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I can't get my girlfriends past sex life out my head

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Question - (22 August 2006) 64 Answers - (Newest, 15 October 2013)
A male , anonymous writes:

Hi - hope you can help. Have been going out with my girlfriend for 5 months and just found out that she has been a lot more sexually active than I - sleeping with at least 14 different partners (she is 32). I think this is a lot personally, I am 25 and have slept with 3 people, although realistically this could have been more - I have just always thought of sex as really special and never gone through with life's opportunities as much as the next person may have. I'm not feeling intimidated as much as uncomfortable with the number itself and what this means for the person that she is.

I can't get these 14 people out of my head. During the last 5 months I thought she was someone like me - who really thought the same about sex as me. I think I am being irrational - I mean - what should it matter how many people... but I can't help feeling that she isn't the person i fell in love with. I want to forgive her, I find I am grossed out by the whole thing. I hate feeling like this - will it pass or should I move on? I can't bear to lose her, but I don't want to drive her down with my feelings.

View related questions: fell in love, move on, sex life

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A male reader, Overlay United States +, writes (15 October 2013):

This poster sounds like me at the same point in life. When I was 25, a divorced 33-year-old woman whom I had first met while singing with her in the choir of the church that we both attended, as well as through seeing her at lunch every weekday (since she worked at the same place I did), made a play for me. I had been attracted to her -- since I had normally preferred older women (although not quite THAT much older!)-- but I hadn't thought about starting anything until she made the first move. Within a matter of a few weeks, I had moved into her place, and we were engaged. Then things started to unravel. I found out that her marriage had been broken up by an affair with the (married) church choir director (a man at least twenty years older than she). And then she had also started an affair (at the same time!) with her boss at work (likewise much older), which had broken up HIS marriage, and during which she had become pregnant, and had an abortion, followed by a tubal ligation, meaning that having any children with her (which I had always looked forward to as a part of married life) would be an impossibility. (I must have come along during a "lull" in all these relationships!) Even knowing all this, I was trying to "do the right thing" and follow through on my commitment, but I still remember the thoughts that I was routinely tormented by, especially at night. (On top of that, she also did not want to adapt to the periodic relocation required by my job (which I had hoped might have allowed us to leave her past behind and "start over"), so I was trying to explore the possibilities of transferring to another position at the same work location where I wouldn't have to move.) And while all this was going on, her father developed a virulent case of terminal cancer. When he died (4-1/2 months into our relationship), instead of calling me, she called her former lover (the one she had gotten pregnant by), and they went together to her parents' home (about 250 miles away) for the funeral. When she came back, I figured that the most sensible (for me), as well as overall compassionate (for her), thing to do was to bow out, so I told her that I wanted to break the engagement, which we did. (I had already moved out of her place and back into mine a couple weeks earlier.) I subsequently had other romantic ups and downs, but six years later, I got married to a wonderful woman with whom I have spent 27 years and had two terrific children (now 26 and 22). I have always wished my former fiancée well, and I will also always carry the memories (both good and bad), as well as the precautionary lessons, from that early relationship, and I am grateful for them. But there is no way that I would trade what I have today for even the best that I might possibly have had with her.

I strongly suspect that something better might be available and waiting down the road for you, as well.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 September 2012):

Aaahh, my first two girlfriends. I felt exactly like the 99% of hurt posters in here. I was a virgin, they weren't.

I had that gut wrenching, staring horribly into space for hours, stay whole nights awake feelings. I couldn't help myself, to think they've had all these encounters, some in relationships, some others not.

To think that my perfect little beauty had the nerve to engage to engage in lewd, wicked sex of all kinds with men other than me, with all her values and morals; you name it, nearly what everyone else had posted in here.

Oh yea, I went through it all. Luckily, 3rd girlfriend we lost our virginity to each other. However, not quite lucky so. It ended the worst mess possible basically cause she was a bitch.

Now, to all guys like me loving your girl so much, yet always wondering if she's being completely honest, whether she sweat, moan, or even screamed in lucid orgasm while a penis way larger than you pounded her brains out; BUT you know that she is just not telling you that, YOU KNOW IT, but you know she just wont tell you.

I don't want to generalize, and brace yourself; this might be a really low blow if you are enduring this pain; but she probably enjoyed it, and very much so; very likely that she did. She probably yearned and savored for that body just as much as you do when you look at a hot girl. She wanted to taste them and swallow to their last drop, wanted every inch of them inside of her, maybe also every ounce.

But she keeps telling you... "I didn't want to", "He brainwashed me/convinced me/sweet talked me", "I wasn't gonna do anything with him but he...", "I didn't like it", "I only want to do those things with you". And it just kills you and sends your mind and gut to a very dark place difficult to crawl back from.

You know what, just rip the band aid and let it heal. Now, accept it. I wouldn't say their lying- its just a deep form of embarrassment. Kind of like for a guy saying that a every girl they've done has been gorgeous and amazingly hot.

You were probably right all this while anyways, you just have to accept it. All these mental pictures in your head and stuff- they might be exaggerated, but true to some extent, if not completely.

It is easy as this bro. You can't get over it? Break up with her. It might seem impossible to you for a myriad of reasons, love of your life, getting married, just got together, future plans, you name it. There will never be a good moment. Do it now bro; for both of your sake. I don't know that it would not make you a bad person, but it will certainly make you an even worse person if you artificially pump life into your relationship like this, convincing yourself that your feelings will change, or one day you'll get the truth from her, or things will change when you're married.

If you ask yourself RIGHT NOW, at this very moment, "Can I get over this and completely erase the past and all these feelings AS IF THEY HAD NEVER HAPPENED?"- and your answer is not an spontaneous YES, without the feeling that you die a little on the inside for lying to yourself. Then break up with her.

No dude, stop, this is sincere, experienced brotherly advice, I've been through it all more than once. Dead honest, your feelings will not change. And even if you think they do, the moment something goes sour in your relationship, very likely the feelings will come back, because insecurity are their root.

It really does sound crazy as how can you just break up with her like that. But man, really, honest to god, in every sense is for the best. Maybe her dad just died or I don't know there'll be always good reasons, but never a good moment.

Even if you don't overcome your insecurities, and for some us- our hypocrisy. Even if it happens to you again, at least it will start training your mind that you need to stop wasting relationships for the wrong reason.

I have felt all that pain; and believe me brother. If the answer to the question above ain't a resounding YES. JUST BREAK UP, ASAP. For practical and statistical purposes, I-T W-I-L-L N-E-V-E-R change. You will always be questioning yourself to your last breath. I don't know, our imagination goes rampant- but stuff like, does she do stuff with me because she really likes me better or just because she has feelings, if she didn't know and that guy and me were to stand side by side in front of her, would her instant reaction be to find me more desirable/attractive?

Who knows, maybe not, maybe yes. And once more- yes; she probably enjoyed to death all the the things she did (except in cases of rape, manipulation, and other darker issues). She probably moaned and screamed in raw, wicked, savage orgasm; but she is hard-wired not to tell you this way... its something you should already know. YES... it might not have been what she expected, yes... looking back she might say she made a mistake or didnt feel anything or whatever. But rest assured while DURING she did those things, she enjoyed the hell out of it. She is a human being man... just admit it.

Also don't bother trying to get this "truth out of her". It's like... I dunno lol, her asking you if her butt looks fat, and then she torturing you to get the truth out of you because she knows deep inside you've seen slimmer butts that you liked... it just won't happen.

I tell you this so you can heal, as the last step of grief comes with acceptance. Acceptance that she is allowed to like the meat and contours of other bodies. Acceptance that she is allowed to like the touch of other man and maybe even the taste of other man. Acceptance that she is a human being and she has the right to enjoy sex, in or out of relationships, with any gender. But most importantly, and hopefully if you can get over yourself, acceptance that it is really true that YOU ARE the one whom she has enjoyed it the most. Yes, I just said she must've really liked it before, on the other hand; it is almost guaranteed that with you, she is liking it THE BEST EVER.

Accept that or break up. Now. Period. Life is not that complicated. You leave relationships that make you sad and find those that make you happy. The decision you will make, its not complicated, it is really simple. If its not then in itself means maybe maybe you shouldn't be in this relationship after all.

As simple as that, end of story.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 February 2012):

What the Male said below ak212,Is exactly how I feel but I also have a feeling that us men see the situation Much different than women. I don't know whether its our testosterone levels or the sense of over our thousands of years there not being much of a dating scene like there is now. Most women were virgins when men married them and he was their first. So men over time looked at that as almost a Standard when looking for MARRIAGE. you know they wear white dresses because they are suppose to be "virgins and pure".. not the men, im sorry but the double standard has been there forever. Now if you think about it most men do not care of a women's past if they are just a F*ck Buddy or someone that was a one night stand. You dont go back asking questions because we don't see a future with that person. At least not yet...

So NOW we look for a women without MUCH experience since its harder and harder to find one without ANY experience. This is also why I think men like younger women because they have less experience than women of the same age or older than us. Which is where the PAST comes into play... Most of the time we shy away from the topic as long as we can until it is SOME HOW immaculately brought up or simply MENTIONED that our brains just start to wonder, and wonder, and wonder what you REALLY know about this person. and once you find out 1 thing, you want to know more, and more, and more because its like you're trying to connect the dots to a puzzle you hope that finally ENDS SOON without too much damage done. But the more dots you connect the more hurtful it is(its sad but true). I feel like if its never brought up, you'll never, or not really care too know about it. But once it is you feel like you want answers. and I think its just a MAN thing. We're protective, slightly possessive, jealous (cause when youre not jealous and dont care thats when they SHOULD WORRY)... WE dont like other men knowing how our girlfriends tits look when, and how she sounds during intercourse, and doing everything with however many guys as she's basically done with you, things you feel like ONLY you should know. especially if her and that person are STILL "FRIENDS" or someone you KNEW or still KNOW (thats just the worst).

and i feel like this is a decent explanation with some solid support. From a MANS perspective.

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A male reader, ak202 United States +, writes (19 February 2012):

Being honest man, either you stay with her or find someone who's past you can tolerate. Everyone has standards, F**k the just love her and get over it speech. If that was the case you wouldn't really care about her past. You can't change how you feel and you can't change the past. The thing is its gonna cause tension in the relationship for both of you. In my first relationship the girl (I lost my virginity to her) I was dating, briefly brought up her past and just made immature comments about sex in general. I just tried to work through it, eventually I learned that no matter how hard I tried I could not deal with it. She would go into details and I didn't inquire to know these things(so I wasn't asking for it.) Every male friend she had was a guy she had slept with. (8 guys mostly one nighters) I personally don't like knowing about the details.

I feel you should talk to your girlfriend about how this is affecting you...and really see if this is something you can work through together. Or you both may decide its not going to work. Just be completely honest with yourself, because everyone deserves to be happy. I ended up with a better person.

p.s. I know this is a few years old but I'm just writing this for men and women (who stumble upon this) who are distraught and are just not sure what to do.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2011):

I had this problem a long while ago.

Though she never went into numbers/details, my wife admitted to a promiscious past. She told me she didn't do it because of abuse/drugs/drink, she had sex because she enjoyed it and only ever slept with someone when it was what she wanted. It put doubt in my mind because everyone has that double standard of women should love a guy before they have sex with him.

I decided i wasn't going to let a double standard, which lets face it is out-dated, ruin my marriage. I was no angel when i was young, my wife is beautiful and sexy and knows it and why shouldn't she have sowed her 'wild oats' when she was young, free and single?

The point is, she choose me over those others guys and has remained faithful to me now for 15 years. Truth is, i think a woman who marries the guy they first makes love to, might just as likely wonder what they missed out on, wonder what other guys are like and stray. My wife has told me she knows from experience she's not missing out on anything so why would she ever need another man ever again?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2011):

I can understand why it might play on your mind but you just have to remember, she never pretended to be a virgin, you knew she was ( even somewhat) sexually experienced and your either ok with that or your not. Numbers is never a thing that should be bought up. Its just asking for trouble.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2011):

I've read alot of these comments. A lot from men upset there GF had sex with another guy/ guys, and now they can't get the gory details out of there head. You never ever ask for info about a partners past, DUH! Even if my woman had sex with one guy before me ( and i recon it was probably WAY more then that), if i heard about positions and how many orgasms they had ect it'd haunt me. Why must you know all the gory details when you know it will just hurt you? Can't you just let sleeping dogs lie and concentrate on the wonderful woman you have now? F**k other people and there opinions, even virgins get stick for being 'fridgid' and being 'prude' nowadays, so women really cannot win when it comes to pleasing everybody, they just have to do what makes them happy and live their lives how we see fit. Basically the exact thing that men do.

And to who-ever posted that b*llshit about women having to be in love with a guy before they could possibly have sex, what a load of sexist, medieval bullcrap. It is actually possible for a woman to enjoy sex for sex, the same way a man can. You say women MUST have an emotional connection otherwise there sluts and cheapen themselves? So what about a women who loves a guy but he doesn't love her and treats her like sh*t and she has sex with him because she loves him but he's just using her? Isn't that 'cheapening' herself?

The reasons people have sex are entirely personal and others shouldn't try and shove their own views down peoples throats. Maybe she had sex with one guy because she was horny and wanted a rumpy pumpy? And maybe she now has sex with you because she loves you AND you get her horny. Whatever, who cares. As long as you love her and she loves you and she isn't now boinking your best mates, why do you care?

Unlike what many say, it really is not the past that matters, it's the future. And if you think this girl could make your life amazing today, tomorrow, the next day ect why on earth would you let her go?

