How Many Pre-Marital Lovers Is Too Many?

I find the topic of Sex so confusing, intriguing, beguiling, embarrassing and hilarious that I’ve written entire plays about it.

She Had Vastly More Lovers Than Him 

My friend Maggie (who gave me permission to write this) is a volunteer at her children’s elementary school in Seattle, Washington.

She’s on the crunchy-granola side, makes all her kids’ clothes, bakes the most delicious, homemade rustic loaf and corn bread.

Her beauty is natural and understated. There’s rarely a trace of make-up on her face and she’s been a dedicated wife for seventeen years.

Maggie does not exude Sex Goddess, yet recently she told me she’s had “somewhere between 30 and 40” lovers in her life. Her husband, Mark, has had three. Including Maggie.

Which made me think, She’s had too many lovers and he hasn’t had enough.

Maggie told me Mark doesn’t judge her, but he also doesn’t want to know the exact number of lovers she’s had.

He said he can understand her sexual history based on where she came from; a small, West Texas, blue-collar town where booze and boredom were rampant.

A home where her parents divorced when she was fourteen and she was left pretty much to her own devices.

It’s clear that, like me, Mark thinks 30-plus lovers is too many for a woman to accrue by the age of 35. That there should be some kind of “excuse” for it.

Maggie must have sensed my judgment, even before I knew I was judging her.

She explained that she wasn’t “just slutty,” she was looking for “the one” and just made bad choices in men.

She told me she saw each lover as a potential boyfriend and there were no one night stands.

That’s when I became consciously aware I was judging her; my kind, sweet friend who is a fantastic wife and mom. I decided to stop, step off my pedestal and look at my own sexual history.

In my 20s, I went through a promiscuous phase, but I don’t automatically search for what was wrong with me, like I did with Maggie. Because my number is smaller than hers.

When I stopped to check my unconscious, judgey, little brain, I discovered that I think my number is more romantic than Maggie’s. More tasteful.

I see myself as a sexual adventurer. A libertine. A sewer of wild oats.

And someone who’s had enough experience to be married now without wondering What if?

Then, last night, while on the phone with my college roommate Jill, I was talking to her about Maggie and me and told her exactly how many lovers I’d had.

Silence. Then, “Wow, Shan.”

Wow, Shan? Really?

“Well, how many have you had?”I asked, suddenly feeling like a slutinka.

“Three,” she said in a voice that suggested that was a much more reasonable number and that I was, indeed, a strumpet.

So, I wonder where I fall on the Sex Judgement Belief Spectrum

  • I think more than 30 lovers for a single woman past 35 is kind of shocking.
  • I think less than five lovers for a single man past 35 might signal repression.

I’m harder on women than men when they’ve had more lovers, and harder on men than women when they’ve had less lovers, despite my feminism.

Apparently my subconscious isn’t immune to cultural prejudices.

I (hypocritically?) don’t want my daughters to have as many lovers as I’ve had for many reasons. Unwanted pregnancy, disease and broken hearts are at the top of the list.

Still, I’m glad for the experiences I had.

Even the really lame ones are stories I can’t help laughing over now. Or maybe I laugh now because I’m in the safe harbor of a man who loves me?

So, I’m taking a poll to see where my judgements fit in. What do you think?

1.  Is there such a thing as Casual Sex without casualties?

2.  What number of pre-marital lovers is too many for a woman? What number is too few? Is it possible to have too few?

3.  What number is too many lovers for a man? What number is too few? Is it possible to have too few?

4.  Do you still judge women who had broad sexual histories more than you judge men?

5.  Does a man feel like less of a man if his wife has had more lovers than him? (Henry doesn’t want to know my exact number, either.)

150 thoughts on “How Many Pre-Marital Lovers Is Too Many?”

    1. I like your viewpoint. Tame oats are (is?) good. Repressed is only repressed if you wanted to do that which you were not permitted to do; if you didn’t want to do it (and thus didn’t), then you aren’t repressed. My virginal friend who waited until she got married wasn’t repressed in the least bit, she did it exactly the way she wanted to. Curiously, the most non-content gals I know are the ones who had sex because of they thought it was an unwritten obligation to do so (such as prom night, or the third date, or whatever “standard” is imagined). The happiest seem to be those who got what they wanted, when they wanted it.

    2. 1. Is there such a thing as Casual Sex without casualties?

      Yes, but often someone gets hurt. Sort of how it is with non-casual sex. The only time there have been no apparent casualties is when it was vacations (spring break) sex and the status of the situation was obvious — we lived 600 miles apart, had just met, and never even pretended we wanted a relationship.

      2. What number of pre-marital lovers is too many for a woman? What number is too few? Is it possible to have too few?
      No magic number here. I have a friend who was a virgin on her wedding day, and is still happy as can be with that choice for her own life. I would say that at some point, when the numbers get way up there (you are 18, and you’ve already gone all the way with 20 guys, or you are 30 and your number is past 100), it may be a sign of problem at the core of the person’s life.

      3. What number is too many lovers for a man? What number is too few? Is it possible to have too few?
      Same answer here as for the women.

      4. Do you still judge women who had broad sexual histories more than you judge men?
      No, I judge equally. I still have that “how can you stand it, don’t you ever get to the breaking point” thought if the person is still a virgin, though I secretly admire their will power. And once a person’s number gets to the 30+ mark, I start to wonder if the person doesn’t have some serious problems and the large number of sex partners is just an indicator. And if the the number is 100+, I suppose it is the opposite of my thoughts about virgins — “Do you have no self-control at all? Don’t you have any standards for yourself? Are you mentally ill?”

      5. Does a man feel like less of a man if his wife has had more lovers than him? (Henry doesn’t want to know my exact number, either.)
      I think guys are bothered if their significant other has a higher body count than he does. Not sure if it is a “less of a man” thing, but more of how a guy likes to think of his woman as being “his” and it bugs him if the wife had 8 penises and he only 3 vaginas before they met. I have found that giving out numbers isn’t a good thing; if he asks, the honest answer is (a) I didn’t sleep around, but (b) I got my share.

  1. My number is smaller than your friend but more than 3. lol My husband likes to tease me about it cause his number is around 3. I had two longer relationships in college and when those broke up I took the opportunity to find out what dating is like. Broke my heart a few times, but I feel like it was good for me to date different types of men.

    In the end, I wish we could stop judging women for their # of partners. Sometimes women just want sex and that should be okay. We don’t judge men who play the field, but when it’s a woman we do. As long as everyone is practicing safe sex and has consenting partners it’s all good. ^_^

  2. Well, I’m 53 and my number is between 20 and 30. I wouldn’t dream of telling my husband that number, he would be shocked. I think it just depends on the person. I didn’t have any one night stands and like your friend, I went into each encounter thinking they would be “the one.” My, was I ever wrong. Finally, when I was in my late forties, I met my husband who is “the one.” Yippee!!!

    1. My wife told me everything about the 8,10 guys she was with before me. To the detail. It bothers me a lot now and I wonder why. Actually I can’t watch porn because I think of her. Oh she had just turned 19 when I met her

      1. Hi Bartman — It’s funny but I’m noticing a thread in the men’s comments of feeling really upset about their wives’ previous lovers. I’m a little surprised to tell the truth. I hadn’t realized this would cause sexual insecurity amongst men. I’m not sure if this helps, but I think having had previous lovers makes me appreciate my husband all the more. Don’t get me wrong, we can have some pretty lame sex given that we’re human and under the pressures of life. But I don’t think I would have married my kind, consistent, loving husband had I not had some of those previous experiences. I had to know what didn’t work for me in order to choose what does work.

        1. The thought of any man touching m wife sexually repulses me. I thought the I was her 2nd. I was not happy that she had sex before me (we met when we were both 18) but I could live with it. After many years of marriage I learned that she had been sexually active since she was 14 and did not consider anything but intercourse as sex. I consider oral sex more intimate than intercourse. I now have trouble kissing her because of the many cocks she has had in her mouth.

  3. If my first marriage hadn’t ended ten years ago, my number would be 1. And although I seem to have a pattern of marrying the men I sleep with, I think I’ll be OK if the count stops at 2.

  4. 1.Yes! Casual sex requires completely honest communication (or anonymity, which is the same in a way). And since our attitudes are fluid, a pair who have a casually sexual relationship need to re-evaluate their own feelings from time to time. Separately, of course.

    2. I think each woman is different, so the right number of sexual partners can only be judged by that woman. I don’t regret any of my (scandalous number of) partners, and am very glad some of them never turned into boyfriends. It was fun, and nobody got hurt (badly). On the other hand, I confess to thinking that my friends who’ve only ever slept with their husbands have missed out. Then again, I’ll never know what it’s like to be them – one lover might be perfect if it’s the right lover.

    3. See above. Since sex is territory that each couple navigates together, there is value in mapping every part of it. Inexperience only lasts so long. If I found that my partner was repressed, but willing to explore new attitudes, then we’d have fun opening up to each other.

    4. No. The concept of sluttiness is so damaging – to both the label-er and the labelled – in that it creates a system where women are the guardians of virtue and men are the louche corruptors. I find it distasteful, except in role-play.

    5. A man might feel that way, but he’d never know because I’d never tell. 🙂 It’s none of his business.

    I’ve been happily monogamous for 12 years, and I think that my husband has had fewer partners than I, but am not sure. We’ve never compared lists. At this point, I don’t think I could remember all the names!

    I will say that my promiscuity was part of some emotional emptiness I felt, and was not totally healthy. But I don’t regret it – I had to find my own way, after all. I will tell my daughters that sex isn’t love, although it is one expression of love. It’s not something you give to a boy or man (or woman); it’s something you do with another person to bring each other pleasure and joy. And it carries many heavy responsibilities.

    1. Meredith — I am printing out your comment and keeping it to read to my daughters when they’re of age. I love your beliefs and attitudes around sex. They seem so natural and down-to-earth. I also have to look up the word “louche.” I love when comments make me think more deeply about what I’ve written and show me the unexamined places in my life.

      1. Shannon – Aw, shucks! I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year, and I look forward to every update. Your writing is a pleasure to read! I especially love your feelings about beauty – and how women feel about their own bodies. I wish to have your courage.

        1. Hi Meredith — when it comes to body image I’m definitely a work in progress. But thank you so much for letting me know you enjoy my blog. It means the world to me. My site went down for about four days a while back and I missed it the way you miss a child. Well, not quite that much, but that’s when I realized this is really a labor of love.

    2. Actually your comment…

      4. No. The concept of sluttiness is so damaging – to both the label-er and the labelled – in that it creates a system where women are the guardians of virtue and men are the louche corruptors. I find it distasteful, except in role-play.

      …is wrong for many reasons. While it is not true for some woman a lot of females who sleep with many partners before marriage may continue with this slutty activity after marriage. It absolutely is the business of any current sexual partner no matter what trash you talk. Keeping sexual secrets only shows disrespect for you partner and begins a future of lies and deception. If you can not be open with your partner about your past how can you even expect honesty in the future. If you have been nailed a hundred times he needs to know. I guarantee eventually he will find out and that is no different than a lie. Grow up!

      1. Well said. When you apply for a loan at the bank, your credit history must be revealed. If you believe in the institution of marriage ( personally, in this era, I do not), then you need to lay your cards on the table.
        Not giving information is paramount to deceit. There is no place for this when a union is supposed to be based on trust.
        Yes, you are perfectly within your rights to withhold information, or tell someone, ” it’s none of your business”. And you prospective soul mate has the right to simply walk away.
        I believe in empowering women, but feminism certainly hasn’t proven to be the means to that end. Make each relationship count, for your health ( mentally and physically ) and that of your future spouse.
        Consider this: In the sex game, women are almost always ” the conquered”. Most men desire a woman who has not been conquered easily. It probably has less to do with lack of (male) self confidence, or immaturity then you’ve been lead to believe. More probably, it has to do with the male unraveling clues that expose desirable and undesirable (female) genetic traits.
        Perhaps the males behavior may manifest itself as insecurity, but ultimately and much deeper (in the male brain) there is an unconscious purpose. The mixing of desirable genetic materials has a better chance of producing superior progeny.
        By the way, statistics show ” More premarital sex partners ( for men and women ) = significantly less pleasurable and successful marriages. These are THE FACTS, so don’t blame the messenger…..

          1. Em,
            It”s quite natural for a modern feminist whose been on the “Cock Carousel” for a long period of time to be offended by the facts. Perhap you should get off the ride for a while, and reflect upon your “journey”.
            As a woman with self pride and respect, I can see through your response. I’ve known many women like you, although I personally, distance myself from them quickly.
            You feel that Roger and Choppy have a personal insight into your “adventurous” life style, and you think they were directing their comments at you directly. They weren’t, it just seems like they had you pegged…..

