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 don't usually fall into place so neatly. Given the fact that you both are relatively young, I think its 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 alcohol/pot etc. 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 its 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 STIs, 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 STIs 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, rather than doing the penetrating. So if your boyfriend like 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!


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