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A male reader, battlestarone United Kingdom +, writes (29 September 2011):

this is a hard subject to tackle for anyone make or female.

i was lucky enough to marry a stunning brunnete who had nothing in common with me but there was something that pulled us together,there was that spark between us and we clicked,i wasa amd rocker with long hair,why was she into me.

she was older than me at 29 and i was 24 and we used to work together,we dated,it was magic,i was warned to stay away from her as shea was trouble,but i wanted to give her a chance and we married 10 months later,we have been married 20 yrs and althoug it not all been a bed of roses we get through and tell each other we love one another everyday.

but a week ago we had a night of amazing sex,real good,laying there after in the we small hours talking i asked her what her biggest regret was,she said sleeping arounf while she worked away when she was about 21,i was stunned,she told me years before she had only 5 partners before me,i pressed for more info as this by no had turned into a barny,she said she had 9 one night stands,the 5 she told me about we actual dating,so she had 14 in total,she was very upset,i asked her how many,15,20 how many?she could not answer,i have never seen her like this,my heart had been ripped out,rage is not the word,the next night she counted the lot up and she said she had 12 one night stands between the age of 21 and 23/24,i was gutted,this was not the girl i had married,i expected her to have to shrapnel but not as much as this,but there was a reason.

i asked why she did it,she said she just wanted to feel WANTED,she lost her virginity at 21,late starter,and when her first dumped her she ended up on anti depressent pills,her second lover also dumped her with no warning and the sleeping around started,she would feel digusted with her self,she said she never enjoyed any of it and felt dirty and disgraced,but pills drink and depression dont mix do they and she keeped on sleeping around to feel wanted....you have to understand the reasons!!!! even though you may find it all shocking the past is in the past,if you love you girl,and you are feeling the way i was its because you love her for real,for me that horrible feeling and emotion is starting to pass,it ben over a week since she told me,i had to fight myself inside to even put my arms round her,i just wanted to push her away and forget her,but we have to kids and it not as easy as that,this did push us apart,but i think its brought us very close together,i still have that hurt feeling inside just now,i work alone and i have 10 hours in a day to go through thing in my mind,thats the hard part,dwelling on it,you have to move on,if you walk away then you are letting her down and you are the weakest link,it in the past and no one can change it,my wife did not tell me way back then,how could she,she had fallen in love with me,she had never fallen for someone before,she got her act together and started to have more respect for herself at 24,i have to give her credit for that she turned her back on that lifestyle,...i love her,we will get through this and you can do the same...you have to if you love them.

regard to all

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 August 2011):

All of these problems run deep with me as well

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year now and I love him, hes fun, kind, by far the best guy I've ever been with. As seems to be the issue with a lot of you guys who have posted, hes been with a LOT of (girls).

Were only 17 so when he told me that hes been with over 20 girls (with proof -unfortunately-) it was definitely a tough pill to swallow. I've been with two guys previously so I'm not the most abstinent person myself but that ratio is a little large in my opinion.

He says that 95% of the girls he had been with were mainly drunk one night stands that he doesn't even remember who they were, the remainder were the 5 girls he had dated before me.

That alone is a little hard to handle but the added knowledge of everything hes done with these girls, details and all that jazz,... yeah... little advice... don't date a boaster, was not the most fun stuff to listen to.

This alone i think i would be able to handle, maybe with a twinge of jealousy here and there while we're being intimate and the thoughts of these other girls pop up, but there's more. like i said previously we've been dating for a year now, and other than a few hiccups during the beginning our relationship has been pretty enjoyable and smooth going. But then a couple months ago happened and a couple of not so happy things came along with it.

One of the instances was finding out that he was on a dating site, posting pictures of himself that... were not so super for a girlfriend to see , and a bunch of messages from girls telling him how hot he was and labeling him "theirs"... then asked girls to send pictures to him. Which he swore was just for "sh its and giggles" and he "meant no harm" from it. the worst part about this was this girl he had met on there, who ironically lives very close to our houses and who even after i went ape shit on him he was going to continue talking to and possibly meeting if he hadn't already.

I know i should have dumped him then but i still love the guy... i was easily swayed.

But this is just the start... a week later i found out that he had been texting his "friend" flirting blatantly with her and had the balls to tell her he loved her. But of course he had a logical reason for doing this. "I wanted to make sure that she didnt feel too strongly for me, i wanted to make sure that when i hung out with her she wouldnt want to get with me, i did this for OUR relationship baby" Riiiiight. But again im still with him.

I still love him.

But i cant help but feel like theres more to come, that there's something else thats going to happen and im just a sitting duck. He's a good looking guy so obviously theres gonna be girls fawning over him, but the fact that hes actually putting himself in these situations with other girls is bothering. I do have a lot of insecurities and im guessing thats why i push past the things that he does, that im possibly over-thinking what hes done... but it still bothers me. And i dont know if i would be able to continue a relationship with someone who seems to be so oblivious to what hes doing to me and continues doing these things... But i still love him. If you're willing to read this to the end id really appreciate it if anyone could help with this.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 July 2011):

Ohh boy, looks like we are all in the same situation here.

Im 25 and I was at work one night when some gay coworkers of mine dragged me out to the "gay village" to go to a bar for a drink. I ended up meeting the most innocent cute looking 20 year old girl ever. We went back to her place that night and got her into bed no questions asked and no mention of condoms... woke up the next morning and turns out she was black out drunk the night before and that this is a common occurence for her. I don't know why but I started seeing her but her scene was in the village. So we started going out together night after night in the village and she would get blackout drunk and drugged up each night because this is all she knew.

Then it hit me. People started coming over to me telling me to stay away from her because she sleeps around. I never knew exactly what that meant at the time but as I would later find out, it meant 60 plus guys... and she is 20yrs old. I made a rule that if we ran into one of her old ex's or guys she slept with that she would tell me. But I soon regretted this as we started running into her ex's everywhere and everytime we introduced ourselves as dating people would respond by saying, omg, are you serious, (her name), you have a boyfriend? I can't even begin to tell you how this makes me feel. After seeing her for a few weeks she gave up on the drugs and only gets blackout drunk once a week. I truly believe in giving everyone an honest chance because we all make mistakes, but incidents keep popping up all over.

A week back a friend told me that she slept with a male porn star at his hotel, so I brought this up to her one night and she always cowers whenever I bring up sex around her. She told me that he wanted to sleep with her so she went back to his place and sometimes I really just don't think that she thinks before she speaks because she continues on to tell me that it was the best sex she has ever had in her life. He gave her the best orgasm ever and said that he was so handsome and that if I was gay he would be the kind of guy that I would sleep with... ughhh, then she says, but he was better the first time we fucked. Instantly my insecurities start popping up. Now every time we make love he keeps popping into my head and she has a loose vagina and she's a small girl so I know what it's from. Let me intervene though to tell you how much I love this girl. We get along better than anyone else I have ever been with before and we are always jokes around one another and I'm very attracted to her. She's an amazing person. I just can't handle her past.

She is from a small town too which we frequent together quite often. Normally I love getting to know someone's past but every person that we run into I can't help but stare at her to see what kind of past relationship she has had with these people. The worst is that I don't feel like I can trust her when she drinks either because she gets blackout drunk and does stupid things like sleep with random guys, although I know that she hasn't cheated on me since we've been together, only 2 months now, although we spend every open minute together because I'm afraid that if she goes back to her old ways that she'll do things she's going to regret. We were at her parents house the other day and it's midnight and we just got home from dinner out and this guy texts her (they keep in touch) saying he wants to come over and meet me. She turns to me and asks if I want to meet her neighbour from 3 doors down... turns out they dated for 3 months when she was 18, which she tells me as he's making his way over, the long 3 door walk... 20 seconds later there is a knock at the door and she goes, "he's here, you want to meet a 7' tall man?" I was speachless, this girl is 5'3" and I just couldn't believe she dated someone 7 feet tall, well I'll be damned, a giant answers the door and towers over my 5'8" frame, making me instantly blush and simultaneously start thinking about these two having sex and how could I satisfy her the way he would... so we have a 30 minute awkward conversation where I act as normal as possible and engage in genuine conversation to meet this guy. The second he leaves I couldn't even bring myself to look at her, I sat down on the couch and stared at the movie on the tv and zoned out. She picked up that I was upset and came over to talk. I straight up told her how rude it was dropping a 7 foot tall surprise on me like that, and she asks why. So I explain to her how her having a 7 foot tall ex makes me feel like I will never be able to satisfy her and she responds by saying, "no, his penis isn't even that big." So I tell her that at 7' tall he is guaranteed to have a big penis, and she responds by saying, "no really, my last ex was way bigger than him!" I have never felt so inadequate in being able to pleasure a woman in my entire life than after that moment. I simply didn't know what to say, all I could think about was how many thousands of guys I have inadvertantly slept with just by being with her, I told her I didn't want to talk because I was going to say something I might regret later. She kept trying to kiss me but I kept pushing her away and I could see the tears streaming down her face but I couldn't find the strength to forgive her at that moment. She went to her bedroom to sleep and I stayed on the couch and I could hear her crying and texting from across the house (later found out she was texting the giant). She eventually came out to try and talk to me a couple hours later, late into the night now, but I was still fuming. My brow was permanently furled because I was so pissed off at her. She went back to her room as I lay there for hours debating to myself if I should simply end the relationship right then and there. Would I be able to forget about all this and put it behind me... I finally decided that I was being stubborn so I crawled into her bed with her and one thing led to another and we had sex on her bedroom floor. I love having sex with her, it feels amazing everytime and I know that I am a very good lover, past relationships always have a healthy sex life, but after finishing making love, after not getting her off once again, after laying my head on her chest feeling her heart pound as she desparately reaches for an orgasm as I passionately try bringing her to climax with my hands, I can feel how hollow and loose she is and all that goes through my mind is, I will never be enough for her. I will never be able to satisfy her the way those other men were able to. And it kills me inside because I want nothing more than to make her happy and although she says she enjoys making love with me, I know that she desparately wants to reach orgasm which is something I can only help her achieve one tenth of the time.

So this brings us to today, as I sit here typing this trying to figure out what to do. Her family loves me, her friends are amazing and we always have a good time together, she really is my best friend now but even this morning she tried getting me hard as I lay there asleep still and I just couldn't pull myself together to make love to her. She sat there sitting with her legs crossed, half asleep with her head drooping over my member jerking me off trying to get some life in me but I ended up just telling her to lie down and I went back to sleep and layed my hand on her side and she picked it up off her body and places moved it away. I'm honestly not sure what to do. I like her so much. Will the sex get better with time, will she learn to climax with me even though she has been with so many big boys in the past? Will her vagina tighten up again? This seems to be the root of our problems right now. My dignity and manhood are shot because I feel inadequate in bed with her. Any help would be great.

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A male reader, bogz Philippines +, writes (7 June 2011):

I had the same problem before, I was 17 then. she was the only girl I ever had sex with. Before her, I had a serious relationship that lasted for three years, we were in high school back then and I and my ex decided to wait (you see we are a bit more conservative than other cultures). So, when met her, I just recently got out of the first one, and she was still with someone else. We eventually ended up together, and at first I was a bit turned off on how easy I got her to bed on our first date, (of course I don't mind that much). You see, beforehand, my best friend told me about rumors about her, that she was easy and sleeps around. I ignored everything and went ahead and dated her, she eventually told me about her past confirming that one of her exes (she had 4 before we met, including the one she was with that time) was responsible for spreading the rumor, that it hurts her that people think of her this way. At first, I was very protective and wanted the rumors to stop and made some effort to do so, but then as time passed by, we finally got to have sex, and her comments left me insecure. She said something like its OK. So there I confirmed it, that deep inside of me, I was insecure on how well I'll perform, being a virgin and all. But, after a while I got over it, until recently. 7 years had passed since we got together and now were kinda engaged. I proposed to her a month ago, which then led her to deciding to confess something. She admitted on to having an affair back in 2005 that lasted more than a year. They met on the internet and they've seen each other twice, both of which were in a motel room. The guy was a rich CEO, quite famous in our country actually. And now, all of the insecurity, the disgust resurfaced, while my self-respect and confidence plummet. I really don't know what to do, she was very apologetic and promised to never do it again, but I can't just ignore the fact that the guy she cheated with are always in the papers, over the internet, on Facebook, everywhere I look, I see this guy and his businesses. How do I get over this? Wouldn't it be easier to just let it go and leave her, but then, I really love her, and I can't stand seeing her cry. I tried to leave her but when she cried while holding close the ring I gave her, I just couldn't get my feet to move any further.

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A male reader, bogz Philippines +, writes (7 June 2011):

I had the same problem before, I was 17 then. she was the only girl I ever had sex with. Before her, I had a serious relationship that lasted for three years, we were in high school back then and I and my ex decided to wait (you see we are a bit more conservative than other cultures). So, when met her, I just recently got out of the first one, and she was still with someone else. We eventually ended up together, and at first I was a bit turned off on how easy I got her to bed on our first date, (of course I don't mind that much). You see, beforehand, my best friend told me about rumors about her, that she was easy and sleeps around. I ignored everything and went ahead and dated her, she eventually told me about her past confirming that one of her exes (she had 4 before we met, including the one she was with that time) was responsible for spreading the rumor, that it hurts her that people think of her this way. At first, I was very protective and wanted the rumors to stop and made some effort to do so, but then as time passed by, we finally got to have sex, and her comments left me insecure. She said something like its OK. So there I confirmed it, that deep inside of me, I was insecure on how well I'll perform, being a virgin and all. But, after a while I got over it, until recently. 7 years had passed since we got together and now were kinda engaged. I proposed to her a month ago, which then led her to deciding to confess something. She admitted on to having an affair back in 2005 that lasted more than a year. They met on the internet and they've seen each other twice, both of which were in a motel room. The guy was a rich CEO, quite famous in our country actually. And now, all of the insecurity, the disgust resurfaced, while my self-respect and confidence plummet. I really don't know what to do, she was very apologetic and promised to never do it again, but I can't just ignore the fact that the guy she cheated with are always in the papers, over the internet, on Facebook, everywhere I look, I see this guy and his businesses. How do I get over this? Wouldn't it be easier to just let it go and leave her, but then, I really love her, and I can't stand seeing her cry. I tried to leave her but when she cried while holding close the ring I gave her, I just couldn't get my feet to move any further.

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A male reader, Strange1 United States +, writes (13 January 2011):

I've been reading this column off and on for about 6 months because of a similar situation that is happening to me. I am really looking for some help on this. Please take a moment and lend some advice, it might help my life. Thanks in advance!:)

I'm 30 now and have been with my girlfriend for over 2 years. I met her when she was 20. About a year and half into the relationship she told me how many people she had been with before me. She said between 20-30 guys. Since then, I've been depressed on and off and my stomach has been in knots. At least that's what it feels like. Hopefully, this will pass. But it's been a really difficult road to say the least and I'm losing hope it will get better. And she has no idea how bad this has affected me.

This all started one night when we went out to meet up with one of her high school friends. While hanging out, this friend made a comment to her like, "Man, you were such a player in high school…" And that caught my attention because up until this point I never got that vibe from her at all so never worried about it. So, at the end of the night we went back to my place and I brought up the comment that her friend made earlier in the evening and what that was all about. She said that she had made a lot of mistakes when she was younger, that she wasn't that way anymore and was not like that around the time she met me. I asked her how many guys and she said I wouldn't be happy. I kind of chuckled saying "why wouldn't I be happy" etc… then she finally told me and she was right. She said that she wasn't happy about it either. She wouldn't tell me the exact number and asked why does it matter. My insides kind of felt queazy and I barely slept that night and for a few nights afterwards. It was the worst. I expected her to say 5-10 maybe since she was only 20 when we met. She said she never thought sex was that big of a deal. That she didn't want a relationship and dated jerks because they don't get attached and generally became friends with the nice guys. That they "just added up.."

