Ask A Guy: Do Guys Care About How Many People A Girl Has Slept With?

Do guys care about your number

Should you tell him? | Source: ShutterStock

Dear Ethan,

Do guys care about how many people a girl has slept with? Because if someone asks me, I answer because I’m a really open person. But sometimes I get the feeling guys do make a huge judgment dependent on that information alone. What do they really think?

To quote Stephanie Tanner of Full House: “How rude!” A guy shouldn’t be asking you that in the first place. But should the number be revealed later in a relationship (perhaps when past experiences may help explain the origins of sexual habits or emotional barriers), well…yes, guys care — but probably not in the way you’re thinking.

For one thing, younger, more inexperienced guys may be intimidated by a girl who has been with more partners than he has. Even I’ve fallen victim to this, when I dated a more… “accomplished” woman while in college. Having only slept with two girls before, I felt like I couldn’t stack up to her level of expertise. But, as with many guys, the issue was rooted in my own insecurities, not in the judgment of my girlfriend’s fruitful past.

As guys mature, a more experienced woman actually becomes desirable. Most guys I know would prefer to date someone who is more confident and in touch with her preferences than someone who has much to learn about sex. A girl who has already sown her wild oats has a better understanding of who and what she wants. Guys who “only want virgins” are mythical at best; rare, creepy fetishists at worst.

I’m certainly not suggesting, of course, that you should jump into bed with any dude who pays for dinner. On the contrary, you should save sex for those you feel are truly special. Follow this rule, and you – and any future boyfriend – will always have respect for your history, no matter what your “number” is.

Chauvinists may excuse promiscuous guys as “players,” while describing women with similar sexual records less kindly. But who wants to date a chauvinist? You need to gather experience at whatever rate you feel comfortable with by setting your own personal standards. If a guy can’t deal with a sexual history that you’re secure with, he’s likely not right for you to begin with.

Good luck!
Ethan

Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Ethan, email him at askaguy@gurl.com!

 

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26 Comments

  1. avatartrev says:

    Yeah this is all crazy. I’m a 21 year old virgin and attractive, fit, etc. So I hear. I can’t imagine marrying someone who hasn’t also painstakingly waited, and pretended their way through sex talks with friends who won’t understand. I’m rare…and I know I’m rare.

  2. avatarknowitall says:

    You all dont get it. For young boys that are still virigins they most likely want one too due to insecurity. When u get older as a man you start to care less because u are getting old and unattractive and will go for whatever u can get. Some guys dont care because they dont truly respect women they just want to bang em and some guys care because they dont wana think of their girl being banged by another guy. I personally wudnt mind if she was a virgin becuz within a week ill make her into the best lover around and shell be only mine *(hopefully, im in it for the long haul) and if she isnt its okay too. But a girl who goes to parties and uses alchohol as an excuse to party hard and have one night stands, or lets strangers finger her on the dance floor or just is slutty in general is not cool cuz i want a girl with self respect and girls like that dont understand the meaning of the word. I also hate when people say the past doesnt matter, that is one of the dumbest things i hear from people. Its like letting a child molester babysit ur kids after he did what he did and went to jail and came out saying he is a reformed man.

  3. avatarAthena396 says:

    If two people genuinely love and respect each other, the # of people they’ve slept with shouldn’t matter. Since they accept each other. If you love someone, you accept who they are: flaws, past mistakes, accomplishments, quirks, personality traits, etc. Judging someone based on their past exploits or rumored past exploits is not a good idea. (take that girl from Staten Island, New York for example. She was RUMORED to have had a relationship with ONE boy on her school’s football team. Her classmates started calling her a slut.She killed herself. Not cool.)
    That word IS degrading and shouldn’t be used. http://www.gurl.com/2012/10/26/felicia-garcia-slut-shaming-suicide/

  4. avatarMarcus says:

    In my humble opinion, one’s got to differentiate between sexual openness and promiscuity.

    Let us take a girl who’s been known to blow guys in movie theaters as an example. Let’s say she’s blown 10 guys in movie theaters. Let us also assume that there exist two versions of this girl, in parallel universes.

    The girl in the first universe I sexually open, but non-promiscuous. The guys she’s blown have mostly been boyfriends, potential boyfriends, or some such. She’s actually liked them beyond them making her horny, and they have actually liked her as well. These guys respected her as a human being, and she respected them. There may have been the odd exception, but it’s rare, because this girl respects herself and therefore feels little inclination to fuck those who view her as little more than a cum receptacle. She may also have been tricked once or twice, i.e. pumped and dumped, but she’s learned her lesson and isn’t easily fooled any more.

