Willow Smith is polyamorous but ‘I have the least sex out of all my friends’

Willow Smith shows peace signs as she steps out in funky fashion for lunch in NYC

I still remember when Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were trying to push their then-tween Willow Smith into being a pop star, an actress and a fashionista. They took stage-parenting to a new level, and Willow was the one to pull the plug. She reportedly told her parents something along the lines of “please let me be a kid.” Will and Jada raised Willow and Jaden in an unconventional way, and there’s enough evidence to suggest that they were raised in a sort-of “Scientology Lite” way. As Jaden and Willow made it through their teens – Willow is 20 years old now – they figured out ways to be in the spotlight on their own terms. I feel like Willow has been consistently more reticent about stardom, but here she is with new music and new interviews and a new energy.

This week, Willow released her new single “Transparent Soul,” a punk-pop collab with Travis Barker, who seems to be everywhere these days. The music and music-video vibe is actually quite mid- and late-’90s and I f–king love her styling these days.

As part of the promotion for the music (or perhaps it’s just her mom not having boundaries), Willow appeared on the latest episode of Red Table Talk, where she discussed being polyamorous.

Willow Smith is opening up about her sex life. In a PEOPLE exclusive clip of today’s Red Table Talk, the 20-year-old cohost revealed she was polyamorous during a discussion with her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, and grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris.

“Let’s say you haven’t always been the person wanting sex all the time, but your partner is,” says Willow in a clip of the Facebook Watch show. “Are you going to be the person to say, ‘Just because I don’t have these needs, you can’t have them either?’ That’s one of the reasons why I was interested in poly because I was introduced to it through kind of a nonsexual lens. In my friend group, I’m the only polyamorous person and I have the least sex out of all of my friends.”

This isn’t the first time Willow has expressed an interest about polyamorous relationships. In June 2019, the singer and actress revealed she loved “men and women equally” during a similar discussion about polyamorous relationships. “I would definitely want one man and one woman,” Willow said. “I feel like I could be polyfidelitous with those two people.”

She continued, “I’m not the kind of person that is constantly looking for new sexual experiences. I focus a lot on the emotional connection, and I feel like if I were to find two people of the different genders that I really connected with and we had a romantic and sexual connection, I don’t feel like I would feel the need to try to go find more.”

While Willow expressed her openness to exploring unconventional relationships, she did add, “If your intention is just to have sex all the time with whoever you want that doesn’t sit well with me. That’s not aligned with my purpose.”

[From People]

You can read more about the discussion here, including the comments from Jada, who had an “entanglement,” etc. I mean, I like the fact that Willow and Jada are normalizing mother-daughter conversations about sex, sexuality, infidelity and more. I also feel like Willow is specifically working out some of her family’s drama and trying to figure out what labels and language make her comfortable. Or maybe I’m just not on Willow and Jaden’s higher plane of existence, who knows.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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38 Responses to “Willow Smith is polyamorous but ‘I have the least sex out of all my friends’”

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  1. Lenni says:

    Gosh, I’m old. It used to be called cheating… committing to one person is not always easy. For me being poly is just lazy and an easy way out. But at least now I know I’m not a bad person, it’s just my sexual orientation…

    • cassandra says:

      Monogamy is a choice just like polyamory is a choice. As long as everybody involved knows what’s going on and consents to it, who cares?

      I choose monogamy, but I also recognize that it’s a social construct and not for everybody.

      • Léna says:

        I totally agree!

      • pottymouth pup says:

        agreed

        though it’s sad she seemed to boil polyamory down to meeting sexual needs. I could never do a polyamorous relationship but I can definitely see how it could be extremely beneficial to meeting a family’s needs

      • emu says:

        what happened to being bisexual? Is that just an outdated term? Seems like it means the same thing? So many labels these days for people who seemingly want to not be labeled.

      • Jay (the Canadian one) says:

        @Emu: of course bisexual is not the same thing. You can be bisexual and monogamous. You can be polyamorous and heterosexual (e.g. you are female with two male partners).

        Bisexual people are just attracted to both sexes, but you can still commit to one person. Like a person can be attracted to blondes and brunettes but that doesn’t mean they have to be in a relationship with both at the same time.

    • Sandii says:

      Very judgy.

