The other day I was sitting outside the Shaskeen Pub, having a nice cold pint of beer, when I got into a debate with a few people about the following question:
Is it okay to ask a girl how many men she has slept with?
To say the least, the people I was sitting with had some pretty interesting answers. One guy even said he had the right to ask that question.
Excuse me?! Oh, ya..I’m sure you can imagine my utter shock when he made that statement.
“What?!” Bug-eyed and in utter disbelief, I looked at his girlfriend who was sitting next to him and said, “I hope you didn’t answer him when he asked you that question.”
And, guess what?
Of course she did!
Then, to add insult to injury, the boyfriend proudly proclaimed, “And we’ve been together for five years. Any woman who doesn’t answer that question has obviously slept with a lot of men.”
My reply was a smug one, “So what? Regardless of how many or how few men any woman has slept with, it’s none of your business. Period. No woman should ever answer that misogynistic question.”
Of course taking that stance, it was pretty obvious that the guy thought I slept with a lot of men. Like I cared, because we all know by the lack of action I get, clearly, I’m not that girl. But see how one can easily judge?
I don’t sleep around because I see sex as a spiritual connection. I believe that if you sleep around with just anyone, you lose a bit of yourself spiritually and you can eventually become desensitized and forget that there is another part of sex that sets us apart from animals – which is intimacy. Ahhh…the wonderful world of trust, passion and vulnerability that connects two souls together. There’s nothing like it and no orgasm can take the place of that feeling, when you actually connect with someone on a spiritual level.
Getting back to the question, where is it written that a woman’s worth is based on how many people she has slept with? Let’s face it, it’s an archaic viewpoint to think that in this day and age, women are less valuable to a man because she has been sexually active. But it’s okay for a guy to sleep with however many women he chooses – it’s such a double standard.
I also pointed out in our debate that asking this sort of question is down-right rude and out-of-line. Rude is rude. It would be like asking for someone’s voting record or how much money they make…or, if they like anal sex. We’d all like to know I’m sure, but who asks those kind of questions?
The guy sitting with his girlfriend said, “What happens if she was a former prostitute? I have the right to know about that, don’t I?”
Once again, I was shocked by his ignorance and the conversation was becoming painful…
“Sure. I get that. Of course every guy has the right to make sure the girl isn’t a prostitute…” *said with a lot of sarcasm* “But I’m pretty sure prostitutes aren’t looking for a boyfriend…they usually want something else, like drugs.”
I found myself staring at him in confusion and trying to figure out how had a girlfriend for the past five years…seeing that I a had a hard time even getting a damn date. Oh, the irony…
Someone else said they asked the question out of curiosity. Again, I get that, but doesn’t that open up Pandora’s box? Why would anyone do that? I understand that we are curious about a lot of things but, like with anything else, this is where self-control comes into play. When I get overly curious, I remind myself of this simple rule:
If you can’t handle the answer, don’t ask the question.
There are some things I just don’t want to know – therefore I don’t ask the question, because, ultimately, it only leads me to judge people and I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t like to be judged, so I try not to judge. It also helps when you refrain from asking stupid, irrelevant, obnoxious, out-of-line questions.
The debate ended up going on and on and wouldn’t you know, the only person in the group who sat silent during the whole conversation leaned over at the end of it and said, “A confident guy would never ask that question.”
And there you have it.
22 thoughts on “How May People Have You Slept With?”
Any man who feels he has to ask that question is just showing his insecurity.
And what is the relevance? What is the material or substantial difference it makes? If you know, then what? What is someone trying to find out or discover, if there’s any there to be discovered at all? Why isn’t the question entirely and in fairness bi-directional? No one has a “right” to ask or know anything. It’s all voluntary. What does the number of partners someone may have had indicate; or any piece of relationship history? This is fraught with prejudice and bias, insecurity, fear, arbitrary values, ignorance, misunderstanding, and more, and worse. Doesn’t all that matters is the quality of the relationship, the character, standing and intention shared by two people? Are people getting out of the relationship what they want? A person’s history influences, perhaps creates, the person one is today. If all’s well, what’s the concern of things past. Open, honest, and direct communication is mostly a healthy policy, and even frank discussion about relationship histories can be rich and valuable to share. Too often it seems that all those things mentioned above get in the way of this, sometimes in a damaging way.