At the VERY beginning of our relationship, I asked her how many guys she had been with. She replied saying something like, "don't you know never to ask a lady that?" We laughed it off because things were light hearted at that point. But a couple weeks later or so we had a conversation one night where she revealed to me that she had been taken advantage of at a party one night by a 28 year-old when she was 15. She said she was really messed up on drugs at the time and couldn't fight back and basically gave in. This conversation started when I asked her how old she was when she lost her virginity. She said that it didn't affect her. Mind you she was upset and crying when she was telling me this. By the way, she lost her virginity at 14. I asked her in a very gentle way how it affected her and if she slept around more or was afraid to get intimate etc. to which she replied "no, it didn't really affect me..." Also, just to note: her parents divorced when she was maybe 11. And her dad was a drunk and in an out of jail for for a few years.

And time went on for a year and a half until we met up with her friend from high school that night as I mentioned above. After she told me the number my feelings for her have been a huge struggle for me. In my mind, I immediately wanted to break up with her. I was repulsed and shocked. But I took a breath and told myself I would never forgive myself if I broke up with her over this. So, I decided to tough it out and rationalize it somehow and make a decision on what to do when I calmed down again. I guess that feeling never calmed down. I have never felt as comfortable with her as I did before she told me. Sex with her in general was always kind or mediocre. Before she told me how many guys she was with, I thought her inexperience was cute when she didn't really know how to be passionate with kissing and caressing etc. Now I realize she never was with anyone long enough to learn how! She notices at times lately that I become moody and unresponsive. I brush it off and "oh nothing, I'm fine.." I have asked her a couple times about her past to help me rationalize it better and it usually helps. But I noticed she gets frustrated when I mention it and kind or rolls her eyes when I bring it up. Now, I'm afraid to bring it up at all and haven't in a couple months.

I was starting to deal with it better until August when we were at a party one night and I noticed some body language between her and this guy whom she was friends with. I met him a few times before with her at other things and didn't think anything of it. But this night was different. It was so unconscious on her part but the body language was there. To me it looked like they had an on/off thing going before. It was that obvious to me. I asked her about it later that night and she said that they just kissed at a party once. Then later that night she came out of the bathroom saying "I lied…." And, I was right all along. She should have come right out and told me. Then, it happened again a month ago with another guy where she lied to me to downplay the situation. Granted they're little white lies but it hurts. Because now I feel I have to go back through the whole relationship with a fine tooth comb and replay conversations we had where she might have lied a little to protect me or her for that matter. I wish she was straight forward. But I understand why she does it. She really loves me and feels ashamed about her past probably. Now I think every guy she's friends with has fooled around with her!

But now, it's a struggle for me to even sleep with her. It's getting pretty bad and I'm not sure what to do. I have never had this situation with any of the woman I've dated in the past. I'm normally very comfortable and confident with my sexuality but not since this. I don't nearly have the number she does but I'm no saint either. I've slept with 5 including her. I've fooled around but sex is important for me and shared with someone whom I care about. The day I found out, I got checked for STD's and I was clean across the board. We still use condoms and I don't see myself feeling comfortable enough in the near future to stop using them even though she says she's clean.

The way I feel is making my life a struggle. I don't think it's that I'm insecure because I'm certain I'm a better a lover than anyone else she's been with. It's obvious from the way she acts. I think it's that I'm grossed out and think about how easy she was and the things the did with all those guys. And, it's a catch 22 because I feel so guilty for feeling this way. I'm supposed to love her and show that. I also feel a bit betrayed because I found this out 1.5 years into our relationship. I never would have gotten involve with her as shallow as that sounds. It scares me to think what would have happened if I found this out after we got married with kids etc. It's big mess right now and I'm not sure what to do. There's nothing I can do to change the past. I have to change myself, I understand that. But is it WORTH it? I mean, what was the purpose of me being picky about who I sleep with?

She is an incredible, caring, intelligent, insightful, funny, loving person. You would never get a sense about her past. And my friends that know us are shocked when I reach out for their help on this. She's kind of nerdy, shy and socially awkward at times. And I realize now we seldom have sex when she is sober. Which may be a big clue as she was a big party girl until she met me. I don't drink at all.

Because of this, I feel like I'm not moving forward. I'm not convinced I want to marry her. I'm not ready to move in together. This has put a big damper on a lot of things. So, if anyone out there can lend a moment for me I would forever be thankful! Thanks!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 December 2010):

Repeat after me "I AM"....Your problem is simple; alot of people get into relationships and kind of lose their own identity. You are intimidated by the fact that she has had other sexual partners, and in a way you feel inferior. You probably even wonder if some of them had huge penises or were better than you in bed. It's really about you, not her. If you have a strong sense of self, what people did or didn't do (within reason) won't intimidate you. You are insecure and need to find yourself.

Good luck

B

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A male reader, Bronson United States +, writes (27 December 2010):

You are ridiculous! Who are you to judge her? She is not "pure" Are you serious? You sound absurd with this stuff. Her past is just that. Her past. Get over it and move on.

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A male reader, Sunny5 United Kingdom +, writes (23 November 2010):

I used to have the same problem in every relationship I've been in... I'm now 27 and lost my virginity at 19... I was always jealous about my gf's past.. Every single person I had relationships with... Now I'm 27, I've met an amazing woman. The best girl I've ever met in my life. Independent, funny, caring, gorgeous, good job. She's not a virgin. She was with my close friend and busness partner for 2 years... I didn't even know they went out as it was 6 yrs ago and never asked him or her... So, we get on amazingly. Better than anyone. The best sexual chemistry iv ever experienced... I know she's the one... Were not gonna talk about the past as it's gone. It made my girl who she is NOW! She fancies me like no other man on the planet because of who she is NOW! I had a thought today, being the first to a girl is nothing really as those people never last... How about being the last person she's intimate and sexual with? The last person in her life. The 1 she loves so much cos of what's happened in her past making her who she is... That's special... The past is gone. U can do nothing about it... The future is important x

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 July 2010):

Me too....i'm in the same boat.

I met my 'now girlfriend' on the internet, we had a blind date and i missed my train back home. We had such a good time and she drove me back home. My parents were on holiday, no-one was in, we kissed for the first time and went to bed and had sex.

At first it worried me, i was asking myself questions all the time 'is she easy'? 'does she do this all the time'? 'does she just want sex and nothing else'

This could sound completely stupid, but we have only been together just over a month, im 20 and she is 19. I know it is love and so does she, i'd do anything for the girl, my family have met her and ive met her family. We are great together so alike and dont want to spend one second apart.

We are honest to each other and told each other everything, we trust each other and always reasure each other which is great.

But recently i asked her about her personal 'sex' life and it has worried me. I thought it was just me but it is a major problem as i see. Ive only slept with 4 girls including her and she has slept with 14. Mine were all relationships and her's were relationships, just dating guys and 1 one night stand.

In a way i feel discuted, jealous, heartbroken and unexperienced. I feel that she has had a great sex life, enjoyed it and could get fed up of sex with me. She tells me she loves me and wants to spend the rest of her life with me and all i want is to be the best boyfriend and sex partner she has ever had and that only because i wanna keep her happy and satisfied in every possible way i can! She may have had better sex and better had a bigger penis inside her and that always plays on my mind too.

Its just so frustrating and i cant help the way it feels inside (that's what she should of said) JOKE!

...but still i hope it all goes away from my head and i'm glad to have got this off my chest. At least i'm not the only one in the world to be feeling like this. It is a har thing and what can ya do? Just try your best to get over it all! If everything was good in the past with previous partners or sex partners....i guess she wouldn't be with me right now and want me for the rest of her life i suppose!?!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 April 2010):

Firstly, it's really quite something to realise there are a lot of guys who think exactly the same thing and get themselves wound up exactly the same as i do... hell, i've been reading some past stories and somehow they seem to get worse.

My situation, really isnt that bad... my girl has 6 in the past, i have 3 and a few other antics with girls. I guess in my head, I weigh up what she has in the past, what i have in the past and try to council things out. I lost mine early, so did she (15 years old) so what can i complain about.

Still the idea of her intimacy with other guys really mangles my mind (I just wound myself up about it 30mins ago)but i have talked, and she has thought exactly the same things, but gets over it better.

Its true what AKANE says, we want control, so we obsess, and quite honestly the best thing he said was we're trying to saboutage a great, healthy, loving relationship with the thought of past numbers that knowone can change... you would if she could, and from my experience she would if she could. If you love her and trust her and believe she's completely in to you, then there will be no problem in the end... but hey, you'll either deal with it, or you wont and at the end of the day things sort themselves out and you'll realise you just wont work... but i think love will prevail being who I am. Time is the greatest healer, thats a known...and i'm still young

I recommend AKANE previous post too... opens your eyes (well atleast for me) and you'll see a lot of us are thinking those thoughts, so you'll deal with it or you wont. Your not the only one

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 April 2010):

Firstly, it's really quite something to realise there are a lot of guys who think exactly the same thing and get themselves wound up exactly the same as i do... hell, i've been reading some past stories and somehow they seem to get worse.

My situation, really isnt that bad... my girl has 6 in the past, i have 3 and a few other antics with girls. I guess in my head, I weigh up what she has in the past, what i have in the past and try to council things out. I lost mine early, so did she (15 years old) so what can i complain about.

Still the idea of her intimacy with other guys really mangles my mind (I just wound myself up about it 30mins ago)but i have talked, and she has thought exactly the same things, but gets over it better.

Its true what AKANE says, we want control, so we obsess, and quite honestly the best thing he said was we're trying to saboutage a great, healthy, loving relationship with the thought of past numbers that knowone can change... you would if she could, and from my experience she would if she could. If you love her and trust her and believe she's completely in to you, then there will be no problem in the end... but hey, you'll either deal with it, or you wont and at the end of the day things sort themselves out and you'll realise you just wont work... but i think love will prevail being who I am. Time is the greatest healer, thats a known...and i'm still young

I recommend AKANE previous post too... opens your eyes (well atleast for me) and you'll see a lot of us are thinking those thoughts, so you'll deal with it or you wont. Your not the only one

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 April 2010):

i sort of know how you felt (bearing in mind that was posted like 4 years ago)

sorry for the poor quality grammar and punctuation

I'm nearly 20 and my girlfriend is 19, i've been with her now for 1 year and 5 months, i was a virgin before i got with her. she wasn't she had sex with about 5 or 6 people, in 2 relationships (before ours), she lost her virginity just before her 15th birthday i knew this before we even got together, but i loved her, and decided to be with her, even though i had decided this, it still bugged me, upset me and eventually i accepted it, i found really old pictures on her laptop that had 'me and so and so 4ever" with about 3 different guys (not including her first boyfriend) but anyway, i saw them a few kissning pictures and it didnt hurt me at all and i knew, i had got over it, it took THAT long to do it, probably about a year to get over it, and i deleted the pictures marking the END of the past. then she had a little party with a couple friends in our flat, and one girl said everyone has to say a deep secret. my gf came out with, i slept with a 35 year old when i was 17.... and i felt physically sick, and still do, a few days on. she told me that in a break with 2nd long term partner she felt lonely and unloved and wanted attention and she invited this guy,on the internet, who she had never met to come round her house (her mums house while she was at work) and they sat and spoke about stuff, then had sex and he went home. she then texted her on-off boyfriend and said "haha just had sex with an older guy and he was much better than you" (even tho he wasnt) in an attempt to somehow him back. when she told me this, i felt sick and i still do, it hurts to know so many people have touched, been with and had sex with my girl. i can understand having sex with the 2 people she had a relationship with, but the other guys who have sorta filled in the gaps (in more ways than one) i think she has screamed in bed to other guys, sucked other guys been fondled and touched by other guys. i look at a beautiful picture of my girlfriend on her 18th birthday, she looks so pretty and gorgeous, and i just think "why?" why have so many people use your body? why let a 35 year old man have the pleasure of you? i look at the picture and think, that girl has had sex with a 35 year old. she also had sex with her best friend (who now aren't friends) outside, she has had sex with one of her bf's in a changing room. I'm not the oldest to be with her, im not the youngest, i cant be the first to do it with her outside, in public, in a bed. what can i be the first for? she also met some guys on the internet and had sex. the more i write the more insignificant i feel. but the 35 year old just eats my heart out, i get the feeling of wanting to go back in time and meet her earlier to stop it all, it feels as though im trying to help someone who's been raped, something that should have never happened something that is just sick. why? i also think... ive been sexually active for just over a year and my girlfriend has been active for just over 4 years, i feel when i want sex and she dont, i feel she's bored of it and i'm still new to it all and i love it. it's not my fault that she is bored of it. should'nt have done it so many times already. theres also one other thing that really does kill me, one thing that contradicts myself, one thing that makes me a hypocrit (however you spell it) although i would have loved to lose my virginity to someone who was losing theirs at the same time, that will never happen now. here is the hypocrit me.... i am really jelous that she has had that past...not saying i would go fuck a 35 year old woman, but she has got to experience 6, 7 or 8 different men, i've only experienced 1 girl, and it makes me think, what are other girls like? it's not fair that she has got to experience other men and i havent had that chance to experience other girls, i would never cheat on my gf, and i couldn't imagine myself being with anyone else, but its always in my mind. my girlfriend says its just sex, its all the same, if thats the case, why has she done it so many times with different people? one of her answers was because she knew she could. i'm confused right now. i dont know how many times she has had sex, i dont know how many men. but one thing i do know is i love this girl, i know she regrets what she has done and i sympathise. i love her so much and ill be with her for as long as we love each other.

i didnt write this to get help, i know everything takes time, i didnt write this to help the guy who originally posted, i wrote this to get it off my chest, to hget it out in the open, to get it out of my head and put it somewhere else. i love my girlfriend so much, think im just a bit crazy at the mo

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 April 2010):

Break up with your girl, and find a pure one. Take it from her, and thank her however you can, for the rest of your life, get married and so on... thank her for letting you take it. Knowing that, it'll make your happier than ever.

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A male reader, speter United Kingdom +, writes (14 April 2010):

Like many of you I too have this problem; I'm getting better but am not quite there yet!

The best advice and the posting I have found most useful after reading lots of questions and answers on this kind of topic posted on various web pages is the one from 'akane' below. I can't thank him enough - this was genuinely helpful.

The people telling you to pull yourself together and get over it in my humble opinion frankly haven't experienced this situation and know the almost debilitating effect it can have on someone. And 'end the relationship' advice is just plain silly ... you'll have the same problem in the next relationship!

