Fannie Fierce

Kicking it to the Condom

Filed By Fannie Fierce | October 12, 2007 2:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: bisexual, non-monogamy, safe sex

Dear Fannie

I'm a 20 year old hetero-flexible female. I've been in a relationship with my 22 year old bi boyfriend for two months now. Our sex life is great and I feel really good about our relationship. I was wondering, how do you know when it's okay to stop using condoms? We have a semi-open relationship agreement in that he can hook up with guys and I can hook up with girls, but we need to clear it with each other before anything goes down, and we always have to be safe when hooking up with outside people.

--Concerning Condoms in Chicago

Dear CC,

So you and your kind-of-non-monogamous-bi-boyfriend want to start rubbing your nethers together without worrying about rubbers, ribbed or otherwise. This is a question all couples have to deal with, and it comes down to trust. Do you trust your boyfriend with your health, your future? Those are big questions for a 20 year old in a two-month old relationship, but they are relevant ones when you consider having unprotected sex. I assume that when you suggest not using condoms, you are or at least intend to be on the pill. I don't care how much you love someone; you should be dating them for much more than two months before getting preggers. As funny as Knocked Up was, it rarely turns out as rosy.

Not to disrespect your blossoming romance, but if you and your boyfriend are having sex with people outside your boyfriend, you should be using condoms, dental dams, etc. Even though it's admirable y'all have these procedures for extra-relationship hooking up, sex-outside-relationships doesn't usually fall into place so neatly. Given the fact that you both are relatively young, I think it's fair to say that its more likely for your boyfriend to bang a boy in an environment that isn't exactly conducive to calling his girlfriend and clearing it. This is compounded by any presence of things, like alcohol and pot, that can hamper judgment. If you or your boyfriend are going to be hooking up with people, one-night-stand style, there is a very real possibility that the sexual encounter won't be as under-control and in the parameters as you may like.

While I think it's admirable that you want to trust your boyfriend enough to know that he (and you) will use protection when having sex with other guys (and girls), it may not be entirely realistic. Assuming that you and your boyfriend will be together for an extended period of time, I would first wait through 2 months of monogamous sex before getting tested for various STI's, including HIV (this doesn’t include things like making out, dry humping, mutual autoerotic masturbation) . According to the National HIV Testing Resources website, HIV tests can usually be administered 2-8 weeks after potential exposure, so if you can stomach it, have sex only with each other for those 8 weeks. If you both show up negative for HIV and the host of other STI's out there, then sure… go ahead and fuck freely (please, for the love of God, be on the pill).

If you are going to make this agreement work, both you and your boyfriend must be completely honest with each other about sex outside the relationship. I think it would be a good policy to go back to that waiting period of 2 months of monogamous protected sex, after either has sex with a third (or fourth) party, in order to be able ensure that both of you are clean. It’s also important to remember that women are far more vulnerable at contracting HIV in vaginal heterosexual sex than men, simply due to the anatomical nature of the vagina. It’s also much easier for a man to contract HIV while being penetrated than while doing the penetrating. So if your boyfriend likes to bottom with guys, and he likes to have vaginal sex with you, I would be extra cautious. CC, I hope that helps you in your decision making. Happy fucking!

++
fiercely,
fannie

*It should be noted that in some cases, HIV anti-bodies can take up to 6 months to appear.

Send your questions to fannie@bilerico.com
You can read the rest of Fannie's column at www.belowthebelt.org


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What an in-depth response, Fannie!

I know it's a goal of a lot of couples to eventually get condom-free because of the increased intimacy/pleasure, whether they wait and get tested is a whole nother story. People need to know that these diseases are real, and that almost everyone who's ever caught one thought that it too couldn't happen to them, that one time without a condom is OK. If people want to increase their own risk, they should at least know just how much they're doing it!

Great response, Fannie. If you're not in a monogamous relationship, you need to use condoms. And I clearly remember that at 20 it was awfully easy to happen upon spontaneous sex opportunities that you didn't necessarily tell your boyfriend/girlfriend about... She's counting on an early 20's guy to be honest about sex - hell, even Clinton lied about it - and she's willing to bet her life on it. Yikes.