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Should You Reveal The Number Of People You’ve Slept With?

I couldn’t resist. Especially after watching the video. At first I was in complete agreement with YourTango‘s Experts. And then they got stupid.  Watch:

So, the correct answer is NO. But if that doesn’t work, the correct LIE is 8. Because any number higher than 10 makes you sound like a .

I swear my neighbors could hear me laughing as I watched this last night. 8! LMAO hysterical.

Anyway, I’ve written about this number nonsense before and I’m a firm believer that it’s a ridiculous question for grown-ups. I care that my partner has been practicing safe . And I care about his medical history. Numbers don’t matter to me. In fact, I’m fairly sure that some of my partners (those that haven’t spent most of their adult lives married) have racked up numbers into the triple digits. And I’m OK with that.

I’ve only had one guy, a fairly serious bf, press me about my number. I understood, knowing him, that it was an issue of curiosity and wanting to get to know me better. And that no matter what I said, he wasn’t going to care much. And still I didn’t give him a number. Because I didn’t know. I was in my mid-30s and had long since stopped counting. So I gave him a ballpark figure and he was perfectly happy. I, however, was annoyed as hell that he made me go there. Obvious statement: it didn’t occur to me to lie. Why the fuck would anyone do that?

So… I want to know. What about you? Do you keep track?  Do you share your number with your partner(s)? Do you ask your partner(s) about their numbers?  Do you or have you ever lied about your number?


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25 to “Should You Reveal The Number Of People You’ve Slept With?”


  1. Roxanne says:

    I’d have to lie up to have any credibility. (Married for too long)

    • Rick says:

      Male age 50. Married 22 years, divorced remarried 3 years. Four partners TOTAL in life incl my ex and current wife. Not embarrassed in the least. My current wife had alot more partners. I understand the need to feel paired with someone, I just took it seriously each time. What I looked for is someone with commitment to share life with me whom I felt the same way about — history does not matter within reason and absense of STDs. I dated more but did not sleep with someone when I was younger until I thought there was a strong bond. Now older I did not and would not engage in sex before marriage but go wild within its context. Its not a badge, its the deepest level of a relationship.

  2. Ross Felix says:

    As usual, I think you hit it on the head. The biggest issues to me are 1) Are you STD free and 2) Is the number greater than zero.

    Other than that, I don’t think it matters.

    Yes, I know the number, but what was more important to my partner, was that I don’t have any “gifts that keep on giving.”

  3. SoloAt30 says:

    I keep track. The last boyfriend who pressed for a number apparently thought I’d only slept with three men because I’d only had three serious relationships before him. I thought, poor thing. When I finally told him, he was a little upset because it was more than what he claimed was his number. But it didn’t matter enough to him to stop our relationship for continuing another two years. :)

    Number should be irrelevant…to a point (I’d honestly be concerned to try to have a serious relationship with someone who’d slept with more than 50 people but that’s just a personal hang-up). But I agree, safe sex is the most important consideration your partner should have about your past.

  4. Black Iris says:

    I have to opposite perspective on the issue. Why wouldn’t you be willing to tell someone your number or at least a rough estimate? I can’t see talking about it with everyone you date, but if you’re in a serious relationship, why not?

    The exact number isn’t that important, but I think it makes sense that people want to know about their partner’s past sexual life. In an intimate relationship, you share about your upbringing, jobs, travel, or any significant past experiences. Sex is an important part of your life, so why not talk about it? If you’re in a romantic/sexual relationship with someone you care about it’s relevant to your life together.

    In fact, I think the reason people don’t want to talk about it is because it does matter.

    And I agree with you that the video is nuts. Lie about it? Then what? If you stay with someone for years, you’re not going to be able to maintain a lie. Not a good way to start a relationship.

  5. Wynn says:

    Ten. I’m one ahead of bf, LOL. I mean, whatever with the numbers. I don’t even know why people really care, apart from being curious. It wouldn’t occur to me to judge someone after it.

  6. nathan says:

    The number is small enough for me to remember. Although there are two that I’m not sure whether to count or not, lmao!

  7. HP says:

    I’m completely open about my number to potential bfs and I’d like whomever I’m dating to be open as well. Obviously the most important thing is that they’re STD free but (being still in my mid-twenties) if I met a guy and he told me he had already hit a very high double or even triple digit well then yeah I’d have a problem. I’d have to wonder whether he’d be serious about a relationship or just want another notch for his belt.

    This reminds me of that girl who on her quest to be like Samantha from Sex & the City had sex with 1000 men by the time she hit 30. I think anyone can agree that is excessive from someone so young. And now she apparently wants to settle down which she’s obviously going to have trouble doing.

  8. Still trying to figure out why anyone would want to go there?? I agree that it is totally irrelevant to the present relationship. What is important, as you said, is to have a convo about having been safe and STD free, because although relationships are about caring and sharing, I’ll gladly pass on the VD.
    Great post!
    xo
    ~M

  9. Mel says:

    (lost track) What is also interesting, is — being bisexual — do you “count” the total number of men AND women you’ve slept with, when a man asks… or just give him the male head (heh) count?

    From time-to-time, I’ve considered trying to figure out my “number” then I realize that I can’t remember if I slept with Guy A or Guy B from over a decade ago. Besides the point of the sex obviously not being memorable enough, has anyone else “forgotten” if they’ve slept with someone? *shrugs shoulders* I don’t care about numbers, only that my current partner WANTS to have sex (preferably all the time). ;)

  10. jackie says:

    Let’s do some basic math. Let’s assume I’m 40, and I lost my virginity at 20. I’ve gotten laid once a year for the last 20 years. That puts my minimum number at 20. 8 is not only a lie, it’s only relatively realistic if you’re under 25.

