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I’m troubled by my boyfriend’s sexual past! Please help.

Tagged as: Health, The ex-factor, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 March 2016) 7 Answers - (Newest, 9 March 2016)
A female United States age 30-35, *ainbowsun writes:

Hi Dear Cupid community, I've been dating a wonderful guy for about 9 months. But for nearly 6 months, I've been struggling to get over his sexual past. We briefly discussed our sexual pasts in the beginning of the relationship and I mentioned that I've only slept with boyfriends, and how many that has been. When it was his turn, he mentioned his approximate number (reasonable to me) but on top of sleeping with girlfriends, he's had a number of casual sex encounters as well. This broke my heart, as I truly believe sex to be something you share only with people you care about (my belief). I took some time to think this over, and decided it was worth forgiving him and moving forward with the relationship. Fast forward to a month after this, and I mentioned to my best friend (and the mutual friend who brought us together) that I was worried our morals and beliefs might not match. She then told me about his experience in a Vegas hotel room with his cousin/best friend, and how the two of them tag teamed a girl together. He omitted telling me about this, and it absolutely crushed me to find out. When I confronted him about it, he came clean and said it was true. Since then we've had hours of discussion about it, and his reasons for why he did it have fluctuated between, "It was a mistake and I regret it", to "I was horny, I enjoyed it, and I don't see anything wrong with it." I'm confused about who I'm dating, what his morals really are, and what I should believe. I have tried to get over this for him and I have been unable to truly get passed it. I worry this was an extravagant experience that he did enjoy, and if it's on another level from what I can provide. I worry that he lacks the will power to say no to temptation. I worry since he has enjoyed sleeping with strangers he could be more likely to cheat. I worry that he initially lied, even though I can understand why (he didn't want to lose me). It sucks that I have to face the cousin at family functions and gatherings, and constantly be reminded of what they did together... I should mention that I am not judgmental toward people and their choices they make regarding sex at all, but I do care when it comes to the people I date, and when it involves my world. I should also mention that I'm not a prude, and I love sex myself. I just believe in monogamy, and saving as many special things for my future husband as I possibly can... All my life I have been hoping I would find the man of my dreams who shares these beliefs with me. I know he would really love for this to blow over and for him to score a great girl with great morals. I think it's really easy and convenient for him to think this way since he was the one partying, and is now ready to settle down. Is there anyone else out there who has been in a similar situation and can offer me some candid advice? I love him, he is wonderful and love worthy, but as you can see, I am deeply troubled by this gohst following me around. Please help or offer any insights. Love and special thanks to you all.

View related questions: best friend, cousin, crush, his ex, horny, sexual past

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A female reader, Keeley345 United Kingdom +, writes (9 March 2016):

Everyone has a sexual past. Some people enjoy sex and have many partners, others are simply promiscuous. This applies to both men and women. But he did these things before he met you. Sounds like you have very strong morals and good for you! But before you decide your relationship isn't going to work, I'd suggest you give him a trial run.

By that I mean don't have sex with him or stop if you have, and try and have a non sexual relationship first. Maybe for about 6motnths or so. This will teach you to trust him, get to know him better and allow him to learn to stick to sex within a committed relationship. If he can't handle it, then you'll be able to decide before lowering your morals.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 March 2016):

Its a compatibility issue, not a moral one.

If people dealt with their sexual habits like adults then it would be normal to ask someone their sexual history on a first or second date. Their dates would give honest answers. There would be no insults from either side.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (9 March 2016):

Honeypie agony auntI agree that you need to consider letting him go.

He can't change the past, and YOU can't change how you feel.

I don't personally have a problem with people who has had a lot of sexual experience and a lot of partners, I CHOSE not to do that myself because, like you, I have always felt that sex was not just a primal function, but a personal shared intimacy by two people who cared for each other, not just a rut in the hay with whatever Tom, Dick or Harry willing and available.

If you feel his past is something you can not move past, then ending it is the right thing. Because you CAN NOT change the past, HE can not change the past. You can't change the fact that HE is OK with his sexual past.

YOU can not change other people, how they feel, think, do or what they say. All you can change is how you chose to react to them. Doesn't mean you SHOULD change how you feel or accept that you are dating a former man-whore.

One thing about a good relationship is having things in common. Like values, spirituality, boundaries, likes and dislikes. Doesn't mean you need to be a carbon copy of your partner, but sharing the sames views goes a long way. And you two? Don't really share the same views.

I find it so ironic that such a "sexually experienced man" as yours, wants to settle down with a girl who has minor experience. Because to me that implies he is JUDGING women with more experience for their past but expects YOU to not give two hoot about his - because? He is male. Double standard. He wants a "good" girl for a long term partner.

My husband was a man-whore in his day. Without doubt. By the time we met he was past that "stage". Does it bother me? No. I don't think his past is any of my business - nor do I think it has any bearing on his personality. I know his behavior stemmed from his tumultuous life as a kid and teen. While I don't CARE to hear about his sexual past (none of my business)- I have accepted that he HAS one. And one that was unlike my own.

For some sexual history is a big deal, for others? not so much. Either choice is OK.

So if you can't get past it, don't. End the relationship. Choose what's right for YOU.

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A female reader, WhenCowsAttack United States +, writes (9 March 2016):

Look, it's a little squicky,but honestly if you've had hours of discussion about it and can't move past it then it is time to move on from the relationship.

He can't change his past, and you can't change the things you find important in a relationship. Harping on it for hours at a time can't be good for either of you.

I want to say one more thing. I noticed that you said that he admitted to having casual sex before he met you, but that you were able to "forgive him" for it. Question:how can you "forgive " someone for something they did before they even met you? You worded it like it was some kind of betrayal to you or something.

Just trying to get some insight.

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A female reader, Ivyblue Australia + , writes (9 March 2016):

Ivyblue agony auntI agree with janniepeg, that casual sex is more about adventure rather than a question of morality. Other than that, I think you have some valid points of concern though. Having multiple partners is not quite the same as what you do with them and to be honest, I too would struggle with the knowing he and his cousin had tag teamed a woman- it's just a turn off. It would also have me wondering what else his sexual appetite may or have been. Morals and beliefs make up who we are and finding someone more compatible would be less problematic than trying to make someone see or do different.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (9 March 2016):

Tisha-1 agony auntHi rainbowsun, I think if you’ve been struggling to “accept” his past for most of the time you’ve been dating, and you are in your early 30s, then it’s really unlikely that you’ll find a way to a long term relationship with this particular man.

I think alas that your stated and personally deeply held criteria rule out your current boyfriend.

I would let him go, as soon as possible, so he can move on and find a new partner, as can you.

You already know that you won’t be able to reconcile yourself to what you know about his past so keeping him hanging on isn’t really fair to either of you.

The good news is that you know what you want in a partner and can filter out unsuitable candidates more swiftly.

Peace and best wishes to you.

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (9 March 2016):

janniepeg agony auntI am no prude, but threesome with a cousin and a girl is just disgusting. He didn't keep it to himself. He had to tell his best friend too. I have heard many date set ups by friends here, and none of them were successful, more like, "what are you thinking?" I don't understand your friend's reasoning. She wanted you to be with him, then spilled the beans on what he did in the past. It's too late now to say you shouldn't have learned about that extra information. Maybe someone people don't dig into each other's pasts, but obviously you care about them. He certainly didn't want you, or any woman to know, but that's the consequence he had to face when he bragged about the experience to others.

His fluctuating answers can be confusing, but I think it's a bit of both. Sometimes things are exciting because they are taboo. They are only wrong when some woman like you happens to be offended by it.

If you are wondering if people who've had casual sex as a passing phase can be loyal, the answer is yes but I can't tell you the exact statistics. The difference between men and women is that all women have to do are open their legs, to receive sex. Men need to be properly stimulated, aroused to get a hard on. Men who have had a colorful past, who frequently jerk of to all kinds of porn, might have difficulty getting a hard on, and sustaining it because their brains got used to a certain level of excitement.

For me, I don't consider sexual activity as a moral thing. Unless it concerns rape. Casual sex is not the same thing as stealing or lying. It's a kind of sexual adventure without the intention of hurting others, unless you take it personally.

I do not talk about past, and my past boyfriends did not talk about them. I only look at how they behave TODAY. If you ask for past information then you have to be prepared about how you respond, and be firm with what you can or can not accept. What is the use of asking about past, when now you struggle with your decision? Because you know that things are not so black and white.

Of course you would rather know now, than after being married for years. There are married men who thought they married an angelic version of their wives until one odd day the truth came out that the wife had had a threesome. Then suddenly his wife dropped off the pedestal. Suddenly she is not decent anymore when one day ago she's the same loyal, caring woman he married. It's funny how people's perception can change by added pieces of information. This is to show you that sometimes we are not determined by our pasts. Of course if you are struggling with sex today, then you might question the past.

As far as sexual purity goes, there could be men who've had a fewer number than you and have a problem with that. There are men who are unhappy that their women shared kisses and held hands with guys. So where does this end?

I know I said he was disgusting for doing it with his cousin, but his story did not sound extreme, unless there are 100s of more stories like these that he didn't reveal. But still your differences are enough to cause incompatibility.

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