Thursday, April 16, 2009

Man Finds Out His Girlfriend has had 19 Previous Sex Partners, Whoops and High Fives Her

Seriously. Who cares? I get it though, if I were to meet a guy at my age who has had 19 sexual partners my first thought would be, "How?" After that it would occur to me that he has probably gone through sexual partners quickly.

I understand that a person's dating history is important. Like, if my current boyfriend's girlfriends all dumped him because he started telling them what clothes they could and couldn't wear it would concern me. So if a guy tells me he's been getting down with a new girl every couple months for the last few years, I might not take him seriously if he tries to come onto me, I might expect things to last about as long as his last 19 sexual encounters. Is this wrong? I think not, but only to the extent that we recognize the pattern rather than judge it and naturally, Mr. Every 2 Months might actually want to try a long-term relationship and I don't think he should be excluded from that possibility based solely on the fact that he spent a few years sleeping around.

This all makes me wonder, is the number relevant? Should we be asking our sexual partners to not only keep count, but report it? If Mr. 19 wants to to have a serious relationship with Ms. 3, can't she figure that out with out him explicitly saying so?

We all know double standards are shit. Any man or woman who thinks it's inappropriate for his girlfriend to have too many (what does that even mean?) previous partners is buying into the idea that women- or people- are worth more or less depending on how readily they'll unzip their pants and that's bullshit. Jessica Valenti in Full Frontal Feminism says we should reclaim our numbers and let our partners know the score. I'm not sure I agree, though.
I prefer not to know. I prefer not to talk about it in terms of numbers, I just want to know if they were safe and if he's recently been tested. I don't like guys to ask for my number, either. It's not about being embarrassed that there are too many or too few, I don't think that's possible. I just don't know what it does for them, for our relationship, and for me. Maybe I'm just giving ground to the patriarchy, but what's done is done and to me, it's not really anyone's business. All my boyfriend needs to know is if I did it safely-- not how many times.

Is this un-feminist of me?

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