Safe sex, duh

By YOUR SECRET ADMIRER  |  April 29, 2009

A sharp-eyed reader caught an omission in one of Your Secret Admirer's previous columns. Last month, I wrote about how some hetero and queer couples navigate open relationships and polyamory (see "Poly In Practice," April 3). One 36-year-old male wondered why I left out any mention of safe sex, which is obviously more of an issue in these types of arrangements. "I think young people, and dare I say young white people in small cities ... think that STDs aren't a real concern," he wrote to me. "I don't know what the statistics are, but there must be some things being passed around even in our quaint little town."

I checked back in with Janice and Adam, one of the couples I wrote about for that piece. "It's funny, I'm not even sure how to answer this other than with 'duh'?" Adam says. "I went to college in the early '90s, during the rise of Act Up, dental dams, and finger condoms, when straight women were the fastest-growing segment of the population with HIV. If you had sex without a condom in the early '90s, you thought you were going to die, period. Janice and I don't use condoms for STD prevention with each other, and I even have my negative STD test results posted in a picture on my MySpace page. But with other people, whether it's one-on-one or group sex, we always use condoms. We don't currently sleep with anyone else regularly enough to be at the point of not using condoms with a third person."

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