Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Open relationships found to practice safer sex

Open relationships are seen today more than ever, and may be the result of a desire for honest communication within a relationship. A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine revealed that couples in open relationships who disclose outside sexual activity tend to practice safer sex than those who sneak around.

The study surveyed 1,647 people online and found that 801 had sexual relations with someone other than their partner, 493 of whom were in open relationship and 308 that were not.

Researchers found out that people who secretly cheated on their partners were 27 percent less likely to use a condom for vaginal sex and 35 percent less likely for anal sex when compared to those who were open about being nonmonogamous. If drug or alcohol use was involved, the rate of proper condom use was 65 percent lower for people having secret affairs than those in open relationships.

"Our research suggests that people who are unfaithful to their monogamous romantic partners pose a greater risk for STIs than those who actively negotiate non-monogamy in their relationship," said Terri Conley, M.D., the lead author of the study from the department of psychology at the University of Michigan.

Conley suggests that monogamy may be effective for preventing sexually transmitted infections if both partners were tested negatively at the start of their relationship.