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  #1  
Old 04-16-2012, 05:40 PM
Nighthorse Nighthorse is offline
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Unhappy Fluid Bonding Confusion

So, recently, my partner and I, whom I will call S, became fluid-bonded. Yay.

But S had a different perception than I did regarding what constituted fluid-exchange and had oral sex with someone, without a barrier, outside a night club.

S had met this person before, once, but has never had any kind of risk-factor conversation. S was surprised that I considered oral sex without a barrier unprotected sex.

I was, frankly, shocked and appalled that someone would have any kind of sex with another person, especially unprotected sex, without having a conversation about health and safety first. It's as if S had never heard that unprotected oral sex was a risk for syphilis, gonorrhea, HSV, et cetera. S said, cynically, that no one would be honest about that if oral sex was on the way. I completely disagree. And, hey, that is what flavored latex barriers, like dental dams and condoms, are for.

A close friend of mine, M, contracted HSV II orally with this same behavior. M was completely devastated, psychologically, by the news and now feels unlovable. While I would never dump someone for contracting an STD, I feel that people who engage in risky behavior without even having the risk-factor conversation are too irresponsible to be allowed to date me.

Let me clarify that I am not mad about the oral sex. I am happy for S. But I am mad about the apparent lack of concern for health and what that might mean for my own health.
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2012, 06:17 PM
ViableAlternative ViableAlternative is offline
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Sounds like there wasn't enough discussion about expectations and what is "safe" versus "unsafe" to you and also to your partner.

I don't perform oral sex with barriers. Though there is still risk, it is lower than that of unprotected PIV or PIA sex. However, any partners I have are aware of this prior to engaging in sex or other fun stuff like that, and have the option to consider me an unsafe risk and choose not to have sex with me.

I also don't require proof of a clean bill of health from folks I have oral sex with; if I trust someone enough to have their privates in my mouth or mine in theirs, then they're someone I know and trust incredibly well.

Then again, I can count on one hand the number of people I've provided or received oral sex with in my life. There is currently only one person with whom I am having oral sex regularly, and only one other person with whom I would be willing. Oral sex, for me, is a much, much more intimate and trusting act than just plain ol' PIV. I don't have oral sex with just any partner, whereas I'll have PIV on a first or second date in some cases. I do use barriers for PIV or PIA, always, with every partner, no exceptions.

I do not consider myself fluid bonded with anyone, despite the fact I engage in unbarriered oral sex with folks. I consider that to be an acceptable risk, for me. Of course, YOU have to decide what is an acceptable risk FOR YOU, and if you feel that unbarriered oral sex constitutes an unacceptable risk, I think that's perfectly reasonable. But your partner(s) need to know that, too. I suspect that your partner, like me, just considers oral an acceptable risk, since the risks are appreciably lower than those involved with PIV or PIA. I think this is an easy misunderstanding to have made, but it could have been avoided by extensive discussion on what "safe" means to her, and to you. Make sure your definitions mesh.

On the other hand, unprotected oral with a stranger met for a second time? Not in my future. Would that, to me, constitute an unacceptable amount of risk for a partner? .... Maybe. I'm not entirely sure.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:33 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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I think you have every reason to be upset - I know I would be. I take my safety really seriously, and have to be able to trust my partners. I had an STI scare earlier this year, and the first person I looked to was our secondary partner, as I knew that my hubbo and I hadn't slept with anyone else since our last test. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it was a really good reminder that fluid bonding is risky, and requires a very high level of trust.

Oral sex without barriers is fluid-bonding is high risk.

Taken from a safe sex site:

There's a common perception that oral sex is safer than intercourse, and thus I've met many folks who consider only having oral sex to be their version of safer sex. And while it is safer in comparison, it is far from being risk free. There is increasing evidence that many STDs can just as easily survive in the mouth as in the genitals, meaning that many can be transmitted from mouth-to-genital and from genital-to-mouth.

Some examples include being able to transmit HSV-1 (more commonly and socially known as 'cold sores) to the genitals, causing a genital herpes infection. HPV can also be transmitted to the mouth, and vice versa, and there is increasing evidence that many mouth cancers are also caused by the HPV virus.

Last edited by CherryBlossomGirl; 04-16-2012 at 07:33 PM. Reason: can't type worth a damn.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:48 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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The only thing that is risk free is no sexual contact of any sort, or any contact where any bodily fluids are exchanged (so that includes kissing). For that same reason there is no such thing as "safe sex".

