Let’s be real for a minute — as sexually active adults who live in the age of online dating, most of us have probably slept with more people than we can count on two hands. Actually, probably more than that.
But even though everyone knows sex is fun and a lot of us go through partners like a deck of cards, it tends to be a touchy subject when you wonder how many people your new boo hooked up with before you.
That said, how would you approach this conversation if your new girlfriend wanted to know? Would you straight up tell her you banged five chicks in the past year alone? Would you lie and say something like you’ve only been with three girls your entire life? Or would you ignore her and talk about something else?
According to a recent survey of 1,000 people conducted by U.K.-based health and sexual wellness site, DrEd.com, 22 percent of the men in the survey said they’d lie about their sexual past and undersell the number of women they’d slept with once they hit the 16-partner mark, probably because it’s usually not very productive to make your new girl feel like she’s just another in a long line of women you’ve screwed.
Likewise, 23 percent of women said they’d undersell the number of sexual partners they’ve had once they hooked up with 10 different dudes, again, because it tends to be frowned upon when women sleep around.
On the other hand, 74 percent of men and 76 percent of women said they’d be painfully honest and just tell the truth. Honesty is the best policy!
More notably, though, 30 percent of the participants in the survey said they wouldn’t even share that information with their partner, because it doesn’t matter and they don’t need to know. I mean, ignorance is bliss, so I totally get it. It’s better to keep some areas of your life top secret.
Additionally, the survey found that men are four times more likely to keep quiet about the number of sexual partners they’ve had, simply because they don’t have a goddamn clue how many women they’ve slept with. Nice one, guys.
But if you absolutely must talk about it and she won’t stop asking, how and when should you do it? Surely this isn’t a first-date discussion, right?
In Men’s Health’s guide to revealing your sex number, psychotherapist Dr. Leslie Bell says it’s perfectly reasonable to not answer this awkward question if you’re just starting to see each other. All you need to do is tell her you want to get to know her a little better before grilling each about your sexual past.
Furthermore, sex researcher Dr. Kristen Mark told Men’s Health that revealing the number of people you’ve slept with in the past is definitely not something that’s relevant to your current relationship, so it’s actually totally unnecessary to share that information.
Mark says that as long as you know you’re clean of any and all STDs, there’s no reason to talk about your past sexperiences. But then again, it’s up to you. If you want her to know, go ahead and tell her. It’s probably not going to do much to move your relationship in the right direction, but you do you.
And lastly, here’s a word of advice from both Bell and Mark: Do not lie about how many women you had sex with, because that little lie might come back and bite you in the ass in a few months. Seriously. It’s not worth it.