  5. Well, I have had many a romp in my college years. These all happened in the 2 years between my “highschool boyfriend of 2 years” and my “college boyfriend-now husband of 14 years”. He doesn’t know how many and would be shocked if he did. After reading your post I’m sort of shocked at myself! *cough*slut*cough*

    1. I agree with you. I don’t think we should judge women on the number of lovers they’ve had YET I DO IT. In my case, a double standard.

    2. Once I was walking on the beach with my mom and we were counting her lovers. She was telling me their names, when and where. We both couldn’t stop laughing. She married most of her lovers (4), but there were a few more from her backpacking days in Europe. As she moved into the water to swim in the ocean I meandered back to my towel when suddenly I heard her shout something. “Antonio!” The one she’d forgot. I laughed so hard I peed. Favorite memory with mom.

  6. All my oats were sewn after my second marriage separation. I went from 2 to 6. I did this in the span of 4 years. I thought I was missing something. I am glad I did. I love sex but, being a bit old-fashioned, I convinced myself that I had to have a deep connection to be intimate with the men. For me, sex obscures a real soul mate. I think he’s the one because of the intimacy. Silly me. At 61, who’s counting?

    1. Denise, I’m a guy. 61 years old. 3rd marriage (both of us) to an absolutely stunningly beautiful woman of 57 years. We’ve been married 18 years. When we first got together she admitted to a promiscuous period in her early years of 20 or so guys. Didn’t seem so bad. Sex was off the charts with her and my number was 15 so I wasn’t at all bothered by that.
      After the new wore off she commenced to going out with her girl friends for a “drink” and would end up not coming home until the wee hours. Once as late as 4 am and said she feel asleep at her girlfriend’s house. Total BS.

      For years I kept an account of all of it but never did anything with it. She is the only woman in the world I let myself love after a broken heart in high school. I know, but it’s the truth.

      After 10 or so years that dissipated with only one real suspicion of a truly unfaithful act. The real story here is that over all the years, she stated many times “I wish we would have met first” (that would make me feel perplexed being 5 years older and growing 600 miles apart. She also has said many times “I can’t believe I’m never going to sleep with another man”. This coming from a woman who claimed to be faithful in a previous 12 year marriage and began seeing me before the divorce was final. That’s nearly 30 years. Really???
      Anyways, the point here is that I had put all this in a safe compartment tucked away and looking forward to living out the rest of my life with her. There’s a lot more details, but day in, day out, she’s always acted as if she really loves me and all in our social circles, everyone thinks we are a perfect match.
      The rub however, in the last year, I found 4 pictures on her computer after I downloaded them for off her phone of a random guy one of her girlfriends must have taken she’s hugging. Then, six months ago, three of our closest couples are over for steaks, she gets drunk (always a little vulgar after 3 glasses of wine) and announces in a conversation in front of all of us, a 61 year old guitarist that was in town recently she had slept with and what in the heck was he doing here 600 miles away? So this woman who claims to really love me like no other after 18 years, is cavalier with my feelings that she can announce this bombshell and I should be OK with it? I’m not. It made everything I had compartmentalized come out and now I truly believe her number of partners is more like double to triple her admissions. Last and certainly not least, I now feel I am married to a perfect stranger. I know she regrets saying it and I know she knows what I’m thinking. She came in to the den several days ago with a towel around her and asked me to do her but said she’d understand if I didn’t want to. Bottom line to all of this? Either tell it all at the get-go and then behave properly or keep your damn mouth shut and behave properly. If you don’t someone gets hurt. Sorry so long. No one to talk to and no one wants to hear it. Very lonely and devastated to have lived with someone this long and I didn’t really even know her all this time. I don’t feel she really loves me. I feel used.

      1. Rodney — I”m sorry. I don’t know if this will offer any comfort, but many of us are experiencing or have experienced what you’re going through. I hope you’ll get some support (for me therapy and a 12-step group helped me build my self-esteem after someone knocked it low). Best, s

  7. I don’t think the number should matter for either a man or a woman. As long as your having safe sex and you take care not to share something you shouldn’t then that number should be whatever you are comfortable with.

    1. Just realize that many men will not be comfortable with your number. And numerous studies have shown that marital happiness decreases the more premarital partners a woman had.

  8. I had a girlfriend that just plain loved sex so she was always on the prowl I never told her she was a slut But there were times that I thought whoa girl you are a nymphomaniac !
    Of course I never trusted her around my boyfriends either. I thought my sexuality was much more acceptable than hers. I like to think of myself in terms of that Jimmy Hendrix song “Are You Experienced” What are my numbers ? I plead the fifth.

  9. Many many years ago I made a list of all my lovers up ’til then – and it was a very long long list. Longer than any man’s list I have known – and no, I don’t share it, but sometimes bring it out and smile to myself. For me the sexual experience was like religion – such a mighty high, such ecstasy, such visions! Men are like a delicious fruit – their smells, their skin, their lips, their penises – how could I not want to eat them and enjoy them all? Sex is always a joyous thing to me – lots of fun and laughter – never a complicated thing. To please and take pleasure – a lovely time and costs nothing. For me it was never wrapped up in morality, or coupled with ‘commitment. I never understood people who placed conditions on sex – it is such a basic need, like eating and breathing. I always saw it as my ‘needing to rut’. And I agree with Meredith – labeling women who truly enjoy sex is very damaging – harking back to men’s fear of women’s sexuality – “if women enjoy sex we will lose control of them” – Hell yeah! PS – I do believe in serial monogamy – the best sex of all.

    1. Lisa — I love your frankness. I don’t know if women are as lusty as men, having never been a man, but I can attest that there were many years where the thought of celibacy just because I didn’t have a significant partner never crossed my mind. I wish I’d been a little less guilty about the casual sex I had so that I could actually enjoy it more. Hindsight.

  10. After being married for 17 years I had a lot of practice before I married my one true love. It does not matter if your number is 1 or 100 it is how you live your life and raise your family when you settle down. Not sure why you and Jill never wanted a 3som with me?????

    1. Oh Tal how I love you. Jill and I discussed having a threesome with you, but your self-confidence was already too big! Among other things. xo

  11. My worry with how seemingly promiscuous the younger crowd is these days — is once you are used to sleeping with whomever might fit your fancy, how are you ever really content with monogamy? Just a question.

    1. I think it’s a really good question. Speaking for myself, I’ve noticed the longer I’m married the better the sex because there’s more trust to try new things without feeling judged.

  12. The best advice I ever got from my mother was, “Don’t ever tell a man how many lovers you have had.” I am pretty sure that she meant I should tell each new person I was a virgin, but I took it to mean I should lie and lie big. Twenty years ago, the man I am currently married to asked me how many partners I have had. I said, “Counting you?” and then I started throwing up fingers and asking questions, “Do threesome count as one or two? How about orgies? What about the premature ejaculators–does it count if I didn’t get off? What about drunken one night stands that I don’t really remember? Do female partners count? What if I got paid, but I didn’t enjoy it?” Then I declared, “ten. no wait, twenty-five. Okay, forty-seven. Less than a hundred…maybe more than a hundred…okay, okay. I was a virgin when I met you, I never had sex with my ex-husband.” My TRUE count is 7, but my husband still doesn’t know that.

  13. Ah, what a complicated topic. I’ve married all the men I’ve slept with (2) and my husband says I’m his first. We’ve been married 22 years. I sometimes wish one or both of us had some more experience. After all these years, it still seems like we don’t know what we’re doing. Sure, we’ve got the mechanics down to a T, but the rest is questionable. I think in my next life I’ll live a bit more. And yes, I do tend to judge women with higher numbers more harshly than men. Thanks for making me realize that. I’ll work on changing that immediately. Thanks for always making me smile when I read your blog. The Woman Formerly Known as The Good Girl (TWFKATGG).

  14. Hm….I’m somewhere around 100. I’m not proud but it doesn’t bug me that much either. My best friend was at 120 in our second year of university. In our social circle, that was totally normal. Being in a relationship with the same man for 3 year sort of makes me feel like I’ve erased what I had become.

  15. **sigh** What if the number is 10 and ALL of them were lousy? Geez – like looking for the winning lottery ticket.

  16. I have to admit, while reading this article, I had the same questions as Deborah… What has to happen to count as a lover? Honestly, true P to V contact? Then, count me as a big fat 2, married both. In sequence, not simultaneously. My first wife, she started counting while we were dating, but I found that I really had no interest in knowing at all. Seemed like it was going to be a big number. I kind of liked that she chose me, at least for 20 years. My second, well, she told me and I believed… we are a bit more matched in the number of individuals. What does it mean? I think nothing, except they both wanted me. I was happy with each of them, and do not feel I have missed a thing. My question for Shannon is, how many more do you think you may have? I hope I never have another.

  17. Why are we thinking about this? It aint none of our business. Stop judging other people everyone.

    1. You know it just came up in casual conversation with a group of ladies one night. And when my friend mentioned her number we were all a little struck by it. I realized I had some subconscious judgements about it. This wasn’t meant to be a bitchy, catty article, rather one that points out how automatically we’re programmed to judge. I agree we should stop.

  18. Shannon, you know where I stand on this subject. I am neck in neck with your number (maybe one or two more, lol). I don’t regret a thing and I consider them valuable, rich, and necessary experiences, given that I hooked up with my hubby Tom when I was 23!

  19. Sorry for getting to this late, but I just was directed to your website via the HuffPost

    1. Casual sex may induce casualties, depending on who is being casual and who is not.

    2. There is no such thing as too few or too many lovers for women, in my view. It just depends on the person.

    3. Same thing for men. My number, as a 57 yr old man is about 50 before I married, about 10 more during. But that really means nothing as to today.

    4. It doesn’t matter to me how many sex partners women have had, I judge them by who they are, by their character.

    5. If a man feels insecure about himself regarding the number of his wife’s lovers, then he has lost sight of himself as a man. He should be very very happy instead.

    Interesting subject. My wife says she had about 10 before marriage, and another 10 or so during our marriage. Which is fine. Quality, not quantity. And shouldn’t we all be more open about our sex lives?

  20. I am 52 y.o man and married 20 years. Our respective numbers are 1 & 1.

    Long time ago I would judged you all so much. I believed in Madonna/whore syndrome. Now I know better and think multiple lovers for women is the right thing. I would prefer my daughters not to do what we have done. Because reading these comments fills me with regret as much as I love my wife and have lots of sex with her.
    Sex is a need just like food and should be enjoyed within the boudaries of safety and consent as many others have mentioned. I would be happy if my wife had lovers before me as I feel have limited her life experience and pleasure. More than me would be fine as long as I had had a few as well.
    I think there such as thing as too few lovers for most people , because eventually you will wonder about what was missed. Like I have felt in recent years.
    Does any body have any suggestions. Not sure if she would be into swinging although she does seem to want to have other men find her attractive as a kind of affirmation.

    Just stumbled across your blog today and looking forward to reading more. You have had an interesting life.

    It’s sad that there still is a double standard on this issue.

    Finally to Rick

    Did you increase your post marriage count via swinging. Was that an easy decision for you both

    1. Hi Toby — sex is , no pun intended — a sticky issue. I’m grateful I sowed some oats, having said that I’ve realized the more safe I feel in my marriage the more freedom in the bedroom. When the kids are gone. Which isn’t very frequently. But still.

  21. haha.. I’m gonna give it a go… Don’t judge me. ;-p

    1. Is there such a thing as Casual Sex without casualties?
    *Honestly I don’t think thats true because for some God forsaken reason our human beings have this hard wired emotional bonding that comes with sex either from one parter or the other or both. We don’t separate emotion like animals can. Well, some men can do that but we let’s not discuss that..

    2. What number is too many lovers for a woman? What number is too few? Is it possible to have too few?

    * Honest, I’ve had way more than I should even mention starting from a way younger age than is appropriate so I don’t think I’m in any place to judge. Lets just say, the “right” number should be when she feels completely sexually confident x2 just to be sure.

    3. What number is too many lovers for a man? What number is too few? Is it possible to have too few?

    *My current boyfriend (don’t judge me… lol) has had way much more experience than me.. he was extremely promiscuous once. But they say the rule of thumb is take the number a man gives you and divide it by 10 and… I think thats it. I’m not good with math. He’s just really great in bed.

    4. Do you still judge women who had broad sexual histories more than you judge men?

    Sometimes depending on the details. If once a stripper that used to pole hop in Vegas, I might be more judgemental than someone normal like me who had one too many drinks on the party bus. Just saying.

    5. Does a man feel like less of a man if his wife has had more lovers than him? (Henry doesn’t want to know my exact number, either.)

    * Only if he’s insecure. I never tell my number. Ever. Even if they ask. Then lie. Or make a hellova chicken parmesean for dinner. They’ll drop the subject eventually I think.

