Over at AskMen, Gary Jackson has some suggestions on what men should keep quiet from their partners. Now I must say that I don’t advocate dishonesty, but I have always said that there is certain information that neither of the sexes is particularly good with coping with. It may not be for the same reasons, but there is information you spill, and information that you don’t…or you at least package it to be less destructive…

Number of Sexual Partners

AskMen says “There is no good answer to this. If you’ve slept with too few, she’ll think you’re inexperienced and sheltered. If you’ve slept with too many, she’ll assume you’re a player just looking to add some notches to your bedpost.”

NML says: It’s true that there isn’t a good answer to this question but for different reasons when it comes to women. Ideally the only number that men want to hear is ‘one’, i.e. them… As unrealistic as this is in this day and age, many guys don’t like to feel like they are one in a long line. If they had their way, you’d be an experienced virgin… what a contradiction. If you slept with only a few men, they either pat themselves on the back for getting a fairly innocent woman (although some will still think the number is too high) or they think you’re lying… If the number is too high, they think you’re a slut…even if it’s less than their number…

I recommend that couples don’t discuss numbers of sexual partners. Nothing good will come of it and it’s a stupid conversation. The type of information that is important is whether you have been tested and are sexually healthy.

Past Relationships

AskMen says: “It’s important to show you aren’t still emotionally involved in the relationship, which means you shouldn’t recount every little thing she did to hurt you. When giving a reason for the breakup, stick to generalities, such as ‘We were heading in different directions’ or ‘We just outgrew each other’, rather than a blow-by-blow account of every argument you had.”

NML says: Ex talk should not enter the conversation on the first few dates as you should have more interesting things to talk about. People make inaccurate judgments and draw their own conclusions, rightly and wrongly. Spill too much about your ex in the early stages and the guy won’t be able to help but adjust his behaviour so as not to appear to be anything like him. When you do get to talking about your past, it’s about striking a balance. The key is that you shouldn’t be emotionally invested, whether that means you come across cold in an effort to look detached, or if you can’t speak about him without bitching and seething.

Unsavoury History & Hidden Past

AskMen says: “Everyone has little adventures in their past that could prove unpalatable to others. As you get to know your new girl better, you can judge which of your stories she will find amusing or interesting, and which stories you should keep buried…an outstanding parking ticket is OK to ‘forget’ — it’s unlikely to cause any problems for your relationship. However, if there is an arrest warrant with your name on it in the next state, it’s probably wise to ‘fess up.”

NML says: Telling stories about your past antics when you mooned at a bunch of people or had a wild, crazy, week away with your friends is harmless. Your relationship, if it has good foundations…and a sense of humour, should be able to cope. But there are big things that do deal fatal blows to relationships such as hidden addictions or the fact that you’re a wanted serial killer…Or maybe you’re known all over the internet as an amateur pornstar. Probably best not to keep this type of stuff a secret!

Wild Sexual Experiences

AskMen says: “That night you went home with the stripper… Those twins in the next dorm at college… That 30-year-old woman you hooked up with when you were 17. Everyone has those little sex stories they’re proud of, but don’t necessarily brag about them to mom. Well, you shouldn’t brag about them to a new girlfriend, either.”

NML says: Unless you’re that kind of freaky couple that gets off on story time with your sexual past…don’t go down this route. It’s not funny and it sure isn’t clever. Much like your magic number of sexual partners, your exploits are open to interpretation and judgment. It’s better to create your wild sexual experiences with your current partner and leave the past sex…in the past. If you need to talk about it so much, I have to wonder how much interest you have in your current partner.

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