Men: Stop Asking Women This Question


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Yesterday, I received a message on Facebook from a female reader who had a question for me. She asked me why the vast majority of men she goes on dates with seem to ask her the same question:

How many people have you been with?


This is surprising to me because I have personally never asked a woman this question. I literally cannot tell you the “number” of any woman who I have ever been with or have been in a relationship with.

So at first, I wondered what about their conversation may lead to that question being asked. If it is every man who asks, or even 90% of them, there must be some sort of trigger or topic that prompts them. Men do not just put the fork down in the middle of their dinners and ask how many sexual partners you’ve had. Do they?

To gain some perspective on this issue I took to Facebook. I asked readers on both of my Facebook pages (Here and here). Some of the responses were surprising and others, not so much. I did learn that many men have also been asked this question, which I suppose for some reason was a little less of a surprise. Men have a ‘reputation’ for being players or going through phases that could raise this concern. Some of us have, some of us haven’t.

Another surprise was just how many women said that they have been asked frequently by men as well. So my inquiry has now shifted from “Do men really ask this?” to “Why do so many men ask this?” Aside from the obvious fact that it makes a woman incredibly uncomfortable and you will probably get an untrue answer anyway, why could you possibly want to know?

Of course there are scenarios that make sense, for example one reader said that in his college there are women who find their way around the dorms quite often, even when they are seeing someone else. In this situation I can absolutely understand a man’s desire to know exactly what he’s getting himself into (no pun intended), particularly for safety reasons if nothing else. But hey man, that’s college. And college is…you know…college.


In the adult dating world, is there any real reason to know how many partners your significant other has had? Especially before they actually become your significant other? I, for one, have zero interest in knowing the details of a potential girlfriend’s sexual past, unless it contains something I absolutely need to know about.

And let’s be real gentlemen, do you really want to know her answer? Assuming she is actually honest with you about it, you are running a high risk of not liking what you hear and potentially squandering a relationship that could have been amazing if you just focused on the two of you.

So, men, really – stop asking women this question. In an exclusive relationship you are the only person she is with. She is giving you her time, her attention, and her heart. Think about your own past and how your other experiences have faded into the distance. Sure, they have taught you things and helped to develop your personality, but her past has also done the same for her. It has transformed her into the woman sitting on the couch next to you now. 

Instead of worrying about how many men have been in her past, be thankful for them. It is because of them that she has found her way to you as the woman that she is today.


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  1. Mike Dunford on September 10, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I have been folowing younfor about a year now. Have you ever considered an article dealing with personality disorders and relationships. I am bipolar and deal with it.. in my mind quite well. However I have been through 4 major relationships all that have failed. I am with a wonderful woman now, but the uncertainty lies with my conddition. It would be nice if the world can realize what we “bipolars” go through and I think you are the one that can get the message across.

    Thank you for all of your inspiring articles, I try hard every day to achieve my best.

    Thanks Ahead Mike Dunford 954-914-4112

  2. omid on September 10, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Hi James,

    I liked this article.



  3. Richard on September 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

    once again you nailed it.

  4. Jordan on September 10, 2014 at 11:24 am

    The real question that we should not tip toe around though is about getting tested. Why is it that one is so hard to ask a new partner? Why do some people find it more offensive than asking how many partners you have had?

    • Greg Parmerton on September 11, 2014 at 11:04 am

      EXACTLY! that is the real question; “are you free of STDS? I just want to know that…”

  5. Matt on September 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I had several dates ask me this question, which I honestly replied to. it did make me feel uncomfortable a little, but Ive been looking for something long term. I did not ask her in return but said so anyway, and mentioned 5-6 guys in the last 2 years, at 2-3 months each, and then jumped right into another relationship.

    I felt it was good to know, as I shied away from further dating her. Threw some major red flags in my face, and she didnt really fit what I was looking for.

  6. nc on September 10, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I honestly think the question itself is a giant red flag, potential deal breaker. The question is extremely uncomfortable and makes you relive parts of your life you may not desire too. I’m a guy and I remember a girl I was falling for asking me the question, it tainted the rest of the relationship and instilled a great deal of insecurity where there didnt need to be any.

  7. Kerry on September 11, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Well written here here. I have never asked the question and am shocked on the occasions that I am. I whole hearty agree be thankful to those in our past….As we are yours. They have helped make you who you are today. A little maturity goes a very long way 🙂 cheers James!

  8. What Women DON’T Want | High Heels and Low Morals on September 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    […] Or making any comments about our previous partners / relationships in general. You do NOT get to make us feel like a whore for having sex with someone else before you came along. Because chances are you’ve actually had MORE hook ups than we have. Relationship expert James Sama wrote an excellent article about this recently: […]

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