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-   -   Rules for Safe Sex & Resources for STD risk (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51412)

glueoftheworld 08-04-2013 10:52 PM

Rules for Safe Sex & Resources for STD risk
 
I know I'm repeating a question that was just asked today, but my question is more broad. I'm also sure this is already covered somewhere, so please point me to the post if it has.

I'm a female new to nonmonogamy and trying to figure out the best way to establish rules for safe sex. Can anyone point me in the direction of any relevant resources?

Right now I'm fluid bound with both my 'primary' and my 'secondary' partners, who are both male.

My rule right now is for my partners to use condoms with other people during intercourse unless they are exclusive with them. I want to require lab work before continuing to have unprotected sex with them (when I first started seeing my secondary we exchanged recent test results and it was a great experience). If sex is not planned, then I'd want my partner to get tested before having unprotected sex with me. So to continue unprotected sex, I'd want recent lab work from either them or their new partner.

I'm also wondering if I should apply the same rules during oral sex (condoms and lab work before unprotected sex with me), though this seems possibly too demanding. Asking for lab work also seems possibly 'controlling', especially if the nature of the relationship is 'casual sex'. I personally have a problem with the health risks involved in casual sex, but I don't want to control my partners' sex lives.

I don't know what the risks of contracting STDs through oral sex are, except that they're relatively low compared with penetrative sex. The first time I had sex with a man, it was protected and I contracted HPV. Although I've been testing negative for it for year since, the whole experience was traumatizing for me and I'm scared of repeating it.

I've read that practicing nonmonogamy is basically 'signing up' for herpes, and that terrifies me. Although I know any STD is manageable, I feel different taking that risk with people I know, and taking that risk when I'm not directly involved.

I'm curious to hear how other nonmongamous couples deal with this 'reality/fear' and what rules you have in place.

london 08-04-2013 11:08 PM

my rules are condoms with others unless discussed with fluid bonded partners. We are generally happy to allow our partners to decide who they have unprotected sex with and handle seeing test results etc. I know that my partners wouldn't want to put themselves or me at unnecessary risk and we have a shared ethos about risk management. It would be ridiculous for me to be fucking two men "bareback" whilst I forbid them to fluid bond with anyone who isn't monogamous. We are poly. We date poly people (mostly). We try to be consistent with our rules and boundaries and not let personal opinions or prejudices influence our decision making.

Marcus 08-05-2013 01:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glueoftheworld (Post 219384)
I've read that practicing nonmonogamy is basically 'signing up' for herpes, and that terrifies me.

lol... wow

There are STIs out there and being sexually active means you have the chance of picking one up. If you don't use protection with your partner(s) you increase this risk. If you don't use protection with your partner(s) and either you or one of your partners is promiscuous you increase the risk. If none of you are using protection with anyone and one or more of you is promiscuous then you increase the risk. Life is a risk assessment so we have to weigh what we want to do versus what the risk of harm is. There are never any guarantees... you can be born with one kind of herpes.

Moral of the story: if one of your partners is promiscuous and you don't trust that they are safe and STIs are something which you are afraid of... break up with them. Otherwise, if everyone is using protection and is being extra safe then the risk of picking up an STI drops dramatically.

Non-monogamy literally includes every form of romantic relating which is not monogamous. This includes nightly random hookups with strangers with no protection. This includes four women and a man married and exclusive because their religion tells them they need to populate the earth. This includes a married couple who goes to swinger parties once a month and are zealotous about protection and safety. This includes a fluid bonded vee who use protection with any outside partner.

Non-monogamy doesn't guarantee STIs, but I'd say random nightly hookups with strangers and not wearing protection does. Is it your intention to do this? If so - then I guess you are sort of correct.

Atlantis 08-05-2013 04:13 AM

http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7350/1366

A study done on HSV-1 and HSV-2 transmission.

"Thirdly, preventive strategies for genital herpes should focus on the risk of unprotected orogenital intercourse, which is frequently perceived as “safe” in the context of sexually transmitted infections."

Just one study. Food for thought.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 219420)
lol... wow

There are STIs out there and being sexually active means you have the chance of picking one up. If you don't use protection with your partner(s) you increase this risk. If you don't use protection with your partner(s) and either you or one of your partners is promiscuous you increase the risk. If none of you are using protection with anyone and one or more of you is promiscuous then you increase the risk. Life is a risk assessment so we have to weigh what we want to do versus what the risk of harm is. There are never any guarantees... you can be born with one kind of herpes.

I agree with Marcus.

I broke up with an FWB as I considered his choices on sexual safety were not aligned with mine. There is much information out there on which STIs can still be transmitted even with condom use.

LovingRadiance 08-05-2013 06:40 AM

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1190

That thread has a plethora of info

drtalon 08-05-2013 03:28 PM

"Rule" is a strong word, and when discussing this with OSO's and future potential partners, you might get better results with the word "agreement."

I've found the biggest hurdle is determining whether a someone is willing to be serious about sexual health or prefers a "head-in-the-sand" approach. If you're dealing with someone who's serious about it, it's just negotiating agreements that are acceptable to the network (not trivial, but all the other tools and frameworks we have for negotiating still apply). If they're not serious, then you're dealing with sex-health education and prejudices, and I'm increasingly of the opinion that it's just not worth my time.


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