Menu

Should you share your number (of sexual partners)?

HomeForumsRelationshipsShould you share your number (of sexual partners)?

New Reply
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #116997
    Ninja
    Participant

    I truly believe this question comes up for just about every married couple at some point: What is your number? (Meaning, how many people have you previously had sex with?)

    My question here is simple: Are married people obliged to disclose their “number” to their spouse?


    This is a totally open (and not loaded) question. Still, I have two requests:

    1. Please, just provide a “Yes” or “No”—along with any insight or reasoning.

    2. Please don’t double-back and start over analyzing the question with a question (i.e., “Why exactly do you feel the need to know this, Ninja II?”). I’m asking partially out of curiosity, partially to take a poll (of sorts), and partially to gain other’s opinion.

    Also, if your answer is “Yes,” then When is the best time to reveal this information?

    Good stuff. Thanks, everyone!

    #117001
    Trudy
    Participant

    no

    #117044
    Nina Sakura
    Participant

    Yes, I think marriage should begin with a fresh slate – meaning both partners should be comfortable and confident enough to hear the truth about the past, make their peace with it and know that a commitment is being made after all of this. The best time should be while in the relationship itself when that place of trust has been reached – without trust and openess, acceptance, what’s the point of starting a marriage in the first place?

    #117047
    Annagramma
    Participant

    Hi ninjaii,

    No, I don’t believe one is obliged to share this information. Of course, one may certainly do so if they wish, but I don’t think it is an obligation.

    I am not sure whether this offers any insight, but I just wanted to mention that, being in a relationship for more than a decade, I have never been interested to find out. The only thing that is relevant to me is the quality of the current relationship.

    I wish you all the best!

    #117049
    Ninja
    Participant

    Great responses so far. Thank you!

    I agree that no one needs to openly volunteer/should feel obligated to share this information.

    Still, if a spouse (or spouse-to-be) were to directly ask, should the other person give their number?

    #117055
    Peppermint
    Participant

    Ninjaii,

    you asked „Are married people obliged to disclose their “number” to their spouse? “

    No.
    I don’t care how many people my partner slept with, why should that matter to me? I would expect my partner to disclose if he/she had contracted some kind of STD. Otherwise I would be proud that I am the one he/she chose to marry in the end.

    As to you last question:
    “Still, if a spouse (or spouse-to-be) were to directly ask, should the other person give their number?”
    No.
    This is nothing that would impact a partner personally (like STD would, or the question if someone has debts). It’s in the past and over. A spouse can choose to disclose this information, but the partner doesn’t have a „right“ to know.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by Peppermint.
    #117144
    jlo5
    Participant

    No: I don’t think your past and how many relations you have had makes a difference apart from if you have a concern about sexual health, but STD’s can happen if you only had one partner. I have been in a relationship for 21 years (a bad one at the moment but still…) and I don’t know how many sexual partners he had before me. I wouldn’t care.
    If someone asked me I would tell them, but they don’t, in my opinion have a right to ask.
    I imagine people who ask about numbers, are the ones who have issues and insecurities and therefore shouldn’t ask because it will only feed that. Not a relationship expert by any means but I think the past is the past and it shouldn’t matter. I would be more interested in if the person demonstrated they could be faithful while in a relationship with how many partners they had.

    #117148
    Ninja
    Participant

    Thanks, JLo5! Very interesting last line there:
    “I would be more interested in if the person demonstrated they could be faithful while in a relationship with how many partners they had.”
    So, do you (or anyone else out there) feel that the number of partners a person has had (or hasn’t had) can have an effect on their ability to stay faithful?

    #117172
    Ninja
    Participant

    Hmmm. Interesting. I had someone private message (email) me with an additional question – to tease this to the extreme, I guess. Again, please, no agendas nor judgements here. Just opinions. People seem to be divided.
    Here it is (I tweaked it a tiny bit; it’s the English major in me):
    Would it matter if your spouse said, “I had been a prostitute until just before we met. I really have no idea what my number is any more. I have an STD. But this doesn’t matter, right? Other than the STD, the past is in the past, right?”

