By Rae, LINX Staff
Monogamy isn’t for everyone, but it’s all that we are taught by mainstream society. Whether you’re polyamorous, playing the field, or just casually dating around, your needs and desires are valid! There’s no manual on how to navigate multiple partners (just kidding, there is!) but we can offer up some general tips that guide you in making your relationships as comfortable for everyone involved.
- Be open. And we don’t just mean by opening up your relationship. Being open is the most important foundation for any type of relationship, whether it be a hook-up, friendship, or long-term romantic partner. Make sure to continuously discuss boundaries and expectations with your partners. This includes letting them know what you want their role in your life to be, informing them you have multiple partners, and defining the status of your relationship. Trust that this can save you from a lot of headache in the long-run.
- Be safe. Condoms are key, even when you’re both positive. Make it a routine to ask people about the last time they got tested before hooking up, and continue to get tested regularly. Condoms can still break and leave you and/or your partners exposed to STIs. Taking your health into your own hands is empowering, and nothing is more attractive than someone who takes care and advocates for their self.
- Be considerate. Are your partners’ needs being respected? It can be harder to keep track when there are more than one, so make sure to frequently check in. Ask questions such as “what could I do better?” Even a hook-up deserves this courtesy. Hint: This is the secret to great sex!
- Be flexible. Navigating multiple partners can look different for different people, so don’t be fooled by the media’s most popular portrayals. For example, you can be casually involved with a few partners, have a primary partner and a few side relationships, or even have a network of partners who also interact with each other. Think about your options and what you are looking for, and stay in communication with your partners about what works best for everybody involved.
Be proud. People who have multiple partners face a lot of stigma and slut-shaming, but making this decision in a responsible way shows that you care about your own and others’ happiness– and there’s nothing wrong with that! Go PROSPER and let everyone else stay mad. You are worthy, and you are loved.