The Sex Risk For Women That No One Likes To Talk About

Recently a 29 year-old guy wrote into the Love Letters section of the Boston Globe looking for guidance. Usually Meredith Goldstein, who writes the column, gives excellent advice. In which case there’s no point in my saying anything further. In this case, however, I think she really missed the boat.

Here’s the letter:

About a year ago, a friend introduced me to his wife’s friend, and we hit it off. I’m 29 now, and she’s 26. We dated, things went extremely well, and things have progressed to the point where we are both extremely happy and have been considering moving in together this summer when our leases end. All in all, a very normal, healthy, mutually respectful relationship that makes us both very happy.

A few weeks ago, however, she dropped a bomb on me. She told me that when she was in college she was pretty casual about relationships. When I asked what that meant, she told me that she had probably been with about 35 guys. I was floored. I had always assumed she had a typical dating past, and that she was a nice girl. She assured me that she had completely changed after college, but I still have no idea how to process this information. I’m pretty sure that if I knew this from the start, I never would have given her a chance. Needless to say, I’m really weirded out.

This is a woman who, until two weeks ago, I could easily have seen myself marrying. She’s been so incredibly great to me, but now I don’t know who I’m dating. I would love to get past this and go back to feeling the way I used to, but I don’t know if that’s possible. I’m also afraid that if I end it over this, it’ll be the biggest regret of my life. She makes me so happy and it’s probably the best relationship of my life, but I’m now seeing her as damaged goods. I try to rationalize why her number isn’t that crazy or out of whack, but then I snap back into it and remember that I don’t know a single woman who did anything remotely like that in college. This is just foreign to me.

CONFLICTED


And Meredith’s answer:

Your words: “I’m pretty sure that if I knew this from the start, I never would have given her a chance.’’

Aren’t you glad you didn’t know? Had you vetoed her based on a number, you wouldn’t be in an amazing, happy relationship.

How many partners would have been OK? Five? Twenty? Thirty-four? What’s your cutoff for damaged goods?

Your girlfriend knows herself well. She had a good time in college, grew up, and now wants a real partner. She chose you, trusted you enough to disclose her past, and now she’s being called damaged goods. Might I suggest that a woman who slept with only three people but didn’t understand her own motives might be more damaged – less capable of an adult relationship?

My point is, if she doesn’t feel damaged, she’s not. Please don’t label her that way. Nothing has changed about her. She’s the same woman you fell for. If anything, you should be flattered. She has experienced a variety of men and you’re the guy she wants to cohabitate with. Her experiences turned her into the woman you chose. For that reason, be thankful that she lived the life she did. Don’t ruin this – for her or yourself.

MEREDITH

What Questions Does Conflicted’s Letter Raise?

1. Why would Conflicted care about his girlfriend’s lovers prior to knowing him?

This man’s concern about the number of sexual partners his future wife may have had is neither surprising nor illogical. David Buss, one of the pioneers of Evo Psych, writes in the Evolution of Desire about why men originally might have chosen to marry at all, considering their innate preference for sexual variety:

With concealed ovulation in humans, men who married would benefit by having greater reassurance of paternity. Before marrying, a man would seek reassurance that his wife would remain sexually faithful. One trait in a mate that could predict her faithfulness was premarital chastity.

As David Buss says, the modern conditions for mating may have changed significantly, but humans still employ the same sexual strategies. Of the 67 traits men seek in a committed partner, faithfulness and sexual loyalty rank as the most important in every culture ever studied.

2. Is Conflicted applying a sexual double standard? If so, is that unethical?

If Conflicted was a total man whore, having spent his youth banging women exactly like the one he is in love with now, I wouldn’t have much sympathy for him. If he was a cad, why should he not wind up with a woman who spent her youth having sex with men just like him? In that case, both would share a similar history and decision to switch to monogamy. However, I don’t believe this is the case here. He states clearly that he doesn’t know “a single woman who did anything remotely like that in college.”

If I had to guess, I’d feel pretty safe assuming that Conflicted was a nice Beta college guy, an earnest student who got lucky a few times, maybe even had a long-term girlfriend in his college days. Meanwhile, the object of his love and affection was either hooking up with frat stars or athletes. This bomb that she’s dropped on him is a reminder of how different their past experiences are, and how she inhabited an entirely different world from him just five years ago.

In her book Sexual Strategies, Mary Batten says:

As long as the risks were low, selection favored the basic male tendency to be aroused sexually by the sight of females.

But a woman could incur an enormous cost of energy and time if easy visual arousal resulted in pregnancy.

Selection has thus favored females who were discriminating and slow to arouse sexually, since reflex-like sexual arousal on the basis of visual stimuli would have tended to undermine female choice.

She notes that females are usually aroused not by the sight of males but by the touch of a favored male. Again, this speaks to sexual selection over many millenia. Buss says none of this is absolute; environment matters:

Every strand of DNA unfolds within a particular environmental and cultural context. All behavioral patterns can in principle be altered by environmental intervention.

The Sexual Revolution, the availability of the Pill, and women’s increased earning power have all been profound environmental interventions. Still, fifty years is a nanosecond in evolutionary terms. While men seek women with promiscuity, sexual experience and high sex drive when selecting for short-term mating, they still retain the preference for a sexually inexperienced wife, or at least one who is less experienced than they are.

In the era of hooking up, this concern is exacerbated as the number of inexperienced woman has dropped dramatically. One of the things I hear most from men like Conflicted is that they have no interest in stepping in to pick up the pieces after women have been “used up” by other men. It’s insulting to their pride for obvious reasons, and many will refuse to marry if they cannot find a woman who meets their requirements.

What Questions Does Meredith’s Answer Raise?

1. Is ignorance bliss in the matter of sexual history?

What you know can’t hurt you, until it does. The movie Best in Show comes to mind, where Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara play a married couple not unlike Conflicted and his girl in terms of sexual history. Everywhere they go, they seem to run into her old boyfriends, who want to relive their sexual adventures, reminiscing about sex “that time on the roller coaster” and asking her whether she “can still do that thing with her legs.” Of course Eugene Levy plays the pitiful chump who squirms with discomfort but sucks it up for his Alpha female, and we all laugh wholeheartedly. As far as I can tell, Conflicted doesn’t want to go through life risking those kind of doubts.

2. Is Conflicted required to state a cutoff for damaged goods?

Conflicted has every right to seek a partner whose values mirror his own. That’s what this is really about – he is questioning her values based on her past decisions. He states that “I don’t know who I’m dating.” Everything he thought he knew about her has been called into question. He doesn’t know if he can love this person he has just discovered.

3. Is a woman who sleeps with a few people without knowing her own motives less capable of a real relationship than a woman who sleeps with 35 while knowing exactly what she wants from each encounter?

Frankly, this strikes me as pure nonsense, straight from the sex-positive branch of feminism. A woman who understands her own motives is probably going to be more successful in relationships than a woman who doesn’t. However, we have no evidence whatsoever that Conflicted’s girlfriend understood her motives for hooking up during college. With an average of 9 sexual partners per year, I can only assume that she threw all reason and caution to the winds. This hardly sounds like the carefully considered behavior of a woman who knows her own mind. Since women orgasm during hookup sex less than half the time, she would have been better off with a man who knew her body and was sober during sex. She gained a short-term reward for hooking up randomly, presumably in the form of sexual validation from attractive men.

4. Should Conflicted feel flattered that she waited for him before deciding to live with someone? If her experiences turned her into the woman she is today, does it follow that if Conflicted loves her, he must love her experiences?

Doubt it, but nice try. If I were Conflicted I too would be weirded out, primarily by the fear that she was “settling” for me after spending her youth and beauty with douchebags.

This question of whether the nice guy can get past the startling revelation of his love’s promiscuous past is nothing new. Sweet Charity, the Neil Simon musical based on Fellini’s Night of Cabiria, is the story of a prostitute who falls for a shy tax accountant she meets on an elevator. When she finally tells him what she does for a living, he says he doesn’t care and wants to marry her anyway. But when the time comes for the wedding, he tells her that he cannot stop thinking about the “other men,” and he leaves her.

A more recent and hopeful ending to a similar story is Julia Robert’s rescue by Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, probably the most unrealistic chick flick ever made.

Men like Conflicted are the norm. They heed the call of nature and instinct. To be honest, I’m not sure why his girlfriend shared that information with him, “dropping a bomb” in that way. It strikes me as odd that they got that far without discussing their sexual histories, from the standpoint of both physical and emotional well-being, and they’re both responsible for that failure.

You are in charge of your own body, and what you choose to do with it. But keep your eyes wide open. I suspect that Conflicted is going to end his relationship, no matter what Meredith says is “correct.” Not every man will share Conflicted’s view or his values. If you choose promiscuity, though, you’re rolling the dice in the mating game.

11 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • Pingback: The Sex Risk For Women That No One Likes To Talk About | Hooking … | Playbell.com()

  • Pingback: The Sex Risk For Women That No One Likes To Talk About | Hooking … | Women's Health Wisdom()

  • Pingback: Knowing – Film Trailer | Miscellaneous Videos()

  • Passer_By

    I think you are correct that it's wired into us to be bothered by it. It doesn't make it right, or even rational in today's world, but it's there. There's no reason to go out of your way to volunteer this info – it's just rubbing it in and fanning the flames. If he asks, you should tell the truth, but if he's smart enough not to play to his own fears and doesn't ask, I see no reason to raise it.

    That said, if I am going to expect women to try get a grip on irrational things that are wired into them, men ought to try to do the same. The only rational reason to care in today's world would be the concern that she is settling after not getting the commitment she wanted from the cads. Absent that concern, a guy should avoid obsessing over it. You're sort of shooting yourself in the foot if you do, because with today's sexual permissiveness, if you find a woman who was very chaste, you stand a good chance of ending up in a sexless marriage with a woman with a very low sex drive. Sort of damned if you do and damned if you don't, I guess.

    Perhaps the sad lesson for a guy is that he should get good with women early so that he can get his notch count up, so as to avoid running the risk of deep resentment when it turns out that the woman he ends up with in the long run got around a lot more than he did.

  • susanawalsh

    Well to be fair, I suspect that if her number was half that, it might have been less of an issue. Sexual permissiveness and equality aside, 9 hookup partners a year is a pretty big number, even for men. And who knows how many of those were multiple hookups, concurrent hookups, etc. I am surprised she would volunteer that info – she must have had a sense he wasn't a player. Also, she said “about 35.” Since it's usually assumed that women exaggerate their number downward, for obvious reasons, I do think he has every reason to be “weirded out.” That said, if they are a great match in every other way, and she can explain how she's changed and why, perhaps they can work through it. If I were her I'd suggest they see a counselor, assuming he'd be willing to do it.

  • Pingback: The Sex Risk For Women That No One Likes To Talk About | Hooking … | Men's Health Wisdom()

  • http://jadekeller.com Jade @ Tasting Grace

    To be honest, I feel a little uncomfortable with both responses to Conflicted's letter here. I agree his concern should be treated respectfully, but not because of the way men vs. women are 'wired', but because there may be important value differences. I think it's just as valid for a woman who has few sexual encounters to feel similarly in a situation when she's with a guy who has been around the block several times.

    However, I feel both responses here are jumping to judgments about this woman based on fairly little information. For example, when Conflicted says “dropped a bomb” on him, we have no idea exactly how this conversation was approached. If the rest of their relationship has been mature and healthy (a piece of information I think should be given as much weight as her “number” from the past), I can't see why we should assume she did this in a callous way. It is possible that, upon seeing the relationship become serious, she decided she needed to tell him about this so that they could move forward with a clean slate. She might have known it would be difficult for him and that he might judge her for it, but felt that she needed to be honest with him about it to build a foundation of a trusting relationship. Obviously I don't know, but I'm just saying there's no way to tell on the basis of this letter what her motivations are.

    It sounds like this woman is very important to him and he wants something more serious from the relationship. If he really is thinking along the lines of marriage, it's a bad start to a marriage to have boilerplate responses to anything. I think, if he wants to find a way through this challenge, what he should do is just talk to her. Ask her what her frame of mind was in college, what it was she learned, and what her values are now and see if they can come to some sort of understanding and acceptance. People change throughout their lives (college being one of those times of major transformation and growth) and we can't expect our partners to be the same people they were ten years ago…and we also should understand that our partners are likely to change over the next ten years as well. Marriage requires flexibility and constant communication so that as changes come, each partner is still clear about who each other is and how things are going between them, not only to fix problems but to prevent or minimize them as well.

    Probably the biggest concern that is underlying his feelings is that she might be unfaithful if she has not demonstrated loyalty in past relationships. However, that would be a question of how she conducted herself in those past relationships. If there are patterns of infidelity, then they probably should address that. If they were all flings where both parties were clear and no trust was broken, then I think while she might not have proven patterns of loyalty, there's nothing to suggest she is disloyal. In that case, then building trust is just something they have to work on together and just will come over time. He might be concerned that she doesn't value sex as much as he does. Maybe she didn't in the past, but does now. Maybe she didn't when it was casual, but finds it imminently more so in a loving relationship. There's no right or wrong answer here; this is something that can only be resolved through communication, which you seem to advise in your follow-up comment, though your tone everywhere else tends to cast aspersions on her moral character and cast doubt on her ability to do.

    There are more possible reasons for her sexual activity in the past than either loose morals/throwing caution to the wind or some kind of sexual liberation. It may be that there was something deep from her childhood or elsewhere that is yet unresolved – in which case, counseling is probably advisable. Or maybe that “something deep” has already been addressed through counseling and she is trying to build a healthy new relationship – in which case, they just need to talk it through. The only way Conflicted can really know what the situation is, is through open and honest communication with her.

  • susanawalsh

    Hi, Jade! Nice to see you. First, I totally agree about men who have had a large number of sexual partners, and I've written before about “man whores.” Increasingly, women are rejecting guys like this because they feel a certain shame in being the latest in a long string of conquests. Not to mention the STD-type worries. So, yes, I do think it cuts both ways.

    It is also true that his letter does not really describe how the conversation took place. He implies she dropped it as a matter of small talk, but it may be that he sat down and asked her one day. It's impossible to know. I do state that I think it's strange that a couple would be dealing with this question a year in, once they're in love and contemplating a life together. If he had qualms, I wonder why he didn't address them sooner. It sounds like he just assumed she had had a certain kind of experience, which is a lot to assume nowadays.

    I agree with your points about communication. And I personally don't have an issue with her sexual choices. However, it is important for women to understand that this is something men do care deeply about. It is very, very difficult for a man to envision his partner having sex with another man. Studies consistently bear this out, and it is believed that jealousy evolved as an emotion so that men could cope with the fear that a woman might cuckold them. Men acting jealous actually serves to make it less likely that women will be unfaithful.

    In addition, it's pretty well understood that only about 20% of the young male population is having sex on a regular basis, while 80% of women are. Virtually all of those women are gunning for that top 20%, which drives down the value of relationships considerably. A woman who doesn't engage in casual sex will have few men investing the time and effort to court her. Meanwhile, that majority of men who are involuntarily celibate are building resentment. It is not surprising to me that they would feel threatened by women who spend their college years having random hookups, while they have been in the sexual desert. This exacerbates the problem considerably. It's just not a level playing field for the sexes, the way it was in the days when people dated others quite similar to themselves in terms of education, resources and even physical attractiveness. All of that has gone out the window.

    I don't aim to cast aspersions on this woman's character. I'm more interested in exploring the long-term consequences of the strategy she employed.

    I also resent Meredith Goldstein's tone here. She gives this guy a feminist “talking to,” rather than try to understand where he's coming from. Because he's coming from 10,000 years of sexual selection.

  • http://jadekeller.com Jade @ Tasting Grace

    That all makes sense, especially given your target audience, and I think helps clarify your intent – because at first, as a regular reader I was a little surprised by what I perceived your tone to be. I was thinking in terms of advising him on how to proceed and thinking that neither telling him to get over it (as per Goldstein) nor suggesting this is a serious cause for the demise of their relationship (as he calls their entire relationship into question because of it) is a good way to learn about marriage and commitment.

    But reading your response, it makes sense now that your ultimate point is not marriage advice per se but to highlight the ramifications of having a lot of partners. Double standard or not, it's an important point to consider.

    Thanks for the clarification! Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  • ExNewYorker

    The interesting part of Meredith's response is that she is effectively telling Conflicted that he should “settle” for a woman who had 35 hookups. I wonder if it had been a woman asking if she should “settle” for a guy who didn't have a job, would she have responded the same way?

    And the question is, why should the guy settle? I mean, if it's something that really bothers him, better to resolve it now, rather than letting it stew for some future blowup. She's not entitled to a relationship, the same way a he isn't. And if it's something he cannot live with, it's his right to end it.

    This is not at a all to say anything about the morality or the right of the woman in question to do what she wanted. However, actions do have consequences, and there will be a lot of guys who cannot deal with her past actions. Whatever the motivations of how she came to have 35 hookups, it's ultimately his decision to accept it or not. She is also within her rights to end it on her side, if she believes he won't be able to accept her past.

    Now, if he really is into this person, he can go back and do the whole communication thing to figure out if it was just a phase, or if she has learned and matured and all that. But that's a lot of work, which requires the other party to be extraordinarily honest, not just with him but with herself as well, and if marriage is the goal, then that's a lot of factors working against this.

  • susanawalsh

    No, I think you made a very valid point. My tone was perhaps a bit harsh toward the woman. I think that was a bit of personal backlash against MG's tone admonishing him.

    There's no question that the double standard still exists. This is problematic, because her having had a certain kind of college experience does not necessarily reflect her view on relationships and commitment now, as you pointed out. To be honest, I have had my own periods of promiscuity, and it did give my husband pause, though fortunately he was able to get past it.
    Sometimes my advice is more along the lines of “do as I say, not as I did.”

    Lovely weekend to you too!

  • susanawalsh

    We are in perfect agreement here. If I had to bet, I'd guess they won't make it. He just seems too freaked out. I can't imagine he was very pleased to pick up the Boston Globe and read this, by the way. It really reads like a scolding, which he certainly doesn't deserve. Perhaps the phrase “damaged goods” was unfortunate, but honestly, he does seem quite upset, and is just revealing his disillusionment. I would imagine he is thinking about their sex life and wondering just what she learned where. As you say, it seems like an uphill climb from here.

  • AT

    3. Is a woman who sleeps with a few people without knowing her own motives less capable of a real relationship than a woman who sleeps with 35 while knowing exactly what she wants from each encounter?

    I totally agree with what you said with regard to this question. I've had more relationships when I was single than my husband did, ergo, I had more sexual experience than he had. But he was able to overlook it because he was able to see the context of my sexual experiences, that is–they all (bar one bout of experimentation wherein I quickly realized I was never going to be the sort of woman who could have sex without strings) happened within long term monogamous relationships. (He was my 7th, and final boyfriend, and I didn't sleep with all of the men I was with)

    With 35 sexual partners (and let's face it, maybe more) it's obvious a lot of these were random hookups, so Conflicted is right to be wary. I'd actually think the woman who sleeps with far fewer men is MORE capable of a real relationship if these happened within exclusive monogamous set-ups, than one who's had a lot more. If all your life you've had nothing but random hookups, or it shows you preferred them for instant gratification (coming from validation that men found you attractive) rather than waiting for a long term set-up, what can you bring to the table vis-a-vis long term relationships?

  • 3dshooter

    I think you may be over analyzing the situation. If you meet someone who is truly sincere then their past is just that – the past (sans STD's). People change throughout their lives and if you meet someone who demonstrates character values you value then accept their past as the past. Some gals go from stripper's to Sunday school teachers over the course of their lives [personal experience with this, and I'm an atheist to boot]. Just as some guys go from drifter/biker types to career oriented dad's [personal experience with this one too].

    I know that there are those who will argue that people 'never change', but the reality is some do and some don't. You've just got to be able to discern which is which . . . After all are you looking at someone for 'who they are' or 'who they were' (the latter being entirely subjective). If you find yourself more concerned with 'who they were' then maybe your real concern is with 'who you are.'

  • ExNewYorker

    I don't think it's an issue of “people never change”, but rather that people stay in their routines unless some significant event changes their habits. Heck, it took a vision from heaven to get Saul to become St. Paul, so large scale character changes, like a stripper to Sunday school, can happen. But then again, I could win the lottery tomorrow night…yet that doesn't mean I can buy the Bentley tomorrow morning, before the lottery drawing.

    It's an issue of odds. With some situations (like the stripper to sunday school), the odds are against you, and yes, I can hit blackjack. But it's better to go with the odds in your favor. That sounds cold and calculating, but guys are results oriented, and “who they were” is a pretty good indication of “who they are” and “who they will be”. Past is prologue, after all…

  • bobb

    Conflicted's relationship was perfectly fine until his girlfriend told him about her sexual history. It is only the knowledge of the 35 partners that bothers him; there is nothing to indicate that there was any problem at all before she told him. Anything else we can say about this relationship is speculation. We don't know if he has different values or if he is just being a hypocrite. We don't know what her motivations were and whether or not she has really changed.

    They both could have issues that would hurt the relationship, but the simple knowledge of those partners should not prevent two rational people from proceeding with a relationship. The idea that you would refuse to trust someone based on their sexual history is insulting, especially after establishing enough trust to want to move in together. Telling him everything about her sexual history should have been a path towards strengthening that trust and being completely open. I think it's pretty funny that people think that she would voluntarily bring up the subject and then lie by giving a smaller number.

    I am offended by this article's implication that a promiscuous woman really does become “damaged goods” and that she is gambling with her hope for a stable relationship in the future. If she really has changed her ways and Conflicted can't get past that then he has is own problems to work out. Suggesting that he is somehow justified is just perpetuating that prejudice.

  • Pingback: Yoga For Your Health()

  • susanawalsh

    AT, this is perhaps the heaviest toll that hooking up will exact from the current generation. Doing the fertility math, it seems inevitable that many couples will marry with little relationship experience. Perhaps it won't make much of a difference – certainly couples who married at 21 a generation ago didn't have much of a track record. But when you leap pretty quickly from a decade of random hookups to a monogamous relationship and then marriage, one has to wonder about the relationship skills around communication that have never been fully developed. It will be interesting to see what happens to the marriage and divorce rates in the next 20 years.

  • susanawalsh

    3dshooter, I do think you're onto something there re Conflicted's concern being rooted in who he is. He pretty much says he wishes he wasn't so burdened by his own response. He is really having trouble processing this revelation, but is worried that if he ends their relationship, he'll regret it for the rest of his life. His reaction to this news IS a reflection of the sum total of all of his experiences, upbringing, past relationships, etc. He expresses a desire to stay with her and get over it, but he's struggling to do that.

    Conflicted has felt extremely compatible with this woman from the start. Now he says that if he had really known the truth from the beginning, he would not have perceived that level of compatibility. This happens all the time. Single people meet others that they don't give a shot to, because they honestly don't perceive the relationship has potential to be special. It's unfortunate that he loves her, yet acknowledges he bought into something without full disclosure.

    The real lesson here is that men and women should clear the air on any issue that might be a potential dealbreaker. His assumption that she had limited sexual experience was clearly a fantasy on his part. I'm sure he won't make that mistake again.

  • susanawalsh

    Hi bobb, thanks for weighing in here. First, I'll be the first to agree that we have limited information here. Nearly all city newspapers have columns for love and dating advice, and there's never really enough information provided to make a confident recommendation, IMO. This is no exception. We don't even know if she volunteered this information in a crisis of conscience, or if he finally got up the nerve to ask her and “had a bomb dropped” on him. There is no evidence that she is guilty of deceit in any way. She didn't sell someone a false bill of goods, and I don't think anyone has implied that. This is clearly a case of caveat emptor.

    Re disclosing one's “number,” it is well known that people fudge this data on nearly every self-reported sex survey, even when the submission is anonymous. Some has gone so far as to say women halve the number, men double it. Of course, this reflects the old sexual double standard, which is still very much with us today, for the reasons I outline in the post. If she raised the issue, I agree, she probably was being honest. If however, he grilled her one night out of the blue, then “around 35″ might not be a number he can take to the bank.

    I agree that Conflicted does have some stuff to work out if he wants to stay with her. That's why if I were her, I would volunteer to go to couples counseling and try to figure it out with a dispassionate expert. It sounds like she is fine with her past, and obviously is surprised by his reaction – I doubt she knew she was jeopardizing their relationship when she shared that information.

    Look, I'll be 100% honest here, as I alluded to above. I was in my mid-20s in the 80s, the era of rampant one-night stands, a la Looking For Mr. Goodbar. My husband and I began as a one-night stand. I liked him a lot, and wanted to take it further. He demurred, in fact he gave me an explicit NO. Five months later we became a monogamous couple and it's been 25 years. Now, he never expressed what Conflicted is feeling here, and my number was nowhere near 35. However, we had some stuff to work out in the beginning, and part of it was his accurate perception that I was having some casual sex (this was in grad school, so everyone knew everyone else's business). He expressed his concern in terms of my having every appearance of wishing to avoid commitment — and that made me a risky relationship prospect. He had his own sexual past, and was not judgmental on that score. Still, it's foolishness to pretend that our sexual choices affect no one but ourselves. We have every right to them, but others have every right to their own responses to that information.

  • hambydammit

    Oh, boy.

    There's SOOO much going on here. First off, it's hitting the nail square on the head to say that Conflicted is not so much concerned with the number itself, but the values the number represents. Is a woman who voluntarily had sex with 35 people even able to commit to one for the rest of her life? That's one of the questions he's asking himself. It's a fair question to ask. She's only 26, and clearly, she hasn't had time between hookups to keep a steady boyfriend for very long. (Unless 20 of those guys were in one of those college gang bangs you always hear about…)

    I suspect that I know why Girlfriend dropped the bomb. She was warning him of how the relationship will end. I think she really likes him, and that she doesn't want to hurt him. If he breaks it off with her now, she's the bad guy, and he can leave with his purity and lovable Beta innocence still intact. She thinks she's going to hurt him, and whether consciously or not, she's warning him away. She thinks she's doomed to repeat the mistakes of her past.

    She's probably right, too.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything *inherently* wrong with having 35 sexual partners. When you get to be 40 years old, it's not that uncommon. That's a couple of long relationships and a few years of sowing wild oats. (If you start at 18, that's 22 years of having sex. If you have 4 hookups a year for eight years, that's 32 partners. That leaves 14 years for committed relationships.) But 35 in four years speaks to a reckless way of selecting partners.

    Conflicted probably isn't going to do it, but what he really needs to ask is *WHY* she was so promiscuous in college. That's a much harder question to answer than it might seem at first. A cognitive therapist would spend time with Girlfriend trying to find a core belief that drives her to seek so many short term partners. The most likely candidates are:

    * She believes herself unworthy of love and seeks constant reassurance that she's desirable
    * She was raised in a very religious environment, and has a warped sense of her own sexual identity. (There are several possibilities within this one category)

    Of course, it could be both of these things, and there could be more issues beyond these. But here's the thing. It's very rare to find a woman who has high self esteem and places so little value on her own vagina. Conflicted is probably dealing with a woman suffering from rather severe self-esteem issues.

    Then again…

    I'd be remiss if I didn't add that it's not impossible to have lots of sexual partners and high self esteem. But for women, it's not the norm. And as you say, there are good biological reasons for it. Regardless of societal values, women are instinctively programmed to know their own value. We don't teach women to be the selectors. They just are. And it's simple economics. Women who put a low price on their vagina are doing so because that's what they think it's worth — at least more often than not.

    Then again, we can't say that women shouldn't have sex with whomever they choose, or that they should impose some sort of artificial celibacy on themselves just because they haven't found a “life partner.” I certainly applaud women who, after an unacceptable period of celibacy, decide to take their sexual frustration out on either a friend or someone at a bar that they like the look of. (I'd like to personally thank several of them.) I've known several women with *very* high self esteem who simply couldn't find a man of high enough value, but they weren't about to deny themselves sex when there were plenty of men who would do just fine for that purpose. But I don't think that's Girlfriend.

    So, I guess what I'm saying in a nutshell is this: It's not the number. It's the meaning of the number, and Conflicted understands this subconsciously, even if he hasn't figured it out intellectually yet.

  • susanawalsh

    Wow, that's a VERY interesting theory about Girlfriend's motives. You may be right, but it's definitely a leap. If the scenario was one where she sat him down to share this info, then yes, she must have seen there was a good chance he would totally freak. Perhaps she is even feeling restless and sees the writing on the wall. It goes to show how a little information can produce a lot of different interpretations.

  • Kate

    Susan, I'm really surprised that you are being this judgemental and moralistic. this girl sounds like a great person and conflcted sounds like a judgemental fool if he lets her go. What a cad!

  • hambydammit

    Oh, we definitely don't have enough to go on to say for sure what her motivation is, but I'm going on the (seldom used) theory that people's actions make sense, and on the surface, waiting a year and THEN telling doesn't make much sense. That means there's more information we don't have which will make it make sense. I've seen plenty of women do just what I described — self sabotage a relationship they were afraid to either commit to or end themselves. It definitely wouldn't be a stretch.

    In reply to Kate, I don't know about Susan's reasoning, but I agree with her assessment of Girlfriend, and if you read my post, you'll see it's not moralistic or judgmental at all. It's just a realistic assessment of the KIND of person who sleeps with 35 people in 4 years. Unless Girlfriend is able to look Conflicted in the eye and say, “This is why I behaved the way I did, and now I know X, Y, Z about myself, and have worked out A, B, and C issues, so I know I don't need that kind of promiscuity anymore,” he's right to be very cautious. In any case, it doesn't matter, because from the tone of his letter, he's going to break up with her in any case.

    I've been with women who have had lots of partners (more than Girlfriend) and it was fine because I knew WHY they had done it, and their reasons were healthy enough. Again, it's not the number, it's the meaning behind the number.

  • susanawalsh

    Kate, you've been with me long enough to know that I am a very straight shooter. I'm trying to give people real information about what's going on in the sociosexual marketplace. If you read through the comments, and also a bunch of my past posts, you know that I have had times in my life when I wanted nothing BUT casual sex. And I wouldn't change that (though most of it sucked, to be honest). That's fine. A woman can choose to be with anyone she chooses. And also, she doesn't need to share her number with anyone if she doesn't wish to. It's her personal business. This woman chose to tell Conflicted, although we don't know the circumstances leading up to the conversation.

    Here's the bottom line: Men care about this issue. They do. There is a great deal of research on this subject. Men didn't usher in the Sexual Revolution, women did. Men reaped many of the benefits, but when it comes time to marry, men don't want the girl who had rampant and random sex with strangers. They don't. They feel exactly the way Conflicted feels. And in this post, I've tried to explain why that is.

    You may say, “I don't want a guy like Conflicted. He's a cad and I would never settle down with a man who didn't celebrate my choices.” That's fine. Those men are out there. But it's in your best interest to know that that pool of men is relatively small. I blog about strategy to help people get the relationships they want. It's good strategy to maximize the number of potential partners, without sacrificing your own nature. For some women, that means a lot of hookups. They may not want a relationship. But when and if they do, they need to be aware that many men will view them as “damaged goods.” That's just the way it is, unfortunately. And they're not bad men, necessarily. I think Conflicted is trying hard to find a way – he doesn't sound like a bad guy to me. As I said in the post, he's facing many millenia of evo biology.

  • Decoybetty

    Well, I asked inspector climate what he would do if I suddenly told him that I'd slept with 35 guys and he wasn't all that bothered. He said that maybe if he was super insecure he'd be worried that i'd have *that* much more experience than he does. But his response was pretty much this, “This guy's upset? His girlfriend enjoys sex, that's so much better than the alternative, he should just stop being pussy!”

    While I agree that if this guy is so bothered by this that just having a rational discussion with his girlfriend can't still his fears and doubts about her than yeah, perhaps he should get out of the relationship. But if he thought he was going to MARRY her, she's no different than she was the day before. What if she had told him after they got married would he divorce her? when you love someone, you love their whole self….or maybe I'm just naive…

  • susanawalsh

    Well, to be fair, I have had a few college women tell me their number is around 30 (and they're not done yet). And I wouldn't say they necessarily have self-esteem issues, but they do take pride in being a bit outrageous and having a good time.

    By the way, what is this fascination with the number? I never kept track of this — notches on a bedpost. Women focus on this a lot, and I'm not really sure why. I've never been asked for my number, and I don't really know what it is. For better or worse, I think some of them went pretty much unnoticed, haha. Today's generation is, however, keenly aware of this and keeps track.

    I think the real issue here is the question of promiscuity. Is it wrong? What does it mean when a woman is promiscuous, and may even consider it part of her identity? If men are instinctively repelled by a promiscuous sexual history, should that influence the behavioral decisions of women, when we know that's the patriarchal sexual standard rearing its ugly head?

    This is complicated stuff.

  • susanawalsh

    D! I am so flattered that you would bring Inspector Climate into the equation! Yay! He sounds VERY secure, and that's something we haven't really touched on in this thread. The degree of sexual security in the male is going to dictate his response, to some extent. And he makes an excellent point – she's probably pretty good in bed, haha! Maybe he should be thanking his lucky stars.

    I think that Conflicted and his gf could potentially work this out, and if they really were contemplating marriage, it's well worth considering. That would involve exploring a lot of stuff on both sides, laying oneself open to examination and revelation. This is difficult work. I'm a big believer in therapy, though, and I wish I could contact him to tell him so!

  • susanawalsh

    P.S. Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, that's easy for Inspector Climate to say, seeing as how your number is very, very looooooowwwwwwww.

  • megslife

    Everyone brings up such good points here and the point that we don't know enough. It would be nice if we could find out what happened.

    I agree with Susan I think he had one foot out the door when he was writing this and was just looking for someone to say it was ok to leave. I also don't think this is about the number, but more about the idea that Girlfriend use to like to sleep with lots of people. He has to come to terms with what type of person she use to be? I think he is probably more afraid that their values don't match up. Granted we don't know the situation, but really this is a talk they should have had at the beginning of the relationship. She had to know that this was going to be a big deal for him and withheld the information. The question is by doing this did she help or hurt herself? This is reading into the situation, but I would guess at some point they talked about the past and past relationships. Thus, it may come down to him thinking “If she is withholding this what else hasn't she told me.”( Agreeing with Hamby here she probably knew what she was doing and is self sabotaging herself.)

    I have friends that are 26 who have more then this as their number. They are all now in happy relationships. I'm pretty sure only one of them has shared her number, but at the same time all of them have been up front about their past. We are all here saying it isn't important what the number is and it isn't. It is more a question of trust. Maybe if girlfriend had been more up front about her past in month three when this was getting serious he would not have had that reaction or if she wasn't comfortable in month six. We are all focused on this idea that it is this number that he is shocked at and part of it maybe, but I would be willing to bet that it isn't just the number but the idea that she withheld something that she obviously thought was important enough to share for a year. Everything he thought he knew about this girl he was falling in love with sort of changed.

    It is unfortunate that this happened. I feel bad for both people, but I think it comes to trust issues on both sides and has less to do about experience in bed. She didn't trust him enough to trust him with her past and now he feels that he doesn't know and can't trust this girl. It sounds like they have a good relationship going and hopefully they can work through these problems.

  • Dilithium

    Without necessarily touching questions of morality or values, one can easily frame the awkwardness in this story as a kind of culture, or class conflict.

    If we take Susan's supposition to be true, that the young man has a history as a typical beta, then he and the GF are clearly in different leagues, from different worlds. Sexually speaking, she's royalty while he's peasantry; she had, presumably, a wide choice available for the asking, while he had to scrabble for crumbs. As long as this describes most of their backgrounds, ie before they have a lot of experience together in a different setting, then theirs is in effect a “mixed marriage,” and that's enough to imagine that there will be all sorts of sources of stress that are yet to be revealed.

    To those who wrote “why should this change anything? she's still the same person as before she told him,” or the equivalent sentiment, I think you're off the beam. Yes, she didn't change in that ten minutes. But he doesn't really know that much about her, and necessarily he's not in love with her as much as he is with his mental _picture_ of her, as well as he knows her. And now he's learned a WHOLE LOT more that can and will _change_ his picture of her within those same ten minutes.

    Try to imagine a parallel situation: Suppose you and your SO are getting along great, seem to have a lot in common, and you'd always supposed without thinking that your backgrounds were similar. Now suppose he or she reveals to you that he/she is really from a very wealthy background, while you've always been working-class. Even if the person doesn't seem to be showing any incompatibility with you — at least, as yet — due to your different backgrounds, wouldn't it still give you a bit of a tremor to learn this? Yes, people from widely different classes can get along fine; but it is also true that you can expect people from different classes to have very different experiences, assumptions, expectations — and, yes, values — in areas that they have yet to discover.

    Note that this is all a worry _without_ attaching anything negative or judgmental to the young woman's past behavior. But it's unlikely that no judgements will be passed. Now that he knows the truth, how long will it be before the peasantry resents the royalty? I think the use of a loaded term like “damaged goods” is typically a desperate inversion, an attempt by the under-sexed man to insult the more-(or over-)sexed women as a way of taking out his resentment.

    Resentment is always a possibility in a royalty-peasantry encounter; but before you object to that, you should answer the questions: why shouldn't it be? In the 80/20 arrangement that Susan describes as the result of hookup culture, a large majority of men are going through living hell, the waking death of forced near-celibacy. Why shouldn't they be resentful? That's certainly not what they thought they'd be signing up for! when they moved away from home. Any man who spent his most vital years in the “bottom 80%” and who has an ounce of self-regard would have to be crazy _not_ to be resentful coming out of that experience.