  22. At 33, I have traveled the world, and racked up between 450(minumum estimate) and 600 (maximum estimate). My wife claims 4 slept with, 8 dated. I can completely relate to people saying they would rather leave the past alone. Sex parties, one night stands, multiple girls at once…When in the midst of the act it seems…AWESOME. Now looking back, I don’t know that there is enough space here to express the regret. Oddly, I still had the nerve to get testy when she said she had slept with 4 guys. It took a lot of personal reflection, and self-forgiving to come to terms with my sexual past, but I did. Now I am happily married. As a “good looking guy,” who has actually been with some of her friends (before we ever met), It’s a pretty good bet she dosen’t know how obscenely high my potential number is, but, I am sure she knows it’s high. She never asked, and dosen’t care, and that is what works for us.

    1. Chacky I hardly know what to say except to say the last one is the best one. So glad you’re happily married regardless of the past.

  23. I myself have racked up a huge number, and I can say (I HAVE NO REGRETS!) I am also married now, and my husband also has a HUGE number. We don’t discuss it, but it’s known on both ends. I feel like this, I had fun, I am happy in my marriage now. So for me, I have no urges to party, or stray or “sow my oats.” I have sown the hell out of my oats. I have sown oats, stitched oats, quilted oats, and microwaved quaker oats! Don’t feel back if your number is high, just be faithful to the person you are with NOW. If you aren’t a sex addict, it shouldn’t matter.

    1. I hear what you are saying. However, my sex life before marrying my wife was very minimal and absolutely horrific on the rare occasion when it did happen since I had no idea of what I was doing. My wife, on the other hand, had tons of lovers and started experimenting sexually when she was 12. I said to her once that I felt like when she agreed to marry me that she probably thought to herself “Well, I’ve had all the hot, juicy sex I could want with all the bad boys and now I’m ready to settle down with a nice guy who will treat me well”. She actually said that was one way of looking at it! Imagine what that does to a guy’s ego when he realizes she’s had all the best, hottest sex she’s ever had before she met you, but you are a nice guy who will treat her nice so she’s ready to settle down with you. If you are a woman, you can’t begin to imagine how devastating that is to a guys ego. Based on that statement she made, I know that I am not, nor ever will be, the best lover she’s ever had, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. Granted, she married me instead of one of her “bad boy lovers”, but somehow that is of little comfort to me.

      1. Hi Mikey — this is such a vulnerable, heartfelt comment. Sometimes as a woman I forget how vulnerable men can be and I think we, as women, need to remember our men need our approval and support. And Mikey — I can GUARANTEE you that a lot of the sex your wife had before your marriage was not as hot as she remembers. There’s something about loveless sex that really sucks and we women probably remember it more fondly than we did at the time. It’s our way of acting cool, edgy and like we don’t really need a good man. But we really really do need a good man. And your wife’s lucky to have you.

        1. Really, Shannon?!

          After all the talk on this thread about not regretting any sex you had, and how women should have as many lovers as they feel, you change your mind and say that women really do need good men and that they’re not all too happy with casual sex?

          This entire thread makes me feel the exact opposite. It feels like women just want a lot of sex, then they’ll lie about or obscure their number to the nice guy when they want to settle down. 80% of the comments on this thread make me feel like a little less of a person worthy of someone who will think sex is actually special. But I think as women gain more economic power and men less (studies show that women are now more employed than men for the first time in America’s history), and taking into account that women are in control of sex and reproduction, that women will consider men’s feelings and thoughts less and less when making decisions about their love life. Men just have to deal with whatever women will give them, whether it be their hearts or their fidelity, and if a man is not happy with what he gets, he will be labeled insecure. It sounds like men are quickly becoming the housewives of the 60s.

          It feels like what Mikey’s wife said to him is what the majority of women on this thread are saying to men in general: We’ve had hot sex with tons of other men, so now that I know what hot sex is, I’m ready to settle down with YOU. I KNOW I’ve had more sex than my wife, yet, listening to all these women talk makes me feel marginalized some how. Like my heart doesn’t count for anything.

        2. Hi,

          Sometime ago I overheard a conversation between to guys in there early thirties in the dressingroom of a gym. They were talking about single women. One guy set to the other that nowadays single women have sex with just about everyone but only when they are in their thirties and the biological alarmclock is ringing they find themselves a sucker (read “good man”) to help them change diapers. There is not much reward in being a good man is there? But this depressing view of mine is way too pessimistic and their view is very much oversimplified. I sincerely hope it is otherwise I would recommend “good men” to become bad guys.

          1. Hi Jake — Some of what you say is true. There are women who decide it’s time to get pregnant and make that a priority over finding a genuinely healthy relationship, but I doubt it’s as common as not. And it was true for me that I was attracted to “bad boys” for a time, but boy did I get over that. I do think a “good guy” (and by that I don’t mean someone who is a doormat) will win out in the end. Sending wishes for a good woman to come your way. xo

  24. Hi Shannon–love your posts and your…real-ness. My husband and I both have the same number: One. We both had crazy-promiscuous friends in highschool in the anything-goes 80s, and we both didn’t want that (not for lack of being pressured repeatedly by both sides of the opposite sex, or maybe BECAUSE of it). We were both surprised to find this truth about each other when we met (me at 17, him at 19), and we were each other’s first and only, and we’ve always been happy about that–plus, at this point, we really know what works and what doesn’t, and you can’t believe how fun and crazy you can be, when you’re in bed with your sexy best friend, with no “rules”, but that’s all I will say…about that. 😉
    We are lucky, though. We have been together 26 year, married for 22, and we still are crazy about and for each other, so we find ourselves as a smaller and smaller statistic every year. He is my soulmate, my hero, and the sexiest man alive, to me, and I am always endlessly glad that I never shared more than some back-of-the-car-why-won’t-you-have-sex-with-me moments with anyone from my younger years. I never wanted to be a notch on anyone’s belt.
    Of course, having been with him since age 17…I skipped the whole single-in-your-20s (or 30s) stage, so I can’t tell what I’d have been like for THAT. I do remember once, though, during a time when we broke up for a couple of months, when I was 20, having the thought suddenly just…occur to me: “I could sleep with ANYone if I feel like it.” And that was like this whole revelation to me. I remember sort of standing there, staring into space, like – wow. But, I didn’t take myself down that road, though there was a phone call/invitation from an old high school crush during our breakup period that I knew would have ended with us in bed together–Except I declined his invitation. I guess there’s always a bit of “what if” in our lives, but it gives you something to smile about later, doesn’t it?
    As I’ve come into my 40s and learned to be comfortable with my body and myself, I like to think oh sure, if I were single, I’d probably feel more relaxed about casual sex and consenting adults and all that, and I’d be that older woman who can take lovers simply for the pleasure of sex and ask nothing more from them. But part of me definitely ties sex to the very deep intimacy that I only share with him, so, again…hard to judge somewhere I’ve never been.
    Sadly, my previously wild and crazy 80s friends are ALL divorced, with some remarried and some single at this time, so I can’t say that high numbers worked out OK for them. Some still play a wide field and deal with the endless drama of dating in our 40s–EVERYone has baggage at this point, baby. I almost cringe anymore, hearing their dating stories, because they all end up the same. They all are still looking for The One, and they ALL wish they’d found someone like my husband in 1987 and just…STAYED with him.
    I love every one of them, and their experiences, whatever they’ve been, because they’re my friends. I have enjoyed a vicarious peek into that life, through them, but have always been glad I missed it, for myself. They love me and the fact that I’m still “innocent” and have a husband who worships me AND still looks like a movie star.

    So, as to numbers, I think it’s different for everyone, and yes, why should it be a different standard for men and women? As long as you’re happy with yourself and your past (or you have moved PAST your past), then you’re in a good place, right?

    1. Hi Steph — okay milady, you are one of the lucky ones. To meet and marry THE ONE so young and to continue to feel as passionate about him as you did in the beginning. It reminds me a bit of my brother and sister-in-law’s story. They were both virgins when they married and are perfectly satisfied with never having experienced anyone else. There are so many different roads to love.

  25. I have had too many. I know I have…
    When I was in elementary school I developed early (grade 5). Boys liked me and wanted to make out and fool around. I thought this meant they liked me… and I liked the attention as well as the pleasure. When I was 12 I had a boyfriend that had sex with my best friend when I was away at camp. My next boyfriend after that was 15 and he wanted to have sex and really pressured me to do it. We didn’t, but he cheated on me with two other girls.
    I had this idea in my mind for SO long that if boys wanted me for sex and I gave it to them, they liked me. I had a really messed up view of sex for a long time.
    I travelled a lot in my early 20’s and so had many of my lovers on the road. By then I though I was adventurous. Then I married young and was quickly dumped. Then I REALLY thought I was only good for sex. Each of my encounters post marriage further and further depleted my self-esteem until I firmly believed I was unlovable and good for only one thing. The fact that I loved sex and wanted to be adventurous and experimental with it didn’t help. It perpetuated the idea that this behaviour was ‘ok’.
    By the time I hit 30, I had a very messed up idea of sex and love. I thought if I couldn’t arouse a man it’s my fault and I’m not desirable enough. I thought that if we weren’t having sex, our relationship is no good.
    I found a great partner that has never asked me about my past… he’s never had any other partners. I feel incredibly guilty about my (over 40) partners.
    Thing is though. We care about each other and even though we aren’t at the ‘hot sex’ part of our relationship I know he really really cares about me and it has nothing to do with my sexuality. That feels really healthy and it’s really helped me feel appreciated for who I am.
    Um, hope this is a helpful perspective. I definitely don’t think I had a healthy number of partners. Some of it I’m really grateful for, most of it would have been avoided if I had better self-esteem and guidance.
    But I never should have felt bad for my past.

    1. Hi Jen — thank you so much for sharing a story I think must have made you feel very vulnerable. Sex is such a complex topic. There certainly is no black and white. We learn so much about ourselves through our sexual mistakes and our sexual joys. And it’s really no one else’s business to judge our learning curve. Best to you and so glad you found a man who loves the whole woman. xo S

  26. Interesting topic. I don’t know where to begin, exactly. I had a mother who met all nine criteria(DSM-4) for borderline personality disorder. She was a violent, shaming and critical mother figure. My father…I don’t know if it would be accurate to say he was “weak” because he had a lot on his plate and always worked very hard at his job. But he had tons of issues himself. He was shamed by his father while growing up. There were a lot of times when he wasn’t a very nice person. I could literally write a novel about how f**ked up my childhood was…the thing is, I don’t think there are too many people out there who understand what it means to get hit by a “perfect storm” of unfortunate events. For instance, on top of everything else I have Asperger’s syndrome. I’m on the high functioning end of the spectrum and I’m also 44 now, so over the years I’ve learned to adapt and remodel my behaviors, etc. But all in all I think I’m very lucky because I have such a naturally laid back temperament. I think if I’d been more aggressive and extroverted with, say, a more sour disposition, some really bad, violent things might have happened.
    Anyway, on to women: I had unfavorable experiences with females for a very long time. I tried my hardest to be nice and a gentleman and all that, but my self esteem had basically been annihilated. Between the ages of 18 and 23 I didn’t have a single steady girlfriend and only one sexual contact. One thing did happen that was fortunate: I finally met a woman and was married in 1994. We had two daughters and I’m very proud to say I was a good father to them and I never took my personal problems out on them. I did my inner work over the years…ultimately, my marriage didn’t work out. My ex and I were such different people. In 2012 we were divorced, and I met the woman of my dreams. I love her and she loves me but our discussion of sexuality has not gone well at all. Actually, neither of us has been promiscuous. She’s been with seven other men besides me, I’ve been with four other women besides her. So we’re fairly close in that regard. I guess the thing is, when I say I was with four other women, there really isn’t a wealth of experience there…apart from my ex-wife. So my girlfriend thought it was ok to talk about her experiences. As pathetic as it sounds, I was too “inexperienced” to effectively see my own vulnerability and I kind of got drawn into a lot of the conversations. I was really not ok with finding out about a lot of the things I found out. You have to remember, my experience with sexuality is not “normal” in a developmental sense. God did we end up getting in some arguments. We managed to sort things out but I still feel “weird” about it sometimes. Here’s the thing: not to sound like a bragger, but I’ve had to work so hard at so many things in my life and I feel that I’ve always tried really hard for women. And I love women. And I don’t mean that in a stupid Hugh Hefner sort of way. But like with my girlfriend: she had difficulties of her own, but the guys she met/dated were all like guys at the bar. Now you have to give her credit(sorry, here’s my values bias coming into play): she spent about six or seven years in the bar in a college town and ended up sleeping with only seven guys. It’s really not that many considering the exploits of a lot of other people, especially in the bars. But basically these guys sound like nothing but a motley crew of losers and creeps. I guess what I’m saying is this: we guys take a lot of heat from women, saying all we care about are good looks and sex. I’m not saying women are wrong on that score. But what is it women look for in men? I’m sorry, but women reward men who don’t really deserve to be rewarded, or reward them for shallow achievements, ALL THE TIME, almost everywhere you care to look. Now I’m not saying I feel I should’ve been the one who was first in line with all the women I’ve met over the course of my life…that’s ridiculous. Am I saying nice guys finish last? No, not exactly. I’m saying that sexuality can be really, REALLY complicated for a guy depending on his personality and his life experiences. It can be incredibly complicated…and I think it gets overlooked because women kind of own the discussion about sexuality and they insist that it’s way more complicated and profound for them. I think a lot of times it is, but not always. There’s men out there who’ve had complicated, profound experiences regarding sexuality as well. Thanks for listening, anyway:-), Jon