    #117192
    Alex
    Participant

    My answer is no. I think couples decide what their obligations are to each other. If both parties agree that sharing this information is worthwhile, then good. I don’t think there’s any moral or practical imperative to provide this kind of “data”, though.

    I do think partners who will be monogamous have an obligation to honestly assess their ability to be faithful to one person. I wouldn’t ask a number, but if I might want to talk about how we each cope with attraction to other people while in a relationship, or how sex with new people can be especially exciting and hard to live without. Obviously this talk is only useful if we’re both being honest, but the whole relationship only works if we’re both being honest.

    I think a number alone can be misleading.

    #117227
    TriangleSun
    Participant

    I don’t get it. So you’re going to find out your current girlfriend had slept with 10 other men before meeting you. And then what? What is that going to change? If this somehow bothers you than it’s probably time to see a counselor. When I enter a relationship I do so with the person I know I can trust wholeheartedly. I trust that she will share with me things that she finds important for me to know. Just as I would with her. Everything else is noise.

    #117230
    jlo5
    Participant

    @ninjali

    “I would be more interested in if the person demonstrated they could be faithful while in a relationship with how many partners they had.”
    So, do you (or anyone else out there) feel that the number of partners a person has had (or hasn’t had) can have an effect on their ability to stay faithful?

    I meant to say ” “I would be more interested in if the person demonstrated they could be faithful while in a relationship THAN how many partners they had.”

    I don’t think the number of partners yu have had makes a difference to whether you will be faithful, that is entirely based on your situations and your moral compass. Just to be clear, amazing how one word can change a whole sentance!

    #117231
    jlo5
    Participant

    Ninjali: for me the STD and the prostitute issue wouldn’t matter. They have come clean with you and told you their past, regardless of the number. If you love that person and want a relationship with them, the numbers don’t count. Honesty and Trust do,.

    #117248
    Ninja
    Participant

    Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts, experiences and opinions!

    In the spirit of sharing, I agree with you.

    JLo5, let me ask you something (and anyone else who wants to contribute) and take this a little bit farther. I believe that we agree that someone should be informed of any STDs early on. As someone said, that’s purely ethical. But say, beyond this, a fiancé/spouse (not just bf/gf) asks for more information about the other’s sexual past (number, etc.) and the other person declines or evades sharing any more. And then, years go by (decades) and the second spouse chooses to reveal that they have had hundreds of partners, or use to be a prostitute, etc. I guess my question at this point is: Should spouses be as up-front as possible as early on as possible, reach an agreement with what to/and what not share, deal with it, and then move on?

    Also, Is withholding information (perhaps out of shame), knowing it may seriously affect their fiancé’s/spouse’s opinion of them, deceptive?

    Good stuff. Thanks, everyone!

    #117332
    jlo5
    Participant

    Hi again.

    Should spouses be as up-front as possible as early on as possible, reach an agreement with what to/and what not share, deal with it, and then move on? I think boundaries should be set early on, if it is important for you to have an exact number of sexual partners your spouse has had, I would say you broach that early in the relationship. If your partner does not want to share, the individual should decide if that is important to them going forward to know the exact number. To be honest i imagine there are many men and women out there that simply don’t know the exact number they slept with.

    If your spouse witheld information that later comes forward, there might have been a fear of sharing that information because they worry about how the other person would react. I don’t think it is deceptive necessarily, but you would need to understand why at that time the person wasn’t honest about it.

    Ninjali: I read your other thread and I understand where you are coming from. However how about thinking about how after having many sexual partners, she chose and stayed with you,even though she was your first sexual partner. So you must give her something all those other men did not. Sounds to me all those years she was looking for love and affection in the form of sexual activity and finally she found and stayed with you. I have a family member who was very very sexually active in her youth, I don;t think she could tell you how many partners she had. It was all for attention. Now she is grown up and married she is ashamed of her past, but she has settled now and is very happy. Her husband gives her all the love she needs.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.