What If He’s Had More Sex Than Me?

A woman is uncomfortable with her boyfriend’s level of sexual experience.

Dear Sexes: My boyfriend and I have been expressing an interest in more sexual variety (anal sex, toys, etc.). Since I don’t have a wealth of experience, I’ve been looking forward to trying out new things with him together. That is, until he recently revealed that he has actually already done most of what we discussed with other partners – and now I unexpectedly feel uncomfortable with our different levels of experience and us not going through the “newness” together. What can I do about this?

She Said: I guess my biggest concern is whether he was hiding his past or if you two just hadn’t discussed it… If he was hiding it, that is a problem that you guys have to get to the root of. Make sure you know why he was dishonest and be sure he’s living true to his word in other areas of your relationship.

But if he was honest and just hadn’t told you all the details, it’s less a problem with him, and more a problem you’ve got to deal with inside yourself. I can totally understand why this new knowledge (regardless of how it came out) is throwing you off. There’s a certain sweetness in trying new things together, like walking side-by-side into a new land. I get that…

But the truth is, it’s all new for both of you because you’re going into it together. Keep your eye on what the purpose of sex with your boyfriend is. Is it gaining closeness, giving one another pleasure, and learning about each other? If so, then it doesn’t matter what he’s done with whom. If you’re just going for “newness” then just dive a little deeper. Ben-wa balls, vibrators (on him too!), role play, light BDSM, exhibitionism, watching porn together… There are amazing new avenues for you both!

He Said: There’s gotta be SOMETHING he hasn’t done! Browse together at a sex-toy shop. I’m sure you’ll find something that neither of you has tried, and interests both of you. Then you can experiment and adventure together. The world of sex and sex toys is essentially limitless—you are really only bound by your imaginations or inhibitions. If your boyfriend really has done EVERYTHING, maybe you should ask him if he has any porn credits in his filmography. Or maybe it’s best if you don’t ask him.

Seriously though, don’t be discouraged. And try not to let your boyfriend’s past experiences ruin your fun now.  You’re teammates (or sex-mates) so you’re on the same team, you’re not competing against each other.  Remember, it’s pretty rare and unlikely that any two people would have the exact same sexual past (unless both people we’re only ever with their partner).  While it sounds like there’s plenty for your boyfriend to teach you in the bedroom, I’m sure there’s things you can teach him too.  Everyone has a different angle on sex, romance, and intimacy.  And keep looking online, in stores, (or even in the fridge) – I’m sure you’ll find something you both want to try for the first time.  Happy exploring!

 

Photo courtesy of kainr

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Comments

  1. Yeah, there’s been about 4 BILLION articles on this site telling guys to ‘Chill’ if their girlfriend has more ‘experience’ than them. So the reverse should be true also (even if it works out this way less and less often) , right?

    • They actually say (in finger ponitingly harsh terms) that men have no right to know or have no business asking about her history, and if you have a problem with it you need to deal with your insecurities.

      • DIdn’t she say that it was a problem she needed to deal with inside herself?

        • The”shesaid” advice suggested that he should have shared his past experience with her – the opposite of the advice men have gotten on this.

          • Ok, I see what you’re saying. As I mentioned below, there are some things that just don’t need to be said, even in a relationship with open communication. I’m not saying you should hide things, but I don’t see why you would say “my ex-boyfriend/girlfriend used to tie me up and I liked it” instead of “I like to be tied up.”

          • “The”shesaid” advice suggested that he should have shared his past experience with her – the opposite of the advice men have gotten on this.”

            Exactly. The hypocrisy is astounding—but not in the least bit surprising.

  2. Another way to look at it: maybe try seeing it as an advantage that your partner has more experience? Odds are he’ll be more attuned to your needs and better able to adapt to what works best for you. The more sex a person has had, the more ways you know to give someone pleasure, or just make them more relaxed, more comfortable, or more desired. I’d focus less on how many partners he’s had and more on the fact that he’s (hopefully) a better lover because of his experience. Sex is a lot like improvisational jazz–you’ve got to adapt on the fly. And if you’ve ever tried to play jazz with a beginner musician, it usually doesn’t go so well. ;)

  3. I think that I agree with Mark. More experience is a plus unless he’s so jaded he can’t really be romantic – but that’s rare – I mean if your actually in a relationship and not just sexual partners chances are he really cares about you on a deep meaningful level. He wants to please you and be close to YOU in particular. There is a reason he’s in a relationship with you and not with the other girls who he got the previous experience with. Like I said if he’s in it for more than sex (as any healthy couple should) he’s not going to leave you just because your not as experienced as he is. You can surely find something he hasn’t done but more than that enjoy being the lucky girl that doesn’t get experimented on by a less experienced guy. Trying something new is fun, like going Salsa dancing for the first time. But from what girls tell me, after a year or two of experience, dancing with a pro is a whole other level.

