How do I approach telling a guy my number if I'm not proud of it? (self.AskWomen)

{AskWomen}

8 ups - 1 downs = 7 votes

Guy I recently starting seeing has expressed some interest in knowing my sexual history. Not details, just general info. I want to tell him but Im afraid that it will ruin his opinion of me.

Ideas?

edit: worried about my number being too high

57 comments submitted at 14:33:28 on Apr 13, 2014 by throwslikeagirl9

  • [-]
  • Stullif
  • 40 Points
  • 14:54:01, 13 April

After reading the title I was really confused what your phone number might be for you to be ashamed of it.

  • [-]
  • poesie
  • 11 Points
  • 14:59:04, 13 April

Me too. I started thinking about my own phone number and wondering if it was ok before assuring myself it is kickass.

  • [-]
  • flosstradamu5
  • 12 Points
  • 15:00:23, 13 April

555-IMKICKASS

  • [-]
  • poesie
  • 6 Points
  • 15:02:58, 13 April

Hello, poesie here!

  • [-]
  • Zehr_Verlegen
  • 1 Points
  • 18:48:08, 13 April

Hang on, I'm only on "KICK."

  • [-]
  • Zehr_Verlegen
  • 1 Points
  • 18:47:36, 13 April

That is too many numbers. Must I dial them all?

  • [-]
  • Stullif
  • 2 Points
  • 15:08:23, 13 April

Some years ago when I got to choose my phone number I actually paid extra so I could have what they were calling a "gold number" which is like a normal phone number but easier to remember. I do not regret a single penny of my 53,55$(Not adjusted for inflation and/or fluctuation of national currency exchange rates)

  • [-]
  • Svataben
  • 3 Points
  • 15:03:03, 13 April

Lawl, me too! Great minds think alike, and apparently so do weird ones. XD

  • [-]
  • 2awesome4words
  • 2 Points
  • 18:47:05, 13 April

Me too! Glad I wasn't the only one.

  • [-]
  • fetishiste
  • 21 Points
  • 14:36:48, 13 April

If it will ruin his opinion of you, is he a guy you want around?

  • [-]
  • ZoggerXIII
  • -3 Points
  • 18:25:33, 13 April

Just to spit my two sense out there; If he's a guy worth having around, will knowing her number ruin his opinion of her?

  • [-]
  • Danianne
  • 6 Points
  • 14:48:12, 13 April

First, recognize why you're not okay with it. Is it because if you could go back and do things again, you wouldn't have had some of those encounters? Your personal attitude towards sex has changed? If so, then mention that after telling him your number if it makes you more comfortable. Don't be apologetic.

Or are you solely worried of his opinion, and are actually okay with it for yourself? If so.. again, don't be apologetic and don't feel like you need to explain yourself just because of his opinion.

You don't have to tell him though, whether he's interested or not.

  • [-]
  • throwslikeagirl9
  • 2 Points
  • 14:52:24, 13 April

I am not okay with it. I had a very rough freshman year. The freedom of college kinda got to me. And it came out in the form sleeping with guys at parties.

So both my opinion has changed and if i could do it again I would not have done some of those encounters.

Im just worried if I drop a 20-something number on him, the explanation wont matter much

  • [-]
  • lemonylips
  • 3 Points
  • 14:55:28, 13 April

Just because it's something you're not proud of, doesn't mean everyone else cares. Truth is, there are many people out there who understand casual sex and there are many people out there who don't tie someone's value to the number of sexual partners they've had.

  • [-]
  • cdncdn
  • 3 Points
  • 17:53:47, 13 April

20 something number?

no big deal. people have sex with other people, casually. that is life. as long as you are clean and safe, then good on ya.

don't tell him if you want (although that may make him think on his own, and it may leave worse image than reality) to, but it really isn't anything to be ashamed of.

source: guy who has slept with zero people

  • [-]
  • Baron3ss
  • 2 Points
  • 15:09:05, 13 April

If you said 500, maybe I'd be concerned. 20 is nothing.

