Protection is probably one of the most important things that you need to consider when it comes to sex. And when it comes to open relationships – as well as the whirlwind of feelings that can surround them – communication is of the utmost importance. So, for those who are in an open (or polyamorous) relationship, communication about protection and contraception will be topics that are very much high on the list of things to talk about. And you simply cannot talk about them enough.
Safe Sex in a Polyamorous Relationship: Understanding the Rules
The idea of a relationship having “rules” may be off-putting for many, however, the rules are there in order to maintain boundaries and trust. When it comes to sex, all partners need to discuss what the rules are. The first thing that is usually established is what type of sex is allowed, and what isn’t. There are far too many examples to go into here, but we will mention a few:
- Some couples, for example, may allow all sex acts up to penetration. Some may go further and allow penetration, but only if there is a condom involved. This most common reason for this is, of course, to ensure that infectious sexually transmitted diseases are not spread!
- Protection may not be required if, for example, the female partner decides to have sex with another woman. On the flip side, if the male partner decides to have sex with another man (namely anal sex, as it is penetrative) a condom might be required.
- Some couples may have a rule that means they are allowed only to have unprotected sex with one another and must wear condoms with everyone else. This particular rule is one that requires a very, very high amount of trust and one that everyone must be absolutely, one-hundred per cent clear on!
Communicating When Mistakes Are Made
As stated before, communication is a highly important aspect of any relationship – and this is especially important when it comes to sex and open relationships. What also must be accepted is that people make mistakes. Sometimes people make mistakes often. It means that if you do mess up, you need to own up and speak about it as soon as possible. While it may be hard, it does have practical implications. If you end up catching a venereal disease, you could end up spreading it to your partner. Sooner or later, it will be found out.
Taking these precautions will ensure that both you and your partner(s) are in the right frame of mind to deal with anything that could happen. Clarity is always something that should be striven for. Feelings can get in the way and frustration does come out, even in polyamory, but it is learning to deal with those issues that will make the relationship stronger. There are a lot of different things to consider but with regards to open relationships and sex, communication and contraception are some of the most vital things!