It's like everything else in life, you need to weigh what is, to you, acceptable risk given the benefits that you receive. Once you understand that, it's vitally important that you come to a very explicit agreement with whomsoever you are fluid bonded. This has to include a list of actions that are ok and actions which are not. This can include differences, depending on whether the parties have been tested recently, etc.

There is NO "right answer" for this, and there isn't even a sharply-delineated line of "commonsense". It HAS to be discussed in detail, and agreement reached. Being mad at something that the other did that you regard as an unacceptable level of risk that they don't (and had no clue how you felt) is a fault of communication between you, not the other person.

If you cannot come up with a common agreement about these behaviours, then a fluid bond between you is not going to be possible.
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Last edited by CielDuMatin; 04-17-2012 at 12:11 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:48 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I've had my own issues with fluid bonding and communication fuck ups. Feel free to look at the threads I've started that discuss my misadventures.

One thing I learned is that "my fluid bonding is not the same as yours'. It sounds like you and your partner did not clearly talk, in excruciating, possibly embarrasing detail, about what you considered fluid bonding, what she did, what was in, what was out. Many people do not consider barriers for oral sex to be necessary. Not every one knows all of the risks involved. People make very different calculations about risk levels. Your risk level is obviously different from your partners - and there is nothing wrong with that.

And terms like high risk or low risk need context, particularly in regard to which STI is being discussed. Oral sex without barriers actually is low risk for possible HIV transmission as compared to unprotected vaginal or anal sex. Saliva is generally inhospitable to the HIV virus. It is high risk for other STIs such as the various herpes and HPV viruses. However, it is also true that avoiding bodily fluids will not protect one entirely against STIs. HPV and herpes (HSV) are transmitted via touch, not by fluids. I was religious about using condoms and managing fluids and I still contracted HPV. So unless one is covered up head to toe in latex or one never ever has sex or any physical contact with another human being, there is no such thing as safer sex. It comes down to understanding the risks and what risks one is willing to take. There is also going to be a certain level of ambiguity that you and she will have to live with. Not all the risks are known.

So now would be a great time to have that in detail conversation about what fluid bonding is for you, for her, what is permissible and what is not for the two of you.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:59 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
Oral sex without barriers actually is low risk for possible HIV transmission as compared to unprotected vaginal or anal sex. Saliva is generally inhospitable to the HIV virus. It is high risk for other STIs such as the various herpes and HPV viruses. However, it is also true that avoiding bodily fluids will not protect one entirely against STIs. HPV and herpes (HSV) are transmitted via touch, not by fluids. I was religious about using condoms and managing fluids and I still contracted HPV. So unless one is covered up head to toe in latex or one never ever has sex or any physical contact with another human being, there is no such thing as safer sex. It comes down to understanding the risks and what risks one is willing to take. There is also going to be a certain level of ambiguity that you and she will have to live with. Not all the risks are known.
This is my reasoning for not using barriers for oral. HPV and HSV are the two virus families that are known to be spread orally and you can get those even while using a barrier - or even from kissing. I also HATE latex in my mouth. I don't care if it's flavored, I do NOT like the feel of something like that in my mouth.

I also tell people that I don't use barriers for oral, though. I would honestly chalk this up to miscommunication. If it is something you honestly can't live with as a risk, then you need to communicate that. I've honestly never met a person IRL that uses barriers for oral, so that is something to consider. More power to you for being that stringent and health-conscious!
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:21 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaggagePatrol View Post
Taken from a safe sex site:

There's a common perception that oral sex is...
Link, please.

Always helpful to cite the source when quoting, especially if it's a site with health information.
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2012, 03:09 AM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Link, please.
A quick googly comes up with http://www.serolynne.com/poly_safer_sex.htm
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2012, 06:57 AM
Nighthorse Nighthorse is offline
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Default Thanks for the support

One thing I have learned by being a part of the sex-positive community is that, when it comes to safety, it pays to be explicit. Safer sex is sexy.
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:04 AM
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clairegoad clairegoad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
A quick googly comes up with http://www.serolynne.com/poly_safer_sex.htm
and I found this...http://www.herpes.com/hsv1-2.html about oral vs. genital herpes transmission.
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