    The girl in the other universe is promiscuous. The guys she’s blown have mostly just been guys that make her horny and/or who have given her some sort of superficial validation. Emotional investment is completely optional, because her motivating force may be horniness and/or neediness for external validation, and sex is how she gets that.

    I wouldn’t mind being together with the first girl, but I wouldn’t touch the second one with a stick.

    While the sexual acts are identical, the intent and motivation behind these acts are not. The sexually open non-promiscuous version of this girl doesn’t receive payment for the blowjob, but the promiscuous version does; wh*res aren’t necessarily paid in cash you know. The payment may be, for example, orgasms and/or validation.

    This is what makes the second girl a pathetic sl*t. The first girl may not be an angel (but then again, I don’t believe in angels), but she is very likely to be a perfectly normal, healthy person who may be prime long term relationship material.

    In my humble opinion, the author of this article shows a profound lack of understanding for male sexuality and the basic conditions of male existence. There are perfectly valid reasons for men to have issues with females who have a lot of sexual history. For example, the more sexual partners a woman has had, the more likely it is that she is promiscuous, and if that is the case, she is statistically more likely to cheat and divorce. Studies confirming this are easily googled.

    Combine this with the fact that women have absolute knowledge of motherhood, whereas men do not, and you have some pretty solid reasons for men to be, to put it mildly, really f***ing skeptical of committing to women with “rich” sexual histories. The fact that this, which is obvious, is ignored by a very large portion of women today, speaks volumes. Every action has consequences. If a girl goes to bed with 30 different guys, it WILL have consequences whether she likes it or not, and whether she accepts it or not. When those same women are then surprised that men react badly at the number of partners they’ve had, it’s a complete giveaway as to how lacking in empathy and respect for men they truly are.

    That said, a man does himself and women in general a huge disservice by only looking at the superficial bit of the sexual histories of women, by which I mean the numbers. Numbers do matter (see the paragraph on numbers implying promiscuity), but they’re less important than the intents and motivations behind the sexual histories of women.

    Then there is, again, the question of respect:
    Why should any self-respecting man get involved in any way with a woman who doesn’t respect herself? A woman who buys validation with her orifices surely doesn’t respect herself. A person who doesn’t respect him or herself must surely be incapable of respecting others in any meaningful, genuine way. Never mind love.

  5. avatarA.J. says:

    Before my first official relationship with my Girlfriend which is almost *2 Years* now (: I never even thought about if she was a virgin or not. When we were both first dating I blocked out every single negative thought or imagine because I got love locked with her instantly. Our relationship is so strong, loving, and amazing.. But this is my point after like 2 months into our relationship I had a dream not even sure why I had it but it was random too.. I just had a dream and in it I asked my Girlfriend if she has ever had sex with anyone before me.. Yes.. I was bummed for a while but I kept my head up in my relationship with her.. She said yes but this is the thing it’s quite common with every type of guy which is (not me) that take advantage but not getting into all of what she told me so I will tell part of it.. She said that he tricked her but it wasn’t even an official relationship she had with this guy she said that it was a “one night stand” she told me that he said that she was pretty and really nice and I’m pretty sure like 65% which I’m being nice like 65% Girls these days probably by the nice guy act all for these type of guys to get in Girls pants which I hate about guys these days.. I’m not anything like that.. But yeah I had my head down I feel better about it now since it’s almost 2 Years with her but you have to look at it this way I’m a type of guy that’s sensitive about things like this I mean I always wanted my first Girl to be a virgin like I was.. But here is my conclusion.. When we both were first dating it was both our first official time with someone special and real you know? Our love is so strong now and I know for a fact that I’m going to marry her in the future. This is my last thing I want to clear up with you people.. My Girlfriend and I do not call Sex “Sex” we call it “Making Love” everything between my Girlfriend and I we both keep it secret and will continue to keep our happiness pure.. I just needed to get this out of my mind now I feel 100% better.. It’s just funny though after the first time my Girlfriend and I “Made Love” after we were done she was balling and said there is something I needed to tell you and I was like what’s up? She was like you weren’t my first.. and at that time I said “That’s fine, because I don’t care and I will always take care and love you” then she kept balling saying that she should’ve been smarter and saved it for me.. I love my Girlfriend.. Here’s one last thing that’s a tip for you all.. (: when you officially find that someone special and start “Making Love” it gets very emotional depending on the type of person you are and with your special partner I’m feeling a lot better getting all of this off my chest now and can go on with my life continuing to be happy remember keep your head up if you are single but at the same time there is definitely someone special for everybody out there you just got to wait for them to come to you thank you for everybody that reads my comment thanks!

