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