Let’s be honest—there’s really no discreet way of asking someone how many people they’ve had sex with. Sure, you can word it a bit differently and refer to “people” as “partners” and for those who get all squirmy and giggly no matter how old you get at the word “sex” makes, you can replace it with “slept with” or “done it with.”
All in all, it doesn’t really matter how you say it. The question is still nerve-racking for both the person asking and the person answering. If you’re the person answering, you may not want the person asking to know that you went all Gene Simmons for a year. Same goes for the person asking—they may be hoping you say less or more depending on their own number.
First off, this is almost never a first date kind of question…or second, third, or fifth date kind of question either, but it does have to be asked eventually or does it? How important is “the number”? From asking around to a few people, apparently that number can either make or break the blossoming relationship. Honestly, I wasn’t that surprised from what I found out. Not much has changed in the realm of sex with regard men’s ideal number for the collegiate woman.
Most of the men I asked said they would have issues dating a girl who’s had more than 10 sexual partners. For the women that I asked, the 20s seemed to be an accepted average for men, but when asking their opinion on the average the guys gave to them—some weren’t so thrilled. Of course most women are not going to agree with the obvious double standard but it can go both ways. If a guy has sex with over 50 women during his college life and confesses to this, the likelihood of him getting in bed with the marriage-type girl is probably nonexistent.
On the other hand, cancer research institutes have linked having a wide number of sexual partners to an increase in cervical cancer. What does this mean for us? Schedule an appointment to your gynecologist at least once a year just to make sure your lady parts are in good health and be careful about who you take home.
Although the lovely Carrie Bradshaw herself would probably investigate the best time to ask such a question, I’m not here to dazzle you guys with some unproven deadline for speaking about sex. This is for you and your partners to decide when and where to have the talk. Even though I wouldn’t recommend talking about this on the first few dates, if you slip up and ask, say it was just a conversation starter.