  6. avatarMrCead says:

    It really depends on the person. People have the right to decide to be with you or not for whatever reason, it’s their life too. Stick to your guns but remember people have their own dating rules also. You can’t just wave off someone’s concerns as simple insecurity. Everyone is insecure about something. It sucks when people lambaste you over it just because it makes them insecure from hearing it.

    Tangled web isn’t it? But it is not the end of the world. A woman who has had numerous multiple partners shouldn’t have trouble finding a guy who is comfortable with her past so it’s really a non-issue.

  7. avatarbob says:

    Hahahahaha this article is pretty biased, Every guy should obviously care about how many partners his girl has had. Just because you care about someone does not mean you have to appreciate or agree with how many people they have been with.

    An example is me, I am in love with this girl who obviously has some history as most girls nowadays, I absolutely hate the history but learned to live with it. The problem is most people open their legs too easily nowadays, all you need to say is “I love you” then you are in. Girls tend to fall for this a lot and guys tend to take advantage of this. And unfortunately guys are lucky in the aspect that, if they have sex you will never know unless they tell you and society tends to favor an experienced guy.
    Just be wary when you open your legs to some random chum, just because the writer might say “if he is not comfortable with your history, he is not for you” but that is completely wrong. Look at it this way, if he does not care about you doing it with other dudes, he does not give a shit about you, and is just looking to pass time and get some booty for a while. If he cares he most certainly will mind, just as you would mind when he tells you about his sexual encounters. It is human nature to not want to share what you cherish the most with some other person, especially when it comes to women.

  8. avatarJade says:

    This just tends to confuse me. Ive just entered a relationship with a guy and before getting into the relationship I hinted at my sexual past. He didnt seem very judgemental of someone with a bit of experience and said if he really liked someone, there number wouldnt matter. I think its best to be open in a relationship, since its all about honesty and trust. I think keeping information from your partner is as much as lying to them. I suspect my partner has had sex with about 5 while Ive slept with 16. I think if we ever tell our numbers we have to tell the story as well, lessons learnt from our experiences for good or worse. I had a boyfriend and it annoyed me that he felt so bad about his experiences and never wanted to talk about them. While I liked when another boyfriend was open about his experiences.

  9. avatarJaime says:

    I actually think that if anyone, male or female, has slept with too many people, it’s very un-attractive. Like I’m sure the experience is nice, but the thought that they’ve been with so many people kinda grosses me out. Getting sexually transmitted infections happens so much easier if you sleep with lots of people. I don’t know, I guess it’s not right to judge people on things like that but I do.

  10. avatarToxicDisco says:

    Cool article but I just hope not too many girls take this seriously “As guys mature, a more experienced woman actually becomes desirable. Most guys I know would prefer to date someone who is more confident and in touch with her preferences than someone who has much to learn about sex.” This is actually the exact opposite in my guy friends circle and on all the forums I visit online.And that very first sentence is the most flawed part. All the older men (25 and up) I know prefer to date a girl who has little to no experience. That excludes guys though who has done many girls and who don’t see sex as much of a “special” act but more a act of just pleasure. Many guys I know who also value sex a lot and sees it as a special and intimate act within a serious relationship want a partner who shares this similar view. They’d be completely turned off if a girl has many sex partners simply because they don’t hold the same values as they do. They’re definitely mature and unfortunately to them a highly experienced partner is the exact opposite of desirable. Guys though who love sex and will do it left right center with any girl will obviously be attracted to a girl who has experience. So it all depends on the guy you want. Take your pick. This article really isn’t very accurate and I measure this by this article versus the hundreds of questions and answers I’ve seen different guys answer on public forums and in real life.

    • avatarEthan Fixell says:

      Interesting point here — I think you’re right that there are plenty of dudes who prefer younger women, which often translates to “less experienced.” Perhaps in general, the majority of younger men swing this way. But personally, as my friends age and are starting to get more serious about their relationships, most agree that it’s an asset when a woman knows a bit about what she likes and wants. This is something she can only obtain through experience.