    Speaking slightly off the topic of the Boston Globe story specifically, but more generally, this is a cautionary tale for all young women in the 20-27 age range who want to settle down. Just by numbers, many of you are going to be dealing with the formerly “bottom 80%” as a large part of your pool of potential partners. And the fact is, that a lot of those men are likely to be — justifiably, IMHO — bitter and resentful, with varying degrees of how well they hide it, or how well they get over it once things get better. And you, ladies, have to have an idea of how you're going to deal with that. Coming out of the 80/20 world, a lot of you will be in a similar situation (if somewhat less extreme), where you will have had a lot more partners than most of the men you're now meeting, and they will probably resent that fact once they know it. Further, these men are likely to be, necessarily, inexperienced and also at least somehow damaged — after all, they've effectively been through a kind of torture for years (and I don't think that's too strong a word), and torture damages people, no matter who they were before. And you, ladies, if you were typical for your cohort then you were a part of the system that de-valued all these men, and so don't be surprised if you find a certain amount of resentment directed, however unfairly and irrationally, right at you. Yes, this sucks! But it's an unavoidable fallout of the 80/20 system, and you will have to live with it somehow. And when things get dark, ladies, at least remember this: the unfairness and inconvenience you suffer in being surrounded with resentful and damaged men, however bad it might seem to you, is not as bad as the experience they had that made them that way.

  • aldonza

    Conflicted does sound pretty naive to me. “I don’t know a single woman who did anything remotely like that in college.” Um…unless he went to one of those fundamentalist Christian colleges, a lot of coeds were. They just weren't with him. And they certainly weren't telling him about it.

    I get what Susan's point is. The “slut factor” exists. Is it fair? Nope. Neither is it fair that a lot of my attractiveness on the dating market is dependent on youth, which is almost entirely out of my control. Fact is, there are precious few men out there who would be happy about their girlfriend having a high number. Most of them just tolerate it.

    In the long-term mating market, part of your value is having been selective in who you chose to be sexual with. If you haven't been all that selective, you've essentially reduced *his* value in his eyes.

  • susanawalsh

    Meg, you do a great job here of seeing both sides, and boiling it down to the issue of trust, which is very important. In fact, you seem like a natural at counseling….food for thought?

  • susanawalsh

    Ouch. I was with you 100% Dilithium, until this last bit, no matter how true it may be.

    First things first, though. I have to say, it's so interesting how differently men and women respond. If this comment thread is not a perfect example of that, I don't know what is! The women, including me, tend to focus more on the emotion–the hurt he is feeling, the uncertainty and upset she is going through. The men are far more analytical, almost academic in their responses. Honestly, the way you've broken this down like a case study would have earned you high praise in business school, it's brilliant!

    The question of why this should change anything is one that reflects how people feel about the tragedy here — two people who love each other madly are probably going to part ways. It's a shame, and we feel for them both; we'd like to see him find a generosity of spirit where love conquers all.

    I disagree that he doesn't know much about her. He thought he knew her through and through, and now he finds out there's a huge chunk of info he was missing, and it's a game changer. Your metaphor of royalty/peasantry is apt here, sexually speaking. It's the haves vs. the have-nots, from the guy's perspective. And he's not just feeling like a have-not vis a vis her, he's reminded that he was a have not in his college scene while she cavorted with the haves. This revelation is bound to call up the resentment you describe on more than one level.

    OK, now to the warning to women. I have no doubt that you accurately reflect here how some men are feeling. And it benefits women to understand what young men are experiencing, because I can assure you that the average girl in college is woefully ignorant of the 80/20 situation. No, it's not rocket science, but it's a construct that most young women have had no reason to consider. The average college woman sees a dearth of men who pursue relationships, and she is focused on the extreme level of intrasexual competition she is facing from her female peers for those few men.

    So, Dilithium, there are many college girls who can have sex whenever they want, but who can't find a man who will treat them with respect, or even kindness. The women are getting what the men want, but they don't value it. And the men who could provide them with what they want appear to be MIA, if they exist at all. Women are also becoming bitter and resentful, though in the female, the emotional component kicks in, and hope springs eternal. We just pick up another chick lit novel with a happy ending, and trust that our time will come.

    Both sexes are experiencing fallout, and there is great pain and suffering on both sides. In the emails I receive from men and women, the emotional tone is different, but I'd have to say that both sexes seem equally miserable about not getting what they want during the 18-25 years, for the most part.

  • susanawalsh

    Aldonza, as someone who's back out on the dating scene, you've provided a useful reality check re “conditions on the ground.” Men don't expect, or even want women to be virgins. But they do hope that the woman they fall for has been selective. Honestly, as a woman I would feel that way about a man's prior sexual experience, and that's without a double standard. When there is a very disparate level of sexual experience (royalty/peasantry, as Dilithium described above), there are numerous reasons for both parties to feel uncomfortable.

    I will disagree a bit on the question of a typical number for women in college. I think there are three groups of women. The first group are virgins, and they represent 39% of female college students, and 31% of college seniors. So a whole lot of women are in the sexual desert in college, though I doubt they're as miserable about it as the men are. The second group is women like Conflicted's girlfriend, who have a good time, go out a lot, and probably hook up with 25+ men by the time they are 22. I'd guess that group represents about 20% of the students. The remaining 50% are women who are sort of serial monogamists, if they can be. They hook up with a guy, hope it will turn into something more. That sexual arrangement can last anywhere from weeks to months, whether or not commitment ever occurs. This group is much more likely to graduate with a number around 8-12. Women who did wind up in a committed relationship for all or part of college will be considerably lower. My guess is that Conflicted could live with his gf being in either of the other groups than the highly promiscuous group.

  • synthesis

    Caring about your girlfriend's number is a holdover from an older system of courtship. Should it be discarded in today's sexual market? Perhaps, but don't whine when other holdovers like engagement rings go the way of the dodo.

  • susanawalsh

    Well, in an older system of courtship, a woman's number had better be zero. No blood on the sheets has been grounds for annulment through most of history. There are other anachronisms, like dowries, that have also fallen by the wayside in most places.

    The point, though, is that this question of men feeling threatened, jealous, or even just repulsed by a woman's abundance of sexual partners is hard-wired to some degree. All the trappings of courtship could go away, and I believe men would still retain this “bias.”

    By the way, it is worth pointing out that it's about the number of partners, not sexual experience, per se. If she'd had a committed relationship for five years, with frequent and intimate sex, he would be unlikely to object, even if he had not experienced that bounty himself. It is this idea that she was not selective, and he wonders what that says about her, and now him, as others have noted above.

  • Dilithium

    Susan — I know that historically you don't like categorical statements about sexes, like “X is the side that suffers more” or “X is the side at fault.” But statements of this kind are sometimes true, whether we like it or not.

    If I may abbreviate for speed, what you seem to be saying here is that while a lot of young men are denied the sex they want, a lot of young women are at the same time denied the love that they want, and so things are sort of equal, ie it's tough all over. Implicit in this, though, is the idea that young men don't also value love, and so don't suffer when they don't get it. And here I think you're mistaken.

    In the 80/20 system as you observe it, the “lucky,” sexy, upper 20% of men are basically all promiscuous man-whores, who sleep around freely and aren't much interested in love, since that would involve restricting their attention to one person. This much may be true, I absolutely wouldn't dispute it. But I think you make a mistake if you think these upper 20% men are seriously representative of all young men, that all young men would act this way if they were given the chance. I don't have any official survey results to hand, but from all my personal experience I would bet a great deal that a large fraction of the “bottom 80%” –maybe approaching half, which would be 40% of all young men — actually would like to have love, to be monogamous and treat girls with respect and kindness. But these men are not considered sexy, and so they never get the chance to show their good intentions.

    Remember, in the “sex-first” hookup culture that you have chronicled, a man who isn't sexy gets no shot at love, either. So I'm sorry if you find this too analytical, but it seems plain to me that a young woman who can't get the love she wants, while regrettable, is _strictly_ better off than the young man who can't get either sex or love that he might want. And these men do exist, in large numbers, even if they're invisible to most girls (and to you?).

    You will realize, necessarily, that I am disagreeing with your statement that “the men who could provide them [women] with what they want [to treat them with respect, or even kindness] appear to be MIA.” In my experience this is just plain silly and wrong. When I was younger I knew dozens of young men, decent chaps, who absolutely wanted to treat women with respect and kindness. And they weren't MIA, I assure you. They were out there every day, just like other men, trying to make eye contact, trying to start conversations, trying to get phone numbers, trying to catch an updraft of favor. The problem was, that these were typically not men that women saw as sexy, and so they never even got noticed. They're basically an invisible underclass, so much so that you don't even seem to know that they exist! Why this should be true is a different subject. But before getting into that, it's important to establish a basic truth: there _are_ a lot of kind and decent young men in the world, with good long-term potential (“dads,” as you call them), who _aren't_ MIA, who _are_ out there trying — but who are also being ignored to the point of being effectively invisible.

  • synthesis

    My comment was for those who were defending Conflicted's girl and her high number. “If your man is confident enough, he shouldn't care if you did a gangbang on film in your wilder days. He should marvel at the sexual supremacy that is woman.” I'm paraphrasing of course, but you get the picture. If you embrace the sexually liberated female aspect of the new system, you better get used to its other trends.

  • Decoybetty

    This is so true – he doesn't have to worry about this from me…but then again, he's slept with more people than I have (whose surprised?) and it doesn't bother me or freak me out.

    And when Mr. Slurpee and I broke up he told me that he had slept with “A LOT of people, like a lot” and that didn't bother me until he followed it up with “and I want to sleep with a lot more girls, too” and that's when things got uncomfortable.

    I guess I just feel like finding someone who you connect with is hard, and if this guy has found it and she's in love and totally with him, he should be wondering why he is even contemplating walking away. If her values have changed and he was wooed by them for a year…and now he's not, well, I think it's weird but it's his prerogative to change his mind.

    I don't really understand the big deal about the number either. You've written about it before – but it doesn't really seem like anyone is happy with anyone else's number. If you're a virgin guys are three quarters horrified, they want to put in just a wee bit of effort to see if they'll be the one to do the deed (but not too much because you're obviously a prude and boring and don't know how to have fun). If you sleep around then you're a slut and well, that's clearly unacceptable. I think in general sex is made too big of a deal in relationships – was it here, Susan, that I read something along the lines of “If sex is the biggest conflict in your relationship, then something probably isn't right?”

  • susanawalsh

    First, I was not saying you are too analytical — that was not a facetious comment, more an observation of just one of the differences between men and women. I find your observations right on nearly all the time, perhaps because you are an articulate, analytical and still young man. You seem to know a lot about this issue, which is why I'm always saying I find your insight useful!

    I totally get the point you are making, and I'm surprised that you think otherwise. OK, let me take this one piece at a time. First, wrt the 80/20 situation, I agree that there are probably a significant number of men in that 80% who are open or even desirous of a love relationship. That is, of course, why I'm always singing their praises as long-term partner material. I also agree that it is fair to assume the 20% wants sexual variety and nothing else, for the most part. Some of these guys will tolerate or even seeking relationships on occasion and for convenience, but it's not the norm. So we've got:

    I. 20% of men getting sex with no relationships = Extremely satisfied. Mostly natural Alphas/cads.

    II. 40% of men getting little sex w/ no relationships = Very dissatisfied. Mostly men who aspire to a cad lifestyle, and could theoretically achieve it with effective deployment of Game.

    III. 40% of men wanting both, getting neither = Extremely dissatisfied. These men make excellent prospects for relationships, and will remain unfulfilled in the long-term by tactics that get them sex without emotional engagement.

    Now the women, who are in the inverse 80/20 grouping:

    I. 20% of women who are not having sex. Some number of these (maybe 20%?) are voluntarily so, the others lack the physical attractiveness that serves to attract male sexual attention = Very dissatisfied. Most of these women are more focused on acquiring love than sex.

    II. 20% of women (and I believe this estimate is conservatively high) are happily having sex with cads = Very satisfied. These women receive considerable ego gratification and sexual validation when they are “chosen” for a hookup, even when it is just for one night. Some of them avoid relationships, others would prefer relationships, but all settle for a steady diet of casual sex.

    III. 60% of women are actively looking for a relationship, and will have sex when they believe the hookup has the potential to develop into something more = Very dissatisfied. This group tends to be overly optimistic about the character of the men they are interacting with, and many suffer the pump and dump, or hit it and quit it fate.

    You may not agree with my percentages here, but I don't think they're too far off. This means we have some good potential matches here, currently being unrealized.

    The men in Group I and the women in Group II are compatible. Of course, the men in Group I wish to pursue as many women as possible, and will continually try to score with the women in Group III.

    The men in Group II don't want relationships either, and would probably be happy to have sex with Groups II and III. Since Group II women are more likely to have low self-esteem, they are natural targets for this group of men, if the men can present as high-status. This is difficult to do, and many of these men will remain sexually frustrated in college.

    The men in Group III are probably highly compatible with the women in Group III. The current college culture does not promote easy interaction between these groups, so this potential match goes largely unrealized.

    This last group is the group that I write about the most on Hooking Up Smart, because it is the group that I feel has the most potential to meet up, in theory, and to dramatically increase their degree of satisfaction.

    I'm sorry that I offended you by referring to these III Men as MIA. What I meant is that they are often flying under the radar on campus when it comes to coed interaction. I was referring to the same thing you said – they never even got noticed. My intent was not to blame the men. However, I don't believe that this group of men is making eye contact, approaching girls to start conversations and asking for phone numbers in the way that you suggest. Eye contact is a direct and confident indicator of attraction, and it is sexy. If men were doing it, they'd be perceived differently.

    I've said before, and I maintain, that there is not a difference in the level of physical attractiveness between the 20 and the 80. Yes, the very pretty boys may be in the 20, as will the meathead types, from the sheer force of their testosterone-driven dominance. However, the 80% contains many, many attractive men, smart men, and men of good character. I know it's daunting to think of them having to step up their Game to meet women halfway. You've pointed out that they've been burned by prior experience with rejection.

    Well, the women in Group III have also experienced a lot of rejection. I also ask them to take more initiative to signal physical attraction to these men. That is difficult for women to do – we're not really programmed for it, but perhaps we can learn to do it if the perceived payoff is there.

    So you see, we have unrealized potential for relationships here. I don't know the answer, it's part of what I try to explore. I have coached women to trying pulling guys in a bit more, and I have heard mixed results, as you know. There's a whole Catch 22 element to the dilemma, and someone will have to break out of the mold. That's really why I came to embrace Game – it offers one such opportunity.

    I do believe the III's of both sexes are trying, and willing to keep trying. It's a difficult task, and I believe it will take a long time to crack the code in society. However, I like to work on the margins, on small individual changes. A couple here and there, meeting each other's friends, opening things up a bit. I believe, and I hope, that it can make a small difference.

  • hambydammit

    Yeah. Promiscuity is a complicated issue. I can't think of anything inherently wrong with a woman having lots of sexual partners. Of course, there are risks — pregnancy, STDs, etc — but there are risks to smoking, driving a car, and skydiving, and we accept that people can do these activities as long as they are willing to accept the consequences if bad things happen to them. Why would it be different for sex?

    I take a fair amount of shit for this, but I think there will always be a bit of a double standard for men and women for biological reasons. Women will by nature tend to be choosier than men, and the number of women who “sport fuck” will always be lower than men.

    I'm something of a maverick, but frankly, when I hear that a woman has been with a lot of men, I want to know two things: 1) Is she going to give me herpes? 2) If not, when does she want to go out with me? I *like* women who know what they're doing and enjoy sex. And I'm not really the marrying type, but I am the LTR type, and I'd absolutely settle down with a very experienced woman. (And no, it's not that I think she'll be easier to get in bed. That may be true, but I'm here to tell you, experienced women are generally better in bed than inexperienced women. Duh.)

    The thing you've been talking about with regard to Girlfriend is that her behavior is NOT indicative of a girl who is A) comfortable with her number (she waited a YEAR to tell a guy she is presumably falling in love with) or B) believes that her promiscuity is healthy. Like I said, I've been with very experienced women who had good self esteem, and though they didn't tell me their “number,” they made it clear that they had been with a lot, and basically told me if I had a problem with it, it was my loss.

    Incidentally, I also don't know my number. I stopped counting when it occurred to me that counting is giving legitimacy to the importance of “the number.” I've had a few girls ask my number, and I'll admit, there are some raised eyebrows when I say I don't know, but when I explain the reasoning, they're usually very cool with it.

    Maybe I'll do some digging and write a blog post on the Madonna/Whore dichotomy with men. I'll let you know if I do.

  • steveo

    Conflicted needs to ditch the slut right now. He has no future with the slut. Sure he might get to the point of marrying the slut, but the slut has destroyed her ability to see things from Conflicted's perspective (assuming that Conflicted has been one of the 80% of men totally ignored by women). If Conflicted marries this slut all that will happen is that she will see Conflicted as less of a man because of the fact that he was in the 80% and eventually divorce him. Better for Conflicted that he ditches the slut now before losing half his assets to her.

  • steveo

    Very True. I would add that anyone defending the slut's high number is a total hypocrite. Why? Because any man who is a virgin at an “advanced” age is assumed to be either gay or a pedophile. Unlike the sluts, advanced age virgins such as myself have no defenders.

    The real difference is that the sluts chose to be sluts. If they did not want to be sluts they could have changed their behavior at any time. The advanced age virgins like myself are this way because no one wants to have sex with us. IOW we are getting blamed for something out of our control, whereas the sluts are being defended for their choices.

  • susanawalsh

    Steveo, I haven't seen you in a while, and you are most welcome. But. You may not call any woman a slut on my blog. I'll let this comment stand, but consider yourself warned.

  • susanawalsh

    That doesn't ring a bell, but I'll agree that if sex is a problem in a relationship, it can be hard to fix.

    You may recall a post called Why Are You Worried About Your Number? In it, I cited a survey that asked men how many previous sexual partners for your SO is too many? 74% said over 20 is unacceptable. The next jump was to 50, and 97% found that a dealbreaker. It's just the way people feel, it's a real issue. Despite all the casual sex and hooking up that goes on, I think people want sex to be an incredibly intimate act where you lay yourself bare in every respect. And it's hard to imagine, or visualize, someone we've done that with doing it with someone else. I think it produces a feeling of jealousy in many people, even though it's all in the past. The idea of sharing one's beloved is very, very difficult.

    What Mr. Slurpee said is just gross, IMO. What kind of a goal is that? I wouldn't blame a woman who fell for him for being 100% turned off if she one day found out that's how he'd been living his life for years. Men may be more prone to these feelings of jealousy or being threatened, but women have them too.

  • Rebekah

    I think Conflicted is just that. But I think it boils down to this. Is he bothered that her number is higher than his? Hello, ego! Is he really seeing her as damaged goods? In that case Meredith had a good point. What number is TOO high? I would like to know if he has disclosed his number to his girlfriend, and what she had to say.

    Hamby might be on to something in the self sabotage department, however she could very well be thinking that her man would be understanding, and accept her past. Doesn't look like that is going to happen in this case though.

    On the flip side, let me tell you that having a number that is low is also frowned upon. I'm 33 and I have had a grand total of 4, count em 4, sex partners. Now, in my estimation someone like Hamby (just based off what you said above, nothing personal) might think that I was highly inexperienced. However, 7 of those years I was married, another I was in a LTR with, and the third someone I dated for a length of time Number for is a FWB. So yes, my number is low, but I have never had ANY complaints in bed, and am quite skilled.

    A number is a number. Motives and morals aside. People will either be comfortable with that number or they won't. No matter if it is low or high!

  • aldonza

    I do think you're right that not as many people are hooking up in the numbers that we might think from reading lay reports and blogs online. But I question that Conflicted didn't know *anyone* who did that. Perhaps he wasn't looking?

    But another issue is that we are very colored by what we see everyday. In particular, PUAs lose their objectivity by carefully selecting for promiscuous women and then judging all women as sluts. You'll see this a lot with the very successful ones who start thinking about something more long-term.

  • aldonza

    I also found some interesting data on the topic: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad362.pdf

  • susanawalsh

    Rebekah, first thing I've gotta say is Congrats! b/c last time you shared this info your number was 3, haha! I'm really glad you've got something going!

    You also do make an excellent point about the number vs. the skill. I do think it's more about his wondering what her lack of selectiveness says about her back then, and what's changed to make her feel differently now. As Hamby said, they've both got to be willing to be 100% open and honest here, but even so, there is the remaining fact that a woman's number is often of some interest to a man if he is considering marriage or even a serious relationship.

    As I said above, I was never asked this question. And I would have probably lied if I were her to be honest, because I think I would have had a sense that the truth wouldn't have gone over too well. There are some things it's just better not to share, and it's no one's business but hers unless she chooses to tell him. Of course, she good have said she didn't know, or didn't want to say, but that probably wouldn't have worked out either.

    Other than the obvious points I made about the risks of promiscuity in relationships, the takeaway lesson here is clear the air on this stuff WAY earlier than a year in.

  • susanawalsh

    My guess is that Conflicted and his girlfriend would have never even crossed paths in college. She was probably in a sorority, with ready access to that many men all the time. (That's nothing against them, I was Pres. of my own in college.) He was probably just a normal guy in campus, hoping to get lucky here and there, but without access to the parade of girls that jocks or frat guys are used to.

    Yes, the PUAs do tend to focus on “hired guns,” as they call them, or Girls Gone Wild, as I do. That's why I think Game is best when it's used to initiate an attraction that can grow into something real. For that, daytime and venues other than bars are best.

  • hambydammit

    Rebekah, without knowing more than just the number, 4, I wouldn't be able to say if you were good in bed or not, and I wouldn't try. There's a difference between experience and being good in bed. However, if a girl's had a “healthy” number of partners, and a mix of LTR and casual relationships, there's a reasonable chance that she knows a trick or two. Frankly, the only women I really worry about are the ones who say things like, “I've been voluntarily celibate for five years.” That's either a really low sex drive (dealbreaker!) or some kind of serious issue like having been raped or abused (i feel genuine compassion, but sorry… dealbreaker.)

    I guess what it really comes down to is more that I want to know that the woman I'm considering dating has had a lot of sex. You know why? 'Cause I want to have a lot of sex. Duh. Women who have made sex a priority in their life are likelier to have put in some work on being good at it. That could be with four partners or forty.

  • susanawalsh

    Wow, that's good stuff, though it's 8 years old. Here's what jumped out at me:

    1. the median number of sexual partners for women aged 25-29 is 4.
    2. Depending on race, 18-34% of women have more than 15 partners in a lifetime.

    It's pretty clear that Girlfriend is more than two standard deviations from the mean here.

  • steveo

    So we're all supposed to pretend that a woman making the rounds of the top 20% of men over and over again is sexually empowered and good for society? Really?

  • steveo

    The men in Group III are probably highly compatible with the women in Group III.

    Initially yes, but over time no. The men in Group III aren't having sex with anyone or hardly anyone while the women in Group III are having sex with lots of men. The women in Group III are intentionally separating themselves from the men in Group III and making it harder for them to relate to the men in Group III.

    I know this all too well. I have noticed that as I have gotten older women have made it harder for them to relate to me. At this point, it's clear that only a female virgin would be willing to have a relationship with me. Finding a female virgin over the age of 20 is like looking for a unicorn so my only options are virgin women between 18 and 20 which I find problematic since I have moved on from being 18 to 20, and a girl that age wouldn't want to get together with an “old guy” like me.

    Well, the women in Group III have also experienced a lot of rejection.

    No they haven't compared to the bottom 80% of men. No woman alive has experienced as much rejection as a man who is still a virgin after college much less a male virgin at 30.

  • susanawalsh

    No, I have stated that I reject the idea that sex is empowering, unless it's with someone you love. You're talking about what I call the Girls Gone Wild, and no, they're certainly not good for society.

    I just hate the word slut. Promiscuous, fine, go ahead and describe the behavior. I just don't want people getting too personal and vindictive, it's not conducive to conversation.

  • susanawalsh

    It is true that the women in Group III are having more sex, on average, than the men in Group III. However, they are pretty miserable doing so, since little of the sex has any real meaning for them, which is what most women want.

    steveo, I don't think that women have made it harder to relate to you. I get it that you are pretty unhappy about being a virgin, I understand. However, there's no way that women are going to solve that problem for you. You have to get out there. I think I steered you to Omega Man's blog before – he has actually found Craigslist to be a source that works for him. I can't tell you exactly what to do, but I do know that you need to take action to make your life better. It's the only way.

  • steveo

    On the flip side, let me tell you that having a number that is low is also frowned upon.

    Not by most guys. Of course, most guys are in the bottom 80%.

  • steveo

    As a 30 year old involuntary virgin, I have to say you are part of the problem.

    With this being the attitude of most people, I am going to lead a life of forced celibacy and virginity.

  • steveo

    What's the problem if we're talking about someone who isn't posting on this blog? Since we aren't talking about calling someone posting on this blog the “s word” (which should be verboten), then this just sounds like another form of female privilege.

    It's your blog, and I will obey, but there really isn't a difference between the “s word” and promiscuous.

  • steveo

    However, they are pretty miserable doing so, since little of the sex has any real meaning for them, which is what most women want.

    If women are so miserable having sex with lots of guys, why don't they stop? It's not like a job where if you don't work you don't have an income. There's an easy way to stop the misery. Since women don't stop, they must want to have sex with lots of guys in the top 20% and not have sex with guys in the bottom 80%. If this is not true, then why don't they change their behavior?

    However, there's no way that women are going to solve that problem for you

    A woman is going to solve this problem for me by having sex with me/being my girlfriend. I can't have sex or being in a relationship by myself.

    I do know that you need to take action to make your life better. It's the only way.

    What do you think I have been doing since I was a teenager? I have been trying over and over again for what will be two decades in a few years with nothing to show for it. I have been to craigslist and match.com and eharmony (maybe not eharmony technically since I was rejected by them), etc. All I know is the problem is getting worse as I get older and the ability of women to have any idea what is going on with my life is hitting a big fat zero.

    • myth buster

      Because they’re living a lie, that’s why. Everything they’ve been told is a lie. It’s Satanic is what it is. Like a drug addict, they love the euphoria of sex, but when they give themselves time to reflect on their past, they are miserable and wounded.

  • steveo

    the median number of sexual partners for women aged 25-29 is 4.

    Then it's really 12 since you're supposed to multiply a woman's number by 3. Especially in this case since women lie by giving lower numbers on these types of surveys (and men lie by giving higher numbers, I would).

  • steveo

    I also have a problem with the concept of OmegaMan's blog. I'm not some “omega” despite what most people think. I'm a human being with dignity and rights, dammit.

  • slumlord

    You can be offended all you want, but she really has become “second rate” goods. In her instance, probably fourth rate.

    Here's why.

    Sex is more an than an act, it's a language. A physical act with meaning. Just ask any guy or girl who can't get laid, their perception of themselves is that they are unlovable and undesirable. In fact getting laid is proof that someone, somewhere finds you desirable in the most intimate way possible.

    In a promiscuous world, virginity sucks because it is a mark of undesirability. It is the mark of ugliness when not freely chosen.

    On the other hand, sexual attractiveness validates our self-worth because because it is an outward proof that someone finds us desirable. It reaffirms, so to speak our inherent goodness. Hell is unrequited love, joy in being loved by our hearts desire.

    Now it may suprise you but not all men want to shag as many women as possible. The quick shag never appealed to me that much because it was only possession of a woman's body. I wanted to possess her soul.

    Now from the male perspective I can get commitment from my mother(and probably better cooking), friendship from my sister but only sex from my lover. Therefore what makes a relationship with my partner different from other women is that it is a sexual relationship and it's the nature of this sexual relationship that determines the quality of it. So all this crap about commitment, friendship etc are qualities I can find in other women besides my lover.

    Now a woman who has had sex with 35 men is a woman who has been a lover to 35 men, I'm just another one on the carousel. There is nothing “special” about our relationship. More importantly when she has sex with me, the implication as far as sexual attraction is concerned, I'm just as good as the 35 other men that have preceded me. Big Deal. More importantly it implies to me that this woman is not sexually discriminating, she gives away her sexual favours easily and that any particular quality found in me has been found in 35 other men. Basically when this woman has sex with me, it's no big deal. There is nothing special in her choosing to let me into her pants. What's there to get exited about in having a relationship with this woman? Nothing, lots of men have had sex with her there is no distinction in the act. I imagine there are plenty of men happy with sloppy seconds. I'm not and neither is conflicted.

    What offends is not the number, but the lack of discrimination, especially to a guy who is discriminating. Quite simply a skank's “love” is cheap. Most guys can accept a girl who is discriminating but has been duped or had errors of judgement. 35 is cultivated stupidity, inherently promiscuous or psychologically damaged. A man with other choices will not commit to this type of woman.

    On the other hand the hot chick who holds out for Mr Right and has sex with him, sends a message to him that there must be something special about him that no other man in the world has(even if she is sexually dysfunctional). Her relationship with him is unique and by its exclusivity is special. The man who gets into her pants knows that she loves him more than anyone else simply by the fact that she has not given herself to anyone else when she had the opportunity to. The male player or virgin knows that if nothing else, this woman thinks he's special. When he bangs the skank, he just one of the crowd. Nothing special.

    Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. That's why sex is a language; Eros is not just about dropping your load, but about consummation with your heart's desire.

  • susanawalsh

    I disagree. The word slut is a pejorative term and very judgmental. The word promiscuous:

    Etymology: Latin promiscuus, from pro- forth + miscēre to mix — more at pro-, mix
    Date: 1601
    1 : composed of all sorts of persons or things
    2 : not restricted to one class, sort, or person : indiscriminate
    3 : not restricted to one sexual partner

    I prefer to keep terms neutral, as I do not judge this behavior morally, just strategically.

  • Rebekah

    But exactly what is a “healthy” number of partners??

    Again that is subjective to everyone. A healthy number to you might be 10 to 20. A healthy number to someone else might be 4 or 5.

    But I also agree with what you have said, and apply the same principle to men. Just because a guy has slept with 20 or 30 women does not mean he knows how to do much more than grunt and thrust between the sheets. Sex is a learned skill, and it takes practice. I would take a man with a low number and SKILL anyday, or a guy with a high number and the mating skills of a rabbit!!

    • myth buster

      Who wants their best sex to be their first time? That means it’s all downhill from there. You have plenty of time to know and please your partner over the coming decades, if you commit to doing so.

  • susanawalsh

    slumlord, thanks for leaving a comment. That is a VERY interesting piece of male psychology you just shared. And it makes sense. Conflicted feels like less of a man because of her past experience, even though she didn't know him yet. It devalues her attraction for him to zero.

    By the way, that may not be the case at all. She may have changed her ways, and resolved to be more selective, then met Conflicted and fell hard for him. We can't assume that her feelings for him are not special, it's just that he will believe they aren't based on her past experiences.

  • dragnet

    Look. Women don't get to make the rules about what men are attracted to. Yes, you get to complain. You get to bitch. You get to moan. You even get to call us adherents to a sexist double standard, and rank misogynists, tools of the horrid patriarchy. But what you don't get to do is decide what we like. I, personally, would never commit to a woman who's had anywhere near as many sexual partners as I've had. Period. A woman who has had many cocks is less likely to be satisfied by any one of them. And I believe that a woman who has slept with 35 men has low impulse control and a whole host of other issues. No there is no official number decided upon at the Man Convention—the number is different for each guy. But that's the risk you take, ladies. Individual men make the rules for male attraction. End of story. For men, there is still a premium placed on some degree of chastity. There are a lot more men like this then you would like to believe—we're hard-wired to be this way. No it's not pretty.

    But men don't get to make the rules about what women find acceptable or attractive either. Which is why so many guys are sexless for so long. But you don't find many guys complaining. Most guys either suck it up and drop out of the dating game, stay home and play video games—or learn Game. But there is no end of complaining about the “double-standard” from women. Women need to confront this truth about men, know it's not going to change, and just get with it or suck it up. Men do it all the time.

    Women like what they like—and men just got used to it, or gave up. Well, us men like what we like. And if you sleep with 35 guys you have got to know that your long-term relationship potential is zero and that no amount bitching and complaining will change that—the same way no amount of bitching from betas is going to get women to sleep with them.

    Sorry for the rant but I feel like this really, really needed to be said.

  • susanawalsh

    So is Omega Man. He has dignity, rights, and he spends a fair amount of time blogging to help men get better access to women. If I were a 30 year-old male virgin I would definitely check it out. You have nothing to lose.

  • susanawalsh

    Nah, I liked it Dragnet. It makes me feel like I got this one right. It may not be pretty, but having a good strategy is all about understanding market conditions. If you don't know your target market, you're not going to make a sale.

    Women are free to make their own choices, which is a lot more than can be said of women in many other countries. They just need to understand all of the potential outcomes of their decisions, and the relative odds of each.

    Conflicted has made it pretty clear where he stands, and I don't think there's a guy on this thread that feels very different.

  • dragnet

    “Women are free to make their own choices, which is a lot more than can be said of women in many other countries. They just need to understand all of the potential outcomes of their decisions, and the relative odds of each.”</blockquotes>

    It's good to hear you say something like this—full stop, no qualifications or reservations. It's why I keep reading your blog. I just wish women my age were as honest as you are.

    FYI, I still don't think your tips for “hooking up smart” can be a successful dating strategy in the current marketplace—but I really wish it could be, because then we'd live in a better world. But I'm willing to stick around, keep reading and be proven wrong. In any case, it's clear you've given these things a lot of thought and that you're determined not to stigmatize or bash the free-will decisions made by men. That's quality.

  • slumlord

    Sorry Susan, you've totally missed the point.

    Conflicted is manly enough; her previous experience is not threatening to him. This isn't an adequacy or self-esteem issue. He's wierded out because he is caught between two conflicting emotions; love and desire for his partner and the repulsion of her character as expressed through her actions.
    His mind is in conflict between the girl that he thought she was and the girl that she has revealed herself to be. Her feelings really don't matter, because the issue here is one of male perception.

    Let me illustrate this by way of a silly example. Many people prefer to buy a new car over a used one, even if the used is better “value”. The “used” car just doesn't give the same “feeling” as a new one. People place a premium on exclusivity of ownership. The problem with being 36th in line, is that that sense of exclusivity is gone. There is no “premium” with this girl. I don't know why this is so hard to fathom; I don't know any woman who is happy to let her husband sleep around with other women when she is in love with him. She want's 100% exclusivity. If he said to her, “Aw honey, it's only sex with them but I really love you, our relationship is special” she'd call his bullshit. It wouldn't matter what he said, what matters is what he did.

    Now the “premium” attached to virginity should not be thought of the price paid to access unused goods, rather the premium is based on what access to the goods implies: Exclusivity, and exclusivity is the foundation of both erotic and romantic love.

    Erotic love by its nature is exclusive. The happiness in love comes not from just loving the other, but in being loved back with the same intensity. The more people love each other, the more exclusive they want that love to be.
    When Conflicted looks into his lovers eyes and thinks about the busload of men that have had their way with his beloved…….well….it just isn't the same is it. Promiscuity is not about about numbers it's about the nature of love. The love of a skank is cheap, it's no big deal.

    For love to work it has to be reciprocal. If I promise exclusivity to you I want exclusivity back, but the problem is that Conflicted's girlfriend has shown by her previous actions that exclusivity does not matter that much to her. Claims that you have changed give no comfort as someone who has changed can change again. Stability of character is the preferred choice in mates.

    Finally we express our love not just through words but through action. And it doesn't get any more intimate than sex. Sex is the language of love, it's how we express our desire of the other. When Conflicted's girlfriend is banging away at Conflicted, she telling him that she loves him. It's the same message she has given to 35 other guys before. She must be sincere, because this time it's different. Sure.

  • ExNewYorker

    I can imagine that some of the beta resentment to the promiscuity might be: “I didn't get any when she was hooking up with everyone else”. It's a bitterness that a lot of guys in their early 20's probably experience, and many never forget.

    But, at some level, a guy looking for a LTR wants a woman who hasn't been around the block 35 times. Now, the exact reason for this varies. I imagine some guys see a large number as an indication of lacking long term fidelity, or perhaps an indication of a thrill-seeking personality, or that she doesn't value herself. Maybe the guy believes that sex is important enough not to handed out on every corner, even though this day and age tries to make promiscuity into a moral imperative. Or it could just be generic jealousy (we don't like to share with other men). Some of these reasons are double standards…but that's the way it is. We men aren't obligated to “settle” for women we don't feel are worth it.

    Now, in Conflicted's case, she indeed may have changed her ways. But we don't really know. And in addition, are there any other qualities that she possessed that would make her past irrelevant? Only Conflicted can answer that for himself. In this age of 50% divorce rates, it's really incumbent on a man to be damn well sure his wife to be is worth the “Faustian” bargain, and if he has doubts now, when the bloom of romance is still in the air, then it'll be worse later.

  • angharad

    Furthermore, just because the person isn't posting here doesn't mean she won't see it. And even if she won't, or if she won't identify herself as the person in question — insulting a person behind his or her back is as bad as, if not worse than, doing it to his or her face.

  • steveo

    If you think being promiscuous is immoral then it's not a neutral term.

    We should be judgmental for a change. Being judgmental about behavior that causes widespread destruction is better than attacking people in situations that they have no control over.