My girlfriend has had quite a few more partners than me and had her first serious boyfriend at a pretty young age. She has said the relationships were all important to her at the time and she cared and loved her boyfriends (although one ended up being a complete bastard) ... things just didn't work out. So as well as all the terrible worst case 'movies' we play in our heads of our perfect girlfriend being physical with other men for me there was always the nagging question "you say you love me; but you loved all these other men too; how will we work out when these other didn't; how am I any different or special?". Of course I haven't aired that question out loud but it's one that is there!

The worst thing is thinking about my girlfriend being intimate with other men. And quite a few of them. If I'd had more girlfriends, more experiences to 'compete' would I feel different like some people seem to suggest? I don't know; I can't turn back the clock and change my life. I have to look forward to the future and take what people who have been here - especially sensible advice from helpful posters like akane - to help.

And does it get better? Yes it does over time. You have to work at it. And it helps enormously if you love and trust your girlfriend.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 February 2010):

I have exactly the same problem. Granted this is a bit different than most of the relationships posted (I'm 21 and she's 37) but many of the posts have hit the nail on the head as far as how I'm feeling.

My situation is that she used to go to raves when they first began. Shes had more group sex than anyone could imagine and has had several boyfriends. This is hard to accept but on top of it the last girl I dated spent the entire relationship lieing to my face as she slept with the ex that hit her. So to say the least I have a hard time accepting anything any female says.

It took a while to get her to mention some of the things she did but when she did they came out in full swing. She never said anything about how these turned out unless she was mentioning them in reference to my consideration of polyamory.

Now she tells me that they were terrible experiences because she went home alone. I just can't accept that she allegedly didn't enjoy the ever living hell out of it when she did it.

There are multiple ways I take this. I'm frustrated in that she can't possibly see sex the way I do, there's surely a maintained connection to previous partners, and although I wouldn't necessarily pursue such ventures on my own I feel almost compelled to do so for the sake of being even.

As for advice all I have to say is this:

It's becoming ever more probable that the girls any male will encounter in this life will have been with several partners. The only thing you can do about it is to come to terms with that fact. If you're still inexperienced, single, and young, you're best off experimenting as well, at the least you'll have some fun and figure out what you like sexually.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 November 2009):

Promuscuity in a girl is a huge turn off for a guy if he wants to date that girl. Its fine if its a random girl who you dont care about, but if its someone you are with it kind of poisons your mind.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 November 2009):

Okay, so I sent my ex-boyfriend the link because he was struggling with the same issues. He ended up breaking up with me because of it after we had been dating for a year. My advice to you is that if it's that big of a deal to you, then just leave it alone. But if you love her, it won't be that big of a deal to you because Love truly does conquer all.

My ex made several mistakes. First of all, we talked about my past in the very begining. Then he waited a year to break up with me because of it; stating that it didn't bother him before because he wasn't in love w/me @ first. LOL. Whatever.

The next mistake was that he told his mom! Now, I did already have signs that he was a mamma's boy, but come on! Who does that?! Sadly, I have lost respect for him because of that. I used to day that I would love him through this, but since he has gone back and forth and really acted like quite the vagina in this case, I am disgusted w/his lack of balls to stand on his own to and to let the past affect our relationship.

In all honesty, he really is just a boy who needs to get his mamma's tittie out of his mouth and other's opinions out of his head.

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A male reader, akane United States +, writes (17 September 2009):

The question writer's problem is identical with the problem I recently dealt with. I am writing this now because I feel I have solved it and want to share some thoughts that might help others.

A couple things to begin: Don't panic. You will not lose her because of this--she has not changed. You are NOT bad for thinking these things--as you will see, thinking that you are irrational or bad or wrong for feeling this way will make it worse.

There is a basic profile for guys like us: We are young responsible males, we are in love, we have had disappointments in our past with women, we are prone to anxiety or OCD and have some self-sabotaging behaviors, we contradict ourselves when it comes to philosophical attitudes about sex. Each of these contribute, so I'll address each one.

As young responsible males, we need to feel powerful and in control when around our woman--we are their protectors and we see them as very special in our world. When we hear that she has had a dark past it hurts--worse because we have no control over that. If we had been there then, she wouldn't have had to deal with that stuff. No matter how powerful we are, we can never control things that have happened and are now in the past.

MOST OF what we are experiencing is just OCD/anxiety.

When we feel a loss of control we immediately go into OCD-mode and count numbers (her past sexual partners) and feel revulsion. This is actually a common variant of a type of OCD--sexual revulsion; except we internalize our woman's views of her sexual past and then add in the worst possible ideas we have about them to create a huge monster in our minds that can torture us when thinking about them. We just have to think about it for half a second and then a few hours later, you're still staring off into space feeling terrible.

In our past we might have had disappointments in women--we meet them and get to know them and start to have feelings only to learn of some massive character flaw or dishonesty. This then lead to feelings of loss and pain because this woman we think we have known and started to like has never existed. We get fooled. And it isn't always our fault, and sometimes it is. But we have the memory of that pain and possibly guilt for having been fooled.

As a result we engage further in our obsessive thoughts--this monster will torture us for any guilt and it will also seek for the character flaw we feel has to be there. If there isn't a flaw, it will make one up--her number of past partners is an easy target. Sexual revulsion is an easy route for obsession as well.

You are not special.

Because you've had fewer sexual partners and have grand views of sex and have had a disappointing history you might feel special, but you are not. Your obsession and your revulsion with the woman you love happen because of fear--but not because there is anything truly wrong or exceptional about you. So, do not beat yourself up for being irrational or special or bad.

There is a contradiction your philosophical attitudes about sex. You want to have sex with someone you love, as a profound experience. Your partner, let's say, has the same attitude. You then obsess about her number of previous partners and feel she is different because sex must mean less to her now (wrong) and then you feel pain because of your past and continue to obsess. You isolate and remove all context, all reality from her except for this number in the process.

You are now the one who is making sex less profound and meaningful.

The value of sex is not based on a number. As you panic that it is less valuable because of a high number of previous partners you are then basing the value of sex on a number. The contradiction you are making is in saying that you believe the value of sex is based on the profound nature of the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual connection you can have with another person. You can have one or the other, but not both.

If you continue to base sex and love on the standard of a number, then logically you ought to find a virgin regardless of who she is; rather than a woman who is not a virgin, but simply one of the best people you've ever known.

This is why you need to focus on who she is NOW--not for the sake of it, but because you need to uphold the idea that sex is meaningful because of WHO she is in the present.

Finally, you love her, she is amazing now. She has no flaws in her character that would make you love her less, she is just such a wonderful thing to have in your life. It isn't too good to be true--if she is honest, if she is the person you are in love with and you're only problem is with her past, when she did things less consistent than what she would do now if she could do things over, then you are obsessing because you've found the last thing possible that you could use to ruin it because you haven't found anything else to ruin it.

So here is my advice, after it is all explained above, in the short version:

1. Everything will be ok, don't panic. If you're truly in love with her, you will not lose her because of this.

2. Don't not feel like you are bad or special (egocentric) or immature--you are experiencing something that effects many, many men and it is like a psychological disorder, like a panic attack. It is basically a type of OCD, so learn some OCD coping methods and gain better focus of your thoughts. It is unnecessary for you to obsess about this.

OCD/Anxiety are very good at convincing you that their irrationality is actually rational.

3. Try not to talk to her too much about this issue, but let her know you're having issues you will work out. I made the mistake of bring out things in my woman's past she didn't want to revisit and had no reason to revisit--it was unnecessarily painful for her. Don't let this make you feel bad, though, if you slip on this--just look forward.

4. Deal with your own past disappointments (if you've experienced them) and realize you are YOUR present. Understand that you are truly in control and you can be objective and trust yourself to know who people are.

5. Deal with your philosophical contradictions and conflicts. If she has a view of sex the same as you as of now, and her behavior represents that view, then her past is irrelevant, her number is irrelevant. If you focus on that number, then it is YOU, and not her, who is now making sex less meaningful. The meaning of love and sex is based on who people truly are--not a number.

6. The love is bigger than this, you're bigger than this.

It is a sickening time, you will feel physically ill while you wrestle with this, and you might feel differently about her when you don't want to--that's all part of the experience. But you'll get out of it, just be persistent. Good luck!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 February 2009):

Thank you guys and girls,

think this has really helped me. I have been seeing this girl for quite a few months, shes only 17 im 23, but shes had a few sexual encounters already. Its made me feel bad that she is so young and some of the remarks she has said have made me think she views sex very casualy.

I think i need to ask her her views on sex now because, i could not hold her responsible for my feeling bad when i know how i was at 17 and even the months before meeting this girl. Shes changed alot of how i view things and i guess im kinda hoping she thinks/feels the same.

The things shes told me that a guy walked her home and cheated on his girlfriend having sex with her, and that she had cheated on her ex, but she did not gve the details apart from that she cheated with one of his friends.

i really need to stop thinking about it though, because ive done the same, not the cheating, but the sleeping with people just because i could.

i think aswell, i still miss my ex a bit, only because i was her first and there was so much trust there, and because of that i worshipped her, but her moving away just made things arwkward. im so messed up.

i think the thing to remember for me, is that, yeah they probably did enjy the sex, i know i did with my previous partners, that my past has made me who i am and her past has made her who she is. i wouldnt change her for the world, but i really need to know her views now on whether sex is just sex or if its important for me to really just get over this.

good luck guys, hope you find your way out/over it, remember, its your girls past that has made her the person you love

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 January 2009):

I am 19 and my girlfriend is 21. When we met, everything was perfect - it seemed too good to be true. I knew a little about her past, while I had never had sex before. I've always thought that sex is special and wanted it to be with someone who truly mattered.

As our relationship progressed - especially after we had sex - her past began to bother me. She's had a friend with benefits and a few serious boyfriends.

Knowing about the casual sex really bothered me. The idea that it was sex for sex's sake did not help. It made me feel like sex was just an unimportant physical act. The idea that if the sex was so good that an emotional relationship wasn't necessary made me very insecure - especially when I had so little experience. I know that they were just using each other, but I began to feel very bad about myself.

Her last serious boyfriend is a different story. When we started going out, she always told me that she'd never felt this way about anyone before. She said that I was different, and that she didn't even tell her last boyfriend that she loved him. He eventually cheated on her. She said he was just a pretty face (which didn't help with my insecurities, but I get it). I thought this was fine, and made me feel special. Later on in the relationship, I told her about my insecurities. This just made it worse. She revealed that she did in fact tell her ex-boyfriend that she loved him, and implied that I did not accept her past. It was how she changed her story that really bothered me, and after the discussion I felt like I couldn't tell her any more of my feelings.

I now feel that our pasts cannot be discussed, and that trust has been broken when she changed her story. This makes it very hard for me, because I find myself comparing myself with every guy she's ever been with. I know I should leave the past in the past, but its easier said than done.

I love her and I know she loves me, but I find myself always questioning if I really am that special to her. These feelings come up especially during sex. I feel like I missed out on casual sexual relationships, and I also feel that that makes me less of a person. I know it doesn't, and I know that I treat sex very sentimentally and emotionally - its the idea that she does not that I have trouble with.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 August 2008):

To the anon poster from today:

I do find parts of her story hard to believe. I might believe that she might have lied initially on the up side to make you think that she was one hot babe in bed. So the 25 down to 9 could now be the truth, but you will never know. She could also be lying now to make you think that she was not as bad as she was.

The part that my wife and I have a hard time believing is that she never enjoyed sex at all with others but now enjoys it with you. You should be able to tell if she really does enjoy it with you. If she does then I would think that she enjoyed it with others. Maybe not as much, but she must have liked it some. My wife had 10 partners before me. She has a couple of 1 night stands and had sex a few times with guys she had just met. She told me that she never enjoyed sex as much as she does with me since I cared much more about her enjoyment of sex than any of the other guys did. I believe her because she never changed her story and she never said anything that was out of place. She still enjoyed sex with almost all of those guys though. She likes getting screwed, although she likes making love much better. We both find it difficult to believe that a woman can go from not liking sex at all to liking it all of a sudden. We can see that she can go from just liking it some to liking it a lot easily though. To a woman the guy makes a difference. She will like the sexual act, but will love the affection and love that goes with it with the right guy.

I have read stories on various forums about telling the truth about pasts. It seems that most women either don’t say anything or tell the truth. Others lie and don’t tell about the more colorful things. However, I have seen women say that they have lied and exaggerated their experience to make them seem more sexual and desirable in bed. I guess I can see that if a woman has only had one partner and never been married, but why would someone who has had 9 partners claim to have 25. Perhaps she has allowed her fantasy world to seem real to her. I don’t know, just guessing. The story just doesn’t seem right, unless she is one very confused woman.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 August 2008):

...reading these posts....for the first time I see that Im not alone...for that i thank you guys..for almost two years Ive carried the burden of these contorted thoughts.....ugly thoughts.....depressive angry upsetting thoughts with minimal relief.

i met someone that i fell hard for.....i assumed shed been with 5 people.....to cut a long story short.....the first 8 months of our relationship exposed 'facts' of her past which the next following year of our relationship she said were lies, stories because she thought thats what normal girls do and say and think.

What facts? that shed been with over 25 people....that she enjoyed sex. that sex was just 'sex'....that swallowing was the best part of sex...that she enjoyed being with a girl...that she loved getting a finger in the butt...that she was attracted to these people....that shed had 3somes......

what would you guys tell me if I told you, that after she learned that I couldnt live with all this, that she confessed she never enjoyed any of it.....she now claims she NEVER EVER enjoyed any of it even once...not kissing..not anything..and that she did these things which she found revolting and disgusting because she was easily swayed and did anything anyone wnated....because she was weak...because she didnt know better...because she thought it was normal.......after a torturous first year of extracting all the details...she asserts she was never with over 25 ....it was only 9 guys, 1 chick...and that she never got horny, never wanted sex...was never attracted to anyone......she just liked their company...

do you think i should believe her?

i dont..how could I? am i an idiot? (dont answer that!)

and its tearing me up.....to the point where i dont want to live anymore.

ive tried to leave....and it just doesnt work..

she cried and cries and i cant leave her....it feels like im abandaning an injured animal....

i so desperately want to believe her.....but thats a travesty against my intelligence that she never enjoyed anything at all before me.....

why?

because she enjoys it with me.....i know...im there.....so why would she enjoy it with me and not previous people? she says because im the 'one', because she can only enjoy it with the 'one'.

im miserable.....

every day is torturous like this...an emotional cage...

i know it sounds dramatic...but i think this is a condition...has become something more that what it is....

im seeking councelling....ive gone to 1 session of hypnotherpay.....no lasting results...im hoping further sessions might help...

good luck guys.....i have no solution.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 July 2008):

Im 21 my partner is 26. I haven't had sex with anyone else while she has slept with five guys.

