The one thing I often get asked when I mention living with seven other people. All of whom are either in a relationship or power dynamic either within or outside of our house. Is how do we keep track of everything? Not just the day today, but the who and what. Having covered the first, I wanted to cover the second! Because with that, brings spreadsheets!1
Yup! That is right we have a spreadsheet for this. Every six months (or close to that), we try to keep it updated with our various information. The basics that we have are things like Name, Gender, Pronouns, and Sexuality. While most information doesn’t change we do tend to focus on three areas that do. Relationships, power dynamics, and STI testing.
Romantic and sexual orientations:
Last STI Testing Date:
This is one of the most updated sections on our spreadsheet, because most if not all of us tend to get tested every six months. Or when someone has a new sexual partner. While many use barriers with their partners, there are those that do not in particular relationships. This just allows everyone on the same page, and if something does come up we know who needs to be informed.
What is great is that while we can do this through a clinic or our primary care provider. There are also options like STD Check. So we don’t have to wait for an appointment. They are able to go directly to the lab and get the results within a few days. If one of us do positive for anything they are able to get the doctor involved via telephone. It saves a lot of time, money (especially if you don’t have insurance), and keeps things discreet.
STI testing awareness is an important thing in a large Polyam Family situation. It makes us aware of our health and squelches the stigma that getting regularly tested is a bad thing.
Non-dynamic relationship, repeat as necessary
Fluid Bonded? Y/N:
This section allows us not only to keep track of relationships with those inside our house. But also with partners that they have either in the extended polycule. Or in a few cases comet partners that some of them only see on a very limited basis. Even in the 5 years I have been with my partners changes such as marriage or ending a relationship as come up. So it helps us all be on the same page.
The reason fluid bonded does come up is in the case of a medical issue happening. It is one way to know who should be contacted in case something like that did come up. We can also note in that section what kind of barriers are used between partners if we choose. Also while not listed, it can be noted the pronouns for outside partners.
Power Dynamic relationship, repeat as necessary
Type of Dynamic:
Can this partner to be contacted regarding you/can you be contacted regarding this partner? Y/N:
Much like the relationship section. Our power dynamics are also important to have noted. Not only does it allow for a who is with who. But in knowing what kind of dynamic people have, explains certain behaviors between the individuals. This has led to some amusing notes for Type of Dynamic, like when my boyfriend wrote, ‘occasional anthropomorphic “No.”, to describe our dynamic.
The reason we added a section for contacting them was that sometimes kink dynamics can be tricky. What sometimes flags as abuse, can just be part of the dynamic. So having a way you can check in with either partner about it is a thing we added when it came up in our lives.
Also it is to be noted, there is sometimes overlap between relationship and power dynamic. It is not something that is always the case as those things can be exclusive. So we wanted to make sure to have all bases covered.
While these are what we use, you may find other things that are important for you and your own relationships. Also, this is a great thing to use if you are Solo Polyamorous, because you can keep track of the people in your personal circle. I have attached the basic sheet that we use so that you can make your own. If you are a real wizard with spreadsheets let me know if there is anything you added!
While this post was sponsored by STD Check, all of the writing and opinions are my own. Also through this link (or their link further up), you can get $15 dollars off your testing through their site.