Wait, What Is Fluid Bonding?

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There are a whole lot of slippery sensations happening throughout intercourse. Getting it on probably entails all sorts of fluids and secretions. Give it some thought—you’re exchanging sweat, saliva, pre-cum, semen, blood, squirt, generally pee, and even poop (if you happen to’re into that).

Barrier strategies (like exterior condoms, inner condoms, dental dams, and gloves) restrict the mess and probability of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However what if you happen to’re considering of getting unprotected intercourse?

Okay, sure, we are able to all get careless about safety generally, however we’re not speaking about ditching condoms and different preventatives in a spontaneous and/or unintended approach. We’re speaking in regards to the aware selection you make between you and your associate(s) to have interaction in unprotected intercourse, preceded by deliberate conversations about boundaries and threat evaluation.

Sure, there’s a distinction between throwing warning to the wind as a result of neither of you remembered to convey a condom and making an lively selection as sexual companions to forgo barrier strategies. That distinction is known as “fluid bonding.”

Each eventualities would possibly sound fairly comparable—both approach, condoms are out, proper? However in terms of fluid bonding, there’s extra to the “uncooked intercourse” dialog than you would possibly suppose.

“For some individuals, there isn’t a deeper which means aside from merely a call to have unprotected intercourse shifting ahead,” says Evan Goldstein, DO, anal surgeon and founding father of Bespoke Surgical and Future Method. “However for others, this may be seen as a serious step within the relationship—an indication of belief and dedication, as a result of what’s nearer than exchanging bodily fluids?”

So, what precisely is fluid bonding? And what do you have to consider when discussing it along with your associate? Right here’s every part you should know in regards to the (TBH, fairly severe!) enterprise of exchanging literal bodily fluids with one other particular person.

So what’s fluid bonding?

The time period “fluid bonding” may be new to you, however you’re most likely already conversant in the final idea. Fluid bonding means making a call to not use barrier strategies and to share bodily fluids along with your associate.

“Theoretically, it’s not the identical as spontaneously partaking in unprotected intercourse,” says Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, PhD, an affiliate professor of sexual communication at California State College Fullerton and host of “Luvbites by Dr. Tara” podcast. “Fluid bonding often occurs when the couple has been collectively for some time and has consciously determined to cease utilizing safety throughout intercourse.”

The key phrases listed here are “consciously determined.” In different phrases, it’s a mutual, pre-planned resolution to cease utilizing barrier strategies, and the dialogue possible occurs nicely prematurely earlier than it’s truly carried out.

What are the advantages of fluid bonding?

There are a number of causes {couples} could determine to fluid bond, whether or not it’s as a result of they discover intercourse with out barrier strategies extra pleasurable or they really feel ditching obstacles can present a extra ~intimate~ sexual expertise.

Fluid bonding may also signify that the connection is at a snug stage, which reinforces the emotional connection and belief, provides Suwinyattichaiporn. “You might be having unprotected intercourse, which suggests you belief that your associate is just not having intercourse with others, or they do and inform you about it and use safety. Both approach, fluid bonding might create a constructive loop of belief.”

Jenelle Pierce, CSE, Government Director of The STI Project and spokesperson for Positive Singles, notes that some individuals could view fluid bonding as a physiological method to decide compatibility.

“Some companions can fluid bond with out inflicting an imbalance within the wholesome flora that naturally exists within the genitals, whereas fluid bonding with others will create an imbalance within the pure genital flora inflicting an an infection,” Pierce explains. “That is generally considered as a physiological indicator that the connection is incompatible.”

(Far be it from us to cease you from letting your vagina select your companions for you in order for you! That mentioned, yeast infections, BV, and numerous other vagina probs are tremendous widespread—particularly after intercourse and particularly after intercourse with a brand new associate. So simply because your vaginal pH received just a little out of whack after getting it on along with your newly fluid-bonded boo does NOT imply your relationship is doomed, FYI.)

Fluid-bonded companions could really feel a heightened sense of connection, nevertheless it’s additionally necessary to needless to say perceived psychological advantages are extremely subjective and can differ from one particular person to the following. For instance, you could view fluid bonding as a method to specific a deeper type of intimacy whereas your associate feels just like the dangers outweigh the advantages. Each are completely regular and advantageous! It’s all about ensuring you and your associate are on the identical web page earlier than you get all up in one another’s bodily fluids.