Her first sexual partner cheated on her.

Her second was a family friend who at the time had a girlfriend, they got drunk and had sex with no protection.

Her third, she cheated on her boyfriend with a long term friend several times.

Her fourth was someone she had met once, then talked over the phone,internet for 10 months, and when they met again they had sex.

Her fifth was to a long term boyfriend (2 years).

I was lied to about her never having sex without protection (it took us 8 months).

So my dilema was that she had previously cheated on someone, had had sex with several guys when getting drunk and just having sex for the sake of sex and then being lied to about something that was special to me.

I used to think about these things and many more, like whether I was big enough or the best in bed. Even despite her saying that I was the biggest she had had, and I was by far the best in bed.

But it always went through my head that "hey she had only met these guys a few times and had sex with them and with no protection" .... "So does that mean she loves sex"? As she always said to me that she hated sex, and if it happened once a year it was a good year. She also said that as a girlfriend she felt obligated to have sex.

While for the drunken sex with the three guys, she says it was a case of "we were drunk". It made me believe that she was hiding something, and when she said that she couldn't really remember the sex, it made me feel even more concerned.

At that same time, I was surrounded by mates who had slept with 10 and more chicks, while one around 40. So I was thinking "what am I doing".

It became a lot to deal with mentally and I was starting to get stressed out. I even went on myspace to find any information about her ex's.

But to be honest, it wouldn't make a difference whether it was 1 partner, 5, or 15 as there will always be this sense of jealousy and lack of self-belief. I mean, I nearly broke up with her a few times due to my lack of self-confidence. I blew premature the first time I had sex and that really hurt my self confidence.

Then there is the drugs, she has tried everything, while I haven't even tried a cigarette. It makes me a little jealous in a sense of the peer pressure world where you "have to try everything once otherwise you will die wondering".

But you have to get over it, we are both in love and cant live a moment without each other. It took me a good month to stop thinking about those past sexual partners everyday. I will never get over the fact that she let herself be treated this way and the things that she has done when drunk and on drugs.

But I love her.

And if your love can't get you over the line of this "jealousy", then maybe she isn't the problem, maybe you just don't have enough self belief.

Thats what I went through, I was measuring myself and slowly over the month of stress my dick had gotten smaller, but it was just a mental thing. I also thought that I was bad in bed, even though she would go well before me and be screaming and telling me "phew babe that was awesome".

I lost my self belief in the bedroom, I lost it in myself as to whether I was good to her.

But then it all clicked, hey, she's not the problem as she loves me and has never said anything bad to me and always enjoys the sex and can't live a day without seeing me. She also broke down when she told me about the protection.

So, if she wasn't the problem. Then I was. And I had artificially created all these problems in my head. And trust me, they will always be there, but not to the extent as you are experiencing once you have realised that it is your own self confidence that is being tested.

So, start trusting yourself and start believing that you are the best for her. And if your not the best person for her, then she would tell you.

Ultimately I am glad she has had her experiences as they have made her into the person who she is now. The person I love.

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A female reader, AllyCat Australia +, writes (1 July 2008):

AllyCat agony aunteveryone replying to you seems to be male with the same problem, and i guess some of it is quite helpful, but then, i can't believe that there are so many of you out there. so i'm here to let you know how i feel, as a girl on the other side of the problem.

before my current boyfriend, i had slept with 7 people in 7 years. each one was a boyfriend who i had known for a while before we got together and i had waited at least 2 months until i gave into the constant hounding for sex. for various reasons, i realised they weren't "the ones" (it may have been due to them becoming complete dickheads after we'd had sex),however i guess it took sleeping with them to realise this. for some reason this pattern kept repeating, why i don't know, but i do know that my partner is torn between feelings that it is my fault, and feelings that these men have taken advantage of small naive me, the girl with incredibly low self esteem. this makes him so angry and moody, and it really hurts to know that he feels that disgusted in me. he also begs me to give him details, and if i do he gets angry and if i don't, coz i know how he gets, he assumes the worst.

i love him with all my heart, i have never loved anyone this much. i seriously could not imagine life without him, other than this one enormous problem our life together is pretty awesome.

we were supposed to be getting married soon, i have my dress and everything, but now i have to find some way of telling everyone it's all off.

everytime he is in a mood, it breaks my heart, i don't think about my past, it's not important. he is all that matters to me, i don't why he can't see that and just move on. he hurts me so much that i even have a suicide plan because i can't live without him. he doesn't know as i wouldn't want 2 worry him or make him feel trapped in this relationship. but if he ends it, there is nothing more for me to live for, he is my everything.

so basicly what i'm saying is boys, think about what you are putting your ladies thru. they love you and acknowledge that they made mistakes, but you have changed them for the better and they love you more than words can describe. is it really worth all the hurt and the pain, go and see a psychiatrist/psychologist if you need to, it seems to help, but please find a way to deal with it, because it hurts her way more than she lets on, and if she's like me it is taking its toll and wearing her down.

i wish there was some easy remedy for it, but there's not, so please just learn to forgive us.

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A male reader, Forgiveness India +, writes (9 June 2008):

Forgiveness agony auntI know what so many, or rather all of you are going through.Let me tell you one thing. We are all sinners. Look into your past and see what all you have messed up. I am sure most will see lots. Some however will not see enough and to some it won't matter what they have done, just that their gf has been messing around in the past and that's all that they can see anymore.

I am so so amazed by all the post on this page. Not one (correct me if i am wrong, i coz i breezed through some) talks about FORGIVENESS !!! Plain and simple, your GF made her share of mistakes and you can either forgive her or not !!!!!

Let me tell you all something. If you can't forgive you will never be able to move on.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BRUSHING ASIDE THE MATTER AND NEITHER IS THERE ANY SUCH THING AS GETTING OVER IT ! BOTH ARE TEMPORARY !

So that brings us to the all important question then, HOW IN THE WORLD DO I DEAL WITH IT !!

LET'S LOOK AT A FEW THINGS HERE...

1. THINK OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE BEFORE ASKING ANYONE.

2. IF SHE CAN BE TRUSTED NOW AND REGRETS WHAT SHE HAS DONE AND HAS CHANGED HER WAYS THEN IT'S TIME TO FORGIVE.

3. NEVER AS YOUR GF FOR DETAILS ABOUT PAST SEX RELATED INCIDENTS. MAKE SURE YOU ASK NOTHING THAT CREATES MENTAL IMAGERY OF THE EVENTS. FOR EXAMPLE ASKING HER HOW MANY TIMES SHE WAS INVOLVED IN ORAL SEX,OR OTHER FORMS OF SEX, OR HOW DID SHE MAKE OUT, WHERE SHE DID THAT, HOW DID ANOTHER GUY TOUCH HER , ETC... NO SUCH QUESTIONS MEN !!

4. IF YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FORGIVE THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO FORGET.

5. THE PAST CANNOT BE CHANGED IN ANY WAY, SO STOP DESIRING THAT. STOP ASKING IF; WISHING THIS OR THAT.. PAST IS FACT AND FACTS WILL STAY NO MATTER WHAT.

6. DO NOT THINK OR TRY TO MAKE YOUR SELF BELIEF THAT SHE WAS TAKEN ADVANTAGE OFF OR IT WAS NOT REALLY HER FAULT UNLESS SHE WAS ABUSED OR ABSOLUTELY SURELY TAKEN ADVANTAGE OFF.

MEN DO THAT TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR THEMSELVES TO FORGIVE.

BUT IT'S ONLY A VICIOUS AND FOOLISH GAME.

IT DOESN'T WORK.

7. NEVER ASK PROBING QUESTIONS. BE GENTLE WITH HER ALWAYS.

SHE NEEDS TO BE LOVED.( REMEMBER MOST WOMEN FALL INTO EMPTY RELATIONSHIPS AND END UP DOING SO MUCH CRAP, BECAUSE THEY FEEL UNLOVED BY FOLKS AT HOME, SPECIALLY FATHER, OR FEEL UNAPPRECIATED, OR HAVE LITTLE OR NO ATTENTION). SO MAKE SURE YOUR WOMAN FEELS LOVED, JUST AS IT REQUIRED OF WOMEN TO RESPECT THEIR MEN.

8. START THIS WAY, ACCEPT AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR GIRL DID WRONG AND SHE DID MAKE ALL THOSE MISTAKES.

9. YOU NEED TO HAVE THE WILLINGNESS THEN TO FORGIVE. IF THAT DOESN'T COME TO YOU ( AS TO MOST MEN, WHO FEEL REVENGEFUL, HURT, LET DOWN, EMPTY, LOSERS AND DON'T WANT TO FORGIVE AND RATHER TORMENT THEIR WOMEN SOMEHOW), YOU WILL NEED TO PRAY FOR IT !!

YES YOU NEED TO PRAY FOR IT. YOU NEED TO ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU THE WILLINGNESS TO FORGIVE.

REMEMBER FORGIVENESS COMES FROM GOD AND NOT FROM YOU.

10. WHEN YOU HAVE THE WILLINGNESS TO FORGIVE AND YOU CLEARLY MAKE THAT CHOICE TO FORGIVE HER( PLEASE REMEMBER IT'S A CHOICE FIRST AND THEN A FEELING), GOD WILL MAKE THOSE FEELINGS OF HURT, PAIN DISAPPEAR. THIS MAY TAKE TIME. SOMETIMES A FEW MONTHS OR MAYBE YEAR. PLEASE DO NOT GET STUCK WITH TIME FRAMES. GOD WORKS IN THE MOST PERFECT MANNER WITH EXCELLENT AND IMMACULATE TIMINGS.

11. YOUR WORK IS TO HAVE THE WILLINGNESS TO FORGIVE AND GOD DOES THE REST BY MAKING THOSE FEELINGS DISAPPEAR.

IT WORKS , SURE AS DEATH OF ANYTHING THAT IS BORN.

12. ALSO REMEMBER FORGIVENESS IS NOT EASY BUT IT IS THE RIGHT THING. FOR EVERY RIGHT THING WE DO, WE PAY A PRICE.

13. LET ME REMIND YOU AGAIN. YOU CAN DO THIS ALL BY YOURSELF. YOU NEED TO INVOLVE GOD TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

AND I TELL YOU ONE THING. HE IS SITTING OUT THERE WAITING FOR YOU TO ASK FOR IT ,BECAUSE HE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU JOYOUS ! HIS PROBLEM IS THAT HE LOVES US ALL BEYOND MEASURE.

14. THERE ARE MANY BOOKS ON FORGIVENESS AND HOW IT WORKS.

MAKE SURE YOU DON'T READ ANY WHICH DON'T HAVE A SOLID FOUNDATION. I COULD SUGGEST A FEW IF YOU WERE INTERESTED. FEEL FREE TO MAIL ME AT [email address blocked]

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 May 2008):

Well, i was dating the girl i was with before, and she left me. during that time she dated a guy for 11 months.. she only had sex with him 15 times, but when i think about it i get sick to my stomache. i have been dating her a year and a half now, and we are very happy together, but sometimes it crosses my mind and it hurts me. i just thought i was a loser and a shitty boyfriend for it, but everybody tells me it is because i love her.

i don't know though.

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A male reader, Music Man  United States +, writes (24 April 2008):

I feel your pain, My girl and I separated for like 4 years for college but were still seeing each other when we could. But when we got back together she gives me oral sex all the time and then randomly swallowed. I was glad and sick at the same time because I knew it wasn't me who taught her that. So of course my dumb ass ask her how many guys she did that for and she said just one and only one time.... yeah f'n right lol. Now my intelligence was insulted along with my pride. anyway the issue still plagues me but I find myself in bad moods towards her if it crosses my mind. I'm scared to ask if shes had anal sex. I'd probably call it quits, just cuz we got nothing new for us and I'm not into kinky things.. unless anal is, but i haven't done it nor wanted too until my pride was hurt on the oral thing. So in your case what I'm saying is look for what you can have thats just for you and work on detaching your heart from sex. Theres no way she was in love with 14 men so ask her how she views sex. your feelings will change when you know what truly matters to her, i would bet sex is nowhere on that list... well no where near the top : ) not advice, just feelings hope it helps

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 April 2008):

I've been with my girl for about a month and a half.We're both 29.I've had over ten sex partners.She claims seven which I know is an underestimation.I really don't want to know the exact number.When we started getting serious I told her I didn't care about her past and I wouldn't bring it up.I seriously didn't care and didn't want to know.She's just a real dumbass cause she asked me about my past and naturally it led to hers.Even after I told her not to divulge any details or info about her past sex adventures, she does it anyway.I wish she hadn't because I knew how I'd get.Sure enough I got jealous.I still am.I had told her not to ever bring up her sexual past but I guess keeping her mouth shut in more ways than one was too hard for her.She told me about a threesome when she was 19.She's had two boyfriends and the rest were one night stands.She's really into sex raves and other crap which she claims is just for "people watching and fun." After knowing this I guess it was for the best cause I've realized she isn't the one for me.In a way she did me a favor by not being smart and keeping her mouth shut about her past.Now she's about to lose a good thing.I understand we all have pasts but come on? Do I really have to know that she's had large cocks, and that one guy was screwing her the wrong way and told him to stop, or that she was usually the agressor and would take guys home after a night at the bar?Seriously I didn't have to know this and didn't want to.I fell hard for her and really liked her but damn, this changed everything. If she was whoring around I didn't want to know.It was in the past.Now she painted a mental picture for me and she's really messed things up. No wonder she's such an idiot.I should've known. Ladies, if your man ever tells you not to bring up your past sexual encounters, smarten up and don't bring it up.He's mature enough to know he doesn't want to know and it doesn't matter. When you paint the picture for him, well now you've got his imagination running wild and he's painting you not as the future mother of his kids, but as a nympho bar-slut who can't keep her legs closed.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 April 2008):

what sux is when she talks a bout a a particular "easily-give-up-the-goods" situation with no shame and with a 'so-it-happened" kida attitude. Cant help thinking she still considers it "OK" and might tolerate it sometime again in future despite assuring otherwise. Its just that we dont have much control over the heart. It loves but is bothered at the same time. Crazy, if u asked moi!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2008):

i completely understand how you feel

im not sure where to begin...

i'm 18, english, and have been going out with my girlfriend (of 16) now for a little over a year, there have been some really really good times- times i'l never forget, but underlying almost the entirety of our relationship, are feelings which have formed as a result of her past;

at 13 she was seriously emotionally torn, she had been bullied at school for a long time, something which i feel is always underestimated in its ability to permanantly emotionally damage- and being bullied left her a very dependant person- who felt she needed to please everyone around her, family, friends, etc...

