I’ve always been curious as to what others thought about it. Especially men, since they are viewed to be more promiscuous than women. I started a forum on a site to find out some answers from men and women. Below is the questions I asked first, and following those are the responses. I kept it completely anonymous to respect their privacy.
What’s your number?..Of sexual partners? When you’re starting a relationship with someone, do you need to know their number? If so, how important is their number to you? Can their number be bigger than yours? Would you lie about your number to the person you’re seeing?
Responses from men;
1: “Four ladies and a fella. I don’t care about the number of partners anyone else has had. Dwelling on it seems way too slut-shamey for my taste.”
2: “Honestly, I don’t know. There’s so many different definitions of “sex”. If I got a blowie from a particular girl but never had intercourse, does she go on my record, even if it was an amazing job? What about a group situation in which I penetrated more than one girl but only came once? Does only the one I came with count? What about being penetrated by a girl? What about a really intense BDSM relationship that never resulted in sex but was very satisfying, including on a sexual level? My number is between 1 and 100, I’m pretty sure of that. My partner doesn’t know her number either. Being able to keep track of that stuff is for vanilla people.”
3: “It’s a pop-normative culture thing.”
4: “I am sure I could figure it out but why do I care and why would I care about her “number”. If I am starting a relationship with someone I would care about their health status but have never thought to care about past partners; I am more focused on who that woman is with me.”
5: “A number is just that a number. Never tried to figure mine out. I would not ask anyone their number. I would not expect them to ask me mine.”
6: “Mine, Intercourse 4, If we include oral and mutual masturbation around 15 another persons. With a potential partner at this point in my life the number isn’t that important.”
7: “My number? I honestly don’t have a clue. Do I care in a potential partner/playmate? Absolutely not.”
8: “More than thirty, but I stopped counting. I don’t care about another’s number. I have a friend who writes down a tally, perhaps with notes, of every sexual encounter she’s had, so she can look up not just the number of people, but the number of times she’s had sex.”
9: “I have only had one sexual partner, and no I would never lie about it, but I don’t believe I would ever want to know the other persons number.”
10: “Its about how the fun and pleasure not the number…who cares about the number? Its about who you are with now.”
11: “If I had all day to just sit and recall every girl I’ve had sex with I could tell you. I know it’s more than 30. I do not disclose my number when women ask and I also tell them that I do not want to know theirs. I’ve had my number thrown back in my face before so I decided that all they need to know is I’ve had sex with multiple women and that I am std free.”
12: “My number is very low, as my sexual experiences have been far and in between. As the relationship develops it would be nice to know each others history but not so much the number of people one has been with. As long as both individuals are disease free, open, honest and communicate with each other about their sexual history, experiences, and related health issues that is fine. For those reasons listed above I would like to know but it wouldn’t change the way I feel.”
13: “3 and no I couldn’t care less what they did before me. I’m not going to turn down a potentially great relationship because the amount of partners she had.”
14: “I completely agree with wanting to know someone’s history. The number is insignificant, it’s more wanting to know who someone is by trying to piece together their past. For those who say the past is the past: what a farce. I am who I am today because I am the extension of who I was yesterday. The same is true for every single person you’ve ever met. Now if you’re not looking for a serious relationship then this stuff doesn’t matter. But then neither does the rest of the person’s past. My wife knows every skeleton in my closet and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you don’t trust a serious partner to love you despite who you were yesterday then you might be in the wrong place.”
15: “I’d tell you privately, or at least get a close number, but I’m not sure it should matter. I think in a relationship, one should be much more forthcoming about one’s sexual history. My wife knows pretty much everything I’ve done, and she has permission to ask what she likes of me. I have the same information about her. For something casual, maybe not unless there is a reason to assume a level of risk. It’s more important to know that someone practices safe sex (or safer sex, if you prefer), if that person has a significant other, and if that person has, or does not have, permission to play. In my opinion, these are far more important questions.”
16: “I’ll go with #2 here and say I just don’t know where sex ends and begins. Even then, I don’t want to keep track and I don’t want to know. I’m sure some people take pride in their score, and it’s great for those people, but I don’t.”
17: “This is a “Chasing Amy” scenario lol. The number doesn’t matter, so long as we like each other it should all be good.”
18: “My number is in the high 30′s and my Emi Doll is probably somewhere between 80 and 120. I like a girl who has had a lot of partners. I’d be pretty weary of a girl in the single digits. As for my number, I don’t lie. I’ve definitely scared a few girls off which I see as good riddance. I have zero interest in a girl who is shocked by sexuality.”
19: “I would tell you but then you might want to call.”
20: “I don’t count. Those I’ve had sex with are people, not numbers. I find it crass.”
#2 response to previous comments; “Wow- all these guys with smaller numbers who are older than me… I feel so ashamed, this must be how Miley Cyrus feels the day after the VMAs! “
21: “I think maybe somewhere around two dozen. I could count them up if I wanted to stop and rewind through all the years. I’m over fitty now, so that’s not that many, I reckon. I don’t care about my partner’s number. I like hearing about her sexual past though, just because I’m nosy and I think that stuff is hot (sometimes – if they were lucky, not always).”
22: “Well not knowing would show a lack of openness and honesty so with me it would be troublesome not to know.”