  • [-]
  • kintu
  • 1 Points
  • 19:59:40, 13 April

Depends on the guy's number too...

  • [-]
  • kintu
  • 1 Points
  • 20:01:22, 13 April

Don't lie about it though...It will be ugly if it comes out years later.

Give him an approximate figure near to the actual figure.

  • [-]
  • ucanhearmeucantseeme
  • 1 Points
  • 21:38:22, 13 April

That's a perfectly reasonable explanation, of course it would be relevant. And you don't necessarily owe him one - would he have behaved differently in your shoes? You don't want your partner to be the kind of person who judges you for your past.

You could also just tell him that you're not comfortable discussing past sexual encounters. You have a good reason not to, and any decent guy can respect that personal space.

  • [-]
  • Danianne
  • 1 Points
  • 15:10:39, 13 April

>Im just worried if I drop a 20-something number on him, the explanation wont matter much

If an explanation that you have changed your view about sex (I assume to match his, else you wouldn't be worried about it) isn't enough for him, then I don't think he'd be worth the trouble. If he doesn't believe you about it, then he obviously has issues. If he holds your past against you, then he definitely has issues imo. The fact you had a lot of sex then doesn't make you any lesser now, and if he believes it does.. well, why would you want to be with a guy who has such opinions on women?

I understand him possibly wanting a girlfriend who has the same view on sex (i.e doesn't take sex as much of a casual thing) as he does.. but you do have the same view from the sounds of it now, your past has no bearing on that.

And if he doesn't have that view on sex, I don't know why you're worrying about it. He might not give a damn. His 'number' might blow yours out of the water. You never know.

  • [-]
  • 2awesome4words
  • 1 Points
  • 18:49:03, 13 April

I think that the kind of guy who would suddenly dislike you because of this is probably not the kind of guy you should be dating, OP. I think for most guys, an explanation of your views on sex both at the time and now would be enough. :)

Edit: This is assuming that you'd be fine with him having a "high" number too -- otherwise it's kinda hypocritical and that doesn't fly. ("High" is in quotes because I don't really think 20-something is that high.)

  • [-]
  • lemonylips
  • 20 Points
  • 14:40:36, 13 April

1) it's really not any of his business

2) stop shaming yourself and feeling like you need to apologize for your experiences. even if you regret past experiences, don't project that onto others. if you don't regret these past experiences, what are you apologizing for anyway?

3) think of this as a great litmus test. you don't deserve to be mistreated based on your sexual history and any one who reacts poorly may not be a good match for you.

4) it's really not any of his business

5) most mature people understand that as we grow older sometimes we change our attitudes and behaviors and if you truly feel like a different person who wouldn't do the things you've done in the past- just say that. Be like "I used to be a lot more interested in experimenting and casual sex but that's not really my jam anymore." No need to touch on numbers.

  • [-]
  • Buchanan3
  • 12 Points
  • 15:04:18, 13 April

What if he just wants to date someone who holds similar views about sex? It may not necessarily be about him judging her.

  • [-]
  • lemonylips
  • 9 Points
  • 15:06:42, 13 April

> most mature people understand that as we grow older sometimes we change our attitudes and behaviors and if you truly feel like a different person who wouldn't do the things you've done in the past- just say that. Be like "I used to be a lot more interested in experimenting and casual sex but that's not really my jam anymore."

I have little to no patience for people who insist on judging people on their pasts as opposed to the people they've grown into. So, in my mind, if you tell some guy that you used to have a lot of NSA sex and now you're really not into that/you regret it/you live by different standards now and they still judge you- you should nope the fuck out of there. I'm a lot less afraid of losing potential partners than other people might be, though.

  • [-]
  • Buchanan3
  • 4 Points
  • 15:08:01, 13 April

A lot of women on this sub say they wouldn't date a guy who's been with a prostitute. Do you think that's any different?

  • [-]
  • lemonylips
  • 10 Points
  • 15:11:11, 13 April

I'm not one of those women, so I don't see why I should have to answer for their hang ups.

edit: but, no, I don't see how it's any different.

