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View Poll Results: When will you consider fluid bonding?
0-3 months 8 26.67%
3-6 months 3 10.00%
6-12 months 1 3.33%
1-2 years 1 3.33%
2-5 years 1 3.33%
More than 5 years 0 0%
Never - Always Protected 0 0%
Never - Only w/ Primary 1 3.33%
Other 15 50.00%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11  
Old 05-08-2012, 09:02 PM
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Kommander Kommander is offline
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For me, time isn't really a factor in itself. It has more to do with what the risk is and what kind of sexual activity is occurring.

Manual stimulation has pretty much no risk as far as STIs are concerned. While rubber gloves are probably a good idea at an orgy, it's probably safe enough to not use them otherwise.

Oral sex is low risk, and most of the infections that can be passed this way are curable. If it's casual sex with someone I just met, I'll use barriers. Although, I don't have casual sex very often. If I can be reasonably sure my partner is low risk, I'll proceed without protection.

Vaginal penetration is a little different. The risk is much higher, the additional concern that this is how babies are made is present, and as much as some men complain about condoms killing the feeling, I've noticed very little difference in feeling with a condom and without. If testing is done when and where relevant, and another form of birth control is in use, I'll consider it.

Anal sex... I only do if it's requested of me, otherwise I really have no desire. There's lots of other fun stuff to do. I always use a condom for this, because it doesn't come up often enough to calculate acceptable risk and it's easier than doing math.

This will most likely change if my sexual behavior becomes more active. In general, "Low risk" with testing when relevant is acceptable, medium risk I'd rather avoid, and high risk I won't do.
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
But obviously you can't get tested right away and rely on that, you need enough time to make sure anything would be detected, hence the question about how much time.
My testing schedule has nothing to do with whether I'm starting new relationships or not. Why should it?

I believe one should have a safety regimen that includes regular testing (whether you think you need or not) and exercising good judgment about partners, including that you trust them to exercise good judgment about partners.

I teamed up with another partner who was having a lot of negative reaction to the idea of testing and safety and wrote a letter to the fun, hot people I'd like to have sex/play with. I think it addresses your concerns about networks of partners.
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:27 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by drtalon View Post
My testing schedule has nothing to do with whether I'm starting new relationships or not. Why should it?
Well, because I have no control over what happens before the relationship starts. Sure, I could swear to my partner that I haven't had unprotected sex with someone whose status I wasn't sure of, but if they trust me, then maybe they trust other people, who are wrong or lying.
So no, I'll prove it by getting tested, and using protection until enough time has passed that it's obvious a) I am serious about it and b) anything I had prior to starting the relationship is detectable, even if I caught it the day before.

Didn't seem like a novel idea to me, that's usually the way I've seen it done. Wait 3 to 6 months, have everyone involved tested and showing their tests to one another, and then stop using barriers.
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
I think the main problem with that reasoning is that some people have several primaries, and that "never, only with primary" doesn't mean said primary is only fluid bonded with you. But now that you explained it, I guess people can vote accordingly?
Yeah, I realized that like two seconds after my post. Oh well.

If you have a strongly-connected multi-person primary relationship like a triad, you might have a similar arrangement that you only have unprotected sex with those in the triad. But I don't see the same agreement in a vee holding up over time. Those at the ends are likely to want to have unprotected sex with other partners. And then you have a W or a WWWWWWW, and there is no way to know the likelihood that an infection will be transmitted to you and your partners.

I knew I was going to get flack for making this about time, but time does seem like an important consideration to me. If someone has negative test results, that tells me that they haven't been infected in the past, but it doesn't tell me what is going to happen in the future. If someone wanted to have unprotected sex with me very soon, then I would infer that the person and the person's partners might be likely to bring new fluids into the mix without my knowledge in the future. Test results don't seem sufficient to me. It seems that I would need not only to trust them, but also their partners. That would take some time, no?

I've only been practicing multiple relationships five months, so I do not speak from experience. All I can share is my impression as an applied mathematician and behavioral scientist.

What Xared has described is most similar to the approach of myself and my wife at this point. We have unprotected oral sex with anyone who is not deemed very high risk, but have been using barriers for vaginal and anal sex. It seems vaginal sex would be the sweet spot regarding the ratio of risk and reward. As someone who had not used a condom in over a decade until this year, I can definitely "notice the difference."
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  #15  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:04 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I said 1-2 years, but I likely could've said other. The first time it came up I'd been seeing my boyfriend for about 6 months, and he had a lot of performance issues with condoms. He wasn't having intercourse with anyone else, and was willing to use condoms if he started. In retrospect I realized I was rushing it. My (now ex) husband and I didn't come to a consensus on that before we broke up. We broke up because he'd had unprotected sex with somebody. I'm pretty sure I would not consider stopping condom use for at least a year into a new relationship at this point.

So I never assume if I meet somebody they are "trustworthy" as people make mistakes, and people break your trust (even ones you've known for a decade), and people sometimes trust people they shouldn't when they say they have negative test results. I don't want to base my sexual health decisions on something as uncertain as trust.

I use condoms for oral sex with new partners. For me considering removing that barrier happens around 6 months to a year. If somebody had a new partner every 3 months, I don't think I'd be fluid bonding at all. I'd rather be safe then sorry, and don't want to have to monitor new partners STI tests, or go back and forth between condoms or not every time somebody new is in the picture.