  • steveo

    Honestly, you're a hypocrite. There's an army of people ready to defend promiscuous women for their behavior that is destructive to the bottom 80% of men and to wider civilization. “Old” male virgins like myself who have no choice in the matter are constantly and viciously attacked. If we're lucky we get called gay. More likely we're accused of being pedophiles. Entire movies have been made to attack us. Everyone who paid to see that movie hates men like me. Does anyone defend us? No. And we didn't choose this life.

    No one can see to answer this question. Why is it better to attack men in a situation they have no control over vs. women in a situation they are in complete control over? The answer is because its all about female privilege.

  • steveo

    I am reading his blog. Maybe I will get something out of it or maybe not. Craigslist may work for omegaman but that's because he's well endowed and can answer ads from women looking for large dicks. I am not well endowed so that won't work for me.

    I don't understand why he calls himself an “omega”. I refuse to bow down before a caste system that says everyone else is better than me. It's similar to being an untouchable in the Hindu caste system. I refuse to accept this alpha-beta-omega BS. I am not an “omega”. I am not an “untouchable”. I am a human being.

  • http://FT.com/ VJ

    I think the entire concept needs reworking & new thinking. I also tend to think that the 35 number was probably made up for some reason, whether 'self sabotage' or not. If not? It's actually likely to be higher.

    Me? I'd be a bit intrigued. “OK then, can you name any of them? Any initials perhaps if you're tying to protect them for some reason?” Suppose you get a reply back on the specifics if asked, 'Yes there was H. first in HS, then M, that Frosh year and he had some real close buds…' You'll likely know a bit more about what this all meant to her. 1.) She probably likes sex & is pretty serious about her own pleasure. [Full stop]. Now for some guys? That's still a yes, still an attractive quality to have in a younger mate. Is it dangerous or hazardous on several fronts? Sure, fine. Can You handle it? That's another question. 2.) She's likely pretty & attractive enough to acquire such attention (although this may not be wholly necessary). 3.) If she's NOT unduly psychologically 'damaged' in any discernible manner & was not 'merely' acting out to acquire such a yes, relatively high number of 'hookups', she's likely telling you this for a reason. Perhaps a 'sh*t test' to see if you'd run. Perhaps as a lead in for yet a larger more painful disclosure of some sort. (She's actually a single mom & her mom's been caring for her kid until now.) Or perhaps she's just too naive yet to know she should be actually lying about her prior experience. If it's the latter, and she's actually really trying to be honest w/ 'confused'? That's probably a 'good sign' that's she at least is serious about the relationship and considers him a 'good prospect' for a LTR or indeed a '(more) permanent mate'.

    But guys? This fixation with 'the number' or 'prior experience' is pretty ancient, but also just as ultimately futile. Thomas Hardy made a late literary career of such tweaking the far more conservative sensibilities of the Victorians more than 100 years ago with such revelations.

    So Yes, if you're IN a relationship, you'd likely want & need to know that your partner/spouse is indeed faithful. That she (and it's almost always more required of the females) is required to be 'chaste' before having honored you with her 'gifts' has ever been the dream & forlorn hopes & vain 'requirement' of more serious engagements in & for many 'formalized' pairings for sometime. But in actuality? This has almost never been the case in reality, almost anywhere, at any time. Not for non human primates, and not even for most of our ancestors. Any glancing familiarity with history or real field biology will tell you that. Ditto for 'The Royal Bastards'. Ditto for the actual rates of abortion/'still birth' & unwed pregnancies throughout history. It's been remarkably high and quite broadly similar to today for centuries actually. Even during the 'priest ridden' Middle ages. A goodly portion of the population never really 'lived' up to these lovely 'lilly white' ideals on female chastity, perhaps easily half at any given time, depending on circumstances. Depending on the definition of chaste.

    [See 'Marriage a History': http://stephaniecoontz.com/books/marriage/ ]

    So in other words perhaps hope for the best & prepare for the worst. Your lovely intended might have more experience than you do. At many things. Quite a bit more maybe. Mostly this 'traditionally' was the sole prerogative of the male, despite the inherent dangers of venereal diseases & death in prior ages. Still, if she's willing to tell you why, and regard such episodes as yes, deeply unfortunate 'youthful indiscretions' that should perhaps tell you something. That she's aware of this primary concern, and that she's willing to 'confess' it to you. And that she's concerned and cares about your reaction too. Now what you do with that knowledge is up to you. If she's not been infected by anything, is nor too embittered or 'damaged' by the experience, (it can happen) then what of it? What else does she 'bring to the table' besides more sexual experience? Is she likely to be perhaps the 'hottest babe' that some otherwise 'lowly beta/omega' might score? Can she learn & grow with you? Is she likely to have cast off the person she was and to have matured into someone who now knows what she wants & that 'a warm steady supply of strange dick' is not now or any longer one of these? Can you satisfy her needs in this regard?

    Lots of questions suggest themselves. Plenty to give anyone pause perhaps, but then again also some tantalizing opportunity too. Let's face it, Catherine O’Hara is still hot & funny all these years later. Her oft played foil Eugene Levy, is well a reliable, hardworking deebish character actor. But he's also more talented than you are too. So he may get the gals, but unless you're very talented, or very rich? The cute young sexy gals that come along wanting to play house with you will be few and far between. And at 29? That might represent a universe of perhaps only one too. So never look a gift horse in the face too closely. Even if it once contained plenty of Trojans. That's reality sometimes. It's not the discernible quality you get to argue at great length over. It's simple 'presence or absence', and the likelihood that some 30 YO might be able to 'score' a sexy 26 yo in the near future. Or indeed ever again. Cheers, 'VJ'

  • http://FT.com/ VJ

    I'd like to also add, parenthetically that I blame 'The Golden Girls' for much of this too:

    http://christwire.org/2009/10/the-golden-girls-

    Cheers, 'VJ'

  • susanawalsh

    Thanks, dragnet. You're a super smart dude, so I feel like earning your respect is huge, and I appreciate it. Having been a strategy consultant for many years, I'm really all about explicitly determining your objective, taking a look at the environment, assessing the likelihood of various outcomes, and implementing the best plan.

    You speak to the environment, or current marketplace, and I agree with your assessment. The way that hooking up smart can lead to a relationship, in my view, is pretty straightforward. We need to catch Girlfriend's attention while she's still in college, probably feeling pretty crappy about all the random hookups she's having: lots of mediocre sex, hangovers, walks of shame, and then the ultimate indignity of finding out she is now dead to the guy when she sees him on campus. If Girlfriend could learn from her experience, which is not unreasonable to assume (though I agree that many girls don't), then she might notice Conflicted on campus. Obviously, even at the age of 21 he has everything she could want in a man. And if Girlfriend wasn't blackout drunk four nights a week at a frat house, Conflicted might see her out and about.

    Ultimately, the sociosexual marketplace today provides the most rewards for alpha males. Women are essentially acting against their own best interests. It is unlikely to change anytime soon, but as long as there are guys like Conflicted around, guys who women will indeed choose once they wise up, there's no reason some women can't wise up sooner.

  • susanawalsh

    So never look a gift horse in the face too closely. Even if it once contained plenty of Trojans.

    Oh, VJ, welcome back, we've missed you! You say much that is sensible here. The question is, though, can men get past caring about the issue of prior sexual experience? It's true that premarital sex is nothing new, and you may recall the Thanksgiving post I wrote reveal that up to 50% (!!!!!!) of the Pilgrims had sex before marriage. What IS new is the number, the sheer magnitude of partners women have free access to for sex.

    Fifty years ago, and back all the way to the beginning of time, a woman with this many partners would have had to have been a prostitute. Literature treats many of these women with some sympathy, as:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooker_with_a_hear

    Sexual behavior has changed a lot more quickly than our ability to adapt to the new mores.

  • susanawalsh

    WTF? Oh boy, I wish this was satire. About the author:

    Stephenson Billings is an Investigative Journalist, Motivational Children's Party Entertainer and Antique Soda Bottle Collector all in one special, blessed package!

    Please protect us from motivational children's party entertainers!

  • susanawalsh

    OK, slumlord, some thoughts, I want to understand this better:

    I totally get the perception that she has been frequently “used” by other men. The female is the gatekeeper to sex, and she has not been selective. She spent her college years with the gate wide open. You claim, and I agree, that Conflicted is repulsed by what this says about her character.

    However, people make poor decisions, they learn, they change. She was honest with him, and sought to reassure him that her character has changed. If he knows her well, and loves her for who she is now, then why would he not be able to accept her as the woman he loves today? Yes, stability of character is reassuring and highly desirable. But there are few of us who have an unblemished past, and in the current sociosexual environment, there are few women who have remained chaste in hopes that Mr. Right would come along. Indeed, women who are determined to remain virgins until marriage will have a small pool of potential suitors, because they've priced themselves out of the market. Conflicted may not be a man whore, but men who value sex in a loving relationship and are willing to be celibate until they find that special woman are very rare.

    In the analogy you provided, you talk about a woman not wanting a man to sleep around when she is in love with him. Of course not! But that's not the case here – when she made these choices, she didn't even know Conflicted existed. Perhaps if she had met him at Freshman Orientation, he life would have played out very differently, with a monogamous college relationship. Perhaps she spent her youth on a used car lot, and potential buyers would come in and take her for a test drive. Then a guy came in who had saved up for a car of his own, and thought she was the sweetest ride ever. It's all in the eye of the beholder, no?

  • susanawalsh

    We men aren't obligated to “settle” for women we don't feel are worth it.

    This is the critical point. This says it all. Women can be offended, they can rant about the double standard, and they can make a stand on principle. But they cannot force a man to choose them.

    If women want to find a life partner, they need to be aware of both the prerequisites and the dealbreakers from a male perspective. In the end, it's really a numbers game, all the way around.

  • synthesis

    Christwire is satire, although sometimes it's hard to tell because the Christian Right is so hyperbolic to begin with.

  • angharad

    I agree that older virgins are unfairly attacked and made fun of all the time and I don't think that's acceptable either. Please don't make assumptions about my beliefs and use your assumptions to declare me a hypocrite. I don't think any frequent readers or posters on this blog have called (or would call) older virgins unnatural, or pedophiles, or gay, or anything of that nature.

    To get back to your comments on promiscuity: I don't think that promiscuity in and of itself is necessarily destructive. I think that having lots of unprotected sex with strangers is destructive, and I think that employing any deception in the course of having sex is destructive, and I think that pursuing a sexual relationship with someone who wants more than that is destructive. But a person's “number” doesn't tell us *anything* about the nature of that sex. Even if the sex is frequent, that doesn't necessarily imply that anyone was hurt or deceived.

  • susanawalsh

    Whew, that's a relief, haha. It's pretty good as satire, because it's just a little bit more out there than some of these evangelical types.

  • Mike

    They both could have issues that would hurt the relationship, but the simple knowledge of those partners should not prevent two rational people from proceeding with a relationship. The idea that you would refuse to trust someone based on their sexual history is insulting, especially after establishing enough trust to want to move in together. Telling him everything about her sexual history should have been a path towards strengthening that trust and being completely open.

    I am offended by this article's implication that a promiscuous woman really does become “damaged goods” and that she is gambling with her hope for a stable relationship in the future. If she really has changed her ways and Conflicted can't get past that then he has is own problems to work out. Suggesting that he is somehow justified is just perpetuating that prejudice.

    This is wishful thinking. Reality is reality and your value system isn't going to change reality. As others have pointed out in this thread, we are talking deep hardwired programming here into the male psyche from tens of thousands of years of evolution. 50 years of feminists successfully imposing a new value structure on society isn't gong to change thousands of years of evolution.

    I'm less concerned about the girl's number then Meredith's answer, and perhaps Conflicted's willingness to accept her answer as to what he “should” feel rather then what the core of his being is telling him he is feeling.

    In this regard, the Internet and the presence of Game and MRA on the Internet is having a powerful impact by educating men and providing another source of information and perspective beyond what the editorial pages and the cultural Marxism of academia says is the way one should think and believe if “enlightened”.

    There are practicalities here as well. The more “slutty” a woman has been prior to marriage the more likely she is to cheat while married. Not every one, but the probability is shifted that way. Plus, sex as a bonding mechanism is much more powerful in women….except once they've had a huge number of sexual partners and their bonding hormones are essentially degraded. It is like building up a drug tolerance. When you are #3, #4, #5 sex creates and sustains an emotional bond to you. When you are #35 or #50 you are just another c**k and the same hormonal bonding simply isn't there.

    I really don't care if a woman sleeps with 35 guys, 50 guys, 100 guys, but I do hope that in general the Conflicted's of the world do not give them the time of day from a long-term commitment perspective. Incentives drive behavior. I suspect the worm will turn here but probably not for another 10-20 years.

  • Mike

    I think the real issue here is the question of promiscuity. Is it wrong? What does it mean when a woman is promiscuous, and may even consider it part of her identity? If men are instinctively repelled by a promiscuous sexual history, should that influence the behavioral decisions of women, when we know that's the patriarchal sexual standard rearing its ugly head?

    This is complicated stuff.

    Just my opinion, but it is always useful to view things through the prism of economics, supply/demand, and realizing it is always a marketplace.

    Is it wrong? I don't know. Religion answers that question, but I'm not religious.

    Given the underlying reality that men are in fact hardwired to be repelled by substantial promiscuity, should women consider that or modify their behavior. I guess it depends.

    Look, you said it, 20% of guys are *ucking 80% of the women. Not sure if that is exactly right, but it is pretty close. So you've got the market for short-term hookups and casual sex, and the market for long-term committments and marriage. Obviously, the bottom 70%-80% of guys can't compete at all in the short-term hookup market. The top alpha guys will gladly bang anyone maybe 3-4 points below them. So a 9 guy will have sex with a 5-6, and in many cases the 5-6 girl will gladly have sex with the 9 guy under the naive assumption she may actually be able to land him as a boyfriend or LTR. LOL.

    So where does that leave sluts in the long-term marketplace? Well, for the most part they won't be able to get long-term committment from the top guys in terms of looks, wealth, confidence, other alpha characteristics, but they can “settle” for that bottom 70-80% that have been in sexual poverty. That bottom 70-80% really has no other choice except remain single and celibate. So in aggregate women who are very promiscuous will most likely still be able to get long-term committment if that is what they want, but not from the elite guys who really have no reason to settle for them.

  • Mike

    Susan,

    I did want to commend you on exploring and addressing many of these men/women and sexuality issues in a very balanced way. I don't recall where I discovered your blog, maybe a link over on Spearhead but you've written alot of excellent stuff. I think your attempt to view some of this from the male perspective (and I mean how men really honest to goodness think in the core of their beings, and not what society is trying to inculcate as proper thinking) is particularly admirable.

  • Mike

    Steveo

    If you want to make progress here, really truly honest to goodness progress, then you need a plan of action. First how do you look. Everyone can take themselves up 2 to 3 points.

    1. Join a gym and start a workout program. Putting on some muscle will make boost your self-confidence and self-esteem and make you more attractive.

    2. If you wear glasses, lose them, and get contacts.

    3. Find someone who knows style who can get you dressed right

    You have to look the part.

    Then you need to start practicing social skills. Start with super easy shit like simple eye contact, a smile, and a hi and that is it. Just keep walking. You have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run.

    I've been where you are. I graduated college as a virgin. I lost my virginity and had my first girlfriend at the age of 22. I am 36 now and went on to have a pretty successful 14 years although a good chunk was 2 long-term monogamous relationships. I have no doubt I could have racked up triple digits if I really wanted.

    You can change. But you have to want it and be 100% dedicated. Regarding the working out, just do it. You will feel 1000% better if you get in shape and at the least have a somewhat muscular body. I guarantee it. And although women are not primarily looks oriented being muscular with broad shoulders certainly doesn't hurt.

    And learn Game. I use game principles in my LTR all the time. It works.

  • steveo

    Whenever the “s word” is used, there's an army ready to defend the promiscuous woman. When male virgins are attacked over something they have no control over there's complete silence from non-virgins. When it comes to defending virgins from attacks that are much more vicious than the “s word” (such as virgins are pedophiles) non-virgins aren't willing to stand and be counted. It all sounds hollow to me without proof of action.

    But a person's “number” doesn't tell us *anything* about the nature of that sex.

    Yes it does. A person with a high number has no self control and has a high probability of having an STD. A high number is a guarantee of having HPV for example. And other STDs, many of which won't kill you, but are very painful. More importantly, a person with a high number is unable think ahead for the next five minutes not to mention the longer term. A person with a high number is running a game that is highly destructive to wider society. A woman with a high number is effectively saying the bottom 80% of men should go away and die since she has no use for them.

  • slumlord

    But there are few of us who have an unblemished past, and in the current sociosexual environment, there are few women who have remained chaste in hopes that Mr. Right would come along.

    It's not about being unblemished, rather it's about the type and degree. No one is perfect, but the young girl who has slept with 2-3 men before her partner is in a different category to one who has slept with 35. Girlfriend is not even statistically normal. This is literally statistically deviant behaviour.

    If he knows her well, and loves her for who she is now, then why would he not be able to accept her as the woman he loves today?
    a) He clearly didn't know her well because as he found out more about her he became repulsed.
    b) Who she is now is a very unwise way to judge a persons character.
    Character is a disposition, feelings are transient. Suppose a man has a high paying job and wants to take out a small loan. The credit officer assess risk by looking at his current capacity to pay and his credit history. Past performance is an indicator of future behaviour, its human nature. Protesting loudly and passionately that you promise to pay back all your debts because you've changed will not cut the mustard with a good credit officer.

    But a more deeper level not paying off your debts is a sign of a bad character. There is something wrong with such a person, something flawed. Its a stain on a person's nature and it's very difficult to love a person for their faults, even past ones. A lot of women for instance, would find it very difficult to form a romantic attachment witha reformed paedophile, no matter how sincere he is, since his past behaviour still continues to offend. Some things are easier to overlook than others.

    But that's not the case here – when she made these choices, she didn't even know Conflicted existed.

    So the argument here is that she had to sleep around with 35 guys till she found the one she loved? Ummm…I don't buy that for one second. She slept around in college for who knows what reason, but she definitely wasn't looking for Mr Right at the time. Fucking 35 other men was a means to gain who knows what psychological benefit, but it wasn't an effort to find Mr Darcy. She's not normal.

    What fucking 35 men means is that sex is a means to some other ends, be that the satisfaction of satiating desire with some random stranger, intellectual curiosity, self-validation, status etc. It's sexual behaviour taken outside of its appropriate context. i.e a relationship.

    No what this woman has shown is she spreads her legs too easily given the right circumstances. Something which is a sign of bad character. Men want to commit to ladies and not whores. And one of the marks of a lady is discretion, and discretion implies self-control. Intrinsic to the idea of femininity is a sense of grace, elegance, discretion and good sense. A woman slutting around displays none of these. She is less feminine and therefore less desirable as an object of romantic love.

    Remember what matters here is not how she feels about confused, it's how Confused perceives her. She may have the most pure and noble intentions towards him but if he perceives her a skank, then he will find her less desirable. It's wired into our natures.

    Note this isn't absolute, some guys are quite prepared to look over a woman's past. Prostitutes have found husbands but these guys have never been at the top food chain. The best don't settle for second best.

  • susanawalsh

    OK, I am in full agreement here. I was actually playing a bit of devil's advocate above..

    I say below that Girlfriend is more than two standard deviations from the mean here, since in the 25-29 age group the average number of partners is 4. Not every guy will feel as Conflicted does if here number is 6, or 10, or whatever. It does become a question of what's intolerable, and 35 is indeed a high number. That's the reality.

    Your pedophile metaphor is an apt one, though somewhat extreme and repellent. It's a question of how one judges morality. If Conflicted feels that she has been immoral in the past, she is a very bad risk for any future, because she is likely to manifest that immorality in various ways, not just wrt sex.

    Few people would equate her morality with that of someone who has harmed children, but again, the key point is how Conflicted feels, not how we believe he SHOULD feel. In this post I am alerting women than Conflicted is not unusual. She is the statistical anomaly, not him.

    We agree, what is relevant is how men perceive women who are promiscuous. Women need to understand this before they “go along to get along” in college.

  • darktruth707

    Re the studs vs sluts “double standard”.

    Women and men are opposite evolutionary designs thereefore identical behaviors hold opposite value and opposite behaviors hold identical value.

    Therefore, there is no double and unequal standard, but an opposite and equal standard. Sexual experience is valued in men while devalued in women, and sexual inexperience is devalued in men while valued in women. It has always been this way. Whores are the natural social equivalent of beta males, and madonnas are the natural social equivalent of alpha males.

    Due to the sexual revolution (contraception, abortion, feminism) the values of whores have been artificially inflated way above that of beta males, who are actively degraded by feminists (little dick, can't get laid, lives in mommy's basement, etc). Women are no longer devalued for promiscuity but in fact celebrated. While virginal beta males who “can't get laid” are viewed as the lowest life form – nerdy, scary, unhealthy, etc. Alpha males are extremely valued, as well as madonnas who are always valued. IOW, beta males are by far the biggest losers of the sexual revolution, which is why they will (mark my words) be the driving force behind the next big cultural and sexual revolutions.

  • susanawalsh

    Darktruth:

    1. Beta males are not degraded on my blog, ever, including those who have shared being virgins, or having lost their virginity very late. I welcome the perspective of men struggling to find a connection with women, just as I welcome the perspective of women looking for men of good character.

    2. Promiscuous women may be getting cheered from the sidelines by grateful men, but this post illustrates that there may be a reckoning in due course. They may be at an extreme disadvantage for long-term mating.

    3. Madonnas often feel that they struggle to maintain the respect of others in a culture that endorses rampant casual sex. Again, there are several female virgins who have spoken of their lives on this blog, and I can tell you the potential pool of suitors for these women is frustratingly small.

    4. Beta males are indeed the biggest losers of the SR, followed by Alpha females. There will be a sea change, there has to be, at some point. Personally, I am more than ready for the pendulum to swing back. It won't be pretty for relationships, but I look forward to changes that bring more men and women together throughout society.

  • susanawalsh

    Hi Mike, welcome and thanks for commenting. I'm with you on Meredith's answer – I believe it reflects a feminist agenda that is unrealistic and ineffective. I personally doubt whether Conflicted is going to be directed by her response, which I found flippant and scolding in tone. She essentially questioned Conflicted's character based on his reponse, which I find pretty outrageous.

    Re the degradation of bonding hormones, I have heard that from another reader recently, but I've never read that in any of the studies. Just as estrogen maintains is effectiveness in the female body over many years, so too does oxytocin (the bonding hormone) when orgasm occurs, or when nursing an infant, for that matter. I would agree that Girlfriend's past is fair game for concern, and he has every right to express his reservations and see what she has to say, but I don't think we can say that she is physically or biologically compromised in any way.

    Re the pendulum swinging back, I'm inclined to agree. 10-20 years would be great, actually. My own kids are living through this very dysfunctional era, sexually speaking, and my hope is that the next generation will enjoy better opportunities.

  • susanawalsh

    Mike, haha, a fellow economist at heart! Bring it!

    Your analysis of the current sociosexual marketplace is 100% correct. I have described it exactly this way myself.

    Re the long-term prognosis for promiscuous women (don't say SLUT on my blog please, no value judgments), I hear from many guys in that 80% who are bound and determined not to accept women who turn to them once they are “used up” by Alphas. They would rather forego marriage. Time will tell, but women who literally embrace cads through their 20s may well find that men of good characters will take a pass even when they get the chance.

    By the way, while the 9 guy is having sex with 5-6 women, 7-10 women are in the sexual/relationship desert. They're big losers as well in this climate.

  • susanawalsh

    Wow, I sincerely appreciate the compliment! I believe that there is no truth to be found in political correctness. The current generation of women in their 30s and 40s received some very bad advice along the way about their social and sexual lives. I believe that there is a large population of women who want sex in the context of relationships, and who want a good man, if they can find him! I know there is a large population of good men who are extremely frustrated socially and sexually. These groups are natural partners, we just need to find a way to connect them up. Let the Alphas cavort with Girls Gone Wild. The rest will be the backbone of society and family in this country if they can connect.

  • angharad

    By saying that a woman who sleeps with many many men “is effectively saying the bottom 80% of men should go away and die since she has no use for them,” you are saying that if A chooses not to have sex with B, then that is a transgression against B. Now, B might have hurt feelings, and that is understandable, because being turned down for anything is unpleasant. But suggesting that A has done anything *wrong* would mean that B is *entitled* to sex from A, which is in no way true. There would be appalling consequences to this notion (rape would cease to be a crime, for example, because rapists could claim to be entitled to sex from their victims).

    As far as STDs are concerned: you are assuming that someone who has had many sexual partners is having unprotected sex with them. It's true that it's never possible to be entirely safe — a pastor who has only ever had sex with his wife is at some risk — but it's not a “guarantee” of anything. 95% of the adult population has HPV, which obviously isn't a good thing, but it's obviously not confined to promiscuous people. Fortunately, now there are vaccines for the most harmful strains. But, again, while there are many women and men who have unprotected sex with many partners, it is inaccurate to extrapolate that ALL women (or men) who have had many partners have done so in a reckless manner, without regard for their/their partners' health or well-being.

    And the assumptions that a person who has slept with many partners has an unhealthy lack of impulse control or an inability to plan for the future are a.) unsubstantiated and impossible to measure, and b.) frankly, irrelevant, since if a person, male or female, is having protected sex and is communicating respectfully with his or her partners, then as far as I'm concerned, no harm is being done. You may disagree, and state that harm is being done to the people that that person is *not* sleeping with, but in that case I'd revert to my point that no individual is entitled to sex from any other individual.

    I agree entirely with your point that there is a lot of intolerance in our society for older virgins, but you seem to be extending that to people on *this* website, and I don't think people here hold that attitude at all. I just think it is equally as wrong to draw unsupported assumptions about one group of people as it is to draw them about another.

  • Mike

    Re the degradation of bonding hormones, I have heard that from another reader recently, but I've never read that in any of the studies. Just as estrogen maintains is effectiveness in the female body over many years, so too does oxytocin (the bonding hormone) when orgasm occurs, or when nursing an infant, for that matter. I would agree that Girlfriend's past is fair game for concern, and he has every right to express his reservations and see what she has to say, but I don't think we can say that she is physically or biologically compromised in any way.

    I can't find the link or study at the moment but I do recall reading an article that talked about a women's ability to form an emotional bond to her partner as degraded the more sexual partners she has, but I'm not sure I'd characterize it as compromised. If true, it just is what it is.

    I'd note that super high promiscuity in males can have a negative effect as well in terms of forming a view of women that is certainly not applicable across the whole group. I started skimming through that book The Lie which I saw you referenced to. The character of Brett Keller is exactly what happens to many guys who start racking up numbers in the hundreds. A guy like that could meet the highest quality girl who is sexual but not loose and only be able to assume the worst.

    • Michael

      I can’t find the link or study at the moment but I do recall reading an article that talked about a women’s ability to form an emotional bond to her partner as degraded the more sexual partners she has, but I’m not sure I’d characterize it as compromised.

      So then people should get married as soon as they hit puberty?

      Would that actually be better?

  • Mike

    LOL, I'm a fellow MBA as well :) although I think your school outranks mine :) Talk about a shift in the marketplace. Golden ticket in the 80s and 90s. Got mine in 2001. Definitely not what it used to be but I digress

    Regarding the S-word, your request is duly noted. Just used to other forums where that word gets thrown around pretty easily.

    By the way, while the 9 guy is having sex with 5-6 women, 7-10 women are in the sexual/relationship desert. They're big losers as well in this climate.

    Yup, and this is really a combination of laziness meeting self-delusion. Generally speaking, a 8-10 woman is going to be fairly aware of her worth in terms of attractiveness. The 8-10 guys is going to have to work at least a bit. The p**** isn't just going to be served up on a platter with no effort. So he goes after the easy prey, just like the lions in the jungle go after the weakest. I'm just not sure how the average girl convinces herself this guy really wants a LTR instead of just a convenient booty call. In this respect, I think you are doing an invaluable service in bringing a level of truth and reality to woman that they don't hear elsewhere.

    You are fighting the good fight and I hope you succeed. I'm guessing you are already writing the book and getting the products ready (wink, wink) :) The market for a new approach for women isn't saturated like the men's Game market so there is definitely a first mover advantage to had. Now, I have to just try someway to apply Porter's 5 forces here. :) LOL

  • susanawalsh

    Mike, you may well be right re the bonding thing – it makes sense intuitively that the more sexual partners you have, the less meaningful any one encounter might be. I'll have to check that out – the chemistry of sex is powerful and really just being researched fully. I personally find it helpful to understand the biological differences between men and women, as that describes behavorial and emotional differences as well.

    Re guys who rack up numbers in the hundreds? What woman wants to touch these guys? I know men think that sexual attraction of the female is guaranteed for men who get lots of sex, i.e. social proof, but I think there's a tipping point here. I hear from many women who think “man whores” are just gross. There is a point at which a woman is humiliated to be the latest conquest of an indiscriminate player.

  • susanawalsh

    Mike, thx re the whole language issue. I know well how guys talk on lots of other sites. In fact, I visit some of those sites myself and am sometimes startled to see the language used by men who are such gentlemen here! I liken it to the difference in the way guys speak in mixed company vs. when they are with their buddies. HUS is definitely mixed company, which I love!

    I really appreciate your frankness on the question of how guys approach women wrt effort. It is surprising that women continually convince themselves that a man cares about them when he expresses sexual attraction. Our culture feeds this fantasy, and women also tend to enable one another out of loyalty, even when it perpetrates the deception.

    Re future marketing opportunities, I'm afraid I am sorely lacking the proper strategic vision, haha. It's the trap entrepreneur types fall into, I'm afraid – too much attention to the day-to-day, not enough to the long-term. Your first mover comment inspires me though! I do believe I may currently be the only woman in the world saying these things online!

    Re Michael Porter: my son went to high school with his daughters. He never came to a single event for parents, as far as I know. I met his ex-wife numerous times, but he was always MIA. I wonder if he's happy with the choices he made?

  • steveo

    you are saying that if A chooses not to have sex with B, then that is a transgression against B

    I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying the wholesale rejection of 40% of the human race is evidence of deep sickness.

    it is inaccurate to extrapolate that ALL women (or men) who have had many partners have done so in a reckless manner, without regard for their/their partners' health or well-being.

    STD statistics disagree with you.

    are a.) unsubstantiated and impossible to measure,

    This is solipsism pure and simple. Face it. I'm right.

    I just think it is equally as wrong to draw unsupported assumptions about one group of people as it is to draw them about another.

    Non-virgins are nowhere to be found when virgins are attacked. When it counts, the silence from non-virgins is deafening.

  • angharad

    “The wholesale rejection of 40% of the human race is evidence of deep sickness.” I think that virgins are, in general, treated abominably, and I think it's unfortunate that some people have a difficult time finding the relationships they want. But it is not the responsibility of any *individual* to not turn down any other *individual* as long as it's done respectfully. (I'm also not really sure what 40% you're discussing.)

    With regard to your responses to both the STD issue and the issue that you assert that all promiscuous people embody certain character flaws: statistics are a tool to calculate likelihood. PLEASE show me a number that indicates that every promiscuous person has an STD, because — I crunch numbers for a living — whoever is producing statistics that demonstrate 100% certainty has revolutionized the field, since no one has been able to do that yet. Statistics are NOT a way to establish universality. You can say that a certain groups tends to behave in a certain manner, but you cannot unequivocally extrapolate that finding to EVERY member of a group. That is the essence of statistics. And those are exactly the same kinds of assumptions that make you upset when they are leveled against virgins.

    And I don't know how many times I can say this, but I agree with you that older and especially male virgins are treated with contempt, but I still think that that is no excuse to attack other groups or individuals within them.

    I just think it's important to remember that groups are made up of distinct individuals who may behave very differently. Those individuals are responsible only for their OWN actions, not for actions of other members of their group. And they have their OWN personalities, motives, and beliefs, which may not be the personalities, motives, or beliefs of other members of their group.

    I think this is all I can productively say on the subject.

  • Secrets are Good

    Bottomline: Ladies, NEVER tell your numbers!

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/susanawalsh susanawalsh

      Good advice, I think. She made a major error here. However, it should be noted that many of the guys who comment regularly swear up and down that they can always tell when a woman has had a lot of partners by her behavior – lots of "tells." That would make sense if you believe that many casual flings would affect your ability to relate emotionally, or even influence your sexual behavior.

  • Len

    What the heck is a Madonna?

    Anyway, going through these posts all I have to say is this: women have learnt not to mention a single thing of their number and if they must then usually it’s a conservative single digit figure. The fact is; no one can truly tell how many men a woman has slept with unless she’s truly and unashamedly honest beyond doubt OR her figure is given via a lie detector test.

    Clearly both options are far fetched and the 80% of men will have no idea whatsoever if her number is 5 or 50. I also agree with an earlier post speaking of the double standard being inverse. So it seems to me that the promiscuous girls can have their cake and eat it too. They get lots of hookups and by age 30 settle down with the engineer or analyst and quite possibly can have more cake on the side.

    This is why so many ethnics go back to their homeland and get young girls who are virgins. But even then a virgin can turn bad if she learns the ropes during marriage and realises what she’s been missing out on all these years and starts banging the gardener/s.

    How are you meant to definitively know how much your girl has been around? You can’t! Me personally? I want a nice, simple girl with values shown in her early 20s and one has fallen under the radar so to speak from most guys. She doesn’t even have to be a glamour, just a decent self respecting girl who preferably has a number of 5 give or take. But that’s just me since my number is a massive 4. At nearly 28 that’s deplorable, I’d prefer 75-100 if I was brutally honest.

    The other thing I must ask you Susan. When mentioning your number, which in black and white is # of vaginas your penis has penetrated and vice versa, does one include prostitutes as a sex partner? I mean you are having sex with a person, it could be a male escort too (very rare for most girls I know).

    Considering many guys want their numbers to be higher than their future SO, well why not bang 50 different hookers? Or you think that’s just cheating? I mean aside from one night hookups, a man will probably fork out time and money to get the coveted “lay” with each woman, so why not just get the notches up with ease? Or is it simply not the same, a fools way out?

    Should men include sex workers in their number?Also, with respect to older virgins like Steveo, why not just take the plunge and get an escort? I know many would cringe at the notion of spening their hard earned on paying a woman to fcuk him but at least they can experience sex for once. It may be the tonic they need.

    FTR, one of my 4 was a sex worker and I didn’t like it at all. But it was probably on par with the quality of most drunken ONS people have so meh…

    The only stumbling block is Std’s and lack of real intimacy that a hookup or casual FB can bring. In those cases you’d at least be kissing, getting oral without protection and if it’s a FB monogamous to you and on the pill, sex with no protection.

    Monogamous sex with a LTR and possibly even a fb/fwb with sexual connection is always more satisfying, even though I’ve personally slept with my former ltr’s.

    Thoughts?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Hi Len,

      Sorry to have missed this comment before now. It slipped under my radar. I agree that women will revise their number downward when asked. This even happens on anonymous sex surveys. Of course, a woman with a high number is most likely to lie. In my experience, young women with up to about 7 partners will tell the truth, but it depends a lot on who’s asking, and how much sexual experience the woman thinks the guy has.
      It’s possible that some highly promiscuous women will settle down with an earnest, good man and cheat, but I don’t think it’s the norm. HIghly promiscuous women are drawn to alpha males for sexual validation, and I think most of them continue that pattern of behavior indefinitely – I think many of them will remain single or have failed marriages because they repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
      I think 4 is a good number for a 28 year old guy. I certainly don’t think it’s deplorable! You may, but a nice woman with good character will not hold that against you. There are many women who don’t go through college and their 20s chasing alphas and having indiscriminate sex. I think that by getting to know a woman, by observing her with men, noticing the way she dresses and conducts herself, you can get a good sense of a woman’s sexual history.
      Re who to include in your number, I have no idea what the rules are! I do see some guys mention this on blogs, and they tend to separate paid sex workers. Honestly, I have never even heard of a young woman paying for sex. I think you can rule that out. Why would she need to?
      As for older male virgins, I don’t know why they wouldn’t get a sex therapist or sex worker. I have heard them say that it would not feel right. They’d rather make it happen naturally or not at all.
      It sounds to me like you are a guy who would like a real LTR with intimacy, so that is what I think you should pursue. There are many women who would value that, and who don’t want a manwhore for a partner. You might like my new post comparing the PUA to the Lover.
      One thing that research has proved is that men and women both tend to grossly overestimate how much sex everyone else is having. With four partners at age 28 I’d say you are smack in the middle of the pack, and many guys would envy you. If you find a woman with a modest sexual history, and the two of you are really into each other, you’ll get experience together. It’s not like you need to come into a relationship with any kind of special technique.

      • Len

        So what do you think about men like conflicted just saying screw it (no pun intended) and try and get the 35 partners by any means necessary just to put his mind at ease? Men are very competitive like that. If I had been with 30 girls and my fiancee had been with 25-30 I’d be alright with it. Actually wait, I don’t know if I would hahaha. Because I’d be thinking of the women I slept with and comparing them to her in terms of value as a woman.

        I think 4 is actually pretty shocking, let’s be honest here. The surveys are a total joke. If you go onto anonymous forums it’s far from that. One bulletin board where you could post anonymously on the British Channel 4 sexual health website had an average for 20 year old british girls of around 15-20 which I think is pretty much on the money. Heck some of them lost their V at 13-14 with many having 30 partners before 18. Hookup culture is rife even in high school!

        A 28 yr old with above average looks should be up around 20-30 too. Do you think that’s too high or it isn’t all that much of an issue for men vs women?

