Is Polyamory an “illicit” topic?

Etsy rejected our affiliate application because they think our site “is significantly inspired by illicit content”

Last updated:
February 16, 2024
Contributed by:
Jessie Rushing

This is a developing story, so comments have been disabled. 

Polyamory is not illegal or immoral

The definition of the word “illicit” according to my Google results:

Rejection hurts

This site, recently applied to Etsy’s affiliate program through their affiliate network Awin.  We were extremely excited to begin promoting products from all of the many polyamorous, swinger, and other ENM/CNM makers that sell on Etsy’s platform. 

PS.. if you don’t know what an affiliate program is, check out our affiliate disclosure here. Basically our site makes money by sending traffic to other sites, but only if we send them traffic that also makes them money, which is our goal…support the growing community of CNM content creators. 

But we got an automated rejection notice that said:

Thank you for your application. We found that the content of your site is significantly inspired by illicit content, and that’s unfortunately not the direction we’re taking the program at this time. We appreciate you taking the time to apply for Etsy’s Affiliates Program and wish you success with your growing business.

To be honest this isn’t our first rejection, but this one in particular really stings, because Etsy has soooo many wonderful poly shops and we want to be able to promote their products here too!


At first we thought that maybe it was a mistake, obviously Etsy can’t think of polyamory as “illicit” if they not only allow products like polyamory pride flags, but some of our favorite shops are even Etsy Star Sellers. They wouldn’t let their Star Sellers promote illicit products, so this must be a mistake. 

Time for an email

When you think you’ve been misunderstood and rejected under false pretenses, the urge to correct that error runs strong in those of us with the communication tools to navigate multiple romantic partners. So we sent them an email hoping to clear things up. 

Our email went like this…

PS… Please excuse my misuse of the word explicit for illicit in that email. Oops!

Hurts worse the 2nd time

Unfortunately, we got this reply from the Etsy Affiliate team: 

Of course we replied to ask what content specifically violated the Terms and Conditions they referenced, but we have not yet received a reply. Based on how our other applications have been going, we probably won’t get one. 

Polyamory vs Polygamy

PS if you don’t know the difference, check out our How to Grow Your Poly Vocabulary article. 

We think that they must be confusing our site with one promoting polygamy; which is usually a religious practice and is illegal in many places, but that’s not what we’re about. 

Polyamory is legal where we are

Most of our audience comes from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia where polyamory and consensual non-monogamy is very much legal. 

In places where dating outside your marriage might be technically covered under outdated adultery laws, those are not usually enforced. This is very similar to outdated sodomy laws that make being gay technically illegal in some places. It’s the 2020’s, and the laws still need to catch up to modern relationships. 

Some places like a town outside of Boston* have started to expand legal protections to polyamorous individuals to protect them from discrimination, but marriage is still limited everywhere to being between two people only. 

Consensual ENM

So just for the record… What are we promoting here at

We DO promote:

  • Consensually and ethically non-monogamous or polyamorous relationships
  • Living a CNM/ENM or poly lifestyle
  • Products that support a CNM lifestyle from Books on nonmonogamy to condoms to pride flags 
  • The vast, growing, and gorgeous community of authors, content creators, and influencers who also live the lifestyle

We don't care what religion you practice, or if you even have one, and we definitely don't promote or endorse any illegal religious practices of polygamy. 

We DO NOT promote:

  • Anything “illicit” or illegal  
  • Cheating, or any kind of cheating with extra steps 
  • Forced religious polygamy or any form of polyamory that is coerced or not fully consented to, i.e. cheating or abuse
  • Any one particular variety of non-monogamy over the others. We welcome people who are hierarchical or non-hierarchical, couples who are just curious, individuals who are solo-poly, swingers, kinksters and more! Consent is what matters here! 
  • Relationships that are all or only about sex, asexual spectrum people should feel welcome here
  • Anything considered TERF or that would be trans/homo/bi phobic. All genders are welcome here

Our search for affiliate partnerships continues

Relationships are not “illicit” just because they are consensually non-monogamous.  🙄

But since that person thinks our site is too illicit to write about and link to polyamory shops on Etsy, our search for affiliate partnerships will go on.

Reference source: * 

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Jessie Rushing
Jessie has been practicing solo-polyamory since 2014, and is this site's glorious and illustrious founder. When not building she enjoys building other websites, trail running, and hosting polycule play parties.
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