Should I Tell Him How Many Guys I’ve Slept With? [Ask A Dude]

Dear Dude,

I started dating someone new, but we haven’t slept together yet. He’s hinted at wanting to know how many people I’ve been with before we do the deed, but that’s not something I really discuss with my partners. I simply don’t see the benefit of revealing that one of you has slept with more or less people than the other. So long as both parties are honest and open about their sexual health, the rest doesn’t matter to me.

How would you suggest navigating these tricky waters? Should I just come clean? Will it alter the relationship if there’s a significant difference in our numbers?


Who’s Counting

Dear Who’s Counting,

To play or not to play the numbers game? Did Shakespeare ever address that question? Probably in either Othello or one of his comedies. But this ain’t high drama and that’s the exact way to treat the situation.

It’s a big deal if you or he makes it a big deal. The number’s inconsequential as long as, as you pointed out, you’re clean about your sexual health. There’s no point in giving a good gosh darn about the number of sexual partners. If one’s going to judge based on quantity before you’ve slept together then you probably should just never sleep with that one. Unfortunately, there are those ones out there.

I can’t say whether your guy will or won’t care. I don’t know him. That’s not the kind of service we provide here at CollegeCandy. HOWEVER, his curiosity isn’t unnantural or unusual. Is it a sign of insecurity? Maybe. Does he want to be a big part of your sexual history? Some guys do and some don’t, depends on what gets them off. If he cares so much I wouldn’t recommend becoming another hash mark in his column of partners. My advice is to sleep with him if you like, regardless of knowing a flipping number and that would be my advice for him, too.

To get out of revealing your number you can pivot to a flirt, parry with a humorous dismissal, or counter by asking for his number first. Of course, if he gives it to you then the rules of common courtesy encourage you to give yours, not that anyone tends to follow those rules anymore.

You can also just tell him that you don’t give a f*ck how many people he’s slept with and you’d like the same courtesy.

“I’ll be mother,”

The Dude

[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of trying to come up with a not-totally-crazy-girl way to bring it up to your guy friends and get their take on things? Totally over over-analyzing the cryptic messages he leave on your Facebook Wall?  We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question over to askthedude [at] collegecandy [dot] com. The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time. So bring. it. on.]



    1. Kay says:

      I know this is controversial, but I think wanting or not wanting to know someone's number says a lot about their attitude towards sex, which transfers into compatibility.

      As someone who takes a serious attitude towards sex (no sex without monogamy) I would want to know my partner's number just to ensure we're on the same page. If he sleeps with a lot of women, women he has no other connection to other then the physical, it shows he's much more laissez-faire about sex then I am. If he treats sex with a blasé attitude we aren't compatible.

      I think that's usually what this whole question comes down to, when one person is concerned about the number and the other isn't, are you really actually suitable for one another?

      1. Alex- University of South Carolina says:

        Really interesting position I hadn't thought of before. While I personally don't care about numbers, I can see how differing views on the matter would affect a relationship and shed some light on potential problems down the road.

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