Three people catching up in bed together.


There’s nothing wrong with spreading some extra love around, especially when it comes to safe sex. For those of us who enjoy sex without labels, have multiple sexual arrangements with people, or who want to explore the possibilities of being in sexy situations with more than one person – this article’s meant to help you out.

Though there may be side effects of having multiple partners (which we’ll briefly cover later on), some people may find their key to sexual satisfaction and fulfilment lies within sleeping with multiple people. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is, however, important to do it the right way, the safe way.

Let’s help you find your rhythm in the night (or day) by discussing how to have safe sex if you choose to be with numerous individuals. Even if you’re unsure whether or not promiscuity is for you, there’s no harm in learning some new information. Nothing feels better than being educated.

Trio of partners having a picnic by the water.

1. Factors Of Sleeping With Multiple People

So, you think you want to have sex with a variety of folk? Let us help you tap into your sexual potential by giving you the lowdown on how to have safe sex with more than one person. Commonly, this form of intimacy may be referred to as being open (having more than one sexual partner at a time while in a primary relationship; non-exclusive) or polyamorous (non-monogamous, committed relationship between two or more people). Wherever you may fit, we’ll contextualize what it means to sleep with multiple people and what to remember whilst doing so.

Because safe sexual experiences begin with a condom, read How To Put On A Condom Without Being Awkward for critical sex ed advice.

Two women on their partner’s backs sharing a laugh.

2. Is It Common To Have Multiple Partners?

It may be more common than you think! With ethical non-monogamy existing in the world of dating and relationships, partners are finding themselves willing to explore their sexuality and may choose more of a variety in their sex life. Others may find it difficult to have their needs and desires met with only one person. Alternatively, some people choose to have safe sex with multiple people because they want to experience letting go of jealousy and possessiveness in their primary relationship.

Ultimately, there must be consent from all parties in order to establish the baseline of sleeping with multiple people. Spoken consent ensures that cheating, dishonesty, or unethical non-monogamy are not present at the table. It’s also the basis of how to have safe sex, along with using protection.

On the other side of the coin, if you’re suspecting that your monogamous partner might be sneaking behind your back, or you happen to be on a first date and don’t know whether the person sitting across from you is all about monogamy, the best thing to do would be to ask them. With open communication and a rational perspective, the only way to tell if a woman, or man, has multiple partners is to be very clear about your own wants and expectations. If they can’t meet yours, then it’s simply not a match.

For more tips on speaking about boundaries with your partner(s), watch How To Communicate Your Likes & Dislikes to create more of a safe space in your relationship or potential arrangement.

Polyamorous people laying on the floor together.

3. How To Deal With The Side Effects Of Having Multiple Partners

Sometimes, it’s emotionally tricky to sleep with multiple partners so let’s discuss how to have safe sex without feeling the potential lingering, emotional side effects that may naturally happen. This is applicable for people in monogamous relationships as well, but it’s integral in other forms of sexual partnerships.

  1. Communicate your needs - open honesty is an absolute priority when it comes to eliminating negative side effects of having multiple partners. Communicate your emotions, desires, and scheduling when to see each other for a better, more comfortable, arrangement.
  2. Look out for jealous tendencies - it’s okay to be jealous, but it’s not okay to punish your partner(s) for a jealous reaction you may have (particularly when a sexual encounter has been explicitly stated and agreed upon). Of course, we all get jealous from time to time. But within that jealousy lies our own self-issues, and it’s important to open up about where that comes from instead of lashing out or blaming somebody else. Everyone deserves emotional safety.
  3. Quit the comparisons - it’s never healthy to compare yourself in a sexual or non-sexual lens. After all, comparison is one of the many thieves of joy. Know if you’re a comparative person, and if you have underlying jealous qualities, before getting yourself into a scenario where multiple sexual partners are involved. Self-awareness should come before anything.
  4. Honour your boundaries - never lose sight of the boundaries that make you feel safe and respected in your sexual relationships. If you feel pressured to give in to your partner’s needs, after they know the line that makes you uncomfortable, then the dynamic is off and must be re-evaluated. You set up the boundaries that make you feel satisfied.

Unsure how to approach discussing boundaries in a relationship and eager to learn more on how to have safe sex? Consult A Quick Guide To Setting Limits In Your Sexual Relationships - By Karine for further sexpert advice.

Two men smiling while kissing each other.

4. The Benefits Of Having Multiple Partners

Now that you’re aware of some of the side effects of having multiple partners, let’s look at a few pleasurable benefits:

  1. Sexual fulfilment, variety, and pleasure can be heightened. As you approach sexual relationships with more openness, the gateways to personal satisfaction seem never-ending.
  2. Increased endorphins can help naturally relieve external stressors in your life and may improve your overall mood.
  3. High levels of sexual interest emerge, which can make you feel like a master in your safe sex life.

Six hands clutching each other in unison.

5. Your Safe Sex Checklist

Sexual health is of the utmost importance to us, as it is to you, and you must be aware of how to have safe sex before getting involved in more. Here’s a checklist of what to keep in mind if you choose to have some fun with others:

  1. Know the ins and outs of STIs - it’s crucial to communicate with your partner(s) about their sexual status, ask when they were last tested, and even visit STI testing clinics together to lessen the risks of unwanted infections. And, as always, wrap it up with a condom*!
  2. Get tested frequently - to keep your, and your partner(s), sexual health in check, it’s healthy sexual protocol to visit your doctor every 3-6 months when participating in sexual activities just to make sure you’re staying alert, informed, and protected.
  3. Disclose your status with your partner(s) - If you end up testing positive for an STI, do tell who you’re sleeping with about it. This will help them out, prompt them to get tested themselves, and keep communication flowing. Be smart and considerate.

Once you have these steps in check, you’re on your way to have safe sex with those you choose!

Man sleeping with multiple people in bed.

6. Landing Safely

After reading this article, we imagine you’re thinking of multiple possibilities for your sexual future. Potentially, possibilities that exist apart from the realm of monogamy. If that’s the case for you, use our safe sex checklist and remember the side effects of having multiple partners when you decide what’s right for you. We’re on your team.

If you’re feeling bored in the bedroom (or elsewhere) and long for intimate strategies, learn new Ways To Improve Your Sex Life for better help.

*Ensure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the label before use.

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