This is sort of a general topic starter, but it also pertains to something in my life right now...
I'm wondering what you all feel about how important it is to share details of your sexual history with your current partner. I'm not talking about the necessity of sharing information about STDs one may have, but rather what do you all feel you would want to know about your partner, and what would best be filed under Too Much Information?
I just started dating a wonderful girl (I'm calling her June for posting purposes) and I'm her first romantic relationship of any kind. I, on the other hand, have had quite the handful of girlfriends, flings, hook-ups, fool-around friends, what have you. I've really had it with tomcatting around and it's looking really good for me having a meaningful relationship with June. Strangely, she hasn't asked me much about my past so I'm not really sure if she wants or needs to know anything. This is unique to me since many of the other girls I've dated wanted to know (a little too much, in some cases) about my sexual history. Many of these girls were curious college chicks who saw me more as a lab experiment than a girlfriend, so I'm not sure where such conversations fit in to a real relationship. Plus, next to June I feel like a complete slut and I'm a little embarrassed about how much experience I have compared to her. Should I wait to see if she asks me about anything or do I offer up the unsolicited Astonishing Tales of Kara? I've never connected emotionally with anyone like this before so I kind of feel like I owe it to June to share everything with her.
So, what do you all think, both generally and specifically?
This could fit into general relationships too I think, we all have to face telling our parters about our histories.
Once you get past the obligatory stuff about STDs I would talk about boundries. Asking if ther is anything she doesnt want and so on so forth. My close friend started dating somon who's previous partner enjoyed public affection, which she hated. It took them a while to get that straight.
About what sex acts you have done or whatever, that wil come up when it needs to. You dont need to rattle off a laundry list of everything you have done sexually. Those things just come up if they need to. If she wants to know she will ask.
But don't feel like a "slut" because you are experienced. I am sure she isnt bothered by it, and if she is then she isnt worth it ya know?
Beyond the necessary STD discussions, how much you divulge is really up to you and your partner.
In my own relationship, I knew my partner as a friend before we got together. I knew about his last two girlfriends, I knew when he had sex for the first time. So to some extent, there wasn't really any need for me to ask him about his past experiences.
However, that said, I made it very clear that I didn't want the play-by-play of his bedroom exploits with other people. We've had conversations in general about what happened (as friends we were having some issues during that time period), but nothing graphic...and honestly, I don't feel the need to know the details. He knows that I don't want to know, and that I don't want to talk about his ex when we're in bed.
We all self disclose at different levels in different situations. My suggestion would be to find out how your partner feels about it right now. You don't have to list all your exploits to find out whether or not she's comfortable talking about it. Just ask her. Ask her if she wants to know. Ask her if she is comfortable with your talking about it. Discuss how much detail is ok and how much is too much.
Thank you, Sarah, for moving this topic. I almost posted it here in the first place. And thank you, Etch, for suggesting the move.
I'm with you on the anti-play-by-play front. Most of my past lovers have been actively bi or straight so we had to have discussions about STDs and testing, but then these conversations degenerated into stories of what they've done with their boyfriends and I just didn't want to hear it. It's like they were trying to assert their partial straightness, or something. They were always so fascinated by my stories but it felt funny telling them about things and then not wanting to hear about their sex life. Was that mean of me?
I also feel strange about initiating a conversation with June at this point. Maybe it's just something we're not ready for yet but does anyone think it's weird to have such a one-sided conversation? June literally has no sexual history and I don't know if she just wants to forge one with me in total ignorance of my past, or does she want to know how experienced I am beyond my safe sex practices and frequent testing? These are things I should be asking her, I know. I am so falling in love with her and part of me feels like I'm starting over, in a way. I don't mean to ignore who I've been but I really feel like I'm changing.
quote:Originally posted by Kara Zor-El: but then these conversations degenerated into stories of what they've done with their boyfriends and I just didn't want to hear it. It's like they were trying to assert their partial straightness, or something.
You know, we really need to be careful with statements like that. It would no doubt be seen as inappropriate if your sentence read "they were trying to assert their partial gayness" instead, no? Tolerance means we're cool with people who assert their straightness, gayness, bisexuality, or any combination thereof. It's hard for us to preach tolerance on one hand and make offhand remarks like that on the other, and while I'm sure you didn't intend for the sentence to come across the way it did, it's still worth paying close attention to in the future.
As far as your conversation with June...why not wait until she brings it up? I've dated people when I was curious as to what they did before I came around, and I've dated people and really not cared who they were with before my time. I think it's entirely possible to be smitten with someone and not be interested in hearing about your mate's past flings, and it's entirely possible that June is in that spot right now.
You've already had the mandatory conversation, the rest I would view as purely optional on both your parts. It's not the sort of thing I'd shove down someone's throat if they're not interested, and it's not the sort of thing I'd hide from someone if they are interested. Since she's made no mention, I'd think that June just isn't quite at the point where she is ready (or willing) to hear about your past. And with that being so, why mess with it?
quote:Originally posted by BruinDan: You know, we really need to be careful with statements like that.
Well, that's kind of why I asked if I was being mean. I mean, I'm 100% queer and when I've been in bed with girls I haven't been interested in hearing about their experience with boys. Truth be told, I don't like hearing gory details about past lovers of any gender but I guess I feel threatened when they've talked about guys. It made me feel insecure and that I was just a fling, which tended to be the case. I'm still bitter, I suppose, sorry if my venom leaked out into the message board...
quote:Originally posted by Kara Zor-El: Truth be told, I don't like hearing gory details about past lovers of any gender...
There ya go! Many of us don't like to hear about that sort of thing...it can play at one's mind and just wreak all sorts of havoc. I think it's perfectly okay to let sleeping dogs lie once you've had the obligatory STD conversation. In fact, in cases like you've mentioned where one party is completely new to the game...I'd encourage waiting until that person asks you directly before bringing up the topic.
If you've got something good goin' on right now, I'd just maintain your present heading and altitude and fly your course. Changes are tough enough to deal with when they crop up on their own, so I choose not to add to them if at all possible. But such is the lazy man's way of life!
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