she moved schools and the bullying pretty much stopped, though she still hid an insecure and quite vunerable person underneath a brave construct, something she had invented but did not really feel, in order to "fit in".

her mother was also having a rough time of it- being beaten around by some coward, which obviously put even more stress on her. she also had a relative who she had stayed with a lot as a child, who passed away and left a large emotional hole- around the same time.

so when she was 13 things really piled on to her all at once- she was scared, got depressed, and as you can imagine, was vunerable and easily led... easily convinced of love

she met a boy, and they did the things kids do, held hands etc, then they kissed- but he wanted more, and just after she turned 13 he convinced that poor, fragile creature to give him a blowjob- and she couldnt say no- for a few reasons- at first she didnt think much of it, she had been a quite sheltered child, and did not know what a blowjob was until a few months before, so thought nothing much of it.

she also couldnt say no because she just wanted someone to be with, someone she could be convinced that she loved- and he took advantage of that, he used her, and even though he was also only 13, it tears me up all the time

it wasnt just one either- they went out for 2 and a half years, and even though in most ways it was a sort of kiddy relationship- for example they didnt talk much, certaintly not about their feelings, and they never slept together or did anything more than what ive mentioned- they still did that.

so then i guess they carried on for a couple years- he was never all that interested in her body, thankfully- he never pleasured her in any way bar feeling and kissing her breastsfrom time to time. she just went on with it, she says now that she didnt particularly like it, but she didnt hate it- because it started off as not a big deal, because of her naivety, and then by the time she was old enough to realise it was a big deal, she had already done it so many times, that it had lost its sting- she says she would have happily stoped, and genuinely thought she loved him- so thinks she carried on because of that but not because of any sexual satsfaction that she got- also if she ever said she wasnt in the mood he would blackmail and guilt trip her- he was a twat, and would have told everyone if they had broken up, just to spite her, she really was trapped in a cycle she felt uncomfortable in but saw no way out of.

until he intended to move to france-

its an unusual concept, and i wont pretend to undersand it- but apparently she didnt have the strength to break up with him, because she feared losing him, but on another level wanted rid of him- so him moving to france when they were 14 shoved her out of the cycle, and she says she had never felt more relieved and free.

so why then, did she visit him in france weeks after they sort of broke up, and did it again?

at present- this information tears me up on so many levels- i blame her, even though the evidence suggests it wasnt really her fault, and no matter how much i try to convince myself that shes changed and circumstance forced her to do it (i believe she would have said no if she had not been so emotionally crushed) i still cant help thinking that i wish she were completely pure- is that too much to ask?

weve talked about it so much and shes been so patient- but lately, i suppose because its dragged on, she has behaved impatiently and has acted defensively- ive genuinely thought at times tha id never get over it, and that i should break up with her, for her sake just as much as mine.

ive been tough to her, sometimes taken out my frustration and confusion on her because i dont know what else to throw it at- ive never felt so down, i always compare myself to other guys, something i never felt a neccesity to do before i met her, and i question her word- i dont trust her because she was so ashamed of what she had done (at her own weakness, because she hates feeling powerless now) that she let the truth out in little pieces, having to round off the edges of each bit with temporary lies.

i hated the lies, because they made me feel like i could never trust her again, and indeed, i question almost everything she says now on a subconcious level- i know they were not malicious, but...

i desperately want to love her- and am very confused about wether i do? it always seems like i cant give in to the natural urge to love, because my instinct is to detatch myself- so that if we break up, it wont hurt so much

it hurts so much- and i know its ridiculous- even though its pretty sick at 13 and 14, on a school bus (a part of the journey where no-one else was on the bus) sometimes every day of the school week- at the end of the day its a messed up 13 year old girl who made a big mistake- shes sorry and it could have been worse- SO WHY CANT I ACCEPT IT AND MOVE ON WITH THE FUTURE!!!

for almost a year, as more and more information came out in snippets, i asked more and more questions, determined to fill in the cracks (i thought she would naturally leave out bits she deemed unnecesary, or overly crude, or had genuinely forgotten- and even though i hated carrying the weight of that knowlegde and those images in my head- i was obsessed with knowing everything) i still do to an extend, i ask myself questions, and worry all the time- it has made me deeply unhappy and very insecure- what if his was bigger than mine? even though i know mine is slightly bigger than average, and the chances are very minimal. other things along those lines

i also worried whether she had taken any pleasure from doing it, that she hid- i suppose i will never know but it seems unlikely- at tmes i wonder if he touched her and she hasnt said, which in my opinion would be far worse than what she did

so...

i gave her hell about it from time to time, but sometimes i was very forgiving- shes frustrated because i dont really trust her- and i feel like there really isnt a way out for me

she did it on a ferry on the way to, and back from france, on a school trip, and in numerous other places, the worst of which was probarbly a lane near where she lived.

i want to love her but i cant if i dont trust her- and i want so badly for her to be pure and for it to all be ok but what has happened has happened... im not sure if anyone can answer my questions, but if so, please suggest whether i should stay with her or not, i just dont know!

she met with another boy after the first one- who had been friends with her for a long time, and they went out, they just kissed and groped etc, that was all, clumsy, childish, like it should be- and she was happy, you know? the first one, he controled her- and even though he was only 13/14, thats somehow worse than the things they did- you see, the sexual act of a blowjob, and handjob, is certaintly heavily sexual, but its a mechanical act of the hand or mouth to create pleasure in a nutshell, its a mistake that can be made by naive children, as in this case- it started as curiosity- and then when it was clear pleasure was included, i assume he didnt see a reason for it to stop- control however, is dark stuff, thats calculating nasty intelligence, manipulation and arrogance- and my baby, my girlfriend, had to put up with that

im so bitter on so many levels- and very frustrated

ultimately she gave a boy many many blowjobs, and she did it because of control and vunerability- i feel selfish but rightious, i want to love her but a part of my head ruled by jealousy and disgust hates her for no reason

i am disgusted but simeltaniously so so sorry for her

i dont understand how i feel- im an emotional mess at the moment, many would say its no big deal what happened- and many of you guys have had much worst things happen, and im sorry- but what dominates uss all as one in common is confusion- the fact is, all of our stories are very similar- they are ruled by frustration, we dont know which way to turn and as such our indecision throws us from emotional wall to emotional wall with no doorway out in sight, in a way that the problem on its own couldnt

id be a hypocrite if i advised to treat it objectively, try to take a view of an outsider, and deal with the problem without the awkward connetations, because i just cant do it myself- but im sure it holds the key

its hard

she was just a child- but no excuse seems enough- i just cant get the images out of my head- i mean, a school bus for fuck sake...

well thanks, and i wish you all luck

writing this has helped me to ge a lot off my chest

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 March 2008):

I am experiencing a very confusing feeling. I am 16, my girlfriend is the same age and we have a very meaningful relationship, its really something special. Recently we had sex and it was her first. We REALLY like each other, we're in a great relationship, I was her first guy, everything should feel great right? Not so simple. Before I started going out with her I had heard from my friends that she was not a shy one when it came to...doing things. She NEVER had the reputation of being a slut or sleeping around, however she had a history. The night when our relationship really started we didn't really know each other that well, and were not going out. She was drunk and frankly was DTF (down to fuck). I did not take advantage of her although I could have at that point (because I'm a nice guy and I respected her). However that night I realized that the difference between myself and anther guy was not a big one. I was the lucky guy and was happy to be it at that point. It did not bother be that she could have been had so easily.

It was a new and exciting relationship that was moving quickly, and that was fine with me. We have been together for awhile now and I cannot describe how i feel about her. I know I am really young and maybe its to early to start saying words like love, but I feel unlike i have every felt for a girl. What has changed sense that fist night is not only my emotions for her though. My level of jealousy, suspicion, and pain over her past has risen to the same extent. Although she was a virgin before me, I know that she has experimented with oral sex, and I know one specific story about a drunken night when she gave a guy head at a party. I know this guy, go to the same school with this guy, and played on the same football team as this guy. It shocked me and hurt me when I heard this story. I am torn by two emotions. One comes from the fact that she is a hot young girl who is sexually inclined, likes to get drunk, and has a past with guys. This feeling is a terrible one, I get a huge rush of pain and anger when I picture her drunk, sucking on my team mates cock (pardon the description). The other feeling is a wonderful one. It is my overwhelming feeling of love for her. She is the coolest, funniest, sexiest girl I know, and she is the one who adores me the most. I was her first, and our sexual relationship is as emotionally intimate as one can be. We had to work out some sexual issues when we where first getting to "know" each other so to speak and she was completely understanding and loving of me no matter.

I have no clue how I could ever let go of this girl. When we have talked about her past she says that she regrets that time sooo much, that she was drunk and doesn't remember much. However I can't help but wonder. That first night when we where together, was I just another guy who she could have regretted? I know for a fact that when she goes home she drinks at parties and with friends (she lives in a country where it is legal at her age) and although I, and everyone who is friends with her says that she would never do anything behind my back, I cannot help but think about it and Imagen the worst. One time over a school break while we were together she got so drunk that she passed out and didn't remember it the next day. She had to ask her friends if anything happened, and you know what i mean by "happened". Nothing did, and I trust her when she tells me that she would never do anything behind my back. But she wasn't planning on giving that guy a blow job while drunk at a party before she got there and got smashed. So whats stopping her from doing the same nowadays when she gets drunk when I'm not around (let alone thousands of mines away)? I know she really likes me, and I know that she has been faithful to me when she probably would be getting with someone over break if she were single. But I cant stop thinking about it, and it hurts me more and more as I get more attached to her. We're talking about serious, emotional pain. I don't know what to do about it. We have talked about it, and she knows I think about it but I don't think she knows how much pain it causes me, and I think for me (or anyone in this situation) to come to peace with this issue, she has to realize how much it hurts me or at least how much I think about it.

I hate to think that she feels bad about me thinking about it, and I know that she wants me to forget about her past. However when it comes to things like this, communication it key! I think I can get over this, it will simply take some time and some understanding, on both sides.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 March 2008):

Same thing. Different story. relationship almost 6 years. discussed history at on-set of relationship, but just read a paper she wrote on her sexual history for a psychology class and now the details won't leave me alone. I'm already a jealous guy, but some of the things - i just can seem to come to terms with - I just see it as bad shit that can't be changed. I don't like the idea of someone taking advatage of my girlfriend. The kinds of sexual situations sound to me and she's told me...I was drunk, I don't really remember it...it didn't matter...so when I think about who these dudes are must have been taking full advantage of that situation or having his way with her, treating her like a piece of ass, etc...it upsets me that someone has degraded the woman I love... also there is the she cheated on an old boyfriend with his best friend, so then I think someone who does something like, probably could do it again, I mean it is not far fetched to imagine that it could happen to me, then I get mad at myself for not trusting her, but then any possible scenerio between us, where I just have to "take her word" for something, I begin to question her word, knowing her past. But I do trust her now and she gets angry when I talk to her about my jealous feelings - I think too as a guy, I have never really had sex with a female who I didn't respect or care for, so to think that she had numerous meaningless sex forces me to think less of her and I hate that.

Some of her stories are so kind of bizarre to me that it's like oh she slept with 12 dudes, it's like she slept with the captain of the football team on a dare or had a three-some with two dudes one of them a Marine..or she had to change bars, because she had already slept with the bartender and every other guy in the place. So take a guy who would be jealous of just an old boyfriend and then throw in the marine, his buddy and a bartender and it's pretty much too much to handle. granted most of the crazy stuff was like 10 years ago, but then I view her as the used vicitim....I also love her and don't want to view her as used or taken advantage of by some guy who was just getting what he could from her to please himself.

Also to think that if she currently tells me that these were meaningless acts - then what did she get from it, to do it again and again and again...you can't say I made the same mistake 18 times before I realzied I wasn't getting what I emotionally needed from it..so then that makes me think she enjoyed it and that's the worst part, because she tells me she doesn't remember a lot of it from being drunk and it wasn't good...that's like me saying, I hate playing golf so much but I still go out and do it every weekend...so I think for guys the most disturbing part is that the girl is telling you that it didn't matter, and for us, it really effects how we currently view them and how we have to come to terms with something that really had nothing to do with us - that we were no part of, but now we have to find a way to make peace with something we have no control or part of, so how do you do that? not easy. it' makes me really angry that I have to deal with it to be comfortable in the current relationship and there really isn't much she can do now to make it any better or help me feel better about it. plus then it becomes my problem of why am I making such a big deal about this stuff when we have already been together for so long, get more upset that now I am doing something wrong in our current relationship...i think it is important when i do talk to her, to tell her that I feel bad for the experiences she had and it makes me angry...she really doesn't understand the way a man can be upset by these things, because she understands it from a first hand perspective and they are her choices that she has already had to come to terms with...so she is done dealing with it and I really have no way of handling my feelings about it on my own.

I guess it helps some to talk about it and maybe try to put it in perspective that it was probably not the "dirty" occurences that my jealous mind imagines...but some of the acts are just pretty frank things that are not being made into too much by my imagination. I don't know. The only way I see getting past it is by just getting sick of thinking about it or finding a way to find some humor in it and as much as I hate what happened, I am glad that I know the truth of her history, the to always be guessing and wondering what she hasn't told me.

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A male reader, Aristotle Australia +, writes (22 February 2008):

I have read this thread and another one on a similar issue many, many times.

I posted in one of them, a real positive post, but since then, I have gone backwards.

I have never been more depressed in my life. I am 25, and I know my gf has had relationship sex, with which I am totally fine with. However, I know of one encounter (just one), where she 'gave up the goods' cheaply.

Someone said it in these threads, that we as men dont have an issue with the fact that women have had sex, its cheap sex that torments us.

My problem is, I knew the guy - my best friend. I remember hi fiving him, having a laugh, your a champion ra ra ra. As boys do. We have a small community, so years later, her and I have been just hi bye friends. We got closer and closer, and got together.

When we hooked up, I knew full well what she did with this fellow in the past. Months down the track, I told her it was eating me up, she was in shock, embarrassed, depressed, etc. The problem is, I remember my friend telling me IN DETAIL what occurred. We all found it funny, and, well, boys will be boys.

My feelings have grown for this girl so much. So has my resentment for what happened. The stronger I feel for her, the stronger the pain is.

The problem is, in our little community, everyone knows everything. I spoke to my friend about it, how its eating me - he feels terrible and assures me it was just 'kids playing about'. His girlfriend, with whom I am great friends with, was outraged at the start, that one of her best friends (me) is going out with that 'chick her man f*cked'. She has mellowed out since, but first impressions last, and it tortures me.

I dont know what to do.

