How Can You Handle Fluid Bonding in Poly and Open Relationships?

by Reid on November 6, 2016

Group Of Young Friends Having Fun TogetherIf you’re fluid bonded and one of your partners partners is not playing safe with others, what can you do?

With Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from


Cathy: Someone wrote in and said, my husband and I are fluid bonded with another couple, but they’re more active in the scene and engage with a woman who loves unprotected group sex.

Reid:    What’s the scene?

Cathy: I believe they’re swinger’s scene.

Reid:    The swinger’s scene, okay.

Cathy: Yeah. They’re wanting to know some strategies to negotiate safer sex, since they’re fluid bonded with the couple, but they’re playing with someone who is not using safer sex protocol.

Reid:    Okay, if you’re wondering why I’m eating a banana, check out the condom videos. It’s hilarious.

Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from .

Reid:    This is Cathy Vartuli from ., but it is Cathy Vartuli.

Cathy: Yeah, that banana was lubed up and a condom was put on it.

Reid:    Delicious. All right, what’s kind of applies to the question we have. So they’re fluid bonded, this couple.

Cathy: With another couple.

Reid:    With another couple and one of the people in that couple has a lot of…

Cathy: No, so there’s two couples and the couple wrote in because they’re fluid bonded with another couple who had…

Reid:    Fluid bonded means they all feel safe to some degree, having unprotected sex with each other. Whatever that means. Could just be oral without barriers or penetrative condom-less sex stuff.

Cathy: It sounds like they’re fine being fluid bonded with this couple, but the other couple is much more active. They’re having sex with a lot of other people, including a woman who is not practicing safer sex protocol. They’re wondering how they can still have a connected relationship.

Reid:    Once you kind of start understanding safer sex protocols, this is not a hard question to answer, however, there’s no such thing as safe sex, only safer sex. Everyone’s going to have their own setting as to what makes them feel emotionally safe and physically safe. With her, this woman who’s, they’re sleeping with, that’s having a lot of unprotected sex, what they need to do is, they should be having protected sex, barrier sex with this woman and make sure everyone’s getting their testing regularly.

That’s the best that you can do, because even if we use barriers perfectly, there can be a condom break or a failure and getting tested regularly will help us figure out if somebody has tested positive for something, so we can all get treated.

Cathy: How often in that situation? How often would you recommend testing?

Reid:    Well, for people who are playing with other people, I would get tested every three to four months. Pap smears, a little bit different because HPV is tricky, because sometimes your body clears it, sometimes you get a strain that could be cancer causing for cervical cancer. There’s a lot of research going on with HPV right now, so we’re learning more about it. The best things you can do with this person, who enjoys unprotected sex with lots of people, is use, basically barrier up. Not because you’re shaming this person, but you want to mitigate any kind of exposure and transmission the best that you can, so you would use gloves to play with this person.

You would use dental dams and condoms for oral sex. You would definitely use condoms for, always for anal, that’s my opinion, and use condoms for penetrative penis vagina stuff.

Cathy: Right, and if this couple wasn’t willing to be, use barriers with the woman, it might be a time to step back from being fluid bonded with them.

Reid:    Yeah. If you have the original couple who’s sleeping with this other couple and you guys are fluid bonded, and they are sleeping with this person who’s having a lot of unprotected sex, the way you protect yourself is you ask them if they can use barriers with her and then if they’re not willing to do that, then you guys could choose to use barriers with them. The only other thing, which wouldn’t work in the way that they said it, was all four of you become fluid bonded with her, but you would need her to be having protected sex with everybody else.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid:    That’s the quick rundown. Leave your questions and thoughts.

Cathy: Yeah, great question, really appreciate it.

Reid:    You can email us about this. Safer sex, again, sex isn’t safe, you can make it safer. What feels safe to you may not feel safe to somebody else, but when you start geeking out on this stuff, you can start to see a way for you to feel better about the sex that you’re having. Yeah, that’s it.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid:    Thanks for leaving the questions. What are your thoughts? We’ll see you next video.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: