How Many People You've Slept With is No Ones Business

When you add up your one-night stands, casual encounters, dreaded mistakes, actual partners and the very nearly relationship material, the figures can add up to quite a hefty number. If you’re a woman, disclosing this number can be detrimental. 

For the men out there the stud status kicks in with a higher number but for women the slut status kicks in with gusto, striding around, naked from the waist down, hollering.

As a woman, you “should” be untouched but amazing in bed. A hard feat considering you’re expected to have all the experience without any practice time. So I suppose it’s only natural to work up a light sweat when faced with giving facts.

For the most part, none of us keep score. There are no little black books brimming with inserts about who, when, where, how long and what happened. Some of us would prefer not to remember the drunken decisions or that guy who refused to listen when you said you don’t like people touching your feet.

But it’s only natural

We’re curious. We want to know everything about our new partner. What makes them tick. What makes them laugh and what get’s them off. When we like someone, we want to know everything. 

Talk about sex. Always talk about it. But think twice before you dive in with requesting a specific number.



What even counts as sex anyway?

Do I include that guy who I brought home but couldn’t get it up? Does heavy petting count? How about oral? What if it’s same-sex sex and there are no penises in the room? Do we have to start counting strap-ons and dildos now too? And what about the fact that you’ve had an orgy every weekend for the last 6 months? Does each guy get counted even if he never made it into a P in V scenario?

Sex is actually a really vague term. It’s not made up wholly of girl + guy + penetration. When you open up your mindset on that fact, can you really put a number on it? 


Why does it matter?

What’s the real question here? Chances are if someones asking you for such a specific piece of information, it’s a loaded question. Are you looking to judge? How will the answer you receive change how you view the person you’re asking?

If you’re not comfortable to disclose your number straight away, tease a bit more information out of them first. Why the curiosity? Is it a comparison game? Is it to check skill level? What happens if you don’t like the number I disclose? What conversation are we having here?


Is it really an indicator of skill level?

The number of previous sexual partners holds no bearing on skill. If you’ve only ever slept with 2 people, maybe they were ongoing, in-depth explorations that makes them a demi-sex-god. Similarly, someone who’s had 100 one night stands might only be good at getting themselves off. 


Without context its an arbitrary number

They could have been married and had 4 affairs. They could have gotten really into the swingers scene. Maybe they had 15 partners when they were younger but have only had 1 or 2 sexual partners in the last 5 years.

You never know.

So, if you’re going to have the conversation make sure it’s a fruitful one. A conversation that brings you both further together rather than spitting numbers at each other and being turned off by the answers that you’re given.


It holds no bearing on your dynamic

Who they’ve/you’ve slept with in the past makes no difference to how they’ll / you’ll be in your relationship. This is a new dynamic. A new encounter. A new coupling. Sure who they are now is a culmination of their experiences in the past but that’s why you like them remember?

There’s so much hype around the number of sexual partners we’ve had that it’s hard not to have some form of an emotional response so my thoughts are just don’t tell. Your “magic” number is for you to know and forget - because why do you really need to know? Fancy judging yourself?


Talk about sex. 

Talk about your experiences. The things you liked and didn’t. The new positions and activities you want to try. The fantasies you’ve only ever dreamed of. Discussing sex and using past people as inspiration can be a glorious idea (just don’t keep going on and on about the same person). Sex is a huge part of your new dynamic and is something that you can explore and enjoy together. 

But ultimately it’s up to you. If you want to disclose your number, do it. Just don’t demand or expect your partner to do the same just because you have. If they’re not comfortable to, don’t force the issue. Go back to the talking about experiences.

What do you guys think? Tell or don’t? Clearly, I’m on the don’t side of the fence, but I’d love to hear all the opinions on why you should. Or maybe you agree that you shouldn’t what have you found are the reactions you get/got? Let’s keep the conversation going below.

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash