Let’s Talk About STIs In Polyamory


New member
Talking about your sexual history with a new partner is best done early and honestly.

...Let’s take the second part first: negotiating acceptable risk. Like everything else in a relationship, you have to talk to your partner/s about STIs, preferably before you ever have a problem with them....

STIs are one of those things that I try to get out on the table with a potential new partner as soon as possible, especially if I want to have a sexual relationship with them. In my case, HPV is in my sexual history. I may or may not be a carrier, and there is no real way to know for sure. It behooves me to tell potential sexual partners this, so they can decide what their level of acceptable risk is for themselves. For some people, it won’t matter at all. Maybe they already have it (or had it). Lots of humans fall into that category. Maybe they won’t want to have any kind of sexual contact with me at all. But this person deserves to make an informed decision, right? You’ve got to find each other’s comfort zones, and then honor them.

Here’s the hard part. You have to be OK with rejection. It doesn’t matter if you think their response is unreasonable, or illogical, or fair. It doesn’t matter if you think this is your new soulmate, the first person you’ve crushed on in years, or whatever. That person gets to decide what is acceptable for them. I’m not saying you shouldn’t educate them. There’s lots of misinformation out there about STIs, as I found out about HPV. When I was dealing with that, I quickly discovered that most of what I thought I knew was wrong. Be careful not to step over the line into “pushy”, because you don’t want to be That Guy (or Girl), either. But if they say no, you have to accept it. And as much as it sucks to be rejected for any reason, you are far better off getting that out of the way as quickly as possible, before anyone involved gets really invested.

You have got to be OK with setting your boundaries. Only you can decide for yourself what risks you are willing to take....

The first part of the question — how to protect yourself from STIs — is easier, since I don’t have to answer it. Getting information about STIs and how to protect yourself has never been easier than in the Digital Age.... There are tons of resources available, from sites like PositiveSingles such as an excellent places to get in touch with people with STDs, it's dedicated to reducing the stigma and finding support, love, and hope. If you really cannot get online much, there are still plenty of resources available such as reddit/herpes. You can get lots of Herpes news and information.


Staff member
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Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Karally,

I agree, you should tell your new partner as soon as possible about your STI history, let them make their own informed decision, and be prepared to accept rejection.

Thanks for sharing.
Kevin T.


New member
Talking about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is essential in any sexual relationship, including polyamorous relationships. Polyamory involves engaging in consensual and ethical non-monogamous relationships where individuals have multiple partners or intimate connections.

Here are some key points to consider regarding STIs in polyamory:

  1. Open Communication: Open and honest communication is crucial when discussing STIs in polyamorous relationships. It's important to have ongoing conversations about sexual health, STI testing, and safer sex practices with all partners involved. This includes discussing boundaries, expectations, and agreements related to sexual activities and potential exposure to STIs.
  2. Regular STI Testing: Regular STI testing is a fundamental aspect of maintaining sexual health in polyamorous relationships. All individuals involved should undergo regular testing, including comprehensive screenings for common STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. Testing frequency may vary based on individual risk factors and sexual activity levels.
  3. Safer Sex Practices: Practicing safer sex is essential in preventing the transmission of STIs. This may include consistent and correct use of condoms or other barrier methods during sexual activities, such as vaginal, anal, and oral sex. It's important to discuss and establish safer sex practices with each partner to ensure everyone's safety and comfort.
  4. Risk Awareness and Negotiation: In polyamorous relationships, individuals may have varying levels of sexual activity and different partners. It's important to be aware of the potential risks associated with different sexual encounters and to negotiate safer sex practices accordingly. This includes discussing and disclosing any known STI status or recent exposure to partners.
  5. Regular Communication and Updates: As relationships evolve and new partners are introduced, ongoing communication about STI testing, changes in sexual health status, and potential exposure is essential. It's important to establish a culture of open communication, trust, and respect among all partners involved.
  6. Educating Yourself: Stay informed about STIs, their transmission methods, and available prevention methods. Educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of common STIs and seek accurate and reliable information from reputable sources, such as healthcare providers or sexual health organizations.
Remember, no preventive method is 100% effective, and there is always a risk of STI transmission. However, open communication, regular testing, and consistent use of safer sex practices can help minimize the risk and promote sexual health within polyamorous relationships.

It's recommended to consult with healthcare professionals or sexual health counselors who can provide personalized guidance, testing, and support specific to your circumstances. They can help address any concerns, provide accurate information, and assist with developing strategies for maintaining sexual health in polyamorous relationships.