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She's Slept Around; He Hasn't

Mistress Maeve: Your guide to love and lust...

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Dear Mistress,

I’ve had, shall we say, a “colorful” sexual history. I started having sex at 17 and haven’t stopped. Now I’m a 30-something woman who has experienced everything from BDSM to threesomes. I am proud of my rich sex history and don’t regret a single act of it. That said, I now find myself falling for a man who is my sexual polar opposite. He has had a handful of long-term sexual partners, whereas I have had myriad one-offs and casual flings. I know that he’s open-minded (and extremely good in bed), but I can’t help but feel a little nervous to tell him the actual number of partners I’ve had. He’s Midwestern, for God’s sake!

When this question arises, how do I handle it? If I refuse to tell him, I feel like I’m forsaking my feminist identity as a sex-positive woman. If I tell him, I worry he’ll feel intimidated and inadvertently sabotage the good thing we have going.

Signed,

Relationship Virgin

Dear RV,

Kudos to you for relinquishing your relationship V-card — and to a nice Midwestern boy!

It doesn’t surprise me that he’s good in bed — sometimes quality, not quantity, can make the best lovers. With your combined experience, you two make a power couple in the bedroom. You bring the benefits of having numerous partners and adventures, and he brings the advantages of keeping a select few partners satisfied long term.

When the time comes, be honest about your sexual history without rattling off every detail — keeping some things private does not revoke your membership to the sex-positive feminist club. If he asks you for specific numbers, try something like, “It’s never been important to me to keep a tally. It seems I’ve had more lovers than you, but I’m more interested in our current chemistry than I am about our past partners.”

If you sense him becoming uncomfortable, reinforce your feelings for him — let him know you’re falling for him and that you’re invested in the relationship. Suggest that you both get a clean bill of health from your medical providers and seal the deal on this Midwestern romance. Remember, if he’s going to sabotage your relationship out of some self-righteous moral bullshit, or feelings of inadequacy, he’s not right for you.

More is more,

mm

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