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Do you tell partners your real number of past lovers if they ask?

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Question - (30 June 2010) 32 Answers - (Newest, 4 July 2010)
A male United Kingdom age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Another poll for you ladies:

Do you tell partners your real number of past lovers if they ask? If not, how far off are you?

A) Yes, I tell them my real number if they ask

B) I tell them my number of "real" boyfriends or relationships, but leave out the one nighters, bad sexual partners or ones I'd like to forget (including the gangbangs in college :)

C) I refuse to tell...this is none of his business.

I'm curious if the rule "take whatever number she gives you and double it" holds true.

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A female reader, Sincerely Yours United States +, writes (4 July 2010):

Sincerely Yours agony auntThanks, anon. That's kind of what I've been trying to point out. The number of people they slept with will give you a sight into who they really are. If they lie, that's part of who they are, just as if they tell the truth. If they slept with one person in the last ten years, that's part of who they are. If they slept with 40 people in the last 10 years, thats part of who they are. If they only sleep with flings, and never give it up to a serious relationship, that's a big sign of something... I don't believe it's uncalled for for a partner to ask his or her partner, how many other people he/she has had sex with. True, it might not matter one bit, but in other cases.. it does.

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A female reader, Sincerely Yours United States +, writes (2 July 2010):

Sincerely Yours agony auntSo, what if you love a woman for "who she is" and then 20 years later, she's your wife, and you found out she spent 5 years being a prostitute? And lied about it? Then is she the same person you thought?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 July 2010):

I'm the original poster. I never insinuate anything bad or to be ashamed of if I do ask, which I don't always. It sometimes has come up in the early, goofing off stages of a relationship, when you truly don't care. For me, once I get more serious, yes, I do like to know more about the person I'm with...not to be nosy or express any insecurity, but to know what a person is like. Sometimes, I do occasionally become a tad obsessed, like if I get teh vibe he was better or whatever. You can tell a lot about a person from their past behavior. Not how illicit they are, but what they are searching for. In my mind, I feel closer to a woman having known what she has been after, whether it is good sex, a meaningful love, or just a good hard fuck. Example...I found out my GF had an ex who was very experimental in bed with toys, etc. It opened up all kinds of new doors when I expressed an interest in trying toys (something I always wanted to do). I probably would not have asked, and she probably would not have offered because she generally tries to avoid talking about her past. But it has brought us both much pleasure. So I thank God for her past experiences. Women need to understand it's not always insecure men who ask. It's all good to me...I don't judge, I just like to learn.

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A female reader, pepper27 United Kingdom +, writes (2 July 2010):

pepper27 agony auntlying in bed with my EX b/f of 4 months

"So how many have you slept with then???" What???? That is not what I was thinking after what we had just done...

I get tested every year, Whether I have had a sexual experience or not..

I did have a rather strange conversation with this partner and because I had had more than his said number of 6 he felt betrayed..So I let him go to catch up :) pffffffff forget it, I dont feel I have anything to feel bad about no matter how many sexual parners I may have had, But Im not looking to marry or spend the rest of my days with anyone, I live for today :)

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A male reader, Serpico United States +, writes (1 July 2010):

Wow - ignorance is bliss?

Id rather know. I happen to believe that a persons past is an incredibly good indicator of how they will behave in the future. Notice I didnt say "perfect" indicator, but w/o question the best indicator I know.

Marriage is the single most important decision anyone could make in determining their happiness. For something so important, I want to have every bit of data possible so I can make an informed decision. As much as some here will disagree with me, its a decision to be made with the head as much or even moreso than the heart.

As I have said to many a friend - when you're deciding who to marry - be as selfish as humanly possible. Once you've decided, never be selfish regarding her again.....

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (1 July 2010):

eyeswideopen agony auntAmen Yos.

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A male reader, Yos Netherlands +, writes (1 July 2010):

Yos agony auntActually, I go a stage further than not asking.

I specifically say "please don't tell me, i don't want to ever know".

It's not about rights or honesty in my opinion. It's about being pragmatic: I've never seen anything good from people sharing this information, and I've seen a world of hurt and pain come.

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A female reader, Philosophyzer United States +, writes (1 July 2010):

Philosophyzer agony auntI would, of course, tell the absolute truth! To those who think this is a rude question to ask a partner, I strongly disagree. If you are in a relationship with someone, especially a sexual one, it is indeed their business to know about your sexual history. You should also tell them the last time you were checked for diseases! Unfortunately, the past is not always the past in this case. It can become an unpleasant present and a very unforgiving future.

It seems to me that if you have nothing to be ashamed about, then you will be honest!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

Haha of course I tell the guy I'm dating the truth. It's a legitimate question and I don't particularly believe in secrets in relationships.

If guys don't want to know the real number they shouldn't ask. But I've honestly never had a problem with any of my boyfriends in this area, guys that get upset that they aren't the first/only are generally guys with pretty low confidence. Luckily for me all past lovers have been the confident sort.

