Disclosing your sexual past to a partner is a rather slippery slope. If you meet someone you’d like to pursue a relationship with, your partner will eventually ask questions about your sex life. The past is the past, and it doesn’t affect who you are as a person, but the upsetting truth is that our society still pressures women to have a low number of sexual partners and for men to have a high one.
While you should absolutely tell your partner if you have an STI/STD (It’s their right to know!), you aren’t obligated to share all of the other details. As long as you’re loyal to your partner and don’t lie about your sexual health, the past shouldn’t matter. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing the number of partners you’ve been with, you don’t have to! Your “body count” is no one else’s business.
If you do decide to honestly disclose your sexual past, pay attention to how your partner reacts. While talking about your sexual past can be uncomfortable, your partner’s reaction will show you their true character. For instance, if your they have a higher “body count” than you but still shames you for yours, you can see their hypocrisy. On the other hand, they may fully support you. Either way, their reaction will reveal the kind of person they are.
If you feel that disclosing information about your past sex life is a bad idea, don’t feel guilty! Talk with your partner and tell them that you’d rather not talk about your sex life. If they keep urging you to share after you refuse several times, that could definitely be a red flag. Would you really want to be with someone who doesn’t respect your boundaries?
At the end of the day, how open you are about your sexual past is your choice. If you feel comfortable, go for it! If not, let your partner know that you prefer to keep the past in the past or only share a few details. Also, if your partner has a problem with how you disclose details of your sex life, re-evaluate the relationship. The right person will always respect your wishes and know that you don’t have to explain yourself.