Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-16-2013, 02:56 PM
Vicarious Vicarious is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 42
Default How to approach friend about her promiscuity & safe sex?

I'm looking for some advice around a situation I have found myself having a challenge on how to discuss with my friend T. A brief history first...

I have a friend T that I met online a couple of months ago, that I started a sexual relationship with. This is/was new to me, as well as my wife M, and it has helped our marriage tremendously for me to have T as a lover.

When we started having sex, we had a safer sex discussion, and we have been not using protection. I have been tested, and she says she gets tested yearly. This has felt fine for me, as well as M & T based on how the conversation went.

The problem I have now, is that now that T is more a friend of mine/ours, she is more open about the extent of her other sexual partners. I was under the impression that she had a couple of other men in her life, and that she practiced safe sex.

Now, I have found out she has around 10 lovers, and is having a heck of a lot of 'fun'. Sometimes with a few of them in a day. My impression is that since she has come out of a horrible controlling marriage, she is now on a bit of a rampage. She has expressed needing to tame down her 'harem', and that she may have a problem (tongue in cheek)...

My gut tells me that she is not having safe sex with them, and this is the same feeling that M has too. For us, it is becoming a safety issue, not to mention that I have some feelings around what I thought our relationship is.

I am fine with T having whatever relationships she wishes, but I am feeling like this is not something I am comfortable with.

I've not been in this situation before, and need some advice on how to discuss it with T without making her feel like she is dirty, or being judged.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-16-2013, 03:21 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,372
Default

Well, I really don't understand how anyone could have unprotected sex with someone they barely know! A couple of months is nothing.

I think that was a real big mistake on your part. I probably wouldn't go bareback with anyone until I knew someone really well for at least nine to twelve months or so, had SEEN hard copy of at least two test results, and trusted them implicitly.

Common sense, man. That's all.

So, if I were you, I would get tested again immediately. And your wife, of course. Then I would simply tell T. that you were under the impression she had less sexual partners than she actually does and that you no longer feel comfortable with the situation. Ask her for specifics about her safer sex practices, so you are not just guessing and making assumptions about what she does based on how many sex partners she has. You don't need to get nervous about a frank discussion if you keep calm and just say what's bothering you in a matter-of-fact tone.

Then state what it is you want - for example, do you want to end it, ask her to whittle down the number of partners she has to a number that seems more reasonable to you, or simply use protection until you are both tested twice and six months apart, and you actually SEE the test results, not just take her word for it? But you should also know that she is under no obligation to give you what you want, especially if you are asking her to change how she approaches her own sex life with other people, which you really have no right to do (you can only manage your own relating to her and your own behavior), so adjust your expectations accordingly.

I also think you need to hone your communications skills so as not to base your actions on assumptions, going forward.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

Last edited by nycindie; 10-16-2013 at 04:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-16-2013, 03:31 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,332
Default

To make sure I understand, you are having unprotected sex with T regularly? And I assume you have unprotected sex with M, your wife as well?

Is it the number of partners that is squicking you out? You seemed fine having unprotected intercourse with her when you thought she has having sex with a couple other men. Sheer numbers of partners does increase risk of STIs but you know what the main risk factor is? Having unprotected sex.

From your post it seems like there were assumptions made on both sides, and not much clear discussion. Have you talked with her about what her and your ideas of safer sex are? It's not just slapping a condom on a dick. Her ideas of what safer sex is and your ideas may not match at all and that is impossible to know without explicit, detailed discussion. For example, what about barriers for oral sex (giving and receiving)? Many people don't use barriers for oral but are strict about using condoms for intercourse or anal sex. Others would think not using barriers for oral is a safer sex fail.

Are you worried that she is making unhealthy decisions in picking partners? Again, sheer numbers might indicate that. Or she is letting off steam after being in a bad marriage. She may 'cool off' after a while. Or not. As long as she feels healthy and in control, then she is likely fine. If she feels it's a problem, then she may have some 'kid in a candy store' issues.

It does seem hypocritical to be upset about her making the same choices she did with you - just with more people.

That said, you have every right to make decisions about things that can affect your health.

My suggestion - stop having unprotected sex with T, get everyone tested (you, your wife, T), don't have unprotected sex with your wife until results are back, and have detailed discussions about safer sex expectations with T and with your wife.

Then explore why her having more partners has affected your expectations of your relationship with T. Why is that? Have you two talked about the relationship? What do each of you want?