    1. Hi Jon — first let me say I’m so sorry for your difficult upbringing. It’s really painful when home isn’t a safe place. And of course, when we grow up, all of our relationships are impacted by our childhood experience. Especially our sexual relationships. For a very long time I thought I just enjoyed sex and so it was okay to have casual sex with attractive men (for my husband’s sake I won’t put a number on this), but invariably I discovered there were all sorts of psychological underpinnings to why I had sex and with whom. I have no regrets. Each encounter was a learning experience and I think, finally, I understood what I truly wanted in a sexual relationship (which, for me, is commitment and loyalty), but it took a long time to figure out. I was attracted to “bad boys” because they were irresistible to me. My mother’s second marriage (the one that made the biggest impression on me bc it happened when I was 3 to 10 years old) was with a handsome “Bad boy” cop. That relationship imprinted on me and it took a long time to shake. My two longest relationships prior to my husband were to men very much like my stepfather. Calling Dr. Freud! This is all very deep, tricky stuff to unravel. I send you all my best wishes. It sounds like you’re on your path. Just keep trucking. xo S

  27. I have this inner dialouge with myself ALL the time. I’m in my mid-twenties and not married. I am single and have not been in a serious relationship in almost three years. My best girl friend has only been with her husband. My best guy friend has been with around the same number as me. I often worry that I will look back on these days and my higher than average number (under 20) with regrets. At this point in my life, I also don’t want to rule out new sexual experiences just because my number is maybe higher than I want it to be. I am a very sexual person and enjoy it, but when I’m around people with very low numbers I start to get self concious. Some of my friends know my real number, I’m not sure that anyone I am in a serious relationship ever will and my mother will definitely never know! I like to think that the number doesn’t really matter – low or high – because each person you are with brings some meaning to your life and if for you that is only one person, that’s great. But if it’s multiple people, that’s also great.

  28. Wow, where do I begin? Most; if not the majority here are only practicing the fine art of self-justification and rationalization of their past selfish behavior! Yes, it’s selfish behavior we are talking about here folks. And yes, we are all selfish to some extent; some more – some less. I will have some fun here using some words missing from most posts of this blog…some may learn something.

    Have all the partners you want if you sincerely plan on never being married otherwise consider that most likely there may be ramifications or consequences of your actions whether male or female and it’s not just physical health as in STD, HIV or other diseases I’m talking about here folks.

    Here’s a question folks – “how many of you like receiving used gifts?” Oh wait maybe we should start calling it “re-gifting” not promiscuity! When you enter into marriage you are giving THE GIFT OF YOU to your partner aren’t you? Your body is no longer yours; in reality your body was never yours to begin with…critical thinking is required here now. Otherwise answer my question, “how many of you like receiving used gifts?” Better yet go read O’Henry as Jim and Della were poor not cheap and there is a difference.

    Being poor doesn’t make you cheap but becoming cheap will make you poor!

    The guy who is putting notches on his belt is nothing more than a selfish guy. He’s is self delusional thinking that he is proving his manhood. He’s only showing he’s still a little boy. Just as the girl is self delusional in thinking “the guy” will like them for giving it away! Reality proves the opposite and a slut is a slut whether male or female.

    On insecurity; I love it when folks say that the one who has a problem with a partner having so many past sexual partners is the one who’s insecure! Well here’s your sign folks as a few other posters here admit – it’s insecurity that leads many to this multiple and excessive partner problem (and yes it is a problem that can lead to many many other problems) to begin with isn’t it or why this blog here?

    So who’s more secure or really more insecure; the one who’s chase and has a problem accepting and yes then forgiving a future spouse for past multiple indiscretions? Had to throw in that word “forgive” in the mix. Cause it’s forgiveness we’re actually talking about here folks and forgiveness isn’t self justification or rationalization either. (I can already hear all the self justifiers howling out there now.) Forgiveness always cost the one doing the forgiving something and forgiveness is a gift that has to be freely given and hopefully thoughtfully received. But today we have cheapened forgiveness just as we have cheapened sex! Self justification and rationalization are coping methods folks. False guilt can feel just like real guilt but it’s still a lie to self and it uses self justification and rationalization! Before forgiveness can take place one needs to be honest with oneself and we are all such great liars to self first. We don’t lie to others as much as we lie to ourselves now do we? And we don’t lie to others without first lying to ourselves!

    Another word missing from this blog is conscience and how one’s conscience is one’s moral compass whether they admit or like that thought or not. Just like a real compass if it’s off by a little at the journey’s start it’s off by much much more at then end or final destination folks of your journey. And that journey is your life folks and here’s another hint. Your past isn’t really in your past now is it. It’s in your future just as much as it’s in your present today. There is no past there is no future there is only now but now is the entirety of your life. We call it (the past) our baggage but it’s right there with us as we carry it along our whole lives! Some just have more baggage than others. Here’s a hint: less baggage means you practiced more self control and critical thinking. Multiple excessive partners equals excessive baggage folks…Carry all you want all your life if that is truly your desires but please quit the self justification because the load is heavy now. Choices have consequences – intended or not even considered. And I haven’t even used the word love yet nor have I used the word lust. They are not the same thing folks.

    Love is priceless.

    Lust is cheap.

    Don’t ever confuse the two.

    1. Dear Freddie — I thought a lot of your observations were astute. But I have one bit of advice, when you are making an argument don’t use the word “Folks” over and over again. You used it at least ten times and it became very distracting.

      Sex and morality is a tough call to make. I had several lovers prior to marrying my husband and they didn’t make me feel like I was re-gifted or overused in any way. Several of those sexual partners taught me more about myself — and yes, some of them were mistakes — but they helped me to grow up. I wouldn’t have been ready for my kind, thoughtful husband without a those experiences as my template for “romantic” relationships wasn’t a good one.

      Sex means different things to different people. There are times when sex is absolutely self-destructive, but there are other times, even in casual sexual encounters, where sex is wonderful. I just don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all situation.

      1. Shannon,

        I am not a writer hence the repetitive usage of some words…Anyway here’s some more food for thought on this subject and you and others may realize where I come from and why. I am including a letter I wrote to my xxxxxxxxx which will touch briefly upon the subject of hypersexuality in post rape victims.

        In the US; 2010 there were 84,767 rapes reported per the USDOJ-FBI. How many were unreported? Per RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) – 60% of all rapes go unreported…That means there were over 120,000 unreported rapes of women 2010. Every 2 minutes, someone, in the US is sexually assaulted. 44% of victims are under the age of 18 with 80% being under 30…Real numbers of rapes is over 200,000 per year in the US when you include unreported rapes!

        The letter I once wrote my wife…some editing for privacy sakes has been done and if I repeat some words sorry but I’m not a writer. Just someone with a wife and two daughters…who’s had their eyes opened. Each paragraph was preceded with “I love you, I love you, I love you” (always 3 times) and then followed something like, “you are my joy” and then the meat of paragraph…Again, I’m not a writer just a husband and father.

        Dear XXXXXX,

        You are not to blame for what happened in anyway, shape or manner. You were raped. This was and is a crime of violence not uncontrolled passion or sex on your part or even your attacker! Rape is a crime of violence. It is not sex. Studies have shown the reason a rapist rapes is for the power and control over another human being whether male or female; it has nothing to do with sex.

        It is common that rapes committed against teen victims involve drug and/or alcohol use. Perpetrators deliberately involve these substances for several reasons; first it makes victim blaming and self blaming easier. Second, perpetrators know that teens will seldom report rapes if the victim herself or himself had been drinking or using drugs. A rapist is fully aware that if he can get a 15 year old girl to drink or use even pot, he is virtually assured that she will be too scared to tell her parents and/or police about the assault. Your perpetrator knew all this and used it against you. You did not get drunk – you were manipulated as an underage minor and this is why all 50 states have statutory rape laws and statutory rape means you by legal definition did not have to ability to make an informed decision of consent. Saying you drank or were drunk plays into this and you are accepting responsibility when none of it was your fault! Whether you drank or not that night a planned rape was conspired by your perpetrator and his accomplice (your betrayer). Even if you hadn’t drank anything that night you most likely would still have been raped as the rape was preplanned to happen – nothing happened by accident. Two individuals conspired to rape you! It’s their fault and not yours for what happened. They are to blame!

        When rape is the first or earliest experience with sex for the victim, there is often or sometimes a second very common result: hyper-sexuality in which sexual experimentation and casual sex become the routine. Hyper-sexuality is an attempt to “normalize” one’s sexuality, treating it as if something may have lost its specialness and trying to rediscover what sex “should” be like when YOU, not someone else is in control of the experience and your body. It is a common self defense reaction and coping mechanism for teen girls post rape. This too was not your fault – you were the victim of a crime of violence. You were responsible for nothing that happened.

        Rape usually compounds lines of communication creating other relationship problems whether between father and daughter or future husband and wife communications… Most commonly it is an attempt to “forget” the rape by refusing to discuss it with anyone. This is usually done trying to deal with the “shame” of rape and more specifically self directed shame. It is the second step in victim blaming…the first step was and is always the self blaming “if only I hadn’t drank, hadn’t worn that dress, hadn’t got in the car or gone home with him.”…Again a victim of rape has done nothing to cause their own rape.

        It is not uncommon after the trauma of rape for the survivor’s memory to suppress, change, recalling any and all the details of the rape. This is normal and how the mind works after a trauma. More specifically it’s called PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disease and all rape victims experience different levels of PTSD including but not limited to memory loss and sleeplessness!

        Men; husbands, (me) are often insecure about their sexual performance. We may show flashes of anger or frustration when our advances are rejected or when our wives are withdrawn and reluctant to have sex. We should understand that these responses are not criticisms of us…yet we usually don’t at first and therefore our angry reactions may make our wife feel criticized and hurt.

        The first phase immediately after the rape incident is called the “acute phase” and the most common fear at this stage is that “nobody will believe me” (hence the not telling or reporting you were raped.) Coping skills can include reactions ranging from some that lash out, some go into withdrawal, some try to bury it deep inside themselves and some to hyper-sexuality. The second stage or phase is one of “apparent stabilization”. This is where she/he may claim that she/he has “forgotten” or “dealt with” the rape and will resent anyone or anything that reminds her/him of it. She thinks she has resolved her feelings but if anything the rape is always in the background of her sub-conscience and will affect and effect her life and her relationships until it is dealt with appropriately through a recovery process. Most marriages of teen rape victims are destroyed through the years as the real problem(s) has never been dealt with and most husbands haven’t a clue as to what is going on as their wives haven’t told them. They still are not reporting their rape! The average length of time for a wife to open up with her husband; who as a teen was raped and didn’t report it or tell their parents when it happened and are still in the apparent stabilization phase is 27 years! The emotional walls around a rape victim’s pain are as strong as cement and the work of getting through them can be painful as well as upsetting and yes it can take a life time or in the majority of cases recovery never happens as it’s never been brought to light.

        I love you. I love you. I love you. And want to spend the rest of my life with you.


        I am 60 years old; so in my life over 14,000,000 women have been raped in the US that’s about 3 out of every 100. Since 2007 has the annual rape numbers been reducing from historically much higher numbers and that’s still with 60% unreported! The vast majority of women who have excessive multiple partners in their sex lives is due to rape. The over whelming majority of women (+70%) in the Adult video, stripper, prostitution and sex trader are past victims of rape. With 60% of rapes unreported that means 97% of all rapist never spend a day in jail let alone ever being confronted with what they have done. The walking wounded are all around us…And I see some of the wounded in some of posts here. Whether they are ready to admit it yet or not!

        Bottom line not every woman who has had an excessive number of lovers pre-marriage did so voluntarily whether they think they did or not.

        1. Hi Freddie — thanks for commenting again. I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to your former wife. I was a victim of attempted date rape when I was 20 years old (which I’ve written about here) and it’s certainly an interesting point you make. In fact some of what you say resonates with me. When I was single and dating I would often be the one to initiate sex first because it gave me a sense of control and power over the situation. I’m not sure that behavior was related to my attack (I was not, ultimately raped, but fought with a man for at least a half an hour to get away from him).

