From my experience and what little data is out there, the ethically nonmonogamous population experiences fewer STIs than the monogamous/unethically nonmonogamous population. Talking about who you are getting sexy with and how you protect yourself are key to staying healthy and seeking care when necessary. When people are consenting to nonmonogamy, this necessitates transparent communication around safer sex practices (birth control used, and ways of circumventing STI transmission, including barrier methods, proper cleaning of toys and hygiene, and regular STI testing). Knowing the safer sex practices of your partners also allows you to give a fully informed “yes” to engaging in a sexual relationship with your partners.
What happens when you have unprotected sex with multiple partners? Is it stupid? Or irresponsible to yourself and others?
People enjoy unprotected sex for a number reasons, which may include the sensation, psychological feeling of closeness and intimacy, or eroticism from having intermingled fluids. It may signal a level of trust within the relationship. For some, it may signal primacy for a relationship. Unprotected sex may also be called condom-free sex or fluid-bonded sex.
An important consideration is the varying levels of risk associated with different types of protected and unprotected sex. I have linked to this chart before, but it was a while ago, so I thought it would be fine to link to it again; I really like it! : STD Risks Chart. I also really like this website: So They Can Know
While I have been impressed and inspired with the level of communication and knowledge within my open community surrounding STIs, birth control, and protected/unprotected sex, it always surprises me (well, not anymore really) that male condoms are always used for vaginal intercourse, but rarely are dental dams or male condoms discussed as options for oral sex. It’s true that eating pussy is relatively low-risk, and I do think a number of people in my community have calculated the risks and decided that getting tested and talking about STI results, doing visual inspections, and using male condoms for vaginal intercourse are enough safety measures for them (that’s pretty much J and I’s routine).
For me, unprotected sex makes sex an intimate act, even when it’s with a new female partner who I may not be as emotionally intimate with. With nothing separating our bodies and fluids, it automatically makes me feel psychologically and emotionally closer to that person.
I was taking a wellness quiz yesterday, and when I answered that I had had unprotected sex with multiple partners in the past six months, it put my answer in a red box with a warning that this was HIGH RISK. I felt my heart rate rise a bit! It’s true that having unprotected sex with multiple partners puts me at a higher risk of contracting STIs than if I had unprotected sex with only one person (even counting female partners). I also think that it’s worthwhile to think about my true risk of contracting an STI, based on my history and record, and other safer sex practices.
How do you feel about having unprotected sex with multiple partners? How do you mitigate risk from being sexually nonmonogamous?