dating / friendship / life / me / relationships / sex

Full Sexual Disclosure: The Numbers Game

Cupcakes: Easier to share and easier to
swallow than sexual pasts.

When it
comes to relationships and the baring of your soul to another
individual, where do you draw the line. Do you strip yourself of
your defences and jump right in or do you take your time, revealing
a bit at a time, and making sure to never go “too far?” Does it
make a difference if you’re talking to a friend versus a
significant other or someone you may have a romantic interest in?
Do you want exact details – names, numbers and dates, would you
rather have more of a vague overview or perhaps nothing at all?
Would you rather avoid the subject completely or do you feel more
comfortable having an idea of your partner’s sexual past?
Regardless of your stand: are you comfortable enough with
your partner to discuss using protection and STI
testing?
Sitting around, having some cocktails with my
girlfriends the other night we started discussing our “numbers.”
Yes, those
numbers.

 

 

 

Mine, depending on what you want to
include in that number:

4

Or, if you want to count absolutely
e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g: 7 plus 1 failed very drunken
attempt.

Do you “kiss” and count? Or “kiss” and tell?
I’ve always been self-conscious of mine – not that it’s extreme,
relative to other people, but revealing it is almost embarrassing.
Some people think oh wow, “that’s it?” As comfortable as I am with
my sexual side and as open as I am people always seem to be
surprised. It never fails. The thing is, I learned early on how
easy it is for a mistake to change your life. When my ex caught
something from a girl he’d been sleeping with before he ended
things with me “to sleep with other people,” it sent me into a
panic and straight to the doctor. Thankfully it was never passed to
me but it was definitely a life (and sex) lesson learned.
It doesn’t matter who you’re with, or how
long you’re with them, you can never be too
careful.
So I was never really one to
throw caution to the wind when it came to safety with my sex life
(getting pregnant using birth control really was a
fluke.) For me, one night stands were never really one night
stands. They may have started out that way – in a drunken haste –
all 3 of them, but past that I was cautious. Regular STI tests for
myself and I know that my last partner/first one night stand did
the same due to a very heated argument in the basement of a house
that he shared with 5 other guys. With my second one night we had
an arrangement: when we were sleeping together, we were sleeping
together exclusively. If one of us began dating someone exclusively
or sleeping with someone else, all sexual activity between us
ceased. Before they started again we both got tested. It was purely
sexual so we had no qualms setting those boundaries and rules
between each other. That arrangement worked out well for us, things
never soured and we are even facebook friends. (Woooo…?
Is that actually some sort of accomplishment in this day and
age?)
I never went to the bar, picked up randoms and
went home with them. Ever. Not even once. If I ever got home and
“had to have it, (Now)” I’d either head over to JME’s house next
door or down the road to Goldie’s or even call up The Ex (at
separate times – I wasn’t sleeping with them simultaneously.) I
just couldn’t bring myself to have sex with someone that 1) I knew
nothing about or 2) I knew probably wouldn’t be honest about their
sexual history in the heat of the moment. It was just safer, and
more fun to me, to call up someone that could relieve those sexual
impulses, frustrations or what have you and know that I wasn’t
potentially taking a huge risk than to go home with someone. It
wasn’t that I’d only had sex 5 times over the course of now and
when I lost my virginity (a month short of 18 for the curious folk)
it’s just that I consistently slept with the same people – over and
over again. Plus two long term relationships, 2 1/2 and 3 years
respectively. Sitting around chatting with the girls about our
various exploits is a rather regular sort of thing for us to do
(not that I have anything even remotely new to contribute to the
conversations lately) and it’s easy to discuss experiences, and
tell stories – and hell I could kick any of their asses at a game
of Never Have I Ever.

Never have I ever had a
quickie in the stairwell outside of my lecture hall…. *cheers
Goldie*

However, I have qualms about
discussing all of this with someone I’m dating. I find it really
strange that I don’t want to discuss something so intimate and
personal with someone I should feel at ease sharing anything with.
Especially since I’m so comfortable discussing it with just about
anyone else. I guess the general unease isn’t really on the sharing
part of it – it lies more in the learning aspect of it. I don’t
want to know. Yeah, swapping stories is fun – and fine for that
matter – but I don’t really want a number and I most certainly
don’t want specifics. “Hey remember that girl that used
to hang out with my buddies and I when we were neighbours? We
totally banged in a canoe in the ditch behind the outlet
malls!”
** You know what’s going to happen? Every time
you mention her I’m going to think of the two of you. Bumping
uglies. In a canoe. I don’t want that. The story is great – awesome
even – but it stops being hilarious when you put a face on the
idiot that fell for the pick up line that ended with her, naked, in
a canoe. I don’t want names. I don’t want to see photos of her. I
don’t want specific dates. I do not want to know. Any of that. At
all. I don’t want a straight up lie – honesty is always the best
policy – but things in abstract are easier to absorb. The only
exception to my, preferred, rule of thumb is sex with a close
friend. That should always be revealed, up front, in it’s entirety,
lest it be revealed at another, less convenient/more
awkward/unfavourable time or by somebody else entirely. I kind of
waver back and forth on it really, because on one hand: I don’t
care. Really. On the other: I can never tell what’s going to cause
a little twinge of jealousy. And the thing is, I won’t say anything
about it – I’ll just keep it to myself and pretend like it doesn’t
matter. What do you guys think?
Thoughts, views, opinions – do you think it’s
important, do you actively share?
What’s your process when discussing
your sexual history?
**Not a true story. May
possibly be a few of someone’s stories strung
together as a hybrid purely for demonstration purposes only. (not
mine. fyi)