          But I also think there are many complex reasons why some men and women chooses to have several partners. Certainly there are times when that behavior is self-destructive, but I think a case could be made that many times the behavior is perfectly healthy. What I reacted negatively to in your previous comment was the idea that a person who has had several partners is somehow dirty, used, re-gifted. That smacks of shaming, which I just don’t react well to. My husband had several lovers before our marriage, and I had about twice as many as him. Neither of us views the other as used up. In fact, the past doesn’t impact our feelings about each other at all. If anything I’m grateful to my husband’s previous lovers for helping him gain personal insights that have helped make him the incredible man he is today.

          1. My wife and I each had one partner before we met. We have been married over 35 years and we both regret not waiting. Marriages with first partners are the happiest and the least likely to divorce. One more than your spouse is one too many.

      2. Casual sex is always destructive. You should NEVER give yourself to someone who you are not married to – or at least deeply in love with. If you do, you are cheating your future spouse and destroying your own soul.

  29. Another interesting question is — what exactly are we condemning in those numbers? My numbers can be counted on all fingers (and ok, almost all the toes too), but it hardly tells the full story about character or judgment. Low numbers can be used in very crafty ways.

    Here’s an example, my college roommate from 30 years ago. Her actual intercourse number tops at 3. Two long-term relationships. One was a one night stand only because he didn’t call back. Sounds pretty chaste, right?

    Here’s the twist: in every single relationship she takes on the role of ‘the other woman’ at first and competes to win. She loves triangles. Emotional and otherwise. Emotional affairs (with or without ‘everything but’ making out) keep her numbers low. One of her emotional (only?) affairs has been going on for decades, with one of my ex-boyfriends. I only know because he told me. As far as she’s concerned, between us she’s the chaste one! 😉

    Moral of the story: it’s really how you treat the lovers (and their lovers) in your life that define your character — right? And even if you hear the true numbers of your spouse, you really have no idea what their romantic life really has been or even is today.

    1. Veronica I completely agree with you. Each number has a story and I to can count on hands and feet and maybe an ear or two. I think I needed each experience for one reason and another. The morality doesn’t lie in the number.

  30. Shannon,

    Haven’t been back in a few weeks.

    1. She isn’t my former wife – just my wife and love of my life to this day. Not sure where you got former thing from.

    2. Your need for control in initating sex after your attack was exactly what I wrote in my second post on hypersexuality. You were trying to normalize sex with you in control of both the sexual experience and your body.

    3. Shame needs to be addressed for two reasons frankly. There is valid shame or false shame! First, with roughly 25% of all women either being sexually assualted or an attempt to be sexually assualted (as in your case and there are only three reactions a woman or man can take during the attempt or actual assualt fight, flight or freeze and the overwhelming majority freeze whether conscious or unconscious and you were quite fortunate). The majority of women practicing hypersexuality post attack are doing exactly what you did taking control of their bodies and sex but it doesn’t come with no strings attached. There are always strings or baggage attached to any sexual relationship period. Mostly negative unfortunately. Secondly, a woman or a man who hasn’t been assaulted and enters into total promiscuity is still building up shame inside whether you or they want to admit it. As a society shame is certainly attached. As a huamn you’re pre-wired for shame and guilt the trick is knowing false shame and false guilt from real shame and real guilt. Ditto self respect. Or why should I respect you if you don’t respect yourself and you don’t respect yourself when you (not you personally but a plural sense) practice indiscriminate sex. Sex is a moral issue; just as alot of others things are moral issues. Even when you slice an onion you can tear up and cry while laughing telling a great joke. Just as I and others here have said we are pre-wired for things; well that’s physically and emotionally whether we admit or know it.

    Now, you opened up as to being a victim of an attempted assualt. How many of the women who posted here have also been assualted you think? And remember just as most don’t report it most never recover either; it’s just hidden away deep down inside but it’s really driving them their whole lives. How many here were assaulted and never told anyone you think? In your case you didn’t immediately go from victim to victor by stopping the rape attempt. The attack did drive you. Just as most rapes aren’t reported most women have never been through recovery and healed from their attack.

    1. Freddie — you make a lot of really interesting points. I especially like the part about fight, flight or freeze. I suspect most victims freeze. That was my initial reaction.

      Will read more deeply when I have more time. And thanks for your insights.

  31. “She’s had too many lovers and he hasn’t had enough.”

    I’ve been googling this to see if any women will express a view on that. I’m 40, I’ve only ever slept with two women and I’ve been single for a while (last relationship ended before 2000, various reasons, alcohol, depression and still probably a bit too codependent with my last girlfriend). Recently I’ve been trying to shake myself, up with some success, and I’m thinking about trying to look for somebody nice.

    Leaving aside the other stuff, which is terrifying enough, are women going to judge me on the fact that I’ve only ever had two sex partners? Am I damaged goods? And please be honest 😉

    I’m unlikely to “judge” a woman on her past, but I can imagine it making me feel insecure about my own. I suspect that’s the reality behind a lot of supposed “judging” from guys – insecurity. It might make everyone’s life a bit easier if guys were allowed to / felt they could be be more honest about that.

  32. I fell head over heels with my girlfriend(whom witch I abruptly married then two months later divorce and are dating again). I asked her number before I married her. the amount she told me was nothing less than shocking/devistating. I was and still am in love with her dearly. 27 she said. and then 4 more while we separated. she has had a VERY slutty history. I struggle each and everyday to see past it. sometimes I wonder if I’m doing the right thing by trying to live with it, but at the same time I feel dishonest because I simply can not cope. I myself have had only 2 partners before we first met. and 2 more during our separation. I love her madly, I truly do. even though we are a young couple. I’m 24. my girlfriend, only 22, and has had over 30 guys inside her sacred vessel. is it wrong of me to feel like I should have more partners? why should I feel this way when I absolutely love her?!!

    1. Hi Justin — I’m not sure what to say? I understand your concerns. Numbers do say something about who we are and how we feel about ourselves. Suffice to say that what it really boils down to is how she feels about you and whether she is willing to be monogamous. If that’s what you want and what she can offer then I think you have to let go of her prior history. If, however, the number is indicative of some kind of self-destructive behavior, then you have to protect yourself. I don’t think 30+lovers is too many, but given her young age I am a bit concerned. Have the two of you ever thought about seeking the advice of a professional? We are all damaged in various ways, and I do believe a really wise therapist can really help. I speak from experience.

  33. I honestly feel that these things are not to be discussed, especially on the internet. Show some respect for yourself gals!

    1. Miss Elle — Hope we didn’t offend. I find sex an interesting topic more because of the psychology behind it than for its prurient aspects. And I do agree with K that every experience teaches us something about ourselves and (hopefully) brings hard-won wisdom.

  34. You wrote “I’m not having sex with him. Turns out when you’re sexually liberated you’ll have casual sex with everyone but the guy you really want to like you.”

    My number would be shocking at 43 I think I have had sex with about 70 guys. Why? My twenties were a mix of sexual liberation (I had a male bravado of as long as I got mine – I didn’t care if they got theirs) and a deep seated urge to feel needed (Even if it was for the 20 minutes of naked.) Am I ashamed? NO! Why – nobody would bat an eye if it was a guy. I was a club girl and the 90’s were my sexual revolution, Was I out of control – perhaps, but it was fun.

    Every experience of the past shaped me into the person I am now – even the sexual experiences.

  35. Im 36 now. I dated and exclusively slept with only my girlfriend of 9 years starting age 14. I can remember getting into fights with her during the summers when she would go on vacation, cause she held hands with or kissed another boy.

    Looking back after all these years. My inability to deal with that, granted we were both very young, ultimately drove us apart years later. I still love her with all my heart, and still visit with her and her family a few times a year. Im her sisters son godfather and i am going to her (my ex) wedding in october.

    I guess the point of this is if you truly love someone, or atleast care enough about someone enough to be in a relationship with, what do numbers really matter. Why even ask? How much of a boost to your own ego is it going to be? Or possibly how damaging to your ego if its higher than you want it to be?

    My own number is 10-20. For a 35 yr old male with no kids, a monogomous from 14-23the and a 2 year marriage after dating for 5 years, i dont think thats bad at all.

    The past is the past. Don’t ask if you are not able to handle the answer. If you find someone to love who loves you in return, asking that question can possibly poison your relationship. Is it really ever worth knowing? The answer is probably not! A small number really is not going to make you feel any better. A large number is probably going to make you unhappy, especially if her number is higher than yours. I guess this post is more about advice maybe? Heh im not sure myself.

    If you find someone who makes you feel like you want to be a better person. And you’re pretty sure they feel the same about you, does their past really matter that much? (Ego check) that one thing she/he does that drives you nuts… she/he learned that question somewhere in their past experience! Enjoy it. Life is way too short to dwell on the past. We all have skeletons in our closet, of one sort or another.

    Love life

  36. Pete I think you are a find. I think there are women out there who don’t want to just jump in the sack. But I will say in my life it ebbed and flowed. There was a period of time in my life where I had sex quickly with a few men, but then, later, realized it just wasn’t what I really wanted. That, like you, I was looking for something committed and for someone I could trust not only with my body, but also my heart. I was fortunate to find that. And he didn’t and still doesn’t have a six pack. But I feel you. I know it’s tough out there. I took a few bruising beatings myself. Hold your ground Pete. You sound very special.

  37. I’m really surprised at some of the numbers women rack up. By the statistics, my number (17) is supposed to be higher than average, but judging by what’s said on this forum, women must lie A LOT about how many lovers they’ve had.

    There are a few things that puzzle me about women’s sexuality and their number and I would love to hear your answers:

    When I met my wife, I was open with her about how many women I had slept with. My wife was upset by the number because she said she had no evidence that I would be a committed partner after I had taken sex casually for so long. I THINK SHE HAD A VALID POINT. A study illustrated in Psychology Today says, “As you can imagine, sociosexual orientation has a great impact on the risk of divorce. Sociosexually unrestricted individuals are far more likely to experience divorce than sociosexually restricted individuals because they are more likely to engage in extramarital affairs. ”

    So, I can totally see why my wife was concerned. So, I WOULD NEVER tell any woman to JUST GET OVER MY NUMBER and that if she can’t deal with the number IT’S HER FAULT FOR BEING INSECURE. Past behavior is indicative of future behavior and therefore cause for concern. I spent a long time proving myself to my wife and I’m glad I did.

    Here’s my question: Are the women on this forum truly NOT concerned with a man’s past behavior? Exactly what would raise red flags for you, if any? If you found out your boyfriend was addicted to porn as of last week, but now that he’s met you he says he’s changed, would you just accept what he says at face value?

    I also think that claiming your sexual freedom confuses men and to an extent makes them feel slighted. Women don’t have to work nearly as hard as men for sex–your gender are the gatekeepers of sexual relations. Therefore, when a man tries to convince you to take him into your bed, whether it’s over a drink or he’s been on a couple of dates with you, he is actually proving himself worthy of being in your bed. There are entire books, websites and movies made about men working hard to get the green light from a woman. It’s a big recurring them in our lives.

    In the past, because there was the chance of pregnancy, a woman would prove that she is really dedicated to a man by simply saying yes to sex because there was every chance she will have to deal with a baby. But now that we can have consequence free sex, women don’t have to prove anything to a man, yet he still must prove himself to her. I think, and I think many men will agree with me, that I feel a bit slighted when I’ve had to prove myself worthy of bedding a woman, but all she has to do is say yes. I know that if I decided to require her to prove herself to me, she’d just move on to the next guy who will say yes. Women have been complaining about this for decades, when they believe a man will get sex somewhere else if she doesn’t give it to him.

    The question is, does a woman feel a certain amount of power over men when she gets to pick and choose and men have to fumble over themselves trying to have sex with her? If so, is this power trip part of the reason why women rack up the numbers? How do you feel when a great looking man or a rock star does the same?

    Then there’s the “special” factor. Part of being in a new relationship is that feeling that you’re truly special to this person. I equate it with getting a staring acting role. You’re the only person for this part, so you feel elated that the director thought so much of you. Even if you’re cast as an ensemble, considering the number of people who auditioned, you can be sure that you are part of an elite cast of the best.

    But being with someone who’s been with tons of people kind of feels like you’re an extra. Like you’re just one more in a string of nameless and faceless people. Don’t women feel this too? Don’t you feel that if a man has bed tons of women and never really gave a crap about any of them, that you’re a little less special when he chooses you?

    My last question is this:

    Women have struggled very hard to get men to think of them as something more than sex objects for a very long time. But when my friends and I have had casual sex with a women in the past, she was just that. AN OBJECT. The definition of casual sex is that it is casual. Your male partner could care less about your feelings, your desires for the future, who you are outside of the bedroom, how smart or funny you are. You and he are mutual masturbatory toys to be dis-guarded when the night is over. When you tell men that this is part of feminism, they get a mixed signal. On the one hand you tell men that women are to be respected as more than toys for their sexual pleasure, and on the other hand you’re telling them that strong, secure, confident women have no problem being used just for sexual pleasure and they will in tern use men in the same way. This needs to be better explained to me. I just don’t get it.

