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STD Awareness Protocol

April 28, 2012

In terms of cultural recognition and approval, polyamorous people are today where gay people were about twenty years ago (although the persecution isn’t as bad).  As a polyamory awareness raiser, I repeatedly find that people’s initial questions and concerns about polyamory often revolve around sexual health and STDs.  But in actuality, the same concerns apply to all people who take on new sexual partners at any time in their life, i.e. anyone who is not a lifelong celibate.  Since there is so little quality education on the matter passed down in most families or in most schools, here’s my take on a simple, foolproof, non-emotionally charged way to maintain your own sexual health and integrity, while at the same time increasing intimacy and connection in whatever sexual relationships you choose to enter.

First things first: have you ever had any STD symptoms?  If so, it is your responsibility to be transparent in your communications and conscious in your relationships, and first and foremost to not risk infecting others.  If not, have you been tested for asymptomatic STDs since initiating your most recent sexual relationship?  Have any current sexual partners you may have been tested?  Knowing your and any potential partners’ testing status according to the following three categories will automatically lead to positive relationship choices with healthy communication and healthy sex.  This information should be exchanged at or before the first clear indication that a relationship has the potential to involve significant sexual contact.

GREEN LIGHT – I have had no symptoms, and have tested negative for asymptomatic STDs, since taking on any new partners, and all of my current partners have as well.

YELLOW LIGHT – I have had no symptoms, and have tested negative for asymptomatic STDs, but have since taken on new partners who have no symptoms and who have tested negative, or I have a partner who has.

RED LIGHT – I have had significant sexual contact, with or without prophylactics, with a person of unknown or infected status, or have a partner who has, and have not been tested since, OR I have STD symptoms, am of known infected status, or have a partner who is.

Prophylactics are irrelevant.  Safe sex has nothing to do with physical barriers and everything to do with communication.  Knowing your own status and that of your loved ones allows you to stay in the yellow and green and away from the red, where you can openly enjoy all of the healthy sexualove your heart desires without guilt, fear, or shame.

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From → Polyamory, Sex, Tantra

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