I think this has enlightened more for me about the poly community vs swinger. Swinger IS very couple centric. There is communication but it's different. Clinical is a great way to say it. Because the goal is sex it's gotten out of the way right away . There's the initially get to know you', do's & dont's etc... That conversation is where protection & safety is discussed. We always inform the prospective partner that protection is a must. I've only had one experience where the male mentioned that he had vasectomy & preferred not to use condoms. I nixed any possibilities with this couple because he made it clear he often plays without protection & exclusivity made no matter. Beyond that one experience every couple or single person has been tested regularly and only played with condoms. So there is a communication about safety.
But because it is only about the physical & all the parties & clubs that many swingers attend the assumption is they may have more than one partner. This is why the discussion is so important about how they normally behave themselves. There is no emotional connection to me/us so no discussion about being exclusive. We had sought out a more "friends with benefits" sort of arrangement but it was difficult to find & when we did wasnt long standing.
So in an arrangement where poly is on the table and early fondness is being felt it does feel odd to ask because I do understand autonomy is important & we hadn't come to an agreement yet for exclusivity.
We are seeing them tonight so we'll be having a chat.
I think because Hubby & I have a little crush we feel like fish out of water - so I've posted a lot lately about this couple. I'm so thankful for this sounding board.