  • [-]
  • Buchanan3
  • 1 Points
  • 15:13:15, 13 April

Fair enough. I just think it's a very similar situation, assuming the prostitute is willingly doing it as opposed to being a victim of human trafficking, for example.

  • [-]
  • lemonylips
  • 3 Points
  • 15:13:48, 13 April

Sure. I feel the same way about people who admit to having cheated in the past, or something like that.

  • [-]
  • [deleted]
  • 3 Points
  • 16:41:08, 13 April

[deleted]

  • [-]
  • Buchanan3
  • 0 Points
  • 16:45:54, 13 April

If you read my comment below, this is assuming that the girl is not a victim of human trafficking.

  • [-]
  • Nraes
  • 1 Points
  • 18:05:47, 13 April

Hey, I know it's self referential, and reclamation of words, and all that, but we do have a rule against gendered slurs as a whole. Could you edit it out so I can reapprove your comment? Thanks!

  • [-]
  • Nraes
  • 1 Points
  • 18:04:54, 13 April

I'm one of those women.

It's a bit different, because it shows you viewed sex as transactional, broke the law, and potentially enabled sex trafficking or had sex with someone who wasn't completely consenting.

If it was years ago, and you have changed your tune, and regret it, and it was in a safe environment with a prostitute that wasn't trafficked (there are some environments that are safer than others in that regard, in particular countries), I could potentially get over it, but we would have to have a long talk about how you feel about sex now.

  • [-]
  • Nraes
  • 4 Points
  • 18:02:06, 13 April

Then talk about the views of sex, not the number.

I used to feel that way. I still do, to an extent. But I also know that people can change, and someone who had a bunch of hook ups when they were younger might have the same views as I do, now. As long as the current views are the same, that's what matters.

I still get retroactively jealous and insecure about past sexual partners, but I try to make my decisions based on present behaviour, not the past.

  • [-]
  • NoSnowmen
  • 6 Points
  • 16:41:55, 13 April

Eh, as to the not-really-his-business thing, that's not entirely the case. Your past experiences do effect your current risks, and it's not unreasonable to want to know more about your partner's history to a certain degree. While OP's not obliged to tell him, he's also not obliged to have a relationship with anyone who doesn't feel comfortable with what he feels he needs in terms of risk-assessment.

My last ex was in a few very high-risk groups. There was no malice or attempted concealment, it was innocent miscommunications on both our parts. And while it wasn't something that send me running for the hills, I really wish I'd known ahead of time. While I had been using protection, there's literally no form of 100% safe sex, and I realize I'd hugely misjudged the risks I was taking. Everything turned out fine with regards to my health, but what wound up happening was that I asked for a cool-off period of a few weeks to process some things, then changed what I considered acceptably safe sex.

Basically, I think it's reasonable for OP to not want to talk about it, and reasonable for her boyfriend to not want to have sex or to ask for extra precautions (gloves, dental dams, female condoms, STD screens, etc) if she doesn't want to talk about it.

  • [-]
  • lemonylips
  • 2 Points
  • 16:44:38, 13 April

I'm not trying to argue that potential partners have no right to ask about sexual histories- things like attitudes about sex and, most definitely, your STD status are important to know. I don't think that specific details are anyone's business necessarily, though. And that includes a specific head count of past partners.

  • [-]
  • NoSnowmen
  • 4 Points
  • 16:54:48, 13 April

I don't think I quite agree. Part of my problem was that I'd vastly underestimated their number of past partners (we had different definitions of, the phrase, "I've been with a lot of people." I dramatically underestimated things). Additionally, there were issues related to their past and current partner's sex lives and sexual health, and details on that front would definitely have effected my risk perception. Open communication does frequently require specifics, because people's experiences are widely different enough that implications and vague answers aren't always helpful.

So yes, I think it's reasonable to want specifics. The difference between 22 and 23 partners is probably not a big deal, but it's reasonable to want to know if 'a lot' means, "in the low 20's", "nearly 10", or "nearly 100". But I also think it's reasonable to not want to give specifics. It's OK if you're not 100% compatible, you either need to take precautions you'd be comfortable with for your maximum-risk scenario, or just not have sex with that person.

