Being in an open relationship is fun, and exciting, and most couples that end up being swingers, almost never want to go back to being in a monogamous relationship. However, we cannot disregard the fact that, just like most things in life that brings us great satisfaction and enjoyment, it comes with a risk. One of the biggest roadblocks for couples that may be thinking of getting into the swinging lifestyle is the risk of STDs. It’s never a fun topic to discuss but it is one we should not avoid.
First of all I must say this. HIV or any kind of STD is not very common in the swinging community, or let’s say, no more than it is in the regular world of monogamy, contrary to what most may believe. The community is so small that if anyone is guilty of spreading anything, word gets around very fast and those individuals become known. Despite this fact, whether you are in an open relationship or an experimental single person, having sexual relationships with multiple people, does increase your risk of getting an STD.
So now comes the big question. What do swingers do to avoid getting an STD? First of all, lets be very clear on one thing. The only thing anyone can do to completely avoid STDs, is to abstain from sex. What we all try to do is be as careful as possible in doing everything we can to minimize our risk. I do not think I need to give an education on practicing safe sex. Regardless of whom the couple is and how you may think you know and trust them, regardless of how healthy they may look, use a condom! Condoms are always very available at any swinger event that you go to. Whether it’s a house party or the playroom at a swingers club, condoms will be available in huge supplies. Though it very rarely happens, couples or singles who suggest to you that they would prefer not to use condoms, do not be afraid to say no to this, as this is not the norm in the lifestyle community. Safe sex is a general courtesy that is practiced amongst most couples in the swinging community.
Some couple use different strategies to minimize their risk. There are groups that only play exclusively with each other. All the couples within that group are regularly tested and disclose their test results to the other members of the group. Even in this situation, using condoms is still strongly recommended. Some couples that prefer to be extra cautious avoid oral sex with other couples all-together. Everything comes down to your personal preference and comfort level. Make sure it is strongly communicated between you and your partner what the rules are when it comes to practicing safe sex with other couples, and stay within the boundaries of those rules.
The steps you take to protect yourself from the possibility of getting an STD in the swinging community is no different from the ones you would take if you were a single person with multiple partners. Taking caution is your sole responsibility, so be responsible about the decisions you make in the playroom. If you so happen to have any kind of STD your self, be courteous enough to disclose it to those you are going to play with.
STDs are not something we encounter very often in the lifestyle community. In seven years I have not knowingly encountered anyone with and STD. I have heard of individuals one or two times, but most couples are very careful, and rest assured they will be as interested in protecting themselves as much as you are.