Very well said!
Red my question is how can a relationship began on a lie or secrets? You may feel as if its your business but there are those of us who feel like how can the future begin without exposing the past. To say to us its none of your business men will begin to believe that there will be many issues that women will keep secret when we try to have a relationship with you. If you are not afraid to expose your self to a man you love and may want as your partners than what else are you hiding? My wife and I spoke about our past. There was not much to tell.
There wasn’t much to tell because how old were you when you two started dating? That was 17 years ago. My point is that in this day and age the times have changed. People are hooking up left and right and it doesn’t make them a better person or bad person in my eyes – it’s just a sign of the times. I may not agree with it, but it is what it is. But to judge someone, based upon how many people they slept with – or even to have the audacity to bring that subject up, because, again, in this day and age it’s a bit taboo an irrelevant. I agree with SJ that I think the issue is really why would that question even be asked?
You mean 21 years ago, were are married 17. Carrie people have not changed in thousands of years. People have always been hooking up. A dude I knew from high school who was a serious alpha male claimed 12 virgins in school. Girls all knew his reputation but didn’t care. How much different were those young women back then to those today?
The question I pose is: Are women insecure about talking about their sexual past? To say it’s none of mens business tell us you are ashamed of your past. So you hide it. Men don’t think like women. When we hear that sort of answer we come to a quick answer and say forget this one. Cold as a stone and very militant.
But by saying “forget this one” when a woman won’t respond to the question is being judgmental. And ladies, those guys are the ones who you don’t want to date. I have been asked that question and was persecuted for my answer. And believe me, the number I gave was very reasonable considering my age. But with this guy, there was no right or wrong answer. He just wanted something to make me feel bad about and hold over my head. Pa-lease! And then, you know what his next question was? “Have you slept with someone outside your race?” Then, “What did you do with them?” And the questions go on and on. By me saying, “Don’t answer the question,” I’m saying shouldn’t open Pandora’s box. Because people who ask the question clearly have some sort of hang-up/issue that has nothing to do with the person they want to answer the question. Why would someone care? What relevance does it have in the relationship? I don’t get it.
And on the other side of this argument, I know a lot of great guys who slept with a lot of women in their teen’s and 20’s, but then grew out of that stage in their 30’s. Does that mean I should discard them?
Carrie I would never labeled or judged you because of any man you had a relationship with. I’m sure you loved them and was disappointed in their behavior. I know little about you so your true nature and personality remains a mystery to me. I don’t think you hang out at single bars to get your man fix. I think you too intelligent a person for that. I sort of imagine you a Mary Tyler Moore kind of girl trying to make her way in the world.
Is this a question of sexual past, or something else? Is it a male/female question, or just a question for either? Is it a matter or evidence of insecurity, fear, issues, or shame when someone declines to answer such a question? Is untentionally not mentioning something the commission of a lie or maintance of a secret by omission? Does it show bad faith and ill-will? Does it matter whether there’s little or a lot to tell? If so, to whom and why? Maybe it’s asking such a question that exposes issue.
The challenge is one of values. This is often a difficult discussion because it’s loaded with prejudice, fears, approval and disapproval, judgement, validation, insecurity, and the many other things that can attend it – and for both parties.
So, what if someone, either male or female, has an active sexual history? What if they don’t? What’s the material and substantive importance of this? What is the difference it makes? Why does someone need to know this? Why does someone care? This is also very much a question of why does the one asking want to know? What does it matter to the asker? They asked it, so it seems to have some importance, but what is that importance to them?
I’m an advocate of open, honest, and direct communication. I think that being able to share anything is the sign of something rich and stable. This is a wonderful place for a relationshiop to be. And, if there are no issues of major importance between two people, they’re happy and enjoying the relationship, than the history isn’t important, almost by definition. It’s often when things aren’t going well that can reveal signs of acting out on histories, but even then these may or may not have anything to do with sexual history specifically. Could be something from school, siblings, parents, etc.