For PIV that it's likely that it'll always be condoms unless I end up in another primary type relationship, and/or I am spending time with everybody in the fluid bonded group. Say my partner's wife is having unprotected sex with a person I haven't met, that's one risk level too far for me to get involved with.
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  #16  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tachycardia View Post
But I don't see the same agreement in a vee holding up over time. Those at the ends are likely to want to have unprotected sex with other partners.
Funny, no matter what kind of configuration I would be in, I see no reason to get into fluid bonding. I always wonder why it's such a big deal for people to do it, when so much is at risk. In addition to my current lover, I have a potential new lover, and if we proceed with the relationship, I will be both the hinge of my Vee and the arm of his Vee, but I don't have this big hot desire for anyone to go bareback in me... ever.

Why would you think a Vee would want unprotected sex more than any other configuration?
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-08-2012 at 11:33 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:21 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tachycardia View Post
But I don't see the same agreement in a vee holding up over time. Those at the ends are likely to want to have unprotected sex with other partners.

? - I don't see why the agreement would be any less likely to hold up in a Vee than any other arrangement. And I don't see why the "arms" would be more likely than the "hinge" to want to have unprotected sex - I would think it would depend on the gender and mono/polyness of the people involved. (i.e. I think men are statistically more likely than women to object to condoms - barring a woman with allergies or other exceptions - and mono people aren't looking for outside sex anyway).

Our agreement is - condoms for anyone other than the three of us, unless we are all in agreement.

If, for example, Dude decides he wants to have unprotected sex with his new hypothetical girlfriend - then a.) MrS and I have to be satisfied that she is clean b.) she has to agree to condoms with HER other partners and c.) we have to be comfortable enough to trust her. If all of these conditions don't apply and Dude decides that he would like to have unprotected sex with her anyway then it is back to condoms between him and I (which isn't a problem from my end - my sexual satisfaction is not affected). (Contraception decisions at that point would be between him and NewGirlfriend.)

If I, for example, decide to bring a new (third) guy into the mix and forego condoms the same conditions would apply - MrS and Dude would have to be satisfied that he was clean, he would have to agree to use condoms with HIS other partners...etc. Difference is that I would be less likely to ask for fluid-bonding from my end (as explained already - condoms don't affect my sexual experience negatively). And I would not proceed with unprotected sex if my current partners did not agree (I'm not, 20 years in, suddenly going to make my husband wear a condom so some new guy can have a better sexual experience!)

If one of us has another partner and all of the conditions are met - fluid bonding can happen. Then the rule would be - "condoms except amongst us four" - if you are fluid-bonded to one of us, you are fluid bonded to all of us, and should it happen that NewGirlfriend should decide that she also wants to pursue a relationship with MrS condoms would not be required at that point.

An interesting aside - contraception at this point would be a matter of negotiation between NewGirlfriend and MrS and ME - which I just realized as I was typing this. As MrS's legal wife I feel I should have some input regarding procreation. If MrS gets NewGirlfriend pregnant - he is legally responsible for child support etc., this affects our joint finances, etc. I have no legal responsibility for Dude's offspring. (Which is not saying that I wouldn't have an emotional, ethical, etc. responsibility - depending on my relationship with NewGirlfriend) And we should all be aware of the fact that accidents do happen and contraceptives do fail and we should address what happens if that happens while having these conversations.

I'll stop now as this post is long enough and I have told my relevant anecdotes elsewhere.

JaneQ

PS. For the record, I have already taken care of contraception on my part so hypothetical NewBoyfriend and I would be covered there already.
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


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Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 05-08-2012 at 11:32 PM. Reason: PS
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  #18  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:32 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Funny, no matter what kind of configuration I would be in, I see no reason to get into fluid bonding. I always wonder why it's such a big deal for people to do it, when so much is at risk. In addition to my current lover, I have a potential new lover, and if we proceed with the relationship, I will be both the hinge of my Vee and the arm of his Vee, but I don't have this big hot desire for anyone to go bareback in me... ever.
I don't really understand why it can be such a big deal for people either sometimes - the truth is that I prefer how after sex with condoms I can relax and cuddle and bask in the afterglow, and after sex without a condom I'm more likely dashing to the bathroom to clean up. I also think most guys can find condoms that make the experience good for them too, they just have to test a bunch of them to find the right one sometimes.

edited to say that I see Tonberry makes a lot of good points in the post after this. I'm sure if I didn't have so many trust issues and worry about making a choice that could cause an STI to my husband, I'd be more likely to take more risks around safe sex
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 05-08-2012 at 11:44 PM.
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  #19  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:38 PM
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I like fluid bonding because I like having semen in me (down there), I like swallowing it, I like the taste not just of semen but of pre-come and of a penis itself, I like for the guy to be able to stay inside of me while we snuggle instead of having to get out right away because of the condom, I like the warm feel of the semen and I like being able to have sex while half asleep without having to get up and find a condom.
There are probably other small things, but these are the main ones.

And it just feels more intimate. I don't know, I wouldn't want to kiss through a barrier either, or only hold hands while wearing gloves, it's really the same thing to me.
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  #20  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:47 PM
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Yeah, I agree. I love sticky sex.

You just made me nostalgic for a simpler time...

I started having sex in the 70s, and never really used condoms until the mid-80s. I remember all that stuff you mentioned, and I had it with my husband of course, but I guess I feel like those days are over. That is totally subjective, from where I am in my life now. And if I have partners who have partners who have partners, and so on, I don't know if sticky sex is smart anymore... which makes me sad. I just figure as long as I am single and practicing poly, the weenies will be wrapped!
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