    1. Hi Pete — this is a very complex series of questions you are asking and I know there is no way I’m qualified to answer them with perfect clarity. But the one thing I get from both of your comments is that you are a man who cares very much about how a woman he loves — and women in general — perceive him. There is a vulnerability to your questions that I admire so much.

      I can only speak for myself when I say that I had two long-term relationships with men who were not faithful to me and I was in love with both of them and it caused me a massive amount of heartache. So I never understood that many men have felt equally vulnerable the way that I did during those relationships. Because I gave my heart to men who strayed I felt like men held the sexual power, not me.

      Yet in the remainder of my sexual experience with 10+ more men, I wasn’t emotionally wounded, but I believe I caused pain to at least two of those men by not falling in love with them. It didn’t occur to me at the time that perhaps I hurt them in the way I’d been hurt (although I made no commitment to them and was with both of them briefly, while my two previous relationships were 5 years each where – I thought – we had a commmitment).

      When I say I have no regrets that means a few different things. I was sexually curious. I think only having one lover — for me — might have been a bad thing. No matter how satisfying the sex is with my husband, I think I would have wondered what other experiences would have been like. Even if they weren’t necessarily better.

      The other reason I have no regrets is that even though I did suffer heartbreak — and perhaps dealt it out? — I believe that pain forced me to look deeply into where I came from, who I was in that moment and who I wanted to become. I’m proud of the woman I am today (though still always learning and growing) and don’t think I’d be here if not for those experiences.

      And then there were the few lovers who were simply that. Lovers. Neither of us hurt the other. Some of the lovemaking was so agenda-free, friendly, kind and fun that I do think of them fondly and wish them well and I hope they feel the same way about me.

      Topics like the battle of the sexes, feminism, the seeming and real marginalization of men are so complex they really need their own college courses. There’s no doubt that sex is a sociological, psychological labyrinthine conundrum which I couldn’t possibly unravel here, though I wish I were smart enough to try. Pete, if you figure it out please let me know!!

      1. Thanks for the reply, Shannon.

        I love your answer. It makes me think that maybe not all modern women are just out for sex as prescribed in so many magazines and online articles.

        As I read through my rant, I guess the basic theme is that people DO want to know about someone’s past, even if it’s how you treat your mother, your relationship with your friends, and have you ever been in jail. A person’s past isn’t EVERYTHING, but it is SOMETHING. It’s natural to want to know something about the person your falling for and that in itself is not indicative of insecurity.

        And yes, I was cheated on before, too.

        That doesn’t mean much now that I’m married and have been with the same woman for many years. However, I see the prevailing attitude of some very vocal women shaming men for wanting to know a woman’s past as playing games with their heads. It’s making young men very insecure about where they stand in the world.

        My wife and I were talking about this topic last night, and as I laid out my arguments, she said she realized something for the first time as I spoke: MEN DON’T TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT THIS STUFF AND NO LONGER HAVE STRONG MALE ROLE MODELS TO GUIDE THEM. Therefore, when young men (and even older) get all this online chatter about what’s right and wrong in their dealings with women FROM WOMEN, they’re not comparing notes with other men and talking about their real life experiences as opposed to what they read on-line from anyone with a keyboard and a jaded opinion (such as me:)). So they’re not able to sort through what parts are useful and what parts are bullshit. It’s turning a lot of young men neurotic and it upsets me. I can’t tell you exactly why because I don’t talk about this with my male friends or father so I have a hard time sorting through the feelings. But, it does upset me for some undefinable reason and it’s not just insecurity. It DOES feel like the marginalizing of men and their feelings, though.

        I read a few threads of young women who said they can’t deal with their boyfriends’ numbers. Women came to their rescue with calm, cool, understanding and advice. When a young man does the same thing, he is slammed on all sides and told to man-up. This only teaches boys and men that it is NOT okay to share their feelings, especially with women, and so the cycle of confusion, isolation, and frustration continues.

  38. Hi Shannon:

    This post really got the wheels turning in my head. How many is too many? This question, of course, is impossible to answer. The most important thing is that two people who love each other dearly have found one another and are happy to spend the rest of their lives together. I’m not sure how a person’s number could have any effect on a stable partnership. It’s probably best to never divulge the number as that could open up Pandora’s box–sexual jealousy and insecurities may run rampant.

    In fact, if you are a woman and your boyfriend or husband is tortured by your number (in the case that it got out), that is probably HIS issue. I speak from experience. I was in my mid-20s the first time I had intercourse. I was a pretty normal dude–it just hadn’t happened yet, and it was something that I was deeply ashamed of. I was so insecure and intimidated by single sexual women who were sewing their oats. They made me so angry. I wanted to cry. The thing is that I never was actually truly bothered by these women, their sexuality, and their number–I was bothered by the fact that I hadn’t had sex yet and I felt that women writ large didn’t want me. It was MY problem, not theirs.

    Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. When I finally had sex, it was with women who were my worst nightmares and the source of my insecurities: single, successful, intelligent, sexually liberated women owning and enjoying their sexuality. A woman quite a bit older than me ushered me into the world–and pleasures of sex. She couldn’t care less that I was a virgin. At the end of one our sessions, she said “the training wheels are off.” I have never asked a woman her number and I don’t care–it had been my issue all along. The world wasn’t a bad place after all. Thank God for free and sexy women!

    Men have fragile egos. If a woman is getting grief from a guy about her sexual past, she just needs to make him feel adequate and special. Men can be trained to please a woman. You just have to work with them.

    One final note–I really don’t think numbers mean a thing. I’ve been with only three women and yet I’ve had incredible and fulfilling sex. It is extremely unlikely that I will find better lovers than the three I’ve had. At this point, I just want to get married. I think you are right about being 35 and a man and being sexually repressed if you’ve had less than 5. I was repressed. I have a powerful sex drive and I’m glad I’m fighting that repression. Maybe I can get to 5 yet–but marriage is more important, so if my number ends up being 4, I will have to live with it. Today’s man often regrets his low number.

    Your husband Henry is lucky man–you are a beautiful woman and a fine writer.

    1. Grant I hardly know what to say. YOu are so bold by allowing us to know you this way and to understand what it is to be a vulnerable man. I think for women of my generation, many of us who encountered men who weren’t interested in commitment (maybe as a backlash to the feminist movement? or a backlash to the skyrocketing divorce rate in the 70s when we were kids?) it’s so important to know that there are good men out there who do want to get married and cherish the women they love. Whomever you marry will be such a lucky lady. I wish you everything. xo S

  39. Hi,

    I like your article. The comment you have made about it being a bad thing to have a low number is so true. I am experiencing this myself right now.

    My own story is a pretty sad one. I lost my virginity at 34 to the woman that’s now my wife. Why it happened so late? That’s a long sad story that I am going to spare you but it had to do with being bullied at school, lonlyness, depression, no self esteem whatsoever, attempted suicide, going to university and just work, work and work and basically having no life at all. At 34 I met the woman that I married and our marriage has its up and down but more downs.

    At the moment I am in my early fifties and reading stuff on the web about people having had lots of notches on their belts really makes me very sad about my own miserable life and makes me wonder why I screwed up so badly. SInce the last two years I have cheated on my wife a few times with a few prostitutes, just because I wanted to find out what else is out there and I want my moment in the sun too.

    I really wish I had not married the first woman who wanted me but gained some experience first.

    1. Hi Ron — The first thing I want to say to you is don’t be too hard on yourself. We have a tendency to compare our insides to other people’s outsides, myself included. We have absolutely no idea what people’s lives are really like. We all project our most confident self to the world, when in fact most people are struggling with something and just doing the best that they can. I’m so sorry to hear about the bullying in your childhood. I was bullied in fourth and fifth grade by two girls who always threatened to “kick my ass” after school and it did untold damage. Mostly I hated myself for not standing up to them.

      So please don’t compare yourself to anyone else. We all struggle in our sex lives and feel inadequate at times. The larger concern is your marriage. It seems like you’re unhappily married, which means your wife probably is too. I’d let go of the past, forgive the young boy who was hurt so badly for not being able to fight back and protect you. Then move on and get some professional help to heal and bring clarity to your life today. I’ll be 50 in June and I can’t believe that I’m still a work-in-progress. Just when I feel like I’ve got it all figured out and that I’m kicking ass and taking names, some new character defect will pop up that I have to address and overcome. And I suspect it will continue to be that way until I walk out of this life.

      Give yourself the gift of mental health and reach out for help. I did and it’s the best money I ever spent. And there are 12-step programs that are free that address pretty much everything. I went to Al-Anon for 7 years and it saved my life. In any case, be kind to yourself. You deserve it. xo S

      1. Hi Shannon,

        Thanks for your kind and wise words. I’ll take it to heart.
        Let go of the past or it will take away your future, right?
        Thanks again and all the best,


    2. My wife was my s cond. i was her second. We have been together 41 years, married 35. The sex just keeps getting better. I am so happy not to have sexual baggage to deal with. My now wife left her fiance for me which helped with jealousy. I love my wife. I dont want to picture her with other men. Your number does matter to many men. Actions do have consequencs.

      1. Good for you! You are lucky to have found someone with morals who views sex as a sacred act meant for true love/marriage.

  40. Sorry for being a wet blanket


    Thank you for your entertaining website. You are a wonderful writer. I would like to express an opinion I am a physician and must see a number of patients whose lifestyle has caused consequences, such as serious disease.

    Once, I heard a person criticize casual sex in movies, such as the Bond films, because the consequences are not included. In this day and age, when one’s life is possibly on the line, it is my opinion that while a specific number of partners is not required, that a person with sexual experience owes it to any new potential partner not to endanger their lives.

    This is morbid, I know, and not romantic at all, but it is a fact of modern life. We must have inspection at airports now, to everyone’s inconvenience. Similarly, when serious illness is a threat, we should really take it upon ourselves to be cautious in our own contacts, and if we have not taken precautions, to make this known to any we intend to be intimate with.

    I realize this is a very stuffy comment, but I leave it to those who object to take the time and try to generate an overall perspective, after treating someone who wishes they had known the risks they were taking.

    Again, I apologize for saying anything negative, but we do not have the luxury of don’t ask, don’t tell, if we cannot assure ourselves we are not putting others at risk. Over fifty percent of women will have HPV in their lives, forty percent may have chlamydia, and perhaps twenty percent will have Genital Herpes. All of these are expensive to treat. Some lead to infertility. In this sobering time, surely some things will have to go, including perhaps any idea that the past of those we are intimate with is no one’s business but our own. Maybe it is one of the things we owe to those we are around.

    1. Wet Blanket I actually thing this is an astute comment. It makes a lot of sense. We may not divulge an exact number to partners, but we must absolutely be forthcoming about our sexual health and sexual practices. It’s only fair.

      1. If you want to marry someone and spend the rest of your life with them, you absolutely owe them the whole truth including the exact number and anything else they need to know. Marriage is the most important decision you will make in your life. It must be a decision based on absolute transparency.

  41. Fifty-something man offering his opinion to a largely female group.

    Fifty years of feminism has not changed thousands of years of evolution. Men and women are different and the perception of them that goes with it. For a man to sleep with 10 women, he has to have perseverance, charm, conversation and persuasion skills and must learn to deal with rejection. The 10 conquests is quite an accomplishment. For a woman to sleep with 10 men, it’s quite different. She has a vagina which is 90% of the prospect, with the remaining 10% being a smile and saying “yes.” That makes her “easy” and consequently most people, including most women and the vast majority of men will have no respect for her. Giving it away reduces her value in the eyes of society and certainly in the eyes of prospective mates. That’s just the way it is. No man wants to be the last one in a long line for the “Easy Girl”.

    Now Ladies, before you come after me with pitchforks and flaming arrows, look at what the author herself wrote and the vast majority of your comments. The author asked her mom, dad and husband to turn away when she revealed her number of previous lovers and expressed the sentiment that her own daughter would not be as promiscuous as she was. The author was also judgmental of the fried who was the subject of the article.

    Also nearly all of the comments by females stated that they would never tell their husbands. Why? Is this something you’re not proud of or do think your spouse will think less of you? Ask any man, and he’ll gladly tell you. Likely adding a few that never happened.

    Don’t you see? Even by your own comments, the view of men and women and the number of partners they’ve had is treated differently. The author and your comments prove that.

