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Fluid bonding refers to the decision to stop using barrier protection during sex and exchange bodily fluids with your partner. During safer sex, some barrier methods, such as a condom or dental damreduce the chance that you and your partner will share fluids. This includes semen, saliva, blood, and ejaculate. If you avoid sharing fluids, you reduce your risk for sexually transmitted infections STIs or pregnancy. Because of the risk involved, fluid bonding is more intentional than an on-the-whim choice to skip a condom or forego a dental dam.
All sexual activity comes with risks. With fluid bonding, you can still contract an STI. And if you have penile-vaginal intercourse, pregnancy is still possible. If you decide to fluid bond with a partner, there are things you can do to reduce some of these risks:. Be honest. Get tested. Basic screenings may not test for all STIs, so talk with a doctor about your sexual history. This ensures that your provider selects the appropriate screening options. Use selective barrier protection.
Pick a new form of contraception. Hormonal birth control, like the pill or an IUD, may be beneficial. Some people believe sex without a barrier method is more enjoyable, but they reserve unprotected sex for committed or monogamous relationships.
For others, fluid bonding may hold no special emotional meaning. It may instead be a way to stop using barrier methods in a relationship but do so in a thoughtful and intentional way. This may, for some individuals, lead to a greater sense of intimacy and a feeling of a deeper physical connection. On the other hand, the choice to have a fluid bond may simply be born out of the understanding that each person has been tested for STIs and is aware of their status. These fluids may include ejaculation, vaginal fluidsemen, and anal secretions.
But other fluids can also be exchanged during sex, including saliva and blood. That means fluid bonding should be considered for each type, whether oral, anal, PIV penis in vaginaor even physical touching. Most sex toys are made with durable nonporous surfaces to protect you and your partner, but some can carry around a virus or bacteria for hours or even days. The decision to become fluid bonded is intentional, and it requires the consent of all people involved. The first few months of a relationship are often casual and fun as the two of you get to know one another.
Sex at this point likely involves barrier methods. This protects against the two biggest concerns — STIs and pregnancy. Later, the two of you may want to stop using a barrier method. As part of that discussion, you should talk about your STI status and decide whether to get tested alone or together. The choice of two people who are sleeping with other people to become a fluid-bonded pair is a choice that ripples through a polyamorous group. Ask to get tested together, or ask to see the of their latest test. Every six months is ideal, but once a year may be sufficient. Your doctor can help you determine the right frequency for you.
Keep in mind that not every STI will show up immediately after exposure. For that reason, you should wait at least two to three weeks for most STI tests. Others, like syphilis, may not show what is fluid bonding positive result for at least six weeks after potential exposure.
A barrier method, such as an internal or external condom, can prevent pregnancy up to 82 percent of the time. You should also use this opportunity to talk about what you would do in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. For example, if you or your partner were to become pregnant, would you keep the pregnancy or terminate it?
Fluid bonding is often used as a form of intimacy, when really it should be one element of deepening intimacy and trust. Keep open lines of communication, and be willing to reevaluate your boundaries as your relationship changes with time.
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Fluid Bonding Is More Than Just Sex Without a Condom