“My boyfriend was intimidated by my sexual history. So I dumped him.” by T. Hornung
I’m not going to take the usual, secular, left wing feminist standard here (for one thing, I’m right wing and don’t always agree with secular feminists), where I’m supposed to say a woman’s sexual history is not a boyfriend’s business, or the boyfriend should not be upset by his girlfriend’s sexual past, and say, “Rah rah, women’s sexual freedom.”
I am forever amazed that “sex positive” feminists, whether they are men or women, assume that their previous sexual choices should not, or will not, have any consequences upon them or the people around them.
Some of us are more “serious” about sex than other people – sex actually means something to us, so yes, we find it troubling, and I suppose this is doubly so, if we are virgins over 35 years of age, and have to grapple with the fact that our current partner has had sex with other people in the past.
No amount of clucking at me, or wagging your index finger in my face, or accusations of judgmentalism or “slut shaming,” is going to change how I feel about this – and I’m a woman who takes issue with men (including my ex fiance’) who have had previous sexual partners.
If you have had sex with previous partners, do be prepared for the fact that your next partner may not be hip or down with that. They may struggle to accept it and deal with it.
I do agree with the author of the following (which is in her essay, but I did not copy it in my excerpt below) that her boyfriend was wrongly adhering to a double standard: he was upset with her having had previous sexual partners but seemed to expect her to be totally accepting of his sexual history. That is, of course, highly hypocritical, and I don’t support that aspect of this sort of discussion.
….This question [that her then-current boyfriend posed to her many times] — How many people have you slept with? — was a trick. My number wasn’t that high. But that wasn’t going to make a difference. Anything higher than one was going to be too much for him. Finally, I answered him. He walked out of the room.
In any relationship, I want to feel accepted as I am. There was no amount of proof I could offer to show that I was good enough for him. Obviously, I couldn’t take back anything I had done in the past.
And even if I could, why should I? I wasn’t embarrassed. All of my experiences made me me. But suddenly I was in a relationship where I was required to defend my right to have sex — before I’d even met him. It was emotionally exhausting.
…[She eventually broke up with her boyfriend.] The man I ended up with was never once concerned with my history. I was with him, and that was enough.
So, she finally found a guy who didn’t care much about her sexual past. That’s great and everything, but just be aware that there are people out there who aren’t going to have this laissez faire attitude about sex.
(Link): The Myth of Safe Sex by D. Foley