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-   -   Your thoughts on condom boundary. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69572)

islandgy9 04-09-2014 12:57 PM

Your thoughts on condom boundary.
 
Question: *Is 'required' condom usage a reasonable request/boundary for oso's by ones primary?

Background : My primary girlfriend, 'L' (50) and I (52) have known each other for 3 years *are in a long distance *relationship (she lives in Texas and I live in Florida). *We see each other about twice a year and talk & text multiple times daily. *L is planning on moving to FL within Two years.

We have worked through difficult periods of her polyfear, *I am poly, she is mono. * However, she now recognizes, albeit a strangely foreign feeling to her, that some poly aspects are appealing to her. * We are stronger for our perseverance and determination to find ways to make our relationship a joyful one and are happy that our relationship is deepening. *

L entered this relationship from day one *knowing I am poly and that Ive had an intimately close relationship with a mf married couple, T &J, *for over 10 years.
T&J and I are tested, fluid bonded and do not use condoms.
L has come to accept T&J as part of my life. She has not met them yet. *L recently said that because she was my 'primary' girlfriend she wanted to be the only one to have skin to skin contact and wanted me to use condoms with any oso's. *
I'm uncomfortable with this. *I've known T&J for a long time and would feel taking the intimacy of skin to skin contact away would be a slap in the face of our long enjoyable relationship.

I'm interested to know other points of view.

Inyourendo 04-09-2014 01:29 PM

1q
 
Its required by me that my partners use condoms with others, the exception would be if they were in a committed long term relationship where their other partners were using barriers with others. So when jane and nate were together, they went barrier free until she got a live in partner.

So if nate met some lady who had multiple sex partners and and he only saw her a couple times a year it just makes sense for him to use condoms with this casual sex partner. Of course at any time if he wanted to go barrier free with others he could but the consequence would be that I would choose to begin using condoms with him after that point.

I think it's unreasonable for L to demand you use condoms, especially when she isn't your regular sex partner. Now when ahe actually moves there then perhaps renegotiate. For instance if t&j had multiple s ex partners whom they are barrier free with that would make me uncomfortable. That would mean I would have to trust they were being safe and all the people they were barrier free with was being safe. Honestly the whole thing kind of squigs me out with.



But either way ahe does realize that even with a condom there will still be skin to skin right?

london 04-09-2014 01:44 PM

Well, personally, I don't see fluid bonding as something you only do with romantic partners. For me, it is to do with convenience and a level of trust that I could have with a friend. The trust you need in someone to minimise the risk of Std transmission isn't only something that can be achieved in friendships, I think it's unwise to think that every primary style partner you have is automatically fluid bonding material. For me it depends on the person, the relationships they are currently in, their status in regards to some life long Stds, the other relationships they are in and their general view on Std prevention. It seems your girlfriend is trying to keep something that is only shared between the two of you out of insecurity and fear.

I know it could be that fluid bonding with someone who is fluid bonded with others is beyond her acceptable level of risk, regardless of what safer sex practices these other people have. I doubt that though. Especially as it seems she is already ditching the use of barrier protection with you. It really seems more about the threat she sees them having to your relationship and wanting to keep something exclusive. The fact that you're long distance may contribute to get insecurity amongst other things.

It would be more reasonable for her to say "I'm not comfortable fluid bonding with you whilst you are not using condoms with other people. Therefore, we will continue to use barriers." That way, you have the choice whether to respect her boundaries and always use condoms with her, or respect her boundaries and always use condoms with other people.

If she wants to fluid bond with you, instead of trying to stop you from going bareback with this couple, she should think about what she needs to feel physically safe shunning the use of condoms with you whilst you are also having barrier free sex with them. This mainly revolves around testing practices.

She needs to understand that although she may see fluid bonding as an act of intimacy that is only found in primary style relationships, you might not and applying your value systems to your partner's relationships is rarely a good idea. I'm guilty of doing that, myself.

(Although I was right!)

nycindie 04-09-2014 02:04 PM

I think that L is the one you need to use condoms with, and it is highly unreasonable of her to ask or expect you to break your fluid bond with T&J just so she can feel more important to you than they are (it is also a bit arrogant - though arrogance often stems from insecurity) .

Natja 04-09-2014 02:47 PM

What she said ^^

I think L has a flaming cheek!

AlwaysGrowing 04-09-2014 07:52 PM

I'm kind of torn... On one hand, I think requesting that a partner use barriers with others is perfectly reasonable to maintain fluid bonding. On the other, since she entered the situation with you ALREADY going barrier free with this other couple, it seems odd that it's just now bothering her.

