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Old 11-25-2010, 07:36 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 1,437

Be careful, when I got my IUD the doctor informed me that the STD risks are higher. As in, I don't have a higher risk to contract them, but if I contract one, wearing a IUD makes it worse. Adds complications. Deciding to get one then have unprotected sex with someone who has STDs is even worse than just the "unprotected sex with someone who has STDs" is in the first place.

Here is my take on some of your questions:

- Safe sex vs. unprotected in Polyamory
- After testing for STDs is it ever acceptable for unprotected
It's really not that different than when you're mono, in my opinion. Protected sex with any new partner, and you get tested, then consider having unprotected sex. The difference here is that there are more people involved, therefore you need to trust more people.
If for some reason there is one person you don't trust, keep on with the protected sex. I would also advise for regular tests if there are new partners, even if the sex was protected. However, in a poly-fi configuration (say, four people who are only involved within the group for years) I would say that is less of a requirement, although it can't hurt if it makes them feel more comfortable.

- NRE/falling in love with another - how should M treat P if M wants to stay together
Being supportive of that new love, making sure to voice it if you feel neglected, but trying to avoid a reproachful tone. Try to involve yourself in the new relationship (if that's the way you live your poly. I guess it would be harder in a DADT kind of relationship).
It might sound counter-intuitive, but usually if you get to know the other partner and to help the relationship it's easier than if you just "live through it" passively. You can feel involved and help make the person you love happy.

- Guidelines for space, not being needy/clingy
This one is hard. Try and find relaxing activities you can do when you're becoming clingy. Try and set up something stable that makes you feel safe (regular dates with your partner, etc) so you can use them as your outlet, know they're coming, etc.

- What to do during panic attack when your responsible for three children
I have suffered from panic attacks and so has my husband. It's a long process, but I would say that the main things you can do that helps, even though they might seem silly and unrelated to you, would be have a healthy diet, try to have a regular activity (30 minutes five days a week) and a relaxing one (about same amount of time).
Some food can raise the anxiety, which is why eating healthy helps. And learning to release tension with exercise and calm it down through relaxation/meditation really help as well.
During a panic attack, it is important to remember that you can make it through it, it will pass, it won't hurt you, you're not letting your family down, etc. Repeat these things until it passes. Then try and keep a journal with the date and time you had the panic attack, how long it lasted, what you were doing when it happened and what kind of symptoms you had.
Such a list can be useful both for you and to show a doctor, and seeing a doctor about it is a good idea if you don't already.

- Can lines be drawn by M and not crossed, what to do if P crosses the lines
You can decide on boundaries together. Any violation is cheating and needs to be addressed. The partner crossing the boundaries (and it might not be the poly partner who does, it might be the mono one) needs to acknowledge their faults, sincerely apologise and prove they can earn the other partner's trust back. If they refuse to do so, it might mean the relationship won't work, because there isn't the basic respect between the partners.
Boundaries should be discussed regularly and adapted. They can change with time. Also, be forgiving if someone crosses a boundary they didn't realise existed, you can't always guess what your partner assumes goes without saying.

- Therapist/therapy for a new M can it help
- Do modern therapists know about Polyamory or can be effective in dealing if this is the lifestyle we are going to have (i.e. we're not looking to change back to both Mono)
Therapists generally don't know about it or have a negative opinion on it. There are documents to show your therapist that explain how it works, and you should feel free to change therapists if the one you find isn't suited for you.
And yes, therapy can help, if it's the right kind of therapy and the right kind of therapist.

- Meeting P's other
- If M does not want to meet P's other, and believes deep down there can never be a meeting, can this work has this been experienced and things turned out OK
I strongly recommend meeting other partners. Often the fear comes from not knowing the other person, and seeing them as an enemy. When you do meet them, you can see them as an accomplice who has the same goal as you do, making your partner happy. You can work together, arrange to cover for one another, lots of things. It can be a very strong relationship, and I know most people think they'd rather not know but a lot of them are surprised by how natural things become once they know everybody, when the whole relationship is open and honest and nothing is hidden or behind anyone's back.
This being said, DADT (don't ask, don't tell) can work for some people, and you can also know about another partner but never deal with them directly. It certainly wouldn't work for me but it can work. What I would say though is that then it's really "sharing", since you can't both spend time with your partner at the same time, your partner's time has to be divided, therefore you end up seeing them less and possibly feeling more lonely.

- P leaving M for another P (sound like a familiar fear :0)? )
I'm more familiar with the opposite fear (would my mono partner leave me for another mono?). I would say it's usually not a reasonable fear. A poly partner doesn't "need" to leave a mono partner even if they find someone "better". The whole point of being poly is having several relationships at the same time. They build upon one another, they complete one another. "Replacing" a partner is more of a mono thing to do, as monos have a single slot. Note that it's the way I see it and I'm poly, so sorry if I'm grossly mistaken here.
If your partner leaves you and you're mono, it won't be to "replace" you, it will be because this particular relationship isn't working. If others relationships are working, they might be kept. If they aren't, they might be stopped as well. It's mostly independent.
However, if a mono says "no, you can't see other people", then in that case, yes, the poly partner might leave them and opt for someone who is also poly, as they would understand them better and let them have other partners. The thing here wouldn't really be that the poly partner is "replacing" the mono partner, though. Just that a relationship with the mono partner wouldn't work, because it wouldn't allow the poly partner to be themselves.
Mind you, in this case breaking it off is probably best on both sides. The mono partner would be happier with another mono, as well.

- Warning signs
There are usually the same no matter what the relationship. I think the main warning signs is when there are lies or things being hidden. Also, if you constantly feel terrible and neglected, that's pretty bad too. Talk about things like that.

- Does M need to become P too?
Not at all. It would be terrible to force someone to take another partner when they don't want to. If you accept your partner's polyamory, it's a big proof of love, as it's hard for a mono partner. A poly who would demand you see other people wouldn't be reasonable.
They might prefer it if you were poly (P/P works better than M/P, just like M/M does, because partners are on the same page) but you made the effort to accept them and they should give you the same respect.
However, should you want to have another partner, it wouldn't be fair not to give you that right. If that ever happens, talk to your poly partner, as they see you as mono and would be shocked and feel betrayed if you suddenly showed up with someone else, as it would be contrary to the expectations they had of you and they might feel like you lied to them.
Just be open in both case, and talk about it. If you don't want to see other people, make it clear. If you want to give it a try, make it clear too.

- Can male-mono female-poly both hetero work?
Yes. There are such relationships on these forums and I think everyone here would say they're working fine. (Well I guess redpepper isn't hetero, but at least one of her other partners is male. I assume, perhaps wrongly, that you specified that because you meant "not a One Penis Policy").
I'll let people in that case tell you about their experiences though. Both my partners are poly (although they don't have any other partner currently).
Me: 32F, straight
Seamus: My husband, 33M, straight
Fox: My boyfriend, 30M, homoflexible
Dragon: Fox's husband (and my ex), 30M, pansexual
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