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Old 07-24-2014, 10:55 PM
Tomcat27 Tomcat27 is offline
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Default Unprotected sex in open poly relationship

My partner of 5 months recently told me that she had unprotected sex with one of her partners that she had not seen in over a year. I asked if she had a discussion about the last time he was tested, and whether or not he has had unprotected sex with any of his other partners and she said no. Hygiene and safe sex are where I find my boundaries. We have a non hierarchical open relationship, and when we first started seeing each other I let he know that I don't want to control any aspect of her life, but that I did not want to be exposed to STI risks any more than I have to, and I also do not want to have intimate contact with her after she has been with someone else unless she bathes.

As of now I do not have any other partners, and we have had unprotected sex since we knew that I was not sexually active with anyone else, and she had been using protection when she occasionally had sex with other people (maybe three time since we got together). This kind of made me feel special, but this was my own illusion.

As of now I need to decide if this is a deal breaker for me, since I consider the behavior risky and irresponsible. I asked her if she thinks it was a mistake, and whether or not she would do it again, and she defensively stated "well if you have a problem with it, either stop having sex with me or just use protection if we do". I was a little bit hurt that she would dismiss our intimate relationship so easily, whereas now I am quite attached to her, and love her very much.

The fact is that she told me, is a good thing. If she didn't and I found out after having unprotected sex with her, then I would probably immediately end the relationship. But it is her body and her choice of whether or not to use protection, but at the same time it makes me feel a bit uneasy, since she acted like it's no big deal, and that it is only a problem since I personally think it was a risky move.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:20 AM
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MusicalRose MusicalRose is offline
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I've been having some related issues with one of my partners, although he is pushing me to fluid bond with him when I feel his practices are too risky and I don't understand what his standards are. He refuses to have a discussion about it, so I haven't taken that step with him.

I would first figure out what your hard lines are. If she got some STD test results from him and found out about his recent sexual history would that put your mind at ease? How about if you go back to using condoms with her for a few weeks/months (however long you want to wait) until she can get an STD test of her own?

You are right that she gets to choose what she does with her body. You also get to choose what you do with yours. If her practices are too risky for you, protect yourself!
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:28 AM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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I would use condoms with someone who is having casual unprotected sex with others
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:48 AM
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Hi Tomcat27,

I agree with you that your partner's behavior sounds risky; however, it obviously isn't as big of a deal to her, and you can't decide for her, you can only choose your own actions. There's no such thing as 100% safe sex, so even if you have protected sex with her, there's a slight chance that something will go wrong.

It's really your decision to make, as to whether you will continue to have a relationship (at all, as well as whether it's a sexual relationship) with her. You have to decide how important it is to be with a careful partner. And as MusicalRose stated, maybe you would feel more comfortable if she got herself tested (though I don't know if they ever test for *everything*).

Sorry you're in this tight spot.
Sincerely,
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:25 AM
ClockworkDragon ClockworkDragon is offline
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For me, unprotected sex is absolutely a no-go outside of my husband and I's relationship. We don't use protection with each other, and as a result, out of respect for each other and our safety.

If one or the other of us had unprotected sex, we would hands-down use protection with each other until tests are clear but frankly, it's non-starter for both of us. And if we found out the other had done it? That would probably be the end of things. It's purely respect. For us, having unprotected sex means a lack of respect for your partner's health, if not your own.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:39 AM
Tomcat27 Tomcat27 is offline
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Thanks for the replies. It's weird how much easier things are to process after hearing from random strangers (although like minded) about such issues.

One of the biggest things for me is my concern for her safety and health. I'm kind of a protective type, not overprotective to the point I'm controlling, but I want to protect the ones I love from harm to the best of my ability. Knowing that she is willing to take such risks ultimately does not come down to whether or not her and I should have sex, but that someone I love is taking risks that I know can be harmful.

It seems the best I can do as of now is let her know how I feel about the situation, and stay with her in order to support her no matter what happens. She actually just moved to China for six months, and I may go meet up with her to travel a bit through Asia after her gig is over, so I will not be engaged with her physically for some time anyway. I guess I'll see how I feel next time I see her, and if we do have sex, a rubber will be involved, at least until she's tested. She was honest with me, and that's what is most important to me.

Last edited by Tomcat27; 07-26-2014 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:05 AM
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Sounds like a reasonable game plan.
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:26 AM
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Remember that the window period for HIV is between 3 and 6 months, during which the results of a test can give a false negative, so I would advice to continue using a rubber until the lack of Sexually Transmitted Infections / STIs is quite reasonably certain. Your doctor will test you for the most likely / dangerous STIs.

Last edited by mischa; 07-26-2014 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:03 AM
comoelmar comoelmar is offline
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To me, the important issue isn't the potential std risk from this encounter, it's the casual disregard of the very special and intimate status of being fluid-bonded. I'd be very hurt by this scenario - not necessarily by the need for barriers, but the flippant approach to returning to or starting them. I think going back to barriers is a meaningful change that should be acknowledged, and deserves a more caring and thoughtful approach.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:26 PM
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MusicalRose MusicalRose is offline
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I don't think it is flippant at all to request that barriers be used again if there is a risky event that occurs.

It probably is bad decision making to be flippant about stopping the use of barriers, but it is an individual decision to be made. Each person gets to decide what to do with their own body as long as they are not breaking agreements they have made or omitting important information that can be pertinent to the sexual health of their partner(s).
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