  4. I can relate to the letter writer — my boyfriend suggested going to a sex shop and getting some toys, and I was really excited about the idea, but then, for some reason I still don’t understand, he felt the need to tell me that he’d done the same thing with his previous GF. As he talked about it, he got a little carried away with the memories and ended up telling me several stories about how his GF reacted at the shop, what she thought of the toys, how they got a cheap vibrator that ended up breaking, and so on. I felt really upset as I didn’t need to know any of that, although I tried to hide it. We still ended up going to the shop and buying a vibrator, but his storytelling had taken all the fun out of it for me. It’s not that I was jealous, I just felt like “what’s the point?” It didn’t seem like a special experience any more. I don’t even like using the vibrator because every time he gets it out, I think of his old girlfriend. Bleh. TMI, I guess.

  5. Yeah I’m gonna have to say with the exception of how this revelation (such as IF he lied previously then told the truth then I wouldn’t blame her for her discomfort) was made this women should be getting the same advice that a man would get if he uncomfortable about his girlfriend’s level of experience.

    Get over it.

    I really don’t want to sound mean but if this were a guy feeling uncomfortable about not going through the “newness” together I don’t think he’d be offered much sympathy or understanding.

    • Woman's view says:

      I think it’s kind of risky for either gender to talk to much about their prior experience. I would never tell a current boyfriend specific details about things I’d done with previous boyfriends. I might tell him what I like or suggest that we do things that I’ve done before, but without saying “this is what I did with my previous boyfriend” or “I really liked it when my previous boyfriend did X” or even “I really hated it when my previous boyfriend did Z.” Most people are not secure enough to cope with those details. It’s not kind. As for the LW, I agree that she needs to deal with it because it’s not realistic to think that everyone comes to us as a blank slate. But it also sounds like maybe her boyfriend was a little too revealing about his wild times with other women.

      • Most people are not secure enough to cope with those details. It’s not kind.
        I can imagine that would be painful.

        • I completely agree, Women’s view. Every time I’ve mentioned past sexual experiences, it hasn’t gone well. I remember two specific instances where I thought I wasn’t saying anything that bad. In one, I mentioned something I’d done with another girl. In another, I mentioned what I used to do with my very first boyfriend from ages ago. I didn’t think that either mentions were antagonizing, but neither went over well (and more recent, saucy details would have been far worse)–nor did vague references of ‘sleepovers’ I’d had. I’ve also shut down when hearing about a partner’s previous sex life, as silly as it is. Not that I got angry, just somewhat insecure and less able to relax and have fun.

          I would suggest keeping talk of ex lovers out of the bedroom. There’s just nothing good that can come out of asking or telling. It’s one thing to communicate, but it’s another to do it by comparison and/or bragging. Maybe in Susan’s case, the guy was just trying to show off and prove his experience? Terrible strategy.

          I would also suggest getting over it, as many have mentioned. You’re not going to have any fun if you don’t get out of your own head about this type of thing (his past experience). Just because he did it before with someone else, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it better together (maybe not the first several times, but eventually). Every experience with you is unique, even if the ‘act’ isn’t. Just because you’ve kissed or hugged other people in the past, does that make the kisses and hugs between you and the one you love any less special?

    • guysaresameasgirls says:

      not really sure why you’re in such a tizzy about this. i didn’t think the advice offered to the girl was much different than a “get over it”, maybe i missed something.

  6. Good advice. It’s silly to agonize over this issue: most people have some experience and if you have none, odds are the person you are with will have more than you. Plus, as someone pointed out above, more experience just works in the letter writer’s favor.

