Fool me can't get fooled again.

On the eve of my final doctors appointment, it was brought to my attention that Chase made out with or was manually stimulated by (yes, I mean on the penis) a handful of my guy friends without ever bothering to so much as mention it to me. Since I just got home from my fifth gyno appointment dealing with the repercussions of having him as a cheating partner, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to have a little chat about responsible polyamory.

If you are unfamiliar with this term, it generally involves a couple who for whatever reason decide to seek sexual partners outside of their commitment to each other. Some highlights to illucidate this for you:

"The word is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as the crucial defining characteristic.
Distinguishing polyamory from traditional forms of non-monogamy (i.e. "cheating") is an ideology that openness, goodwill, truthful communication, and ethical behavior should prevail among all the parties involved." [italics mine]

Honesty, transparency, communication. Rules. Responsible polyamory cannot exist without following the rules. Why? Because it is simply dangerous, but it is also simply disrespectful to your partner.

Every couple is allowed to make their own rules for their own relationships, but there are some that are widely considered universal just to insure everyone's safety.

1. Always practice safe sex.
If you are having penetrative sex outside of a committed relationship, you MUST ALWAYS use barrier type protection from STD's. This generally means a latex condom.

2. You must communicate to your partner the details of these sexual forays.
This will allow your partner to make informed decisions about their own health, be able to detail an accurate medical history to their doctor or gynecologist (who will always ask if you or your partner has had unprotected anal sex with someone of any gender, or has had sex with an IV drug user), and generally promotes transparency.

Different couples seeking different ideals will add to and augment these rules. Some common rules in polyamory?

1. Third parties can only be involved when both members of the couple are present.
This is your typical three-way situation, and is really common on the breeder community. It usually involves a pre and post-game discussion. I have been in all kinds of moresomes, and they're not entirely my steeze, but fun if performed safely. The real trick here is avoiding cross contamination, specifically from penetrative sex, even if it's with a toy. This means that you must have the foresight to change condoms between penetrating two different people. This is exceedingly important. And it is your own responsibility if you are doing the penetrating, so keep your head in the game.

2. Same/opposite sex partners only.
This one is amazingly common, specifically for people who are attracted to people of both/many genders. This is also a rule I had with Chase, as we were only to seek out people of the same gender as ourselves (with full disclosure of course, not that I received that). The opposite example would be a lesbian couple that only sought men outside of the relationship.

3. Cyber sex only.
This is steadily increasing in popularity. I've never done this myself, but this seems like such a safe fun way to, and not to get too Cosmo on you, spice things up a bit. If it works for you, more power to you--especially because no one in the history of the world has ever caught an STI from a computer.

4. Only within a determined timeline.
I've done this one a lot. I had an almost completely open relationship with my ex-husband, but we decided together to nix the extraneous partners for the first year of our marriage just to take some time to ourselves.  Chase and I had this rule too; we decided together that one summer, Memorial Day to Labor Day, would be our timeline.

The rules are not just what does and does not define cheating, they are also what keeps you safe. I am a perfect example of what breaking these rules can lead to. And please, don't come crying to me about leeway in the rules. If you break a rule, you are a cheater.

I had my last gyno appointment today for what will hopefully be a year. I already had a barrage of tests, but as of today I am happy to report that I do not have HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, or Trichomonas. My appointment today was for an interesting reason--to rule out HPV, or Human Papillomavirus. Although there are almost 40 different kinds of this virus, only 4 are really dangerous, and they are generally confirmed or denied through a standard PAP test. My PAP returned abnormal cells, which led to a biopsy which would normally be a flag for HPV but mine seems to have been caused by the Trich I got from Chase (which I have since treated and confirmed that I am now free of).

In a week I will get my HPV results.
But it will be 3 more until I find out whether or not I have cervical cancer.

If nothing else from this sticks with you, then please remember this: if you cheat on your girlfriend, you can give her CANCER. So please don't. Transparency, guys.

And please, let's all take care of our penises and vaginas. They're the only ones we have. Let's stick to...sticking them where they belong.

Here are some resources for you.

Information about STI's:
The CDC's STI page. Good information here!
Planned Parenthood. Men and women can be screened for STI's here, often FOR FREE.
Have an ethical question about sex? My hometown homie Dan can prolly help you with that.


mvh said...

"steeze." i lolled.

USS Sir Moby Dick said...

About the cervical cancer thing...if it come back pos get a second opinion...when I was in sea they diag me w hpv...after freaking out and quitting smoking I went for a sec opionion. Don't know if it was malpractice or my body healed itself but gino said I had the healthy cervix shed seen in a while. Also then got the hpv vac...yea I was almost 30...she said its bullshit they stop giving it to kids over 25. I'm all good now...get a sec opionion.

Miranda Moure said...

I know! I'm so pissed I wasn't able to get Gardisil before I turned 26. I've heard magic rumors about how to get it anyway, but alas, none that don't involve being related to a doctor or a nurse until now. Pointers?

I'm not quite done getting my first opinion, which will of course govern how I proceed. And you never know, they could call me in a couple weeks and tell me that not only is my cervix perfectly healthy, but it now extrudes gold nuggets.

But who knows, I'm not a fortune teller, lol.