How Many People Have You Slept With?

We all have past relationships, let’s leave the past where it belongs, in the past

Tracey Folly
May 29 · 3 min read
Photo by Michael McAuliffe on Unsplash

How many people have you slept with? Don’t answer that. It’s nobody’s business but your own. Besides, your number doesn’t really matter anyway. Does it?

Yes and no.

Let’s start with no. Having a high number of sexual partners doesn’t make you a good lover any more than having a low number of sexual partners makes you a bad lover. Likewise, a high number of sexual partners doesn’t make you a bad person, and a low number of sexual partners certainly does not make you a good person.

If that were the case, then I’d definitely be a good person, and I’m fair-to-middling at best.

I consider myself to be a sex-positive individual, and sex-positive individuals do not judge people for their sexual preferences, sexual fetishes, sexual activity, sexual history, or how many sex partners they have had.

Now that I’ve made myself clear on that matter, please allow me to explain one way in which your number of sex partners might actually matter.

Your number may matter to one other person, your current partner. Your significant other probably wants to know if your number makes them seem like a prude compared to you. Or maybe they want to know if they’re facing steep competition in the bedroom from your former lovers.

Sometimes it’s a jealousy issue, and that indicates a problem far greater than your number of sexual partners.

In a potential partner, you want to find someone who shares the same respect for you as a person, rather than a number. You’re no one’s conquest; you deserve to find “the one” just like everyone else regardless of how many other “ones” you had sex with first.

There is a huge wide world of sex that people don’t usually talk about. Society tends to focus on sex as something for couples in a relationship, and completely ignores the realities of casual sex, sex among friends, etc.

Let’s be honest, the idea that sex is only between two committed partners is completely outdated. And all those other situations can run your numbers up fast.

People are much more complex than society paints us out to be. While sex is a big part of our relationships, that’s not all it is. People care about many things when dating someone and being in a relationship with someone. They want to know about you. They want to know if they can trust you. They want to feel close to you.

You are so much more than just a number. Sex is a great way to express romance, but it’s not the only thing that matters in a relationship.

Besides, everybody lies about sex. Men lie when they’re not getting any. Women lie when they are. Both sexes lie to make themselves look better. Both sexes lie to make themselves look worse.

Even if you and your partner swap headcounts and bedtime stories, there’s no guarantee that you’re both getting the right data.

The point here is that everyone has their own relationship history. You get to judge your own experience. It doesn’t matter how others see your relationship history — whether they see it as morally deficient or, conversely, praiseworthy in its restraint. But one way or another they’ll have an opinion, and however much you respect their opinion, you should respect your own experience even more so.

Everyone has a past, and it can be crucial for a partner to have some idea of your past experiences. However, the bottom line is that your past is your business only. You shouldn’t feel pressured to disclose anything or make apologies as it has nothing to do with your current relationship.

Past relationships are relative to your current relationship. Sometimes they’re relevant and important to share, but not always.

We all have previous relationships and experiences, but you should never feel the need to disclose anything or make apologies — it’s your business.

People of all ages have multiple relationships throughout their lifetime. Whether you’ve been married a hundred times or are just coming out of your first relationship, the number really doesn’t mean much.

Everyone has a different past to varying degrees. The best we can do is work each day on our present and future, and not worry about the past.

Sex With Respect

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store