Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What is the significance of the number of "love" partners a person has?

Asked by wundayatta (58525points) October 18th, 2011

I don’t know if there is a different kind of person who has fewer than five partners compared to those who have 25 or fewer partners compared to those with between 26 and 100 partners compared to those with 100 or more.

The definition of sex partner of “love” partner is up to you. I think most people will think of it as number of people you have had intercourse with, but other definitions are certainly acceptable.

In 2002, the most recent for which I could find data, 74% of women ages 15–44 had 6 or fewer partners; 16% had between 7 and 14 partners; 9% had fifteen or more partners. Among men, 57% had six or fewer partners; 20% had between 7 and 14 partners and 23% had 15 or more partners.

I’m curious about the judgments you make about a person depending on the number of partners they have. If a person has a lot of partners, do you think they have a problem, or are they a slut or man-whore? At what number of partners do you think the person has a problem?

Do numbers mean something else to you? Say, experience, or a willingness to be open or a neediness? What?

In a potential partner, is there a certain number that is a red flag for you? A place where you worry? What do you worry about?

Do you not care about your partner’s number of partners? No matter what the number is?

And if someone has only had a low number of partners, what does that mean to you? Does it suggest religious beliefs? Lack of popularity? Lack of desire? Lack of opportunity? Something else?

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32 Answers

Hibernate's avatar

I don’t care about the number of partners one had but I see things with different eyes. Fewer partners means devotion and the will to try make it work even if things go bad.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t even consider it.

Blackberry's avatar

I would only concerned about extreme numbers on either side. One sexual partner would raise an eyebrow just like 157 would. And by concern, I mean “Oh, interesting…” and then I forget about it lol.

Scooby's avatar

I lost count at nineteen :-/ think of me as you will…........

Pandora's avatar

Well at some point I think you have to wonder if you will need a whole body glove and lots of shots before someone will get near you and if you need to have your name listed with the CDC.

wundayatta's avatar

@Pandora Does that mean you would ask a person for proof of clean tests after a certain number of partners, or would you do that no matter how many they claimed to have had (or not had)?

Pandora's avatar

I may take their word for it that they are clean if they were in long term relationships with someone recently and the other person seems healthy and can verify. But if a guy told me he has been with a hundred people in a few short years. I would probably ask them to be cleared by a test first.
Although I know I would never ever be involved with a person who is only looking for a hook up. But if that was all I was looking for than I would at least like to still know that, that person is clean. I would do likewise. I’m just not that willing to play russian roulette with my health or someone elses.
Its funny that people always say, “not having sex won’t kill you” ( this is true) but they forget that having sex with one ill person can. A persons odds increase with every partner they have and it can go unnoticed for years.

JLeslie's avatar

Interesting statistics. Is anyone surprised how high the percentage is for 6 or fewer?

I don’t judge, but if you asked me what are my assumptions, and I certainly know assumptions can be way off, I would say the 15 or more are probably people who were single into their 30’s or later. I think love partners is more a function of when you get married more than anything. Not about morality, or how fast someone has sex when dating. Sure there are some people who have sex at whim, one night stands and all that, their numbers would be high, but that would not be my first assumption. If I had not married when I did, I easily would have moved from your first category, 6 or fewer, into the second one, but I would still be the same person, it is just a function of time in singledom.

Very high numbers, like 100 people by the time your 30, I would think something is wrong there. Something is going on.

Coloma's avatar

A lot of the numbers game is contingent on generation and eras in which one was raised.

Those of us that came of age in the 60’s & early, to mid-70’s often had more sexual experiences due to the climate at the time. I had about 20 something experiences as a younger woman, and every one of them was based on a particular attraction, although many were not based on a desire for a LTR.

This was, pre- Aids, and other STD fears and, of course ” everybody was doin’ it.”

You know, love the one your with! LOL

I went on to marry and be 100% faithful for 22 years, and have since had 3 relationships in the past 9 years.
One based on deep emotional connection and the other two on attraction but no desire to maintain another LTR.

smilingheart1's avatar

@wundayatta, your question reminds me of that song “What’s LOVE got to do with it?”

