How Important Is Revealing Your “Number”? [He Said/She Said]

Would you like a guy less if he’s slept with 25 girls? How about 40 girls? Or 70 girls? And at which point would you straight-up refuse to be his next conquest? All that counting and keeping track is enough to make your head spin, so I propose this: Maybe just keep the numbers to your respective selves. That’s been my rule from the start, and it’s worked out pretty fabulously.

So long as you’re up front about your sexual health history (yes, beyond the drunk/sarcastic, “You don’t have AIDS, right?”), there’s no need to disclose actual numbers. Frankly, I think it’s easier if you don’t. Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, there’s stress in knowing your partner has slept with a sh*t ton more people than you have, or vice-versa. Suddenly you’re the goody-two-shoes and he’s the man-whore. You’re the raging slut and he’s kinda prude. Why should it matter that you had a wild and crazy summer after you broke up with your boyfriend of five years? Who cares if he made more than a few female friends when he spent a semester in France? Maybe one or both of you simply likes having sex…whenever and wherever you can get it. Hey girl, live and let live!

If you happen to be one of those people, though, who simply needs to know all the gritty details that will inevitably cause you to over-think your relationship, that’s okay. I’m still here for you. After all, if you’re sleeping with someone, you’re really allowed to ask whatever the heck you want…just be prepared to answer anything they want to know, too. It’s only fair.

If you’re going to go there, please note that the “How many people have you slept with?” conversation is typically best brought up sober. That’s not to say it needs to be the most serious conversation of your life, or that you even need to pencil out a specific time to have the discussion. Just make sure you haven’t mainlined 73 shots before asking the tough questions.

What do you think of my Don’t Ask/Don’t tell policy? Am I crazy? Got some better advice to share? Share your opinion in the comments below!

And don’t forget to see what He Said over at!

Alex loves rainbow sprinkles, retro bromances, and cultivating an iTunes library superior to yours. Most days, though, she just wishes she was Beyonce. Got something to say or a good conspiracy theory you’re just dying to share with someone? Follow her on twitter @AlexandraRane or on Tumblr.

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  3. Sophia says:

    i think you should always know your gf/bf's "number". if you have a problem with your number or their number, either:
    1. you're not mature enough to put into perspective that there have been others before you
    2. you have something to hide/are ashamed of it

  4. Abby says:

    I think one shouldn't tell anyone your "number". Face it people judge, whether it is 1 or 20 and most men and women alter their number anyway. The more important question is have you been tested/ slept with anybody since you were last tested.

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  6. Katie Garrity - North Central College says:

    Numbers shouldn't matter. People make mistakes. People have one night stands. Stuff happens. As long as they are upfront and honest about their sexual health, then you're good to go. Just because a person has a high amount of sexual partners doesn't mean that they won't value sex with you.

  7. Jake says:

    If you think that than you are setting yourself up for failure most men and most women would care to know. People want to know the truth and if you lie you are ashamed or have something to hide. Lying is never okay in relationships and that is how many relationships fail. It truly shocks me when narcissistic people and those with hedonistic view's on the world enter relationships and than begin lying and hiding things from a partner only for it to come out or be revealed and the partner be hurt. Long story short if you lie you are setting yourself up for failure and lying is never okay.

  8. KDJ says:

    Wow James…hate to say it but you sound really insecure. I agree with the main premise of your argument; if a girl likes sex, she should find a guy who enjoys it as well. Also, relationships work best when both people are on a similar playing field regarding how many partners they have had. I also agree that it reflects one's personal feelings about sex. A person who has only slept with one or two people by choice will probably not want to be with someone who was more free.

