I'm 18 and I've slept with three people so far in my life. And to be completely honest, it sometimes makes me feel like garbage. It does not make me feel womanly or accomplished or anything. My first two partners were impulsive, lustful acts and I don't regret it, but sometimes I really want to be a virgin again. My third partner was my boyfriend of two years, which I don't feel so guilty about. However, I was wondering how many is too many? And how can I feel better about having had 3 partners at 18?
Posts: 25 | From: New Jersey | Registered: Jun 2010
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How many partners are too many depends on each individual, and their life experience. What may seem too much for someone may be okay to someone else, and too little to yet another person. Also keep in mind that the amount of sexual partners you have had at a certain age doesn't make you any more or less womanly. Being womanly is about personal as well; it's how you feel about yourself. Remember, as well, that virginity is a social term rather than a physical one. (I could give you links to topics about that, if you want )
If you feel that you have had too many partners at your age, maybe you should hold off on sex for a while and take some time to think. Consider your reasons for having sex, and decide whether they were sound/valid to you. Perhaps you could find alternatives to sex, or try other types of sex (oral and manual, for instance) before having intercourse (I'm assuming that's what you meant in your post, tell me if I'm wrong). Try to figure out what is best for your well being.
Check out the links below. Though they are not directly related to what you're asking, they might be helpful.
I generally think that if you don't regret any of the individual partners then you haven't had too many. Besides, I think the term "too many sex partners" is kinda silly anyway. If you enjoy the sex, how can it be too many? Why do people have to judge other people so hard?
That said, when I hit double digits I felt like I'd had too many partners. So I stopped having sex with any new partners for a while 'till I figured it out. Now I don't feel bad about it anymore, but that cold also be because most of the people I hang out with have had sex with way more people than I have.
Posts: 122 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2007
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I've had /intercourse/ with one person, at probably a later-than-average age. I've done other kinds of sex (which I don't consider to have a different status, although others around me often do) with more, although I'm not into double digits. Like the others who have replied, I don't think there is an objective "too many", only you get to decide if there is one and what it is for yourself.
I also think it's worth figuring out if feeling worthless is coming from your own values/beliefs about sex, or from something external like mainstream attitudes about female sexuality. If the latter, I think there are very few people who aren't ever affected by that stuff but that it is totally achievable to feel differently, & I second the recommendations to those links/the content on this site in general, because I've found it really helpful for that. (Although in my case, I tend to feel like I've had too few partners, not too many, I think the same strategies can be used!)
Posts: 79 | From: the southern hemisphere | Registered: May 2006
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I agree that it should be more about feeling good about the individual partners than focusing on a number. The only time calculating a number can be useful is when figuring out your STI risk, but even then, there are so many factors..I've had intercourse with 10 guys, which some people would say puts me at high risk for STIs, but since 8 out of 10 of these men were either virgins or had only had one other sexual partner before me, I don't see it as super high risk.
This thread also makes me wonder how many guys would ever come here worrying about their number being too high - the double standard is so strong. My best friend's boyfriend calls me a slut even though he's slept with more people than I have..guess he thinks that guys can't be sluts? (though I think it has more to do with his irrational fear that I'm encouraging his girlfriend to cheat on him or something). Just like what rosegeranium mentioned about "mainstream attitudes about female sexuality."
But anyway. Point is, numbers aren't as important as people think. Situations vary so much, you can't really judge or tell anything by someone's number. And it shouldn't matter what other people think anyway; it's your number, it's your sexual partners, and as long as you used protection and feel good about the sex you had and what came out of it, I don't see anything wrong with it.
One of my best friends has had almost 30 partners, and one of my best friends is a virgin who hasn't even kissed someone yet (and we're all around 18-19 years old). They're both happy with that. It's all about what you feel comfortable with.
And btw, just my own opinion, but I don't think 3 is very much anyway. So don't worry about it
quote:I've had intercourse with 10 guys, which some people would say puts me at high risk for STIs, but since 8 out of 10 of these men were either virgins or had only had one other sexual partner before me, I don't see it as super high risk.
Just so you know, people having had only one partner before doesn't make them low-risk from an STI standpoint. People who have had NO sexual partners before? Sure. But people who have had any pose possible risks. If the sex was protected, you reduced those risks, but they were certainly present.
But I assume, given the time you spend here, you keep up-to-date with your STI testing?
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 68215 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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"But I assume, given the time you spend here, you keep up-to-date with your STI testing?"
Absolutely. And as for most of the partners who had had one partner before me, their partners had been tested (and were STI-free) as well.
But yes I'm definitely aware I'm at risk. I just don't think my number of sexual partners is the ONLY factor that determines my risk (being tested, using protection, and their number of sexual partners would be some other factors). As you said, even someone with one sexual partner is at risk.
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