How To Talk About Your Sexual Past With Your S.O.

Although your sexual history doesn’t define you, it definitely contributes to the person you are today. You could be totally into BDSM because of that fling with Paulo in Brazil one summer or realize that, thanks to your ex-boyfriend’s lack of skills, there really is better sex out there and he was actually clueless. Each sexual encounter you have is a building block in your sexual history (like Jenga!), and the more you have, the more likely it is that you know exactly what you like and don’t like when it comes to sex.

But while your sexual history is no one’s business but yours, there may come a point in your life where you want share those details with a partner. Whether it’s because you’ve decided to make it monogamous and start skipping the condoms in favor of another birth control method or because you just want to spill the beans, you might feel bits of your past bubbling up inside you, needing to escape. If that happens, then you’ll want to make that conversation as painless and awkward-free as possible.

Not sure how to do just that? Just follow these nine tips and you’ll have it in the bag.

1. Decide Why You Want To Share This Information

According to a recent study, 22 percent of women do not feel comfortable sharing their sexual history with their partner. So, if we do the math, that means the majority of women do ― great!

But, as I wrote yesterday, you’re under no obligation to share the details of your sexual past. However if you decide this is something you want to do with your partner, then examine why. Is it because you want complete and total transparency in your relationship or are they somehow bullying you into it? If it’s the latter, you need to tell them to fuck off and remind them the past is the past for a reason.

2. Weigh The Pros And Cons

Depending on what women’s magazine or site you stumble upon, only cons can come from talking about your sexual past, but I don’t think that’s entirely true. If you’re with someone who’s on the same page as you in regards to sexuality, then there isn’t likely to be much of a problem. While I’m sure some men might have issues with your past, considering it’s 2015, the majority will probably shrug it off, because they have a past, too.

3. Choose The Right Time

Because timing really is everything, you want to pick a moment that works for both of you. You don’t want to rush it on your lunch break, decide to bring it up when you have a 100 others things going on in your life, or wait until it’s too late and the opportunity has passed ― but you also don’t want to put it all out there until you’re ready. You and your partner should decide on a mutual time both in your relationship and in life in general to the talk.

4. Make A Date

You want to plan ahead for this discussion and know that when you sit down for your chat that this will be the particular topic. You don’t want to start doling out your sexual past haphazardly one night after too much sangria. You want to be in a safe space where you can both talk and listen equally, and be able to ask questions, if necessary, without screaming them over a pinball machine at a dive bar.

5. Establish Some Rules

Before you get going, lay down some ground rules with your S.O. first. Will you reveal your actual ― gasp! ― number? Will you use both first and last names of past partners? At what point is too many questions to ask? These are details you want covered before your chat, so you don’t veer off in a direction that has no boundaries. You definitely want boundaries for this one.

6. Be As Honest As You Feel Comfortable Being

Since this can be a pretty awkward conversation, you shouldn’t push yourself too much.

A 2014 survey of 12,000 students out of the U.K. found that when it comes to the amount of people we’ve had sex with, 20 percent of women tend to drop their number while 12 percent of guys actually up the amount of women with whom they’ve had sex. So the question is: Are you in the 20 percent or the 80 percent? It’s your body, so it’s your call.

7. Keep Some Things To Yourself

“Well, this one person I was with was sooo amazing…” is not a good thing to say during this particular conversation. If you want to give your partner pointers in bed, you can do so without bringing up someone from your past. While you want to be honest during this talk, you also don’t want to be hurtful, boastful, or crude. Beside, don’t you want some things kept all for yourself? Answer: Yes.

8. Don’t Judge (At All)

I feel like this should go without saying, but when you have a conversation like this, you never really know in what direction it might go. I mean, you might find out your current partner is into golden showers and that’s just not your thing, so you immediately start freaking out ― don’t do that. Even if you find out your partner has done things in the past that are not your scene, it’s not your place to judge. You wouldn’t want to be judged, so be courteous enough to offer the same in return.

9. Decide If This Is The End Of The Conversation

Is this something you and your S.O. will need to talk about again or are you moving on from the topic? Before you wrap up the conversation, this is something to clarify. You don’t want something you said to be brought up a week from now because you two didn’t agree that the discussion was over. Be firm and clear on this… then go have some sex.

Images: Em Hull/Flickr; Giphy(9)