Likewise I'm not one to judge their past experiences. My fiance (getting married next year) and I have been together for 4 years, his number is well over 60. My own is a bit less. Do I worry about all the girls he's slept with? Find him less attractive? Wonder how I compare in bed with the other women? Haha noo... I just praise my lucky stars some of these women took their time to actually teach him something - best sex of my life!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

If I'm sleeping with them, yes, I would be honest.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

early in our relationship my fiance and i had a talk about ex's etc. Turns out we've had sex with the same amount but he's done stuff with a few extra. Who cares? Its not a high number. He didnt exactly ask, it was just in the discussion. I was honest. As was he. He told me one of his ex's (who eventually cheated on him) had 20+ partners. Knowing that he stil had a relationship with her, but it always bothered him. And i guess had reason to considering what happened. I've seen posts from guys who aren't happy with their partners number, even if their own is higher! So unless you can handle whatever number comes out, dont ask. And dont double when a girl says something, we dont all lie

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

So the concensus here seems to be women tell all, or they tell nothing. I don't know if that's accurate, but it matches the women I've been with. I've never asked partners directly...it has usually come up in conversation, and usually after I offer my number (with no real expectation of a response). Usually they volunteer the info. The one's who didn't offer up the info, also weren't the most open women I've been with about other things...so the relationship usually got boring and withered anyway. Moral being...honesty and openness builds trust and acceptance, which is vital for a relationship to grow.

My feeling is...this info should come up at one of two points: 1) before you've had any sex, because of fear of STD's, or 2) Later on when you are both committed and totally honest and open. Any other time and it could make one partner look insecure or the other look promiscuous.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

I remember this woman who In used to work with. She was married and lied to her hubby about how many men she slept with. She had slept with a lot of men! but obviously learnt her lesson before about telling a partner how many she slept with.

I tell the truth. I only slept with one person anyway.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

People lie because they are ashamed. They are usually ashamed for valid reasons.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (30 June 2010):

Tisha-1 agony auntI think the best strategy would be for the guy to be honest. "Jill, it's been great getting to know you and I'd really like to move things to the next level but I have something I need you to understand. I'm a guy who doesn't indulge in casual sex, it has meaning for me and I cannot under any circumstances ever grow serious with a girl who has had a one-night stand.

"Now I'm not asking you to tell me your number or to confess each individual one-night stand. But I am not going to be able to date a girl who has had more than X [your pick] sexual partners, with the break down of Y long-term partners vs. Z flings.

"So I'll let you think about that, and if you feel you won't meet these minimum standards, then I really am sorry but we'll have to part as friends only."

Of course, the guy wouldn't have indulged in ANY sex with her yet, until he had this conversation, because he wouldn't want to add to her 'number', now, would he? Because if he hadn't told her this BEFORE they'd been physically intimate, then he'd be a bit of a hypocrite, now, would't he?

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A female reader, raiders United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

raiders agony auntHow many times have my husband asked me about my past none, why because he is a secure man not a boy full of insecurities. I don't ask, he don't ask and not because I'm a shame of my number but because I have a real man who has enough confidence in himself to dwell on my past.

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A female reader, Sincerely Yours United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

Sincerely Yours agony auntIf you're with someone whose had 46 partners, would you see them differently, as maybe not the best person to commit to?

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

eyeswideopen agony auntNope, I think that the guy who has the bad manners to ask this question is going to be the guy who will have a problem with WHATEVER number she gives him.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

I think someone has every right to know their partners sexual past if they are serious about them, and they have the right to know the truth.

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A female reader, raiders United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

raiders agony auntI don't have a high number but this is private to me and I choose who to share it with. Every women has a choice and a man should respect her choice.

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A female reader, Sincerely Yours United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

Sincerely Yours agony auntSo, the people who have nothing to hide are the ones who don't mind, and the ones who are not say, proud of their number are the ones who tell the guy to f-off?

I'd say they're not bugged because their men are asking, their bugged because they wish they had a lower number to give.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

eyeswideopen agony auntI don't recommend lying about it, I recommend not discussing it.

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A female reader, jones15 United Kingdom +, writes (30 June 2010):

jones15 agony auntits really none of his business to be honest the past is the past

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A female reader, Sincerely Yours United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

Sincerely Yours agony auntI would feel bad lieing about that. And I do think it's his business how many fellows have stuck their dingalings inside me, and if it's a ton, then how recently I've been checked.

I only slept with one guy though before my husband, so no problem. He asked once, out of curiosity and never said word of it again.

I don't see why that would bug me.

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A female reader, raiders United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

raiders agony auntI think If I were asked and harassed about it I would leave. Not worth my headache and in my book everyone is replaceable.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

eyeswideopen agony auntand Yos

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

eyeswideopen agony auntI'm with Pepper, I don't think it's anybody's business but my own. It's a rather rude question to ask anyway. I think if a guy wants to know if you are a virgin that's one thing, but numbers should never come up. Period, over and out.

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A male reader, Yos Netherlands +, writes (30 June 2010):

Yos agony auntAs a man I have learned that the polite and sensible thing to do is not to ask in the first place.

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A female reader, Myrrh United Kingdom +, writes (30 June 2010):

Myrrh agony auntAnswer A. I hope men dont all take our number and double it. Thats supposing we are all liars, which would be rather sad x!

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A female reader, pepper27 United Kingdom +, writes (30 June 2010):

pepper27 agony auntHi Hunny

I really think it matters not and if anyone asks me how many gangbangs Ive had Im quite put off..

If I go into a new relationship then it is just that all new, The past is the past for both people involved its all a new beginning..

So in my case if a guy asked me how many my magic number was Id think "oh god here we go" And Id be put off, just leave it well alone is my point of veiw as then there is more time to have fun with your nice new partner and move on...Hope my veiw helped TAKE CARE LOVE MANDY XX

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A female reader, shanana United States +, writes (30 June 2010):

I tell the real number.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2010):

Haaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Guys will always say A

and girls will opt for C, and if they have to be somewhat honest B.

I've had this conversation with every girlfriend.......girls hide their number...and then as you get to know them, you do the math...Chris Rock has a whole bit on this....it's very true.

I actually had my girl say, "Oh that didn't count"...so my reply was, well it won't count for me either....hahaha....

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