What are the dangers to think about earlier than fluid bonding?

Earlier than making the choice to fluid bond, ensure you’re conscious that it comes with dangers—a few of that are merely a minor inconvenience, whereas different potential negative effects may be extra everlasting.

“For individuals in monogamous relationships, so long as honesty and belief are pillars that everybody is abiding by, the general threat of getting unprotected intercourse is nil as a result of if nobody has an STI, then nobody goes to get one,” Goldstein says.

Nonetheless, honesty and belief are values that folks may need in principle, however, uh, not essentially in observe. That’s why it’s nonetheless necessary to get examined usually. (And BTW, getting examined does not imply you don’t belief your associate or something like that. It simply means you’re taking cost of your sexual well being and maintaining you each wholesome within the course of.)

Goldstein means that sexually lively people who find themselves in a consensually non-monogamous relationship ought to nonetheless be present process STI testing at the least each three months. He additionally notes that these exams must be complete, and embody oral, vaginal, and anal swabs, blood work, and urine samples.

Consider it or not, over two-thirds of docs have obtained less than 10 hours of sex education throughout their complete 4 years in medical faculty. (Uh, yikes.) So don’t neglect to advocate for your self as a result of they is probably not asking the best inquiries to get you a full panel STI screening.

“I hear on a regular basis about individuals who have interaction in anal intercourse, however don’t get rectal swabs, or individuals who give oral intercourse, however don’t get oral swabs,” says Goldstein. “All their physician suggests is blood work. That’s how STIs go undetected and unfold—as a result of the blood work comes again all clear, when, in truth, somebody has gonorrhea of their throat or chlamydia of their rectum.”

Other than infections, selecting to fluid bond with a associate comes with a heightened threat of an unplanned being pregnant. (Breaking information, we all know.) To attenuate that threat, use contraception or monitor your fertile home windows.

“There are a whole lot of useful apps that may support in monitoring your interval, in addition to if you end up almost definitely to be ovulating,” says Pierce, including that it’s necessary to needless to say these trackers are usually not 100% correct, and their reliability can differ considerably relying on numerous elements, together with who you might be, your cycle, and all types of exterior forces that may mess along with your physique’s regular circulation. (To not point out the privacy concerns about who, precisely, is getting their arms in your reproductive information and what they’re doing with it.) So if avoiding being pregnant is the purpose, discovering a long-term reversible contraception possibility like the pill or an IUD might be your most secure wager.

Find out how to discuss to your associate about fluid bonding.

“Speak about why you’d love to do it and ask them what they suppose. Providing causes creates a dialogue along with your associate, which is best than a request,” says Suwinyattichaiporn. “Some causes may be that you’ve been collectively for a very long time and you are feeling snug doing it and enhancing the bond, you want to expertise new sensations, or perhaps you simply need to experiment!”

No matter your causes for eager to go fluid official, the hot button is to verify the dialog is simply that: a dialog.

“Whenever you need to discuss new intercourse belongings you need to strive, all the time body it as a dialogue—a query or curiosity somewhat than a persuasion or a request,” provides Suwinyattichaiporn.

How do you navigate fluid bonding as a non-monogamous couple?

Just like a monogamous couple, open communication, agency boundaries, and honesty are pivotal when navigating fluid bonding as a non-monogamous couple.

Goldstein suggests asking all companions to additionally check repeatedly, search remedy if a positive result comes again, and inform all latest companions if that occurs. “There’s nonetheless a whole lot of shame round constructive STI diagnoses, which shouldn’t occur,” he says. “Having a community-oriented mentality round intercourse and STI transmission will assist cut back everybody’s threat.”

Pierce notes that fluid bonding can look completely different from relationship to relationship, relying on every particular person’s wants. Boundaries may change over time and from individual to individual, and that is okay.

“What feels snug for one relationship doesn’t all the time really feel snug for an additional relationship. Some companions will select to be fluid-bonded with just one particular person whereas others may be snug with a couple of fluid-bonded relationship present amongst companions,” she provides.

Keep in mind, no matter your relationship model, you get to determine what boundaries you might have throughout sexual and romantic encounters. With mutual consent, clear communication, and correct threat evaluation, you and your associate (or companions) are free to do what works for you. If that features getting moist and wild with every others’ bodily fluids, then by all means, go forth and luxuriate in your fluid-bonded bliss.

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