        You’re right, I would like a LTR with intimacy but I’d have preferred to have had more confidence and had 30-ish notches by now with most occuring from 18-24. But of course you’d be aware from the “Does Size Matter” topic that I’m a forced celibate ie; not by choice.

        I will be practising the art of PUA game though. But just don’t want to feel like im not myself. I think it’s better to practise being a natural type alpha (by improving yourself) with the added touch of being able to approach confidently and create attraction and sexual desire with women. That way you can establish the lays but after a while one would be quite bored of it, I know I would!

        • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

          WHAT???? 20 partners by the age of 20? That is insane. Honestly, I know some wild young women, and the one with the highest number is 22, she has been with 35 men. The next highest is 21 at age 22. They are by no means typical, at least in the U.S.
          I sincerely doubt those numbers.
          More importantly, I don’t know why you care so much about a number. The one I mentioned with 35 believes that if she goes back and has sex with a guy from her past, that’s a good deal because it doesn’t count in her number. What kind of logic is that?
          If you’re just looking to rack up numbers, you’ll definitely be happier at the Game sites and attraction forums. I tend to focus on relationships. In my view, a relationship with good sex beats a string of one-night stands, but I’m aware that many men would not agree.

  • Peter Pumpkin

    I once had an intimate relationship with a 24 year old woman who I was crazy about. She admitted to 7 men when I first inquired but she had upped the admission to 12 (prior to myself) by the time the relationship ended. We are still friends. She has added several more to the known count since.

    You couldn’t peg her based on the men she had been with – she told me about all of them – and they were all over the map in size, status, education, decency. From what I could tell, she slept with men for whom she developed a strong crush. She has a strong sex drive, obviously, but she is basically a decent person with very clean habits.

    She also once admitted that she felt her conquests made her ‘popular’ whatever that means. I am assuming it means it made her feel attractive. So there is some sort of self esteem issue there – which is weird because she is very attractive.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Hi Peter Pumpkin, thanks for leaving a comment. I know several young women who have had sex with many men – by that I mean women just getting out of college who are well over 25 partners. I love them – they are smart and funny and a lot of fun to be around. Definitely decent people. But there’s something wrong there – as your friend said, there seems to be a deep need for validation. Ironically, women fail to understand that a man’s sexual attention does not mean that he likes or respects you necessarily, which is what popular means. I’m curious – did you feel that 7 was a high number? Now that it’s well over that, do you view her as someone with more sexual experience than you would accept in a partner? And finally, did the fact that the sex she engaged in was not in the context of a committed relationship bother you?

  • Peter Pumpkin

    Hello Susan. The number of men was not the problem. It was my perception that she was unwilling or unable to share her life on a fairly equal basis with a partner. She is definitely ‘high maintenance’ though not outrageously so from my perspective. I also felt that, besides good sex and a comfortable life, she didn’t know what she wanted – and this was a high risk factor. We were together for just over two years. She has since been married and divorced and has two children, one of whom is my goddaughter.

    She is now thirty-six years old. She has become very religious and I believe she has settled down, She doesn’t discuss her relationships with me anymore. I am married myself. We pray for each other. :-)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Well, it sounds like she is very fortunate to have you as a friend.

  • Pingback: Dating Service | Dating Websites | Dating Agency | Considerations()

  • Ted

    Yes, men do not want to marry a ‘hoe. Men like a good nigth stand, and are grateful in the morning while they scratch their b*lls, but that’s it. Men want the ‘hoe to leave in a hurry when their done. One night stands usally never result in a meeting Momma at Sunday dinner (….not coincidentally, the reverse probability of the woman highly regretting the encounter). Nothing wrong with sex and relationships – it’s wonderful — but hooking up has very bad consequences, mainly for the woman. Women who say otherwise are either lying or don’t know men.

  • Tom

    Ok Im about to open a caqn of worms here.
    What if Girlfiend just liked to have sex with a vaiety of men the exact way men like to have sex with a variety of women?
    Then as time went by, she grew tied of the single life, wanted to find the “one” and settle down?
    This guy who thought the world of his awesome girlfriend was right, she is awesome, NOW. The fact she has had a lot of sex with many different men has NO baring on how she has changed her prioities now.
    He said,”We dated, things went extremely well, and things have progressed to the point where we are both extremely happy and have been considering moving in together this summer when our leases end. All in all, a very normal, healthy, mutually respectful relationship that makes us both very happy. Maybe she wouldnt have been such a great catch had it not been for her past, hard to tell. But the fact is she is now a great gal who loves him and they make each other happy. Isnt that all that NOW matters?… I can guarantee you there are a ton of men out there who “think” or know they have a wonderful woman, but they do not know the whole story of that wonderful womans sexual past. That is why it shouldnt matter. Because in most cases it DOESN`T matter. She can be a wonderful woman even if she had screwed a lot of men. The damn male ego is an aweful thing. Men ONLY put preference to a womans low number because they do not want to be compared to other men, and they know with an experienced woman that could certainly happen. A wonderful woman is a wonderful woman, no matter how many men she fucked in her past.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Tom
      I see your point, and I don’t think anyone is saying that a woman with an extensive sexual past doesn’t deserve to be happy. However, many men would consider it a deal breaker. You don’t, and that’s great, especially for your fiance! The truth is, the pool of men who would consider her marriage material is small compared to the pool of men who would consider marrying a woman who had a much more limited sexual past, or one that was limited to committed relationships rather than ONSs.
      .
      Indeed, we are no longer cavemen, but there is considerable data from the National Marriage Project (Rutgers & UVA) that shows the divorce rate rises steadily and dramatically with the number of past sexual partners. Most women cannot enjoy casual sex with impunity. The stats would imply that once a woman has had a variety of sexual partners, she is unlikely to choose long-term monogamy.

  • Abbot

    “I see your point, and I don’t think anyone is saying that a woman with an extensive sexual past doesn’t deserve to be happy. However, many men would consider it a deal breaker.”
    .
    I do not think the reason men do that is important. Keep it simple. The fact is they do and why bother trying to change them if they don’t see the other “value” as being more important. Do enough women know that fact? If so, then women who do want a good man long term may consider finding that much earlier in life by requiring men to commit and maybe marry. Men would. If a woman wants to have casual sex, men would do that too but those same men will be less likely to marry her later in life. It seems that the woman want to have all this “exploration” stuff and have the marriage later too. Well, it seems its no or very limited exploration and marriage now or a lot of exploration and not much marriage prospect later. Woman dictate if and when sex will happen based on their hot guy criteria; men dictate if marriage happens later in life, for the most part, and based on their criteria. Neither man or woman can have all the control. Is not that called “balance?” or fairness or some such term.

  • a-non

    Hi Susan, i’ve been reading your site the last week or so, just wanted to say i think it’s the best [and most honest] dialogue between men and women i’ve probably ever found, and a lot of that comes down to you, the space you have created and maintained here. It’s so refreshing to see a woman trying to genuinely understand the male of the species, rather than project, judge or dismiss.
    This post is the one that speaks to me most personally, as i went through a hellish time a couple of years back with a woman – THE woman – the love of my life, THE one. I had a long history of polyamory and thought i was immune to jealousy and possessiveness – looked down, in fact, on others that felt such emotions – but the thought of her being with other men from her past took my mind over. I kept having unbearable and uncontrollable images of them together going through my mind 24/7. Sometimes she would let little details drop about her sexual past [deliberately?] and it would just destroy me. I worked so hard to deal with it and work through it every way there was but had to eventually [after a good year or two of – i repeat – Hell] concede defeat.
    There simply wasn’t a way past it. All the advice anyone gave me did nothing, less than nothing. Everyone simply said to push through it. What’s good for the goose etc. Everything i had been told about men and women and equality failed me, didn’t help at all. The only thing that began to make sense of what i’d been through was my discovery of evo-psych theory. Where i’d been beating myself up trying to be equal [meaning here ‘the same’] suddenly made sense when i realized that the ‘bad’ feelings i felt  had a specifically male biological basis and purpose, that men and women weren’t the same and that was alright.
    If i’d known that at the time and she’d known that at the time, i’m pretty sure we could have worked something out and still be together. As it was we didn’t, and i think that’s because of the false beliefs our society had been feeding us all our lives.
    It finally ended for me when she slept with someone else. She was surprised at how devastated i was at that, as i had slept with someone else too. She presumed i’d be mad for a bit then get over it, the way she would. But the thing is, no matter how much i loved her, there was no coming back from that, it severed everything. It surprised me too.
    I’m seeing someone new now, who’s wonderful and it doesn’t mess with my head so much being with her. I still shudder if i have to think of her with someone else but it’s not so uncontrollable and constant. I have less of a hard time with her sexual history, which doesn’t generally come up, and i have to say, as a word of advice to all the girls, i’m much happier that way…
     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @a-non
      Thank you for sharing your story, I really appreciate it. This is a very hard thing for men to get over. You can see in the post how completely devastated the guy is. I confess I’m surprised you felt this way despite experience with polyamory. I have always heard that jealousy is the biggest challenge with that, but I suppose it depends on whether we’re in love. If we are, then thoughts of our beloved having sex with others can be very, very painful. I will ask you one thing though – have you thought about choosing a woman who has a more modest sexual history? Many men do – as you say, there’s a strong evolutionary basis for that criterion.

  • a-non

    Hi Susan, thanks for the response – yes, i’d always been happy in the past with sexual relationships being loving, and genuine, but more like the extension of friendships, a deeper, more meaningful hug. And i still think as a day to day reality that’s a pretty good and generous way to approach living in this world. The problem is when you meet someone you have deeper feelings for, and a deeper commitment to, someone you want to build something with, and rely upon. I guess the stone-age parts of the body and brain start to kick in more urgently then, and we begin to look obsessionately for signs of abandonment [if female] and infidelity [if male].
    I do find now as i get older that i am more attracted to women with less sexual history – and i wonder now if that is at least part of why some men go for younger women as they get older. However, since it is largely unrealistic to expect that from modern women [and as pointed out in other posts here, limiting], especially in the circles i move, i tend to be content that that chapter is over once ours begins, and it is left in the past.
    I guess one of the main reasons i wanted to write here was to make the point to women that they very likely don’t – and can’t -know quite how hard it is for men to deal, on a very basic, physical, chemical level, with the thought of them being sexual with someone else. Every girlfriend i’ve ever had has always been curious about my past relationships, wanted to know lots of little details, and so better know me, i suppose. They may be disappointed when i don’t want to know about their past loves. But i don’t, i simply want to edit them out of my mind and hope it doesn’t come up. I am happy that the woman i am with is not a virgin, has had a past, has had other lovers, has had a life of her own, with [hopefully happy] experiences of her own. I just don’t ever want to think about it. This is an area which is profoundly different in boys and girls, and it would be nicer all round if the girls, in particular, were alerted to that fact. But, as i said earlier, the present politically correct interpretation of ‘equality’ has obscured that from us and given us very skewed beliefs about men and women we don’t realise are dangerously incorrect until too late.
    It’s funny, but i used to be the one giving advice on dealing with jealousy to all my friends. It’s quite humbling to be laid so low so unexpectedly. A good lesson not to judge others, though, as you may well find yourself in some very different state yourself one day, no matter how unthinkable it may seem today.
     

  • GT

    Who, in their right mind, would want to marry the campus whore?

  • Stephenie Rowling

    @a-non
    Is very interesting to see this from your point of view. I remember reading once about a guy with a wife that had an open marriage preaching that a man that things the most important part of a woman is her vagina and not her heart and doesn’t know what true love is and blah blah blah I never felt more disgusted by a man on my life and I’m pretty sure if my husband told me tomorrow that I’m allowed to have sex with other men I probably stop loving him right there. Is again one of those chemical things that we cannot help it but I wouldn’t believe a man truly, deeply, really loved me if he had no problem with me having sex with other guys, (even if he had a medical issue that wouldn’t allow us to have sex it will have to be something very extreme for him to really allowed me to let go of this idea). I mentioned that I don’t like Alpha males, but there is such a thing as being too Beta as well, IMO.

  • http://gravatar.com/geoff789 Geoff789

    @GT,
    “Who, in their right mind, would want to marry the campus whore?”
    .
    That’s a question with an obvious answer. But the question women want to focus on is “why can’t men ‘grow up’ and realize that all women are former campus whores and accept that they have no choice?”
    .
    Which is why female virgins who intend to remain that way until marriage are set upon by their co-females as hyenas set upon raw meat. I’m amazed women can’t make the logical leap that the complete opposite of the college whore is where they want to be to maximize their value in the MARRIAGE marketplace.

  • http://gravatar.com/geoff789 Geoff789

    @Susan,
    “Both sexes are experiencing fallout, and there is great pain and suffering on both sides. In the emails I receive from men and women, the emotional tone is different, but I’d have to say that both sexes seem equally miserable about not getting what they want during the 18-25 years, for the most part.”
    .
    Yeah, but the beta males are miserable because they’re expected to get no love nor sex for ages 18-30 and then get sloppy seconds/marriage AFTER the alpha males are finished with the beta’s potential wife.
    .
    The WOMEN are miserable because of their own choices.
    .
    For this issue, I have a lot more sympathy for the guys. Women can choose to be marriage-material or choose to be whores–but good luck getting to be a whore and THEN be in demand for marriage. Can’t have your cake and eat it too, ladies. In fact, when I see a story in the newspapers about another “Samantha” who has whored around since she was 18 but now wants to get married at age 42 but no alphas want her anymore–I feel a sharp bolt of schadenfreude run up my spine.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      The WOMEN are miserable because of their own choices.

      In this instance I was referring to the women who are not hooking up, and finding themselves ignored while the guys go for sluts.

  • http://gravatar.com/geoff789 Geoff789

    There’s a big difference between an alpha telling a girl “i don’t want you because you’re NOT a slut”…
    .
    …and a woman telling a beta “I just don’t want YOU.”

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Geoff
      Fair enough. Both suck though.

  • EBuss

    May he or she who did not make a single mistake in their youth cast the first insult. So “Conflicted” is turned off by these supposed 35 predecessors? Is he also turned off by the sex that they were obviously having, because, like with everything else, practice makes perfect. My own sexual past does not make me a whore, anymore than my fiance’s (yes, FIANCE’S) past makes him a player or a manslut; we both had many relationships, they didn’t work out, and this allowed us to finally find each other. The fact that my fiance’s “number” is higher than mine simply means that he had a 6 year headstart over me, but safe sex was always his highest priority, as well as mine. Sexist labels need not apply. If “Conflicted” is “weirded out” because his supposed Beloved was not safe with her 35 partners, then his sudden reservations are more than understandable. However, if the number alone is freaking him or he’s just assuming she never practiced safe sex, then perhaps his Beloved deserves someone a little less judgmental and insecure. I find it very interesting that the number of “Conflicted’s” past sexual partners never came up, and I’m sure it must have in the preceding conversation since most women rarely just blurt out their sexual history in the spur of the moment. Also, she may have been the victim of abuse at some point…Did he even bother to ask?? THE Campus Whore is the “Hostess with the Mostess,” so to speak, but we don’t know any of her classmates “numbers,” do we? I have to agree with the original response: why throw everything away over what could be the most meaningless detail ever?? This type of nitpicking is what makes us all stand in the way of our own happiness. The divorce rate isn’t rising because of the increase in past sexual partners; it’s rising because people are entering and exiting marriage for foolish reasons. True love is unconditional.

  • http://bronzesparkles.blogspot.com/ Bronze Sparkles

    My father gave me some advice a long time ago. I suspect a lot of men won’t like it, but he was looking out for the best interests of his daughter. My mother and many wise women also corroborate this: KEEP SOME THINGS TO YOURSELF. A woman is entitled to some secrets and a man doesn’t have to know everything about you. If my body count was 35 I sure as hell wouldn’t tell any man that! The only person who needs 100% full disclosure about your sexual history is your doctor. Your past is in your past and they were all your decisions. Women get punished for making certain decisions so if you have slept with many people, either get used to not having a guy who respects you, or evade or lie about your real number. He doesn’t want to know anyway and you never know how your man will take it. I’ve heard of some guys balking at a girl that’s been with 5 guys so you never know how you will be judged.

  • http://gregoryjohansson.com Greg

    As regarding Bronze’s comments, I agree that lying, per usual, is the easier solution to avoiding other people feelings. The problem with that, assuming were past morals and guilt, is that it creates additional risk. If your number is 8, and you say 4, then you risk being discovered. A man who really wouldn’t care about the number might be very concerned that you were willing to lie about relationships from ten years ago. How could you be trusted now, when the consequences of truth are even greater? Emotions seem to stem largely from evolutionary reasons, and we can call them unreasonable, but this particular emotion that men express is no different really than any emotional demand a woman might make on him. If a woman wants to make any emotional demands, (and I suspect most do) then they must acknowledge the inconvenience that men have what little emotional demands they do and understand that to a majority of men their sexual history matters. In fact, its binary: a deal breaker. there is a whole unfashionable vocabulary about this, where a woman becomes “ruined” or “fallen.” These terms are cruel, unfair, and accurate. Ultimately a man perceives a promiscuous woman the way a woman may see a cad; someone who cannot be trusted and who is incapable of intimacy.

  • Abbot

    Ultimately a man perceives a promiscuous woman the way a woman may see a cad; someone who cannot be trusted and who is incapable of intimacy.
    .
    Not to mention the *gasp* specialness you sorta expect when choosing one woman over millions. The male cad / female cad evaluation would, you would think, make it all equal. After all, a cad is cad. But fact is, in the West there are A LOT more female versions of the cad because unlike a male cad, no effort is required to have multi-person sex. No skill. No need to know seduction. No one, even on this site, can deny that. Some women, as shown by those slut-strolls, want to be respected despite how they behave sexually. And they should be. But to suggest to them that they need to return that respect to men by being slut-stroll honest when considering marriage to one will get you nowhere. All of a sudden, its not important and has nothing to do with who she is sexually. On the one hand, she is pandering to his feelings so she can get what she wants from him but on the other, she is duping him. Question is, how long can this charade that is played out daily continue before the whole shit show implodes?

  • Platero

    Um, hello, he has EVERY right to be upset about this! Ever hear of AIDS and other STDs? Given how promiscuous this woman was, there is a decent chance that she could have something. On top of that, the woman put his health at risk by not disclosing this information. I would be upset about this too if I were him and I would be angry that I had not been given information that was relevant to my own health, safety, and well-being.

    I personally am against promiscuity, be it male OR female promiscuity, and I am against casual sex. It just causes so many problems. I don’t understand why people are so quick to give up their bodies to other people: excuses like “biology” or “evolution” are given, but at the end of the day, people do have the power of the mind and the intellect and are capable of self-control; some just choose not to employ that control.

    It’s irresponsible to be promiscuous in this day and age knowing full well what the risks are, and people who choose to accept those risks also must choose to ‘read the fine print’ and accept the consequences. People should take personal responsibility for their behavior instead of finding a scapegoat and blaming their poor judgment on others. Just because you want to do something doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do, and it’s important to exercise caution and good judgment, especially when it comes to something as dangerous as sex.

    Numbers DO matter because they may have an impact on someone else’s health and safety. And yes, your partner DOES have every right to know how many people you have been with: it affects his or her health and safety, and hiding that information from someone endangers your partner. Also, there is no such thing as completely safe sex: birth control and protection are not 100% guaranteed. Even if someone does use them correctly in every instance of sex, there is a chance that something can still go wrong (and most people do not use them 100% correctly every single time).

    Situations like these could be avoided if people would just take use their brains and consider the consequences of their actions and the impact that they will have not just on themselves, but on other people.

    I do feel bad that the woman has had a past, but SHE was the one who chose to be promiscuous and also to withhold information impact her partner’s physical health and safety, so therefore she must face the consequences. If it means losing a boyfriend, well, she shouldn’t have been promiscuous and she shouldn’t have withheld information from her boyfriend that was relevant to his own well-being. It’s good that she has been trying to turn her life around, but, at the same time, you can’t really expect someone to take well to having their health endangered without their knowledge. That’s unrealistic. Again, it’s all about taking personal responsibility. If she didn’t want this to happen, (a) she shouldn’t have shacked up with that many people and (b) she should at least have been honest about it so that her boyfriend could have made an informed choice about whether or not to be with her. If her values and her boyfriend’s values don’t match, then maybe they just weren’t mean to be together and maybe they aren’t really right for each other.

    At any rate, regardless of her past, I do sincerely hope that they find happiness, whether it’s with each other or with different people.

  • Stephenie Rowling

    You know something Susan this “sexual risk” reminded me of how much does the medical community supports sluthood culture?
    I remember that when I visited my gynecologist to request a prescription for sexual tests (I asked my now husband get tested and I wanted to show good will by getting tested as well), and my ginecologist (that studied on USA and was no religious) was completely appalled of me having sex before marriage, she explained to me that 95% of women’s reproductive issues in her practice are do to sex with many partners. When I got my papanicolau here the doctor told me that if I only have one sex partner I only need the test every 3 years, contrasting with once a year for several partnered women.
    Do you have any experience with doctors about sluthood culture?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Stephenie
      Funny you should mention doctors – my best friend in Boston is the Dr. at Student Health Services at Tufts University. Recently over brunch we really got into a big debate over sexual assault on campus. The whole personal responsibility thing. She’s a lot more liberal than I am, and she has more of a woman as victim mentality. I think this is very common for American doctors. I can’t imagine an American doctor telling a woman to curb her casual sex habit, for example. They’ll just try to insure that she’s as safe as possible – no value judgments.

  • Abbot

    I would be angry that I had not been given information that was relevant to my own health, safety, and well-being.
    .
    And that well-being is ANYTHING a man defines it to be and it must NEVER be questioned [shamed, in femspeak] by anyone. Of course, that is obvious, but just to be clear.
    .
    I don’t understand why people are so quick to give up their bodies to other people
    .
    And the easier it is for somebody, the quicker and more numerous it will be on average
    .
    people who choose to accept those risks also must choose to ‘read the fine print’ and accept the consequences.
    .
    So far, consequence acceptance applies to men
    .
    And yes, your partner DOES have every right to know how many people you have been with
    .
    Only the group that has been identified as “more naturally promiscuous” would disagree with you. Why is that?
    .
    Situations like these could be avoided if people would just take use their brains and consider the consequences of their actions and the impact that they will have not just on themselves, but on other people.
    .
    Wow, what a bunch of self-entitled pseudo-empowered me me spoiled brats. Who knew.
    .
    If it means losing a boyfriend, well, she shouldn’t have been promiscuous
    .
    Holy shit! You mean the claims made on Walks, in bellowing speeches, on this site, etc. that this connectivity does not exist was a form of denial all along?
    .
    If she didn’t want this to happen, (a) she shouldn’t have shacked up with that many people and (b) she should at least have been honest about it so that her boyfriend could have made an informed choice about whether or not to be with her.
    .
    A very reasonable adult view. Why o why is there so much resistance?

  • Abbot

    95% of women’s reproductive issues in her practice are do to sex with many partners
    .
    Another inflammatory truth is alcohol consumption during prime years. Any man interested in having a family must screen a woman’s past just for that alone, never mind the “ancillary” activities that typically accompany it. More and more it turns out that its waaay to much work screening out Western women for any sort of commitment.

  • Abbot

    multiple sexual partners is thought to be a factor in women who develop antibodies to sperm.”
    .
    Makes sense. Even her own body says “tsk tsk” to Multitudes of foreign DNA. Throw in all that college and later boozing and you got quite a winner there fellas.
    .
    http://www.epigee.org/health/infertility.html

  • Abbot

    In Britain gonorrhoea in women is most prevalent in the
    18-19 year age group, and the numbers of cases have risen by
    6100 in five years. The ratio of male to female cases was
    3-2:1 in 1965 but had gone down to 1-8:1 in 1973-possibly
    a reflection of the fact that in the past more female
    infection was in prostitutes. For these “professionals” resultant
    sterility could be something of a blessing, but today most of
    the cases are in young “affluent, good-time easy amateurs,”
    and for these girls subsequent sterility can be a major tragedy.
    This is particularly so in these days of liberal abortion, when
    adoption is difficult. Furthermore, little help can be expected
    from surgery, as the success rate for surgical procedures for
    infertility due to tubal inflammation remains around 1500.
    .
    Ah, such a major tragedy. But really, what functionally separates the “good time easy amateurs” from the pros? Saves the guy a few bucks?
    .
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1674349/pdf/brmedj01462-0005.pdf
    .
    What a difference 36 years makes. Not. Except men are taking a more active role in evaluating women based on a pretty piss poor decades long track record

  • Abbot

    Well here we go. Another BC pill enabled confirmation bias regularly scheduled instruction manual.
    .
    http://www.vh1.com/video/misc/612708/single-ladies-trailer.jhtml#id=1663600

  • Stephenie Rowling

    I can’t imagine an American doctor telling a woman to curb her casual sex habit, for example. They’ll just try to insure that she’s as safe as possible – no value judgments.

    Interesting. In my country we believe a lot on preventive medicine, so usually with any treatment they advice a change of lifestyle (diet, more exercise and I will guess less casual sex…). We still don’t have an obesity epidemy (in fact my husband was surprised of how thin the population is by comparison) I do wonder how often a doctor will tell a woman, different cultures I guess.

  • Abbot

    they advice a change of lifestyle…I do wonder how often a doctor will tell a woman, different cultures I guess.
    .
    In your country, as in 95% of the world, there is plausible hope to turn her around; in the US, all hope is considered lost anyway so why bother. Doctors, as highly educated people, know better than the average person that such advice given to a promiscuous American women would fry their confirmation bias circuits. Imagine if doctors actually started en mass to do it anyway. The wrath of feminists ire would rain down on the AMA, and there is no denying that.

  • Abbot

    Oh, just another feminist “issue”
    .

    Unfortunately, short of some Herculean sensitivity raising effort, we do not have control over what men, drunk or sober, will do when presented with our drunkeness.

    .
    Oh poo poo. Lets see, how about if men are forced to take, say, Drunk Woman Handling 101. First lesson – take her photo so other guys know who to avoid later in life.
    .

    As women, we need to take care of ourselves and each other. And drinking too much too often doesn’t mesh with that goal.

    .
    Fucking too many men in concert with “drinking too much” is also a sure sign you’re not taking care of yourselves. This is unsurprisingly not a “feminist issue”
    .
    http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-girl-talk-why-drunk-is-a-feminist-issue/

  • Jasmine

    Yeah but i’ve noticed that a lot of guys fall for the sluttiest girls. They say they want a nice girl, and they get mad when they realize that the girl they love used to be a slut, but they like that about them. Sometimes they already know about it and they don’t care.. They feel connected to her by it, perhaps because they can relate, being slutty themselves… But yeah, it’s weird. Guys will diss sluts publicly and claim to want someone pure, but as someone with virtually no sexual experience, i’ve noticed that many guys are turned off by my wholesomeness, preferring someone “bad”.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jasmine
      Young guys love sluts – they put out, obvs, and are sexually experienced at knowing how to turn a guy on. They’ll even make a slut a gf to ride that sex train, though those relationships are often just slightly glorified hookups, with little real emotional intimacy or caring. When guys are young they don’t want a “good girl,” at least not yet. It’s the most desirable guys who make these choices – they are usually the target of slutty girls. Most guys, though, can’t just get a ton of casual sex, so may be more willing to be in a relationship.

      Either way, by the time men are ready to think about long-term mating, with marriage in mind, they want a woman with less sexual experience, as indicated by the guy in this post. It sounds like he probably had a lot fewer partners than his fiancee, something he couldn’t live with.

      I’ll be writing a new post shortly on why guys go for “psychos, bitches and sluts.”

  • Stephenie Rowling

    @Jasmine
    How old are you?
    The thing is that till men start looking for a relationship being “good” doesn’t pay off, is more like a long investment so unless you take the initiative to date “good” guys that want to commit, and good guys have little practice dating so you will need to learn to be more aggressive, the guys that want to date around will pick sluts, but don’t mistake sex and a short relationship with true commitment and love. Chances are the moment they are ready to put a ring on it, they will be ditching the sluts and looking for something closer to you. Of course all this is relative one or two sluts are hot enough to get away with it, but the majority are not, no matter how much they claim the men they are banging will marry them on the spot if they asked it, is pretty much just imagination, YMMV as usual.

  • CallThatSpade

    It’s a huge red flag when a girl says she has “probably been with about” X number of guys. You can be certain that whatever number she says is significantly understated. It’s also likely that she does not even know her real number – another red flag.

    Conflicted should dump her ASAP. After learning that she spent her college years on her back, it’s clear that he has lost a great deal of respect for her and is seems like he is now repulsed by her. He may be able to overlook her past in the short term. In the long run, however, he will ultimately resent her for her impurity and forever wonder how and why he ended up with such a person. (I think Conflicted already knows this and he is either seeking confirmation or he wants someone to tell him that he is being irrational so he can talk himself into accepting her.)

    Another issue which underlies Conflicted’s concerns is that his girlfriend has not really changed. Girls like that almost never change, although they almost always say they have. (Again, I suspect Conflicted knows this as well.)

    For the record, a 26-year old who has been with “about” 35 guys is an Epic Slattern. Cut your losses and bail.

  • Jasmine

    I think he’s gonna see that he loves her with/because of/in spite of her sordid past. It made her the woman she is today. That he loves. He’s going to get over it. If he’s wack he’ll keep it simmering it in his mind for a While and pull it out at the most impertinent times, or won’t be able to handle it and break up with her. If he’s not he’ll accept it, move on. It’s like in this movie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nABQ62ylNQY

    Yeah, making a long- term investment sucks. I hate that it sounds like a business transaction. I just want love but it’s always this strange game. I want sex too so can’t they just go together?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I think he’s gonna see that he loves her with/because of/in spite of her sordid past. It made her the woman she is today. That he loves. He’s going to get over it

      Doubt it. My guess is he’d already decided to end it, and was just looking for affirmation from the columnist, which he didn’t get.

  • CallThatSpade

    Hahaha Yeah, when I read the letter I thought of this movie:

  • the super enigma

    First time comment. I find things to agree with in most people’s posts in this interesting thread.

    I’m a recent college graduate in Ireland and by the sounds of it, relationships are a bit more popular here than in the US. The pattern of girls being more sexually active than most men is true. Not sure if it’s as extreme as the 80:20 ratio you suggest. Remember also that a lot of girls in college are going out with men who are older, not just with 20% of the guys in college.

    I also question the use of Greek letters to describe people, and I dislike its negative connotations – that alphas are ‘at the top’. In my experience the men in college who got a disproportionately large amount of sex don’t have enough characteristics in common to designate them all as ‘alphas’. It’s unrealistic.

    I also notice that on your blog, evolutionary psychology seems to reign supreme as a grand theory of everything in sexual behaviour. You should remember that despite the large amount of press EP gets, it remains quite a contested science.

    I agree that in most of human history, when condoms didn’t exist, a partner (of either sex) with a promiscuous past presented a major STI risk, and this legacy continues today. But I think that centuries of fetishising virginity in our culture (which is related to property inheritance) has an equally strong effect.

    To the subject at hand, I think that Conflicted would be making a big mistake to break up with a good girlfriend over this. I know myself the resentment that comes from emerging from the tortured existence that is the desert of sexual and romantic gratification, to go out with a girl whose life in retrospect looks like it was a sexual playground. But you get over it after a few months and put things in perspective.

  • the super enigma

    It might be worth expanding upon that last line a bit. The reason I believe for this widespread difference in sexual experience between men and women of equal age in their mid-20s (as myself and my girlfriend both are) is natural.

    Men find women in their early 20s more attractive than women at any other age. After that, their attractiveness fades somewhat. Women seem to find men in their late 20s/early 30s more attractive than any other men. So the time for women to have a lot of sex is in their early 20s and the time for men to do the same is in their late 20s.

    Meredith Goldstein’s dismissive response to ‘Conflicted’ was a disgrace, just thought I would say that. Dilithium’s post was very evocative also. Steveo, your anger is justified. I never would want to be silent when virgins are attacked, and I have at times, in real life, corrected young women when they say things that show they have no idea what young men go through!

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    Jasmine et al might want to read my post on men’s ladders (shameless plug):
    .
    http://badgerhut.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/ladder-theory-for-men/
    .
    It discusses why men will date slutty women but are far less likely to “commit” long-term to them. Men really do see women they’d date and women they’ll have sex with and nothing more as two totally different species.
    .
    In any case, this guy’s girlfriend is clearly into straight-up recreational sex. he’s right to be concerned. The argument “it made her the woman he loves” is a red herring. She’s a major risk for not just infidelity but a host of other commitment and thrill-seeking issues.
    .
    As for Chasing Amy, recall that Holden’s response to Alyssa’s past was to suggest they have a threesome with his best friend which nuked all of his relationships including his business.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “I have at times, in real life, corrected young women when they say things that show they have no idea what young men go through!”
    .
    Sadly I have found many young women to be completely uninterested in empathizing with young men. When the subject “look at it from a man’s point of view” is breached, their solipsism shields go up to 11. They’ve been indoctrinated into the “don’t take any shit from a man” philosophy and thinking from a man’s perspective is anathema. Not to mention they refuse to understand the apex fallacy and other cognitive biases that color their lenses. Witness Haley’s most recent post that created so much brouhaha.
    .
    I don’t have any science on this but I don’t need it, I consider lack of empathy to be a major risk factor for a relationship and displaying it usually dumps a woman down to Ladder 2 or often to Ladder 3. Why even try to have sex with a woman who doesn’t see you as human?
    .
    Now this woman I just met who is running in a prostate cancer fundraiser, that’s another story…

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    Is that Liv Tyler btw?

  • the super enigma

    Chasing Amy was a funny film. Holden was so stupid for suggesting that threesome! I think that some young women are more empathetic than others; it’s not a lost cause. They just don’t see the difficulties of rejection and the phenomenon of involuntary celibacy as obviously as we do.

  • Jasmine

    Yes we do. We get rejected all the time when the guy we like doesn’t call us, and are therefore involuntarily celibate because we don’t wanna bang n’importe qui, we need mutual respect, attraction, and emotional connection. Not so easy to find.

  • the super enigma

    Hi Jasmine, while I don’t subscribe to the ridiculous idea that all the girls in college are riding the “alpha cock carousel”, in my experience the sheer length of the dry spells and serial rejection suffered by the male students goes well beyond what most girls live with. Yes, I know this is natural and age related but that doesn’t make it easier to live with.

    I don’t want to claim that you have no idea of what it is like to feel like there is a consensus among all women that you are unattractive. Nor does it sound like you are unaware of how difficult it is to make approaches to people who attract you.

    But a lot of girls don’t have your insights.

  • OffTheCuff

    Let’s be clear here, rejecting guys who try to pick you up is voluntary celibacy.

  • SayWhaat

    Voluntary celibacy = being celibate with someone whom you would actually very much like to fuck, given that you have already established

    1. mutual commitment
    2. respect
    3. attraction

    (in no particular order)

  • Jared

    As a “beta male” (well I’m an Alpha male except I’m not too interested by sex), here are my issues with her number.

    1. She has a high sex drive and derives a lot of pleasure from it. Well, unfortunately, I don’t. Therefore, I’m not interested in marrying someone who might have bedroom issues with me.

    2. She’s not interested in a relationship during college. Even if she had a high sex drive, her number shouldn’t have been that high unless she had very few (and short) relationships. My question would be why now and why me? Is she just using me now that she wants a baby? Given her past, it’s up to her to prove that she’s changed. That might be unfair as she might have actually changed but it’s just prudent risk management for me.

    3. She hasn’t had much relationship experience. She might be sexually experienced but has she dealt with arguments between couples? Has she tried to even out the rough spots in the past? Perhaps her college behaviour was part of a strategy to avoid emotional attachment. Again, this raises red flags.

    4. Jealousy. How come those men get to have sex with her casually while I get the same amount of sex as her boyfriend? This is not rational thinking but it’s not something that’s easy for me to get over. You know, this is just my preference. It’s not different than women who can’t date guys below say 6″.

    A lot of my points are conjectures but sometimes you need to infer the truth from small clues.

  • Ruby

    Hi, I don’t understand why no one is bringing up another point about promiscuity. Women are allowed to claim sexual pleasure just as men. Or we should be allowed without all those ‘damaged goods’ issues you mentioned.
    The purpose of the clitoris is nothing but sensation. It actually outrages me the more I grow up (22 years now) that it’s not okay to be sexual, just be sexy. Hence so many women are not intune with their sexuality because it is a bit shameful. Unless he’s husband material what the hell!? I don’t care for that I just want to explore my sexual appetite and it’s outrageous people still think ‘women aren’t allowed’ to!!

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Ruby,

    You have every right to explore your sexuality in any way you’d like. And guys have every right to want to avoid a serious relationship with a girl like you. Do what you like, but don’t demand that we approve.

  • Abbot

    I just want to explore my sexual appetite
    .
    Is that another way of to say fucking? Does this exploration involve men? If so, do these men, who are part of this group you claim dont approve of your behavior, get to use your body for their own selfish sexual satisfaction. That is, do they get to use you like an interactive sex toy?
    .
    it’s outrageous people still think ‘women aren’t allowed’ to!!
    .
    Is anything anyone thinks about you or other women actually affecting any of you? If so, say how that is being done because so far nobody has proven any such thing. Who exactly are these “people” who think this way? How do you know how people think? They must be verbalizing their thoughts. What are they saying? What do you mean by “still think?” Are you referring to men? If so, they still think exactly as they have always thought and will continue to do so. Did you expect or were told or convinced by others that men have changed or can be changed? Why are you concerned about what others think anyway? Do you care about what the non-husband man is thinking when he sticks his penis in you? Why would he been under the impression that you have any thoughts going on as that manner of thinking could *gasp* lead to a respectful relationship.
    .
    Propagandacide spray in full throttle.

