Polyamory is on everyone’s lips (and more) these last few years. With a more-open dialogue about sex and relationships, more and more people are jumping on the polyamorous bandwagon. While it’s currently estimated that five percent or less of the people in the United States are living a polyamorous lifestyle, that number is on the rise as only half of millennials are looking for a completely monogamous relationship. While people consider managing emotions as one of the issues to keep a close watch on, men should also be focused on what polyamory means for their penis. Let’s unpack polyamory, how it can affect the penis, and ways to keep the penis in good form if polyamory is for you.

What Is Polyamory?

There are tons of synonyms for polyamory. Everything from the classic “open relationship” to “ethical non-monogamy” (not that it’s always ethical), which are both a flavor of polyamory but not necessarily the end all be all. What is boils down to is this: when a person is polyamorous (let’s use poly for short), he is open to the idea of having loving relationships with more than one person at a time. Now, this doesn’t mean a man’s penis is on overload, having sex multiple times each day.

Poly is largely misunderstood because of the focus on the sex part of it. People can be in a relationship with just one partner and be polyamorous (so long as the partner knows and agrees – otherwise, it’s just called cheating). Some poly players don’t have sex with anyone other than their partner, but have loving, romantic relationships with other people. Some people just have multiple relationships going all at once. It’s a pretty individualized concept around a core belief.

What Can Poly Mean for a Man’s Penis?

While it doesn’t seem to be an immediate connection, there are several things a man should consider from a sex and penis health standpoint. Here are a few concerns a man should be cognizant of when practicing his desired form of poly:

1) Disease. This is a no brainer. There are tons of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) out there that can maim and kill. There are also other ones that can stick around forever and require disclosures to partners each and every time sex is had.

2) Infections. It’s not only STIs that can be transmitted intimately. Things like yeast infections and urinary tract infections can also find their way to an otherwise healthy penis.

3) Guilt Dick. Some guys have a hard time sleeping with someone (or many ones) else when in an otherwise committed relationship. This can result in a failure to get or maintain an erection. Psychology and the penis have an intense relationship, and a lot can factor in to that.

4) Allergens. Seems weird to talk about, but men (and their respective penises) can be allergic to certain bed linens, perfumes, and other cleaning and grooming products used by multiple partners.

How Can a Man Protect His Poly-Active Penis?

There are several ways a man can stay healthy and active in a sexual poly lifestyle with a penis that performs well on command. Here are a few tips for how to keep penis health central while playing poly:

1) Use Condoms and Other Barrier Methods. Don’t use the same toys with one partner that are used with another. Get tested regularly. You know all this, but it’s worth mentioning. Also, bring your own condoms.

2) Have a Straightforward Sex Talk With All New Partners. This should include any disease states, infections going on, overall health, and consent. Discuss all potential sexual practices, but be sure to be specific about anything that might injure the penis, such as cock rings, certain positions, and long nails.

3) Have an Emotional Check-in. For men who have iffy feelings about a poly lifestyle, a check-in or regular appointment with a sex therapist isn’t a bad idea. This will help a man keep his mental game in check, so it doesn’t affect his penis.

4) Urinate After Sex. This cleans everything out and can protect against bacteria and infection.

5) Keep the Penis Clean and Healthy. Be sure to thoroughly wash the penis daily, and after any sexual escapades, with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Rinse well and air dry. After cleaning the skin, use a specially formulated penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) on the penis. Choose a crème with tons of vitamins and nutrients that protect and rejuvenate the penis, like vitamins A, B, C, and D. L-carnitine is also a worthy ingredient to look for, as it protects against peripheral nerve damage that can affect a penis’s prowess over time.

So, now you know what poly is and how it can affect your penis. Keep these considerations in mind to ensure that you have a healthy and fulfilling emotional and sexual life.