Trimble: Number of past partners your business only

By Leah Trimble

New flings often follow the same routine in terms of getting to know one another.. You’ve… New flings often follow the same routine in terms of getting to know one another.. You’ve probably been on a few dates or maybe exchanged texts daily for a few weeks — filling up the other’s inbox with your lovable “omg lolz” and giddy “haha :).” Those are really the signs of true love. Add a kissy face, and I think it just might be true love beckoning.

Regardless of the means used to get to this point of intimacy, it seems that there is always that one conversation when one person says, “I want to know more things about you.” Engaged by this sentiment, we reply with something like, “Ask me anything you want, babe.” With that sentence, the doors are opened to anything and everything, including several questions that we might not want to truly answer.

Bypassing where and what you did in high school, your life ambitions and any other juicy little tidbits ofentertaining childhood stories, there is one question that’s still waiting to come up. When you finally start to relax and open up to the conversation, the fatal blow hits: “So, how many people have you had sex with?”

The Kinsey Institute reports that, in 2005, men up to the age of 44 have had six to eight female partners in their lifetime, whereas women of the same age have had four male partners. Unfortunately, research on homosexual and bisexual encounters seems to be lacking overall. Hopefully we can look forward to seeing some new statistics being released soon.

I don’t know what the beliefs are among you and your group of friends, but for me, that number seems to disregard the outliers. I’ve had people tell me that their current lover has had anywhere from 30 to 60 partners so far, and these are people in college or fresh out. On the other hand, college is still filled with virgins, a respectable choice that requires a hell of a lot of willpower. I find it impressive they can stand strong around so many tempting prospects.

With this range of sexual experience, a catch-22 can present itself. The age-old gender stereotypes are unconsciously embedded in our brains, and it takes a very modern outlook on life to ignore the oh-so-important-number. There tend to be a couple views from each end. On one hand, an elevated number of lovers can represent experience and possibly a great time in bed. Those with a low number can provide the risk of stage five clinginess — something everyone wants to stay away from. Yet those with numerous partners are more likely to have contracted sexually transmitted diseases and could radiate the signs of issues with commitment, while for some finding a virgin is as exciting as the Pirates going to the World Series. As a result, it has become typical for people to alter their sexual status in favor of winning over any potential new love.

I find lying about your experience level ridiculous. It’s like when you were in high school and the world ended when you found out that your significant other had dated someone you despise, or a person who still was involved in his or her life. It becomes blown out of proportion, and jealousy takes over the relationship. There is no need for any of that in college. Your past life, whether looking at sexual partners or exes, is your business, and only yours for the keeping.

So when that question pops up, you can just explain that this is something new — a fresh start — and nothing beforehand matters. The most important thing is whether or not those previous partners have had an effect on your current or lifelong health, which is a topic that should always be brought up between new lovers. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve gotten down to business, but it does matter if you’ve received something unwelcome in return. That’s information you should never alter.

Finding new love is great. There is no point in tainting it by outright fabricating or understating your past all because of a stupid number. It’s no one’s business who you’ve been bumping with, unless there’s information that might affect your new partner. Just remember, this is college and everyone has to keep an open mind. If you’re really interested in this person, the numbers should point in your favor, regardless of those that add up from the past.

E-mail Leah at [email protected]

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