Originally Posted by Sadie
How often should one be tested? C thinks that it would be difficult to find partners if we required them to be tested before sexual contact, but I'm incredibly wary about getting sick and think it's a perfectly reasonable request.
It is a perfectly reasonable request. And a very intelligent and informed approach.
Let me first say that I'm far from expert on STDs, generally, and probably ought to learn a good deal more. HIV has been my main concern, and I know that in my town anyone can get tested without a long wait and get the results the same day
-- and for free! Other towns may not offer this, but it's worth looking into what is offered. But this is an HIV test I'm talking about, and not a full screening for all STDs, which may be desirable.
(My excuse for relative ignorance is that I haven't really--recently--come to a bridge in need of crossing, as my partner and I have both been tested (for HIV) since our last involvements with others ... and neither of us are seeing anyone else just now. But I plan on using care, and expect care on his part, in the future. I don't seem to have any symptoms of other diseases, either.)
] is a concept and method much worth inquiring into and considering. In my own case, I doubt that I'd ask to see the documentation/papers, as that would indicate a really low level of trust in the relationship. That raises all sorts of issues..., and I'd love to hear folks ideas on all of that. (How would you feel if your new lover wanted to see documentation/proof of your medical exams?)
And don't rely on any one internet-based description of fluid bonding. There are lots of such descriptions online.
Personally, I think the fact of STDs is as good a reason as any to seriously consider polyfidelity
as a relationship model. It would seem to me a model capable of flexibility allowing openness to including others -- but with care to protect members of the group both in terms of health AND emotional/spiritual well-being. Google the term polyfidelity for heaps of info.
Originally Posted by Sadie
What's something you wish you knew before entering into a polyamourous relationship model?.
I think it's crucial to begin with a solid sense of what your desires and needs are regards the rather broad spectrum of styles and kinds of approaches which people have to sexuality in relation to suchlike as emotional intimacy, bonding, love and friendship. Some people can engage in incredibly intense sexual passion with people with whom they don't wish to have any other sort of intimacy, connection or bond -- and these folks can wreck havoc on the heart and soul of people for whom sexual intimacy expresses, intensifies and actualizes a full spectrum of intimacy related to forming bonds. It can be very confusing for both types. (I bet you can guess which type I am!)
I'm the sort that could never be a "swinger". That doesn't mean I have to get married to any or all of my sexual/romantic partners; it just means that when my sexuality is engaged, so is my heart -- and my need and desire to love and be loved in a wholesome sort of way. I can have a "fling," or a brief romantic affair -- or whatever it would be called --, but my whole being will be participating, not just the parts below my waist. My heart and my genitals, and other erogenous zones, are all linked up, and when any part lights up the whole of me lights up.
Not so for many others! For millions and millions of people, sex is a form of light recreation, and people are dispensible when they no longer serve.
I won't go into a rant about narcissism here. I'm not in the mood.
Anyway, if people want to use their sexulity as a form of light recreation, that's fine -- as long as they are honest about it with all with whom they are involved. (I bet you can guess about how my heart has been broken in past dealings.)
Next time, I'm going to keep my eyes open wide.