General Question

spendy's avatar

Do I dare ask how many?

Asked by spendy (1446points) April 4th, 2008

When and why would you discuss or not discuss this with your significant other/husband/wife and what importance would you place/not place on it?

I’ve looked for similar questions and didn’t stumble upon any, so I apologize in advance if I’ve overlooked a recent, strikingly similar post.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

61 Answers

Randy's avatar

I don’t put any importance on the number. Then again, I’m not married, I’m just speaking on past girlfriends. If it came up, I would say how many and expect her to do the same. I definately wouldn’t want to dwell on the subject, but its not to big a deal to me.

JVTM's avatar

I don’t get it..?

peedub's avatar

I think that if there’s a chance that a certain number or response would bother you in some way then inquiring into this matter might not be the best idea. Some do find it a sort of requisite to know in a relationship. I, personally, wouldn’t bring it up. Whatever it is, it’s the past. However, if you have to know just ask, maybe make a joke with it. Whatever you do, DONT ask immediately before or after having sex. I’ve had that happen, it’s annoying.

iSteve's avatar

How many what?

Randy's avatar

Come on guys… Its the question of how many sex partners your partner has had.

Patrick_Bateman's avatar

I really don’t think you want to know EVER how many people the person you are with has been with.

It will only lead to craziness in your or, their mind.

Just know your not virgins and know what your doing. Don’t ever ask “where did you learn that?”

sinscriven's avatar

If you have any doubts whatsoever about being comfortable with the fact of knowing their sexual history, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. Nothing will kill a sex drive or sex life quicker than being neurotic and comparing your skill or the size of your bits with the shadows of people past.

Especially if you’re the jealous type. One of my girlfriends had originally claimed to me that she had slept with 6 other guys before me, turns out she forgot to mention 20 more. I suppose out of fear. i could imagine more posessive guys freaking out. Even if it has absolutely no bearing on the relationship in the present.

Silly egos.

JVTM's avatar

I think that one should take it easy. If you guys really care for each other.. And did before this subject poppin’ up in your minds.. Why would the answer change anything?

cheebdragon's avatar

its important to be aware of a spouses sexual history for health reasons, but if you just want to know any kind of details because your curious then I suggest you let it go, you might end up with some bad mental images later.

jamms's avatar

its not a competition. who cares?

digitaljesus's avatar

I second Jamms answer, I don’t have a scoreboard over my bed, so who cares?

luminous00's avatar

I wish it weren’t necessary to tell how many partners you’ve had. I always worry about this since I’m almost always single. Then again, I usually want to know how many guys the girl has slept with, but it definitely affects me for knowing.

ketoneus's avatar

I don’t want to get into a deep psychological analysis discussion, but I think its relevant. What happened in past relationships has an effect on future relationships. What happened to you in the past shapes who you are today. If you are entering into a long-term committed relationship, I think you owe it to each other to be up front about your past.

Alina1235's avatar

i’m married, but never asked and never been asked, and never shared. it doesn’t matter, past is past, and i’m with one man only for the rest of my life.

bob's avatar

I do have a scoreboard over my bed, it is a competition, and I’m losing badly. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? Hang on, we’re talking about checkers, right?

DS's avatar

I agree with most answer it never occur to talk about it with boyfriends. That’s a friend talking subject.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

This could be a pretty touchy subject with most. In society, women would tend to lie due to being looked as a whore, men don’t really care because its another notch on the belt. But in truth women look at men as whores also. There’s a fine line to having experience, just liking to have sex and doing it with many people.

I say the past is the past either you grew from it and gained or didn’t.

Mistakes aside, do you dare ask? Well the true question is do you really want to know and will you be able to live with it?

spendy's avatar

Good point ninja…you definitely have to be able to live with whatever answer you get. Personally, I am married and have never asked or been asked. We have an unspoken understanding that “going there” just isn’t important.

There are also some people who take the stance that if you are truly committed and trusting of your partner, talking about your sexual past would serve as another element bringing you closer. Somehow, that seems to be a relationship tester that could really come back to haunt you. Then again, if your relationship can’t bear it…are you truly in the kind of relationship you want/deserve? Hmmm…

crackerjack's avatar

I agree with peedub, if a certain number would bother you, don’t ask because it might bother you and that could put strain on the relationship, but if you have been with this person for awhile, or are married, or love this person, then this could ruin what might be something really good.

iSteve's avatar

OH!!! I told you guys I’m sloooww!!!
I have always discussed this stuff up front. I think openness is a good thing and it’s a good idea to be safe nowadays.

