As a rule, I don’t ask this question. I don’t think it’s fair to put someone on the spot in that way. I love talking about past relationships, and through that, over time, I gain a rough idea of the total partners she’s had. But I never directly pop that question.
That isn’t to say that I’m not curious. I’m so curious. Sexual histories fascinate me. But it’s a matter of privacy as well as avoiding a potentially awkward exchange. Not only do the totals mean different things to different people, but the variance between the two has different meanings as well. Plus, if there truly is a relationship-threatening difference between the two totals, I think it’ll rise to the surface without that question being asked.
On the flip side, I actually don’t mind being asked that question. I’ll give an honest answer (although, for kicks, I want to give the answer, “I could count my total on two hands…if each hand has five hundred fingers!”), but I still won’t turn around and ask the other person. That’s just how I roll.
What do you think? Is this a question that you ask? How do you feel about being asked it? Also, if you end up writing a blog entry about this (which happened several times following the “Can Guys and Girls Be Friends” entry), let me know and I’ll link to it here!