Hmmm….I believe that this is the first guy I dated who has never asked or cared to ask me. His confidence says it all, not to mention we have much better things to do like moving forward not backwards, and discovering each other, not our past.
Our past is just that ….The Past. I’m just not interested.
The point some of the guys seem to be missing is the double standard. If you ask me and I say two, then your opinion of me is going to vary greatly if I say ten or a hundred. I see news headlines all the time about Gene Simmons says he’s slept with 4,000 women, etc. And he is applauded for that. But if you ask me that question and I say oh, about a thousand … yeah, your reaction is not going to be applause.
I’m not hiding anything. I don’t care if you know. But it really isn’t important. As long as I can show you a test result that says I have no diseases, what does it matter? And how is it really your business? Do you want me asking you obsessively how many times a week you had sex with your last ten girlfriends? And where? And in what positions? No, because that’s kinda creepy and means I have some serious issues.
If it’s not a big deal, then why bring it up?
Also, I find it interesting that the girlfriend of five years in the story above didn’t seem to have much to say … that is telling in itself I think. Poor girl.
I agree, Kelly. And believe me, she didn’t have much to say – it was her boyfriend who was trying to over-power the conversation by yelling all the time.
Interesting topic. I understand your view Carrie but I also feel that at the right time the question is valid for even just a reaction. I don’t think it says anything about the person either except a lack of tact and that they want to sleep with you. At some point however, we are supposed to be able to ask our love whatever we want even if it shows vulnerability and even if that question lends itself to a lack of confidence or opens up Pandora’s box…which probably means a conversation like that is more of a test of trust than an interrogation. I myself have a hard time talking about my sex life in public at all let alone with someone i don’t trust, and I am no prude.
Good real discussions like this are where you have me interested in your writings.
Awww..you just made my day! And it’s comments like yours that keep me thinking and writing. 🙂
So the guy that leaned over and had the wise words… Did he get your number? ; )
How is asking about your sexual history = hating women ?? and this term “misogyny” has been thrown around too often, it as lost all meaning..
Past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior. excessive promiscuity is not something you can just easily give up .and These “double standards” aren’t going to go away no matter what. Sure, guys that sleep around might get a pat in the back from their adolescent buddies, but they sure aren’t “respected” for that.
It’s like buying a used car, you don’t care how many people drove it if you’re just going to rent it for a few days or weeks. but if you’re buying it, then you do care.
If you’re so disgusted at people judging & discriminating, maybe you wouldn’t have any issues doing a homeless bum on the street, to prove your open-mindedness, unless you’re “judgmental” towards homeless snotty bums ?
But we all know that judging and discriminating is wrong, so all you women out there stop sleeping with good looking rich guys and screw a homeless bum with a two-inch pecker and a face only Shrek could love. Go on, extend the horizon to fit your perceptions.
Carrie, you are welcome to sleep around with however many men you want; but the quality Men out there won’t marry you. The best men won’t settle for second best in a wife.
Again, you can do whatever you want – but so can we men. Decisions have consequences, many of them consequences that school/feminism/media outright lied to you about.
My wife and I each asked each other that question and both of us did not have an issue answering it. I had two women and she had one guy. Both of us were looking to settle down and choose to date our future spouse after dissapointing partners. Did it matter if we both had a lot? Yes it did. We both believed too many partners would make us seem as if we were both sluts. Still she was 17 and I 22 when we began dating. Was waiting a bad thing? No since our sex was lustful and so frequent, three or four times a day with a few pregnancy scares. I think its human to be envious of a past partner who could have been a better lover but that wasn’t our case. Married sex is the best. Still having a lot of partners can say that a person has commitment issues. No one wants to be #51 with a partner who is only 19 years old.
Nobody wants to be with someone who is going to be judgmental, either. What if you didn’t get married until your 50’s? Would you have held out until then?
Didn’t get married until I was 50? Yeah that wasn’t going to happen. I’m an attractive guy and have never had an issue attracting women. Finding one with common sense and dignity took a little time. There are a lot of women out there who just want sex, married or single. No different than men. I don’t have a double standard but do set limits. My wife was no different. Besides dating sucks. I’m happy I never had to travel that path again. Too bad some of the married people I know can’t be loyal to their spouses.