In my first polyamorous relationship, my partner and I were fluid bonded from month 5-8 of our relationship (we are currently at 1 yr & 3 months). His partner of 3 years, who is FB with, did not consent to us being fluid bonded but he never informed me of this and thus we did anyway. After we took a break, his partner asked us to not be FB and we agreed but we are yearning for it again. I asked if he and I could switch being FB between ourselves and our respective other partners every 3 months. But he told me he wants to keep being fluid bonded with his other partner. I am very upset because I feel like he is choosing his partner over me to be fluid bonded with and it was something very intimate we shared. I simply do not know how to go on from here or how to not control their relationship or asking if it is ridiculous to feel the way I do.
I think the first thing to do is figure out whether you’re bothered by the symbolic, emotional significance of fluid bonding, or whether it’s the mechanical specifics.
If it’s the emotional significance, then the solution is to try and re-frame this. From your story, there’s clearly some messiness and baggage around this based on communication issues in the past. This polycule sounds like it uses being fluid-bonded as a shorthand for some level of commitment or seniority in the hierarchy, even if this is unintentional or unconscious. If what you and your partner are “yearning for” is the intimacy signified by being fluid bonded, think about whether there’s another way you can capture that without having to fuss around with this complicated 3-month setup. Is there something sexual that you can do together, or set aside for “just us,” a new toy you could buy together or a place you could go to, that would meet that need?
If it’s the mechanics of it all; if you’re just tired of using condoms or there’s something about fluids that is part of your sexual play together, then there might be other compromises to be made. Trying out internal condoms or those fancy super-thin condoms, getting new toys or new toy attachments, or expanding your fantasy life together could be a good creative solution. You two could have a set of toys jointly owned that are fluid bonded to the two of you.
Even if the issue is mostly a technical one - if fluid bonded contact is part of a specific fantasy, fetish, or act that’s hard to replicate without being fluid bonded - this could still be helped by doing some emotional work around re-framing this issue. If, every time he goes to grab a condom, that invokes the spectre of his other relationships and signals to you that he’s withholding some intimacy from you, of course that is going to suck. But it doesn’t have to signify all that - it could just be a condom. You have a lot of control over the power and significance that you give to this.
Nothing is perfect, and polyamory - like all relationships and relationship styles - requires compromise and sacrifice. It might just be that y’all need to use condoms, and that’s annoying, but it is what it is. You now have lots of information to act on: that you really like being fluid bonded with your partners, and that your current partner is not willing to be fluid bonded with you. It sounds like he is not willing to budge on this, so if it’s a dealbreaker for you, then you’ve got to break the deal. If it’s not a dealbreaker, then you’ve got to find a way to get around the frustration or disappointment and find a compromise that works.