“He’s Freaked Out by the Number of People I’ve Slept With”

Question:

“So, it randomly came up with my guy about how many people we’d both slept with, and I was completely honest.

I haven’t slept with a lot of people (around 10), but his number is half of mine.

I feel like it REALLY bothers him. I’ve tried talking to him, telling him that was all in the past, etc., but he just shuts down and doesn’t respond.

I’ve also tried to avoid it, but he’s brought it up in a not-so-positive light, randomly. Help!”

Answers:

Mr. Young and in Love SEE BIO NOW>

I can understand why he’s upset—the higher the number, the more precarious the relationship seems. If he knows that you’ve slept with twice as many people as him, that’s twice the amount of failed relationships, or twice the amount of people that you’ve for whatever rejected. You can tell him “But YOU’RE the only one for me” all you like, but the higher your number is, the less likely it is that he’ll believe you.

Imagine if you bought a new camera, and it broke. You take it back to the store, they give you another one, and tell you, “Sorry—we promise you this one will work.” Now, imagine the new camera breaks again, and they give you another one, and they tell you the same thing, “Sorry—but this one will work.” You’re less likely to believe them, aren’t you? It’s the same with the amount of people you’ve been with or relationships you’ve had—the more you’ve had, the more you’ve had break.

In terms of advice, I guess there’s not much you can really do—the only real way to solve this is with time and to let him accept the amount of people you’ve slept with. The only thing that may help is to point out valid reasons why your relationship is better than the last 15 or so you’ve had. But if you’ve only been dating for one or two months, and you dated 10 out of your last 15 guys for 1 or 2 months, then he’s going to have an underlying fear that he could just be another number.

Mr. Loves Boys Too SEE BIO NOW>

As Dan Aykroyd used to say to Jane Curtin on Saturday Night Live, “Jane, you ignorant slut!” It got a good laugh on SNL— but maybe not when your boyfriend is yelling it at you.

For future reference, this is one area where you ALWAYS lie. To this day, when I ask my sister in-law when the first time she had sex was, she always starts with, “Hmmm, let’s see, your brother and I got married on….” Now, I’m not saying that you tell the guy that you are a virgin—that might freak him out more than the actual number—but always chop your number in half! Better yet, try to get his number first and then come in with a number just below his.

Either way, the cat is out of the bag (yes, pun intended), and now you need to deal with it. I think you just need to be up front and say, “Yes, maybe I’ve been ridden more than Seattle Slew, but now I’m with you and you are the only one I care about.” Then, agree that it is either 1. Not important and the two of you won’t be bringing it up again in any context or circumstance or 2. Really important to him and you’ll be moving on so that he can go find a “good girl” from the local nunnery. By the way…”around 10″?!? I’ve only been with 4! Oh, and, hit me up if you are looking for a bridge to buy—I’ve got a great one that goes to Brooklyn.

Mr. Noncommittal SEE BIO NOW>

Well, I can’t put myself in that position because…I’ve never been there. If I met a girl with the activity level I’ve had, I’d probably have her go through a full body radiation scan to see if she was carrying anything. Although no guy wants to find out that his girlfriend or date has slept with more people than Mötley Crüe on Viagra, at a certain age, you can expect her number to be more than a church librarian’s.

Sex is sex and love is love. Some people really crave the physicality of sex and to them/me, I praise you. Don’t deprive yourself of what you want. On the other hand, sometimes honesty is NOT the best policy. Use a little judgment before telling him that you were trying to break the land-speed record for sex before you turned 30. Perhaps you can claim you don’t even remember the names of most of the guys you slept with…tell me how that one works out for ya.

Mr. Loverboy Rocker SEE BIO NOW>

I feel what you’re going through. My ex-girlfriend had only slept with one other guy, and I had slept with nearly 15. Plus, she was two years older than me! The funny thing is, she was proud that she hadn’t slept around much and turned things around on me by calling me a slut if the topic ever came up.

I’m by no means a slut, but I did have a few one-night stands that I would have been better off avoiding. So, her comments made me feel worse than she could have felt from any jealousy. She was more curious as to why I slept with a fat girl in a pool, and regularly made fun of me for it, but that’s beside the point.

In my opinion, he’s probably just jealous that you have more experience, and he may be worried by the fact that you have a number of men out there with whom you’ve connected with on a sexual level. You have the upper hand in that respect, and it makes him feel vulnerable.

