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Your Sexual History Is Nobody's Business

Name: Audrey


Over a week ago I matched with a guy on Bumble, we’ll call him Conner. We exchanged a few messages and then he asked me out for pizza. We met a few days later for pizza, and I really enjoyed talking to him. We went out again a few days later. And then we had our third date last night. He began to probe me for my relationship history, and I tried to keep my responses light. He asked about my last relationship and I just said it was a few years ago, we dated for 11 months and then he moved away. He starts asking questions about how many guys I’ve dated in the past. Then he asks how many sex partners I’ve have had. I was taken aback because I didn’t think it was good etiquette to ask a lady that. I disclosed that my count is likely around 100 men, I’ve never actually counted so I could be off by a few. He was blown away by that response and he said that he’s only had sex with 8 women.

He asked me what it was like to have had so many sex partners, and the conversation started to make me feel uneasy. I had sex with Conner on the second date, and he told me that he didn’t “feel special” anymore after finding out I’ve had sex with around 100 men. He believes sex should be reserved for people you care about, and sex should be meaningful. He said that he imagined that the girl he someday marries to have had about 20 sex partners? I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. So I get this text today from Conner. He says that he wants to discuss the future with me. I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean? He wants to talk to me in person on Sunday. I agreed to that, but I don’t have a good feeling about Sunday’s meeting.

I texted him to say “I feel like you don’t like me anymore since you’ve found out that I’ve had sex with a lot of guys.” And he responded with “Of course I still like you as a person. But finding that was definitely a big deal for me. I can’t talk right now, I’m in class, let’s talk Sunday.” I was kind of offended and hurt by that, I thought when you loved someone that it wouldn’t matter what their sexual past was like. 100 doesn’t seem that high to me tbh. I’m 32, and began having sex when I was 16. 100 divided by 16 would mean I’ve had about six sex partners per year. So I don’t see why this should be a “big thing.”

So my question is, should I meet him on Sunday? Thank you

I'll start by letting everyone know we addressed this letter in our latest dating podcast.

Audrey, this guy sounds both emotionally and socially challenged. To start, it should be made clear to both men and women that you do not owe anybody a run-down of your sexual history. Many will use the excuse that they're only concerned with their sexual history, but that's just BS. If the concern is for your sexual health, then the more accurate and pertinent question is regarding your testing history. Should someone ever press you to know how many people you've slept with, your response should be, "Do you have health concerns? Because if so, I get tested every six months, full panel, and I've always tested negative." (Side note: Of course, you should actually be getting tested as well. Never lie about something like this.) This line of questioning is actually a gateway to what they're really concerned about: are you sleeping with anyone else? It's rooted in insecurity.

If that answer doesn't quell their completely inappropriate nosiness, then they aren't worried about their health, they're prying. If they don't respect the very obvious boundary you've laid down, you need to seriously examine whether or not you want to be with them. That's how controlling behavior starts.

Now, there may be some cultural or religious issues at play here. I don't have enough information to fully grasp why Conner believes he's entitled to this information other than he's a white man. To be clear: that still doesn't give him the right to ask you these questions.

What I really don't like about this scenario is that Conner doesn't appear to see how hypocritical and illogical he's being. He says that he believes sex should be meaningful, but he had sex with you on the second date. Which, hey, NO JUDGMENTS! What I'm getting at is that, after two dates, I'm not sure deep emotional intimacy could even truly exist. So, how meaningful could have the sex been? And really, just how healthy would it be if he felt that deep of a connection after two dates? To me, Conner sounds emotionally immature, and drastically so. Everything about this story raises alarm bells for me. He's bringing up his concept of an ideal bride after just a few dates. Girl, no. Run.

He asked me what it was like to have had so many sex partners, and the conversation started to make me feel uneasy.

That probably made you uneasy because he was actually shaming you with this question. Your answer triggered something within him, maybe shame or insecurity of his owed it onto you. That's a classic sign of dysfunction and it doesn't bode well for the future of your relationship. He's using shame to try and emotionally manipulate you. GIRL, NO. RUN.

You can meet with him, but understand that this guy has some deep-seated emotional issues of his own that he needs to address before he can be a healthy romantic partner.

Note: Audrey has followed up with us about her meeting with Conner. We'll be addressing her response on this week's upcoming podcast episode.

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