    However, you kind of sound like you're bashing sex in your comment and that's just kind of sad. It's especially sad because you're targeting women only- you say nothing about the number of girls a guy has slept with. Frankly, you sound sexist. There is nothing wrong with having sex as long as you are safe and can eventually find someone who takes a more casual stance on sex as well. And I hate to break it to you, sweetie, but this is 2012 and lots of women who have had a decent number of sexual partners (I'm not talking anything astronomical, but more than 1-2) are finding perfectly good guys. It sounds like you are the type of person who hates sex or is jealous because you're not getting as much as you would like…but don't reflect your frustrations on others.

  9. BobBarker says:

    I always feel like a whore when I reveal my number, I try not to go into that discussion and honestly I could care less if my number was just a blip on her radar before we got together as long as that number doesn't raise while we're together.

  10. Average Number Smith says:

    Just to be sure: A higher number does not mean your lover is better at sex. Nor does it mean they are better or worse at maintaining a relationship. Without a good understanding of the past situation(s) of your lover, the number alone is pretty worthless. People change and have different desires for different relationships at different times in their lives.

    Probably the most important things we should be concerned about is where are they now and what kind of future can you have with them.

  11. Aria says:

    It depends on who u are and who u r with. Let's say if you were a bit more free then u might be accepting to the idea of ur partner being free in the past. Say u were a bit reserved n ur partner was more free in the. Past then it might bother u because u haven't had that lifestyle. I dnt think it's immature if you ask or if you feel the need to ask b.c after all we are all different n it's ur right to choose what u want in ur partner… I think it's better to ask before in the relationship than later b.c if u do feel the person isnt right for u can decide then….but I would say allow ur partner to explain themselves but ppl do change n in some cases they dnt. Really depends on ones choice n judgement. What works for u might not work for me.

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  13. J.C. says:

    The number by itself shouldn't matter, but I think it is important to discuss it as part of a deeper conversation. I agree that you should be prepared to discuss the reason your number is what it is. Been there and it saved me from a lot of heartache when a couple of 14 yr old girls knocked on my door looking for my man. The relationship was over at that point as I knew then that he was still the same person keeping score as he had in the past. The number didn't matter, but knowing how promiscuous he had been sure put the relationship in perspective. If your number makes you uncomfortable, you need to do some soul searching and decide on making changes to your private life. Yeah, we all make mistakes, but for some, it's still a game they love to play. I want to know which one it is up front.

  14. jimmy says:

    I believe the matter is quality not quantity. higher quality is better than higher quantity.
    Good luck

  15. Truth says:

    A man's number never matters unless he's 30 years old and only been with 1-2 girls. A girl's number ALWAYS matter if she's looking for something deeper than just a fling.

  16. Stacey says:

    I never asked my ex how many people he slept with because I honestly didn't care. Then towards the end of the relationship he casually mentioned that he'd slept with 135 people before me. It didn't bother me much but it didn't reflect how horrible he was in bed. He always complained that I wanted too much sex, even though I was the virgin!

    I think if I had asked, that number would have raised a flag. No healthy and happy person sleeps with that many people.

  17. Women should never tell their number because nothing good can come of it in a relationship. If your number is higher than his, then he will inevitably doubt your character and question the relationship. And, if your number is significantly higher than his, then he will think that you are a skank. Nobody marries the skank. Even if you have slept with fewer people than your guy, he will drive himself nuts imagining the guys that know what you "feel" like. Save yourself the trouble and just say that you have only slept with few guys and that you have dated enough to know how great your current guy is.

    1. Stacey says:

      Your message is disturbing. Women shouldn't disclose a high number because it reflects negatively on their character, but what about men? You think women don't have a problem being with a man whose a 'skank'? How on earth is it allright for men to be promiscuous but not women?

  18. Megan Jones says:

    I agree with this post. I personally don't think that it is my business how many people my partner has slept with. As long as I know that they are healthy, what does it matter how many people they have slept with. Also, I don't think that learning your partner's number reveals anything to you other than the number. Without context that number is basically meaningless, so why know?

  19. Brittogg says:

    whatever the heck you want…just be prepared to answer anything they want to know, too. It’s only fair.

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