He doesn’t have to feel that way. It doesn’t help dwelling in the past. You and your boyfriend connect now for who you are and for who you’ve grown to be. Let him know that, and reinforce that you don’t think about men from your past or compare him to anyone. He needs to feel special; as though he is the only one you’ve slept with. You wouldn’t be who you are now if it weren’t for getting some sexual experience under your belt (literally), and vice versa for him. We all did what we did in the past because it makes us who we are now. Any mistake was likely a learning experience, and any relationship you had helped you learn about your emotions and who you are. Tell him these things so it doesn’t eat away at him in the future, and most importantly, don’t let it bother you.

GIRL TALK TIME: What do you think? Have you and your guy had this chat yet? Were you honest or did you lie? What do you think of these answers?

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23 Comments

Post a Comment
  • Sammiebaee:

    Its not important if he loves you there shouldn’t be a problem I’ve been with triple my boyfriends number and he knows and he loves me as if i only slept with him my whole life (18-5). And with me being with more people does not mean I’m more experienced than him because almost all of mine were not relationships and 4 out of 5 of his were in a relationship and only about 3 of mine were relationships you can learn a lot more about what the female or male likes while with the same person.

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  • william:

    My take is why get all bent out of shape by your girlfriend’s past. Her history is that she is sexually active so enjoy it! My advice don’t get caught up in falling in love with her or wanting to marry her and then her numbers won’t matter to you. Forget her you are the one I want to be with etc. translates to you are the sucker I’ve chosen to be a sperm bank and to pay all my bills and expenses. Also, stand up for yourself if she gives the well I don’t want to try anything different in bed or I don’t do that any more then move on and find someone who will better satisfy your needs.

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  • Brandon:

    I find this thread interesting because I too am turned off by a person that has been with a lot of people sexually. For me, it is because of 3 reasons:

    1. The person seems dirty.
    2. The person seems to lack value-based decision-making skills.
    3. The value the person has for sex is decreased (according to the law of diminishing marginal utility), and that could put your sex drives out of sync.

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  • Karmele:

    The past should stay just that, in the past!!!

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  • Rbaby:

    This is ridiculous. 10 people? That’s pretty low, I think. And I’m suprised at the answers from all the guys. 15? 4? Really?! Listen, sex feels good, and everyone is doing it. As long as you’re safe/smart/discreet, who gives a flying **** how many people you’ve been with? The guy I’m seeing now has been with probably over a hundred women (he’s 10 years older than me and was working as a bouncer/bartender for a long time; a lot of sex is part of the scene), and you know what? He rocks in bed. We’ve both shown each other our records that we’re clean, and sex is NOT love. It’s not like he had a deep attachment to every woman he’s been with. I’m sorry, but it really demonstrates an immaturity and insecurity in someone who cares that much about how many other people you’ve slept with.

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  • Krissy:

    The higher the number – the more experience…don’t tell me an exact number though…I don’t even care to know it will just bother me. My b/f told me his number (it was over 50) I just laughed…we’re engaged now. I’ve been with half his so I can’t say too much.

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  • avatar
    yreid73:

    The only reason it bothers him is because he probably is constantly worrying about who was better! One of your past relations or him!! Stroke his ego a little until he stops bringing it up.

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  • Hallie:

    Bah, if it “REALLY bothers him,” then he isn’t the guy for you. You shouldn’t bring it up again unless he does, because there’s no need to shove it in his face when he’s not even thinking about it, but if he brings it up, you can do just what the first guy said and explain why this relationship is better, and what the second guy said, agree that it’s “1. Not important and the two of you won’t be bringing it up again in any context or circumstance or 2. Really important to him and you’ll be moving on.”

    However, the first guy’s attempt to compare relationships to a “broken camera” is idiotic. Whether short or long term, relationships always have TWO people involved, and a relationship not working is obviously NOT always about you, and is often a combination of factors caused by both people, plus their stage in life, geographic locations, family pressures, etc. Any guy who actually thinks that a girl who’s had a dozen sex partners is at all equivalent to an electronics company that keeps giving items that break isn’t worth his salt.

    I also don’t think that guy #2′s attempt at nasty humor was appropriate, with “ridden more than Seattle Slew”; and moreover, I could not ever agree with lying. In any situation where you don’t want to give your number, you should just tell him outright that you don’t want to give it, and then, in addition to being tested, etc., skip to saying why this time is better, and if it STILL really matters to him to know, that could be a warning sign that he’s an obsessive control freak and you’d best be moving on.

