That would be a resounding yes. Call it ego, the other 25% that makes up men’s bodies after water, but most guys seem to have some level of discomfort about how many people their partner has slept with because they like to think they are the only one you’ve had, and failing that, the biggest and the best you’ve had. Due to our fear of repercussions and looking less like the virgin Mary to our beloved’s, most woman have some level of discomfort about saying exactly how many people they have slept with, which means that they’ll undercount to a number that suits their partners ears. Never fear ladies, he has probably inflated his number a little….
The guy likes to feel that you are ‘his’ as it is macho instinct which is ingrained into the male wiring. Now he can do two things with this instinct, which is to act on it and be an asshole with high expectations that his woman should either be a virgin or have slept with very few people. Or, he can have this instinct but keep it in check because in the real world, short of meeting a woman at 18, there tends to be a level of sexual history that has been gathered.
Where the double standard kicks in though, is that often a guy has racked up some big digits with sexual partners, but STILL thinks that his women should be holier than thou.
My take: Personally I don’t think that you should be discussing how many people you’ve slept with, because quite frankly, no matter what number either of you say beyond zero, or one, one or both of you won’t take the answers well. If you have had previous sexual partners, you should both be discussing things from a safe sex point of view (i.e. When were either of you last tested?) but I fail to see what knowing the ‘Magic Number’ is going to do for either one of you.
I think people have a tendency to fall into the honesty diarrhoea zone with relationships, where people think that being in a relationship means that you should spill the beans on every little iota of your life, and do it whilst you’re sitting on the toilet doing a #2 with the door open. Give me a break! You don’t have less of a relationship by not knowing exactly how many people your partner has slept with and I say ‘exactly’ because you can put two and two together and get four. You do find out through conversations when your partner lost their virginity and the exes that they have, so you can do the math without plugging their fingers into a lie detector and demanding answers.
Failing all of this, he who asks first, spills first. ‘Dems be the rules!