Should you or shouldn’t you share your sexual past? The subject often comes up in new relationships in the discovery and getting to know each other phase. Newly formed relationships between sexually active adults may have that component of curiosity on several different levels. How much should you tell, and what should you omit (if anything)? As you explore your sexuality together and talk about what you like and what excites you, the subject may come up in that context. Where did you learn that you enjoyed that? How do you know I might enjoy this? As you become more comfortable together, you develop a bond of trust that allows you to explore these delicate topics. There still may be some doubts in your mind as to how much you should keep and how much to give away about your sexual past. Here are some thoughts from a couple’s expert that’s heard it all.
There are several pros and cons to sharing your sexual past encounters with your current partner. Let’s explore them, shall we?
HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases: Your partner needs to know if you have a sexual past that you’ve been responsible about your sexual health, contraceptive use and your past partners’ health. Remember you’re not only having sex with your partner, but essentially every person they’ve ever had sex with as well. Recounting your sexual past in this context and sharing this information is a mature and adult thing to do.
Your sexual past makes you who you are. You wouldn’t be the sexual partner that you are if not for your past experiences. Obviously, we all have a past unless you’re a virgin when you get together. As a mature adult you’ve learned through your sexual past what you like and don’t like, and you know your body responses to sexual stimuli. Sharing this with your partner can enhance your experiences together and make the learning curve more fun for your partner.
These stories may excite your partner. We all have our sexual preferences and fantasies. If you’ve had experiences that your partner hasn’t or wishes to have, they may enjoy hearing about yours. Telling stories of your sexual past help you both to experience the realization of these fantasies and can lead to other discussions and areas of sexual exploration for the two of you.
If there was rape or sexual violation, that is going to impact your response and emotions as well. While I know this can be a very difficult conversation to have, I believe that your partner needs to know about trauma, violence or injuries in your sexual past as they may impact your responses with them. I think it’s unfair to keep them in the dark about it. They may blame themselves if you have a negative response about something that’s not their fault. Telling your story to a loving partner can be a cathartic, healing and restorative step for you.
Will stories of your sexual past make him/her jealous? In a new relationship, your partner may feel threatened or inferior, yes, even jealous by hearing you’ve had a sexual past. If can get complicated; especially if it’s more diverse or exciting than their own. You need to protect your new relationship which can be a bit fragile by easing into the subject and exploring the depths of how far you should go the sexy details. Your partner may not want to hear them! Be sensitive to that.
Anything you say can be used against you. Your sexual past shared with your partner may come back to haunt you. There are people who would turn it around and use it as a weapon in the event of a fight or argument. Once you tell it you can’t take it back, so make sure this partner is worthy of your confidences and trust. It could end up biting you in the end.
What if your stories are better than your current situation? If your sexual relationship is largely unsatisfying and you begin to tell stories of hot passionate and fabulous sexual encounters, it could be a negative rather than a positive. Instead, keep stories of your sexual past to yourself and use those experiences to improve your current relationship with your partner. Sex is more about our minds than our bodies when it comes right down to it, so think of ways that your sexual past can inform the present and fire up your sex life with your partner.
Your sexual past belongs to you. You choose whether you share it or not. Use discretion and be sensitive to your partner’s emotional needs as well as their sexual desires in order to create a deep and passionate bond of connection. When you’re connected like that , you don’t need to worry about sharing your innermost thoughts, hopes and dreams . Your sexual desires can be expressed openly and vulnerably without fear of judgment or rejection. You and your partner can explore your sexual pasts together and learn each other on an even deeper level than before.