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-   -   Partner took a picture of unprotected sex (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69027)

Jukebox 02-22-2014 06:10 AM

Partner took a picture of unprotected sex
Hi all,

A bit about my relationship with my boyfriend: polyamorous, we are each others' primary partner. We have relationships with other people but we prioritize our relationship with each other. We have been long distance for a while and we are going to be living in the same city in a few months. So now a few problems are coming to the surface as we contemplate being more directly in each other's daily lives.

My boyfriend and I have both fucked up a few times in this relationship. We have both done things we agreed not to and hurt each others feelings. We are trying to grow and be more consistent with each other. Here's the problem. My boyfriend took a picture of himself having sex with someone without a condom on. And he just shared his google drive of pictures with me so I can get vacation pictures and stuff. I am not bothered by pictures of other lovers (this is permissible) but that picture of him having unsafe sex? I hate it. I asked him to delete it and he said no.

Here is why I want him to delete it: I think it inhibits us from moving on. I was livid when I learned he broke my trust and I don't want him to keep mementos of his dishonest actions. I don't want him looking at it fondly- I want it gone.

Here is why he doesn't want to: Well, he likes it. It's a picture that turns him on and he enjoys it. And he tells me that the damage has already been done and he will move on and he promises to be consistent and refrain from unprotected sex. He says that it is an enjoyable picture and it's not harming anyone.

So what am I supposed to do with this? All of the pieces are in motion. I quit my job and found someone to take my apartment. I am definitely moving (and hey fuck it, I want to move, boyfriend or no). Is this something I should put my foot down on? Or let it slide? Or try to work it out another way?

london 02-22-2014 07:05 AM

It's stopping you moving on, he's over it. But he has clearly said no. What is your response?

graviton 02-22-2014 12:16 PM

Get over it. Stop looking at the picture. Its not your picture to destroy. Unless you want to invite him to destroy some of your pictures because he feels yucky about them or maybe a few love letters about past lovers he doesn't like. Let it go

Vinccenzo 02-22-2014 02:16 PM

You could make a vine of you deleting it against his wishes and keep that even after fighting and (hopefully?) resolving any hard feelings he has about it. Juuust kidding.
Are you worried that if he can look on it fondly while you only see a memento of when he hurt you, that he can't be trusted to not do it again? Because if that is how you feel then the picture doesn't matter - you just don't trust him and you can't heal under that condition. The picture being gone won't make that moment in time go away. Him keeping it implies something threatening to you. Get rid of him or decide he is worth the risk. The picture isn't the real problem.

Magdlyn 02-22-2014 02:34 PM

I agree with Viccenzo. I wouldn't date a guy, much less move in with him if he has a bareback fixation, fucked another woman unsafely, and is hanging on to the photo of his cock going in to her vag to jerk off to. Yuck!

No matter if he promises to never do unsafe sex again. Words are cheap. Action counts.

Marcus 02-22-2014 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by Jukebox (Post 260279)
I don't want him looking at it fondly- I want it gone.

Your language here is pretty specific. It isn't the existence of the pic or that you saw it... it's that you are afraid of what it means that he enjoys having it, correct? You said that the two of you both broke agreements you had made throughout your relationship but it sounds like these infractions are still sore and causing distrust. It's been said and alluded to already that this pic isn't the actual issue.

Do you accept him how he is? Do you trust that he will follow through with his agreements to you in the future?

If you trust him and know that he will act in a fashion which will not knowingly cause you harm then there should not be an issue with what he has done in the past or the fact that he has a memento he likes. Since this rather insignificant memento is causing you grief my guess is that you have tried to pretend away the damage done in the past and need to seriously work on forgiveness and building trust.


Originally Posted by Jukebox (Post 260279)
Is this something I should put my foot down on? Or let it slide? Or try to work it out another way?

This question horrifies me. If you view your partner as an adult and you are not in a power exchange (dom/sub) arrangement, the answer to this question should be readily apparent. No, you most certainly should not do anything that would qualify as "putting your foot down" because he refused to do as he was told regarding a piece of his property. It's his picture and this is your problem. You asked him to destroy it... he quite plainly refused your request as is his right.

That is, of course, simply my own outlook as I don't allow loved ones to tell me what I can and can't do with my things/time/emotions.

alibabe_muse 02-22-2014 09:19 PM

I'd be more concerned about him getting an std test before entering me bareback if I was you and not a picture.

GalaGirl 02-23-2014 02:48 AM

Only you can decide if him not meeting your request to destroy the picture is a deal breaker or not.

You want to move whether you live with him or not so perhaps making arrangements to live on your own is best use of your energies at this time. You can keep dating him or not date him without it affecting your living space that way. You can wait to decide that way too.

I would focus on moving closer but not in the same home. Sort out where you will live first. Then deal with the boyfriend problems.


SchrodingersCat 02-24-2014 06:02 AM

You have a need for trust, and him keeping the picture and using it as sexual stimulation is not meeting that need. In order to have your need met, you've made a request: would you be willing to delete the photo? His response to your request was "no."

You could turn it into a demand, if you want, but I wouldn't. Demands only make people resentful, and they never contribute to the positive energy we all want in our relationships. Also, attempting to control people encourages lying and sneaking around.

What should you do now? The first thing you need to answer for yourself is, do you trust him? If yes: then find a way to get over the picture. If no: then consider whether you want to be in a relationship with someone you don't trust.

Keeping the picture doesn't mean he'll do it again, just like deleting the picture doesn't mean he won't. Either he's trustworthy, or he's not. A few digital bits stored on a server in California have nothing to do with whether he can be trusted not to risk your health by having unprotected sex with people you don't know.

Myrrhine1 02-27-2014 03:26 AM


Originally Posted by Magdlyn (Post 260297)
Words are cheap. Action counts.

This. 1000x this.

But remember, that goes both ways.

On another note, I am really big on condom use and STI testing. I really think you should consider getting tested, together or separate, and maybe abstain from barebacking with your boyfriend for a while. There are a wide variety of amazing barrier contraceptives out there, some that are even thinner than a human hair.

Polyurethane can be really thin, stink-free, and conducts heat better than latex, but remember to use more (water based) lubricant with them because they're not as durable. Polyisoprene is like polyurethane and is a bit more durable (oil based lube is OK).

As for your relationship, I can't really tell you what you should or should not do, because trust is something I still struggle with. All I can say is maybe you should work out your trust issues with a therapist for your own sake.

Boundaries are important for trust's sake, but mistrust can be just as toxic to a relationship as broken promises.

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