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Perfect For the Lonely Road and Open Heart: PolyWeekly

I finally hit upon the perfect way to stay awake during a solitary thirteen-hour drive: listen to people talk about sex! Why didn’t I think of it before? It really, really, really works. I even had a cigarette afterward.

Before I left my New Orleans hotel room this past Saturday, I downloaded an eclectic set of various sex talk podcasts and tried them all on the road. Kinkycast was fairly interesting because it contains interviews with people who are openly and actively involved in the BDSM community. I’m not into that sort of thing by any means, but it’s intriguing to listen to people who are as they talk about being a top, a bottom, or a switch. Apparently, being a bisexual switch allows for a lot of variety but is a real logistical nightmare when it comes to juggling competing demands. It really stretched my mind to listen to people intently converse about a kink that is foreign to me; very educational indeed!

However, my favorite — no contest whatsoever — was CunningMinx’s PolyWeekly, a podcast by, for, and about those involved in the polyamory community. I ended up listening to Minx’s podcasts for five hours straight as she spoke in a playful, fun, jaunty, respectful, opinionated, ethical and highly informed way about polyamory. Yes, it was stimulating, too, but in a surprisingly tame way. It was surprising to hear someone with the moniker CunningMinx bookend her podcasts with the rejoinder, “Remember… it’s not all about sex!” Minx points out that polyamory is not just a bunch of people bed-hopping. It’s about people building long-term romantic relationships — plural.

I’ve had conversations with friends who like me are in monogamous relationships, and they’ve often said (correct me if I’ve heard wrongly, friends!) that they couldn’t imagine getting into a polyamorous relationship because it seemed to them that such relationships would be unstable and destructive of loving relationships they currently have. Yet listening to CunningMinx, her interviewees, her call-in and write-in questioners talk about their experiences with polyamory made it clear to me that there are some people for whom stable, loving, long-term polyamory is possible.

This is not to say that Minx doesn’t confront some serious issues, such as jealousy, latent sexual bigotry and the breakup of long-term relationships. She does indeed confront those issues, and the way in which she does is both highly distinctive and highly refreshing. Most advice columnists I’ve read identify jealousy, loneliness and vulnerability in relationships as bad elements of relationships to be eliminated, and if not eliminated then stuffed into some gunnysack of inappropriate emotions. On the contrary, Minx asserts that jealousy, loneliness and vulnerability are not bad in and of themselves, and perhaps shouldn’t even be avoided. Rather, she says, these feelings are a natural and inevitable part of an intense emotional relationship and only become hurtful to a relationship when they are repressed. Openness and honesty about these feelings — and feelings of love, too — build strong relationships (singular and plural).

If you’re wanting to listen to the sound of someone panting into a microphone with some cheesy percussion in the background, PolyWeekly is definitely not your show. But if you’re interested in opening your mind just a wee bit, or if your mind has been wedged open for years and you’re looking for some community, then give PolyWeekly a listen. The worst that can happen is that you’ll have to ice your ears, but you’ll have something scandalous to talk about with the gang. The best case? Well, that depends on what rocks your socks; I leave it up to you. Give it a try.

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