Welcome to StyleCaster’s Summer of Sex! For the next few months, we’ll be bringing you scintillating content about—you guessed it—all things related to our favorite three-letter word. A few things to expect: Answers to pressing questions you always wanted to know but were too afraid to ask, ways to boost your own sex appeal, what being sexy means to various people, and lots and lots of eye candy. And that’s just the beginning. Brace yourselves, people: It’s going to be one hot summer.
The sex number. Three little words that can incite so much anxiety, curiosity, and—potentially—discomfort in a new relationship. Should you tell your partner how many people you’ve had sex with? Do you want to know how many they’ve slept with? Should you lie? Are they lying? Obviously, it’s a touchy issue, and one that looms large in every coupling, no matter what type of person you are.
While we’re told that a critical factor of any good-relationship equation is honesty, we still have to wonder if it’s really necessary to share your sex number? After all, what purpose does it serve? Meaning, if you know you’re both faithful and healthy, why do either of you need to know about things that went on before you met? Then again, you share other aspects of your past with your partner, why shouldn’t this be one?
Turns out, sharing your sex number could cause more harm than good in a relationship, according to Dr. Robi Ludwig, a nationally-recognized psychotherapist and author who’s a frequent guest on the “Today” show, CNN, and Fox News.
“I think people want to know they’re with someone who’s had a successful dating history, but the details of one’s sexual life is often hard for anyone’s ego to take,” she said. “It really can cause unnecessary harm to a relationship; especially in the beginning.”
According to Ludwig, total transparency isn’t all it’s cracked up to be—especially for women. “Men may be able to get away with disclosing [past sexual partners] more than women. A double standard still exits—sorry ladies.”
So, does that mean you should lie, if you’re asked outright how many people you’ve been with? “I don’t think one should necessary lie about their past. But it is okay to choose not to talk about it, and to say you feel this topic has nothing to do with your current relationship. The past is the past, period.”
That said, there are people that are committed to the idea of sharing this information, so when’s the right time to talk about it? “If a person is dead-set on revealing details about their sexual history and life, it should be done when they know their partner well enough that this information won’t prove damaging to the overall health of the partnership,” Ludwig said.
However, Dr. Ludwig believes that couples don’t ever need to share how many sexual partners they had, unless the person is a virgin—critical information for obvious reasons. Otherwise, keep it to yourself. “Previous sexual partners are not anyone’s business but your own,” she said.