Telling your partner how many people you’ve slept with can be dangerous emotional territory—but it doesn’t have to be.
The first step in any romantic relationship is getting to know one another, even if the extent of this introduction is finding out whether the other person spits or swallows, or if they want their eggs scrambled or over easy in the morning.
Some areas of inquiry, however, can be virtual minefields. One particularly dangerous territory, and one that virtually every relationship wanders into, is the number of sexual partners that one has had in the past.
“We don’t hesitate to share how many concerts we’ve seen or how many countries we’ve visited, but when it comes to sex, there’s a stigma attached to our sexual history that creates a conflict over how much to share and how honest to be.”Dr. Eric Sprankle
Regardless of whether a relationship is destined for the long-term or only for the next week, one person will inevitably ask the other how many people they’ve slept with. The fact is, we are all guilty of being a little too inquisitive about former lovers. The gnawing desire to learn how many people the person we’re dating has bedded down is just our natural curiosity at work.
Sharing that information, however, can be daunting and, often, problematic.
“As we become more emotionally intimate with someone, it’s natural to want to share our life stories with them,” Dr. Eric Sprankle, associate professor of clinical psychology and co-director of the Sexuality Studies program at Minnesota State University, tells HUSTLERmagazine.com. “We don’t hesitate to share how many concerts we’ve seen or how many countries we’ve visited, but when it comes to sex, there’s a stigma attached to our sexual history that creates a conflict over how much to share and how honest to be.”