31 May 2013

What's your number?

Do you tell the truth when asked how many sexual partners you've had? Many people don't.

In any relationship the topic is sure to come up at some time: how many were there before me?

A recent study shows that many people will skew the numbers: Why people lie about sex. One of the most compelling reasons why we don't want to tell the truth about this relates to social norms about what's acceptable. In Western society, men are supposedly admired for having multiple sexual partners, and tend to lie if they think the number isn't high enough. Women, on the other hand, will trim the number down, as they are supposed to be a little more circumspect about leaping into bed.

In truth, these decisions are very much personal ones, depending on upbringing, religious beliefs, opportunity and a host of other factors. Ultimately it doesn't matter who slept with who previously, as long as both partners have the same expectations and intentions in this encounter. And of course, it's important to remember to use a condom, get tested for STIs and stay safe, because whatever the number, there's a chance you could have picked up something nasty from a previous partner.

Do you have an expectation when it comes to the number of previous partners your new bedmate should have had? Is it different for men and women? Write to us and you could be published on Health24.

Picture: group of people from Shutterstock



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