      Still, I really appreciate your comment — I think you make a valid argument.

      -Ethan

    • avatarjohn says:

      yea your right mature guys want to{ DATE} women with more experience they would never consider marriage, i know my self cause im a guy, as soon as a guy finds out how many you had then they start to formulate in there heads based of that number.”well she had alot of partners so why not bang her and leave” too easy for us. thats how guys think.

  11. avatarJewpev says:

    Personally, I’d rather have a “We’re in this together, I trust and want you.” relationship. I’d like my first time to be with a virgin (Still in Highschool so.. *ahem*) Just becuase of the adventurous, trusting, “We’re in this together!” feeling… But that’s just me and I’m pretty inexperienced. XP

  12. avatarArtemis95 says:

    I’d actually say that being a virgin, especially one waiting for marriage like I am, seems to completely TERRIFY most boys I know. It seems to be even worse than having a really high number. I, personally, just don’t feel comfortable with having premarital sex. I know this puts me in the minority, and I have no problem with that, or the choice the majority of people make. What bothers me is that basically everyone has branded me as a prude and an ice queen. No guys will have anything to do with me outside of friendship.

    • avatarToxicDisco says:

      You just need to look for guys who actually have the same values as you. Believe me there are guys out there who also share your view point. Don’t give up!

  13. avatarIsaiah says:

    I think Ethan is fairly accurate with this one as far as I’m concerned. When I was younger and a virgin it was an issue and now I honestly don’t care. I’m 30 and I would feel creepy if I all the sudden wanted a virginal type. Its actually a turnoff.

    My last two girlfriends had experienced pasts. One was insecure about it and the other thought nothing of it. The insecure one got annoying because she would frequently bring it up for no particular reason. I think she was using it as leveraging power to hurt my feelings. I was not concerned about her past but more the intent of her bringing it up.

    The other one liked sex so she had a lot of partners in the past. When it came up in conversation it felt very normal. I was happy to be with somebody who wasn’t ashamed of themselves and we had a good time together.

  14. avatarTatianna says:

    Hello there, I have currently been dating this guy for about 6 months. I’ve known him for 10, but obviously we started out slow, so there was some time between us meeting and officially starting to “date”. Sometimes, I don’t understand his actions or have to wonder too much what he’s thinking, though. It’s almost as if he’s blowing hot and cold on me. One second he’s on the phone telling me he misses me, and the next he is cutting the convo short and telling me he will call me right back, only to call back the next day. What does all of this mean? Is he perhaps unsure of me, toying with me, talking to another girl, what?

  15. avataramy says:

    I just want to say, you are wrong.

    There are lots of men who prefer virgins, just as there exists men who want an experienced woman. Men who prefer virgins or are appreciative of virgins are not limited to creeps or fetishes. Virginity can be a sign of innocence, strength, and purity.

    I hope girls reading this don’t actually take your answers to heart.
    They are only your opinion and yet you “generalize” and “philosophize” as if you know the answers for everyone. Be careful how you word things — and girls, be careful what you read. Your boyfriend may be proud your a virgin and turned off if you’ve had multiple partners, OR your boyfriend may be more comfortable if you’re experienced. Neither one is wrong. Ask your boyfriend not this guy writing bogus.

    • avatarCrissi says:

      What part of “You need to gather experience at whatever rate you feel comfortable with by setting your own personal standards. If a guy can’t deal with a sexual history that you’re secure with, he’s likely not right for you to begin with” did you miss? And of course its a generalization. One person can’t speak for an ENTIRE population but that doesn’t mean his opinion is wrong. His point was that as long as you are comfortable with your own history, or lack thereof, that’s all that matters and any guy who judges you for that isn’t someone you need to be with.

      Also, i do have to say that a guy who ONLY wants virgins IS a little creepy and someone probably needs to take a deep, dark look into their own insecurities if that is all they can deal with….

    • avatarIsabel says:

      Um, this isn’t bogus. What ethan said about chauvinists is totally true. If your guy is turned off because you’ve had multiple partners, well, he needs to wake up and realize what century this is. That’s a total double standard, and everybody deserves more than that. And yeah, some guys do appreciate virgins, and that’s totally cool, but if he’s only sleeping with you because you’re a virgin, isn’t that a little creepy? And that’s what ethan was trying to say. Guys should appreciate you no matter what, and if they don’t, then you might want to reconsider.

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