I have made my girl so depressed about it. She loves me more than anyone before - this I know. We both feel so strong about each other. I just cant let it go. I have read all this awesome advice, stories etc., and I still cant stomach it. I did for a while, its just all come back flooding onto me.

I cry, I get upset, I sit and brood, I punish myself in the gym. I never take it out on her. Her and I talk about it non stop, I flood her with my feelings, but have never tried to intentionally make her feel bad about it.

Everything reminds me of the encounter. I remember where she used to live, when my friend did his deeds with her. Whenever I see the street signs to that area, I cringe. Whenever I see other women who I know my friend cheaply did things with (in person, on msn, on facebook, whatever), I cringe, and am bitter towards what young women today have become.

My girl is also at the centre of a heap of rumours from our community, which she assures me are entirely lies. However, I find my trust and faith in this dwindling. She assures me the only intimacy in her life was in relationships, and only one outside - which I happen to know about. I think about this and say 'wow, what a convenient coincidence'. She knows my reactions to hearing these stories and how much it hurts - and I know she would never ever tell me anymore stories, due to my reactions to the one above. I have no choice but to believe her, or die inside and wonder 'what if'. The truth wont come out.

I cant handle this.

I have become suicidal. I dont know what solution there is. If I stay with her, it will forever eat me. If I leave her, I know that I will NEVER find someone this close, important, and on the same wavelength as me. I feel trapped and see absolutely no way out.

I hate myself for not being a man who can handle it. I think of other guys who brush it off, have a laugh, and move on. And they are bigger men than I can ever be. I hate what I see in myself. I hate what I am doing to her. I dont talk to my friends anymore, because they all used to point fingers at her, and made nasty comments (before I dated her). I went into it, knowing all these things. And I saw past it and saw how great she is. I hate that I have done this, and that now I dont talk to them, and am doubting everything.

I hate stressing over this. I hate all of it. Most of all, I hate pulling her along on a string through the muck.

I dont know what to do, and its tearing me up inside. If I just walk off and stop this relationship, I am going to die inside. She is so great, so fantastic, that I cant see that I would ever meet anyone better to me.

She knows that deep down, there are suicidal tendencies in me. She is scared to bits, that I may hurt myself.

I just dont know what to do. I pray daily, that a car will take me out, that I wont wake up, that I will accidentally be shot in a bungled robbery attempt by some criminals, that an accident will happen at work, that some quick acting illness comes over me. All so I dont have to make this decision.

My only advice to people is, if there is a tiny bit of doubt, something bugging you very early on in a relationship, dont get into it. Bail and run immediately.

I cant handle this.

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A male reader, Aristotle Australia +, writes (22 February 2008):

I have read this thread and another one on a similar issue many, many times.

I posted in one of them, a real positive post, but since then, I have gone backwards.

I have never been more depressed in my life. I am 25, and I know my gf has had relationship sex, with which I am totally fine with. However, I know of one encounter (just one), where she 'gave up the goods' cheaply.

Someone said it in these threads, that we as men dont have an issue with the fact that women have had sex, its cheap sex that torments us.

My problem is, I knew the guy - my best friend. I remember hi fiving him, having a laugh, your a champion ra ra ra. As boys do. We have a small community, so years later, her and I have been just hi bye friends. We got closer and closer, and got together.

When we hooked up, I knew full well what she did with this fellow in the past. Months down the track, I told her it was eating me up, she was in shock, embarrassed, depressed, etc. The problem is, I remember my friend telling me IN DETAIL what occurred. We all found it funny, and, well, boys will be boys.

My feelings have grown for this girl so much. So has my resentment for what happened. The stronger I feel for her, the stronger the pain is.

The problem is, in our little community, everyone knows everything. I spoke to my friend about it, how its eating me - he feels terrible and assures me it was just 'kids playing about'. His girlfriend, with whom I am great friends with, was outraged at the start, that one of her best friends (me) is going out with that 'chick her man f*cked'. She has mellowed out since, but first impressions last, and it tortures me.

I dont know what to do.

I have made my girl so depressed about it. She loves me more than anyone before - this I know. We both feel so strong about each other. I just cant let it go. I have read all this awesome advice, stories etc., and I still cant stomach it. I did for a while, its just all come back flooding onto me.

I cry, I get upset, I sit and brood, I punish myself in the gym. I never take it out on her. Her and I talk about it non stop, I flood her with my feelings, but have never tried to intentionally make her feel bad about it.

Everything reminds me of the encounter. I remember where she used to live, when my friend did his deeds with her. Whenever I see the street signs to that area, I cringe. Whenever I see other women who I know my friend cheaply did things with (in person, on msn, on facebook, whatever), I cringe, and am bitter towards what young women today have become.

My girl is also at the centre of a heap of rumours from our community, which she assures me are entirely lies. However, I find my trust and faith in this dwindling. She assures me the only intimacy in her life was in relationships, and only one outside - which I happen to know about. I think about this and say 'wow, what a convenient coincidence'. She knows my reactions to hearing these stories and how much it hurts - and I know she would never ever tell me anymore stories, due to my reactions to the one above. I have no choice but to believe her, or die inside and wonder 'what if'. The truth wont come out.

I cant handle this.

I have become suicidal. I dont know what solution there is. If I stay with her, it will forever eat me. If I leave her, I know that I will NEVER find someone this close, important, and on the same wavelength as me. I feel trapped and see absolutely no way out.

I hate myself for not being a man who can handle it. I think of other guys who brush it off, have a laugh, and move on. And they are bigger men than I can ever be. I hate what I see in myself. I hate what I am doing to her. I dont talk to my friends anymore, because they all used to point fingers at her, and made nasty comments (before I dated her). I went into it, knowing all these things. And I saw past it and saw how great she is. I hate that I have done this, and that now I dont talk to them, and am doubting everything.

I hate stressing over this. I hate all of it. Most of all, I hate pulling her along on a string through the muck.

I dont know what to do, and its tearing me up inside. If I just walk off and stop this relationship, I am going to die inside. She is so great, so fantastic, that I cant see that I would ever meet anyone better to me.

She knows that deep down, there are suicidal tendencies in me. She is scared to bits, that I may hurt myself.

I just dont know what to do. I pray daily, that a car will take me out, that I wont wake up, that I will accidentally be shot in a bungled robbery attempt by some criminals, that an accident will happen at work, that some quick acting illness comes over me. All so I dont have to make this decision.

My only advice to people is, if there is a tiny bit of doubt, something bugging you very early on in a relationship, dont get into it. Bail and run immediately.

I cant handle this.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 February 2008):

No wonder women and men deal with this issue in very different ways. Male and female points of view or perception in this matter travel different roads.

My personal opinion is base in how women and men perceive sex. Men are hunters by nature, sex turns in to a complete physical experience most of the time, conversely women claim they need to be emotionally involved to reach the highest grade of intimacy. It is amazing going through the web and find hundreds of female opinions is this regard, stating that "the past is the past and is gone". Well I must say that it is not in that way how a human being should live. The past matters and matters alot, because even when we grow up patterns of behavior prevel.

My point is, that a human being must have moral principles and values. When those principles are strong it will be very difficult for a women to sleep with a man without know him well or feel any emotional link. I'm not saying that girls must be virgin til they married, that is stupid. I'm just saying that a women that love and respect herself, should consider"sex" when involved in a serious relationship and not have sex just because the typical excuses:" I was so lonely, he was cute , he was very nice and gentil, i was drunk, my boyfriend is an asshole, i was confused, etc.

How another poster wrote, women have the power to choose their partners and say YES or say NO. Ladies want to be compared with men about sex life, well of course you can be compared, but then assume your past, do not hide it or try to make it up, telling " it only was experiences of life" "I was so naive and childish" "I though I was in love" " it has not value for me" "it was not important". They say that in the way to have sex, they should be emotionally involved and then they come with all this double standard arguments.

Later...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 February 2008):

Ok this question hit home to me in a major way. I am engaged to a girl who is 25 and has been with 10 people before me. One of them may possibly be a close friend of mine. The very idea of her with anyone else with me literally makes my stomach sick. I wrestle with jealousy every day as do you and believe me, it is not fun nor does it make me feel like I'm in a healthy relationship. I really love this girl and I realise that we all have sexual pasts, some are worse then others. I guess we have to look at it this way, she is mines now and whatever she did before simply does not exist now and since we didn't know her then and she had no idea we existed so therefore and as hard as it sounds we have to get past it or find a partner who is a virgin.

I am under the firm belief that once we hit our 20's, finding a virgin or close to it is as impossible as finding a women who looks exactly like Paris Hilton LOL. It's hard believe me to live with stuff like this, you are not alone. Some men don't look at this stuff as being a big deal, we do so I guess it comes down to a choice we have to make. Is her soiled past worth letting someone else have her and you finding someone else?

For me personaly I love her too much to hold past mistakes against her and if your girl is as loyal to you as mine is to me then let it go and enjoy her and her body as much as you can and also remember to be thankful she is yours now. Obviously the men she slept with before don't compare to you or she would still be with them. Having said this I cringe every time I think of another assholes hands all over her or her enjoying it but we need to be confident in what we do to her and always believe we are erasing those memories out of her head every time we give her pleasure.

Remember man, you are her man and she chose you over those other losers. Be proud and content with yourself and her. I hope this helps. I'm sure we could help each other with this, if not good luck man and enjoy your girl tonight and to hell with her ex's!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 February 2008):

The thing that kills me with my gf is that when I go to see her family and we go out for a drink or two where she used to live, I can't help but think how many guys we're going out with she's done stuff with - "how many guys have tried my girlfriend in the room"? It's hard to deal with........

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 January 2008):

You are most definitely not alone. I saw your post aerlier this year saying you were better, and I have to say that gives me hope as well. I am dealing with my girlfriend's past as well.

I have to say that since it started bothering me I have gotten a lot better. And that is only after about 7 months of it bothering me (we've been dating for 11, and I knew most of the things in the beginning but wanted to give it a chance).

If there is anything I've learned it is this: it's not as bad as it seems. No matter what they did, it is not as bad as your mind makes it out to be. Life is way too short to worry about these things and I am realizing that more and more each day. And, the more you learn about it the more you realize it's not that big of a deal. Humans have sex.

The pressures people and the media put on celibacy vs. promiscuity are not worth paying attention to. In the end it is your own feeling on the matter. Put it this way: if you didn't love the girl so much, would you care this much? and, if you didn't love the girl so much, would you try to change your thoughts so much?

We have a lot more control over our minds than we think. It is our mind, and it is up to us to change it if need be. Think of how limited one would be if they were to JUDGE a mate based on their past. I say judge because all in all it is a judgement. One that affects the one judging but still a judgement. I learned this when my girlfriend asked about my past. As small as mine is, it bothers her too, and that's what made me realize I should stop worrying about hers. She has much more physical experience than me, but we are both in our first real serious relationship. She is jealous of the fact that I even had an emotional connetion to another girl. It doesn't bother her enough to let it stand in the way of our relationship, though. And, her physical past shouldn't bother me enough to stand in the way of it either.

I could go on and on but the bottom line is that it is you who makes the decision in the end. Think about why you feel like you do, and ask if it is really you thinking these things or if it is influences that have been put on you your whole life.

I am not speaking as someone who has gotten past this, but I am speaking as someone who is on the road to getting past it and as someone who WILL get past it.

Have confidence in yourself!!!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 December 2007):

Well i love the internet.I went through the same recently and i actually thought i was alone in this since i did not want to talk openly to friends about it.

Reading thru i see its a way common thing and realise it was a human feeling especially with men.

I had in the past about 11 relationships sexually.My fiancee had 14 we are both early 30s.One of her's was a threesome which she got head from a girl but "chickened "out when it came to the guy doing her after doing the other girl(ok bit graphical but might as well say it).Same as most it was experimenting.

Now weirdly enough she was the one to bring up talking about the past relationships.I asked her why and she said she wanted to know all about me and me and about her since she fallen in love.

At that point i was frankly not in love and decided to tell it all.

It did not hurt me one bit at all.In short i knew her ex was still calling her trying to get back after over 1 year of them spliting.She tells me what he says everytime.It at that point did not bother me one bit.

Then boom i feel in love with her after a few months and then it bothered me .At first i used to tell myself i was the most selfish man in the world who was so happy to screw other girls but now feel bad that other men did same to the woman i love.

However,after realising i was certainly not alone ,i then sat back and thought about it.How much do i love her?The answer was a lot and then i began to realise the past does not matter and i gain something from it.If she had not had the past relationships then i would not have such a understanding and sexually amazing relationship.

I also realised that i can trust her.You know why?Because she was open and willing to volunteer everything to me.She could have easily lied and said she had 1 person ever before me.She also risked a lot by bringing it up.I could have walked out the door and she knew at that point i have not fallen in love with her.

She also comes from a strict family and risked by giving my ammo to use against her in future.

To me she opened up on everything to keep no secrets between us.

So slowly i came to terms with it and love her even more for her honesty.But i was still bothered about her ex calling even though i trusted her but mainly because he did not want to be friends with her but looking to get back and was phoning to see if there was "trouble in paradise".

The next step when i was comfortable was to ask why she still let him call since he is trying to chase her still.

She was actually heartbroken that i been feeling bad all this months and said nothing.She is a very polite person and found it hard to tell him to stop calling because he was there during a bad time of her life and helped her thru it .

But there kicks in the love.By pure chance just we finished the conversation and went cooking(i was with her all the time so she could not have called him first and he lives 900 miles away) he called.In a way maybe i timed it since he always calls once a week on that day in the evening.

she picked up the phone and kept it on speaker.She talked to him naturally and he came up with his usual "how is the other guy" " you know i am still there for you if you need me" "i have changed" etc.

Then she said "i told you a while ago that its over and i rather be alone then be with you"(the transitional era she was in before we met).And he said "i know".

Then she said "my fiancee is not comfortable with you calling and thus i am not.this is goodbye forever" and then hanged up.

This gesture just made me feel special.

Bottom line i will take this girl anyday over a virgin thank you.She is everything i wanted.

You just need to work thru it and then you will find out its worth it!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 December 2007):

I have recently gone through this problem as well...I'm 31 and have dated here and there, had a casual fling here and there, and had one crazy experience with multiple women in my early 20's that I tried for experiment's sake and realized was not for me. well, over the last few months, I've completely fell for a girl for the first time in my life, and it really does skew any sense of rationality or logic, something that I thought would never happen to me.

One night we were exchanging stories about our past, something that I never thought would bother me and never had before, but again, love skews that quite a bit. I told her about my one threesome experience, and she then told me that she had one of her own, and I bugged out. so it basically was like "hey I did this" - "oh yeah I did too" - "WHAT!?!?!"...I mean, totally hypocritical, and logically it was completely unfair of me. but emotions kicked in in a way that I was not prepared for.

