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Saturday, February 26, 2011

How much is too much?


Every day we meet interesting people in our lives. Some are more interesting than others and some are even uninteresting. Take for example some of the folks in my poly discussion group. There was the guy, estranged from his wife, living with his girlfriend, and dating her husband. Though that may not seem that strange the story he told about how he came to be in such a position was an adventure in drama I hope to never experience. There was a somewhat boisterous gentleman happily sharing his experiences. And among the wonderful discussions were the two ladies who seemed very physically friendly with each other whose only interest seemed to be in discussing the physical traits and abilities of their lovers. We also had the epitomic hippie living a somewhat communal lifestyle and growing her own food. Obviously a wide variety of interesting people, not surprising given the alternative lifestyle focus of the group.

The one I’m focusing on here though was a young lady attending with her husband who was very open about the rules in her relationships. Now, I don’t dislike this person despite how my writings here may sound but something she said struck me as odd at the time. Reflecting back now I finally realize why it bothered me at the time. She roughly said, “I insist on STD testing from anyone who wants to sleep with me. And since they no longer give you a printout of your test results, we WILL be going to the clinic together so I can HEAR their test results from the doctor”.
Apparently noticing the surprised look on more than a couple faces in the room she went on to explain that she has never had an STD (even any HPV strain! Uh huh) and never will if she can help it. To further protect herself she takes on new lovers only after they have established trust in a friendship over time.

Not to be crude but at the time my first thought was; Do you really think what you have between your legs is so wonderful that someone would jump through those hoops? I realized that wasn’t so much crude as rude. I had to applaud her effort and determination to be disease free and ensure her partners were as well. But something was still setting off a bell in my brain.

Later I realized what it was. She insists on building a trusting relationship with potential lovers first. Then going with them for STD testing to hear the results? Wait a minute. If I have built a ‘trusting’ relationship with someone before sleeping with them and STILL insist on going to the doctor with them to hear their test results then how trusting of a relationship do we really have? If I can’t trust that you will tell me the results of your STD test, so much so I have to go with you to hear them, what kind of relationship are we really talking about? In my mind that is a huge indication that I don’t really trust you and at that point I wouldn’t be considering sleeping with you anyway.

Of course, the crude thought that resulted was; After jumping through those hoops what you have between your legs better be solid gold honey! I was also disappointed in myself that I hadn’t ask the even more obvious question which was; Are YOU going to take the same tests at the same time and let me tag along to YOUR results review with the doctor?

What this quite interesting young lady did do though was make me think, once again, about my feelings toward ‘safety’ and as much as it can be had, ‘safe sex’. I’m not fool enough to think I’m invincible, that’s for sure. And yep, I make dangerous mistakes from time to time and try to learn from them. Am I against STD testing? Not in the least. I think it is a very good thing to have done. But do I require verified test results from every potential lover I may have? No. Would I be willing to be tested along with a potential love before we sleep together? Of course. Do I try to build a friendship with a potential lover first and assess their lifestyle for risk? Absolutely. But if I ever question the honesty of a potential lover to the point that I require them to prove their STD test results two things will happen. I will pull open my pants and see if anything has turned to gold.
And if nothing has, I will walk away.

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