PQ 19.4 — How do I feel about having unbarriered sex with someone who is having unbarriered sex with someone else?
Wow, Chapter 19 is a very nosy chapter. But that’s okay. I’m the one who decided to answer all of these questions in public with essays. One hundred percent me. No one forced me to do this.
Okay, kids, it’s officially TMI time. Buckle up. The next few questions are something else.
So, first off, I’ll go on the record: I’ve done this. I’ve been in relationship systems where I had unprotected sex with someone who was also having unprotected sex with someone else.
In those situations, it wasn’t something I went into lightly. In every circumstance, everyone involved (including me) was STI tested on a regular basis, and I knew everyone well — my partners, my partner’s partners and the metamours’ partners. I had a reasonable snapshot of their personalities, their sexual risk assessment behaviors, and their overall personal judgement.
In essence, I was all up in everyone’s business. Even with that knowledge, compared to some other people I’ve known, it was a lot of sexual risk. And compared to other people I’ve known, I didn’t have that much going on. At my riskiest, I had three partners that I was fluid bonded to. But only one of them had an additional person they were also fluid bonded to, someone who wasn’t my romantic partner per se but a metamour that I would occasionally have sex with when my partner was also present, my partner’s heteroflexible wife. The other two partners didn’t have very many non-me sexual encounters, and when they did, they used barriers.
It never really bothered me that my one partner also had unprotected sex with his wife. Perhaps it helped that I occasionally also had sex with her. So I certainly wasn’t grossed out by any thought that by having sex with both of us, that it could be argued that I was having sex with her by proxy.
So long as I felt confident about the way everyone involved managed STI risk and trusted their judgement, reporting, and honesty, I was never really bothered viscerally by the idea.
But then again, I like sex and don’t consider it inherently gross or shameful, as some do. The epithet “sloppy seconds” really is an exaggeration. It’s really not that difficult or time-consuming to practice reasonable hygiene that renders such things a non-issue in practical terms.
Bottom line: It requires a bit more logistical work at baseline (in testing, informing one another, and exercising proper hygiene, arguably all something people should be doing anyway), but no, it doesn’t particularly bother me.
(Confession: It used to bother me in theory back when I was monogamous. But that’s another story.)