'Couple To Throuple' Offers A New Look At Polyamory

Scott Evans and Shamyra Howard host "Couple to Throuple," which premiered on Peacock on Feb. 8.

Dating shows have become a bit redundant as of late with similar concepts on separate streaming channels, but Peacock has something fresh and bingeworthy that’s serving up drama, sex and new propositions.

“Couple To Throuple” follows “four curious couples through the world of polyamory as they experiment with bringing a third partner into their relationship.” Access Hollywood correspondent Scott Evans and sex and relationship expert Shamrya Howard are hosting the fiery series, assisting four couples along the process of learning if the polyamorous lifestyle is for them.

HuffPost spoke to Evans and Howard about the series, their own interests and expertise on polyamory and what they hope audiences learn from the show.

We see the contestants explore the throuple life. Is throuple life for you? 

Scott Evans: I wanted to do this show because I felt like so many of my friends discuss open relationship dynamics and the “throupledome.” I won’t tell you all the details of what goes on in our group chat, but we’re discussing a lot of the things and themes we discuss on the show. The idea that there’s an experience of a relationship dynamic that doesn’t limit or only include two people is something we’re seeing a lot more these days. I’ve had my own experiences with nonmonogamy, and I was just waiting to see where we can inherently see this queer experience in a dating show. Also, why does it have to be one girl looking for a guy or vice versa? It was very clear we all have been ready to see this television.

Which couple do you think strengthened their relationship the most during the season, and who do you think needs a bit more work and why? 

Evans: I think everyone who participated in this experience were asking questions to themselves: Could they be stronger as a throuple? And they are all challenged in many meaningful ways the moment they step on the resort. Most were surprised it would be an emotional experience as it began with the physical experience, but we quickly moved away from the superficial physical nature of what a dynamic might be for someone into the emotional because I think their real intentions were to find a third partner and find a way to welcome another person into their relationship.

I was fascinated by our same-sex couple in Rehman Bhatti and Ashmal Ali. They’re there to have this experience together, with one identifying as bisexual and one as don’t-knock-it-till-you-try-it sexual. [Laughs] They challenged themselves to step outside of their normal behavior and challenged their potential partners to step up and make them feel comfortable. Cameras helped people feel safe and not do things in secret — we are all a part of this together. I won’t tell you the surprises, but with every single one of our couples, we were all gagged.

Ashmal Ali and Rehman Bhatti on Peacock's
Ashmal Ali and Rehman Bhatti on Peacock's

Ashmal Ali and Rehman Bhatti on Peacock's "Couple to Throuple."

Can you share the three major keys to having a healthy and sustainable throuple-ship, and can you break down the difference between an open relationship and a polyamorous relationship? 

Shamyra Howard: First, let’s talk about having a great throuple relationship. You have to understand that you’re going to be in a relationship — meaning you have to be willing and open to your values as well as your partner(s) values. So being open to that is to be open to understanding that you have to come up with boundaries and agreements; you have to leave the rules out of it, because that can damage the structure of it because a person has no agency in setting rules or rule-setting. 

You have to understand being in a polyamorous or a nonmonogamous relationship is going to require your time, effort and your sex — being able to figure out what time allocation looks like is going to take some good organization skills and social communication. Communication is always No. 1 — figuring out sexual preferences is going to take you using your mouth and opening up about what your sexual desires are. Understanding your boundaries is second — setting those boundaries and honoring them. Polyamory means being in multiple relationships simultaneously. Ethically, everyone involved understands and agrees what is happening. It is a consensual arrangement and understanding the risks, but also being able to get out of it at any time. Open relationships are another form of nonmonogamy; they agree to have more casual and sexually fluid, diverse relationships.

How do you think this series will open people’s minds to the idea of a throuple, and what are some misconceptions this show is trying to dismantle? 

Howard: It will open up the misconceptions that polyamory isn’t real or people who are saying they happen to just be doing it for the sex of it all. When you see the series, you’ll see these are real relationship dynamics that have all of the elements of any other relationship, and some more because you’re dealing with extra people. There’s a lot of education that goes into having a successful throuple or for the people involved in polyamorous relationships.

One of the couples discusses queer dating and how there’s a lot of cheating, among other issues, that tamper the dating pool, even as far as being hesitant to talk to a guy who said he’s from LA. Can you share your experience and possible personal qualms about the queer dating circuit? 

Evans: That’s a very great question because the expectation is that folks in LA are grimy, and it is every man for himself and that no one is necessarily honest or truly authentic in the dating scene. I think while that can be widely true for some, there are beautiful human beings who are open and ready to have meaningful connections with one another. For me, I had to be willing to reframe and change how I was showing up to situations, in order for me to change what I was getting from situations. I found that there are many viable options, many viable people who are willing and interested and prepared to be in a meaningful relationship in Los Angeles, whether they are men, women or identify as something altogether different. 

I’ve had my own experiences in nonmonogamy, which is why I was so excited about this show, because we don’t really see those experiences on television. I wanted to see something that was inherently queer and reflective of the times and the trends that we’re seeing, but also the real significant shifts in how we organize relationships. I wanted to see something like that on television.

“Couple To Throuple” airs on Peacock with episodes released weekly on Thursdays.