Anyone over the age of 13 ought to know that sex can have consequences.
We all know you can get pregnant, get a disease, blah, blah, blah, that safe sex isn’t1 and that contraception is not always perfect.
Do you ever talk about this sort of thing with your partners? If you don’t/haven’t, please do.
Things that it would be helpful to discuss openly with any partner that might be affected in a poly situation:
What do we agree to do if there is an unexpected pregnancy?
Remember this is not necessarily just between two people. If there are other long-term partners, especially legal spouses and/or other children, involved it’s going to affect a lot of lives. The adults in the situation need to sit down and make sure that everyone knows how everyone else feels so that intelligence plans can be made. If none of you are parents, talk to people who are — especially poly parents. Things you think would be big issues when you’re childless might not be, and things you think are trivial aren’t. Talk. Discuss. Get information.
Also, it’s important to take something into account: Sometimes pregnancy can trip some very visceral responses in a woman, especially when it’s her first pregnancy. If you find yourself in this position, please keep in mind that you’re bound by agreements you make. Yes, I am alluding to the fact that if you agree not to have a child in the case of an unexpected pregnancy and then change your mind about it, it’s pretty tacky to demand that the father be involved with time and/or money. Ultimately it’s your choice, but put on your big girl panties about it and let it be your choice.
If you’re a guy and you’re not interested in more children, and want the pregnancy to be terminated in case of an accident, make sure you have on your big boy pants, too, and be diligent about the birth control as well as choosing not to have sex partners where you think they may be unsure. Ideally, get snipped. I’m hoping everyone’s being loving here. It’s not loving not to let partners know how you feel and why, then step up to the plate and take responsibility for those feelings’ consequences. ‘Kay?
Decide on what you consider is intelligent risk management in terms of STDs.
I like this article very much, and really encourage you to check it out. It’s incredibly sensible and doesn’t sugar coat, but isn’t a Chicken Little type STD article either. Check out all the links down the right sidebar, too. Good stuff. This is better than anything I could write, so I’m not going to bother to reinvent the wheel.
If someone does get an STD, how will you handle it? How do you plan to tell everyone who needs to know. (Hint: If you’re having sex with them, you need to tell them. Then they need to tell everyone they’re having sex with and so on… Got it? Not telling someone is being a damn’ asshole. Don’t do that).
If you’re interested in being loving, you need to talk stuff out first. That whole “swept away in the heat of the moment” seems great for a movie. But do you really think your life should be a good movie script?2 More to the point, would you wish that on people you love?
1 There are those who refer to risk management when it comes to sex and disease as “safer sex” as the more accurate term. Nothing’s perfect.
2As a writer of fiction, I sure as hell hope not. Good fiction means torturing your characters!