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-16-2013, 03:43 PM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Have you thought that perhaps, for the same reason you trusted her enough to have unprotected sex, she trusted you enough to do so? Maybe, just maybe, these other guys that she also has sex with, she uses a condom, just because it's that kind of relationship and she feels that maybe yours is different. Why exactly do you feel she doesn't have safe sex with these guys? To me, it seems like once you found out that she is promiscuous, you thought that she couldn't be making wise choices.

And sure, having unprotected sex is a risk factor for STIs but having unprotected sex with people who are vigilant about their sexual health is in some cases even safer than having protected sex with people who aren't. That's working on the premise that someone who is vigilant about their sexual health is more likely to know their herpes status than someone who isn't. Herpes, as we regularly discuss, can be contracted even with the use of barrier contraceptives, thus having unprotected sex with someone who knows they don't have an STI is safer than having protected sex with someone who is unsure of their status.

Having unprotected sex with someone before you discuss this sort of thing is not the smartest thing to do, but I really wouldn't go throwing around assumptions based on your sex negativity. That's what it seems to me that you are doing. Or maybe it's low self esteem where you don't understand why she extended you the same trust that you extended to her. You don't feel worthy of it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-16-2013, 04:08 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,165
Default

You pretty much said it. Keep it simple.

"I am fine with you (T) having whatever relationships you wish. But I don't feel comfortable. It's a lot of other lovers for me to be connected to via fluid bonding with you. Are you having safer sex with all these people? How does this impact my own sex health?

If we are going to continue to be lovers, I would like to return to using condoms and test more often so I can be comfortable. Could you be willing to do that? Bring on the condoms and testing?"


She either is willing to accommodate you so you can have peace of mind and use protection when you share sex together or not.

She is either willing to accommodate you so you can have peace of mind and test more often and share copies with you or not.

If it is that you want to end the sexual part of your relationship entirely or do some kind of negotiation -- then say so.

""I am fine with you (T) having whatever relationships she wishes, but I am feeling like this is not something I am comfortable with at this time. It's a lot of other lovers for me to be connected to via fluid bonding. I am beyond my personal limit. So... maybe we need to talk about ending sharing sex together and concentrate on being friends rather than friends and lovers. Or if you are willing to scale back in number since you indicate that... we could talk about that. Please tell me where you stand so we can determine together what's best for our own relationship. Discern if we're still compatible or not in light of new information."


Having frank up front conversation isn't going to feel comfortable to you until you start having more of them. Be ok with it feeling weird -- move it forward ANYWAY.

You want to know if she's practicing safer sex. So ASK. So that you can KNOW.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-16-2013 at 04:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-16-2013, 04:15 PM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Does everyone realise that it's only his gut telling him that she isn't having safer sex? There is no concrete proof.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-16-2013, 04:35 PM
Vicarious Vicarious is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 42
Default

That's true. It's like Galagirl said, I need to become more accustomed to having these conversations. I am just looking for how to approach it without making her feel judged. Galagirl, you are incredible at putting it into words...

I know there is no proof, and that is why I am at the point of having the conversation around it all.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-16-2013, 04:48 PM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

I get that. I still think that regardless of the answer you should examine why finding out how many sexual partners she has and the circumstances of that sex made you assume that she isn't having safer sex.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-16-2013, 04:50 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 518
Default Ugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicarious View Post
This is/was new to me, as well as my wife M, and it has helped our marriage tremendously for me to have T as a lover.
I doubt T would appreciate being referred to as a kind of tool used to improve existing relationships.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-16-2013, 04:55 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,372
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
Then explore why her having more partners has affected your expectations of your relationship with T. Why is that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
. . . you should examine why finding out how many sexual partners she has and the circumstances of that sex made you assume that she isn't having safer sex.
I agree with Opalescent and London. What stood out to me was your use of the word "promiscuous," which indicates some judgment you have regarding how many people she has sex with. Why does the number of partners mean you have a different relationship than you thought you did? Do you think she's just to "slutty" for you to be important to her,or for you to consider her a partner? Were you feeling like just another notch on her bedpost? And why make assumptions about her sexual practices based on how many people she fucks? I am not asking these questions necessarily for you to answer here, but for you to ponder, at least.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

Last edited by nycindie; 10-16-2013 at 04:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:24 AM.