23: “Boy is my answer different than the rest. I never cared about numbers until I dated a woman that floated my boat like nobody else ever had. One day she asked me how many women I had had sex with (I was 38 at the time and she was 26) and I told her it had been about 7 or 8 or so. She was shocked which made me ask her the same question. She didn’t know for sure but thought it to be in the 50 to 60 range. She wasn’t shy about it either. That turned me on about her. I talked her into raising that number and we kept track of it in a little notebook.”
24: “All women have secrets, and it’s not my job to get them to tell me anything they don’t want to tell me. Her ‘number’ is not important to how she and I get along. My number is hers for the asking but I won’t volunteer it without her asking. No I would not lie to inflate my ego.”
25: “To be honest as i dont care anyway. mines 36 (just to prove a point) , nah as ive had some lousey partners that were “experienced”, ‘open legs don’t make an open mind” (smartest thing ive ever said, my word so you cant steal em lol) had a bird with one previous and she was amazing. so seasame street was wrong numbers arent important. letters are, A to M is ok”
26: “I don’t know my number(it might take a while to compile the list and I’ve got better things to do) and I’d rather not know the number of a new partner. I don’t think this is something I need to know, or is important to what I’m doing in the here and now.”
27: “I have no idea what my number is. It’s somewhere in the 30′s. I don’t really care either. As far as her number, I don’t want to know. I’m that “head in the sand” guy that is goes to pretend her number is zero anyway. I don’t want to hear about her sexual exploits with other guys either. It’s just the way I am.”
28: “8, I believe. And no, I don’t need to know how many they’ve had. Everyone’s sex drive is different, everyone’s explorations were different. I’d much rather know: 1. Are you disease free? 2. What have you tried? What have you enjoyed, disliked, hated? And what would you like to try? 3. Do you understand that I’m poly, and that means my Daddy and I are a package deal? So yeah. Whether they’re a virgin, or whether they could describe the block with their eyes closed, as long as they’re clean, semi-sane, and not looking to crack up my relationship, we’ve got room to talk.”
29: “I lost count awhile back and it seems like I connect better with ladies who are in triple digits. One doesn’t ask of course, but one can tell. However I do agree with the guy who said keeping count is for vanilla people.”
30: “I stopped keeping track at around 20…”
There were plenty more responses from men, but, they were quite similar to the the replies above.
Now, the women:
1: “Its about how the fun and pleasure not the number…who cares abot the number? Its about who you are with now.”
2: “Past is past don’t get hung up on numbers. No one here is saving themselves for marriag so it should not matter. Whats important that is being looked over is how and if they practice safe sex. No one wants stds.”
3: “At my age the question never comes up, most figure its a lot.”
4: “I’ve never dated anyone that asked and I’ve never asked anyone. I’ve never cared.”
5: “That kind of info tells you very little about the person. I don’t ask, I don’t recall being asked. I have taken up younger men and I had one not ask about total numbers, just about how many other recent young men I had experienced. It was relevant in a way, still gave no answer. It did not really matter to either of us.”
6: ”I don’t need to know, but I do get a little curious. If I’m just dating someone, I won’t ask. If I’m in a relationship, it eventually comes up but I don’t judge. It has no bearing on the relationship or what I think of my partner. If my Daddy ever wants to know, I’ll tell him. He hasn’t asked and that’s okay. But I understand that some people just don’t care or really don’t want to know. It’s not a big deal. shoulder shrug”
7: “Once upon a time, numbers did matter to me… But that was while i was still fighting the battle within myself of accepting who and what i am, versus the societal norm of “what i should be”…I also once kept a tally of who/what, but never how many of what… ;D It used to seem like something that was truly “important”… i can add names after 31 – (the last time i had updated “that list”)… However, i can’t promise i’ll remember them all… ;P But that was also in the ‘nilla world… Now that i have fully embraced the idea that i am at the least, an open relationship girl – or with the right people, poly minded? (Always promoted it – but never had any “takers” until i got into the kinky side of life…) That i now insist that my (any and all) partners are a minimum of accepting of that? Much better if like minded? As long as the proverbial you/they are as safe as possible about what/who they do? They aren’t “sharing” anything i DON’T WANT? IDGAF if they’ve batted over a thousand… (From prude to ethical slut… Who’da thunk??? LMAO!)”
8: “No! This is a hard limit for me, for a number of reasons. First of all, numbers are a stupid way to assess people. Is she a slut at 25 but not at 15? What if he’s only slept with one person? Second, it’s no one’s business. You are who you are as a sum of the people who came into your life, sexually or otherwise. Why does it matter? Take me as I am and don’t apply some magical insights into what you think my number means. Third, my mother was shamed by my father for having more sexual partners than he had. And having a baby that she gave up for adoption before she even met him. She lived with that her whole life, AND the disrespect. So, while I am not ashamed of my numbers, I will NEVER tell anyone my number, as a way of honouring her.”
I loved getting different opinions from people. It seems to be clear that the majority do no care about a person’s number. If anything, the most important issue is that they had practiced safe sex prior to their current partner.
My opinion on the topic; Either way, I personally don’t care what my partner’s number is. Am I curious? Sure. It is completely up to him if he wanted to share that with me. It wouldn’t change anything between us.
So I’ll leave it at that. Case closed. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions below.