    • Jay (the Canadian one) says:

      Cheating is done without consent. And polyfidelity means being in a committed relationship with more than two people, but not randomly sleeping around. A polyfidelious trio is three people committed to each other, which IMHO is way better than two people pretending to be and sneaking around behind each other’s backs. Consent is key to any healthy relationship.

    • Gobo says:

      Open relationships are nothing new. This is feigning ignorance so you can judge from a false position of moral superiority.

    • Gab says:

      I feel like this is just…she’s 20. She’s dating more than one person at a time and she is not exclusive with them and they are ok with that. I think that’s common now and always has been. I don’t think she needs to label it this way or explain it to anyone.

      • Soupie says:

        ^This. I would never do it, but you can’t stop people. I just think it’s nuts to have sex with multiple people in this age of STD’s. In my day it was just syphilis and gonorrhea – that was it. I cannot even imagine taking risks the way some people do nowadays. Condoms don’t protect 100%, 100% of the time.

  2. Oy_Hey says:

    Between her and Jaden, I’ll take willow any day. She’s not performatively weird and only does what she wants really (besides that messy facebook show).

  3. lucy2 says:

    As long as everyone consents, to each their own.
    I hope Willow doesn’t feel pressured to talk about this publicly, and is doing so because she wants to. Her mother in particular seems to like things VERY public, but I was always under the impression Willow was more private.
    She grew up to be a beautiful young woman.

    • Soupie says:

      I haven’t really followed Jada so I don’t know exactly what she’s revealed, but isn’t that a bit disingenuous of Jada to want things public? There have been rumors for years of various kinds. I’m not saying she has to be totally transparent, just not disingenuous or hypocritical.

  4. Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

    Hmm. I still don’t quite understand polyamory from her definition. I also didn’t know that it was a label to describe sexuality; I thought it was a way to describe sexually activity…?
    I do find how she talks through her ideas and feelings about love and sexuality endearing because it’s genuine. It doesn’t seem like a way to brand herself (Amandla Stenberg). She’s young and figuring things out. Teens and young people should not be pressured to define their sexuality or desires.
    And the music is good!

  5. Lucy says:

    Polyamory sounds exhausting to me, I don’t know that I’d be able to handle several relationships at once. Always been kind of a loner anyway. That being said, I really like Willow’s music! Her song Wait A Minute is great.

    • dollycoa says:

      My best friend has been in a poly relationship for 30 years. They all get along and share care of the children (one father). Its has never been a problem for them as there is no deception. She is the poly one and they as far as I know are monogamous. The only problem now is that she is always moaning about dealing with two grumpy old men and 3 teenagers! One middle aged man is bad enough, never mind two!

  6. Nicole says:

    Her poly perspective makes sense given that were some gay rumors about Jada in the early 90′s. There is the distinct impression that both Will and Jada dabbled in that pool. Good on Willow that there is room for her to be honest about her truth today. I look forward to watching her evolution.

  7. ce says:

    I wonder if because Will and Jada did a poor job working out how monogamous their relationship would be, that this is why she came to this decision. If her parents had done a better time articulating their actual needs, it would have never been a cheating scandal. However, these sorts of relationships are not usually publicized. I think the longer I’ve been in a monogamous marriage, the more compassionate I’ve become about others’ lifestyle choices. I respect Willow’s honesty

    • ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

      I was the person who didn’t think that I would get married and envisioned being a single workaholic in a big city. It didn’t work out that way and next year my husband and I will celebrate 20 years together. I am a opposite-sex-oriented cis-gendered person but over time I am also less and less judgmental about other people’s choices. As long as everyone in the relationship is fully aware of the parameters and there is no abuse or coercion to get someone involved in that life, I don’t have anything to say even if that life isn’t what I choose.

  8. AA says:

    How is it “cheating” if no one is being cheated, deceived, or lied to?

    The polyamory I know is based on the belief that love is not a finite resource. That is, me loving person A does not diminish my love for person B. There is enough love to go around. Just like in the case of friends and family.

    I am not dissing monogamy in any way – whatever works for you. I am currenly in a monogamous relationship simply cause I don’t have the energy for more people at the mo lol.
    But please do not conflate being polyamorous with being a cheat, being lazy, or being selfish. That is a harmful prejudice.