  • Stephenie Rowling

    @Ruby

    This is not a judgement or something to be outraged about. Let me spell it out four you.
    You have two options
    1) Follow your vagina to wherever it takes you.
    The pros:
    Lots of sex with as many men as you feel attracted to for as long as you are attractive aka young.
    The cons:
    Shrinking the potential pool of men that you can select from LTR to only the man that outnumber you sexually. Given that most women are attracted to something like 20% of men that means that you will have a lot of competition to get commitment from the same men that give you sex freely thus when you feel the need for an exclusive monogamous relationship you will have to be incredibly lucky to get it from the same pool of men that will have a longer shelf life and have more women attracted to them as the time and the women pass by.
    Thus you can whether remain alone only seeking sex or you can step down to look for men that you has less experience than you.
    This strategy usually fails because the men that didn’t had all the sex you did are more often than not unwilling to pair up with women that were attracted to men unlike them for the longest time when they have the power and men have a choice in dating market too many of them choose to retire altogether.
    Even if you can always choose to lie and tell them that you were a monogamous chances are that you are already used to a type of lover that would not be the one that you can have later and this will create discord in your relationship.

    2) Exercise prudence and pick to have sex with men only in committed relationships.
    Cons: Less sex with different men.
    Pros: A bigger pool of men to select from (and to be selected by them), with similar sex history, when you want a LTR more chances of an adequate satisfaction because you already are used to sex with the same type of men.

    Your body, your choice, your consequences. Is this a bit clearer?

  • Abbot

    Your body, your choice, your consequences.
    .
    The choices women have are very mutually exclusive. As always, they are boxed in by men’s interpretation of them. That about sums it up.

  • Eaye

    Wow, a over whole year later! Susan, I can’t believe you are still responding! Kudos to you!

  • Pingback: The Importance of Chastity « Kane()

  • Pingback: The Unused « Blogging Bellita()

  • Pingback: The Consequences of Freedom « Blogging Bellita()

  • ForkJoin

    I empathize with Conflict’s plight. Here is a woman who he thought was just absolutely perfect for him, marriage material, but what I believe he is struggling with is two-fold.

    1) His Ego
    2) Long-term risks

    As others have mentioned, his ego is most likely bruised by the fact that:

    A) If he was a beta male, her ilk most likely rejected his kind during the college years and there is a strong feeling of resentment to that category of women.
    B) She is more sexually experienced than he is as a result of her conquests and he may fear he might not provide the sexual prowess she is used to which can potentially cause friction in the relationship.
    C) That he is just another number in the “fun” line

    The long-term risks are:

    A) Due to her sexual history, she has demonstrated that she has a preference for variety and if he commits to her, her fidelity is brought into question.
    B) If they choose to have kids, how can he sure that his off-spring is actually ‘his’?
    C) Early warnings of possible self-esteem/mental health/poor decision-making issues.

    I realize some of the long-term points can be argued as a double-standard as men also crave sexual variety. However, when talking about a LTR where a family is possibly involved, no man will voluntarily commit his energies and financial resources to help raise other men’s children. Only women will truly know who the father of the child is (short of a paternity test) and for men, it’s a very big risk getting serious with the type of woman with such a loose past. Why take on such a risk if you have other options? Like someone else mentioned, quality men have better standards and won’t settle for anything less.

  • Sydney Carton

    I was a total cad that took great advantage of the hook up culture after I was heartbroken, and after getting over being “the good guy” during college.  Anyhow,. my point is that I understand the double standard that guys apply to ourselves, and have what will probably be a booed upon comment.  i know some of my girlfriend’s exes and it makes me want to hurl, but that wasn’t a showstopper.  She’s made mistakes; so have I.  However, if she had a number that anyway approached mine, it would be a deal-breaker.  And here’s why:

    Like it or not, each man a woman sleeps with hook up culture or no represents someone she was emotionally close to.  The women I slept with were conquests, but no matter how much they wanted to view it as I did, I always had to present someone they liked and could see a future with (which I am now, but as a broken emotional shell timing was terrible then).  That is why the number thing bothers guys, even former scumbags.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Sydney
      Thanks for that insight – it’s the emotional closeness. I’ve clipped and saved this.

  • Matt

    Nice post, and some great discussion here. But I noticed that a bunch of the comments focus on (and rebut) various justifications for why guys might prefer girls who haven’t slept around much, or reject ones who’ve slept around a lot.

    While there are some good points to be made there, the more useful insight is that this is probably hard-wired into the way men think. The fact that it’s such a universal trait, across all cultures, strongly suggests that it’s simply in our nature to want women (for committed relationships) who are “inexperienced” in that sense – hence the high value usually placed on female virginity.

    It’s a subtle difference, but has important consequences. Trying to justify 35 partners as being her choice, or “not slutty”, or whatever is all fine and dandy, but even a man who recognizes that still won’t be able to change his natural reaction. So the article’s point is well taken I think, regardless of the mindset of the man you’re trying to attract, if what you’re looking for is a LTR.

    Personally, I’m a man who has no problem at all with women engaging in hook-ups or serial relationships — indeed most of my female friends have had many — but I wouldn’t ever consider a woman “marriage material” if she’s been with more than a handful of guys. And virginity is a huge plus.

    Along the lines of what @Badger wrote re: ladders, I have no such expectations for a girl I’m simply sleeping with. If we’re in a short-term relationship or whatever, I can hear about her sexual history without getting jealous, and a large number of partners is no problem (indeed, the experience might do some good). But if we started getting serious about a LTR, the large number of partners would become a stumbling block. Consciously nothing’s changed, but the way I FEEL defnitely has – I’m now thinking about our relationship in a way that potentially has me giving up my sexual freedom and devoting myself fully to this one woman, and I’m genetically hard-wired to resent doing that with someone who hasn’t been chaste. Rationally I might know that she’s changed now, or that sleeping with 35 guys while single doesn’t mean she’ll ever cheat on me now, or that she’s an individual who is free to explore what she desires, or any number of other logical things. But viscerally, at a raw emotional level that’s been shaped by natural selection, I’d feel like she’s damaged goods, and not worth the price of a long-term commitment.

    So while a lot of the sentiments expressed here attempting to “debunk” Susan’s post are perfectly valid, they miss the point – regardless of whether it’s justified or not in some idealized framework, in the real world increasing your number of sex partnersWILL decrease your value, even to men like myself who are progressive and have no ethical/social objections to a woman who gets around. I wish it weren’t the case (believe me, it’d make things much easier on me!) but it’s just biology.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Matt
      Thanks for your comment. I have a question – do you ever find yourself catching feelings for a woman you’re just having sex with? Or does the short-term nature of the arrangement prevent that? Obviously, we know that many women are very susceptible to falling for a sexual partner, regardless of original intent.

  • Matt

    Hi Susan,

    Having it stated very clearly (and in detail) early on that the relationship is just “casual” or short-term definitely helps, since it serves as a reality check for both partners if/when their mind starts to explore possibilities and consider what might happen in the future. But yes, for me personally, I still have a tendency to sometimes get emotionally attached. Never too strongly (i.e. falling for someone unexpectedly), but it does happen. It tends to happen much more often with women though, as you said.

    That’s unfortunately when I start to care more about things like a woman’s sexual history. I guess subconsciously I end up spending more time thinking about her, and my primate brain starts to do that “is the energy I’m spending on this potential mate a worthwhile risk to take?” calculation, and it throws up a big red flag in the form of jealousy or disgust. I probably shouldn’t generalize this to all guys without more data, but what few times I’ve talked about it with other men, they seem to feel the same way. A previous generation might’ve said “she’s a very kinky girl, the kind you don’t take home to Mother”. :)

    And that’s a damn shame, because I’ve met a few women who might’ve otherwise been good long-term partners. But my brain is what it is, so for now I’ve yet to meet one that I feel like I could really commit to without feeling cheated.

    This is a great site, by the way. Stumbled across it yesterday and thought “oh my god, here’s a post all about men, BY a woman, that’s actually accurate!” Haha

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Matt
      Grab the feed or email subscription if you’d like. The comment threads here get really intense and interesting. Lots of input from both sexes, and many men who have expressed what you did. There’s also a Forum. Anyway, I hope you stop by again!

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Matt

    And that’s a damn shame, because I’ve met a few women who might’ve otherwise been good long-term partners. But my brain is what it is, so for now I’ve yet to meet one that I feel like I could really commit to without feeling cheated.

    Without casting aspersions, I had a question that you might be able to provide some input on. I’ve known a few guys who have these kinds of STRs with women. It’s clear that women by and large make themselves unsuitable for relationships by doing what you describe. So, what can a man do sexually to make himself unworthy of a relationship? Actual cheating? Sex with another man?

    I’m more curious than anything, because I’ve never gotten any answers to this question when I’ve posed it to other guys. It’s kind of been, “guys can do whatever before settling down”. The assumption being, there will always be a “good” woman somewhere down the road to marry. In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve never had a STR, so I don’t have the same perspective you do. Thanks!

  • Matt

    @Megaman Hmm, so basically wondering what the mirror-image of this article is that would apply to men? That’s a good question, and I guess some of the women here would need to answer it! :)

    My (totally uninformed) guess is that a man would most reliably remove himself from the pool of LTR candidates if he has a history of taking actions (or making choices) that demonstrate that he’s uncaring, unreliable/unstable, selfish, cowardly, lazy… Basically if his past conveys the image of a man lacking the qualities that traditionally made for a good and reliable mate.

    Examples: a man who ran out on his wife/girlfriend and kids from a previous relationship, or who got badly into debt due to a gambling problem, or who keeps getting fired from jobs because he regularly misses work, or who treats his female family members without respect, etc. All those seem like decent predictors of a man’s character, as it relates to a mate. Obviously people can change, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many women simply weren’t willing to invest the time & energy into a man with that kind of history.

    I’d love to hear from a woman and be corrected if I’m totally off-base there, though. :)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Matt
      That’s a good description of what makes a man unworthy of a relationship. Now if only women would stop getting with men like that! Some women can’t resist, even prefer the bad boy.

      For me, cheating is a huge red flag. Any relationship that starts with cheating is on a very rocky foundation. Also, sex with another man? OMG, that would be an immediate dealbreaker for me. Anyone looking for a monogamous LTR or marriage is probably best off avoiding bisexuals. You can’t compete on a level playing field.

  • Matt

    Oh whoops, sorry I missed the “sexually” part of your comment, which totally casts it in a different light… I have no idea there, I’d love to know though!

    I do know women who won’t date a guy if he’s a player, but it seems to be more focused on his recent history and less on the distant past. My impression is that women overall (just statistically) are less concerned with a man’s sexual history, and more concerned with his character, future prospects, etc. Surely hooking up with a different woman each night isn’t good for your LTR potential, though. :)

  • warmwoman

    Some males will disagree with me on this, but this is why I think it’s best not to go into detail about sexual histories. The last thing your man wants to picture in his head is how all of these guys worked up a sweat with you. There were a few men in another thread that said it’s best for women to be honest about their sexual ast, but I think they’re projecting their own fears of their partners possibly lying to them. I don’t blame them, because I understand that man biologically wants to think of his woman as his and not enjoyed by others. The fact is is that discussing your number will not help the relationship move forward. If your man is the most important thing in the world right now, I don’t see the point in digging up what doesn’t matter to you anymore.

    For those who say “What if he finds out? Relationships have ended on HUS for this reason”. Yes, there’s a risk of him finding out, but I know many marriages where the woman pretended to be a virgin and the husband doesn’t know she lied until this day.

    “B) If they choose to have kids, how can he sure that his off-spring is actually ‘his’?”

    Many formerly promiscuous people stay faithful in their marriage, but I can see why the man would want to be protecting himself from any risk. Nonetheless, a person with a modest sexual past can still cheat.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Matt

    I do know women who won’t date a guy if he’s a player, but it seems to be more focused on his recent history and less on the distant past. My impression is that women overall (just statistically) are less concerned with a man’s sexual history, and more concerned with his character, future prospects, etc.

    I honestly wasn’t trying to stump anybody. But I’ve often asked this question in casual conversation and have never gotten a solid answer (from guys, that is). Maybe women separate sexual behavior from the character issue, I don’t know. I would think how a man treats other women (love vs. lay) would say something about his character. There’s probably a spectrum of female preferences out there. I remember hearing about a study that discussed what women want in a marriage partner. In addition to the usual loving, affectionate, faithful, masculine qualities, it also mentioned fewer (vs. greater) number of prior partners. Who knows? One thing seems clear: women aren’t allowed to make nearly as many so-called mistakes as men.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “One thing seems clear: women aren’t allowed to make nearly as many so-called mistakes as men.”

    Yep. It’s clear biology – the woman’s body is more valuable because it carries the child; a man’s body just creates sperm, and in any event another man can be called upon to provide for and be father to the child should the original dude disappear. A “mistake” by a woman has a much bigger impact.

    Successful societies have generally protected women ahead of men ultimately for this reason, with a mixture of pedestalization and chauvinism. If women desire this chivalric protection, they have to pay the price for it, which includes the sexual “double standard” (which is not a double standard because men and women are different).

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    I’ve re-read this post a few times, and I’m still struck – 35 partners at age 26? That’s way beyond the reach of even continuous serial monogamy, that’s either some kind of sexual compulsive disorder, or straight-up recreational sex.

    Once a young woman (<26 yrs) goes above about 10 partners, she's veered square into slut territory, there's just no way she's had reasonable bounds on her sexuality that a monogamously-oriented guy would be inclined to respect.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    If women desire this chivalric protection, they have to pay the price for it, which includes the sexual “double standard”.

    I’ve always been a fan of a minimum standard of behavior that would apply to most men and women. A reasonable expectation of responsibity for all parties involved. Maybe too optimistic for the post-modern dating scene. Acknowledging sex differences is fine. I don’t think many women want to go back to the days where they had to turn a blind eye to infidelity. But I also don’t think men want to go back to the days where that had to be the sole breadwinner. I couldn’t imagine having that kind of financial pressure so squarely on my shoulders.

  • Escoffier

    To all the girls recommending lying about your number, I’d think twice about that. You’d be surprised at all the various ways he has of finding out, and not necessarily by actively looking either. If you lie and he finds out, you are done. Telling the truth is a risk but it’s less risky. And basing the whole relationship on a lie is risky in and of itself.

    Sorry to be harsh, but just about the worst thing a guy can imagine for himself is to be stuck with/married to a liar AND a slut. You’re really cheating him badly if you do that and it will likely end badly for you (and him).

    Unlike the truly hard-care MRAs at Dalrock’s and elsewhere, I do not reject out of hand the possiblity of redemption and genuine change. But if you lie about it, you really haven’t changed. You are compounding the problem. So, telling the truth will certainly limit your options but guess what. You already limited your options by sleeping around. “Woman up” and live with the consequences.

    Or better yet, to those of you would still have this option, don’t sleep around in the first place.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    Telling the truth is a risk but it’s less risky. And basing the whole relationship on a lie is risky in and of itself.

    I wonder how many guys lie about their number? Not in the sense of inflating it to impress others, but lowering it to make himself seem more “suitable” for a LTR or marriage. Particularly if he’s looking to settle down with a woman with a low partner count and hopes to have kids. I’ve heard of this happening at least once, though I don’t know if the woman ever discovered the truth.

    I think most reasonable people will appreciate a change of behavior and priorities. Sort of like a redemptive tabula rasa. Provided the past behavior wasn’t too unreasonable, I guess : )

  • Escoffier

    Well, how often do women ask the men? Way less often than the other way, for the simple reason that women care much less. And to the extent that they do care, they are as likely as not to be impressed (DHV, in game terms).

    I’ve come across many threads/posts in this sphere from guys saying “My GF was a slut and I can’t get over it!!!” but I’ve yet to see even one from a girl saying “My BF was a PUA and I can’t get over it!!!!”

    Double standard, based on innate differences. Feminism does its best to tamp it down, but fails.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    I’ve come across many threads/posts in this sphere from guys saying “My GF was a slut and I can’t get over it!!!” but I’ve yet to see even one from a girl saying “My BF was a PUA and I can’t get over it!!!!”

    My guess is that a girl might not have a problem being in a relationship with a “reformed” bad boy. It’s when she gets dumped or cheated on that she posts on a thread wondering what went wrong : )

    Just taking the double standard argument to it’s logical conclusion: Would a woman really not care if the man she was dating had already slept with all of her female friends? There’s got to be some level of sleeping around on the man’s part that turns off a big chunk of marriage-minded women.

  • Escoffier

    I think if it’s her friends, that changes the equation. As to this, “There’s got to be some level of sleeping around on the man’s part that turns off a big chunk of marriage-minded women.”

    Well, let’s ask them. Ladies?

  • SayWhaat

    Well, this is a story I’ve relayed at HUS before, but it actually happened to me.

    A few summers ago, I went out with a guy named Will*, who I had met in one of my econ classes. We went on two dates before he completely disappeared on me. I got over it in a week and the next semester, I studied abroad in London.

    While in London, I noticed unusual Facebook activity with Will and another one of my Indian girlfriends. Around that same time, Will started randomly messaging me to see what I was up to. I had no idea why he was choosing to get back in touch with me, and I told my friend Kate about the shenanigans. She advised me to ignore it all, that a guy she knew was doing the same thing. In fact, there was a guy she had slept with over the summer who had done to her what he had done to me. In fact, she had slept with this guy about a week after Will stopped texting me. In fact, this guy was Will. (We both screamed when we realized this, lol.)

    We got back to NYC and I ran into my Indian girlfriend. I asked her what was up with her and Will, and she said they were in a dating relationship of sorts. Unfortunately, I had just heard that Will had booty-called Kate when we got back and I immediately told my girlfriend everything I knew, advising her that Will was absolutely NOT dating material.

    Next thing I knew, her Facebook status had changed to “in a relationship”. With Will.

    They dated for about 6 months before he broke up with her because she was a virgin and wouldn’t have sex with him (she was uncomfortable with the number of partners he’d had).

    About a month ago, Will found out that I was still in the market and wanted to date me again. I declined. He is absolutely not relationship material and I don’t know any relationship-minded girls who would be comfortable dating him.

    *Will is a tool.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @SayWhaat

      Oh boy, that is quite a story. I don’t think I knew that Will was sniffing around again. I can’t believe you and Kate were nearly Eskimo twins! Your gf was stupid to date Will, but so, so smart to not have sex with him. It’s pretty remarkable that he hung around for six months, actually. Probably getting some on the side.

  • Isabel

    Escoffier & Megaman,

    There’s got to be some level of sleeping around on the man’s part that turns off a big chunk of marriage-minded women.

    Following are dealbreakers:

    – Past infidelity.

    – More than a dozen partners. I doubt my number is ever going to go over 3 (that’s me being a proper slag) so three x four. Four times the leeway I’ve given myself is a fair deal and even then, I’m still uncomfortable because it’s essentially against my value system. If I had a magic wand, that number would easily be half that but that’s unrealistic nowadays, even for betas.

    – Use of a sex worker. Once, twice, 100 times … it doesn’t make a difference. It’s still nasty.

    (And, no, I’m not applying the apex fallacy to betas. We’re officially the most promiscuous country in the West w.r.t to casual sex and the average man has something like 9+ partners in his lifetime. Most people I know are already in or approaching double digits despite having been sexually active for like, 4 years. )

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Isabel

    (And, no, I’m not applying the apex fallacy to betas. We’re officially the most promiscuous country in the West w.r.t to casual sex and the average man has something like 9+ partners in his lifetime. Most people I know are already in or approaching double digits despite having been sexually active for like, 4 years.)

    Are you in the U.K.? Because I read that Australia or New Zealand was worse. You have a very interesting outlook. I’m guessing an exotic STD would also disqualify someone : )

    In the U.S., something like 60% of guys have had 6 or fewer partners in their lifetime (CDC, Census). They don’t really have an incentive to lie on the really big surveys, but take it FWIW.

  • Isabel

    Megaman,

    Haha, yeah. We have the highest rates of teen promiscuity/pregnancy, obesity and sex partners in the West. At least we still win at things. =D

    In the U.S., something like 60% of guys have had 6 or fewer partners in their lifetime (CDC, Census). They don’t really have an incentive to lie on the really big surveys, but take it FWIW.

    Do you know the numbers for American women, out of interest? Damn it, I need to renew my passport.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    Do you know the numbers for American women, out of interest? Damn it, I need to renew my passport.

    For women, it’s around 75%. Assuming people are telling the truth on their Census forms, which is about as impersonal as you can get, the idea that everybody’s constantly sleeping seems exaggerated. But if somebody’s honest about having 30+ partners in his or her early 20s, that would be a huge red flag to me. The real outliers are either virgins (typically young) or those with 10+ partners. Most everybody else is in-between.

  • Isabel

    Megaman: Oh, I see. I wonder whether (some) guys overexaggerate hook-up culture just for effect, given that almost half of college aged women are virgins, and the ones who aren’t are somewhere in the under 6 region. The Samantha and EatBetrayLove types don’t actually seem to be that common. Princesses and female users are still plentiful, though.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    Oh, I see. I wonder whether (some) guys overexaggerate hook-up culture just for effect, given that almost half of college aged women are virgins, and the ones who aren’t are somewhere in the under 6 region. The Samantha and EatBetrayLove types don’t actually seem to be that common. Princesses and female users are still plentiful, though.

    There’s probably a lot of obfuscation on the ground, face to face, on both sides. The anecdotes on HUS are proof of that. I think on average, men and women probably have very similar histories and numbers (mid-single digits).

    For all the talk of men vs. women, I think deep down each gender is it’s own worst enemy. Women judge men based on their worst behavior, and vice versa. Instead of trying to find like-minded mates, people seem to go into each dating situation assuming the worst, maybe because they’ve already experienced it. Being single doesn’t sound very appealing these days. You won’t find fresh water in a poisoned well.

  • Matt

    @Escoffier

    Sorry to be harsh, but just about the worst thing a guy can imagine for himself is to be stuck with/married to a liar AND a slut. You’re really cheating him badly if you do that and it will likely end badly for you (and him)

    I heartily second this. I can totally understand the suggestion of just not bringing it up. But most guys who care about a girl’s number (i.e. most guys) are going to want to know this at some point, and they’ll probably ask directly. At that point you’ve got to either tell them the truth anyway, or dodge the question (which they’ll assume means the number is really high), or straight-out lie.

    Lying about it might sometimes work out, but it’s just plain evil. A woman might feel that she’s being judged unfairly, and her past shouldn’t matter, and she might even be right. But it’s clearly something that’s very important to her man, or he wouldn’t have asked. Regardless of how the woman feels about it, she should respect that enough to not lie to his face about something which is (to him) an important issue.

    @warmwoman: Flip it around, and imagine that you really, really wanted to have kids of your own one day. You meet a guy and get along great, and start moving toward a commitment to something long-term. One day you bring up kids, and he says that yes, he really wants kids too, and would love to start a family with you one day! How great would it be to have a little mini-you running around, after all? You end up getting married. Only years later do you find out that he’s permanently infertile. He always knew this, but just lied about it because he figured it might be a dealbreaker; in his mind, you could always adopt, so it “shouldn’t really matter” whether he can have kids himself or not, and you would have just judged him unfairly.

    I’m guessing many women would feel like this guy is a douchebag. Regardless of whether he feels like having kids should be important or not, it was clearly important to you. He should have respected that, and told you the truth. It’s not his place to decide what values you should and shouldn’t have, even if he disagreeswith them.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Matt

    You end up getting married. Only years later do you find out that he’s permanently infertile. He always knew this, but just lied about it because he figured it might be a dealbreaker; in his mind, you could always adopt, so it “shouldn’t really matter” whether he can have kids himself or not, and you would have just judged him unfairly.

    Perhaps the better analogy is where the guy already has kids with 2 or 3 other women, and never mentioned it : (

    I actually knew a couple in which this played out. The women he had had kids with were in other states, but his new young(er) wife eventually found out about it. The marriage ended badly. Enough said.

  • dunnoindc

    As I read through this entire article and the comments, I never expected a live discussion to still be ongoing. But I am glad it is!

    I am 35 years old. I am with a woman who is 26. She is at least an 8.5+. Gorgeous. Tall. Very smart. Excellent education. Family oriented. Wants babies and marriage and wants to be focused on motherhood. She cooks. Our sex is amazing. Good family.

    Thing is? at 24 (when I met her) she had had 30 sexual partners. And she started at 18 as a freshman in college.

    She has been completely faithful to me in 15 months. There have been absolutely no signs of infidelity, no reason for me to distrust her, no events of her even doing anything questionable. By all measures, she has been a perfect, adoring, doting, faithful and loyal girlfriend who wants me to marry her and give her children.

    But alas, I can not get over the high number of partners. She is high quality, therefore I assume she was sleeping with high quality men, no need to slum. Nevertheless it still bothers me.

    I myself have had 60+ partners.

    I also have been married, divorced and have two children.

    I love her, and I love the idea of more children. I wanted the family life to work out.

    But when I consider the possibility of future marriage, I see it very rightly as a risk/reward analysis and her number of partners seems very high risk to me.

    I’m scouring the web looking for guidance. I’ve been a devoted Roissy reader for two years. I know Game. I know Dalrock’s positions, and most of the other prominent folks out there.

    But I just can’t square this in my mind.

    30 partners at age 24 says RED FLAG – right?

    Or does it?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @dunnoindc

      This topic has come up again and again here on the blog. One thing that’s pretty clear is that what upsets men the most is when the woman has more experience than they do. The guy who wrote this letter was in that boat. On the other hand, I’ve known promiscuous men consider 20 partners rounding error. Since you’ve racked up a high body count yourself, and her number is half yours, I think she definitely deserves some slack. She would probably be a terrible match for a less experienced man.

      I’m not sure what you mean by high quality men. If you mean hot guys who could get lots of other women, they’re probably more likely to be diseased than anyone else. Are players high quality? A lot of women go for sociopaths, many of whom would appear as high quality at first glance.

      I am aware of the research saying that a lot of bond and break, bond and break destroys one’s capacity for relationships and I know the divorce rate climbs with the number of sexual partners. However, according to that study, my chances of a happy marriage (with 10 partners) were only 29%, yet I’ve been happily married for 27 years. That said, I worry quite a bit about the young women I know personally who have had 30 partners. None of them has had a healthy relationship history, including both family, friend and romantic relationships. I hope they will fall in love at some point and stop having sex with randoms (you can’t get to that number without randoms in the mix).

      There’s no right answer to the question. Most in the manosphere would call that a dealbreaker, but it’s a very personal decision. In the end, you have to listen to your gut, because that feeling, whatever it is, isn’t going to go away.

  • Escoffier

    “30 partners at age 24 says RED FLAG – right?”

    I would put it more like “50’x80′ SCARLETT BANNER WAVING FROM THE TOP OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING.”

    Like I said above, redemption, regret and change are possible and only the individual case mattters. However, you are playing against very bad odds here. The chance that she is way out on that right tail of those who have truly converted and will not be shaped by her past is not high. That’s something you have to assess for yourself.

    I have to say, as a pro-marriage person generally, the jaded side of me has to ask: why would someone already divorced with kids want to do that again?

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @SW

    However, according to that study, my chances of a happy marriage (with 10 partners) were only 29%, yet I’ve been happily married for 27 years.

    I guess the advice to young people is, “Consider what I say, not what I did”? This is a very parental message. The immature will look at it as hypocritical, but it’s pretty solid guidance for the uninformed.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Megaman

      I guess the advice to young people is, “Consider what I say, not what I did”?

      Maybe not. Maybe the study is wrong. Most of the women I was close to in my 20s until now had partner counts in the double digits. A few married their first sweetheart, or divorced and then remarried after a few years so they never racked up the numbers. Among my sexually experienced friends, only one out of about 20 is divorced. Of the women with little experience, 3 of about 5 are divorced. That study has been trotted out to make this argument many times, but I’d like to see more data on this. I mean, what if the virgins who aren’t getting divorced are all subjects from a polygamous compound in Utah?

  • http://triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    dunnoindc,

    If you can live with it, & you like her as much as you seem to, I say go for it, give the girl a chance.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    Maybe not. Maybe the study is wrong.

    Well, I don’t know which study is being referred to. I’ve always looked at CDC/Census for data on this stuff. It’s hard to draw conclusions about cause and effect:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr036.pdf

    Most men and women in these age cohorts report 6 or fewer partners in their lifetimes. Those with the lowest reported divorces appear to be in the 1-2 partner category. Once you get to 3-6 partners, divorce incidence appears to go up to 25-30%. And it goes up from there.

    Secular society is already telling guys they can sleep with however many women they want and still get happily married and have kids. I think that’s actually pretty bogus. I’m just ambivalent about women being told they can sleep with 10-20 guys and still live happily ever after. I wouldn’t give my daughter advice like that.

    The one area where the divorce rate is extremely low (15%) is for first marriages between two college graduates, typically between the ages of 23 and 26. Contrary to popular belief, college students report fewer partners than non-college contemporaries. At least some young people know what they’re doing these days.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Megaman

      The one area where the divorce rate is extremely low (15%) is for first marriages between two college graduates, typically between the ages of 23 and 26. Contrary to popular belief, college students report fewer partners than non-college contemporaries. At least some young people know what they’re doing these days.

      Yes, I view this as critical information for my blog, because my readership is almost entirely in that demographic. It really makes no sense to throw around divorce rates of 50% (often cited even though the national rate is 40%).

  • Anacaona

    I already mentioned that being a player/cheating/abuse of any kind was a HUGE deal breaker for me. Hubby never had a ONS all the women he had been had been his girlfriends I might be too old fashioned but even one night stand was a red flag for me. I also recognize that I’ m probaly an outlier if anything we had learned here is truth is that as a general rule a woman feels a strong tingle for a man no matter what he goes to the relationship pile and sometimes the darker he was the most likely he will get women chasing him.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    Yes, I view this as critical information for my blog, because my readership is almost entirely in that demographic. It really makes no sense to throw around divorce rates of 50% (often cited even though the national rate is 40%).

    I believe the national divorce rate was 50% back in 1980 (thanks, baby boomers). It’s been on a downward slide since then, but cohabitation is up, so who knows how many quality relationships there really are?

    I know you’re a big proponent of incentives in the SMP. I’m in general agreement on that, though I don’t discount ethical and psychological considerations. I don’t normally play devil’s advocate, but if there really are no non-medical consequences to sleeping around, why lament the current hookup scene? Just accept it as a normal part of the post-modern mating process.

    My idea of a quality relationship (be it a STR, LTR, or marriage) is when you love, appreciate, and care for your partner. Attraction brought you together, but it isn’t the glue keeping you from separating. The focus isn’t on your next orgasm, though that’s a nice fringe benefit. My experience has been that people who view relationships this way tend to have a low partner count (sometimes just 1).

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Ms. Anacaona

    Hubby never had a ONS all the women he had been had been his girlfriends I might be too old fashioned but even one night stand was a red flag for me. I also recognize that I’ m probaly an outlier

    Interesting take. I don’t think you’re an outlier, just conservative. Maybe not pragmatic, but things have worked out fine for you. Being able to attract women seems like everything for some guys. It’s really about what you do with the attraction and with whom that matters in the long run. There are very few 50+ year old players.

  • WarmWoman

    Matt and Escoffier,

    I would “woman up” and deal with the situation, if my husband turned out to be infertile. :) I think it would be great to adopt! I have thought about it for a long time. If I was madly in love with my husband and he had other positive qualities, I would let the issue slide. I would also understand if he was scared that I wouldn’t like him.

    Escoffier-You talk about being a liar and a slut. Women who lie about their past aren’t necessarily sluts. The woman in my culture who pretend to be virgins to their husbands have only had sex with 1-3 people. 1-3 is a l ow number or average in American culture. It’s just that the elders in our culture say to hide your sexual past in order to get married and not shame the family. When it comes to respecting our elders and a random man online, we’re more likely to listen to our elders. Sorry.

    What’s interesting is the definition of a sexual partner. Believe it or not, there are women that avoid vaginal sex during hook-ups, but do other acts. In their heads, the partners that they had vaginal sex with are the ones that count into their number. The hook-ups with oral sex/fingering or whatever don’t get counted in their minds.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @WarmWoman

      In their heads, the partners that they had vaginal sex with are the ones that count into their number. The hook-ups with oral sex/fingering or whatever don’t get counted in their minds.

      Not to mention anal sex, which is big among the abstinence pledging crowd.

  • Escoffier

    We’re talking about a girl with “probably” 35. That is A) a very high number and B) she doesn’t even know. If that’s not a slut, then let’s banish the word, because it has no meaning.

    The vaginal virgins who take it in every other hole repeatedly are also … sluts.

    Sorry.

  • WarmWoman

    I agree that 35 would make me squint. I had a female friend that thought I was being extreme for not having sex after dating my boyfriend for a month. I think a month is way too soon for my own comfort when assessing if someone is LTR material. Considering that she was a 34 year old that slept with 50 guys , I took her views with a grain of salt. This is kind of mean, but the man I dated told me, “What do you expect from someone who can’t keep her legs shut?” Yikes.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @WarmWoman

    What’s interesting is the definition of a sexual partner.

    Welcome back, I had to figure out your new screen name.

    Yeah, if you’re getting naked with someone else, even partially, and there may be an orgasm involved, that’s “sex” in my book. And probably a lot of other peoples’ books, too.

    Any other definition just seems to be splitting hairs. And the reason for the hair-splitting? That just begs the question : )

  • Anacaona

    Interesting take. I don’t think you’re an outlier, just conservative. Maybe not pragmatic, but things have worked out fine for you.

    He idealistic is my middle name. I knew I took a great risk in many aspects (like remaining a virgin at the old age of 27, looking for a man selective and with ethics that wasn’t trying to bang everything that moved…) but indeed it was worth the wait.

  • WarmWoman

    Hey guys, I”m just curious.

    Let’s say you had a daughter or a sister that had some fun. What advice would you give to her in regards to disclosing her number? As your own flesh and blood, would you tell her to be honest or would you tell her to not disclose it? This is just a hypothetical situation, as I know some of you may cringe and think “No daughter/sister of mine would be doing that.”

    Any responses would be appreciated.

  • Escoffier

    If my daughter becomes that, then I will know that I have failed as a father and I will be very sad.

    That said, since she is my daughter and there will be some residual love, if not admiration and respect, I would do my damndest to convince her to (genuinely) change and repent. This would involve significant (self) humiliation and pain. If it didn’t, it would be phony. I would also INSIST that she be honest with any potential husband. Not that I can control that but I am damned sure not going to blunt what I know is the right message just because we share DNA. If anything, that fact requires me all the more to be brutally honest with her.

  • WarmWoman

    Megaman-Thanks for the welcome back. I’m doing paperwork for my job and was bored….I guess this place is as addicting as facebook. :P I also think it’s unrealistic to claim to be a virgin, yet giving oral to a number of partners. I was just curious as to what others though.

    Escoffier-Sounds like a heartfelt response, but I’m not generally referring to women that have slept with 35-50 guys. Everybody has their own subjective opinion on what’s “too high”. Let’s say a woman with 6 partners is told to just say she had 2 or to not say anything at all. The “do tell or not to tell” seems like a hot topic for debate nonetheless.

  • Escoffier

    If my daughter has six parters lifetime, then I will have failed.

  • Matt

    @WarmWoman

    Let’s say you had a daughter or a sister that had some fun. What advice would you give to her in regards to disclosing her number? As your own flesh and blood, would you tell her to be honest or would you tell her to not disclose it? This is just a hypothetical situation, as I know some of you may cringe and think “No daughter/sister of mine would be doing that.”

    My advice would be complete honesty. She wouldn’t need to come out and talk about it on her own if her guy didn’t ask, but I definitely wouldn’t advise lying about it. For what it’s worth, I’d have no ethical problem with one of my sisters having a high number of partners. I would have a big ethical problem with them lying about it to a potential long-term partner.

    And I practice what I preach in that regard – I’m certainly not going to go volunteering information about the more private areas of my life, but if a woman I’m getting serious with really wants to know, I’ll tell her the complete truth.

  • WarmWoman

    It sounds like the main factor is whether someone would ask or not. I’ve been in LTR’s where this hasn’t occurred. We both knew we had previous significant others, and it’s assumed that sex happened. My social cricle doesn’t talk about this stuff either, so I wouldn’t know how common it is for people to ask.

  • WarmWoman

    LOL, forgot to add that! This reminds me of a joke about the Clintons

    Hillary: Did you have sex with him (Chelsea’s fiance).
    Chelsea-Not according to dad!

  • http://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @WarmWoman

    Let’s say you had a daughter or a sister that had some fun. What advice would you give to her in regards to disclosing her number?

    My advice to my sister (which I don’t have) would be to tell the truth, period. And let the chips fall where they may.

    I have no idea what advice I’d give my daughter. I can only tell you how I’d try to prepare her to avoid the hookup scene.

  • WarmWoman

    Susan- I was reading in the forum that you said this

    “I”ve said it before – here I go again. I would not mention it, at all. It”s not relevant. If you were not a virgin, you would still have the same policy about when to have sex. So pretend your number is 3 and stop worrying about it. No one is going to expect you to perform like a pro. If you bring enthusiasm and focus to the experience, it will be great, trust me.”