Also keep in mind that WRT STD screening, the process of being declared STD-free takes months, and multiple tests. Does, "I tested negative for HIV" mean that you tested negative 3 months ago? 6 months ago? Have you had sex since then? With who? You generally don't know your STD status, you know your last test result which is a very different thing.

  • [-]
  • kintu
  • 1 Points
  • 19:56:12, 13 April

>most mature people understand that as we grow older sometimes we change our attitudes and behaviors and if you truly feel like a different person who wouldn't do the things you've done in the past- just say that. Be like "I used to be a lot more interested in experimenting and casual sex but that's not really my jam anymore." No need to touch on numbers.

You are trying to make it sound like your opinion is the only mature thing to do. People come from different backgrounds and cultural contexts.

It is his business at some level. Check out /u/spoksdad submitted posts if you can. He gives you a different perspective from the guy's side.

  • [-]
  • [deleted]
  • 0 Points
  • 14:45:13, 13 April

[deleted]

  • [-]
  • lemonylips
  • 2 Points
  • 14:46:05, 13 April

I hope you don't get as many downvotes this time

  • [-]
  • poesie
  • 2 Points
  • 14:58:06, 13 April

Leif you get downvotes for a 'this' comment? If so it is because they are against reddiquette. Have a look at the link at the bottom of most pages.

  • [-]
  • [deleted]
  • 1 Points
  • 15:00:35, 13 April

[deleted]

  • [-]
  • poesie
  • 2 Points
  • 15:02:30, 13 April

Just thought you might like to know.

  • [-]
  • neurotrophic
  • 4 Points
  • 16:06:23, 13 April

My "number" is in the 20's and I make a point to tell the guy and ask his before we become exclusive. I slept around a lot in the past and I'm cool with that, sure I regret some of those encounters, but I am who I am and I can't change the past. I disagree with the people who say "it's not any of his business," I would want to know my partner's number and I'd want him to know mine. For me, acceptance of my past is crucial to a relationship. If a guy hears my number and is taken aback, has feelings of inadequacy (this is the most common response), or jealousy (second most common), or thinks I'm a "slut" (this has honestly never happened), then I don't want to be with him. I only want to be with someone who is confident in himself and confident in me.

To me it sounds like you need to accept your past first. I had a frisky period, and I'm not like that anymore, and that's okay. Why worry about something you can't change? The only person you are hurting with such an attitude is yourself. And I understand, I used to feel similarly about my past, I was ashamed, embarrassed, whatever, but it's not worth it. You deserve to love yourself, including your growing stages.

You also deserve to be with someone who accepts you in the same way, but first and foremost, you deserve to accept yourself.

  • [-]
  • Nievvein
  • 3 Points
  • 15:23:05, 13 April

People have different viewpoints. Be honest if he asks. He may be okay with it, he may think you hold/have held different viewpoints on sex and wont want to continue the dating. Then move on to find someone who's more compatible with you.

  • [-]
  • EloquenceIsOverrated
  • 1 Points
  • 20:48:16, 13 April

You're implying that you should be ashamed of having sex. You shouldn't be. You're not a nympho, it's only 20ish. You're just a human who oh so happens to like sex, as all humans do. If you say that number with shame, you may project that shame onto the guy you're talking about. So just don't worry about it.

  • [-]
  • DJFiregirl
  • 3 Points
  • 15:15:33, 13 April

Sounds like a classic case of "women should feel bad" and that's a bunch of crap. Don't feel bad or embarrassed about something if it doesn't actually bother you. I used to be that way, but it's like fuck it, it's just a number who actually cares, this is silly. (Although I know that isn't easy to think either)

  • [-]
  • fucktiredofthis
  • 3 Points
  • 15:49:52, 13 April

Why would he even ask.

  • [-]
  • Chicken_Wing
  • 3 Points
  • 17:10:03, 13 April

Guy here. If a dude rejects you for having too many partners from the past, he's not the guy for you.

