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Old 08-13-2014, 12:34 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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Default New partner, higher STD risk than I'd like. How can I increase my safer-sex protocol?

I am dating someone I would like to be lovers with, but he is a higher risk for STDs than I am normally comfortable with. He attends swinger parties, is bisexual, and has a female partner who has HSV2. He uses condoms for penetrative sex at the parties and with his other partner, but does not use condoms for oral sex at parties or with the other partner. The partner with HSV2 takes antivirals, has not had an outbreak in many years, and her other two partners don't have it.

I would use condoms with him for intercourse. I don't care if he gives me oral sex or not, I would just as soon skip it. I would either forego giving oral to him or use condoms for it. He gets tested every three months for everything, including HSV2.

Is there anything else I can do to keep myself and my network safe? I have already asked him if he would consider giving up sex with strangers at swinger parties and just focus on his partners (he would have three if I became one of them) and other potential romantic relationships with people I could potentially know and trust. He is not willing to do that. Now I am out of ideas.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:52 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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You've done everything I can think of to limit your risk. Your concepts of sexual health risk don't mesh well with his. Neither of you are 'wrong' - just have different assessments of what is risky and what possible consequences you are willing to deal with.

I'm also glad he turned down your request to control his sexuality. I personally believe this is not an acceptable thing to ask. You basically asked him to change who he is, how he desires, to be sexual in ways that are just like how you prefer to be sexual so you could be more comfortable. That is asking too much.

You have every right to set your sexual risk borders wherever you want. So does he. And in that respect, you two are not compatible.

So, for your own peace of mind, don't be lovers. Take a pass, wish him well, and move on.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:03 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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I also would take a pass it being lovers with him. I would be extremely uncomfortable even with condoms. also my lovers would not be okay with me having sex with somebody who is having sex with someone with herpes that's just my take on the situation
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Last edited by Inyourendo; 08-13-2014 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:29 PM
MightyMax MightyMax is offline
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I agree with everyone else.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:33 PM
MightyMax MightyMax is offline
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Originally Posted by Inyourendo View Post
I also would take a pass it being lovers with him. I would be extremely comfortable even with condoms. also my lovers would not be okay with me having sex with somebody who is having sex with someone with herpes that's just my take on the situation
Does your polysexual partner insist on STD results from everyone he is "polysexual" with? I always assume polysexual means that you're open to casual sex and the reality of casual sex is that discussion about STDs is limited.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:32 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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Does your polysexual partner insist on STD results from everyone he is "polysexual" with? I always assume polysexual means that you're open to casual sex and the reality of casual sex is that discussion about STDs is limited.
Polysexual doesn't mean having unsafe sex practices. And no, std conversation is not limited. And yes he has safe sex. He also chooses sex partners who are not promiscuous. Many of the women hes with only have sex with him.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:42 PM
MightyMax MightyMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyourendo View Post
Polysexual doesn't mean having unsafe sex practices. And no, std conversation is not limited. And yes he has safe sex. He also chooses sex partners who are not promiscuous. Many of the women hes with only have sex with him.
Well, I wouldn't necessarily label the example I gave as "having unsafe sex practices" but thanks for the clarification.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:38 PM
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SlowPoly SlowPoly is offline
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I don't know that HSV-2 is any more contagious than HSV-1. And I have (for over 20 years) regularly kissed and often received oral sex from a partner who has oral HSV-1. His mouth is not in play when there's a cold sore or any tingle that might precede one. I still have never had a cold sore and I test negative for HSV-1. I *really* don't want genital HSV-1. But our experience has changed the way I see herpes in general.

Neither of my partners has HSV-2 or genital HSV-1. But if I did have a partner with genital herpes, or one of my partners did, I would be comfortable with consistent barrier use and antiviral therapy (not a guarantee, but somewhat reducing risk). If the other partners had been around a significant time and were testing negative for HSV-2 despite lack of barriers, I would weigh that in favor of accepting relaxed standards. BUT all of this would only come into play if I were seriously considering this person as a life partner. Since I'm only going to have room for 2, maybe 3 people at that level of intimacy, my other partners' preferences would have a lot of weight in the decision.

As far as the sex parties or other anonymous sex, and the common standard of wrapping for vaginal or anal penetration but not oral, I've never been comfortable with that. I'd probably use barriers for all genital contact in that case.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:48 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
. . . the reality of casual sex is that discussion about STDs is limited.
Whaaaaaa???? Where did you get that idea? Quite often, people who are into casual sex who are even more stringent in their safer sex protocols than those who are are only looking for "serious" committed relationships. "Casual" should not be equated automatically with "careless." When it comes to safer sex, there are people who are lax and people who are very strict about what they do, but that does not necessarily have to do with whether they engage in casual sex or not. Casual means a lot of different things to different people, as evidenced by this discussion: Casual Sex - Discussion.
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 08-13-2014 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:20 AM
MightyMax MightyMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Whaaaaaa???? Where did you get that idea? Quite often, people who are into casual sex who are even more stringent in their safer sex protocols than those who are are only looking for "serious" committed relationships. "Casual" should not be equated automatically with "careless." When it comes to safer sex, there are people who are lax and people who are very strict about what they do, but that does not necessarily have to do with whether they engage in casual sex or not. Casual means a lot of different things to different people, as evidenced by this discussion: Casual Sex - Discussion.
What I mean by "discussion is limited" is that at a swinging event, a one night stand or some other purely sexual encounter with someone you don't know very well, the reality is that you don't speak about STDs. Even if you did speak about them, the other person is a complete stranger so the vast majority of sensible people would still use barrier protection regardless of whether they said they have weekly tests for everything and all have been negative.

I've never been involved in any type of casual, spontaneous sex where we had the type of in depth discussion about sexual health that I'd have with someone I'm dating and neither have the people I know. As my friend Mike said, "that's why I always use condoms and test regularly when I swing". That doesnt make anyone lapse, it just means they acknowledge that the assurances of a stranger means very little and that condoms are very good at what they are designed for.

I agree that I took polysexual to mean open to these kinds of random sexual encounters and that isn't necessarily the case. However, I maintain that not speaking about STDs with someone you plan to have a random, short term sexual encounter with is only "lapse" if you don't use condoms. These types of casual encounters do increase risk, but speaking about your sexual health history with a stranger doesn't reduce that risk. Condoms do.
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