    1. Rocco — damn it! Where is my flaming arrow when I need it?? You will be not surprised when I don’t find your comment particularly inflammatory. I agree that not much has changed with regards to the gender-based double standard when it comes to sex. I do think society, as an unwieldy entity, still congratulates men and stigmatizes women regarding sexual gambits. Having said that, had my husband arrived in our relationship with 30 women under his belt I would’ve been concerned I was simply one among many and been more cautious about getting involved, who’s to say I wouldn’t just been number 31? So I think my prejudicial judgy-ness (it should be a word) is less about gender and more about numbers. More than 30 makes me think the man/woman must have had some emotional troubles to sort out and acted out sexually. Less than 10 makes me think they were too timid and not adventurous enough before settling down. Which kind of makes me a big ass because I have no business painting by numbers. Each number tells a story, and likely not the one we think it tells. Still, I’m happy my husband was selective and am grateful he doesn’t want to know my number, because my number has nothing to do with how he feels about me.

      1. Hmmm… are happy with the amount of lovers you have had which made you the person you are now but at the same time you are happy your husband was selective. A bit of a double standard don’t you think?

          1. Hi Shannon,

            About your 10-30 rule. I think that nobody is allowed to judge your life but yourself. Basically you just want to be happy and you should just do the stuff that makes you happy and don’t care about what other people might think.

            I do not care much about numbers. As a guy I just want to matter to my gal and be (one of) the most important people in her life. Being number 1,2 or 3 then it easy to convince yourself that you are but being number 37 it is less obvious. What sets you apart from 1-36? I guess this is the same for women.
            Having said that, a number says nothing about the feelings and emotions involved.

            Once I read a story somewhere about two women. One was in her mid thirties and had about 20 lovers. She was just unlucky with guys. She had serious intentions but just happend to run into the wrong guy all the time. The other one was about the same age and had only 8 lovers. But she went from 4 to 8 in one weekend away from home when 4 guys did her while her husband was at home taking care of the kids. Now who is the slut?

            There you go, numbers don’t mean very much. It’s all about feelings for eachother and love you share, stuff that makes life worth living.

  42. So…I’m one of those partners who’s found out after the fact, and would be lying if I say the number doesn’t shock me–numbers are tangible, they mean something even if we can’t articulate that meaning. She says 50 men during an 8 year period beginning in her mid 30’s. I’m trying to get past numbers, but not there yet.

      1. The phrase “after the fact” does not sound that she is or at least was not very open to you.

  43. I just left my girlfriend of over two years over my own trust issues among other things. I don’t know her number. It must be well over a hundred as we are both 50. She was my 11th. She unapologetically admitted to being promiscuous when she was not in long term relationships. Not just when she was young, but all her life. So she was promiscuous for 20 years, She seems to have a similar unfortunate reason to many who posted here, low self-esteem, insecurity that comes from absent fathers and add to that an abusive mother. It is who she is. My experience with insecure women is that I cannot fill the void. I can be very reassuring while I am certain I am where I want to be, but if I waffle, they will crumble, there is no room for uncertainty with insecure women despite them possibly instilling it with erratic impulsive behaviour themselves, or a long history of promiscuity.

    About three months into our relationship I broke up with her because I had heard enough, and couldn’t take it. We got back together because that experience informed me that I was really in love and should give it a try to work on my own insecurities. Part of me wonders why I am uncomfortable with casual sex, and wishes I wasn’t. What a fun woman! It was never boring, I still love her.

    The mention of unrestricted sociosexuality being more likely to end in divorce because of infidelity is a statistic the only re-enforces what we instinctively already know. It is hard to trust these women and for good reason, they lack sexual boundaries. She asked me why I was acting like I didn’t trust her. I explained it to her, and I’m sure it came off as slut shaming.
    How do I believe that you can flip a switch and turn off your impulsive sexual nature? What if we marry and inevitably find ourselves going through an soft spot, how will your fragile ego get re-enforced? I have to guess the way it always used to, by illicit sex.

    Should I be glad that all those other guys didn’t want a loving committed relationship with you so that you were left for me? To me it feels like I am less of a man for settling.

    Should I be glad I am with someone who has demonstrated an innate capacity to keep her emotions shut down when most of us use sex most of the time as a means to build connection? It makes me wonder if the connection we have is even real to you.

    Should I be comfortable being number 101 and feel confident that it will stay that way through thick and thin? It feels like I am getting the leftovers, like she has already given most of her away for free and wonder why I should pay the price and take the risk of high emotional investment.

    What it really feels like is that I am the only sucker who would put up with her callous behaviour towards sex and give her more than just sex in return.

    Oddly the way she speaks of it is with some degree of pride. I guess being wanted sexually is where she gets a lot if not all of her self-esteem. That is something I just don’t get. She is a great looking lady with an outgoing personality, getting sex is as easy as making her morning coffee. What is there to be proud of really? She used to mention other men in passing, I guess to make me jealous or test me. It totally backfired.

    So inside all of this mess, I am supposed to keep reassuring her because she is so insecure, and in order to do so, I would have to be emotionally bulletproof, which in my mind is not a desirable trait in anyone, and the truth is, if I was emotionally bulletproof, I would not be the reassuring type either unless I was wanting to manipulate some favours out of her. I can see her dilemma and am sorry for where she has found herself.

    She points out she is a grown woman with all sorts of values, but I know her damaged inner child often rules the day, meaning impulsiveness takes over often.

    Don’t get me wrong here, I understand the need to experiment to discover who we are. I also understand that being too sexually restricted isn’t healthy either, in fact I have been tortured by soemone like that for years in my marriage. I love sex. But I recognized early that it is hallow when I am not hopeful and optimistic that I have a potential true love in my arms, and vastly better when I know that I have the real thing. I told my girlfriend that as hard as I tried to reconcile it in my own mind, I could not see her as long term relationship material. The brutal truth that should have been left at, “we are too different and cannot possibly work out.”

    What is a good number at 50 yrs old? It would depend a lot on how long you were married or in exclusive relationships. I would hope at my age a lot of your time was spent exclusive, maybe 10, maybe 50? There is such a thing as too much. The highest numbers are a reflection of a lack of emotional health.


    1. Hi Doug — I hear your pain. And it’s interesting that you point out your former love has some pride in her number of lovers, as if that is a testament to her desirability. I can relate to that in her. I always need to feel desirable and have needed male approbation from a very young age. I don’t know where that came from? I’m sure my therapist might know. Despite that my husband is the only man I’ve had sex with in 17 years. So despite a period of, for lack of a better word, “promiscuity” I’ve remained faithful. The friend I’ve written about with the even larger number of former lovers has also, seemingly effortlessly, been faithful to her husband.

      Having said that, if someone is a sex addict (and I don’t pretend to know who falls into that category, I suspect the only person who can say for certain is the addict and/or their partner) or can find no other way of confirming their self-worth than by seducing other people, you definitely should steer clear. Lots of gray area in this arena unfortunately. I found that the more I worked on my emotional and mental health the more I attracted people into my life on a similar level. Although I’ll admit I hope one day to be as emotionally and mentally healthy as my husband. I’d say I married up in that way.

      Doug my hope for you is that you find a lover who makes you feel secure, loved, supported and safe and who inspires your respect and trust. xo S

      1. There is no reason for a woman to take pride in having had a lot of lovers. When you are a woman, getting sex is as easy as grocery shopping. You only have to walk in a bar and look slightly better than the elephant man.

  44. Many of the comments here make me genuinely sad. We Americans, as compared to , say, Europeans, are so backwards regarding the issue of sex. The use of the words “slut” or “slutty” regarding women who have had many sexual partners is such a sexual double-standard. Is there an equivalent term for men?

    I wonder why sex is such a loaded issue, and why we attach such moral judgment to it? Why is having lots of sexual experience, or partners, looked at in a negative light? Why is sex considered “dirty?”

    I find it very distasteful, and a real disservice to all women, to label oneself as a “slut” for having x amount of sexual experiences.

    1. Texas I think you’re absolutely right. I have a lot of repression stemming from my own upbringing and, I suspect, from being an American. I often wonder how other cultures handle this topic and which sex-positive cultures help create a less stigmatizing, more healthy mindset around sex.

  45. Hi Shannon,

    In case you are wondering why a lot of guys end up here who married women who have had a colourful love life, so to speak. Googling “wife premarital lot of lovers” puts your page right at the top. But that’s good for analytics and of course business, lol.

    All the best,


    ps. I was my wife’s second,…… least that is what she tells me…….
    Don’t they say that you have to divide a guys number by 3 and multiply a woman’s number by 64. That means I am number……..o sh*t 🙁

  46. Fatima Mohamed Aljamal

    Hello everyone

    My name is Fatima and I come from Egypt, and I am a muslim arab that thought it might be interesting for you guys/girls to see what an Arab’s woman’s thoughts are on this topic.

    First of all I am not judging anybody, each person is brought up differently and everyone is good in his own way.

    I would just like to state my personal opinion as a Muslim Woman.

    I have to say I am a bit shocked to find out that it is true indeed that Western women do have sex before marriage, but I never thought that it would be as much as those numbers mentioned (5,8,10,20 and even 40!?)

    My shock comes to me because grown up as a Muslim, we learn that it is very wrong and sinful to have sex unless with your husband only, and from my personal experience and all my friends it is safe to say around 90% of Muslim women will never have sex unless with her husband, from the women I met though it would be almost around 98% but I leave the 10% since I didnt conduct a thorough statistical research.

    The reason why I as a woman would never even dare let another man touch me is because I would feel as if this man just wants to use my body as a means of “pleasuring himself” then throwing me away like a piece of meal he is finished with. That would make me feel very cheap and low

    I am not married yet and yes as a woman I do get urges sometimes and do think at times of what it would feel like and get excited at the fact that one day I will marry a man that i can share all this with.

    Also if a man is willing to sleep with yet not MARRY you then he is basically just using you as a piece of meat. Self respect dictates that you should not let anybody use you let alone use you sexually.

    The quality of your married life when you have experienced only one man is purely different experience compared to the western women. I read so much about women including here where a woman would compare her ex’s to her husband, would think of other experiences, would perhaps prefer somebody else. Would even go as far as tell her husband that some other experiences may be better?!

    How disastrous would that be for the married life? How unfair would it be for BOTH the husband or wife to think about their partner enjoying another man’s or woman’s sexual encounter. That would emotionally distant you from your other half, even if not mentioned on the surface but deep down within it would. Ever wonder why western men never really want to know about their wives number? As western as these men may be, in the end they are men and all men are the same and their Egos will all be affected knowing that another man’s sexual organs have entered his wife. Or another man’s semen has been on the very face of the women he kisses everyday, and the same face and mouth that kisses her kids.

    It is in my opinion a very degrading act for a woman and a man to do, to have sex before marriage.. just to have pleasure for a few moments in the expense of taking away from your full potential marriage life.

    This is just my personal opinion I hope I have not offended anybody I just thought somebody may be interested in knowing that us muslim women don’t just NOT have sex because it is a SIN. No i wanted to state the reasons why we are so protective of our virginites. For I don’t believe in just doing something because we were told to do so, I believe there must be a reason first and if that reason happens to make sense to me then I do respect that and follow it all the way.

    thanks a lot and may God bless us all in the right way

    1. Fatima — I think it is very generous of you to write such a thoughtful treatise on the Muslim view about women’s sexuality. I think we Westerners are fairly ignorant of the Muslim mindset in its full complexity and frankly I really do agree with a lot of what you’ve written. I think sex has become highly politicized by many different groups; feminists among them. And so we often overlook our own personal feelings about sex and how we want to treat it, instead being pressured or influenced by the external culture we inhabit. In terms of my sexual past I don’t feel my sexual relationships were sinful or that I’ll be punished in the after life for them. However, I do think I might have avoided heartbreak had I avoided a few of these sexual relationships, because for me, sex with the heartbreakers bound me to them in ways I didn’t want it to. The fact of my having lovers prior to my marriage hasn’t affected my marital bed, however. My husband knows that he is the love of my life and that our sexual relationship is the most connected, long-term sexual relationship I’ve ever had. And if the fates keep us alive together, it will be my last. Again Fatima, thank you!

      1. Fatima Mohamed Aljamal

        Hey Shannon

        Appreciate your honest reply and I believe that there are examples like you where it does NOT in fact have a negative impact on your marital life (in general and not just in bed) – however do you believe that you can call yourself and your husband’s example the majority of examples?

        Do you believe that even though it did not affect you but could you see it potentially and very likely through mentioned examples how it is detrimental to many marital lives.. ones where constant subconscious comparisons will always be drawn (regardless if the partner even surfaces them on a conversational level) I work as a psychological councillor for both men and women who have marital problems and my patients confide their deepest secrets in me, which has taught me a lot on this matter.