  • [-]
  • Spunge14
  • 1 Points
  • 15:39:54, 13 April

I don't think you should be worried, but one point I do want to make because I don't see it here yet (also assuming this is an established LTR that you see going places):

If you're not okay with it, isn't a little presumptuous to think he should be? Figure out why you're ashamed of it and share your feelings with him. Give him time to assess how he feels about it and work through it, just like you need to do.

It's not his job to accept things about you that you can't accept about yourself for no reason. Not saying you don't deserve understanding, but you're not being fair in this situation by expecting him to rectify what appears to be an internal emotional issue all by himself. He should be your teammate in getting through this, not just fixing your problems for you.

At the risk of making this answer longer than it needs to be - a good example would be that one friend everyone has who complains and complains about their issues, but when you offer a solution, you quickly realize all they want is someone to argue against for a never-ending cycle of re-assurance. Make sure this isn't what you're doing to someone you care about.

  • [-]
  • --Wasp
  • 1 Points
  • 20:10:12, 13 April

You can let him know that the past is in the past, and if there are things you regret, there's nothing you can do now. You're a different person. If he's worried about diseases, get yourself checked to let him know there's nothing to worry about.

Also, no shame in having a high number. A "high number" is all relative anyway.

  • [-]
  • flyingcatpotato
  • 2 Points
  • 15:56:13, 13 April

Why does anyone need to know your number? I don't even know my own number. Do you really want to be with someone for whom this would be a problem?

  • [-]
  • HockeySwag
  • -1 Points
  • 18:12:48, 13 April

It might not be attractive to some people. Similar to being fat, shitty personality, having a lazy eye or just being lazy.

  • [-]
  • Nraes
  • 1 Points
  • 21:19:30, 13 April

Implying that having sexual partners in the past is the equivalent of those things?

  • [-]
  • HockeySwag
  • 1 Points
  • 21:44:30, 13 April

Implying someones not allowed to determine themselves what they find attractive. How is it any different than any other quality in someone else which we judge? I have no hate against girls with many partners, everyone should do what makes them happy.

In b 4 society made men view female sexuality that way

  • [-]
  • Abercrzombie
  • 1 Points
  • 17:33:56, 13 April

Why do you have to give a number? Just say you're not a virgin. I'm so sick of all this slut-shaming bullshit. There is nothing wrong with wanting to experiment sexually. If he can't handle it, then he doesn't deserve to have sex with you. I might be coming off as aggressive, but this topic grinds my gears! Good luck, sweetie! Edit: I had an abusive ex that gave me shit for my past experiences so it's a sore spot

  • [-]
  • grandevanillalatte
  • 2 Points
  • 14:35:16, 13 April

Are you worried that your number is too high or too low?

  • [-]
  • throwslikeagirl9
  • 1 Points
  • 14:36:56, 13 April

too high

  • [-]
  • klostro
  • 1 Points
  • 19:19:14, 13 April

There is a lot of "it's none of his business" going on in this thread, which I think is a dangerous attitude to take if you're seriously considering a relationship with this person. I've never asked a partner's number, but if I did and she took that attitude, it would be a red flag for me and I would likely assume the worst. Maybe that makes me undateable to most of the women in this thread and makes most of the women in this thread undateable to me, but I think the majority of men hold a similar opinion. That said, there are certainly men who disagree and couldn't care less about past sexual partners. It would be nice if no one cared about that and no one cared about the way people look and other "shallow" things, but the reality is that most people do.

To OP, it sounds like you really like this guy if you are nervous about that question and are asking for advice. So if your goal is to enter a serious relationship with him, I would be honest with him about your number. If you sense that he is turned off by it, you can explain that you had a rough freshman year and regret sleeping with so many guys and aren't interested in that lifestyle.

  • [-]
  • Nraes
  • 1 Points
  • 21:18:43, 13 April

So is your number my business? How would you feel if you were regularly berated or called names or viewed as lesser due to it? Is it reasonable for a partner to dump you because she thinks less of you and assumes you are a shitty person due to your number?