand to cater to the non-monogamous.

As co-working and co-living arrangements become a new norm, so too will new ways to meet a partner – or multiple partners – emerge. New nomadic lifestyle models will inevitably also be accompanied by a deconstruction of the idea that romantic partnership consists of monogamy and coupled-up cohabitation.

Co-romancing will be the by-product of co-working and co-living culture, as partners meet and connect in these new hybrid spaces. Meeting in these locales will increasingly trend as a common means of sparking romance – and the peripatetic nature of such lifestyles will allow people to pursue multiple relationships with numerous partners in numerous locations, at once.

Apps such as The Standard’s Lobby, which allows users to connect anonymously while they stay in the hotel, point to an early form of co-romancing travel. Bob Shevlin of UXUA, a leading sustainable luxury hotel – visited by the likes of Beyoncé and Mark Ronson – in Brazil also acknowledges this technological shift: ‘It used to be that our gay guests would come and ask us where the best gay bar was. Now, thanks to apps like Grindr, they’ve already set up dates before they come to stay.’

As relationships diversify, so too will the milestone trips that mark them. Polymoons – honeymoons for non-monogamous partners – will come to be considered as significant as honeymoons with one spouse. And with 20% of the American population having tried a poly or open relationship in their lifetime according to the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, there evidently exists a growing hospitality market for those whose needs are unacknowledged.

'Retreat-style getaways could help polyamorous groups to bond or introduce open-minded couples to the tenets of polyamory'

 

His, His & Hers by Mr, Mr & Ms Cooper-Liu-Tsapenko, Netherlands
'Polymoons – honeymoons for non-monogamous partners – will soon be considered as significant as trips with one’s new spouse'

Author and sex coach Olivia Pavlov says: ‘The luxury hotel industry is currently missing a major market by not catering to non-monogamous travellers; and they could be rewarded steeply if they began to target this segment of the population.’

While this market may have been ignored owing to the stigma attached to polyamory, younger generations’ attitudes are shifting to champion freedom in all forms – and as these young consumers age into the luxury market, they will expect it to respond.

With high-profile celebrities like Bella Thorne openly pursuing polyamorous relationships, the visibility of non-monogamous relationship models will encourage the lifestyle to come into the open. And with visibility will come the demand for respect. Shevlin acknowledges this: ‘All of us desire to feel welcome when we travel. Being a hotelier is an educational opportunity; its best to let the guest teach us the meaning of terms like ‘relationship’ or ‘couple’, and for us to embrace it.’

Retreat-style getaways could help polyamorous groups (also known as polycules) bond and communicate, or introduce open-minded couples to the tenets of polyamory. Hotels, meanwhile, with their abundance of facilities, various room sizes and services, are perfectly placed to cater to polyamorous thruples, partners or more. Polycules could also benefit from the pleasures that hotels traditionally promise – but only if the offers and programming are adapted thoughtfully.

Consider how hotels can embrace these new relationship configurations. Adding triple beds to the standard double and twin offering, or maybe three or more robes. In an age of hyper-personalisation, it’s simply a logical step to tailor experiences to these future guests – however non-conventional their needs may currently appear.

Amid the rise of The Uncoupled, hospitality groups are being encouraged to consider the guest of the future. For more, look out for our Reframing Romance Travel Market on LS:N Global.

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