When it comes down to it, no matter how liberated or intellectual we think we are, we as guys have a tendency to think about both women and sex in unrealistic extremes. Women are either faceless T&A, or they're your mom and wife, and that's about it. Sex is the same way - it's either completely animalistic (i.e. sex with a "slut") or it's completely personal (i.e. sex with your girlfriend/wife). and these extremes are magnified when you're in love. so guys tend to view the sex that they have with their girlfriend as a completely different entity altogether than the "slut" sex that their girlfriend must have been having before them, and instinctively cheapen it and feel that their girlfriend must have been "used" or "victimized" in their previous experiences. therefore, even though my group experience was akward, short-lived, and in retrospect funny and totally insignificant, I'm creating this elaborate porno scene in my head when I envisioned hers.

Women are much, much more realistic on this issue - and hence this is why guys almost have to be the "pursuers" and women the "decision makers" when it comes to sex. Whereas guys make this instant transition from primal sex to "sacred" sex once they fall for a girl, women do not have such a simple transition - women are much more complicated sexually and guys need to realize and understand that that simple A to B path isn't there for them - it's much more like a puzzle. So don't automatically assume that she was just going around whoring and "being used" before she met you - if she's a smart girl, chances are she knew what she was doing and was just assembling the pieces to that puzzle - and remember, if the sex you're having now is awesome, realize that her being in touch with her own sexuality is a big reason why.

So - my solution is just talk about it with her. That's what I did, and when I did, I realized that the actuality of what happened was completely different than what I had in mind (basically, it was the same as my situation - a couple of naive kids trying something once, and after five minutes realizing that they were opening a can of worms bigger than they had imagined). I mean, really, 14 guys at 32 is nothing, especially for someone who's never been married - I mean, that's only one per year if she lost her virginity at a normal age. so it's not like she was regularly sleeping around. I'm not saying get physical details, but maybe ask her about the most recent situation that she was in and find out what she was thinking, what caused it, etc. - ask whatever questions that you need to have answered. it might hurt a little but it will most certainly be better than what you're replaying in your head...and hopefully you won't care. Or think back about the three that you had - and how (hopefully) insignificant those three are to you now. realize that although you may see sex as "sacred", the only thing that matters here is that you and her both see the sex that you are CURRENTLY having as "sacred," and that she might not be exactly like you and was perfectly capable at THAT POINT in time of having what I'm assuming is a little bit of recreational, healthy sex and that the only one putting a negative or "dirty" spin on that is you. I mean, I didn't fall truly in love until my 30's - do people really expect a girl in that same situation to remain completely celibate and not at least casually date until that age? realize that this isn't fairy tale land, realize that although you might not be the only one, you're the best one.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2007):

Just wondering how not only what you said would bother you, but my to-be had just had a menage a trois and is 29. There's no excuse. She's not a teen, so I don't buy the bullsh!t of 'curiosity!' Just knowing she's been muff-diving makes me want to puke. Then there's the multiple other men she was drilling on the side. I'm to now believe all that's going to stop because 'oh, I'm a great man.' Somehow . . . I, alone, am enough for her to drop the promiscuity and make her realize that the sucking, flogging, and indifferent sexual attitude she held will just be purged because of me, me, wonderful me? What do you think?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2007):

Just wondering how not only what you said would bother you, but my to-be had just had a menage a trois and is 29. There's no excuse. She's not a teen, so I don't buy the bullsh!t of 'curiosity!' Just knowing she's been muff-diving makes me want to puke. Then there's the multiple other men she was drilling on the side. I'm to now believe all that's going to stop because 'oh, I'm a great man.' Somehow . . . I, alone, am enough for her to drop the promiscuity and make her realize that the sucking, flogging, and indifferent sexual attitude she held will just be purged because of me, me, wonderful me? What do you think?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 November 2007):

I understand you well man. My ex was with ONE guy, BUT the fact she met a 30 yr old man online and within a few days let him take her virginity...well that says enough right there doesnt it? Not just that, but he was cheating on his fiance with her and she kept his old condom wrappers as memories of good times. So she let a cheating man pop her cherry and kept the condoms to never forget him, but i shouldnt feel bad because "He never touched me like you do or makes me feel like you do" yeah thats awesome but yknow, I cant trust you now. You have no morals, no line to stop you from opening your legs for man #2 or #3, so you love me now but what if you think my friend is hot or makes u feel good or u let some gropey stranger touch you better than I have? Shes a slut, let her go and find a foreign cultured woman who has some decency and still sees her body as a treasure.

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A male reader, Chicago1 Barbados +, writes (31 August 2007):

I can sympathize with you completely. I too have fallen in love with a women who has had a slew of liaisons over the years before we met. And not a day goes by that thoughts of her promiscuous past doesn’t cross my mind.

The “right” for women to have a sexual past just as their male counterparts is not the issue. Women enjoy sex just as much as men. And this is only natural. However, women, have complete control over the whole sexual encounter. Sex happens ONLY if THEY want it to. Men must ask for permission. Women need only say yes or no. And it is in this fact alone that men have issues with finding out that the women they love have had a great deal of sexual partners before them. For the one you have fallen in love with to have deemed a great number of men worthy of sharing that kind of intimacy with them in some way or another makes their current mate feel a little insignificant at times.

Having said this, I have taken great comfort in knowing that my girlfriend, who takes pride in the knowledge that she has always been in complete control of her sexuality, and the number of men she has shared that with, has found ME to be the one that has allowed the memory of those before to fade into nothingness. Though I am only one of many who has had sex with her over the course of her life, I’m the only one she feels to be worthy of spending the rest of her life with.

She has asked me to marry her. YES. SHE asked. My girlfriend is a realist. And knowing that she has reached a point in her life that she is willing to forsake all others and spend the rest of her life with only me has helped me grasp a new understanding on sex and love.

Her sexual past bothers me a lot. But like I previously stated; I take great comfort in knowing that , though I have qualms about the life she lead before me, I know that her past experiences have lead her to realize that , when all is said and done, there is ONE man or women out there that completes us.

The road one travels to reach this understanding, at least for some, may have a great deal of twists, turns, and crossroads, ups and downs, that help us become the person that we are today. My girlfriend has walked away from a lot of previous relationships and turned down a lot of men who wanted more than just a “one night rodeo” with her. Her willingness to “fall in love” has come from this road she has walked thus far.

You, my friend, like me, may never be able to get the thoughts of previous liaisons out of your head. It is again, the man in us that finds these thoughts troublesome at times. But know that if she is the right one for you, the thoughts that go through your mind will change from “disgust”, per say, to one of complete understanding and acceptance.

Leave the past in the past. And know nothing but the future with the one you love.

Peace out!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 June 2007):

If you look at the section on "wifes past" on this site you will read about husbands still suffering what you are going through after forty years of marriage. I presume you,re not up for this mental torture. The only solution to this problem therefore is for you to split with this woman and from then on , be firmly resolved not to end up marrying a non virgin. One partner , a thousand partners , it makes no difference , the damage is done now.

I know it's not easy finding virgins and you may have to comprimise with a future spouses looks or whatever , you might have to step down a league or two , and make an effort to meet lots of different women who are not only virgins but compatible too and you will also have the problem of verifying that she is a virgin but it is better to do this than end up with forty years of raging jealousy , hell I bet it knocks years of your life. I did all this and found a virgin wife , and now , looking back , it was hard spliting up from the non virgins but it was worth it in the end. Thing of yourself first , I know you love your girlfriend. There are plenty of men out there who dont care what a woman has done before then so , given these feelings you have , its best to stick with virgin girls. With a virgin wife ,you will have none of these feelings and your mind will be free to enjoy the relationship for what it is in a pure form.

good luck , whatever you decide

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 June 2007):

Wow! This is my life right now. I am 37 dating a 43 year old divorced man. I have never been married and had a very fun adventurous life. I never thought of my sex life as being over and above until I met this guy. He makes me feel horrible about my past and not just my relationships, he hates anything that I have done without him! I can't talk about my travels or even old friends because he is sure that I have had sex with all of them and in all the places I've been. One minute he wants to know everything and the next he holds it over my head. I really love him and have for 2 1/2 years but I will say that tonight may have been enough to end it! Out of nowhere he brings this crap up and expects me to understand how he feels. I DON'T! I am not a jealous person and have to deal with his ex almost on a daily basis as he also has 2 boys with her. If you really love her seek some counseling on how to deal with it. I don't see it getting better and the person that he said he fell in love with is withering away. Seek help and cut her some slack, she wouldn't be who she is today without her past and that is the person you fell for, remember?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 November 2006):

Hi all! This was my question over 2 months ago, and I just wanted to say thanks. It got a lot worse before it got better when I found out I knew one of them. Its been really crazy, but the important word was "love". No matter what was going on in my head, everytime I looked at her, I just knew in my heart that she is the girl for me. Sounds silly I suppose, but focussing on this helps to dampen my insecurities about her past. The thoughts are still there, not a day that goes by, when they don't rear their ugly head, but when you compare this to all the good things about her... well, they really don't matter.

Its so hard to deal with something like this - I've never had to deal with this level of emotion before. And yes, past is the past. Its all about a slight readjustment in your head I think as it comes as a big shock. The important thing like some of the replies say, is to really make her feel special. Afterall, none of these blokes cared enough to realise that they were passing up on an amazing girl - this makes me really sad in a way - so I used this thought to realise that I wasn't number 15 - if I respect her and love her for who she is then I am actually number 1.

After a few days of being at my lowest, I bought her flowers and told her that I was proud to have her as a girlfriend and told her how I had been feeling. The important thing is that we can be honest with each other - and that means we can tackle any problem. It may still be in my head from time to time, but I have to realise that my "values" are mine - and that makes me special for her as well (I hope!).

Thanks to everyone - you have been so much help and I realise how foolish these things are, but also how painful these processes are.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 September 2006):

Dear Jealous,

I know exactly how you feel. Im talking to this guy whose been really sexually active and he's only thirty years old. I made him tell me everything, and now i am really jealous and cant help reliving, remebering everything he told me. How many girls he screwed and how much he likes it. I say NO! dont go for it, be honest and listen and respect your feelings. Why would you want to be guy number 15,or 15000??? sorry if anyones reading this and hates me for it. No!! there are plenty of wholesome,moral women out there who didnt sleep around. I tell myself, and im not that religious, but if God has the right person intended for me in mind, the person believe me wouldnt have been sleeping around. He would have morals and wait for the right person,thats me. The right girls around the corner. Thats how i feel. PS. guys like you are rare

Madeleine

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A female reader, Tine United Kingdom +, writes (22 August 2006):

Tine agony aunti think that your girlfriend just wanted to be truthful with you about her past and i think that you should be grateful to her for being so honest. by regretting her telling you this will not only encourage her to keep her past to herself from now on but it will show that basically you will think less of her with the more that she tells you. You need to let the past be the past, maybe she wanted to enjoy life to the full when she was younger and i dont blame her, but you said that you fell in love with her so obviously she couldnt have been that bad - until she told you. 14 isnt reallt that many guys when your 32, and you should be thankful that she was honest, try to get past this otherwise you will make her feel worse than she already feels now. everyone has their different opinions on sex i think that you should respect that

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A female reader, sugersweet02 +, writes (22 August 2006):

sugersweet02 agony auntso let me get this straight she has been truthful to you and not having sex with another man while your going out so whats there to forgive. try and forget the past its all about the present and plus if you want her you got her but if you cant put it pass you then you wont ever have her again, 14 guyz is kind of alot but she is older than yo and proboly went out with alot of guyz thought they loved her and all they wanted was sex. why dont you forget about it if that is what you want or finish it now and dont complain about it anymore and take action all the best of luck xox

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A female reader, Nish +, writes (22 August 2006):

I really understand where you are coming from. See me and my boyfriend had the same problem. When he found out how many men I've slept with, he went crazy! He wanted to break up with me. In fact, If he wasn't so in love with me, he prbably would left me. We argued for weeks and that arguement led to another issue that turned out to be even more serious than the first. But anyways, I don't think you should leave her just because she had more partners then you, (key word-"had"). You shouldn't take that out on her. It's serious but it's not that serious for you to react the way you are. Don't be ashamed of her, love her and she'll do the same. Trust me you'll get over it. My boyfriend did and my number was slightly greater than her number. Plus she gots me by a couple years. So just leave her past where it belongs and focus on your future with her! Take care of yourself!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 August 2006):

Dear me! You fell for the woman you are seeing now didnt you? remeber all the things you love bout her, her smile, the way she looks at you, her laugh etc Everyone has a past, but if its really bothering you then you should gently talk to her about it. She may not be willing to at first but then she will understand that it is important for you to get things off your chest. Relationships break down when communication does. Good luck xx

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A male reader, Yos Netherlands +, writes (22 August 2006):

Yos agony auntAlso bear in mind that it is unlikely that you will feel any woman you talk to about this will really understand you (including your girlfriend). That is not to say that women don't struggle with their partners pasts, they do, but in this area men and women react surprisingly differently. It is because we have quite different emotions going on under the surface in relation to this (male and female jealousy are rather different). You will likely find that your male confidantes are more empathetic.

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A male reader, Yos Netherlands +, writes (22 August 2006):

Yos agony auntRead the thread Dr Pete has linked to.

In the mean time, as bad as you feel, try your hardest not to take it out on your girlfriend or to make her feel bad. That can cause real damage to your relationship. When you feel these feeling getting a grip on you, try to lay low and avoid direct discussion about it. Talk to your girlfriend when you are feeling OK. Remember that as bad as these feelings can make you feel, it's never OK to cause another pain because of this.

Also take comfort that you are not the only one. This is a common problem.

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A female reader, Helen1986 United Kingdom +, writes (22 August 2006):

Helen1986 agony auntRight listen everyone has a past okay, and 14 partners at the age of 32, BIG DEAL!!! Thats not that many considering the world we live in today. You should still feel the same about your girlfriend as you did before you found this out. I know your going to feel insecure, but honestly you should not. You are obviously the bloke that she wants to be with. Some women are so desperate to find Mr Right that they think the way to a mans heart is through his trousers, but this is wrong. Most women make this mistake, your girlfriend is not alone. I say give her love and affection show her that you want her and that you find her sexy. Dont judge her by her past mistakes. Remember her for the woman she was when you first met, she is still that woman! good luck

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 August 2006):

You're not alone! I think this thread will have all the answers you're looking for:

http://www.dearcupid.org/question/why-cant-i-get-my-gfs-past-sex-life-out-of-my-head.html

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