Wise Guys: Does It Matter If You've Slept with More People Than Your Partner?

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Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Does the average hetero guy really care if his girlfriend/wife has had sex with more people than he has? And if so, why?

Straight Married Guy (Jamie): I may be somewhat in the minority here in that, while I have an extremely liberal philosophy about sex, I haven’t had a particularly high number of sexual partners (I was always a “girlfriend guy” and just didn’t rack up the big numbers).  I’ve also never bought into the whole men-as-players/women-as-sluts double standard.  Many of the female friends I admire most have had lots of sexual partners, but are also all well-adjusted, independent women.  To be honest, I’ve always been more attracted to women who have an air of worldliness.  I think it’s a turn-on to be with a woman who is confident sexually and knows what she likes.  And if that confidence came at the hands (or whatever) of more former lovers then I’ve had, well that’s just fine by me.

Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): As a gay man living in a major metropolitan city, I’ve lost track of the amount of sex I’ve had.  How then can I hold a partner to a different standard?  I recommend that everybody have enough sex so that both the boy and the girl can honestly say, “I’m not really sure,” and leave it at that.  That said, I asked my straight cousin, whose wife has always been very sexually free, and he said that his biggest worry had been that their kids’ attitude toward sex would develop far too early as a result, but this has turned out not to be the case.  I loathe children, so I’m going to stick with the “I’m not really sure” recommendation.

Straight Single Guy (L.A. Chris): Totally. He also cares if she’s stronger, smarter, or wealthier than he is. It comes down to our primal need for dominance. Unless a guy’s got a fetish or extreme dominance in one of those areas (i.e., a body-builder won’t care about a girl’s bulging biceps), it’s a turn-off to be second banana or subordinate. Truth be told, he’ll also feel a little bit jealous (it’s a big competition between guys since we were teenagers). And lastly, we want our girl to be a virgin slut, and we need to pretend that if we’re not the first, then at least we’re the best.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Engaged Guy is Joel Derfner, author of Swish. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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17 Comments on "Wise Guys: Does It Matter If You've Slept with More People Than Your Partner?"

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To SoCalGuy

Just throwing it out there – but is it possible your wife is regaling you of the stories of how exciting sex was “back then” because she is feeling out how you might feel about spicing things up now? If you think you are missing out on something, you may want to raise it with your wife. Sexual experience or expertise does not have to be gained with multiple partners – you can do it in the context of a committed, monogamous relationship.

To SoCalGuy: It is obvious from both your experience and ways of thinking that you are a sensitve man who understands a woman is not an extension of you but a whole entity within herself with the full right and capability to be wild, reserved, and make silly mistakes. i applaud you for your maturity in even looking at your wife (and hopefully all women) from that angle. Furthermore the very problem/insecurity you are dealing with only drives the situation even closer to home. The feelings you speak of are not only what most women feel through the course of… Read more »

to so cal guy,

I’m middle-aged and married young so I can count on one hand all the women I have “been with.” I have been in a relationship with a woman who talks a lot about her younger years and recalls the recklessness of the parties and the flings and the wild places she had sex and how impulsive it was. To her, she’s sharing the story of a wild girl who sowed her wild oats, learned from it and calmed down and became a better and more responsible grown woman. So to her, the stories of those times are the important “before”… Read more »

i dont think it should matter at all but id rather have a women who knows what feels good to them to and can say so i think it can work fore the better fore some people some people close minded it probley wont they can never see past the first one so if they throw it up to you move on you find alot better man in the long run


As a closeted hetero (to use Betty Dodson’s term), I’ve always assumed that my partner, or potential partner, is more experienced and that’s always turned out to be true. As I’ve gotten older, that differential has only increased, but it’s never been a threat to my ego in the way that it seems to be for L.A. Chris. On the contrary, a woman who’s looked around enough to have an idea of what she likes and know what she’s doing is immensely appealing. I think it’s better if at least one of us has a clue.

Just one of the guys

What the average guy tends to lose sight of very quickly is that the woman is no longer w/any of the previous partners-she’s with him now and that is really the bottom line is it not?