3 ways PrEP can protect your open relationship

Are you and your partner in a non-monogamous arrangement? Or are you considering joining a polycule? Whatever your situation, there is no doubt that relationships with sex can be joyful, complex and varied. What’s also true is that regardless of the form your relationship takes, you might benefit from PrEP!

PrEP is a medication that protects you from HIV. PrEP can be taken daily, on-demand or for a set period of time, so there are options for every love life. Read on for some scenarios where PrEP can provide extra protection for guys who have multiple partners.

1. Daily PrEP can keep you covered if you have a surprise visitor

For those moments when life just drops you a cutie in a muscle tee, daily PrEP can help you stay ready for action! Whether it’s you or your partner bringing home some take-out (in the form of a man named John), daily PrEP has you covered.

Daily PrEP provides 24/7 protection, which means any unexpected visitors can drop by unannounced, and you can still be ready to go.

With daily PrEP, you take your pill at the same time every day, so you won’t have to spend any time thinking or planning to make sure you are protected.

2. Packing your bags with periodic PrEP can protect your travels

Sometimes, you’re headed out of town, and you want to bring some extra protection for the trip!

Periodic PrEP can be taken throughout a period when you and your bae might be getting lucky, during a trip to Pride in Europe for instance! Whether or not you plan on getting lucky together or separately, having PrEP on hand for your trip can keep you safe.

Some guys like to incorporate both PrEP and condoms when it comes time to play outside of their primary partner(s). What’s important is to plan ahead and talk about how you will be protecting each other.

If you decide to go with periodic PrEP and you’re headed overseas, be sure you have enough PrEP for the full trip, as it’ll be very difficult to get once you have left Australia.

3. Planning some play? On-demand PrEP can help

Whether you are opening things up while your partners away travelling, or if you are planning a weekend hook-up with your partner and a third (or more), on-demand PrEP can protect your play.

On-demand PrEP works best when you have some notice. So it’s perfect if you and your partner are staying in different places for a time, and you have time to plan a hookup with a casual partner.

Alternatively, it could be that you and your partner are hosting a ‘friend’ over a party weekend, and you’re going to be hooking up together at some point. Taking PrEP on-demand, over the weekend, can protect you for all your fun!

Whatever your circumstance, on-demand PrEP requires a little planning. Stay safe by starting on-demand PrEP a little before when you think you’ll be having sex. You’ll need to take your initial double dose (two pills) at least two hours before you first have sex.  Be sure to follow the directions for safely starting and stopping PrEP on-demand, and remember that on-demand is only currently recommended for cis guys.

If you or your partner aren’t already on PrEP, you can prepare for the period apart/or playing together by heading to the GP and getting your PrEP script. Of course, you might also like to incorporate condoms for extra protection against STIs! Include staying safe in your discussion on what boundaries you want to keep with new partners while planning to play together or apart.

Before you play, make sure you’re on the same page

Invest time at the outset of an open relationship by talking about your boundaries when it comes to having sex outside of your primary relationship(s).

What acts, and with whom are allowed? Are they allowed all the time, or is it specific to a period? Does your open relationship allow romantic attraction with multiple partners, as you might see in a polycule, or is it only OK to have non-romantic sex, such as can take place in an ethically non-monogamous relationship? These are all good questions about open relationships to consider with your partner.

Whenever you are navigating multiple partners, make sure to discuss what types of prevention options (condoms, PrEP or undetectable) are being used, and have the conversation between each set of partners. What seems like a reasonable level of risk for one person may be different for another so it’s best to have this conversation before things get 🔥.

Every relationship is different and will need different things, and you’ll need to take the time at the start of this process to consider what is important to you and to your partner. This will help make sure both your needs are being seen.

Good luck, and consider adding PrEP to your open relationship!