TheHaight's avatar

yes, be up front and honest. Its not about competiton. Its about being comfortable enough with that person to were you can tell them almost everything (not everything… A little mystery can be good). If they ask, be honest… But in a nice way and always reassure them their the best, most amazing, etc.

scamp's avatar

I agree with ISteve and TheHaight. I think it’s best to be open and honest in a relationship. but I don’t think you should discuss all the details about what it was like with someone other than the one you are with. they can know you have a past, but leave it in the past where it belongs. and like TheHaight says, make sure your present partner knows he/she is the only one that really matters. Nothing can ruin an evening or romance quicker than the thought of competing with the ghost of an old love.

susanc's avatar

Why would sleeping with a lot of people make you a “whore”? Good lord. Sleeping with people is friendly and interesting. Then if you’re lucky enough you find one you’d rather sleep with exclusively. Are we talking about sleeping with people for money?
I find this all very discouraging.

Response moderated
cornman's avatar

@cheebdragon. I don’t think that was too cool! Someone would be getting their a$& kicked if they said that to someone I knew.
Ya, its ok to ask your partner about “how many” if it isn’t then may be time to get a new partner. But then again that might make you a whore! What a degrading word.

cheebdragon's avatar

a$$ kicked? Lmfao! Please tell everyone you know I think they are a whore, k?
How can you be offended by the word whore? Unless of course there is some truth to it…. = )
she said “sleeping with people is friendly and interesting”. Would that not be considered promiscuous? People is in fact a plural for person, is it not? And since promiscuous can be found under the definition for whore, then I guess she was calling herself a whore baisicly, but never said anything about getting paid for it, so that might make her just a free whore in my opinion. No one EVER said my opinion matters, its just my opinion, I’m sure you a few opinions about me right now, some that are probably not that nice, but it doesnt matter because it doesnt make your opinons of me true. So I really could care less if you or anyone you know doesnt like me, deal with it and move on!

jaded88's avatar

@cheebdragon- I agree lol

scamp's avatar

@cheebdragon Did you really think you could call another member a whore and NOT get called out on it? It may have been an attempt at humor, but I’m not laughing. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one. But that doesn’t mean they need to be made public.

cornman's avatar

@cheed Your a class act man. I think you are right. I’m making a point to call everyone a whore who has had more than one sexual partner. I also think that would make a good Sunday school lesson. We could tie it in with John 8:2–11. Thanks for setting me straight and for the enlightning and uplifting answers. Fluther is a better place with you on board.

chaosrob's avatar

If you can’t have a frank discussion about sex with the person you’re having sex with, doesn’t that seem like a problem?

luminous00's avatar

@chaosrob – yes, I’ve always thought that.

xacrox's avatar

at first I thought it would bug me. But really it doesn’t.

Bri_L's avatar

Sometimes the person asking the question doesn’t really want the answer. When you answer because you totally trust them or you thought you could, they freak. Then, 11 years of marriage later their you are.

susanc's avatar

Good lord, cheeb called me a whore? Thanks for the defense, scamp, buddy.

Cheeb, I think a whore actually is someone who gets paid for sex. Having a lot of sex doesn’t make a person a whore. Having a lot of sex makes a person
happy. Perhaps you yourself… um, or maybe not.

I also want to point out that no one signs up for the whore job. People get
washed down that drain by not having much opportunity for a nice job in a
high-rise office where they can wear crispy white shirts and keep their
iPods plugged in all day. Let’s not be shitty to our friends the whores. It could happen to any of us. I’m one of the lucky ones didn’t happen to. But I can’t take credit for this. And neither can you, pal.

noraasnave's avatar

I was going to answer 3.14159265, but then I realize that we are talking about people that one has had sex with. oops, i am a newbie when it comes to the real topic here. Is it wrong to post on topics that are months old?

Tone's avatar

The answer matters if it matters to you. The idea that you can say whether it should matter is silly. Whether you care or not, though, it certainly can be relevant and informative. How many partners someone has had in a certain period of time can say a lot about the kind of person you’re involved with, their approach to relationships, commitment level, etc. It also signals a lot about their attitude towards sex. If they sleep with everyone they date, they take sex rather casually. That might not match up with how you feel about sex, which would be good to know.

As for the answer itself, in my experience the issue is not the number but the differential. If your numbers are similar, everyone’s happy. If one person’s number is much larger than the other? Issues.

girlofscience's avatar

Wow, I find all of these answers very surprising. I have always discussed this sort of thing with partners, just as a regular conversation. The number has never bothered me or the other person, no matter what it was. I like to feel close with my partner, as I would with a friend. My girlfriends and I certainly discuss how many people we have slept with. I do the same with my boyfriend. My opinion of him would not change whether he has slept with 2 or 35 girls, and I would expect the same from him. Part of a relationship, in my opinion, is sharing everything about lives, pasts, and appreciating the other person for how his/her past has made him/her the person you love.

