exert from “Polyamory Toolkit, Concerns about Sexual Transmitted Infections”
One of the Big Conversations dawn and I had when we got started with polyamory was ‘what about sexually transmitted diseases’. If your monogamy was trustworthy and really did just include two people, then opening your sex life to more people increases your risk of getting a STI (sexually transmitted infection). Although not fun, it is a simply truth. So far, 18 years in, dawn and I have avoided any problems in this area, but we recognize that it is part of what we signed up for. Here is our guidelines and philosophy. As always, ‘take what you want and leave the rest’.
We made that decision to have acceptable risk. For us, this means we have looked at the possibilities and decided on agreements that reflect acceptable and unacceptable risky behavior.
- Fingering or hand jobs, assuming your hands and clean and not injured (cuts or such) do not require protection.
- Oral, anal, and PIV (penis in vagina) do all require protection (condom, dental dams).
- Fluid bonding should be taken seriously as if I decide that a girlfriend and I are now going to be fluid bounded, it impacts not only Dawn and I, but Karen and D and all their fluid bounded partners as well.
- New partners are expected to understand our protection decisions and decide if they are ok with that or not. It isn’t up for debate or negotiation. We are upfront with our views.
- If anyone decides to be fluid bounded with someone new, then everyone get to re-evaluate if they want to stay in the ‘fluid bounded chain’. And it is a no fault decision. If I decide to be fluid bounded with Kat, and that leads to Karen deciding to no longer share fluid bounded with me, then so be it, and no one gets “penalized”. Everyone individual is the keeper of their own body and must do what feels right.
- We get tested. Yearly at the least, and whenever we become intimate with a new person (and they do as well).
continued in Polyamory Toolkit