How Many Partners Have You Had?

"How many partners have you had? No, really, you can tell me. I won't get mad, I swear."

Some people are concerned about how many people their current partner has had sex with. Why they're concerned, I don't know. It could be genuine curiosity, or it could be insecurity. The problem is that, when someone asks you this volatile question, you don't know whether it's just curiosity or insecurity, unless you know your partner pretty well. What starts out as curiosity may even turn into insecurity if your number happens to be higher than their number. 

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Personally, I think the number of partners I've had in the past is my business. You don't have a right to know that number, or who my partners were. What you have a right to know, as my current partner, is if I'm free of any STIs, or, if I have any, what you need to do to protect yourself. That's the limitation to my responsibility, as far as this topic goes. Likewise, I have no right to know how many partners you've had. I just need to know what, if any, STIs you have. That's it. 

Sure, I'm curious. I'd be lying if I said that the thought doesn't enter my head - the desire to ask: "So, how many guys have you been with?" But I don't ask. I may be curious, but not enough to open that can of worms. 

Why not ask, though? Well, you can ask, but why do you want to know? Ask yourself that. Why do I care how many people he/she has been with? Ask yourself what you plan on doing with that information. If you're simply curious, how are you going to react if your significant other's number is larger than yours? What if it's way higher? What if you've been with five people and he or she has been with 105 people? Will you be okay with that, or will you flip your shit? If you think you'll flip your shit, you need to ask yourself why this new information bothers you.

If your significant other has been with more people than you have, are you going to think of them as a slut? What's the magical number for determining someone's slut level? Is there a chart somewhere? (Actually, I'd love to see a chart which rates someone's slut level. I'm pretty sure I'd be off the charts.) Seriously, though, I don't care if you're a slut. Quite frankly, "slut" is primarily a term used to shame women for having sex. I would say that it's to shame them for having too much sex, but we all know that, since the number of acceptable partners depends on the person hearing the number, the line as to where "too much sex" is drawn varies. Basically, the idea is, if you're a woman, and you've had more sex than whomever you're talking to, you're a slut. Fuck that. I'm a dude. I'm a slut. There's nothing wrong with having lots and lots of (safer) sex with as many or as few partners as you wish. I don't care what your sex or gender is. So, if you use the term "slut" ever, it better be as a term of pride or endearment. 

So, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or husband or wife, tell you that they've been with 105 other people, and you've been with five. The appropriate reaction would be to nod your head and say, "Okay." That's not what you're going to do, though, is it? You're going to hear that number and think that your partner is way more experienced than you, and you're going to wonder how many of those people were better sex partners (I hate the term "lovers") than you.  Whatever the fuck you do, do not ask your significant other if any of them were better than you. I'll answer that question for you: Yes, yes they were. 

We'd all love to think that we're the best sex partner our partners have ever had, but that's simply unlikely. In order to be the best of all partners, there would have to be a standard for determining what makes a good sex partner. There is no standard. You'd also have to be the best of the best, above all others. You're not. It all depends on compatibility and mood, and idealization, and a hundred other factors... Okay, maybe not a hundred other factors. But I hate giving a very specific list of criteria for something because, invariably, someone will come in and tell me how wrong I am, and that I missed something somewhere. If I leave it a little vague I can argue that I know about those other things, I just lumped them in with the hundred other factors. I'm a clever little shit, aren't I? 

Oops, I got off track. Sorry...

So, in the past your partner fucked someone who was a better lay than you. Okay. Well, that one time that they fucked this individual, it might have been a moment which was extremely ideal circumstances. It might have been someone whom they were very much attracted to, and they might have been so aroused that everything was a turn on. They may have had an amazing orgasm that one time with this person. But, they may have never seen this person again. If this other sex partner was a former mate of theirs, well, clearly they aren't dating them now, so things didn't work out, for whatever reason. And, who's to say that if they had sex again, that it would be as fantastic? I've had some awesome encounters and then seen that guy again only to have a less than stellar romp with him. Things change. 

What can you do, though? Now you're all insecure and thinking you're not good enough, even though you won. Right? You won! This person is with you, not them. So, obviously the amazing orgasm isn't their top priority. Now, for most of us, sex is rather important, and you're feeling a little insecure now, and you want to know what you can do to be your significant other's bestest best. Well, communicate. Find out what your partner likes and do everything within your power to give that to them, within reason. 

If your partner gets off on fisting and that's not your thing and you're not willing to try it, don't. I'm not saying you have to go well beyond your comfort level, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to push the boundaries of your comfort levels. That can actually be quite hot. Plus, this is something the two of you can explore together, if necessary, and that can be a point of bonding. If your partner has been with a lot of others, sexually, he or she probably has a pretty good idea of what they like and you can help facilitate that by talking with them. Talk both in and out of the bedroom. But don't be a whiny dick about it. Don't act as though you're not good enough. We already know that you are, right? You're with him or her now, so they like you. They, perhaps, love you. The goal, here, is to enhance the fuck making. Find out what your partner likes. Tell them what you like. Find compromise areas, if needed. You may even discover that you both like some of the same stuff but were afraid to mention it. You like leather, and being tied up, but didn't know what your partner would think, so you never said anything. Well, hopefully you and your partner communicate enough that you can say that sort of thing without fear of judgment. If they're going to judge you over something like that, they have issues. I mean, it's one thing to not be into it, and an entirely different matter if they're an asshole about it. If they are, send them to me. I'll have a word with them. 

Also, keep in mind that there's a solid chance that your partner is perfectly happy with the sex life that the two of you share. If your partner tells you that they're happy, believe them. Don't press it. Don't pry for details. Just accept it. Rest assured that everything is groovy between you two. 

I really do recommend not asking how many sex partners the person you're with has been with. My response is typically to ask the guy if he really wants to know. "Do you really want to know?" That kind of puts a scare into him. I'm willing to give a ballpark figure. I actually lost count at some point, so I wouldn't be able to give an exact figure. 

I've been with a lot of guys, sexually, and I tend to date younger guys, so I assume that my number is larger than most of the guys I'm with. If I were to run into someone who had fucked, or been fucked by more guys than I have, I don't know that I'd give a shit. Why? Well, as many partners as I've had, very few of them stand out in my mind. A small handful of them were of any significance. I do remember some who were really attractive, some who we seemed to click, and some whom I became fuck buddies with. Most of my partners were hookups, rather than boyfriends. For some people, their priors were just romantic partners. If that's the case, their number of partners probably isn't all that high, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that those with a higher number probably had sex with a lot of people who were ultimately insignificant in their life. For me, 95% of my partners were one-time encounters and I might not remember much about them. So, there's no point in worrying about them. The ones I clicked with, well, they turned out to be flakes, or weirdos, or insane, or not interested in dating. The ones who ended up being fuck buddies, were just fuck buddies. There was no romantic interest. That last part, there, is the real key to the whole thing. You, being their current partner, have the advantage of being their romantic partner. Personally, for me, love trumps orgasms. I'd rather be in love, and enjoy my time with someone, than have amazing orgasms with someone whom I don't have a romantic connection with. So, if you have that, you're at the advantage. You won. You can always make adjustments to your sexual repertoire to add the amazing orgasms. 

So, don't ask. If you were dumb and asked, even though I just fucking told you not to, well, remember, you won. So shut up and stop whining about how many partners they had. You fucking asked for it. Now you have to get over it, which you can easily do. Take a deep breath, and remember who got the guy... or girl: You did.  Alright? Alright!