    • sa says:

      Yeah, assuming everything is open and agreed to by the parties involved, I don’t see any cheating. Cheating has nothing to do with the number of people involved. Someone in a polyamorous relationship could still cheat if they do something outside of the agreed upon boundaries of the relationship (relationships? Sorry, I don’t know which is correct).

      • cdnKitty says:

        My ex husband cheated on me even though we had been in a poly relationship for over 3 years at that point. Cheating is the deception or violation of a boundary. It can happen in any type of relationship, and in my case, ended the marriage. Poly wasn’t the issue, he was.

  9. Case says:

    She’s a talented musician. I love her voice — she put out this song “Boy” a few years ago that I was totally mesmerized by the first time I heard it. And I LOVE this 90s rock vibe she has right now! I’ve noticed 90s and 2000s rock seem to be making a slight resurgence in new music and it excites me so much.

    • nb says:

      I wonder if fashion-wise she’s paying homage to or being influenced by Jada, who was in a nu-metal band in the early-mid 2000′s. I actually saw them, Wicked Wisdom, when they opened for another band I liked at the time. I met Jada after and got her autograph. She was incredibly tiny in person and wearing all black leather, very rocker chic and similar to Willow in the video. She has a great voice too.

  10. Eleonor says:

    Polyamourous here!
    I will try to summarise.
    First of all: it’s NOT cheating, thank you btw 😑
    It means we have multiple relationships at the same time, and all the persons involved know everything. We are very much committed to our partners.
    There can be a “main” relationship, or not, it depends on the deal.
    It’s not cheating because we don’t lie, we talk a lot.
    I have 2 relationships right now: one, “the main one”, since 2015, 6 years, and he has a girlfriend.
    For me it’s something based on trust and limits, and respect.
    I can understand it’s not for everyone.
    I have started another relationship since January, and when I met him the first thing I told him was about my poly status.

    • sa says:

      Thanks for the explanation! I was confused as to what it was, I was thinking more of a relationship with more than 2 people, but it sounds like more about being able to have more than one separate relationship.

      • Eleonor says:

        For everyone it’s different.
        I have known “couples” who lived together under the same roof, personally I don’t think I could. You can choose to meet the wife, or the main partner, this usually helps to exorcise ghosts and fear, and competition, but you have to choose what is best for you.
        Everyone have its way.
        For me, for example I can have 3 partners maximum, and all relationship are different.

    • H says:

      It also sounds like Willow is maybe asexual or demisexual. She said she need to feel a connection to a person rather than sex.

  11. Watson says:

    Her take on polyamory sounds pretty logical to me. She’s also an adult that’s not hurting anyone with her upfront views on relationships. Shrug.

  12. observing says:

    Sounds exhausting trying to work out the agreements.

  13. Jules says:

    Yea nothing new here. But this family will cough up anything they think will be slightly controversial for ratings and attention.

  14. observing says:

    She says she “feels like” she could do this. I can’t tell if she actually is though — sounds like she’s being speculative. I guess her mom asked and she answered… on tv.

  15. incognito08 says:

    Willow’s styling in her video is reminiscent of Janet Jackson when she collaborated with Michael for their video, “Scream”.

  16. Jaded says:

    When I was her age — which was a LONGGG time ago — I occasionally had a couple of relationships going at the same time, sort of “friends with benefits” type relationships. I didn’t want to get tied down to one person, nor did the other party, so we were cool with seeing other people. Back then I had no idea what a polyamorous relationship was — I just thought I’m young, I don’t want to lock myself into someone yet, nobody “owns” me. I think she has the same attitude — she’s not out banging every guy in town but putting her toe in the water carefully with several people. Good for her — this is how you get to “know” who and what is best for you.

    BTW I’m 68 and freakin’ LOVE Transparent Soul.

  17. dollycoa says:

    Sounds like she is saying she is bisexual, but surely if you are not in a poly relationship you are not poly? Saying ‘Oh I could see myself having a Poly relationship’ doesn’t make you poly. It means you are not against the the idea of i, which anyone could say. When the opportunity presents itself, she may like the idea more or less.

  18. Dee says:

    Good for her, not knocking her at all and glad she can be so open with her mom but WHYYYYY must everything be public knowledge? Is nothing sacred?