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14 thoughts on “Full Sexual Disclosure: The Numbers Game

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Full Sexual Disclosure: The Numbers Game « Mister Mama, Sir -- Topsy.com

  2. Honestly? I don’t want details from my man, either. I know that CBG had a pretty …um…”busy” sex life back in the 90s when he was going through his “wild and crazy days”. I have never asked for a number and frankly I never, ever want to know. When he and I were broken up for a few months early on in our relationship I went to every effort to forget about him by burying myself in other men. While he has a vague notion about this, he’s never asked, and I’ve never told. I guess I just feel like knowing these kinds of specifics just wouldn’t improve our relationship in any way…

    • I totally get that.
      I think there is a point in a relationship where you can ask and it won’t affect your relationship and once you’re past that not only will it not improve it, it might even affect it negatively.

  3. I also prefer to not know the number. I don’t think I would even tell the number to my girlfriends. I’m not really ashamed of it – yes I would take some back but it is what it is. I never even knew my ex-husband’s number. I knew that he was 34 when we met and I new he had had some good party days in his 20s but I just protected myself as necessary.

    • I think some of what makes a difference in whether insane to know anything is the seriousness of the relationship. I’m more open to sharing that kind of stuff earlier on in the relationship before I’m emotionally invested in it.

      It’s easier to learn that stuff while you’re still learning everything about someone than it is to learn it about them when you already think you know everything about them.
      Does that make sense?

  4. I am catching up on the reading here…I have to tell. And I have to know. But I’m a nosy reporter type so that’s just me. But I think you *have* to have a talk right at the beginning about where you feel comfortable knowing things and he feels comfortable and agree on what you’ll share. There has to be a talk — even in vague terms — before I’d jump in the sack with him. And protection is always important when you’re not sure.

    • Most days I think I know where I stand on it but there are still days when I think I want to know everything and days when I think I don’t want to know a single thing.

      I want to know… But I don’t. All at the same time.

  5. I think in order to have a sexual relationship with someone you HAVE to be able to discuss your past. If you can’t talk about sex, how are you gonna have it?! I’m married so it’s not something I have to worry about, but I should know the following before we jump into bed

    – when did you lose your virginity
    – how many partners
    – ever had a disease
    – are you sleeping with anyone else

    These are must knows IMO.
    – have you been tested recently

    • I agree with all of those but I’m still not sure if I want an exact number.
      I don’t know if it would change how I see my relationship with someone but I’m worried it might.
      It feels safer not knowing that, as long as I know everything else.

  6. I have always before this wanted to know everything and also wanted to tell everything. I didn’t want it coming up at a time when I was unprepared. So I always wanted to have a very specific talk (over wine). Luckily the guys’ numbers were always close to mine (supposedly). Now, however, I just started seeing someone who has a lot of mutual friends of mine. And I kind of don’t even want to know in case I am friends with some of the girls. But then again, what if it came up at an imopportune time? I’m torn about what I want to do in the future. This was a great post. Very thought provoking!

    • See, I don’t mind knowing. In abstract.
      Or “in theory.”
      But I’m kind of afraid of what I’d find out.
      Not specifically the number but more like the person.
      I don’t want to find out that the girl you had that amazing night with is the one we’re going out for drinks with on the weekend, you know?
      Although at the same time I don’t want to be unprepared should it come up in “casual conversation.”

      It’s tricky.

  7. I shared early on in the relationship as a way to warn him…I was leaving for Vegas without him and I had to tell him that I was scared my slutty ways would come back to me. And it spilled out how many people I’d been with. And magically he had been with one more than me. I don’t know if he was telling the truth. Beyond that we haven’t talked about it, but I have over the years gotten a couple stories from his mom about him being with sisters…when he was 14 or 15…yeah…So I try not to hold anything against him. We were both in different places before we met and we’re together now and there’s no one else.
    Anyway! Random commenting right off the bat!
    Now to go write my weightloss post!
    Randa…@randaroopoo

    • I really don’t think I want to know. It’s in the past and as long as there is nobody else while we’re together I don’t think it’s relevant.
      I mean, I’m curious but I hate to think I’d learn something I didn’t want to know..

  8. Pingback: Relationships: Infidelity and Integrity. « Mister Mama, Sir

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