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Having the Sexual History Talk With Your Mate

Updated on May 8, 2015

How many sexual partners have you had?

That question is sticky. It can be a deal killer between a couple in a meaningful relationship. A LTR. Whether male or female, it is a touchy subject for obvious reasons. Both sexes hedge at truthfully answering it in fear that THE number of sexual partners may scare off a mate they truly are in love with. Some partners just avoid the topic and simply do not care. What happened before they met makes no difference, to others, it does matter. Maybe it is an indication how sexually loose the mate is, how trustworthy they might be when temptation knocks on their door. Maybe in this case, the best policy to this question is not to be 100% truthful with that number.

For new couples, on the cusp of love, this question will come up. Most seek to avoid it unless pinned down, even then, they may reduce the actual number. The issue becomes more acure for some when the dating occurs between empty-nesters, those 60 yrs. old and below. The sexual frequency in a person during their twenties is far more than in later life. But does it even matter?

In a recent poll of nearly 6000 persons, 50% of them did not want to know how many partners the mate had. Many when asked, simply refused to answer causing a chilling impact on the relationship. Only 3% of men and women refuse to disclose the number of sexual partners they have had after the first date. After things warm up, 30% of them will disclose the number of partners they have had, however, 21% refuse to give this information. The study's most revealing statistic is what many have known, that men think about sex in some form several times in a day- over 40% of the men polled did between ages 20-30 yrs. The poll showed that with older adults returning to the dating scene, men had twice the number of sexual partners than women did.

When the question does arise before sex occurs, most of those surveyed tell the truth. The poll showed than both men and women only lied about it (by lowering the actual number) 16% of the time. Another key statistic is that 57% of them did not want to know the answer. Is the number of sexual partners one has had over 20-30 years even matter? Would you think differently of the person you are in love with?

What is the average number of sexual partners? The most recent survey of over 13,000 between 15-44 yrs. old, was six for men and three for women. In another study strictly on singles, it was 14 for men and 8 for women. For many, it is just a number with little meaning because it was in the past and people change over the years. What they were like in their 20's has little to do with them now in the 40's or 50's. Many still refrain from discussing it much until the relationship is serious. Sometimes, it is better to approach the topic gradually over time if the other is uncomfortable about it. Would a response of 100 partners bother you as much if the person was 40, instead of 25 yrs. old?

It's just a number, right? Hmmm....


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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Exactly! Politics!

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 2 years ago

      Just like politics!LOL

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Studies are always interesting. The best part is that studies encourage us to study further, have discussions ad infinitum and come to terms with the hard core realities of human nature. "Nature" exists and is guided by a power far beyond our human imaginations....We can read and contemplate and talk until the end of time as we go in circles.....Thanks Perry.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 2 years ago

      I agree. The past is the past and is done. There is only the present for sure and the potential of a future. Still, I found the study interesting.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I had to laugh at that old saying, dashing! Funny, but probably very realistic.

      perrya.....The subject of "sex" comes up (no pun) in my life anymore.....about once every other year. This hub of yours counts as the one time in the past 2 years. So I don't need to concern myself with this particular topic again until May 2017.

      Having said this.....I have no clue what "others" feel is important or necessary, good, bad or indifferent in terms of having a "count" of a significant other's number of prior intimate escapades.

      I can tell you that for me, since it's a non-issue, I would assume by the number of marriages and/or long term relationships he had that I was aware of, the number may be X or Y.....anything beyond my speculations, Hey.....I'd give him as a bonus. I REALLY do not care all that much about stirring up the past, in this specific area of in exchanging the number of notches on one's belt.

      Especially, if a potential partner is going to judge you as a person based upon this number......WHY HAVEN'T YOU CUT YOUR LOSSES AND RUN LIKE HELL YET??!! Get OUT!

      What should really matter is the here and now, our current relationship and working on the things you hope to do and accomplish together as a couple. If you're checking off scoreboards of the past, you're doomed to fail at everything. If that number matters to you a great deal and the other person knows that: EXPECT TO BE LIED TO & BTW....Grow-up. You're an adult now. UP+++

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      I believe the older we become the less emphasis we place on the number of past sexual partners one has had. In fact it would be a very odd question for a 50+ year old to ask another 50+ year old.

      The more popular question is: How many times have you been married?:)

      Historically men have always wanted to be the one in the relationship with the most partners. There was an old saying that whatever number a man gives cut it by half and whatever number a woman gives multiply it by two. :)