An excellent argument for implementing safe sex rules and practices in poly… just a quick glimpse into how extensive the web can get in non monogamous relationships.
Some really important talking points about non-monogamy and safe sex practices that might help get a very important conversation started in your non-monogamy circles:
How well do you know your partner’s partners?
How stringent are your safe sex protocols, rules and practices?
How often do you get tested?
How often do you require your partners to be tested?
What proof do you require of your partners of those tests? What do you require to know about your partner’s partner’s test results?
What happens when a new partner is added to the mix? What protocol is expected to be followed?
How seriously do you take your responsibility to your partners… to their partners?
How do you deal with a protocol breach,
a bad decision,
a lack of action on the part of a partner to do their part to keep the rest of the players safe?
What if one or more partners engages in a one night stand with a stranger (uses protection but doesn’t see test results) at a swing club or takes a stranger home from a bar? When do they need to tell you they did that? What do you do after you find out?
Your partner’s partner’s partner brings on a new partner and has oral sex with them prior to seeing test results without the use of a condom or a dental dam. What responsibility does your partner have to you in this situation? What responsibility do their partners (and partner’s partners) have to them? What course of action is taken after you find this out?
At what point is your downline of sexual partners and metamours more risk than worth? How many degrees of separation before you say… yep, that’s all the risk I’m down for, time to scale back the web some?
What kind of protocol can be put into place to keep all the partners and metamours present and future safe and happy? What kinds of checks and balances can be put into place to ensure that everyone is following through?
How important are condoms for intercourse when we are freely putting cocks in mouths and mouths on pussies and fingers in pussies and assholes without any other form of protection?
** EDIT II **
What is each partner’s acceptable level of risk? I think this bounces back to the downline numbers question just above, but it’s a good question. Do you know your acceptable risk? Are there situations where you will be more lenient or more stringent about it?
How educated about STI’s / STD’s are all of the players? Has anyone done any research or taken any classes on it since high school health class? Do any of the players know the best ways to protect against the most common STI’s? Are any of the players practicing those safe sex methods?
Is a condom enough protection?
What about when two or more players want to go condom-less?
Do all of the players agree on what fluid bonding means? What does that mean? Are you fluid bonded with someone if you swallow their cum? If you are then are condoms really even necessary at that point?
At what point in sexual activity do you insist on seeing test results? Before kissing? Before oral sex? Before hand jobs or fingering? Or, just before the actual act of intercourse?
Care to share any of your own personal learning experiences?
Some comments I’ve received privately:
MzCoco2U: Afrigginmen to all of this! Breadcrumbs…hell…BREADLOAVES! My life is worth more than your hour or two with strange.
His_n_Hers: I remember being at a pool/play party two years ago, at which time myself, my Sir and another female were discussing STIs and risk. I remember several people walking past us with frowns on their face and even a few negative comments directed toward us. It was in that moment that I realized that if someone didn’t want to have that discussion in the midst of such a sexually charged environment, then they weren’t someone I’d ever cosnider putting myself at risk for. As for the other female in the conversation, it was actually a turn on for me because she spoke so freely and openly. After that, there was a scare within some intersecting circles and she actually called to check in on what our status was within those circles. I genuinely appreciated that call. I think that any opportunity to talk open and honestly is fantastic, but it’s definitely better to be proactive than reactive.
miss_sluttypants: I agree with testing and honesty, but there are a lot of half truthers out there. Another question is (aside from literally looking at test results yourself) how deep is the trust in the honesty? I’ve spoken with poly men before who made my eye twitch with the, “she said she hasn’t been sleeping with anyone. She looks clean so I trust her. My sub trusts me so she must trust my judgement to keep her safe” which really helped me ponder trusting if I’m getting truth just shy of seeing results myself. (She looks clean is ignorant. A lot of women don’t show symptoms).
KinkyCreoleCutie: This was a refreshing read. I tend to be the one to bring this up with partners and not always, but most of the time, I get the deer in headlights look when I do. It’s amazing that in today’s disease ridden society, most people still consider this topic awkward and unsexy. I’m not ashamed to pause for the cause and not only adorn my playmate with a condom, but Saran wrap the shit out of someone…pubs and all! :-)~
His_n_Hers: We both test, typically rotating between us every 6 months. We would test more frequently if we had partners that were not common, however that’s not our dynamic. This discussion needs to be had for what everyone’s “acceptable risk” and at that point the most conservative person’s “acceptable risk” should be the “rule”. That could mean imposing rules on someone that doesn’t agree to them, but could mean that they don’t fit your risk model. Unfortunately , that requires talking about acceptable risk, which many people don’t want to do, and it also requires trusting all parties involved, including metamours that you may not interact with.
Also, don’t forget the added component that exposure doesn’t mean a positive test result, if you’ve contracted something, will show up right away… many STI’s can take weeks or months to show up on labs. This can cause a drastic snowball effect when it could be months before you realize you have a positive test result and you’ve been in contact with multiple lovers in that time.
It’s important to remember that condoms won’t protect from everything… HSV 2 comes to mind.
-painwhore-: i think that testing is mandatory in any poly relationship. as well as testing. most of the poly relations i have been in havent had that kind of web. BUT that would be a big problem for me if it did get that big.
paperwork should be provided before and id say maybe every 3 months. from all parties involved.
safe sexual practices also.
and just be fucking honest.
Sweet_Little_One: @-painwhore- yes, honesty about testing and safe sex practices with your partners should be everyone’s priority.
_Musey_: Thank you, this is a talk we had at the beginning but now time to revisit I think
Fate1: Yeah, they told us that “statistic” too, but said “6 years”. I think it is really kinda “forever”, but okay. Y’all find a place to get group rates yet? This should be an option.
PackedPanties: Yes, this. All very real questions that we should all be asking ourselves.
akaRustyRigger: When I was younger, I remember hearing in health class that when you have unprotected sex with someone, you’re having sex with all of their (unprotected) partners from the last seven years. Not sure about the science behind that, but it is food for thought.