Have you ever heard the term "fluid bonding"? Fluid bonding is a fairly simple, but an important concept in a relationship. Put simply, it is the agreement between two people to share bodily fluids. This may not seem like a big deal, but it has some crucial implications for the state of the relationship, trust, and open communication. There can be different and distinct levels of fluid bonding. For example, you may consent to share saliva with someone but that doesn't mean that you would be willing to have unprotected sex with them or share blood with them. In most cases, fluid bonding typically refers to the choice to have unprotected sex with an ongoing partner. For it to be considered fluid bonding, it must be a deliberate choice made by the couple.
Making the Choice to Bond Fluids
Choosing to become fluid bonded with someone is a deliberate choice and commitment. A conversation needs to be had between two people about boundaries, consent, and safer sex. When you decide to bond fluids with someone, it is adding a level of responsibility and gravity to the relationship. You and your partner have discussed and set out specific guidelines for the comfort level for both people on different types of risks when it comes to bodily fluids. This means discussing concerns around STI transmission and (if applicable) pregnancy. It also means being open to discussing your full sexual history openly and honestly with your partner.
There should also be some discussion about the different types of bodily fluids, such as saliva, cum, blood, urine, or scat. Not everyone will be comfortable being exposed to all the possibilities and even if they are, it may only be under specific circumstances. Everyone has their own history and perceptions based on their past experience. They may have negative or positive associations with certain fluids in certain contexts. That is why these discussions are so important. It gives each person a chance to really flesh out what they are comfortable with and what may cause anxiety or other negative feelings.
Can Any Couple Choose to Fluid Bond?
Currently, it's more common for non-monogamous couples to have conversations about fluid bonding. If a couple is consenting to date outside their relationship, they may wish to establish guidelines and rules about safer sex with those other partners. This helps everyone to feel safe and protected.
That being said, there is nothing stopping any couple, of any gender and sexual orientation, to have a discussion about fluid bonding. As we established, it's a huge communication piece in a relationship. It provides a safe space for people to voice how they feel about certain activities and their own comfort level. This can be extremely helpful in monogamous relationships as well. It helps each individual feel empowered and in control of their sexual health and their body. This conversation can open the door to other discussions that can enhance your sexual relationship with your partner as well.
Is Fluid Bonding a Sign of Increased Intimacy?
There is a common misconception that having unprotected sex is a sign of trust and increased intimacy in a relationship. This is a totally incorrect and dangerous notion. There are many incredibly valid reasons for wishing to engage in safer sex practices, from respecting personal autonomy to enjoying the variety of sensations that some condom brands provide. Engaging in unprotected sex doesn't mean that the relationship is better. In fact, if no conversation around boundaries and consent around different sexual activities has been had, or can be had for whatever reason, it can be a clear sign that the relationship may not be healthy.
Pushing for fluid bonding can potentially be damaging, as well. If one partner is not ready, or not honest, it can expose both people to greater risks to their sexual health. It can also be damaging on an emotional level. No one likes to be pushed into anything, especially if they are feeling resistant.
Whether or not you and your partner decide to fluid bond is not an indicator of the success or failure of the relationship. It is not a sign that the relationship is more trusting or better than other people's. Fluid bonding should not be an ideal, but an informed decision made by two people in a relationship based on what is best for them and their relationship.
Make the Choice That is Right for You
When it comes to fluid bonding, there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on you and your partner. Ultimately, you need to discuss it and reach the decision that works best for both of you. Talking it out this way will increase the feelings of respect and emotional intimacy in your relationship regardless of what decision is made. The most important part is to keep the lines of communication open and keep enhancing your knowledge and sex, communication, and relationships.
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