    Worst. Advice. Ever.
    JFB

  11. I stopped counting, myself, which is good since I would never answer this question (and now I can’t!), but I certainly wouldn’t lie. If someone wouldn’t accept that response, I’d have to not accept him. Someone who cares that much about the number probably cares about other things that I find irrelevant, too.

  12. Under no circumstances would I ever tell any guy I was dating. It’s even problematic that he wants to know. What’s he going to do with that information? Bad.

    -The Spinsterlicious Life

  13. Miss Company says:

    Well, there are a lot of different responses to this question! I have only ever told two males my actual number- the first cuz he told me his number first (and his number was so high, I knew he wouldn’t be put off by my equally high number) and the second person was someone I was ‘swinging’ with and he was just curious (but because I wasn’t emotionally involved with him, I didn’t see it being a problem, and never has been since).
    My number is pretty high for a younger person, but I would never say I will have issues getting into relationships/commitment (as previous comments show…) I don’t think it matter how many people you have slept with, or how many times you’ve slept with one person- it’s all down to personal judgement- you do what you believe is the right thing to do. I would never change my experiances and will carry on having fun as long as I see fit!
    (but as a rule of thumb, I still don’t think I’d tell a partner how many people I’ve slept with…) x

  14. MidtownGirl says:

    This is just stupid. 8?? Grow up. And more importantly – what’s wrong with being a slut? Own it! I am 42, lost virginity at 21 – made up for lost time, so to speak in my 30′s. My number is around 50 give or take (i recently tried counting for my own interest). Would I tell a guy that – probably not but I also wouldn’t ask a guy that either. At this stage in the game it doesn’t matter, nor does it reveal a true picture anyways (on monogamy or loyalty).

  15. LJ Maggie says:

    One time in college my friends and I decided to make a list, sort of like Miranda had to do in Sex and the City when she got an STD, though my friends and I weren’t doing it for that reason. Since I went back to college in my mid twenties, my number was a little higher. I also lost my virginity at 18 and in my 20′s enjoyed my single life a lot.

    I think I had a guy ask me once about sexual partners and think I told him a little less than the actual number. My main concern like most people is the STD factor. I get tested at least once a year. I would hope a guy would tell me if he had an STD, though and ex-boyfriend of mine actually lied to me about that.

    I don’t think you should need to tell your partner how many people you have slept with.

    • meandmyself says:

      why don’t you think you should tell him? are you ashamed of it?
      The thing is that no real man with a bit of self esteem would ever want to have a serious relationship with someone who has had no control over her instincts at all… what you call enjoy your single life… I call it to have very low self respect and will have an impact on who you are. It is very sad that you actually have to lie to your partners to be taken in consideration… you are actually living a lie…
      meandmyself recently posted..It’s an effective business strategy to NOT be an asshole.My Profile

  16. Chiara says:

    If you really want to freak them out, tell them they’re your first

  17. Black Iris says:

    @Jackie – Your math is off if someone has been married or in several long-term relationships. Then you can have a 40 year old with a number like 8.

  18. ttrer says:

    Is it bad if a guy hasn’t have any sexual partners by the age of 25? I’ve never even held a girl’s hand…

  19. @nn says:

    lol.. I would not tell my man the number of people Ive slept with lol.. I lost it when I was 14 and so to do the math.. My number is around 30 .. good things is that my man is the last number ever..

  20. meandmyself says:

    If you lie about the number of persons you have slept with is to me as bad as cheating to your partner and don’t say anything… at the end your partner does not know who he/she is living with and he/she did not have the choice to chose based on the truth… I would not like to know my wife was a person with not much more control over her sexual instincts that a street dog… nor I would like to enter in a bar thinking that probable the 80% of the bar has slept with my wife… We all have our premises on how we chose our partners (size, color of eyes, color of hair, warm smile, etc) well one of my premises is that my partner to be to have some self respect and control over herself not go to sleeping around with the first guy that gives her a smile…
    meandmyself recently posted..It’s an effective business strategy to NOT be an asshole.My Profile

  21. ashley says:

    Wish I knew how old this story was. Can’t seem to find a date. Anywho Im 24 and have been with my bf for 7 years. Solely with him even when we took a year off I was only with him. He claims his is 4. 2 before me, 2 while we were broken up and then me, the 5th. I believe I told him 4 or 5 however when I was a teen I was a bad girl. I liked trouble and older guys and back then I kept a list
    But once I got into a relationship I lost it because that’s hard to explain if found. Kind of a mean and hurtful thing too. Now that i try to write one I come up with blanks and have stopped at 30! And as the night goes on I recall more and more. Idk if “slut” has a number though. I think its how a female acts not who or how many she’s with. I do not call myself a slut by any means. Now to tell him or not. Would it just be to hard after 7 years of’4′ or is it fair to tell.

  22. Jason says:

    Hi,

    It is all to do with the personalities involved. One type quite accepts the number of sexual relations their partner has had. For other types, it is a major problem. I am 71 years old, have been married for 47 years, to a wonderful women. Unfortunately, I was a virgin when I married and my wife lied to me about the number of sexual relationships she had. Because of my obsessive personality, it led to me having a nervous breakdown and ceasing employment at 50. I must admit, if she had been honest with me, I would have dropped her like a hot potato. Which in retrospect would have been the best for both of us. My wife has had to resort to a psychiatrist to handle the situation. My only advice, is no matter what the consequences of being truthful, just do it. Better to terminate early than to suffer a life long problem.