        A very interesting thing i have learnt from men and I do hope all ladies reading this pay attention to this point; Men are much much more vulnerable and self-conscious than one might think. Due to constant cultural pressure on the Man’s Role, expecting him to always be macho, confident, dominant, reliable, sexually pleasing, strong and all those other attributes we all know of a typical “Man” per say. This causes the man to suppress much more emotions than he would like to, and you would be surprised to learn of the man’s ‘natural’ jealousy tendencies. That is in a healthy dose off course, not the over-the-top unbearable type. A man would never admit to how he would feel knowing the mother of his kids and the woman he will share the rest of his life with had “so many” lovers before, and no matter how much they would admit they would always have at the back of their minds that “what if..” – they would never doubt that they are NOT loved by their wives.. they are sure of that, but that does not mean that just because their wife is in love with them she wouldn’t from time to time wonder about past sexual experiences, and then especially that feeling would be heightened when the man fails to deliver a completely pleasing sexual encounter due to stress or whatever life reason at the time. When a Man has a short-coming with his wife especially sexually, he would always dive deep in negative thought of “i wonder if she is thinking that so and so (past lovers) would have done a better job, or would have been more ‘manly’ than me and satisfied her.

        All these are just examples of what could simply be avoided by not having pre marital sex, and like I said, not all who do have pre marital sex will face these consequences, however it is a very likely risk due to the consistent human nature worldwide regardless of ethnicity or race. A male is a male and a female is a female at the end of the day with universal instincts that is shared worldwide.

        Also think of a person having to work really really hard to get to something, one that held on so much to get a reward in the end. That reward will always always be much more satisfying and fulfilling, and its value would be 10 times more than if just say it was “simply given to you”.. same with sex.. when you “BOTH” save your virginities for each other, it becomes a magical moment engraved in stone that has much much more significant emotional, physical and spiritual meaning than that if he was just your lets say “number 22 lover” and you were his 26th”

        Thanks Shannon you have a great blog thread going on here for what seems to be over 3 years!

        1. Fatima — I am going to reply to your latest comment soon, but I am swamped at work. Thanks again for adding your voice to the conversation. It’s obviously touched a chord in a lot of people.

  47. Why even discuss a number of lovers, for anyone? I am glad it has been admitted that these are unfair prejudices, at least. I’ve had a high number, and am barely getting past the shame just now, years later, because of our closed-minded society. But really, why would anyone want to know or even HEAR about who else their husband or wife has been with? We need to get over the shame. Human beings are human beings and we want acceptance and physical affection. So be it, and oh well. It’s none of our business anyway! Why not just focus on the Here and Now?

    1. Bixby I agree. Sex is such a complex issue. It’s impossible most of the time to understand how it affects us individually, let alone how it affects or what it means to someone else. I’ve definitely been affected by my culture and upbringing in ways I’ll never understand fully. I try to recognize when I’m feeling judgmental and ask myself why? And what does that accomplish? In any case, your vulnerability, transparency and gentleness on this topic is dear. xo

    2. My husband and I are each other’s best friend and soul mates. We discuss EVERYTHING, all our past sexual partners, what we liked and didn’t like, our fantasies, who we find hot (I’m bi, so we have some objects of fantasies in common 🙂 ). It makes us understand and empathize with one another. I couldn’t see it any other way.

    3. Most men have a limit as to how many lovers a woman should have. The majority of men would not consider a LTR or marriage with a woman who has had more than 20 partners. So half of the male population is not intersted in you long term. A large number of men consider 3 as the limit. Many would prefer a virgin. I know of no man who wants a high count wife. Just saying…

  48. I am 33 and have been married for five years to a wonderful man. I have always been very sexual and had about 50 lovers before we married. He only had two, one his first wife as they married at 19 and one after they divorced.
    His wife crushed him, she repeatedly cheated on him then left him for another man. I knew about all of this even before we went on our first date. A friends husband had his wife set us up. I know he thought he was doing it just to get his friend “layed” and he knew how open I was. Then after we started seeing each other he did everything to break us up. Maybe it would have been a good thing. I swore to myself I would be a good faithful wife to him but I failed.
    We made love on our first date. It was terrible for me but he was in heaven. I thought well I can teach him and learn to be satisfied. He tried but he gets so frustrated. I did once make a comment in jest about faking an orgasm. Super big mistake! You may think it is funny but men take is seriously. It really hurt his ego.
    He also asked me once about my fantasies. I responded with “my fantasy is to come home and see you have cleaned the house” I immediately regretted that. The crushed look on his face told it all. I tried to recover but it was still there. After that he stopped trying so hard to please me.
    Now for the part I am totally ashamed of. A year into the marriage I was frustrated both sexually and about how far apart we had grown. We both worked and had little time for ourselves. He was out of town for work and I was feeling lonely. I decided to go out with one of my single girlfriends and have a few drinks.
    She is still as wild as she was when we where hanging out. I should have known better. We drank, danced and soon where sitting at a booth with two men. I knew she wanted to go home with one and I was only keeping the other busy. I had no intention of doing anything.
    A few too many drinks and we all ended up at the guys house. Next thing I knew I was waking up next to this guy. It was morning, the sun was out and my husband was due home in an hour. I was hung over, sore and I felt more like a slut than I had ever felt. I got up and looked down at this guy. He looked up and me, smiled and pulled me back on top of him. I tried to resist what I was feeling but the need was too strong. Afterwards I got up and dressed. I drove my girlfriend home and cried all the way back to my house. I got there just before my husband did.
    After that I found my husband began to satisfy me more, I began to orgasm easily with him. Why, because I continued to have sex with this other guy. I still continue to have other lovers. I now accept the fact that I will probably never be satisfied with just one lover and the problem may not be with him but with me.
    I have talked to other wives and I now believe the real problem starts with the wife, she is the one who gets bored with her husband long before he does. We get restless and put it on our husbands. Blame them for our loss of sexual interest when in fact they are just responding to our signals. Then they cheat.
    For me having other lovers works. For some wives blaming their husbands work but is it fair to blame them when they cheat? After all, what man wants to be with a woman he knows is unsatisfied?

    1. Hmm, there’s something about this comment that makes me feel like it’s not a real person writing in? In case I’m wrong I would like to respond. But to be honest I really don’t know what to say? Except that I don’t think this is a gender-based problem. I think what you’re describing could happen to a man or a woman. I hope you seek some counseling to find peace within yourself.

    2. Do the right thing- tell your husband and give the poor man the divorce he deserves. Then you can continue your conquests. Wait until you are no longer married to sleep around.

  49. As a young man, this discourages me from marrying. So much for expecting honesty from women. I DO NOT feel like the prize for being the end of the sex train. And having to pay for it when so many others got it for free. Might as well just be the guy getting it for free.

    1. Hi Bob — first let me say learning to love is tricky business. Some of us didn’t have the best role models growing up and flounder a bit trying to get it right. Some of the floundering includes taking lovers. Having these experiences, for both men and women, teaches us more about ourselves. I feel like every experience I had taught me who I was. It taught me what I did and didn’t want and has made it possible for me to be a good wife. I wonder why it is that women are given a harder time about how many lovers they’ve had as opposed to men (this double standard still exists). Is it because our sex organs are internal? Because we are literally letting someone inside of us? Not sure, but just because a woman has had many lovers, it doesn’t mean she won’t be able to respect and be true to her husband and marriage. In fact, it’s often the reason she can.

      1. That double standard only exists when you are 17 years old. Then a guy is cool if he did a lot of girls. I don’t think that generally women will be too thrilled if their BFs or husbands slept with lots of women.

  50. Hey Shannon,

    Looking at the length of this thread. Isn’t there a new book of yours in this?
    …………Just a thought.

  51. of the following three women, all the same age (27) and started having sex at the same age (17), who is more sexually experienced?
    A) Two long-term sex partners, had sex a total of 1000 times.
    B) Twenty sex partners, had sex a total of 100 times.
    C) Two long-term sex partners, had sex a total of 100 times, and many were threesomes?
    Is it the number of acts, the number of partners, or the types of acts?

    1. It’s a combination. There is a point where the number of partners gets excessive (more than 9), but I’d prefer a girl with 5 serious relationships, than 3 one night stands. Also threesomes, especially with two guys is a straight-up fk no, I am not staying with that.

  52. Wow! lots of interesting opinions. I have been married for 19yrs. I suffer from retroactive jealousy. I only pray that my wife doesn’t one day say she liked and fess up to having slept with the number of men that you or some of your readers have slept with. I guess the hardest thing for me is that I’m old fashioned in believing that a woman should love a man before sleeping with them. If only because of what some of your readers have stated, that, a woman can get sex anytime she wants. My wife had told me she had 5 relationships before we met. She was 26 when I met her. She said these were her only sexual partners. No one night stands and casual encounters. However, I wonder if they were all one night stands might I be more accepting. The thought of her being into another man so much as to let them have sex with her is infuriating. Even if it was before we met. Why gave to go through so many guys? What does that teach you about yourself? That you like sex? It’s easier for a man to orgasm than a woman. Some may have sex many times and not orgasm. So to me your just being used by some smooth talking guys that pretend to be into you. But really all the promiscuous sex is really about that in a nutshell for women. To feel attractive, and sexy just because someone gets an erection for you.

  53. Personally I wouldnt marry a woman with more than 5 legit partners. Found one with zero. Iv dated many girls who have lied in ordered to secure the relationship, I broke it off very soon after each time. The way I see it is that you can be a marriage girl or a practice girl. It makes absolutely no sense to wife up a 28-35yo woman that has given her most beautiful years to other men for free and I get to be the sucker that pays full price of wedding and a house when every other guy got a free ride….For those thinking Im commoditising you, I am…When we apply for a job we go to HR…Human Resources…My value lies in my height and earning power, I accept this. Womens value is youth, beauty and fertility, character, her degree is only a bonus, a woman thats had 20 dicks in my eyes lacks character….One of my last gfs decided to settle down at 28yo after being the town bike…60 plus guys, i realised something was up when she did not want to go out in public very often…I said that anything over 15 guys is gross and saw her head look down in shame…shes still single a 2 yr later and on anti depressants. One of our friends told me she was a super tramp yrs ago and most guys that meet her consider her ruined. Many guys I personally know think similar to me but because of there financial or social situation they say they have no choice but to settle for ex hoes or go abroad which is what 3 of my close friends have done and married gorgeous chaste partners. Where Im from the situation for many women I know is getting dire…All those years of being told they are special and could sleep around when young then marry later has been a lie for most of them, the guys they want now look past them at the younger less traveled girls leaving them high and dry….wouldnt be so bad if they were career girls with high incomes but these are girls with normal average to below average jobs, cant afford to buy a house and have a ticking “i want to have a family” clock. I dont think the girls are to blame as much as the media and culture itself…these girls were easy to lead, told they were pioneers….Its sad for our communities knowing many wont have kids and if they do it maybe alone, our tax base will errode amongst other problems. As for me I married a beautiful inside and out virgin….My friends think its great i found a keeper whilst the women my age detest it with one, my cousin saying if men like me keep doing this she and her friends will get left on the shelf. I guess it all goes back to the saying “Theres always a future cost for pleasures past” …..and “its what you say no to that defines you” so many women said yes…maybe no was the better answer….only history will tell.

  54. 1. I feel that casual sex cheapens a person; it has me. There is something of your heart that is either taken, or blocked off as a result, and the more you open yourself up the less there is to give. The girl I am currently seeing, seriously, had a casual FWB just before meeting me, and although she stopped contacting him she received a message “do you want to hook up” right in front of me the day after Thanksgiving. I saw her as a shamed woman for many months after that, tried to break up with her, shamed her, and went astray. It’s only thru some unbeknownst connection, or will on her part that we are still together and actually beginning to be happy. Thus, for a girl there is a casualty in casual sex, herself.
    2. For a girl, too many is going to be more than what she can count on both hands. That allows for previous boyfriends and a few indiscretions. Too few? There is no such thing. Most guys want to be a girls only to be completely honest.
    3. For a guy, any more than 15-20 leaves you more open to cheating as any moral barrier you have to sex is lowered to the extent that one could simply fall right back into a fling. Too few? Probably around 3-5. As a guys performance is more tied to the overall satisfaction of the interaction they should know what they’re doing, and the variance in how to please women.
    4. I still judge women that have “been around.” Most people do, it’s just a matter of where they draw the line. Sexual choice is a woman’s power, and abuse of power is met with judgement. Also, I believe guys are intrinsically territorial, and for that reason it is harder and harder to a guy to believe a girl is “his” the more men that “had” her.
    5. From a guy who has had fewer partners than his girlfriend, there is some resentment that she’s had more lovers than me… until I made up that number behind her back. I’m not proud of what I did, and it didn’t make me feel better about the things in her sexual past that I loath, but I don’t feel insecure anymore. A guy wants to lead in the bedroom, which is harder when you think you’re the novice leading the expert.

Comments are closed.

Self-Help Book About Healing Love Addiction

Don't Miss Shannon's Tastefully Infrequent Newsletter


* indicates required