How many lovers have you had?

Venus O’Hara by Yuky Lutz

How many lovers have you had?

“More than Lady Di but less than Madonna”, Andie McDowell answered in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral when she was questioned, by Hugh Grant’s character, about how many lovers she’d had before him. In another film – American Pie – the ‘rule of three’ was mentioned as a response to the same query.This ‘rule’ dictates that, when asked about the numerical quantity of previous partners, men multiply the true number by three whereas women divide theirs by three.
This joke seems to acknowledge the double standard that still persists into the 21st century where sexual experience is concerned. Promiscuous men with long lists of previous conquests are regarded very highly in society whilst their female equivalents are often demeaned in public, or ‘slut-shamed’ on social media, when they exhibit the same behaviour.

There has been some progress, however. Some things have moved on since the time of our grandmothers.Young women tend not to be virgins when they get married so they aren’t likely to have only a single lover during their lifetime. At the moment, I can’t think of a single one of my male friends who expect to marry a virgin, nor do they want to. They prefer the prospect of a woman who’s had significant sexual experience, who has the confidence that comes with it and who expresses a real desire to learn even more.

However long your list of past lovers is – if you’ve been keeping score, that is – the most important thing to remember is that all of them were desired. Having said that, almost everybody has someone on their personal list who, if it was possible to go back in time, they’d avoid having sex with at all costs. So, to ensure a higher standard of selectivity when it comes to potential lovers who might be added to the list, I’d recommend masturbating before going on a night out. Then, where possible, be careful with alcohol consumption, because being intoxicated is the enemy of great sex.

I’ve got no particular desire to know how many previous lovers someone has had. It’s a highly personal piece of information that I’d never ask anyone for, nor would I share it with them. The thing that I really can’t abide is when someone gets jealous, or judgemental, about the sexual history of a partner. There are times when we should thank them for their sexual experience instead. For example, I remember one occasion last spring when I received, quite possibly, the best cunnilingus of my life. As I lay there, squirming and moaning, I felt as though I should thank every one of his ex-girlfriends for honing his superior oral technique. Without their valuable contribution, my extreme pleasure wouldn’t have been possible.

According to a survey by – a contacts website – the ideal number of sexual partners to have had before marriage is ten. This may seem like a lot, or not very many, depending upon how many serious romantic relationships you’ve had, if you’ve been faithful and whether, or not, you took the best advantage of your singleness.
In any case, what’s much more important is the amount of lovers that your partner has had since you’ve been together.
Translation of ‘¿Cuántos amantes has tenido’, published in El País.

1 thought on “How many lovers have you had?”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top