    I’m at 12 and have had a variety of responses along the line at various points in time. My first real boyfriend was my 2nd, and I was his first; my second real boyfriend was my 8th, but we were VERY open with each other, and I knew he’d had his “whore stage” for a few years and was at 38, but recently hadn’t been with anyone since we’d started law school. Neither of us were shy about it and we’d tease each other about our respective numbers at any appropriate opportunity. My current boyfriend is my 12th, and though my guess is that he’s around where I am, he’s basically said he doesn’t want me to know his, and doesn’t want to know mine. Although I’m curious, I have to accept that.

    If this guy can’t do that for you, and can’t get over it and put the past in the past, then I too say he should go find a girl “from the local nunnery,” and you should know that you gave it the best you had.

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  • pennntas:

    Dont tell him anything unless ur about to consider marriage

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  • alexacheers:

    Hm I’d say just be careful who you sleep with..

    {Reply}
  • lumeih:

    I would prefer not to kmow.

    {Reply}
  • Joy:

    I don’t think these two are going to make it. Sorry that’s my honest opinion.

    {Reply}
  • glertser:

    If someone asks me what my number is, I am honest hoping that they are honest too. But with my boyfriend that I love and that I know is the one…we both agreed that we’ll never ask each other for our numbers so as not to create any awkwardness.

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  • mzlexi:

    Oh yeah, this was a MAJOR source of discussion with my guy. He’s about 12 years older than me and was surprised that my number was in the double digits. Hey, sistahs are doin it for themselves!

    {Reply}
  • Crispy:

    Who cares. The past is the past.

    {Reply}
  • penelope:

    interesting article and by the way i think i was good of you to tell him that you slept with 10 guys rather then lie to him. if he feels uncomfortable then that’s too bad he should trust you enough if not say bye bye

    {Reply}
  • msalyp:

    And I forgot to mention – because you had multiple partners doesn’t mean YOU BROKE anything! Doesn’t mean you or anything you did is damaged. Just like men because we sleep with someone doesnt mean we WANT a relationship and there is nothing wrong with that.

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  • msalyp:

    Does anyone else see anything WRONG with these responses? As a woman you should have NO reason to be ashamed of your past sexual history or experience. It’s okay for a guy to be experienced and not a woman? This is utterly outrageous. Even more outrageous that a website FOR women would propogate this archetype.

    Is your boyfriend upset about your “number” because he thinks it is too high or because it’s higher then his? If it’s because it’s higher then his he’s being insecure and as a partner (not just a woman, but a dutiful partner) the right thing to do is be encouraging and supportive.

    If he feels your number is too high because he deems it “slutty, inappropriate” or any other of the double edged sword comments made in this article you should consider how unfair this is.

    It’s a typical scenario of whats ok for men isn’t ok for women.

    Be proud of yourself and ALL your experiences- getting off is something EVERYONE can and should enjoy. NOT just men. And you know what if people want to label it as slutty? SO what?? Whose the one actually having fun???

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    1. avatar
      sunnytam:

      Right on! We have to stop perpetuating the double standard!

      For the record I’m far more experienced than my husb and he doesn’t care.

      {Reply}
    2. Cait Rohan:

      Omg! I thought I was the only one who thought this was all pretty biased (except for parts of Mr. Loverboy Rocker’s answer!). It’s such mixed messaging that we’re supposed to be sexually liberated, but LOOK at these answers. Why should anyone be ashamed of how many people they’ve slept with?

      Also, you’re right. Some things do just happen when people are having fun and don’t want a relationship. And that’s their prerogative. It doesn’t make them “slutty” or anything for doing it! As long as adult women are having safe sex and know the emotional consequences (or lack thereof), then I say go for it if that’s what you want to do.

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  • Dedee:

    Hi,

    Sexuality is such a touchy subject especially for women. In my opinion, you should accept that you have had more partners than your boyfriend and make peace with all that this fact implies. I believe that people are mirrors of our subconscious beliefs and in this case your boyfriend is bringing this up for you. On the conscious level you may feel comfortable with your number of partners, but unconsciously there’s something that you are not really accepting about your sexuality. That can easily come from your upbringing, your religious beliefs etc. I think that before you try to make someone feel better about themself, you should provide that kind of caring to yourself first. Remember that you cannot quench anyone’s thirst if your cup is empty.

    {Reply}
  • Chris:

    Hey, The dude in this photo looks gay. No wonder shes slept with more people. Perhaps he’s slept with more guys than she has :)

    {Reply}

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