Tone's avatar

@girlofscience – Would it change if he had slept with 235 women? How about 1,000? Might seem outrageous, but these things happen. The numbers you gave are all inside what most people would consider an acceptable range. Again, it’s all about the differential, and that says plenty about how compatible you may be. It’s not decisive, but it is instructive.

girlofscience's avatar

@Tone: No, honestly, my opinion would not change if he had slept with 235 or 1,000 women before me. I’m attracted to people who both have had interesting experiences in their pasts and are very honest about it. If I was intrigued by this person enough to date him, I wouldn’t think less of him for having slept with that many women at all! I’d be excited for him to share his life experiences with me. This isn’t to say I would require him to make a list of the thousand women and give me the details of every encounter, as most of that would probably be very boring, but I’d love to hear some entertaining anecdotes!

deaddolly's avatar

to me a whore gets paid. sleep with w/e many you want too. be honest to your partner, if they ask, but don’t be surprised if you say 50 and they freak out. I honestly don’t think it’s important unless YOU feel bad about it. I could never imagine marrying someone without sleeping with them.
There are so many double standards…men are macho or studs or they sleep around; women are sluts or easy. Bullshit!

In order to know what you like and to know what you don’t like, you need to sample the waters. Everyone remember their first sexual encounter? Was it as enjoyable as it is now? I think not!

sundayBastard's avatar

My sweety-sweet-sweet loves to hear about my naughty times with naughty women in naughty places. Plus she tries to outdo them so it works for

beccalynnx's avatar

it’s important to me… i guess. my boyfriend has had many past partners. and it makes me feel kinda silly, because all i’ve ever done was kissed a boy. but i’m learning that all of his pasts were because he was unhappy. and we love eachother and he doesn’t need it every hour of the day.

XrayGirl's avatar

not telling and wouldn’t want to know….....WHY WOULD anyone want to know is my question.

Ncshawty's avatar

Ive had 0. Im 18 :P

Bri_L's avatar

@ Ncshawty – You KICK ass!

Ncshawty's avatar

Thanks @ bri :)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I think this is an upfront question, before the relationship gets too committed. I think it’s important because the number tells a lot about a person’s attitude towards sex, and that can affect compatibility across the board.

noraasnave's avatar

I think there is a lot that can be deduced by what a person’s number is. I also think that a person’s number can be misleading. For instance what do you instantly think about me, because I have only ever had 4 sexual partners in my life of 34 years? What would you deduce?

I would be happy to reveal a bit more about myself truly to demonstrate whether information yielded from this method would really be valid or not.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

noraasnave, I would think that you had sex in committed relationships.

noraasnave's avatar

Correct! part. Two marriages and two encounters that defy quick explanation. Each of the 4 sexual experience with a different person. Therein lies my point. The number got you close, but was the deduction accurate?

I would be interested to hear what information you are able to draw from my ‘number’ that applies to my “compatability across the board”.

I hear people ‘say’ that sex is so important in a relationship, that one must ensure compatability. Sex is the easy part, the relationship that fosters good sex is the part very few understand.

@Alfreda: Thank for being a good sport. I think you are an asset to the collective and I enjoy your thoughts.

AtillaOfTheFlesh's avatar


One was a midget.

dlm812's avatar

“Opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one. But that doesn’t mean they need to be made public.” —New favorite quote! Thanks scamp!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I’ve heard the phrase as “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and they all stink.”

To answer the question, if you cannot be honest with a partner that you are in a serious relationship with, then why bother trying to maintain a semblance of a serious relationship at all? I believe honesty is always the best policy when it comes to your significant other, but hey, maybe I’m just old fashioned. As for the midget sex, AtillaOfTheFlesh, way to go, got pictures? :-)

ananth's avatar

Never paid for sex – honestly lost count as to how many.

girlofscience's avatar

What about people that get their buttholes sewn up because of severe Crohn’s disease?

VS's avatar

@Alina1235 – yeah, just what she said. Me, too.
And in all honesty, if asked, I would be unable to give an accurate answer to any count. Unlike many of my generation, I did not keep a running tally of my sexual partners. Some were certainly more memorable than others, and some are forgotten totally. I’m sure that puts me in the whorish bracket, but whatever.

shortysith's avatar

It will come up ineveitably in relationships. For me, I am the type of person who doesn’t sleep with someone unless I am in love with them and in a committed relationship (to date, that would be two people and I’m in my mid twenties). I like to know my partner’s number too because I think it helps me indicate the value they place on sex and relationships, etc. Maybe the number isn’t as important as how they value sex. I don’t need details! But if someone I meet and am dating has had 200 partners, I kinda feel like we aren’t going to be compatible because we don’t hold the same values regarding sex. I’m not prude, and I don’t care if people conduct their sex lives the way they do, but I look for a partner who holds similar values to me. That’s why it is important to me.

justme1's avatar

I discuss this with my partner whenever it comes to mind. I have told him everything about my past, and I expect him to do the same. I tell him everything and we can talk about our past, it isn’t important though because we are with each other at this point and that is all that matters, but I still want to know about his past, and I want him to know about mine so we know things not to do :-)

Response moderated

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther