How Many is Too Many?

What is the socially acceptable amount of sexual partners these days? Is there one? Does it vary for men and women? Gays, straights, bisexuals?

Personally, I think it matters not in the amount, just in the precaution, feelings, situation, blahblahblah.


(hmm. pun intended, I suppose.)

Is there really such a thing as a socially acceptable amount? For a nun, I would reckon the number should be pretty low, while a celebrity may have a somewhat higher acceptable number.

I should poll my friends to see what the socially acceptable number is within my peer group. Hopefully, I haven’t already reached it.

People may at times judge others based on this, but I would tend to see that as a shortcoming of the judger rather than the judgee.

i know that the number of sexual partners i have had is not considered acceptable by most of my aquaintances.

as a 19 yo straight female we’re talking double figures here. And all in the last 3 years, 5 guys since i got to college in october. there is a time and a place for everything, and it’s called college after all.

personally, i don’t want a relationship yet, at least not with anyone i know, and the ones i’ve had haven’t lasted more than 6 weeks. i remember names, and always get details so that i can contact the guys again should i ahem, need to.

now, i’m always careful (excessivley so), i never do anything drunk (when i’ve had a drink yes, when i’ve had ten, no) and i don’t regret any of my actions.

i hate doing this, because i’m very honest generally, but if a guy does ask i would tend to be vague (“a few”) or to lower the number in line with his own (if he says 3, i say 2 )unless i think he could handle the truth.

i don’t think ireland is quite ready to deal with womentaking control of their sexuality, and choosing to have casual sex.

I am a 29 year old virgin.

SolarPhallusMan, do you mean at one time or throughout someone’s lifetime?

Age is also an important factor. Most people probably wouldn’t blink an eye at a 30 year old having slept with 20 people in their lifetime. But a 12 year old?

For me, personally, the number is less important than the circumstances.

100 men/women at 30? Safe sex? Mutually satisfying? Great, fantastic, good on you!

5 men/women at 30? Drunken conquests with grey areas of consent? Sacrificed rubber chicken to fertility God as sole prevention against pregnancy/STD? Tsk tsk tsk.

let me be the first…

so, ** irishgirl **, how you doin’?


Humm, well for me personally I think any number lower than my age is just fine.

That’s just for me though. I honestly don’t care about other peoples numbers, although if I was dating someone and it came out that he had slept with like 500 women or something, it would certainly give me pause.


I totally disagree with that. Once upon a time, back in a land without common STDs, who one slept with had little effect on others (baring pregnancy.) Now, with AIDS and all, people who sleep around risk killing themselves and others. I tend to think people who are unconcerned enough to sleep with many partners are probably not concerned that much about the well fair of others, or themselves.

While it’s obviously sensible to be cautious, surely the concern is not how many partners but whether or not adequate protection has been used. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that one person can sleep with 50 people and be as safe as can be, and another can sleep with only one and be taking an incredible risk. It’s the person who takes the risk, not the person who has multiple partners, that I would be concerned about.


elfkin, I see what you’re saying, and I agree, a judgement based on someone’s carelessness is warranted. As Francesca pointed out, number of partners and carelessness aren’t necessarily linked. I saw the OP as questioning more along the lines of when does someone become considered a slut or not. And that’s what I was referring to in my statement about judgement.

Three, tops. After that, I get too tired.

I think it’s more socially acceptable for men to have more partners than women… that whole stud/slut thing. I think as long as you keep it under 100 you’re o.k.

My numbers probably wouldn’t be considered socially acceptable to certain people (my parents for one :eek: ) but I don’t base my actions off of what others are going to think of me. I don’t have poor self-esteem, I don’t use sex to get love, I just like sex. What’s acceptable to one person isn’t going to be acceptable to another. That’s just the way it is.

Entire post erased before posting due to my inability to articulate anything that won’t be misconstrued.

I don’t want to date a girl who’s had a vast number of sexual partners (more than 20 or so at 25 years of age), and if its below 10 all the better. I don’t have a good easily explainable reason for it, but I don’t think I’m hypocritical or close-minded.

I do tend to presume that a girl with a lower number of partners is more emotionally stable, has made wiser choices, and is probably happier than otherwise. This certainly isn’t always true, but in the crap-shoot that is dating I like to take every opportunity to improve my odds of not getting seriously involved with a nut-job.

blanx…i’m fine, thanks for asking sweetie!

Omniscient, are you calling me a nut-job? i mean if you are, that’s fine, i’ll just discuss it with my therapist.
after i go on that shooting spree, of course.

seriously, did you not read my post?
i said i’m CAREFUL, have NO REGRETS and i do what i do BECAUSE I WANT TO.
so that makes me an unstable nut bar. jolly good.
you obviously have very high standards for sanity in your part of the world.

sorry, i got a bit worked up there.
please don’t take offence Omniscient, i didn’t mean it.
forgive me?

i’m just sick of defending myself today…rough day with my best-male-friend who thinks he knows what i need (apparently, a long term relationship with him) better than i do myself ( a 2 week holiday in italy ).

Translation: Do me you little irish minx!

Being a tramp doesn’t make you a nut-job, it just make you better qualified to give one. :slight_smile:

I actually tend to agree with Omniscient. People tend to think too many is a few more than they’ve had, and the right number is about what they’ve had. Anything drastically more and they freak out.

My last partner asked me and I told her, when she found out how low it was, she wouldn’t tell me hers. Got to be I didn’t want to know, I just assumed it was 2 or 3 times as many as me. The night we broke up she told me I was #48. #49 was some guy she slept with about a month after we started going out and before we broke up. I think that’s high, I don’t know anyone who has that many, and she’s only 26 and spent 4 years married. That and some other things made it harder for me to respect her. It may have caused our breakup to a small degree. I wish I didn’t feel that way, but I do. Maybe the next time I meet someone who has had that many it won’t freak me out so much, I don’t know.

Reverse it, if I was a woman would I want to go out with a guy who’s had that many, I don’t think I would.

Guess it depends on how you feel about sex. I think it’s something special given to someone special. She said one time, “sex is just part of the date”. She knew the number right off the top of her head, I had to stop and think and count, all the way up to 6. We just have different definitions of morals.

Not to sound like a whining baby, but it didn’t make feel all that special. If she couldn’t make it work with any of them, why do I think she can make it work with me. Makes you think it’s just not going to last. I want someone to sleep with me because they like me, love me, really care for me-not because I bought them dinner or I have pretty eyes. Guess I’m just old-fashioned.

And no, I’m not calling anyone a nut-job.

Kudos to you! I am in agreement. I think it matters not the number, but the surrounding conditions.

Omniscient, tsk tsk. A smart girl will make smart choices. I know what you are saying about self-respect, but i know girls who have had 4 partners, but made dumb decisions. Bah. You probably understand that anyway. I don’t need to tell you.
I am a double-digit gal, myself. And damn! I’m ok with that! (and not crazy–I also just love sex!)

A part of question was not answered yet, though:
I am bi-sexual, thus have twice as many potential lovers as a straight person. Am I allowed more? Hmmm?


Maybe she didn’t “make it work” with any of those guys because she wasn’t in a relationship with them. Who says you have to be in a relationship with someone to have sex with them? And, regardless of how many people your partner has slept with, if you really love them their numbers won’t matter and sex with them will be just as special and romantic as if you were each other’s one and only.