It’s an inherently human characteristic to want to share everything with someone we’ve fallen in love with. Talking about your past is all part of the ‘I want to know everything about you’ beginning bit, when you don’t just want to be with someone, you want to climb inside their skin and live in there.
There’s also an urge to big ourselves up at this stage: we want the new person to know we’re special and they’ve got themselves a damn good catch.
These are the seemingly harmless reasons that motivate us to do the one thing that almost certainly guarantees our glossy, promising new relationship is doomed: to over-share about past sexual encounters.
If any of the following are about to come out of your mouth, close it right now…
How good your ex was.
This is so obvious, surely no-one does it, right?
Most people don’t come right out with, “Joe was beyond amazing in the sack” but they will say things like “Oh that feels lovely you kissing my neck. My ex-boyfriend Joe used to do that. I’d forgotten how good it feels.”
Even if you’re astute enough to clock his expression and hastily add, “And you’re much better at it than he ever was!”, the damage has been done. He’ll never go there again because it conjures up an image of Joe’s mouth where his was.
How good you were with other lovers.
“When I was young, I had this one particular girlfriend and, well, we’d have sex everywhere and anywhere we could. We did it eight times in one day.”
You’re thinking she’s thinking, “Bet he was even hotter back then than he is now. Lucky girl!”. What she’s actually thinking: “Why is he telling me this? Is he hinting that he needs more sex? Or that I’m past it because we only do it once?”
Past behaviour that doesn’t reflect who you are now.
Circumstances change, people change and we’re actually far more likely to tell a sex story about our past which doesn’t reflect well on us, if we’ve changed into someone who’s never going to repeat it. If you’re going to admit to something you aren’t proud of, at least wait until they know you well enough to be able to reconcile the two different versions of ‘you’.
Giving exact numbers.
A study of 2,500 adults asked what men and women thought was the most desirable number of partners for males and females to have previously slept with.
The ‘perfect’ male number from a female’s perspective was 11. The ‘perfect’ female number from a female’s perspective was 10.
Here’s what the men said.
The ‘perfect’ number of partners for a woman (from a man’s perspective): 5.
The ‘perfect’ number of partners for a man (from a man’s perspective): 32
I hate terms like ‘double standard’ but what else do you call this?
Even if your man isn’t sexist or you’re not in the slightest embarrassed to admit to triple figures, what can you possibly gain by telling?
Numbers mean nothing without an explanation of circumstances.
Favourably referencing the same ex more than once.
A one-off comment about how great someone was in bed is bad enough. Big them up a second (third, fourth, fifth) time and they’ll start to think you’re trying to sabotage the relationship.
‘Playful’ boasting designed to make them jealous.
This tends to happen about six weeks in: you’re not sure if they like you as much as you like them, so you drop a few hints about how much people in the past have wanted you, thinking it’ll make them realise how fabulous you are. Instead it does the opposite: you sound insecure not sexy.
Any reference to size.
“He had to order in special condoms” is a bad sentence.
If you mean because he was too big, he’ll be paranoid from then on that you think he’s too small.
If you meant the guy was too small, he’s desperate to ask ‘How small?’ but won’t out of pride. (Exactly how much smaller than me? Is she trying to tell me something? Why won’t she give details? Is she trying to make me paranoid?)
“I’ve never had a problem having an orgasm before. Not sure what’s going on now.”
You’re saying it to cover your own feelings of sexual inadequacy by not being able to climax with them but – not surprisingly – they interpret this one way and one way only: they think I’m rubbish in bed.
Lots of women, particularly, don’t climax with new partners – it’s normal!
It takes time for both of you to know what each other likes.
Set the foundation for a satisfying sex life by instead saying: “It always takes me a while to relax in bed. You’re doing everything right, I just need time to get used to you.”