Male's avatar

To me, the number is proportional with “easiness.”

I am predisposed to judge those with higher numbers. I think of them as those who treat sex like something casual…not really something that’s intimate. It’s more like the higher the number, the less love there is.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

At my age, I assume most people have had many sex partners but I am interested in “relationships”, marriages, live-in time, playing house partners. I think of those more as love matches and like to know how the person I’m interested in treats their ex’s, their kids (if any) and their friends.

thesparrow's avatar

I have only had one partner and I find absolutely nothing wrong with me. I am happier than most people I know.

Londongirl's avatar

I don’t really like to have many sex partners and don’t really like the guy has a long list too….

thesparrow's avatar

I don’t mind if the guy has a long list.. just so long as I’m at the very top of it ;)

Londongirl's avatar

Well, most importantly, I’m the last on the list… ;)

digitalimpression's avatar

If I were single I would consider it.. There’s a lot of strange std’s running around… chances are if a woman has been through upwards of 20 partners she has one of them… F*** that… I’m not messin with no std… xD

To each his/her own though.

Hibernate's avatar

@Londongirl look at that list from another perspective. You might be the last one for now but later you’ll just be a statistic…

Londongirl's avatar

@thesparrow thanks :)

@Hibernate Well, my dear friend, romance cannot be defined by statistic! ;)

thesparrow's avatar

Well, who knows, I guess. Although I doubt a 1 and a half yr relationship would go down as a statistic.

Londongirl's avatar

I wish I would be in a long lasting relationship… I went to a art show the other day and there was a surprised romantic story told by the guy there. The married couple who both painted and when the guy died, the woman stopped painting, and their painting style developed to a very similar way at later stage… that was the most romantic story I have not heard for years… :)

thesparrow's avatar

Awww… that’s so sweet!!

thesparrow's avatar

Ya, me too! I hope that mine lasts long!

Londongirl's avatar

Yes it was a very romantic story, but minded you they were in the 30s and I think the love story sounded more profound than our modern quick shag culture.

Bart19's avatar

I’ve encountered a lot of people with varying numbers of love partners. Some of my friends have been unlucky in love and still haven’t lost their virginity at the age of twenty. Others started out in an unsatisfying or abusive relationship but broke free and celebrated their liberty by sleeping around. But most people I know began to think that a “love” partner was a retarded idea and that the student life was meant to be all about experimenting; resulting in an ever climbing list of sexual partners.

I am the odd one out of the group. I am twenty and lost my virginity to the woman I recently married (which has the amusing side effect that I can shock fellow students into silence :P ).

Hibernate's avatar

@Londongirl you missed what I said there.

You are the last for NOW. In the future you might become a statistic for him in his “black book”.

Londongirl's avatar

@Hibernate hmm… like I said romance cannot be defined in statistic, I wish I wouldn’t be treated as stat in his ‘black book’...

Sher_King's avatar

People go through phases. I think it has a lot to do with your relationship status, character, confidence, how sexual you are, and how you percieve life. As long as you are safe when having sex, that is all that matters. I wouldnt care about my partners past experiences as long as i knew he was clean (as in STD HIV free) and faithful. Although i must admit, if he is up to 60, I’d have a hard time believing i as the ‘special’ one. ;)

thesparrow's avatar

@Bart19 I’m 23 and lost it last year to my current BF, which I will in all honesty end up marrying. I don’t believe in being in love two or three or four times and investing all of your emotional energy into many people and having bits and pieces of them resurface to your memory. All that baggage never appealed to me. As well, I didn’t experiment in college or whatever.

JLeslie's avatar

@thesparrow You don’t believe in being in love two or three or four times? What exactly does that mean? Some people don’t get the choice to love only one person in their lifetime. Well, I guess people can choose to not love, but what I mean is God forbid the one you love leaves or dies, we go on, and we can go on to love another. For some people their own love for someone changes or fades. I am one of those people who loves being married, and loves the idea of forever, but it is awfully idealistic to feel sure you know it is forever. One just never knows.

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