Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Previous sexual partners: Hot topic or a non-issue?

Alisha: I had a conversation with some girlfriends last week that struck me as a topic most new couples, or heck, even folks who have been married 50 years, might consider as an important conversation piece: previous sexual partners.
Deirdre: And what was the consensus among your girlfriends?
Alisha: One, who has been married for five years, says she has no idea how many people her husband had slept with, and she doesn't want to know. The other, who is single, said she often will ask a guy once they get to the serious stage, but the "number" doesn't bother her.
Deirdre: Your friend who doesn't want to know -- did she say why?
Alisha: She said she feared if it were some huge number, say, over 100 women, that she would just flip out, but now that she's married to him, it doesn't matter.
Deirdre: Well, I think it's a fair and valid question to ask "how many sexual partners have you had?" if you're considering becoming intimate with someone. I also think it's fair to ask when was the last time they'd been tested for STDs and HIV. (And they should be able to ask you as well.)
Alisha: Oh, definitely. Honesty is of utmost importance when it comes to this topic. I know for myself, if I had met someone and he had told me he had been with 400 women, that would be a definite dealbreaker. In my mind, that shows a lack of respect for intimacy.
Deirdre: No lie. If my man told me he'd slept with enough women to rival Ron Jeremy, I'd run screaming. But I think what we're saying is different from your other friend -- the one who says the number doesn't matter. I find that hard to believe.
Alisha: It's my belief some folks see your past as just that - your past. So, I can see where she wouldn't care about how big or how small the "number" is.
Deirdre: I have a friend who's in a great relationship with a man who's had way more partners than her. In fact, they recently married. The past really is the past with them. And I would like to think that if I fell in love with a man who'd had many more partners than myself that I could be OK with it. After all, he didn't know me when he was gettin' around with all the other chickies.
Alisha: I guess most of us follow the saying, "to each his own," but to me, there's definitely one too many. Take Gene Simmons for example, he's been with what, more than 4,000 women? No way I could ever willingly want to become 4,001. Where is the appreciation for what it means to make love to someone? Four thousand women - that's not love, that's a libido gone crazy.
Deirdre: He's just nasty anyway. But I think he's lying. I would think most people, if they were gonna lie, they'd lie in the other direction -- as in knock a few people off the total.
Alisha: I have a feeling Gene isn't fudging one bit on his "total." Though, yeah, I agree most would likely round down instead of up. When my husband and I first broached this topic as a dating couple, I think we were timid to talk about it because we were afraid of the other's reaction. But, it all came out good in the end.
Deirdre: Heh. Did you round down or up?
Alisha: I'm pretty sure I told the truth because we both agreed not to get upset or jealous about what we had done in the past. It's all about communication.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bottom paragraph, bottom line, honesty and truth, that says it all!

Anonymous said...

I do not think it should be anyone's business how many people the other person slept with before you are together as long as both people are STD free What you did before you were with the person is the past and no one should be judged (which men and women will do) for how many people they did or did not sleep with.

Anonymous said...

If you don't care about how promiscous someone is/was and you are entering into a serious relationship with them then you are either very trusting or very stupid.

Past performance/behaviour is a indicator of future performance/behaviour.

I have a mind and I have standards and you are damn right I'm going to make some judgement calls.

Anonymous said...

Promiscuity (or lack thereof) is, I believe, an indicator of how valued and precious the sexual relationship is to the person. I would assume that the more partners one has had, the less that sexual relationship is valued.

My wife and I shared this information before we married: zero for both of us. Thirty-four years later, the score is one, for both of us.

We like it this way.

Editor said...

I think that most people who are honest and want a real commitment will share enough of these details to make the other person comfortable.

Editor said...

I think that most people who are honest and want a real commitment will share enough of these details to make the other person comfortable.

Anonymous said...

I too am a strong believer that past behavior is definitely an indicator of future behavior. Self discipline, ethics, morals, and personal integrity are qualities that should be groomed in all individuals. It's sad that our society has drifted so far away from personal integrity and accountability that the subject of an acceptable/unacceptable number of sexual partners is even open for discussion.

Anonymous said...

alisha is 100 percent right. you and your husband are a model couple. it's so wonderful that a loving couple can share absolutely every detail of their life. honesty is the best policy. if you lie about something as important and intimate as sexual partners or experiences, then you will be dishonest about other equally important issues.
plus, in this time of STDs and AIDS, you're suicidal if you're not honest.

Anonymous said...

I have never asked that question (how many partners) of anyone I was entering into an intimate relationship with, because for one, I didn't think the man would tell the truth, and second, I didn't want him to then ask me the same question. I truly believe the past is the past and we all make mistakes. I don't want to be judged for being irresponsible 10 years ago, since I have no STD's or unwanted pregnancies, or anything that would be of concern to a future mate, and I am WAY more responsible and mature now.

Anonymous said...

First, this article portrays the man as a sexual pac-man, although that might be true - it doesnt mean that women are not equally so...for every fast man I know I know a woman to counter him.

Second, each partner must honestly and fairly and sensetively disclose their past..if I may make a recommendation - both of you should have either finished off a bottle of wine or split a six pack before opening such doors!

Anonymous said...

How many sexual partners? You mean just me, or me and all my alter-egos?

And, yeah; I'm a chick.