    So, I take it that you are okay with not being honest about your number? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @WarmWoman
      No, no I meant pretend in your own head. IOW, SayWhaat is obsessing about her virginity and how/when to tell guys about it. She has had bad experiences with guys responding poorly. I’m just saying she is not obligated to confess this as if it were an STD! She should have sex when she is ready to have sex, regardless of how many partners she has had.

      If she has trust and intimacy with a guy, that is ideal and of course she can share that. But that’s been hard to come by. I do not condone lying, ever, but no one said every virgin must wear the scarlet V either.

  • WarmWoman

    Apart from saywhat’s situation, what is your professional opinion on how women handle the “Should I tell him how many partners I’ve had?” I don’t personally believe that you have to announce your sexually active past like a STD either. At the end of the day, it’s all about what your gut instinct is comfortable with and what you feel isn’t anybody’s business. The reason why I’ve been in relationships where this question hasn’t popped up is because I set my boundary of not dating people that ask that stuff. I was once on a first date with a man that asked “Since you were 18, how many boyfriends have you had? Why did your relationships end? How long did your relationships last?” I thought that was odd to ask when getting to know someone, and this man didn’t get a second date.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @WarmWoman
      I think a woman has every right to say she is not willing to share that information. Or she can tell the truth. Those are the only two ethical options. However, it doesn’t matter what I say. I know that women lie about this all the time. I have personally heard women go through the process of recalling their sexual encounters, then disqualifying them from the total until the total gets down to 6 or so. (From 30 something).

  • dunnoindc

    @ 200 Escoffier

    Why would I do it again? Because even though I’ve definitely lived through periods of intense player-dom, I’m really a family man at heart. I want to wake up with a house full of kids. I want to be old with grandchildren everywhere.

    I feel like it is my imperative to procreate.

    I find the pump and dump and harem lifestyles to ultimately void and shallow. And I say so from experience, not speculation.

    I’m rightly concerned about the risks involved in marriage however. All signs point to a good start with this one: not interested in a big wedding, not interested in a big ring, wants to be a stay at home mother if possible, she can cook, bake and feed me, she wants me to continue to be the man of the house, she brings her own financial resources to the table (far more so than I do as a matter of fact), comes from an intact family and wants desperately to be the mother of my children.

    @susan:

    thank you so much for taking time to respond. She has had a couple of serious relationships. She is close with her mother and sister. She has a handful of close friends from college. She appears to be perfectly healthy, sane, and able to make lasting relationships with others without and problems. She has been completely loyal and devoted to me thus far and through my own internalization of Game, MMSL strategies, Dalrock principals and the like, I believe the structure is in place for a long lasting healthy relationship.

    In fact, the way I even really come to thinking about all of this was by going through Dalrock’s “interview” questions for a potential spouse and one was their thought’s on promiscuity. That is what got me really thinking about her past which of course is only half of mine.

    She and I talked about this issue at great length last night. I wanted to understand why she did what she did. She asked me the same about me. There were lots of tears and regret. She says she wishes she wouldn’t have done some of the things she had done, but at the same time is happy with who she is today (as I am with her) and therefore its hard to have regret over the past. She explained that there were definitely times where she felt peer pressure to have sex (upon arrival to college as a virgin), where she used sex to make her feel good about herself, and other times where it was just plain fun. All of which, I understand.

    So taken in whole, I think that her ability to form lasting and sincere relationships with family, friends and two boyfriends – along with me, shows me that she is not “damaged goods.” And while I believe in the double standard, it is hard for me to fault her 100% for indulging in what was on offer to her as an attractive woman. She has been 100% devoted and loyal and I suspect that this will continue.

    All that said – there is still something that shocks me deep in my brain to react negatively to all of it. I used to just say, “well you’re with me now” and that would be the end of it. I think I just need to go back to that.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @dunnoindc

      Your relationship sounds wonderful. I think you are very wise to stay with a woman who is making you happy. Best of luck.

  • WarmWoman

    Susan-I agree that the bottom line is deciding what’s comfortable for you. People have boundaries, and I think a healthy and mature mate will respect the boundaries that you have. If someone is not comfortable with sharing or doing something just because everyone says you have to doesn’t mean that they have to compromise their boundary.

    Dunnoindc–I’m glad you’re able to listen to your own inner wisdom and realize that you’re happy. I’m guilty of asking advice online, but people bring their own experiences and feelings into the equation. It’s true that women having casual sex doesn’t have to do with sexual urges itself. Low self-esteem, peer pressure, feeling like you can’t say no, trying to win a guy’s approval, etc…..all can factor in. It sounds like you’re understanding of why she did it, and are willing to move on.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “I’m just saying she is not obligated to confess this as if it were an STD! She should have sex when she is ready to have sex, regardless of how many partners she has had.

    If she has trust and intimacy with a guy, that is ideal and of course she can share that. But that’s been hard to come by. I do not condone lying, ever, but no one said every virgin must wear the scarlet V either.”

    To women on when to disclose – when the guy asks you, AND when sex is reasonably imminent. If either is not true, there’s no need to go into it. A dude has no right to ask such personal things unless sex is fairly imminently on the table, so if you’re not ready to have sex with him, deflect his question as not appropriate at that time.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    “The reason why I’ve been in relationships where this question hasn’t popped up is because I set my boundary of not dating people that ask that stuff. ”

    This strikes me as a very callous and risky strategy that will eliminate a lot of decent guys. It effectively denies the humanity of any man who has a healthy sense of anxiety about promiscuity as a personality trait (not saying you are or aren’t, don’t recall what you’ve said, just that a guy trying to find out will be instantly rejected? Hmph.)

    ““Since you were 18, how many boyfriends have you had? Why did your relationships end? How long did your relationships last?” I thought that was odd to ask when getting to know someone, and this man didn’t get a second date.”

    This is a bizarre and inappropriate question for a first date, same as if a woman asks a guy for his long-term family plan and how much money he makes. But that doesn’t mean that every guy who wants to know your sexual history should be disqualified from your consideration.

  • SayWhaat

    I forgot which thread I posted the Will story in, but yay I found it!

    I don’t think I knew that Will was sniffing around again.

    Haha, actually you did. Name changed to protect the innocent. :P

    It’s pretty remarkable that he hung around for six months, actually. Probably getting some on the side.

    Probably, but probably not! What he had going for him was that he wasn’t afraid to make the move. On our first date I was looking over one of his record album covers when he just took my chin in his hand and leaned in for the kiss. It was a very tingly makeout sesh, haha! However after spending more time with him, it became clear that he’s a little more clueless than originally thought. :P

  • SayWhaat

    Btw, this video blew my mind today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaKsEwQKF_E

  • Anacaona

    Btw, this video blew my mind today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaKsEwQKF_E

    Oh boy. Yes the peeing pink a whole morning after was my imagination. I love to hallucinate with blood obviously. For God’s sake are they going to erase virginity with their feelings now too? My next superheroine superpower would be Superfeelings, capable of feeling out reality. “No I don’t feel the bullets will pierce to my skin and make me bleed to death” and she will actually be right. It would be a success! :)

  • AP33

    I think all the judgement about this is BS. It’s just a number. She was being honest with him. Some other people would lie & hide the truth of their sexual history because they’d be judged for it. The fact is we all should be more honest than we are & sooner.

    Perhaps she’s had more experience and that means she has a better idea than some people of what she wants. Perhaps that means she’s a better partner for him, in bed & out of it. Perhaps it means she’s worked any ‘wandering’ out of her system & will be more likely to make a committment when she’s serious about it, vs. some other people who make a committment without knowing what they’re doing, what they want, and turn around & cheat on their partner.

    A person is who they are partly due to their life experiences, you either love them or you don’t. And if you love them wholeheartedly, then it’s unconditional, you accept them, past & all. You can’t hold their past against them. If you do, you don’t truly love them & you aren’t suited to be their partner.

    Should the couple in the original post above have had a better sense of each other’s past before now? Yes. Should they have had the sex history conversations long before now? Yes. Was she refraining from disclosing it to him because she loved him and knew he was likely to be judgmental narrow minded in this regard & not be able to get past it? Possibly.

    And in that case, perhaps they aren’t the right partners for each other. In which case it’s good they found out now before going any further than they already had. If it doesn’t work for him, that’s fine, he’s entitled to what he’s comfortable with. But that’s all it is. Some people would be comfortable with it. He apparently wasn’t. For heaven’s sakes, don’t write an advice columnist in the newspaper – seek out a counsellor and explore your own issues around this & whether you’re okay with it / can accept it or not.

    I once knew a woman who had not had an excessive number of partners but was experienced, and she was involved with a guy who she quite liked & was trying to make things work with, and things were getting quite serious. But he was less experienced than she was, and she felt she had to downplay her experience & pretend she knew less than she did, because of his frail male fragile ego & pride & arrogance. Give me a break. It goes without saying that they didn’t last & she found a partner who was a much more suitable match for her & treated her like an equal.

    An ideal partner is someone with whom you can be 100% yourself and not have to hide or pretend anything, and to also be able to discuss anything. If you can’t, then in the case stated in the original post above, he’s not a suitable partner for her, he’s not up to it. In my opinion a more loving open minded unconditionally loving, modern, reasonable, rational male would make a better match.

  • http://shanewegner.bandcamp.com Shane Wegner

    In my opinion, Meredith nailed it. What was Conflicted hoping for, someone who was a virgin until marriage? If we’re going to use the “other cultures” standard, there are plenty of cultures where virginity at marriage is considered desirable as proof of chastity. In some cultures, virgins are so good, they’re what you get in heaven! But idolizing virginity is only a few steps away from wrapping women up in burqas to protect them from the corrupting influence of men’s desire. Is that urge underlying his discomfort?

    I wonder if Conflicted isn’t just on some level scared of a woman who is more experienced and confident than him sexually. To me personally, his “values” seem archaic, ancient, and judgmental. If he dumps a fantastic woman over that, he deserves what he gets and then someone actually loving can be with her instead. I can’t imagine being self-righteous enough to pretend myself an arbiter of a woman was chaste enough. (If she got through STD-free and approximately sane, we’re doing ok. Life is imperfect.) What I can’t bring myself to say is: “I’m sorry, but I know what is best for you, and I retroactively decree that what you chose for yourself was not best. I hereby reject you.”

    Actually, any commenters who would sit in judgment of others are saying the same thing- that they are so wise that they know other peoples’ hearts better than those people do themselves. You’re saying you know what they want, need, their feelings, their hopes and their dreams, better than they do themselves. Maybe at the time, what 26 needed was practice, experiences, connection, adventure, and frankly to get her rocks off. Will Conflicted and commentators really wag a finger and say “HOW DARE YOU” at her for having those natural qualities which apparently harmed no one (no more than life’s slings and arrows which are par for the course)? Having fulfilled those, her needs evolved into the need for commitment. This sounds like a perfectly normal and healthy progression to me.

    It’s one thing to say “I can’t help but note Choice A oftentimes has Negative Outcome B.” Perhaps, but a choice can have downsides and STILL be the one someone needed to chose at the time. People have the right to be “wrong”/non-optimal. Example: Conflicted doesn’t HAVE to be with her just because I personally think that’s the totally obvious right choice. Maybe what Conflicted needs right now is a meek, mild, and obedient woman who doesn’t threaten his self esteem by having a past more adventurous than his own. And if his undies are in a twist about this, maybe he should go find himself some other virgin girl who doesn’t make him feel all nervous and conflicted inside. If I were to guess, I MIGHT guess that psychologically, what he is afraid of is the part of Commitment where he doesn’t get to completely own/control his partner, including not being able to re-write her past into exactly what he wants. Unconditional love means just that- deciding if you accept even the parts of them you don’t like. If he can’t do that, then yes he should move on to someone who more closely matches his exact specifications for the Perfect Woman. (Good luck finding better.) If it were me I would hold onto 26 with full firepower and be happy for the positives (experience, self-knowledge, large sexual repertoire) her past brings.

  • Liz

    I so can’t stand men who are like this. I cringe at the thought of dating them and try to avoid them.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I so can’t stand men who are like this. I cringe at the thought of dating them and try to avoid them.

      That’s fair, but you should know that the vast majority of men care about a woman’s previous sexual experience.

  • http://shanewegner.bandcamp.com Shane Wegner

    I just had a quirky idea for an analogy… if this were ballroom dancing, could we say “most men care how many previous men a woman has danced with?” In the ballroom scenario, wouldn’t more previous partners be better? She’d probably be a better dancer for it.

    There are only a few ultra-logical reasons I can think of why it would matter:- 1) trying to determine STD risk 2) trying to guess attachment style and commitment. 1- can easily and objectively be determined with science and STD testing. 2- is trickier and a little strange, because people grow and adapt. What they did in the past isn’t a good predictor of the future because past people weren’t you and people grow and change. Finally it feels a little someone who thinks there can be “too many” people in the past wants their partner to imprint on them like a baby duckling, and are worried the imprinting instinct is now too diluted. (Rather than two independent, mature adults deciding they enjoy partnership together.)

  • Matt

    Except that we didn’t evolve to ballroom dance with the opposite sex, with those exhibiting certain dance behaviors (such as loyalty to your dance partner) being more reproductively successful than others. :-) If we had, people might have similar emotions about their ballroom dance partners. Things that are irrational in the modern world, but were shaped by eons of selective pressure among dancers.

    The ultra-logical basis for those emotions (or lack thereof) is irrelevant. Most of the things we look for in the opposite sex have no conscious, logical basis. If I’m not planning on ever having kids, why should I be more attracted to younger women? If a woman already makes plenty of money and has a high social status, why should she be more attracted to successful or powerful men? It’s not so easy to just reason those things away, they’re wired into the very structure of our brains.

    Not to say that it’s necessarily a universal trait, I know some guys who really couldn’t care less about their woman’s past. But they’re definitely in the minority, so this is something that it’s good for women to be aware of and take into consideration.

  • http://shanewegner.bandcamp.com Shane Wegner

    I’ll grant your point we have evoluation’s echos in us, but I don’t see that as excuse to just give all such things a pass. Example: Evolutionarily, it makes fantastic sense to rape all your enemy’s females after a combat victory, to fill them up with your stronger DNA. I do not see many people advocating this evoluationarily successful strategy for our modern armed forces today. Some points of view, while once successful, I believe should be considered obsolete, barbaric and un-gentlemanly.

    I suggest that lingering obsession with a mate’s sexual past, while far less than combat rape, is now one of these. I advocate the ballroom gentleman’s point of view.

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    I suggest that lingering obsession with a mate’s sexual past, while far less than combat rape, is now one of these. I advocate the ballroom gentleman’s point of view.

    Maybe the solution is the opposite people that have a lot of sexual experience should try to look for likewise partners. Knowing that they are more compatible, instead of shaming the people that want a partner with low story of “dancing” into considering themselves wrong for their personal likings. How about that for individual rights any woman that doesn’t want to date a man to judge her sexual history should tell it in the first date and get it out of the way as to avoid this undesirable individuals.

  • Liz

    I think it’s fair enough if men who’ve not had many sexual partners want to marry women who haven’t had many, and vice versa. What I won’t stand for is men who’ve had lots of partners themselves yet want to make an issue out of a woman doing the same thing — that’s a sexist double standard, and hypocrisy.

  • Marc

    Multiple sex partners is never good, especially for women. Most men, if given the choice, would choose a virgin. We know this isn’t reasonable, so we are drawn to the next best thing, minimal penis invasion!
    .
    I don’t agree that I should look for a woman who has had a lot of partners just because I have. It’s like saying, I’m an alcoholic, so I want an alcoholic partner. Isn’t it ok to desire a person with better qualities than yourself?
    .
    I called off my engagement to a woman after she left the house with her email open. Yeah, I looked, just like you would have. She had like 14000 undeleted emails for the past 5 years. No infidelity, but I saw that she dated multiple guys at a time, and was even used as a late night booty call for some guy for quite a while. I tried to get over it for about 3 months, then gave up. I saw her differently after that, like used goods. It was burned into my brain. I never regretted calling it off.
    Sad. Mad. Glad. The three stages of a breakup. Never more true.
    .

  • Marc

    Another dealbreaker for me is if a woman has dated a much older guy in her past. I lived with a girl for 9 months before finding out she ‘dated’ a 60 year old for a few years. She was early 20’s. No 20something finds anything attractive about a 60 except his wallet. She went into ‘hooker’ category in my mind, and I left her. I even stopped seeing a 22 year old that told me she dated a 39 year old guy. Although I am an admitted hypocrite, as I am sure I would do it when I am 39!
    .
    I think thats many guys, including myself, are attracted to bitchy girls. We see it as sort of a ‘built in cock block’. The girl I am casually dating now is way too nice. I dig her, but the niceness has to go. She is way to hot to be that nice. I can go to the bathroom at the theater while she’s in line, come back and she’s smiling and talking away to some dude who thinks he has a chance. And thats when I am there, imagine when I’m not. She doesn’t strike me as slutty AT ALL. Shes just one in a million, a hot chick who is friendly! Think I’ll break it off with her too!
    .
    Someone touched on the bisexual issue. Agreed, bisexuals are a major boner killer, almost as bad as a lesbo. Bad enough we have to worry about 50% of the population getting into our girls pants, now we have to include 100%? Not a good program. I’ll stick to man lovers. Although I am a flaming hetero, I wish I were a bisexual, so I wouldn’t have to cut out half the population! Sigh.

  • Liz

    Are people who are bisexual less prone to mind the idea of their partner having other lovers of the same sex/gender as themselves? Is this part of why men seem (on average) to be a bit more judgemental than women about their partner’s past number of sexual partners? Like, men are (on average) a bit more homophobic than women, so thus men are (on average) more bothered by the idea of their wife/girlfriend sleeping with other men?

    I understand that the paternity issue is probably a factor as well. What if a woman’s willing to have a paternity test each time she gets pregnant while you’re married to her? Would that help allay concerns about her sexual history?

    In any case, part of what I think is unfair is this: a lot of men (or so I hear) want to have a threesome with two women. Yet, at least one of the women involved is not going to end up in a long-term relationship with the man, thus her number of sexual partners will be increased by 1 without getting a long-term relationship to compensate for it. So, what are women supposed to do in the face of these competing pressures from men?

  • HPPR

    The answer is to not have a threesome if you can’t handle the consequences. Ever hear of personal responsibility?

  • Pingback: Disloyalty to the Void | John C. Wright's Journal()

  • limey

    I have been following this thread for some time. I have been married for 13 years to a wonderful woman – the mother to my 2 children. And yes, I suffer from sexual jealousy around her “number.” Before she met me, she slept with ‘well over 100′ men. I have been reasonably successful with women, but her sexual experiences well outnumber mine. It also bugs me that she has had a threesome and I have not – but I digress.
    All this bothered me right from the get-go, but I stuffed my feelings down as I was so much in love with her. I still am. She is the kindest person I have ever me met, and I consider myself lucky to have her in my life.
    But the problem with sexual jealousy is that it is something that one cannot intellectualize away. It lives in my gut like a tapeworm.
    After 2 years, I stuffed my feelings about this issue. I covered them over so completely that it snuffed out my sexuality.
    That was until about 4 months ago. Now the uncomfortable feelings have re-surfaced. I am seeing a psychiatrist right and he is not really helpful around this issue. He tells me to ‘get over it.’
    Indeed, I will continue to try to heed his advice as she is worth any effort, as am I. However, I suspect that my getting over it is going to involve living the rest of my life with these uncomfortable feelings. It is going to mean being extra careful about not acting out and keeping these feelings to myself (as best as I am able.) I am going to concentrate on activities that occupy my mind and time and I am going to live as productively as I am able.
    The bottom line is: it is not her issue, but mine. She has done nothing wrong except **maybe** make some poor choices. That is not a crime. She is a human being.
    I feel great, great shame about my reptile brain reacting as it does and I really do not want to judge her. I fantasize that something like electroconvulsive therapy could just ‘shock it out’ of my grey matter. But I think that this is an atavistic / evo-psych thing. Something that affects some men and not others.
    These feelings are something that is also made worse by witnessing my mother doing the same thing and it stokes up abandonment issues that stem back to my boyhood.
    One thing: I do not like the word ‘slut.’ It makes me feel raw.
    I am a kind and loving person ordinarily, and very sensitive. Please try not to judge me too harshly as I did not choose to feel this way. I am trying to deal with this as best as I can and own it as much as possible. I just wanted to share here as a form of therapy if you will. Thank you.

  • Zenya

    The only correct answer for a woman to give, as regards sexual history, is a very narrow range. Based on your age and past circumstance, I suggest picking a number between 2 – 8 and incrementing it up for every three years or so for your life, until you reach the upper limit and then keeping it there perpetually.

    I have never told a single soul my true number. And I’ll take it with me to my grave. Friends judge you. Men judge you. Doctors judge you. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t judge myself. I’m proud of myself. Perhaps, I’m just another part of the “sex-positive feminists” which you say like it’s a bad thing. But I truly don’t see myself as having done anything over than be smart and make myself happy. I have no regrets.

    And my number isn’t even all that high. I know what I wanted for each and every encounter. I was choosy. And I did orgasm every time (in this way I am a somewhat of a freak of nature, I recognize that is not the case for the majority of women).

  • rudiger

    I am delighted to have discovered this site as I am coming face to face with this issue after years of naiveté and ignorance. A past like that really matters to me. Last year I was in bed with a girl that I liked. She started telling me about a summer when she was 19. She and another girl would proposition men in their theater group for three ways. She said they had 5 that summer.

    Like a lot of men, the thought of a three way with two women is one of the most sought after experiences there is. As she talked I found that I had begun to put my clothing back on. I didn’t realize what I was doing until she asked me if I was making her uncomfortable.

    I have always forced myself to be ok with women’s promiscuity or number or whatever. But I can never be. Like the evolutionary psych, I can’t help that I feel that.

    I hope that I can adjust because, no offense girls, there are a lot of women that have histories that would disgust me (disgust is a good word because it is so primal feeling and sensory feeling, like something that smells bad).

    I’m wondering if I should give up on women. Most of my female friends still have one night stands and cheat on their husbands. I’m almost 40 and I wonder if I can get a girl that I like who didn’t go over the top.

    One more thing. I’m even concerned about the use of the term double standard. Women control and own sex. Men don’t. For me to get laid takes major effort and weeks or months. A woman could have sex as fast as she could find a man. So… However, Susan, I did like your plea for moderation for both sexes.

    Thanks again for this blog.

  • Iggles

    rudiger,

    If I may, I have a few comments and advice.

    First, I think it’s absolutely okay that you are repelled by promiscuous women. Everyone has their own comfort level with this and relationship dealbreakers in general. For men, this is a common one. Myself, I’m repelled by feminine men and for women that’s pretty common too.

    I’m wondering if I should give up on women. Most of my female friends still have one night stands and cheat on their husbands. I’m almost 40 and I wonder if I can get a girl that I like who didn’t go over the top.

    Wow. Well, I don’t think you should give up on women yet! You’re not even 40 so it would be premature to chuck it all.

    Now, I think it would be prudent for you go out of your current social circle for potential dates. The reason being, if one of your female friends set you up with one of her friends then it’s likely they share the same outlook towards sex/hooking up, which is something that does not appeal to you.

    So where to find these mythical women that might be a better fit for you? Ha, they’re not a myth and they’re all around you. The problem is how to meet someone compatible. Can’t say I have the answer, but I have some tips that may be helpful.

    First, do your best to be the best you can be. If you’re out of shape, hit the gym. Eat healthier, if you don’t already do. Get a new hair cut. Perhaps spruce up your wardrobe. The reasoning behind this, is that all these personal changes will increase your confidence and well-being in spades! And all of that positive energy you built up towards yourself with reflect outwardly throughout every area of you life — from work to appealing to women.

    Now that you’re in an even better mental frame than before, you’ll probably get more interest from women in your daily life. Here screening and filtering out women who aren’t what you want for LTR prospect is critical! Look for character tells. However, I think you should actively pursue women you’re interested in instead of choosing from women who show interest in you. You have a better chance of getting what you want.

    You might want to try Meetups.com and see what women you meet from activity groups who have similar interests (for example: cycling, sci fi movies, playing cards, skiing, cooking, etc). Or try online dating – which would allow you to see vital information concerning values upfront via their profile and establishing communication in writing before meeting in person.

    One more thing. I’m even concerned about the use of the term double standard. Women control and own sex. Men don’t. For me to get laid takes major effort and weeks or months. A woman could have sex as fast as she could find a man. So… However, Susan, I did like your plea for moderation for both sexes.

    Men holds the cards for commitment.

    Sure it would be relatively easier for a woman to find a willing man to have sex with, but finding a man that she likes -> who likes her back –> and is willing to commit is HARD. It easy to settle for someone, but most women want someone they actually love + are madly attracted to! Just like a man would not be content with easy sex from women who are 1s and 2s!

    Both sexes are holding the keys that the other wants, although ultimately MOST of us want both: sex and commitment.

    To me as a woman, I don’t care I personally would have an “easy” time getting sex/hook ups. That’s not what I want. I’ve never had casual sex and never regretted that. It was a choice I was actively making to skip the whole hooking up scene. What I desperately wanted was a relationship with a guy who truly cared about me and vice versa.

  • rudiger

    Iggles, thanks so much. I am incredibly raw right now because of the long story of this last slapper. I think I jumped the gun on claiming to never being able to find a reasonably chaste woman. This past woman was an alcoholic binge drinker, she told me about past heroine and crack use, she told anecdote after anecdote about anon. boyfriends, she would go out 4-5 night a week and have mysterious “plans” some nights. We only talked about commitment once and she said she was kinda like a bachelor. She is 35 and never been married. So I pulled out emotionally from the relationship and she finally emailed me that she was seeing someone else but “missed having sex with me.” oh her password on her computer was her last boyfriend before me!

    I slept with her on the first date which is a tell and I chose to hang around, so who is to blame? But this was the first time I ever questioned my liberal view of promiscuous women. I felt sorry for her and angry for getting tricked into a relationship (albeit halfway relationship). I felt that I was betraying myself by saying I don’t care if she has most likely slept with dozens and dozens of guys and girls. THe above description I believe shows character traits of a slut.

    It was a personal crisis that knocked me down, akin to when my wife left me. But I got a number from a little cutie today so that made me feel better. BTW, I work out 6 days a week and pay close attention to my cloths and how I appear, including hair. But more importantly I own my own business which is my great passion. THanks so much for the advise. I found her on OK cupid she stalks that place for raw meat. Some women are so aggressive.

  • rudiger

    I agree about the commitment, but if girls are going to display behavior that is non committal, like what I described above, why should I get hurt? Also, should I be like one of the guys above who married a girl who had 100 lovers. He says he goes to a shrink to deal with it! Christ!

    “Both sexes are holding the keys that the other wants, although ultimately MOST of us want both: sex and commitment.”

    Totally agree. What a wonderful summary. But if she walks like a duck in her present and past live, I worry she has been damaged by whatever so much so that she can’t commit.

  • Nate

    Wow this thread has been going on forever.

    I’m astonished that a bloke is consulting a psych for the personal strain of marrying a woman whose had ‘well over’ 100 partners. I’m sure she is lovely and im sure you love her and your kids but for me and most guys personally, any number more than 10 is a deal breaker. To be honest as a man you’d want to have a number at least 10 more than hers just to keep some sanity.

    I wouldn’t have even bothered dating a girl with well over 100, I’d just add another notch to her burgeoning belt and move on.

    Men will always, always want a woman with less partners than them and even those sly gals out there who keep a low number well it’s easy to tell if she being honest by her overall personality traits.

    This is the reason why, as someone from the middle east, I’m going to make sure my numbers are at least 10-15 and that I marry a simple decent wholesome girl. She can be taught to be a freak in the sheets!

    I don’t think I’d even wanna sleep with a woman whose bedded 100+ penises before me, that’s like doing a prostitute.

  • EAS

    Way late to this party, but please consider tempering some of the armchair evolutionary psychology and pop sociology guesstimates like 80:20 with actual data, please?

    I refer you in particular to Bob Altemeyer’s twenty-four year “Secret Survey” of his psychology students (and their parents — yes, really) at the University of Manitoba. He presents his findings in the book “Sex and Youth,” a preview of which is available here. http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/sexandyouthpreview.pdf

    It’s a short read, and while most of it is devoted to methodology and factual descriptions, Altemeyer’s style is quite personable and easy to follow. He also shows admirable restraint in not casting moral judgments on the survey respondents, nor imagining elaborate Freudian backstories for results that fall outside his own personal expectations. Ahem.

    The very abbreviated version is: the proportion of women who participate in casual hook-up culture is nowhere near 80%. While it tends to be true that women as a population are more experienced than the population of men the same age, this is generally due to the fact that women begin having long-term relationships at a slightly younger age. For a person in their twenties, two or three years can make a big difference in terms of sexual experience.

    For the majority of both men and women, the first sexual experience of any given kind (from kissing to kinky sex or any stop in between) comes during the course of a relationship. A woman’s first experience is most often at her boyfriend’s place. A man’s first experience is most often a his girlfriend’s place. When a woman is exposed (breasts or genitals) to a man for the first time, the man is most often the one who removes her clothing. When a man sees a woman exposed for the first time, the woman most often removes her own clothing. Numerically, this leads to only one possible conclusion: most men have their first experiences with a more experienced woman. And they’re usually in a relationship together at the time.

    35 partners versus — oh, let’s say 5 or 10 — might be on the extreme end of the experience gap, but insecure men would do well to observe that the real-life trend is exactly the opposite of what pop culture has taught us to expect (worldly stud, virginal girl). A man who’s less experienced than his partner isn’t some kind of chump. He is completely normal. So is his partner.

    You are of course free to question whether the habits of University of Manitoba psychology students can be generalized; whether the results of a survey that began 24+ years ago remains relevant in the Facebook era; whether a retired Canadian liberal arts professor is too out-of-touch or too biased to draw meaningful conclusions; whether the responses to the Secret Survey can be taken to be honest in the first place; etc. All valid questions, which are addressed right there in the free sample and at greater length throughout the book.

    I wish more of the embittered “beta” males my own age, and older, could understand just how commonplace their experience is and make peace with the fact that there doesn’t have to be anything outrageously wrong for men to still be virgins into their twenties and even thirties. It’s futile to compete with a fantasy that doesn’t even describe the “alphas” — who, when it can even be argued that they exist, aren’t even close to 20% of the population.

    I’m a 26-year-old woman, and a virgin. My life is the product of both circumstances beyond my control and choices I made for myself — just like everybody else’s. Yes, celibacy (voluntary or otherwise) can be much more difficult for men in many ways, and it’s been difficult enough for me at times — but that doesn’t make it any less ordinary. If anything, it’s even MORE ordinary for men than for women!

    As a culture, we’re getting ourselves all worked up over what we imagine everyone else is doing, when the reality for the vast majority of us is much more mundane. Of course it’s fair to wish things were otherwise, but not to form expectations, much less a sense of entitlement, based on fiction.

  • NK

    This whole piece and lots of the comments make me feel very down about my chances of finding marriage. I feel like becoming a born again christian.
    I am 26 and have had 30 sexual partners. Two were LTR. I know that my attitude to sex was screwed from a young age, my background is dysfunctional. I lost my virginity at 17 to a male (beta) friend and didn’t see sex as important. I just wanted it out of the way. Being a virgin made me uncomfortable. I didn’t experience a lot of peer pressure either, it was my own opinion. I have been more promiscuous than my closest female friends. I just saw sex as something to experience and learn and I wasn’t always that fussy with my partners. They have been an assortment of different types of men. I’ve never purposely gone out and looked for the good looking-alpha males all the hot guys in college and uni I avoided (plus I didn’t see myself as good enough anyway I’m probably a 7/10) although I have slept with few usually hooked up with betas. At uni after being promiscuous I settled into a 4 year LTR – this guy was of equal standing to me and I was more experienced than him. He was a great guy (a beta). But at the end of uni I dumped him, due to fear of commitment and hooked up with a alpha narcissist and suffered immensely. Being so messed up over this guy and my life in general I slept around.
    Now I’ve gone through 2 years of counselling and I’m trying to be celibate (haven’t had much luck so far I last 4 months). I wish I’d worked out my issues a lot sooner and I hope that my ‘psychological’ damage and high number doesn’t become a huge deal breaker in the future. Looks like I might have to move to another city and lie about my past. It saddens me deeply.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @NK

      I’m glad to hear you are in counseling. As for running away and creating a new identity, that’s not going to solve the problem, which is how you feel about yourself. I encourage you to stick with the therapy and I also think a sexual hiatus is a very good idea. Casual sex is obviously messing you up, and you’re not going to get better if you keep opening that wound.

  • Abbot

    “I have been more promiscuous than my closest female friends. I just saw sex as something to experience and learn and I wasn’t always that fussy with my partners. They have been an assortment of different types of men. ”

    What is it ever difficult to convince a man to have sex? What is it necessary to talk them into it or are these men always willing? Did getting sex from a new man make you feel accomplished? Did the ease of getting sex make sex feel like nothing special aka cheap? Did that acquired valuelessness ever run counter to how men feel about it, that other half of the population that does place value on sex? Do you ever wish for sex to have specialness and now find it cannot again due to the blur of that systematic “experience?”

  • Abbot

    “It saddens me deeply.”

    You’re sad because of what you have done to yourself or because you know how men are universally and that requires you to dupe a good one if you want a relationship? Do you know if promiscuous women are angry because men are they way they are and have no need or interest in changing when it comes to how they define “relationship material?”

  • NK

    @Abbot
    Your questions answered:
    What is it ever difficult to convince a man to have sex?
    The only guy who was ‘difficult’ was my 4 four year LTR. He took about 3 months to do it.

    What is it necessary to talk them into it or are these men always willing?
    Always willing.

    Did getting sex from a new man make you feel accomplished?
    After I lost my virginity I was just ‘experimenting’ seriously I didn’t like the guys no intention of becoming GF. Then in my LTR sex became wonderful and after I left him I just couldn’t seem to live without it. Some guys were potential boyfriends in my eyes, but my sex drive seemed to spoil thing by sleeping with him too early. I am not sure about feeling ‘accomplished’ it felt more like satisfying a ‘need’. Around ovulation is when I’m horny and if I drink alcohol I’m easy. Those drunken times I always regret.

    Did the ease of getting sex make sex feel like nothing special aka cheap?
    Yes and no – only time i’ve felt ‘cheap’ is when I’ve been drunk and once when a guy a uni told another guy in front of my friend.

    Did that acquired valuelessness ever run counter to how men feel about it, that other half of the population that does place value on sex?
    Im not sure I understand this question.

    Do you ever wish for sex to have specialness and now find it cannot again due to the blur of that systematic “experience?”
    Yes I wish for sex to be special, but I haven’t stuck around with anyone long enough recently to find that. That rarely happens straight away in my experience. The time it did feel ‘special’ was when I was shagging the narc.
    I do feel that sex can become special again. I don’t feel that my experience has blurred it into a ‘systematic experience’. I am just worried that I’ve spoiled my chances when a guy in the future takes a chance with me and finds out my ‘number’.

  • NK

    @Susan Walsh

    Thanks for replying. I hope this new therapy works. Doesn’t help that I’m depressed right now too. The internet has a habit of showcasing peoples true opinions and after reading on here and other sites the attitude towards a high number, I am asking honestly do you and anyone else think it will it be a huge hinderance>?
    As for the celibacy, I’m trying again and I don’t drink anymore. My new anti depressant is said to decrease sex drive – yes please!

  • http://shanewegner.bandcamp.com Shane Wegner

    @NK:
    I hear a couple of things from you and would like to offer an alternative viewpoint.
    1- The “chances of finding marriage” and “dumped him for not wanting LTR” phrases tell me you would eventually (or sooner) like to be in an LTR.
    2- The “sex as something to experience and learn” and the “I last about 4 months” tells me you like sex for its own sake and aren’t too uptight or inhibited about it.
    3- From what you said about “lying about my number” and “moving to another town”, it sounds like your social circle generally knows your number and you’re worried it could be or is casting you in a negative light and getting in the way of the LTR you (eventually or sooner) want.

    While SOME men see a high number as a negative thing, and likely will be deusch bags about it even to the point hypocritically allowing THEMSELVES a “high” number while at the same time not allowing you one, not all men are like that. I for one see a high number as a good thing and actually select for it. (My number is 5, but of those I’ve bothered to ask, none of the women I’ve been with had a number lower than 40 at the time, and I like that.) “HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY SEE THAT AS A GOOD THING?!!” some hysterical types, like Meredith’s man, might screech.

    I’m glad they asked. In this case, I like an analogy about EMTs going on ambulance missions or pilots completing airplane landings. Would you rather call 911 and get an ambulance where the EMT had done 3 missions or 30 missions? Would you rather the pilot landing your plane have 5 successful landings or 50 successful landing under his belt? Would you send one back if he’d done “too many”? Or maybe the pilot analogy would be even better if I said “if he had flown 50 different types of aircraft.” Does that mean he’s a coward who can’t commit and will probably crash the 747 we’re in today and he now has 8,000 flight hours on? No, it means he’s learned a LOT more about flight by trying out a lot of different airframes. He’s BETTER than a guy who has experience on exactly one airframe. The way I see past sexual partners is very close to this. “Specialness” is not a limited, precious liquid that drains out leaving you a worthless husk if you “spend” it. Each relationship has its own potential to be special, and frankly that potential grows if others have the ability to be accepting, loving, and non-judgmental you and all your experiences.