    Also, I think the letter writer needs some self-esteem boosts: it’s not as though once a person has had anal sex/used toys/tied someone up, the experience is going to be exactly the same with every partner. It’s always going to be new to him because it’s with a new person (and hey, it can keep on being new, with new places, new positions, new whatever else is going on).

  7. wellokaythen says:

    I agree with Woman’s View and Aya.

    There’s no need to go into explicit detail, especially about his previous lovers. The best way to approach it is for him to talk about his experience as *his* experience, what it felt like, what he liked about it, without mentioning his previous partners any more than necessary. Try to keep the talk about your sex life in the present, like “here’s something I want to try” more than “here’s something I really liked when I did it with my ex.”

    Ultimately, those women are not you. It sounds like you’re afraid that’s a bad thing that you’re not them, but it’s actually a good thing. They don’t do anything the way that you do it, and that’s a good thing. Whatever experience he has with you will be unique and frankly better because it’s happening in the present. Every single sexual relationship is made up of people who have different experiences in one form or another. Don’t underestimate the turn-on (read: appreciation) he may get from showing you how and what he likes. Try to think of it not as him having more experience and you less but having different experiences.

    “Just get over it” is great advice if most people worked like that, but probably better advice is to communicate constructively with your partner. Share with him that you have some fears or anxieties or questions about expanding your sexual repertoire because of your different experiences. Don’t make it an accusation or demand that he fix it somehow, just share what you’re feeling. Think about specific, practical things that you and he could do that would help you feel more comfortable. Think about concrete things you could request of him as you two go exploring. One thought exercise: what would it look like if you two were to explore together and you were not self-conscious about your lack of experience? How would you want him to act, and how would you set that up?

    Besides, before you get into really complicated, technologically sophisticated accessorizing, you two should make sure you establish some good communication in general beforehand anyway. Breaking out the nipple clamps without any forewarning is probably a bad idea.

  8. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I love hearing about previous sexual experience, and am completely anti-toy.

  9. medic mind says:

    No need for people to talk about their sexual history. It means nothing anyhow because you should get STD testing with any new partner to get the truth and be safer.
    This woman is not ready for these new things and she should step back and be honest with herself.
    I don’t know if she’s afraid of being inadequate or if she feels she can”t trust him.
    But she’s sensed a red flag and she better follow her instincts.

  10. oooooh pleeeaase!!!!!

    First of all he didnt need to give details. Second of all, in my experience, Women can care less about a man’s sexual history as long has he displays teh qualities that suggest he has one.

    One the other hand, men absoluely , positively, always have and always will care about a women’s sexual history. If he doesnt ask, no need to tell. But if you are considerng getting serious with a man and he is about to make a life changing decision to be your companion, absolutely he has the right to know. And herein lies the dilemna for promiscuous women. On the one hand they want to use that special sexual power that all women possess (especially if you are attractive) in order to have sex with the most attractive men. At the same time, they dont want it to hurt their chances of attracting a high quality man for a companion. Ah, wouldn’t life be grand if we can all have our cake and eat it?

    Lets make a deal ladies, men get to possess the same sexual power as you, and have the same access to sex on any given night as you…and men will stop asking about a woman
    s sexual history. Is it a deal?

    and pleeeease….why is there all these gender role reversal articles. I mean…come on….I cant even think of a single time myself or any man has ever had an experience where a women was upset about a man having a heathy sex life. Of course not! We are the sex that needs to work to bring a woman to an orgasm.

    • Nope. I had a great relationship with a girl who loved to talk about sex and owned a vibrator. It was an amazing two months we spent together, and only ended because I was moving away. But we’re young yet, and who knows?

      After we’d hooked up a few times, I got bombarded with sexual questions. Not because she wanted to grill me, but because she was curious! We talked about the coolest places we’d had sex (and made plans to top them). We went into detail about the best and worst sexual experiences. And our sex was phenomenal. We were 100% open and honest, and it paid off in bed. Eventually she asked me how many partners I’d had… and we found that I had exactly five times her number. But we agreed that, regardless of the number, we enjoyed being together. We’d both had experiences, been with those other people, and now decided that we were right for one another. I can’t be upset about things she did before she got to meet me!

      I’m not sure if I’d be the one to start that conversation with a girl unless I knew her really well, but it has it’s advantages. I should say that we both knew I’d be moving before we hooked up the first time… it was a low-risk situation so we could be honest. But I never expected things to go so well.

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