Don’t Get It Twisted — Non-Monogamy Isn’t ‘More Evolved’

Hey baby hey baby hey!

Welcome to this week’s Spare Parts episode of Unscrewed! In just 15 minutes, we get your blood pumping and your brain humming — it’s like masturbating while reading Simone de Beauvoir, if you will.

This week Jaclyn laments the loss of Prince — “I knew by seventh grade that the world didn’t make sense but Prince introduced me to the radical notion that I could dance about it” — and gets on the horn with sex educator and activist Aida Manduley to discuss a listener’s burning, “should I go poly?” quandaries.

Listener India is all mixed up and she doesn’t know what to do. She’s been in a committed three-year relationship with her man, and they recently discussed opening up their relationship. When the emotional dust kicked up and cleared, however, India realized that she in fact didn’t want to seek out other people for sex, but wanted to focus on getting closer with her boyfriend instead. But the wheels of new-sex were already turning for her partner; India admitted that at times, they go weeks without making the beast with two backs and her man feels unsatisfied. Meanwhile, India thinks that her pleasant indifference to her low sex drive isn’t a manifestation of her lackluster lust for her partner, but of the fact that she might actually be asexual, which she has never examined very closely.

In short? She’s worried it’s selfish and shortsighted for her to say no to her boyfriend’s “needs” as he still wants to be with her “mentally and emotionally.”

Jaclyn and Aida give some amazing advice and offer some dare-I-say brilliant metaphors, including the need “to put your oxygen mask on first,” and the risk of “building a bridge that’s compromised,” i.e., a bridge that will collapse if anyone actually tries to traverse it.

Aida reminds us to question compulsory monogamy — “don’t live a certain kind of sexual life because of cultural default!” — but to also keep in mind that non-monogamy isn’t, by definition, more evolved.

It’s a sexy, heady, and tremendously useful trip, y’all. Buy the ticket, take the ride.


Learn more and boogie below:

Watch (yet another!) epic Prince performance of “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man.”

Read Emily Nussbaum’s fascinating essay — “Difficult Woman — discussing Sex and the City’s complicated legacy.

Poly Role Models — personal narratives coupled with advice on healthy relationship building.


Full new episodes of Unscrewed go live every other Tuesday, with quickiesodes boasting outtakes, advice for listeners who send in their sex/uality questions, and other delectable tidbits airing in between.

Have burning quandaries of your own? Tweet @jaclynf (use #Unscrewed) or drop her a line at And yes! You can even use your handy-dandy smartphone, personal computer, or laptop and record yourself asking your question; she may just include it in the next episode.


Lead Image: flickr/Martin Abegglen

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