    Therefore, I see trying to convince you that you are somehow broken, damaged, dirty, whorish, or in need of fixing based on your number is actually ass backwards. Based on what little I know, I see the things you mentioned as positives. You’re a 7/10? Perfect, that means you’re quite pretty without having the Princess/Celebrity Complex that it seems like too many 9-10/10 American girls have. You tend to like betas? Perfect, I’m one, and although they might have less confidence they tend to try a lot harder and be pleasanter in the long run. You’ve had 30+ partners? Perfect. You probably know a lot about what your wants and needs are sexually and would know how to show me, who has had 5.

    The fact remains that some people, for a variety of reasons, disagree. Some men say “It’s evolutionary, I’m just protecting my DNA” (I think I debunked that pretty hard). “I need to know if you’ll cheat” (past numbers do not predict future performance in different circumstances). Some say “I don’t have any good reason and I know it’s hypocritical but it’s just the way I am” (forget those guys).

    So, my suggestions are these: If you honestly like sex every 4 months or more often, go ahead and find some, there’s no point in feeling guilty about that. It seems like it’s a counter-productive at this point because you’re focusing more on “Oh no I failed again and had sex like my body wanted again, I’m so dirty and bad and a failure” than gaining a sense of freedom from it. If what you really want is an LTR, by all means keep focus on that, state that as your goal up front with potentials, and like Susan says probably don’t think of sex as a way to “rope a guy in”. (Who likes being roped in or tricked or upsold into anything?) Holding out until such time as he expresses his mutual commitment level like Susan suggests is one strategy that could work. There are others.

    Finally, about the Number. Moving to a new social circle might actually give you the fresh start you want, and frankly I think exploring fresh parts of the world once in a while is a good idea anyway to shake off dust and moss. Sort of like Susan said, it will help to know what you want and how you feel about yourself, because moving won’t change those. (Unlike what Susan said, I don’t agree with the connotation that you are “messed up” or have a shameful past you would be “running away” from like a criminal though. Susan can be kind of dour that way.) Now, as for telling people your Number, there are a million fair things you can say besides just telling them what it is and enduring their judgment. “I consider that part of my private life.” “A lady never tells.” etc etc.

    It is part of your private life. If you don’t tell them and they push that, they are being ungentlemanly pushy. They’re not inherently entitled to that or any part of your life. The idea that even an LTR has some inherent right to every part of your mind, every part of your self, all your thoughts and memories is UNTRUE. There will always be parts of your life and experience that you can keep to yourself. If they can’t wrap their minds around that one, then they are probably too clingy, controlling and don’t understand boundaries. You WILL eventually meet a men who do not demand your Number… that will be one of many signs that they are correct for you.

  • NK

    @Shane Wegner

    That is a very detailed response. Thanks for the effort and the thought, seriously!
    I don’t feel terribly guilty about ‘having’ casual sex – I’m just concerned that in the future my number could cause issues. I haven’t met a guy yet whose demanded to know my ‘number’. A guy I dated for 6 months told me he couldn’t remember his and didn’t care about mine, but he wasn’t LTR potential, he had too many issues of his own. I am primarily going to therapy for emotional issues, depression and childhood shizzle. I am aware of my attachment issues, craving intimacy but running away from it etc…

    My bigger annoyance sleeping with a guy too early because I have no impulse control….

  • Abbot

    “SOME men see a high number as a negative thing”

    If it was just “some” there would not be all the angst out there among promiscuous women and NK would not have the wisdom to consider lying. Of course, that could change. All these claims that its just “some” men as an effort to shame the “throw backs” [aka the vast majority] may actually work.

  • Abbot

    “You WILL eventually meet a men who do not demand your Number”

    Yes. Eventually.

  • Wudang

    NK consider trying, meditation, qigong (springforestqigong.com is good)or yoga and check out the site reuniting.info.

    Am I right that you where quite happy with your beta boyfriend in the 4 year LTR? As your promiscuity did not include much alpha chasing its effect on your ability to be attracted to a realistic partner is much less. That helps you a lot. The manosphere has a lot of girl game advice that can help you be seen as a very god catch by a nice beta before the number question has time to come up. Once it does you will then be positioned much better. It can also help to spin things as you having had a trubled confused phase of your life and not having gotten to a healthy balanced place through therapy, life cahnges leaving healthier etc. That contributes to the promiscuity being seen as less relevant to who you are today.

  • NK

    @Wudang
    I had a 3 month period with meditation, ‘used’ to do yoga in the mornings. I do understand the benefit, unfortunately right now I’m too low to do anything, but in the near future probably will attempt a healthy schedule again.
    I was quite happy for a time but I had extremely low self esteem and felt slightly ‘trapped’. I know it wasn’t my partners issue, it was me.
    I really don’t like having to lie in the future – I’d like to think that my actions in the future will be enough to assure my partner that I won’t cheat.

  • Wudang

    NK. Order the springforestqigong beginner dvd and do 15-20 min once a day. Even if you are depressed that shoudln`t be hard and it will make a big diference. It is waaay more effective than yoga in terms on mental benefits and wil strongly help you get out of depression and low self esteem. Also youtube six healing sounds and do the lung sound 12, 15 or 18 times. It is effective against depression and also helps with issues of boundaries/bodily integrity. After you get into this for some time you can also check out the inner smile. Very good for loving yourself and respecting yourself.

    If you make yourself a person that FEELS trusthworthy and non slutty it will have a big impact. By making a contrast between your old troubled self and your new healed self the old you seems less relevant and threatening which also would be true.

    You have a better chance of finding a man who will be forgiving of your partner count in yoga, meditation, spiritual, new age circles. Thats because partly because they apreceate big personal turn arrounds and personal healing stories and partly because the men there are much more drilled in acepting womens right to have many sex partners.

  • Abbot

    “You have a better chance of finding a man who will be forgiving of your partner count in yoga, meditation, spiritual, new age circles.”

    Does that imply that promiscuity limits female relationship choices based solely on how men think?

    ” men there are much more drilled in acepting womens right to have many sex partners.”

    Drilled? by whom? Why does it require drilling? Where has it ever been stated by men who are interested in commitment that women do not have a “right” to many sex partners? Helpful hint: a man only cares about the behavior of “his” woman or potential gf/wife and that has nothing to do with rights.

  • Abbot

    “Don’t like promiscuity? Then don’t engage in it. Inevitably, liberty has annoying consequences”

    Obviously it most certainly does.

    There is no free lunch.

    Women, take note…

    http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/25/feminism-mansfield-eaves-oped-cx_ee_0926pandora.html

    .

  • NK

    @Abbot

    Did that acquired valuelessness ever run counter to how men feel about it, that other half of the population that does place value on sex?
    Im not sure I understand this question.

    Could you explain this please?

  • Abbot

    What has value? That which is rare or unique or special or a challenge to acquire/accomplish or other attributes. When something is easy or treated as being easy or in abundance then it has less value, less specialness and it is far less held in awe. It is also holds less value in your mind, the way you think about and the way you treat it. Devaluation in your mind can be acquired by treating something that was of value in a valueless way, a cheap way or just getting it in so much abundance that the value once associated with it is gone. That includes sex and your sexuality. Women have a far greater opportunity to cheapen their sexuality than men do. That makes women and men different.

  • http://shanewegner.bandcamp.com Shane Wegner

    I can’t agree with “cheapening” the way you describe it. Let’s take an eating analogy. Sometimes I roll through a drive through and scarf down a $1 burger. Sometimes breakfast is a bowl of cereal I wolf down in 60 seconds.

    Have I ruined “eating” for myself forever, “cheapening” it for all time? No. Is Thanksgiving dinner now worthless? No. Can I only appreciate it if I fast for dozens of days ahead of time? No.

    No, it doesn’t work like that. They’re both eating. But what makes one special is the time and effort involved in that particular meal. Thanksgiving is special because I am working to make that meal particularly special. And it doesn’t matter how many snacks I’ve had in the previous months.

    The hypocritical standard that sex by itself “cheapens” women is a myth, meant to humiliate and control women, keep them in line, and keep them a second class sex for following their libidos. Want more control example? Your cheapening argument is only a hair away from saying we need to wrap women up in burqas because showing their sexuality cheapens them. Further example? Men are basically exempt from this myth. It will only exist as long as we perpetuate it. Please don’t take the easy road and assume that I therefore advocate the extreme opposite, that all women should therefore be promiscuous all the time. Women should seek out what they want, fulfills them, makes them happy overall, be that LTR sex or non-LTR sex. Without being told that whatever that is is somehow cheapening them or draining out their specialness like a vampire. (And I don’t accept the argument that “All women want all LTR sex all the time.”)

    I will agree that seeking sex to try and cure low self esteem could backfire leading to a pattern of low self esteem. But that’s true of a lot of actions involving trying to win the approval of others instead of being secure in oneself.

  • Abbot

    “The hypocritical standard that sex by itself “cheapens” women is a myth”

    The cheapening of sexuality applies equally to women and men the only difference being that there are far more promiscuous women than men [not because men don’t want to be]. Those are the two standards. Of course sex, even the promiscuous variety, does not cheapen women so its not clear where this so-called “myth” is being expressed.

    “meant to humiliate and control women, keep them in line, and keep them a second class sex for following their libidos.”

    Why would any man out to get laid or otherwise want such a devastating scenario? Makes no sense at all. Is that control currently on-going in the US? Seems odd. Women can easily, with practically no effort, satisfy their libidos especially when running with the harem.

    “Men are basically exempt from this myth. It will only exist as long as we perpetuate it.”

    What are men exempt from and how exactly are men perpetuating anything whether myths, fantasies or tales? Or is this perpetuating thing a matter of actions or rather inactions or a lack of motivation to accommodate the shifting sexual and relationship needs of women as they age? Perhaps the latter is getting more to the heart of the matter.

    “Women should seek out what they want, fulfills them, makes them happy overall, be that LTR sex or non-LTR sex.”

    Then there are two types of women, behaviorally speaking? Its a quick fix for women given all the always-willing men, at least for the non LTR crowd. Why should a women deny herself this easy effortless addictive pleasure? And alas, here we are.

    “Without being told that whatever that is is somehow cheapening them”

    How is it cheapening “them” as a person and what crowd of dating men tell them this? If a woman indulges and feels bad about what it is doing to her sexuality, she should stop, or not, up to her. Nobody cares, If a man she meets with the idea of a LTR quietly dismisses her for any reason he so deems, that is his business. Nobody cares…..you would think. But alas, here we are.

    “And I don’t accept the argument that “All women want all LTR sex all the time.”

    Welcome to the West.

    “Please don’t take the easy road”

    ooops, too late. See above.

  • NK

    @Abbot

    ‘What has value? That which is rare or unique or special or a challenge to acquire/accomplish or other attributes. When something is easy or treated as being easy or in abundance then it has less value, less specialness and it is far less held in awe. It is also holds less value in your mind, the way you think about and the way you treat it. Devaluation in your mind can be acquired by treating something that was of value in a valueless way, a cheap way or just getting it in so much abundance that the value once associated with it is gone. That includes sex and your sexuality. Women have a far greater opportunity to cheapen their sexuality than men do. That makes women and men different.’

    Thank you for explaining further. I can see your argument and to some degree. Talking in terms of my own experience, I do not feel that sex has become cheap or value-less for myself as I believe that there are different kinds of sex. Shane’s metaphor about food does explain my view.

  • Abbot

    “I believe that there are different kinds of sex. Shane’s metaphor about food does explain my view.”

    That is the general promiscuous female view. The challenge now is to get men to buy into that view as it is stubbornly unnatural for them to do so. Maybe the way to do that is to convince them that its in their best interest to change or to motivate them in some way. What do you suggest?

  • NK

    @Abbot

    Most people know that relationship sex is much more fulfilling than flings/ one night stands for women. I assume it is for men as well? I know this, is one of the reasons that I want a LTR. One of the main pieces of advice that I’ve seen directed at men is to asses the quality of a woman’s companionship. Can you stand to spend time with her without sex? thats wife material. I wouldn’t want to marry a man whose only marriage goal is to have regular sex.
    I do not want to continue being promiscuous, I regret my history. I know that my behaviour is the result of a deep fear of commitment/real intimacy due to childhood issues and hurt from a previous relationship. I crave the love,but run when it presents itself or sabotage. I sincerely want to change this.

  • Escoffier

    NK, whatever you do, don’t lie to some guy. That’s a very cruel way to cheat him out of what he’s looking for. About the best you can hope for is a guy who never asks. They are out there I assume. However the % of guys who will see this as a positive is so low it won’t show up on most instruments. The % who won’t care is higher, but still a minority, I think 20% at the upper limit. Everyone else will care. Most will ask. Some might be afraid to ask but those guys are going to be trouble because if they suspect something but won’t ask because of their suspicions, it will eat at them and undermine the relationship.

  • Abbot

    “Can you stand to spend time with her without sex? thats wife material.”

    Yes, that is one aspect of wife material. Unfortunately for some women, ALL aspects of what constitutes wife material is solely determined by men, not women.

  • NK

    @Abbot

    So the woman is at the mercy of a mans opinion of what is ‘wife’ material?
    Different stroke for different folks.

    Ok last question:
    Is the reason I have deciphered from this blog, comments and similar that promiscuous-ness is negative is because having a promiscuous past predicts the future. That I am more likely to cheat?

    Or:

    That my ‘value’ has gone done because I’ve had lots of sexual partners, therefore my future husbands sexual performance will forever be assessed against previous partners? Thus risking his damaging his ego.

    Or a mixture of both?

    Isn’t lots of therapy, denouncing your past, showing that you LEARNT from it
    enough to show the husband that the risk is worthy, after all a woman who has experienced a broken heart, a fractured ego and eaten humble pie, more mature or wise than a less experienced woman?

    I have found discussion of this topic quite enlightening and thank those who’ve contributed – btw.
    Working out my future strategy in dealing with a potential hubby is what I am aiming for.

  • Abbot

    “So the woman is at the mercy of a mans opinion of what is ‘wife’ material?”

    So the man is at the mercy of a womans opinion of what is ‘husband’ material?

    That’s the trouble with “equality”

    “the reason I have deciphered from this blog…”

    …if you were to actually read what is now thousands of comments you would know that the overarching reason men prefer to avoid committing to such women is because it just does not feel right. If women were to actually respect how men feel and not “cheat him out of what he’s looking for” [as stated by Escoffier above] then there would be no kneejerk references to such things as “damaging his ego” or “hypocritical” or “archaic” or “controlling” and on and on. But alas, here we are.

    “enough to show the husband that the risk is worthy, after all a woman who has experienced a broken heart, a fractured ego and eaten humble pie, more mature or wise than a less experienced woman?”

    Men are people. People are lazy. Men will take the path of least complexity and least disturbing thoughts. Contextual or Relative promiscuity [claim of different types of sex] is just way too out there.

    Beyond participating in sex, promiscuous women are perhaps asking for or imagining men who do not exist.

    Here is a quote from Jaclyn Friedman aka America’s female embarrassment:

    “But most days, sluthood helps me be patient. It keeps desperation at bay. It reminds me to enjoy the life I have now, instead of waiting for someone to come start it. It helps me know my heart better, and my libido. It makes me better at communicating about both of them, and much less likely to confuse the two. To my mind, far from ruining me for real love, sluthood is preparing me for it.”

    She will indeed be prepared for real love and of course she assumes, rather arrogantly, that men will take her up on it like they did when all she wanted was sex. Certifiable she is.

  • Escoffier

    NK, there may well be men out there who will be impressed by your turnabout. It’s a big world, odds are there must be some. However, they are going to be relatively few.

    Look at this way. If you are an employer and you can choose one of five people with clean records or one of the two ex-cons in the pool, all else being equal, who are you going to choose?

    Almost no one is going to see the turnaround as a net positive and prefer you to someone who never was promiscuous and never had to repent. Realistically the best you can hope for is someone who loves you enough to overlook it and be happy that you have changed. Rarer still would be a guy who genuinely doesn’t care and never asks.

    Yes, the reasons you cited and others are why we care. Basically, we want someone special to us, to whom we are special, and how special can you (or we) be if you have been around that much? The idea that there are 30 guys out there who have “known” you in the most intimate way is a gigantic turn-off to us as well as a DLV on our part. That is, we think less of ourselves for being with a promiscuous woman. We’re the chump who bought the cow when all those other guys milked her for nothing. It makes the marriage less sacred, less special. It makes the sex within marriage less special. You can argue against any one or all of these points logically and it won’t matter. 80+% of guys feel this way and you are not going to talk them out of it.

    I don’t want you to loose heart, you are doing the right thing and you are to be commended for that. But you did yourself a real disservice, much the same way that people who waste years of their lives to drugs, criminality, or other forms of vice do. Redemption is possible. I hope you achieve it.

    All we (men) are saying is, realistically, what you have done to yourself has a serious consequence: it will severely limit the number of men willing to commit to you. Well over 50% of men who might otherwise be elligible will rule you out on this basis alone. That’s just a fact.

    Another wretched fact is that of the remaining men willing to commit, some high proporition of them are going to have self-esteem problems and otherwise just be generally the type that you don’t want. Basically, betas grateful to be getting regular sex, not that choosy about where it comes from, because they lack the confidence to believe that they have options or could get someone more chaste.

    You’re still doing the right thing and I hope it works out. Good luck, keep at it and be honest if you ever do get a guy close to proposing. If he never asks, I suppose you are not ethically obigated to volunteer the information.

    However, I would advise the following. If you are with a guy who never asks straight out but who drops hints or in some way indicates the he is suspicious of/uneasy about your past, you need to tell him before you marry him. Otherwise it will hang over the marriage and rot it from the inside. I was in a relationship like that once, quite convinced the girl had been promiscuous but too scared to ask. In the end I declined to marry her. Had I done so, it would not have lasted and woud have been very bad while it did. In fact, it was quite tempestuous even when we were merely dating.

  • NK

    @Abbot

    “So the woman is at the mercy of a mans opinion of what is ‘wife’ material?”

    So the man is at the mercy of a womans opinion of what is ‘husband’ material?

    That’s the trouble with “equality”

    Abbot, this comment is what I call ‘common sense’. I don’t have a problem with this. I just want honesty. I feel that men in the past have not been honest. One time a guy was brutally honest with me and I was upset with his comments about why we didn’t work out but I got over it, but thats because he was mean not constructive. If you think I’m one of those females with ‘knee jerk’ reactions and the princess complex please assess again.

    Thanks any hoes.

    @Escofficer

    Thanks for the advice. I’ll keep a look out for that rare man who doesn’t care.

  • http://shanewegner.bandcamp.com Shane Wegner

    “If you are an employer and you can choose one of five people with clean records or one of the two ex-cons in the pool”

    Absolutely terrible analogy. A woman having sex, including lots of sex, is only a crime if you’re the TALIBAN. My advice to NK is you don’t owe any man your number. You’re perfectly within your rights to say “That’s private” or “A lady never tells.” If he tries to pry, warn him that he’s being ungentlemanly once. More than that, and end the night out and say “perhaps we can try again sometime you’re feeling more mature.” Alternatively, you could just develop your poker face in the mirror with friends until you can say “five” (+1 every 5 years) believably. Ask a stupid question, get a deserving answer. Having the confidence to do either of those means you’re well on the way free of your depression and beyond the leashes of guilt such men are unconsciously trying to chain you with.

    Women are not cows, and sex isn’t a limited supply of Specialness Milk that drains out never to return.

  • Abbot

    “Having the confidence to do either of those means…”

    …there is a severe shortage of commitment-minded men willing to accomodate promiscuous women.

    ” leashes of guilt such men are unconsciously trying to chain you with.”

    That is way too complicated for what is a rather a simple scenario: a man who is merely weeding out women unsuitable for himself. Why this is such a problem for women to accept has never been explained.

    “Women are not cows, and sex isn’t a limited supply of Specialness Milk that drains out never to return.”

    A woman is special to a man if he, and only he, so determines her to be. For any reasons he chooses to use. Apparently, there is a growing contingent of people who find this version of male agency to be abhorrent.

  • Herb

    @Shane

    You’re perfectly within your rights to say “That’s private” or “A lady never tells.” If he tries to pry, warn him that he’s being ungentlemanly once. More than that, and end the night out and say “perhaps we can try again sometime you’re feeling more mature.” Alternatively, you could just develop your poker face in the mirror with friends until you can say “five” (+1 every 5 years) believably. Ask a stupid question, get a deserving answer.

    I’ll remember that every time a woman asks me about my job, my income, my hobbies, and if I’m just looking for a quick lay given women use those as disqualifies “unfairly” all the time.

    After all, in choosing a mate, we really don’t need to know that much, do we?

  • Abbot

    “After all, in choosing a mate, we really don’t need to know that much, do we?”

    For a promiscuous woman, selective revelation only applies to her.

  • Escoffier

    NK, so, Shane is “proof” of sorts that men who view promiscuity lightly are out there. Just don’t kid yourself into thinking they are plentiful.

  • NK

    @Abbot @Herb

    Yes it is hard out their. Lots of women disqualify men because of superficial items such as job and income. That is probably a superficial woman.
    I keep getting told that ‘shared values’ are the key to commitment success and that these are way more important than other stuff. I can see this.

    Most people don’t admit, own up to or are even aware of their own issues.

    And yes I’ll respect a guys right to reject me because of my sexual history. I might be hurt, but I’ll get over it.

  • Erica

    Wow, I shocked and dissapointed with your harsh judgements. I have recently started reading your posts, and often found them quite insightful, but for me this response could not be further from my views. 35 is a very large number,yet i do not believe it has an impact on her faithfulness in future relationships – I would expect infact a marriage to be less succesful if she weren’t sexually experienced because later on in life questions of ” what if” and “who else is out there” may arise. This woman has had a colorful past, but has settled down, and knows what she wants. The fact that she told him even proves to me she wants to enter a new chapter of her life, to leave the past in the past, and have a real relationship, and to starting their lives together with no lies kept between them. Additionally, i see nothing wrong with the advice given to him, he was upset and needed reassurance, and i believe that’s what the columnist gave him. He didnt need someone to feed into all his fears and insecurities, he was looking for something- anything to help get over it. In the end the decission is his to make, and if he truly couldn’t get over the situation the relationship would end regardless. What the advice given did might have kept him in the relationship long enough to get used to what he found out, and potentially saved the relationship, as opposed to agreeing with his insecurities which would validate and enforce his feelings, driving him out of the relationship sooner.

  • Stephanie

    By the time I went to college, my number was 108. I stopped counting during college because I got drunk and “pulled a train”.

    It was awful. I joined the military, even found a way to have sex with three men during basic training. I continued with this pattern until my mid 20’s. I married around 25 and have had one affair during my current marriage of 12 years. This affair has about killed my partner. He had a “revenge affair” as well. It has been 7 years since these affairs, and the pain of previous sexual partners and our extra martial affairs is just as fresh as when it happened, for him at least.

    I found and developed a relationship with Christ half way through my marriage, and that is what changed me. However, considering my past, my husband has had a very hard time recovering from my affair. He wonders who I really am. Is my love real. Am I faithful on a daily basis. Am I changed. Am I who he wants? He feels cheated, even though it was his choice to marry me, I was not deceptive in any fashion about my past or current relationship styles at the time.

    When we were dating, I was married and filed for divorce from a man I didn’t have children with. I was wild, free and dating several of his co-workers, which he knew, and when I became pregnant I readily disclosed he may not be the father. He was hurt and upset and yet begging to marry me, to be with me forever, we had dated for just 8 weeks at this point. We didn’t have a church wedding, we just signed the papers, no vows, but we did commit to each other and took each at our word. The struggles that have ensued have all been from his ego being bruised when his presence in my life didn’t magically change me over night. When we met, I was in counseling. I was in group therapy for various reason (depression, adult surviver of child sex abuse, promiscuity and risky behavior). I was a mess, tore up from the floor up. I thank God each day I wake up that I never got mixed up in drugs or alcohol beyond the casual drink.

    Had I been a virgin when we met and married would it have changed his reaction to my affair? Maybe. Would it ease his doubts about recurrence? Maybe. If I had been a virgin would the hatred he spewed at me through his lack of emotion, intimacy, closeness never happened? Maybe. …… or maybe not.

    My husband is most angry about the fact that HE wasn’t the one who saved me, changed me, helped me see value in my life and marriage, it was God. He is angry that he wasn’t good enough to make me change. He loves the idea of who he was supposed to marry, and somehow he settled for me. Ended up with me.

    Pregnancy was his trap with me (I miscarried, but we stayed married, still no children) and with his previous girlfriend. She said “no” and he takes it out on me every day.

    I love him, am hurt by his lack of empathy and forgiveness, as I’m sure if he knew I ever wrote something contemptuous like this, he’d be hurt too.

    My point is, because I was very undiscerning, I landed a guy with so many red flags, that without the lost pregnancy I would have said goodbye to after a week or two of “dating”.

    In my case, it was the maternal sense of wanting the biological father around that clouded my judgement. While paternity was a factual unknown, he did step up and say, it doesn’t’ matter, marry me. I was so blinded by the primitive urge to procreate that I ignored whistle and bells and flags of warning. Dated less than 2 months, had a daughter with another woman, told me he loved me on our second date. (he has some major markers on the Narcissist check list my counselor gave me), the signs go on. I really struggle with his inability to accept me for who I am. The sum of all my past. I struggle to accept his inability, which makes me seem hypocritical, perhaps I am.

    I was never the type to equate sex with love, but I loved the companionship and the thrill of new lovers. I never would have guessed that maternity would have so radically changed my life. After more than 100 partners, I’d never had an unwanted pregnancy or STI until him. In his throws of depressed rage he verbally takes out on me, he later confessed he took advantage of that bottle of wine we shared and didn’t wear a condom, on purpose.

    I have grieved over my lost virginity during childhood and the childhood I felt I should have had, but I forgave and moved on into peace. Now I find myself grieving things I did have control over, that sucks more than any of the other things.

    I hope people read this and learn. Sex is a liberating force, a powerful force, motivator, but the consequences are grave, severe and very long-term.

  • Lele

    Slumlord said it best: http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/01/29/hookinguprealities/the-sex-risk-for-women-that-no-one-likes-to-talk-about/#comment-4028

    His explanation is outstanding because it explains the meaning of “the number”. Because guess what? It’s just a number. Two women with the same number are not made equal. You may have heard men showing their contempt for sluts by saying that sluts are cheaper than whores. There is another glimpse of male psychology there: if I had to, I’d choose an escort over a slut because the escort didn’t exercise her mating selection while accepting her customers.

  • Lele

    @Shane Wegner February 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm
    Quote: “I just had a quirky idea for an analogy… if this were ballroom dancing, could we say “most men care how many previous men a woman has danced with?” In the ballroom scenario, wouldn’t more previous partners be better? She’d probably be a better dancer for it.”

    This is chick logic at work. A man doesn’t seek a more experienced partner. Whatever he wants from her, he asks for it. Also, you don’t expect your ballroom partner to commit to you, do you?

    @Anacaona

    Quote: “Maybe the solution is the opposite people that have a lot of sexual experience should try to look for likewise partners.”

    That would be wise indeed. Issues seem to arise whenever two partners with a different path, therefore with different values, meet. And I wonder whether it is not a coincidence that formerly promiscuous women feel uneasy about their Number because it hampers their chances to land the least promiscuous men, whom they perceive as more reliable, maybe unconsciously. Albeit I admit this may be dick logic on my behalf.

  • Lele

    @Shane Wegner December 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm
    Quote: “I wonder if Conflicted isn’t just on some level scared of a woman who is more experienced and confident than him sexually.”

    Hahaha! Talk about projection ;-)

    @Ruby July 30, 2011 at 10:00 am
    Quote: “Hi, I don’t understand why no one is bringing up another point about promiscuity. Women are allowed to claim sexual pleasure just as men. Or we should be allowed without all those ‘damaged goods’ issues you mentioned.
    The purpose of the clitoris is nothing but sensation. It actually outrages me the more I grow up (22 years now) that it’s not okay to be sexual, just be sexy. Hence so many women are not intune with their sexuality because it is a bit shameful. Unless he’s husband material what the hell!? I don’t care for that I just want to explore my sexual appetite and it’s outrageous people still think ‘women aren’t allowed’ to!!”

    The issue is not that men don’t want women to explore their sexuality. The issue is about women who want to extract sexual exclusivity from men after such women have shown that they do not attach much importance to sexuality. This is what men mean when they are disappointed that they are expected “to pay more for her” than her past partners. I wouldn’t mind an LTR with a woman with a promiscuous past, as long as she doesn’t expect me to be sexually exclusive (and I wouldn’t expect her to either, of course). On the other hand, a woman who has cherished her sexuality with the goal of sharing it with worthwhile men, then such woman would be in the position to ask for an exclusive relationship.

  • NK

    Looks like I’m looking for someone for an exclusive relationship whose had a similar past to me then! Ive got no problem with that at all.

    But then perhaps my 30 sexual partners means I don’t deserve one aye?

    Ive had enough of thinking about this now – I know that I regret some of it, but not all of it. I know that I have been and am still in therapy for issues with intimacy/commitment. I will always respect people who have faced their issues and got past them. Whether I am one of them or not. Just makes you stronger. SO I guess I’ll be looking for someone who respects this also. Its like not wanting to date a former addict – whose worked hard at getting past their issues…..

  • Lele

    @Susan Walsh
    Quote: “And it makes sense. Conflicted feels like less of a man because of her past experience, even though she didn’t know him yet. It devalues her attraction for him to zero.”

    This is not what Slumlord said. He said that Conflicted feels *their relationship* is nothing special, not Conflicted himself.

    Quote: “By the way, that may not be the case at all. She may have changed her ways, and resolved to be more selective, then met Conflicted and fell hard for him. We can’t assume that her feelings for him are not special, it’s just that he will believe they aren’t based on her past experiences.”

    Susan, you must understand that, unlike women, men don’ t think they so special that a woman will change after she has fallen in love with them. *Of course* he will believe her feelings aren’t special, based on her past experiences.

  • WBOTB

    Well guess what! Women are just as bothered by finding out that their men were total whores as well. Women are definitely wired to desire men that are more selective. No woman wants to know or suspect that her man has been with dozens of women.

  • Abbot

    “No woman wants to know or suspect that her man has been with dozens of women.”

    True. Fortunately for women, very few men have been with dozens of women so their odds of running into one, let alone winding up with one, is pretty slim.

  • WBOTB

    Eh…I wound up with two like that. One was emotionally unavailable and later turned out to be emotionally abusive. He was definitely damaged goods. The other one did change his ways,but he always thought he had to make sex ultra kinky all the time. I found it very off-putting though because it made me feel thay i always had to perform instead of just enjoying my lover. I like my share of kinky sex, but he was way over the top. Thank God neither of them had stds.

  • Afflicted

    I’m Conflicted. Not the original one, but I may as well be.

    I’ve been married to my beautiful, lovely wife for three years now. When we began dating the number topic came up and she told me 16, which was coincidently my own number. Ok. I was 30, she 28, seemed reasonable. Fast forward a couple years and a pregnancy (IVF incidentally) and I’m going through some old papers and discover “her” list. It shows 25 but I know there’s more. I asked her and now her number is “probably in the low 30s”. I’m heartbroken. It constantly creeps into my thoughts. I’ve tried counseling, but essentially the response is move on. If it was just that easy. A couple points I’d like to make:

    • It’s not just the number. It’s the behavior. Most of it occurred in grad school, so many of the guys were students and coworkers, in fact many of her students and coworkers.

    • She was having sex with multiple people during the same time period.

    • She had friends with benefits. “It wasn’t just sex we would go out to dinner”.

    • She had sex with guys that she knew had boyfriends. She had sex with a guy that was engaged (oral).

    • She would stop by an ex’s apartment just to get “fucked” (from an IM I read). “Our sex was always good, either way” (anal or vaginal). — This was pretty tough to read—.

    • The notion that more sex makes you better is bullshit. The sex is great, she’s fine. But it’s not much better than the sex I’ve had with girls with lower numbers.

    • When we were dating I told her she was the hottest girl I had had sex with. She told me I had the nicest smile. To be fair, she has had, admittedly, many hot guys. All tall, smart and hot (again, the list and a little Facebook snooping). I’m sure they were better in bed, with bigger cocks (cliché) and I’m the beta.

    • I made a photocopy of her list and keep it in my drawer at work. Whenever I want a little self-loathing I look at it. AHHHHHHH!!!! I can’t toss it.

    • People that she specifically told me she hadn’t hooked up with I now know she did. This changes the context of some of the Facebook posts a little. Like the one where she asked one of her pasts if he was at the same out of state conference as her while we were dating.

    • Some of the guys on the list include: montreal guy, monkey, random guy (21 years old).

    For everyone sake I won’t drag on about this. But Susan, I really appreciate what you’re saying. This does hurt. It hurts a lot. I think she should have been honest with me when we were dating. Now we’re married with a child. I love her, absolutely no doubt. But the trust has been severely damaged and I feel pretty trapped. I would not have married someone that gave a blow job to a guy that was engaged. If she can’t respect their commitment, how can she respect ours?

    To bring this back to the original post, a number isn’t just a number. This is what context looks like.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Afflicted

      Your story is heartbreaking. What a terrible thing she did in lying to you. I consider that a form of theft, and a way of trapping you. No wonder you feel resentful!

      I strongly object to any notions that it’s no big deal, or that you should just move on, although I think that is probably going to be necessary for you to maintain your sanity.

      It also sounds like she hasn’t been particularly apologetic or sensitive since you discovered the truth, but perhaps it just sounds that way based on what you wrote. I certainly hope her attitude is not one of “tough luck.” FWIW, I think it would be very reasonable of you to require that she earn back your trust. She should have zero contact with any of these people – in fact, she should get off facebook.

      I will say, you have got to get rid of that list and swear off the snooping. No good can come of that. Removing visual reminders should be key. Why on earth would she even hang on to such incriminating evidence after lying to you?

  • Lele

    @Afflicted
    Quote: “If she can’t respect their commitment, how can she respect ours?”

    This is a rhetorical question, isn’t it? And you know the answer (“I’m the beta.”). What commitment, by the way? There is no commitment, my friend, it’s just a matter of convenience.

    Stop being a tool and stand up for yourself. You love her, don’t you. Start detaching yourself. I know it’s difficult, but you can do it. Reach for that inner strength. If necessary, reach for some of poison from Chateau Heartiste (alias Roissy).

    Things are hairier because your child is involved, so I won’t give you a straight answer about what to do, as I do think that you owe loyalty to your child. You be the judge. Be aware that nothing good can come out of this situation, you’ll have to choose the lesser evil.

    You won’t believe it, but you’ve been lucky. Take it as a blessing that you’ve been enlightened about the truth so early, for you could have been left in the dark for decades. Imagine how things could have gone.

    All the best.

  • Underdog

    @Afflicted

    Damn, that sucks. I guess some major introspection is in order to figure out what’s best for you in the end. In my opinion, nothing is worth spending the rest of your life in the mental/emotional hell of constantly resenting someone close to you.

  • Underdog

    But lol @ “monkey”.

  • Pingback: My Sex Life is None of Your Business!!! Or is it?()

  • Maven3

    The whole thread is very good read. It has cleared few things for me.
    Few thing I would like to add:

    – my number is in low double digits already and I am comfortable with girls up to 10 (but the girl has to be really pretty). Anything more will cross girl from my list for commitment. Maybe it will change if I rack up notches.

    – personally I am rejected/disgusted from girls with high number; it seems to be something biological about it.

    – I believe man should have higher number than girl for commitment sake, unfortunately man will also compare her to his exes

    – my understanding of the number (aside of biological part I mentioned) is the number of guys who can potentially call her for quick sex

    – I have been with girls counting 10+, they are already comparing me to their exes and it stresses me out (she will remember the best parts of her previous relationships, while she sees me every day – my downs and tops)

    – from my experiences how good sex is has nothing to do with women’s number

    – guy’s high number does not show high value at all – the PUA techniques allow to rack up number quite fast

  • Emma

    Hi everyone. Do you remember what Jesus said when some men dragged a lady in and accused her of adultery?

    In case you forgot or never read the Bible. The men were dragging this poor woman in to be stoned to death for her alleged sin.

    Do you know what Jesus said?

    He said to the men, “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.”

    Slowly, one by one, the men left the room and the woman unharmed.

    Jesus said to her “Go and sin no more.” He let her go for her past sins.

    This is in the book of John Chapter Eight Verse 7.

    Think about this the next time you judge someone for her past behaviours.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Emma

      Did Jesus exhort men to marry that woman?

  • Abbot

    In what way are men “judging someone for her past behaviors?”

  • Emma

    Susan and Abbot

    You two missed the point entirely. Wow. Too bad.

    I’ll try to explain again.

    I made a lot of mistakes in my past. I had substance abuse issues and promiscuity issues.

    I’ve been sober and clean for almost two years. I stopped acting out sexually as well because I am well aware of the consequences of my actions. I have taken a lot of work and steps to change and I have.

    I sin no more. I am faithful to my mate. I am grateful for what has happened because while it took many mistakes, I have learned from them.

    I am a changed person. Anyone who wishes to judge me or the lady in the letter writer can cast the first stone.

    Jesus let her go. She was already married Susan otherwise how could she have allegedly committed adultery?

    BUT that’s not the point.

    THE POINT IS FORGIVENESS.

