Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What to Do When a Guy Asks for Your Number

Every girl knows her number.

She probably doesn’t think about it on a daily basis, but if you asked her to recall her number of sexual partners, she probably wouldn’t have to count.

(Sidenote: Keeping track of your stats is a practice we find to be, at best, a waste of time, and, at worst, detrimental, but we’ll save that for another post.)

But you knowing your number is one thing. You sharing that number with a partner is an entirely different animal that’s best avoided all together.

Nothing good can come of sharing your number with a potential (or actual) partner. If it’s not too high, it’ll be too low.

Most girls understand this intellectually, but when a guy pops the question, they feel the need to be honest.

Your response kind of depends on where you in the relationship, but you should never feel obligated to answer this question.

Why? It’s none of his business. Your boyfriend (or fwb) has the right to ask about STDs. But that’s as much history as he needs to know.

As soon as he knows the number, it’s going to open a can of worms that has the potential to ruin whatever you’ve got going on.

Most numbers are going to seem too high. He might start wondering about past lovers or feeling insecure. He might be turned off by the amount of experience (literally) under your belt.

But lying is not the solution. If you guys had sex on your second date and you try to tell him he’s the third person you’ve ever slept with, he’s either going to get really freaked out or wonder if you’re telling the truth.

Let’s say you waited and think you could get away with passing your number off as five. Five might not seem like a lot, but as soon as your past becomes concrete, it becomes ugly and intimidating. It’s like finding out why your parents filed for divorce: you think the answer will ease the pain, but it usually only makes things worse.

Most guys have an ideal number in their heads that they’d like to imagine you’re comparing them to. As long as your guy doesn’t know the truth, he’s free to imagine that number.

So if you’ve just started seeing a guy and he asks you about your batting average, laugh it off and say something like, “Five hundred.” If he persists, hold your ground. Tell him that there’s no point in revisiting the past because there’s a reason you’re not dating your old flames.

If you’ve been together for a while when he asks, be honest. Tell him that you think this kind of information has a lot of potential to hurt a relationship and zero chances of making things better. Explain that the past is the past, and you don’t want to talk about things you’ve already decided weren’t worth carrying on.


  1. As you indicated, sexual health is a reasonable topic for discussion, The Number, on the other hand is ridiculous. On the grounds that any man too immature to understand that immutable fact is too immature for intimate relations, I am in favor of the asking of said question being grounds for immediately being voted off the island.

  2. This is ridiculous. I guess lying about yourself is in, and accountability is out? Why not also lie about what drugs you use/used, medical issues, if you have had an abortion? Promoting this hedonistic lifestyle is great as long as you never plan to get serious with a guy but otherwise I don't see how you can call this philosophy anything other than lying to him and lying to yourself.