I would talk to her more. Find out where her motivation is coming from. Is it an STD concern? Or is it a control issue/wanting to seem more important? Is it something she wants you to do forever or something she would appreciate you doing until she is nearby and can meet these other people to become more comfortable with them?

Considering she's a mono person, I think it's a bit harsh to judge her too much without getting to the root of the WHY. She's working on completely changing her views on relationships to make this work, no point in making it any more difficult than it already is if it's something fairly simple to do.

Personally, I hate condoms. Boy and I go back and forth between using them and not, depending on what other sexual connections he has at the time/testing/etc. I have no problem whatsoever telling him that I'm dating someone new, that person is uncomfortable with me going bareback with someone who I don't have many agreements with, therefore we're using condoms again. Hubby and I have multiple agreements in place about who we do/don't have to use barriers with, what activities are okay with/without barriers, how often we get tested, and all that jazz. I would NOT be willing to use condoms with him because I know he takes all the precautions that I feel are necessary to keep us as safe as possible (without being a complete buzzkill).

I guess, I think it's a matter of priorities. Yeah, it sucks to be fluid bonding and then go back to barriers, but I personally think it's worth it for some people. And I have never once had someone complain when I've decided that barriers are needed again for whatever reason (be it my own personal thoughts or someone else's that I decide to respect). What's more important? Maintaining fluid bonding with this couple or respecting your partner's feelings on the matter?

Marcus 04-09-2014 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by islandgy9 (Post 264274)
*L recently said that because she was my 'primary' girlfriend she wanted to be the only one to have skin to skin contact and wanted me to use condoms with any oso's. *

I suppose you should be thankful that she's being honest. Usually people jump on the fear-of-STIs bandwagon when they are feeling insecure and want to control their partners other relationships. At least L (it would be easier to read if you would use more than one letter) is openly saying that she is being competitive and wants you to demonstrate to your other partners that she is more important than they are.

Quote:

Originally Posted by islandgy9 (Post 264274)
I'm uncomfortable with this.

Sounds like you've made your decision. I personally would find the suggestion wacka-doodle and would have difficulty not laughing.

Only you can know what you find reasonable and I encourage you to be genuine in how you respond.

islandgy9 04-09-2014 09:57 PM

Inyourendo, *I truly believe I am the only person, other than each other that T&J have sex with so I feel 'safe' regarding Std's. * I've had a few casual relationships over the last few years and always used condomswith these relationships *when having sex with them.

Not quite sure what you meant by : "But either way ahe (she) does realize that even with a condom there will still be skin to skin right? "*
By this you mean caressing, kissing & all the other lovely kinds of contact.... Correct?

Thank you for your thoughts London. *I do think it is more the exclusivity she feels she 'needs'. *
Mutual std testing could help satisfy the health risk issue.

nycindie : *I agree to a point, but as AlwaysGrowing identified, L has made huge strides in adjusting her way of thinking. *I don't consider myself and my poly way of thinking 'easy'. * I am patient with L and do my best to reassure her when she has trouble understanding.... Ok, *she freaks out sometimes but always rides out her internal storm and we continue forward.
I have made some concessions willingly for the good of L's and my relationship. *I have no regrets about the decisions I have made. *
It wouldn't kill me, ... rather, *I would use condoms with T&J with the caveat that L and I *re-address the issue in the future. *
I believe being in a poly relationship is asking a lot of a mono person. *Yes, *there is always individual choice, *they don't have to stay with us. *But our lives would be so much less without them that some concessions *prove worthwhile. *Then again, some lines can not be crossed, and there lies the choice.

By the way Natja, *this is out of context a bit but L does acquire 'flaming cheeks' of another sort when her occasional extremely over Zealous *imagination sets her version of a monogamonster loose.... * I wouldn't have believed 'taking in hand' redirection was anything short of abuse. *However it has proven to refocus her on the issue at hand... So to speak ... and productively communicate vs. having her internal fear thoughts control her. *
It was her idea.*
The difference between that and abuse is the love that's behind it, a different kind of love. *It is 'loving differently'. * *
Sorry if I derailed my own thread.
Thank you for your thoughts, once again you loving people have helped.

Inyourendo 04-10-2014 12:36 AM

Skin meaning your bare genitalia would still touch their bare genitalia. The only thing condoms do ia prevent sharing fluid.

LovingRadiance 04-10-2014 03:47 AM

I don't use protection with either of my guys. But we do have an agreement that if any of us gets a new partner, we will use protection with the new person until such time and all of us (including new partner) feel unanimously comfortable with no protection.
I don't think there is anything wrong with her asking.
But-her reasoning sounds possessive and that could be problematic.


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