    Think about that next time you want to ask someone about a number. Its not about that. Its about change. Did they learn their lesson?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Emma

      I get what you’re saying. Hate the sin, not the sinner. That’s not what the post is about. It’s about the reality that men prefer women with limited sexual experience. It’s great that you have a partner who has forgiven your past. You are lucky. It’s clear from the original letter as well as the comments by men that most men would prefer to seek a different mate with a low number of partners.

  • EyeBee

    @Afflicted:

    >>Now we’re married with a child.

    Are you sure the child is yours? Best get a paternity test to make sure.

    As the self-described “the beta” you are at risk of cuckolding.

    Seriously. Has she ever rejected you for sex during periods when she was ovulating?

    Some women will land a beta for security and provisioning, and then breed behind the beta’s back with an alpha to get optimum “genetic material.”

    Then the beta raises the alpha’s spawn.

    It happens. Better protect yourself and confirm your paternity.

  • ceze

    If men prefer a woman with a lower number of partners, maybe men shouldn’t be so eager/willing/approving of others to have uncomitted sex, approve of others “doing what they like without judgement” and stop making/creating/writing/directing etc entertainment that glorfies it. just sayin’ it’s a man’s world and the men make more, have more power/authority etc, if they want women with lower numbers, create a cultural environment that glorifies virginity and femininity and womanly arts instead of perverting sexuality.

  • WBOTB

    If he truly loves her he will stay with her. He’s just in shock right now. He needs to discuss with her about how this makes him feel and he needs to be reassured that she will stay faithful to him.

    If my boyfriend dropped the bomb on me that he was with dozens of women, I may be stunned and disappointed at first, but because I truly love him I will get past it by remembering who I fell I in love with. There may be some trust issues at first, but it would be worth working at because I know he loves me. If I didn’t love him I would probably leave him.

  • Palladio

    Well I’m 2 years late to this discussion, but I find it fascinating nonetheless. I’m 44 years old, and had my formative years way before there was any notion of “game” or whatever it’s called. I don’t understand all the lingo, but from what I can tell I was born a total “beta”. I was the nice guy that never got laid in high school. But then my life took another turn and I was thrust into an “alpha” world by my profession and situation in life. Since then I have been with many women. I had no calculated game, but women were always available and still are to me – and I freely admit I enjoyed the pleasures that came with that availability. But what I’ve also learned is that there is a great loss that comes with all that easy pleasure and promiscuity. Taking sex and intimacy lightly comes at a cost. One begins to lose the beauty of a true and deep connection with another person at its highest level.

    It’s so interesting to read all these comments. There are guys that seem so bitter, and I can understand why, because they never had access to women and sex. There are other guys who are “players” who either naturally got sex or learned to work some system to get it. They’ve had so much sex that they are just as lost in another way.

    For me I was most moved by the comments early in this thread by “slumlord”. He really hit the nail on the head from my perspective at least. I can’t even comment very well on it, his posts were so much more eloquent than I could manage.

    But I guess for me what it comes down to is there is sex, and then there is passion or love or whatever you want to call it. That is not given away cheaply. I’ve never been a jealous guy or cared about how many partners a woman has had. But show me a 26 year old woman who has been with 35+ men, and all I can say is – that’s kind of sad. There is no way that most or any of those 35 guys really cared about what she was giving to them. And she probably didn’t know any better herself. Maybe she has discovered this now, but I can’t blame her current lover for doubting her judgment. What indication does he have that he is any different from the other men she so easily let into that most intimate sphere? When I see a woman of that age who has been that promiscuous, I don’t see sexual liberation (which by the way I think is just fine in the grand scheme of things), I see a young woman who is lost – and probably has issues with either borderline personality disorder and/or impulse control. I feel sympathy for her, but I would have serious reservations about making her my life partner. Having said that, if she were a fully aware and self realized woman of 40 and chose to sleep with different men that often, I could accept it in a different way.

  • LC

    Being a good girl has never paid off. In college, I was always alone. Now in my 30s, I’m still alone. Let’s be honest. There is only one time in a man’s life that he’s ever looking for a wife. The rest of the time is game time for him. So a good girl is always going to be wasting her life away with no affection, sex, no attention whatsoever. Then you get into your 30s, and those guys that want to settle down now don’t look at the girl their age. They go after the girls who are younger. If I could do it all over again, I’d be a bad girl.

  • Man

    Susan is pretty on spot about how men view this whole issue. There is another more subtle aspect to it: men value sex with a woman in itself and they romanticize it (while women do not value sex and men’s body in themselves). Men are also aware of their own and other men’s, say, “sexual pervertion”, i.e., that desire to penetrate a woman in all possible ways.

    So it happens that a man romanticizes more a sex with a virgin, because she’s not been “violated” by sexual perverts (the other men in her life) and he’s the first one. As men have to compete and usually even pay, directly or indirectly, to have access to sex, the one who gets first is considered to be of higher social value among men. If he’s the last one, then he’s kind of accepting his condition of social inferiority, in the sexual market place.

    The situation is exacerbated by the fact that a lot of men are involuntary celibates because of female hypergamy (“Women are always looking to trade up, and their top choice will always be a man who displays social dominance and a history of sexual success with women.”) and the fact that the most sexually aggressive men usually get the hottest chicks.

    So, emotionally, psychologically and instinctively speaking, it’s almost impossible for men to cope with feminine promiscuity. I think this won’t change even in 10000 years time from here :), unless women take the lead and democratize the access to sex for all men, especially the “nice guys”. :)

    So, to sum it up, women have to make choices and be accountable for them, just like the rest of us. If you don’t agree, go and file a complaint with feminists who promised you paradise on earth. :)

  • CONTRIBUTION OF VALUABLE INSIGHT

    REALITY VS THEORY (GUYS VIEWPOINT)
    WHERE TO START. FIRST I AGREE WITH VIEWPOINT, YOU GIRLS SHOULD NOT PUT OUT. I WILL USE DEDUCTIVE REASONING, & START WITH CONCLUSION FIRST. TRUTH, NO MANIPULATION OR BULLSHIT. FIRST TRUTH, IS THIS SITE IS RUN BY RELIGIOUS GROUP, FROM WHAT I CAN SEE CATHOLIC CHURCH)
    YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO GET CATHOLIC AGENDA, RELIGIOUS AGENDA HERE, RATIONALIZED AS SOMETHING THAT IS IN YOUR INTEREST. HOWEVER, I WAS RAISED CATHOLIC & FOUND THE CHURCH IS USUALLY RIGHT, MAYBE NOT IN SHORT RUN, BUT IS RIGHT OVERALL IN THE LONG RUN.
    (NOT TO GET ON LONG DISCUSSION ON RELIGION, BUT I AM PRACTICAL & FOCUSED ON WHAT WORKS, (SIR WILLIAM JAMES)
    THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS AGAINST DIVORCE. DIVORCE IS THE REAL CAUSE OF MEN NOT WANTING TO GET MARRIED, ANYMORE. NOT SEX, OR THE SUPPLY & DEMAND, MARKET FOR SEX.
    LET’S BEGIN BY POINTING OUT, THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN & WOMEN. UNLESS A MAN HAS MONEY, POWER & FAME, IT IS HARDER GENERALLY SPEAKING FOR A MAN TO GET SEX THAN A WOMAN. SINCE IT IS EASY FOR A WOMAN GENERALLY SPEAKING TO GET SEX THAN A MAN, PEOPLE, SOCITY DOES NOT LOOK UP TO HER FOR GETTING SEX, IT IS NOT A CHALLENGE OR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
    THEREFORE IT HAS NO VALUE IN THE EYES OF SOCIETY. THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE FOR MEN. SO MEN & WOMEN ARE NOT EQUAL BY BIOLOGICAL NATURE.
    LOOK AT IT FROM THE INTERESTS IF BOTH A MAN & A WOMAN, SEX CAN SCREW YOU UP EMOTIONALLY, YOU CAN GET AIDS, HERPIES, GENITAL WARTS, & OTHER STD’S.
    YOU CAN HAVE UNWANTED PREGNANCY THAT CAN DESTROY YOUR LIFE, AND THE BABIES, MOST CHILDREN IF SINGLE MOTHERS WIND UP CRIMINALS. DON’T HAVE SEX YOU RISK YOUR EMOTIONAL & PHYSICAL HEALTH. IT IS NOT WORTH, IN THE CASE OF MEN 5 MINUTES OF PLEASURE. IN THE CASE OF WOMAN, TRUTHFULLY SPEAKING, NOT HAVING SEX WILL DECREASE YOUR SHORT TERM ABILITY TO GET MEN. LETS LOOK AT THE LONG TERM ABILITY TO GET MEN.
    LET ME ASK YOU THE QUESTION, WHAT GOOD IS IT GOING TO DO YOU, IF YOUR STRATEGIES GET YOU MARRIED, BUT YOU ARE DIVORCED IN 5 TO 7 YEARS AFTER MARRIAGE. (UNLESS ALL YOU WANT IS CHILD SUPPORT ALIMONY???). YOU ARE GOING TO STILL BE SINGLE, BUT A SINGLE MOTHER?? I THINK TO SOLVE THE MARRIAGE PROBLEM, YOU NEED TO SOLVE THE DIVORCE PROBLEM FIRST. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS RIGHT, BUT WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT NOW, GUYS HAVE CELL PHONES, COMPUTERS, AND TALK TO THEIR BUDDIES GOING THROUGH HORRIBLE DIVORCED. THAT NIGHT THEIR GIRLFRIEND GIVES THEM AN ULTIMATIUM, WHAT CHOICE WILL THE GUY MAKE?? UNLESS THE DIVORCE PROBLEM IS SOLVED, MARRIAGE US DOOMED AS AN INSTITUTION, AND IF MARRIAGE IS DOOMED, SO IS THE CHURCH, BECAUSE CHURCH WON’T HAVE ANY LITTLE NEW MEMBERS. CHILDREN OF DIVORCES TEND TO BE ATHEISTS.
    IN RUSSIA ONCE THEY PASTED A LAW PUTTING A HUGE TAX ON WINDOWS, A YEAR LATER NO-ONE IN RUSSIA HAD ANY WINDOWS IN THERE HOUSE. LAWS DESTROY THINGS. ANOTHER EXAMPLE, IN BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIA THEY PASSED A LAW PUTTING A HUGE TAX IN SWIMMING POOLS. A YEAR LATER EVERYONE HAD FILLED THEIR SWIMMING POOLS UP WITH DIRT. (GOOGLE IT). LAWS DESTROY THINGS.
    THE MARRIAGE LAWS ARE DESTROYING MARRIAGE. (FOR MEN)(THE COURT SYSTEM)
    ANOTHER CAUSE IS COMMUNICATION, MEN & WOMEN CANNOT COMMUNICATE. MEN USE LOGIC TO REASON, AND HOLD THEIR HEARTS OUT TO WOMEN TO BE HEARD. WOMEN USE SHAMING TECHNIQUES TI SHUT MEN UP, MEN CANNOT BE HEARD,
    SO MEN WALK WITH THEIR FEET, PLEASE LET US BE HEARD, & WORK ON THIS PROBLEM TOGETHER??? WE REACH OUT WITH OUR MINDS & HEARTS.
    WE WON’T BE THERE FOR YIU IN FUTURE. WE WILL OF GONE OUR OWN WAY.

  • http://Earlster@me.com HOW TO CONTROL MEN, & DO IT FOR YOURSELF

    HAVE ANY OF YOU EVER HEARD OF THE TALK SHOW PSYCHOLOGIST TONI GRANT OF KABC RADIO IN LOS ANGELES FROM THE PAST
    SHE SAID THAT FIDELITY WAS A GIFT GIFT TO A MAN, IT IS THE BIGGEST WEAPON IN HER ARSONAL TO GET A MAN TO COMMIT. (If your loyal or not). I leaned from my hot French cousins, who totally controlled their boyfriends by flirting with other men (a French culture thing)(French men will do anything for a French women). They kept their boyfriends in a constant state of jealousy. They flirted with other men even when with there boyfriends. (My French cousins are Catholic, & don’t sleep around).
    I THINK YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE SEX, BUT FIR YOURSELVES NOT FOR MEN, YOUR MORE HEALTHY, SPIRTUALLY, PHYSICALLY & EMOTIONALLY. HONESTLY HOWEVER I DO NOT THINK GUYS CARE. Most of the foreign girls guys marry are prostitutes. Military men marry prostitutes. (they don’t realize that these girls will always consider them ATM Machines, human wallets.
    Even most of the Porn stars are married. HERE ARE TWO SONG ABOUT GUYS FALLING LOVE WITH GIRLS OF THE NIGHT.
    JEALOUS GUY, ROXANNE, DON’T PUT ON THAT RED DRESS TONIGHT
    TANGO ROXANNEhttp://youtu.be/uxsfB-bQoz
    DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH GIRL AT THE DISCO CLUB, BY BLACK EYED PEAS. only girls of night go to clubs in Latin America & and a few ignorant tourist girls). These girls are drop dead gorgeous, & guys are begging them to marry them,

  • GUYS ON COLLEGE CAMPUS

    I read your article, about men in College Campus’s. THEY ARE HAVING SEX WITH OLDER WOMEN. They go to the COUGER Bars,
    They hit on their Moms friends, older women are everywhere. ALL the girls in their late 20’s, early 30’s, have just finished there first divorce & are free again. What the hell, a lot of sexy 50 year olds?? These older women, have money, are established, AND CONSIDER IT A COMPLIMENT THAT AN 18 to 25 YEAR OLD GUY WOULD WANT THEM. (THESE GIYS CAN GIVE THEM SEX LIKE THEY NEVER HAD IT BEFORE)??
    These college guys would never marry these older women, but they get sex until they drop until they can finish college, establish careers, start their business follow their dreams. OLDER WOMEN WATCH OUT, COLLEGE MEN ON THE PROWL.
    Once these guys are established, are Doctors, Lawers, CEO’s of companies, they go for 18 or 19 year old girls that just finished high school, that are
    drop dead good looking. They don’t want college girls. “REMEMBER THE MOVIE THE GRADUATE” (if you have not seen it, download it),
    College student was “DOING”, his girlfriends Mothet, because girlfriend would not put out. This caused some complications with his relationship with his girlfriend. (What do you expect a poor guy to do)???. As long as there are older women available, guys will never do without sex???
    Guys also hit ” hotel lobby bars”, because ” while traveling no-one knows them”, and a hotel room readily available upstairs. Where do they go after a long flight & tired, the hotel lobby bar.
    Gorgeous Sales Reps, business women, who like young guys. I am sure Susan has a pack of these guys waiting at bar when she travels??
    Guys are not dumb, don’t rely on those numbers & statistics you have come up with & don’t trust your Mother or her friends, if you bring your boyfriend home?? Think about it.

  • REAL ISSUE

    I don’t think the problem is how many guys you have been with in your life. The problem goes deeper. This is how a man sees it. When he is younger, getting prepared for success, many times woman treat him like crap, put their nose in the air at him. because the women have unrealistic expectations, AND GO WITH MEN THAT ARE ABOVE WHAT THEY CAN GET. These girls don’t know that yet, and the guys “above them”, just use the girls & dump them. In the 10 years from 20 to 30 years old, WOMAN ARE PARTYING HAVING S GOOD TIME, HAVE TRAVELED ALL OVER THE WORLD, BEEN TO BEST RESTRAUANTS. ETC, ETC, BEEN WITH ROCK STARS, FAMOUS SPORTS STARS, POLITICIANS, CEO’s IF CORPORATIONS, and most of all stuck there nose up at the guys they can realisticly get.
    THE MEN ON THE OTHER HAND BETWEEN
    20 AND 30 YEARS OF AGE, ARE LIVING IN POVERTY, GETTING THEIR EDUCATION, BUSINESS GOING, ETC, ETC, and being treated like dog meat by women his own age. (I don’t want to date a college BOY??)
    What happens when the girl gets to be 30 years old & the guy gets to be 30 years old. (The guy has had to date older women to get him through until he has been syccessful). THE GIRL SAYS SHE HAS HAD HER FUN, & IS READY TO SEATTLE DOWN, the guy has had no fun & is ready to start traveling & having fun. He gets the young girls who have not been around yet, he has not had his turn at doing things & going places.
    BUT IT GOES DEEPER, HE US REALLY PISSED, ANGRY AT THE GIRLS HIS OWN AGE THAT TREATED HIM LIKE DOG DUNG. IT IS NOT THAT THESE GIRLS HAVE BEEN WITH MORE THAN ONE GUY, “THE REAL ISSUE IS THAT HE WANTS REVENGE AGAINST THE GIRLS THAT TREATED LIKE FERTILIZER. He resents that they were having fun while he had to work his butt off to get where he is maybe a leader of industry,
    NOW THESE WOMEN REALIZE THAT HE IS THE BEST THEY CAN DO THE ALPHA MALES WOULD NOT MARRY THEM, these same woman that put him down now want him.
    What do you think he us going to do — the roles switch, he is going to put these women down
    and have nothing to do with them. He is going to shove it in there face, that they can get younger & hotter women, they are going to put it in these girls face, that they are worn out, & have to whipe the Alpha males fluids from there face, therefore don’t want to kiss them??? (Or have anything to do with these girl). They get there revenge for the way they were treated, by letting these girls just be single, when there biological clock is ticking. And they have no-body. Revenge is sweet said the beta male that is no longer a provider.
    THE ISSUE THEN IS NOT HOW MANY GUYS THE GIRL HAS BEEN WITH, BUT THE AROGANCE & EXPECTATIONS OF YOUNGER WOMEN, and their treatment of some men in there younger years. THE MEN THEY ARE TREATING LIKE TOAD DUNG, ARE THEIR FUTURE HUSBANDS????
    I SEE THIS AS THE REAL PROBLEM???
    YOU GIRLS COME UP WITH THE SOLUTION??

  • TC

    I’m going to have to agree with LC above (318) 100%.

    I was a good girl all throughout college and onwards. I’m a pretty girl, smart, and kind. I always get hit on, but because I’m not willing to put out until marriage, no one will date me! Now I’m in my early 30s and I see all the skanks from college (who completely whored it up with the frat boys and athletes) married up with kids, because they put out to some beta.

    If nobody wants to date a virgin, how’s she ever supposed to marry?

    I always thought I was holding out for my future husband – that I was honoring him and cherishing him by waiting for only him. But guess what? Being good DOES NOT pay off! I wish I had just been a slut. I give up.

  • TC

    And before anyone says, “you’re going for the wrong guys” – I am interested in betas. But how many of them want to date a virgin? None.

    Heck, I’ve seen gammas and zetas getting laid by skanky (tho unattractive) girls. Any guy can really get laid if he tries. Why would any of them want to date someone who doesn’t put out?

    It does not pay to have morals in American society.

  • Gin Martini

    TC, if you’re in your early 30’s and a virgin, it’s surely not too late to have kickass monogamous sex, or, as you say, be a slut. O both. The world is yours! Have fun.

    The whole wait-until-marriage thing makes sense… if you’re 18 and engaged.

  • Man

    Any guy can really get laid if he tries. Why would any of them want to date someone who doesn’t put out?

    I’ve dated a virgin in her 30’s. She was my last girlfriend. I was in love with her and I wanted to marry her. I was even willing to postpone sex to only after marriage. But then she told me that she doesn’t love me. :)

    If you’re virgin, that does give you some extra points in your “marriage value”. And men need more than sex.

  • Liz

    Wow Real Issue. You certainly have “issues.”

  • Liz

    @LC Interesting perspective.

    So a good girl is always going to be wasting her life away with no affection, sex, no attention whatsoever. Then you get into your 30s, and those guys that want to settle down now don’t look at the girl their age. They go after the girls who are younger.

    Did they go after you when you were younger? If so, did you rule them out because of age? If not, why not?

  • TC

    Man – thanks for saying that. I appreciate it. Hope I find a good man (who values a woman who isn’t a slut) one day. :)

  • BuenaVista

    The virgin/slut dichotomy, imo, is a false dichotomy (absent a powerful religious frame). To me it’s just the kind of slander that has been used to suppress and control women, and to any enlightened man, beside the point.

    I’ve been in love three times in my life, and in each case the woman, while not a virgin, certainly offered the steadiness of someone who could manage her sexual desire and direct her energy toward one man, and one man only, and wished to do so.

    Because secular virgins in their 30’s are so rare, a secular male of value will wonder if she is a good longterm sexual partner. Especially if he is divorced, and desirous of re-experiencing monogamy, and has experienced the sexual wasteland that is a failed marriage.

    For discussions of a sexually abundant, monogamous life in a Christian context, there are innumerable books and resources that provide a rational and faith-based frame for this discussion.

  • WBOTB

    This old fashioned stuff is dying out as women are more and more defining their own sexuality, making their own standards rather than submitting to the standards of men. People will treat you the way u allow them to. If you allow them to value you according to your previous sex life then you will be no more valuable than that. If you command the respect you deserve, then men will have no other choice but to give it to you.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      If you command the respect you deserve, then men will have no other choice but to give it to you.

      How’s that? Can’t they simply refuse, saying you are not worthy of respect? How do you plan to compel respect from another person by giving them “no choice?”

  • Man

    @WBOTB: I really doubt it’s dying out because women have a very “flawed”/inverted “logic” in this regard. When they’re young they often give a lot of value to cads and then as they get older, they expect the “nice guys” whom they rejected before to accept their “inferiority” and accept their past: “Hot & Mean” vs. “Not Hot & Nice”: What Do Girls Want?. This is only plausible and possible in women’s fantasy world of having the freedom to chase “alpha asshats” when young and find a good provider as they get older.

    I mean, if a lot of women have been successful in making this transition is only because they often hide their past from their mates and also with the massive support of the politically correct/feminist media, which successfully shamed generations of young boys into feeling guilt of their instincts. But the male instincts cannot be suppressed “ad eternum”. And men are not so dumb as women think they are. They have a slow intellect, but it’s very penetrating and powerful. That’s why the “sphere” is growing day by day.

  • WBOTB

    @REAL ISSUE
    Male alphaness is a fiction story. You either have confidence or you don’t. You’re either a male whore or marriage material. You’re either a jerkoff or a man with integrity. From my experience I’ve always made guys with pua mentality feel lower than the betas and omegas (as they would call it), emasculated as I laugh my wicked ass off.

    Women are getting married in their 30s every day now so idk what you’re talking about. There’s no alpha, no beta, just simple attraction, chemistry, love and the readiness to settle down with 1 man. You must have encountered more greedy women than usual.

  • Man

    P.S.: They feel guilt because they were shamed into feeling so and their instinct is well and alive, looking for ways to full expression, but in reality only “good guys” feel guilt about feeling this way. Cads don’t feel guilt about it and support feminism because feminism benefits them with the casual sex culture. And in the end, they often marry virgins. Isn’t it a paradox? Anyway, I do not have really much to add to this discussion which was not already pretty well covered in the article.

  • mr. wavevector

    @ WBTOB,

    That’s a fine piece of wishful thinking. Women can define their sexuality however they want, but men define what type of sexuality they are attracted to, and no woman can dictate that. And men also decide whether they will give you respect or not. Your opinion over your respect-worthiness is not particularly relevant to a man who thinks otherwise.

  • Abbot

    “If you command the respect you deserve, then men will have no other choice but to give it to you.”

    What are five (or pick a number) ways a woman can command from a man the respect she deserves as it relates to her past sexual behavior?

    After making such commands for respect to a man why at that point does he have no other choice but to give it to you? Can he not politely excuse himself, take a walk and never come back? If another woman makes no commands (because her past does not warrant such) after hearing yours, is he not able to grab her hand and run like hell?

  • http://ANALYZETHEPROBLEM RED PILL

    Your solution is correct for 20 years ago, but does not address the problems today of men, & how they will respond

  • Man

    Another point I wish to add is that in man’s attraction cues “virginity” or “purity” does have an intrinsic value, even though that does not guarantee the character value of the woman itself. As “Real Issue” pointed out at comment #323, very often the man who was “invisible” and excluded from the sexual market in his young years, often watching some cads get the most attractive girls, will expect “purity” or “chastity” as a form of compensation. And men in general expect more beauty and kinky sex as a form of compensation for lack of “purity” or “chastity”, because unlike women, men overvalue and idealize women’s body.

    So if she has mating and feminine qualities, coupled with “purity” or relative “chastity”, then her marriage value goes up in men’s eyes. Otherwise there is only really beauty and sex to compensate for the lack of these traits.

    That said, I think that women with a promiscuous past can handle this effectively if she is able to “up” her feminine and mating traits, which will make her stand out among other women, and provided she’s able to reassure him that she’s hard to get to everybody else, except to him. She has to employ “Girl Game” to deal with this issue, and really avoid talking about her past.

  • Abbot

    “the man who was “invisible” and excluded from the sexual market in his young years, often watching some cads get the most attractive girls, will expect “purity” or “chastity” as a form of compensation. And men in general expect more beauty and kinky sex as a form of compensation for lack of “purity” or “chastity”, because unlike women, men overvalue and idealize women’s body.”

    “So if she has mating and feminine qualities, coupled with “purity” or relative “chastity”, then her marriage value goes up in men’s eyes. Otherwise there is only really beauty and sex to compensate for the lack of these traits.”

    That is exactly what feminists are railing against. They would not care so much if not for the fact that its NOT a minority of men who do this.

    This from a feminist –

    “I know plenty of progressive, liberal, adult men who openly say they’re looking for a “good girl”—who prioritize some paternalistic illusion of “self-respect” over personality and chemistry.”

    http://jezebel.com/female-purity-is-bullshit-493278191

    .

  • Sex at Dawn

    I am a man. When I was younger I felt uneasy about my girlfriend’s greater level of experience, but it was a merely temporary condition, which disappeared as the relationship progressed. After we broke up and I gained experience with other women, tendencies towards feeling like this vanished entirely.

    Therefore I reject the idea that there is a universal male revulsion towards non-virgin women, and I think the idea that most men want to marry a virgin is ridiculous. It’s probably not even true in Iran, never mind in the west. Everyone should know that if you marry a virgin you will probably end up in a sexless marriage.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Everyone should know that if you marry a virgin you will probably end up in a sexless marriage.

      This statement is so unsupportable that it amounts to trolling. You are free to express your personal opinion, but I will continue to delete misinformation.

  • Sex at Dawn

    I also reject the idea that a woman is morally superior if she is less experienced. She could still be cruel and inconsiderate. On the otherhand, another woman could be promiscuous, but kind, caring and generous. Sexual issues don’t have much of an effect.

  • Man

    @Abbot: They prioritize “personality and chemistry”, because they are talking about their attraction cues and women often confound “passion” with “love”. To my mind, only a high EQ woman nowadays, or with strong mating/maternal instincts, is able to tell the difference, because whole generations of women were “programmed” to indulge into their wildest fantasies and desires with the feminist (megalomania) guarantee of happiness whatever it happens.

  • Abbot

    “the idea that most men want to marry a virgin is ridiculous”

    Where is the idea on this forum that most men want to marry virgins?

  • Lokland

    @342

    I am a man.
    I felt uneasy.
    Then it stopped.
    Therefore virgins don’t have good sex lives.

    You sir have undeniably the best logical system I have ever laid eyes upon.

  • Sex at Dawn

    Susan, then why are you not deleting all the comments that claim that revulsion against non-chaste women is somehow a hardwired universal male trait? It’s unsupportable conservative propaganda.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      It’s unsupportable conservative propaganda.

      American men list “sexual faithfulness” as the most important of 67 female traits. There is nothing more important to men in mating than sexual loyalty, the avoidance of being cuckolded.

      Men can and do judge women based on previous sexual experience in order to best predict their ability to be sexually faithful in future. (See Sexual Double Standard for more information.)

  • http://MEMORIALDAYCOMMENERATION Truth??

    Susan, Please. define “misrepresentation”, does it
    mean simply what you don’t agree with or meet your agenda. What about opposite points of view, is that “misrepresentation”, who is the judge as to what misrepresentation.
    HERE IS ONE FOR MEMORIAL DAY
    (A true story)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Truth??

      I define misrepresentation as knowingly distorting the facts to advance an agenda.

      Here are just a few examples from this article:

      1. Bergner describes female HSDD as more common than male HSDD, but this is untrue. Among those who meet the clinical definition, there are twice as many males as females.

      2. B. suggests that it is the female dislike for monogamy that drives this low sex drive, but the women with this disorder are so committed to their husbands, they aggressively seek participation in clinical trials. There was no report of infidelity or seeking divorce related to the female HSDD.

      3. B. references the famous lie detector test and says women reported far greater numbers of partners when they believed they were being monitored. This is not true. The number did go up, but only slightly, and the study itself concludes that the results were not statistically significant.

      4. B. suggests that women are prone to the 4-year itch, but in fact, the research done on this suggests that both men and women experience a drop in lust at the four year mark. He fails to mention that the experience is common to both sexes.

      5. It may be that SSRIs account for the lion’s share of these cases – it is estimated that 20% of Americans are on SSRIs, and loss of libido and ability to orgasm are well known side effects. Bergner acknowledges this, but quickly goes on to ignore it, citing that “many” women have this problem despite not being on SSRIs. He doesn’t have the number, but early in the article suggested it is more than 460 American women, which would make it as rare a condition as any.

      There are 5, I could easily come up with another dozen. As I read the article, I circled the misstatements and distortions with a blue Sharpie. When I picked it up this morning to write the post, I could not even read it, for all the blue marks. I had to get a fresh copy by going online.

      My agenda is fact-finding and data analysis in the interest of truth telling.

      Which facts trouble you?

  • Abbot

    “claim that revulsion against non-chaste women is somehow a hardwired universal male trait? It’s unsupportable conservative propaganda.”

    Revulsion demonstrated by what exactly?
    Define non-chaste.
    What reason would there by for defining anything related to romance as propaganda?

    Here a supposed feminist is befuddled by such “universal” traits:

    “I know plenty of progressive, liberal, adult men who openly say they’re looking for a “good girl”—who prioritize some paternalistic illusion of “self-respect” over personality and chemistry”

    http://jezebel.com/female-purity-is-bullshit-493278191

    .

  • Man

    This statement is so unsupportable that it amounts to trolling.

    +1 I suspect that there is actually a correlation between a woman’s bonding/mating orientation and her being more sexually active or available within a LTR, irrespective of her being virgin or not.

  • Jimmybob

    @Susan, comment 350

    Not all men are American men, and yet we’re to believe that your cultural values are universal? There are cultures in which this is not a concern for the men at all.

    Sexual faithfulness is not the same as chastity (which was perhaps a less popular criterion in the same study?)
    You’re trying to wedge a proverbial square peg into a round hole by linking the two. I’m not sure which article you’re referring to about the sexual double standard. But it seems to assume that humans in all eras and cultures always paired off into couples – a discredited theory.

    The reason nobody likes to talk about this “risk for women” is because its factual foundation is so shaky.

  • Jimmybob

    I found this quote from one of your articles:

    7. Marital stability is correlated with the number of pre-marital sexual partners:

    “Consider the 2003 study of over 10,000 women which found that as the number of non-marital sexual partners went up, the probability of marital stability went down. For example, once a woman has had 5 sexual partners, the probability of pulling off an intact marriage dips under 30%; it is under 20% when the number of sexual partners reaches the upper teens.”

    The problem with your logic is that you seem to assume that all the marriages surveyed broke down due to some issue around loyalty. That is unlikely.

    It’s also questionable to choose a marriage above other relationships in people’s lives. My relationship with my last girlfriend broke down, but her sexual loyalty was flawless during the time. The relationship ended for different reasons. Also, marriage and things like it did not exist for most of our evolutionary history, so you can’t make claims about human nature based on it.

  • Abbot

    “Sexual faithfulness is not the same as chastity”

    Define “chastity”

    Faithfulness risk is an extremely long distant second from just plain ol not feeling good about committing to a promiscuous women. The reasons for these feeling are irrelevant.

  • Liz

    @Susan

    Men can and do judge women based on previous sexual experience in order to best predict their ability to be sexually faithful in future.

    But why does “experience” equal “unfaithful” ? Something is seriously missing in this logic. A high number of partners/relationships certainly doesn’t mean you’ve ever cheated on anyone.

    Maybe it’s just me who thinks this, but a person who honors an exclusive relationship while at other times having non-exclusive ones, is hardly being unfaithful. I’m sure somebody will show me some study with correlations, but I think it’s disingenuous to measure apples and then use that to predict oranges.

    Look at someone’s history of monogamy, sure, if that’s what you care about. Ask about their choice of partners if you’re really brave and want to play psychologist.

    But just because your SO went through a lot of people before finding a relationship that worked (or even if they bought the feminist playbook for a time) doesn’t mean she’ll sneak around behind your back.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Liz

      I believe the issue is not one of character, but of previous access to sexual variety.

      Also, promiscuity is strongly correlated to certain personality traits, as well as life experience, e.g. parental divorce. This is true for both sexes. This is why I also advise women to avoid reformed players or men with a great number of previous partners.

      “I had a high school boyfriend, but dumped him for his best friend. I had a college boyfriend for four years – and a fling with a professor. I’m seeing someone now, but hooked up with my ex-boyfriend for old time’s sake.

      BUT HEY, MY NUMBER IS ONLY SIX.

      Very good point. Which leads me to another argument that interestingly enough, a lot of men have made. Which is that very good looking women (and men) have many more opportunities for sex. If they turn down 95% of those options, they still may have more sex (but still be loyal, faithful, etc.) than a person with fewer options who is nonetheless inclined to cheat.

  • Liz

    I’d like to see someone own up to this:

    “I had a high school boyfriend, but dumped him for his best friend. I had a college boyfriend for four years – and a fling with a professor. I’m seeing someone now, but hooked up with my ex-boyfriend for old time’s sake.

    BUT HEY, MY NUMBER IS ONLY SIX.

  • Jimmybob

    As Liz said, why does “experience” equal “unfaithful” ? Something is seriously missing in this logic. A high number of partners/relationships certainly doesn’t mean you’ve ever cheated on anyone.

    @Abbott; the reasons for these feelings are one of the points of discussion. I think they are about feelings of inadequacy and p0st-Victorian ideology too. It’s certainly not a universal, inescapable instinct. Attempts to portray it as such are political – about controlling women.

  • Abbot

    “I think they are about feelings of inadequacy”

    Why that opinion? Did her “priors” have feelings of inadequacy or just her marriage target?

    “p0st-Victorian ideology”

    Ah, a new lump-em term to add to the tired ineffective list. What does this seemingly shame-intended gem imply?

    “It’s certainly not a universal, inescapable instinct.”

    Since there is no reason to “escape” from it, why bother?

    “Attempts to portray it as such are political – about controlling women.”

    Why would any man with any manner of thinking want to control any woman who prefers to engage in certain behaviors that are absolutely not universal among women? Would it not be much easier for men to just go to a place where such women are an extreme minority?

    .

  • WBOTB

    @Sex at Dawn
    I like how your comment is based on true experience rather than bs propaganda. Why do I like your comment? Because there is no agenda in it. Just a description about your mature conclusion.

  • Sandra

    This is truly awful! All the judgements directed at the woman, just makes me cringe. This is more sexism than anything else.
    Conflicted does not realize that the person he is going out with is a well-rounded flawed person (as we all are). He will never find someone who is nice, loves him and who doesn’t have some sort of history or past. Its impossible. You cannot marry someone and expect to have everything happy etc, everyone you encounter is damaged goods in this way. We all have our struggles. What is important is learning to love our partners despite their flaws. Trust me, this is just one of this womans ‘flaws’ (if you can call it that) – she will have many more and so will Conflicted.

    I had quite a few partners when I was at college. I was promiscious. Is this bad? Not from my point of view. I was very trusting, I knew (maybe incorrectly) that most guys were not interested unless you had sex with them. So I did. I had sex with many guys, got to know them in their unique ways and got dropped by each and every one, sometimes I was heartbroken, sometimes I was glad I didn’t get more involved. Until I learnt that sex wasn’t the way to find stable relationships. I decided to remain chaste and after which I met my husband and we’ve been together for 10 years.

    My point is, I don’t think its right to judge this woman. The social climate is way different than it ever was – women are expected to put out, called frigid if they don’t and dropped if they do. Women who decided to venture this climate without wanting a relationship are in a stronger position – but I’m not sure how it affects them when they do settle down. Are they colder? Less emotional? Or just wiser and better prepared? All I know is that when I was at college, it wasn’t fun.

    When guys talk about sex they talk about it being ‘fun’ whereas I felt my emotions were being raked over hot coals every time. I guess I was too eager for love. Maybe this woman was the same? Maybe she enjoyed her college years, maybe she didn’t. We don’t know. All I know is that making a judgement against someone is wrong, unwise until you get to know their full story; No husband or wife will ever be perfect, that person you walked down the aisle with will have flaws and plenty of them and that is probably the only thing you can be certain about about.

  • KeepItsimple

    For me it’s easy and I think this is what most people do.If you have been with a few people,marry someone that has been with a few people.If you are a virgin,marry a virgin.If you have been with a lot of people,marry someone that has too.And if you just don’t care,marry someone that has been with however many they have been with.I’m doing it my way and you do it your way.If this discussion ever leads to the best way to have a relationship maybe we should live that way.

  • komstoc

    This should be taught in sex education classes.Boys need to be taught that having sex with girls means less virgins will exist when they want to marry.Girls need to be taught that virginity is a requirement for many men choosing a wife.All need to be taught that you don’t have to have sex with every person you date and that sex leads to emotional attachment which might make you stay with the wrong person and that sex too soon might lead to breaking up with the right person.