When in a new relationship with someone, it’s tempting to ask about your partner’s sexual past, especially if you’re a virgin. Should you? Yes – it can help you know more about your partner and help assess your risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease. But it’s not exactly the easiest issue to bring up – here’s how to do it.
Question: I’m 19 years old and I’ve been dating my boyfriend, 22, for over a month and a half. I’m a virgin and I really trust him and want to have sex with him, but there are some signs that he may or may not have had sex. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before to ask him whether or not he’s had sex but now I’m not sure how to approach him about it. How to do I ask him whether or not he’s a virgin without emasculating him and making him defensive? I really care about him and want him to be comfortable.
Ask About Sex When You’re Not Having Sex
Asking your partner about their sexual history before, during or after sex are all really bad times to talk about it. Your partner will feel pressured, uncomfortable and may not give you an honest answer. You may even translate his discomfort to mean he’s hiding something from you – and he may not be, even if he seems uncomfortable or stressed out. Make sure to ask your partner about their sexual past during a time when there’s no sex involved – for example, a good time to have this conversation would be during a casual lunch or when you’re just hanging out and relaxing. The idea here is to put as little pressure on your partner as possible. Your attitude about the situation will reflect on him – if you feel like this is a “serious” situation, he will too and he’ll probably freak.
Making Him Feel Comfortable
Making your partner feel comfortable about talking about his sexual history is the only way you’re going to get any real information. Let your partner know that it’s okay whether he’s a virgin or not, and simply let him know that you’re curious. Volunteer your own sexual status to help make him more at ease with sharing his sexual past. Don’t grill him about it and if he’s not comfortable talking about it now, don’t pressure him into giving you an answer right away. Give him time and ask him when he might be ready to talk about it. Let him know it’s not an interrogation – and don’t make him feel like it’s one either.
Why Ask At All?
Some people believe in “don’t ask, don’t tell” when it comes to sharing your sexual history with your partner and vice versa. If you and your partner are more comfortable not talking about it all together, this may work for you. But usually, getting a sexual background on your partner – not necessarily all the dirty details but just the gist – will help you get to know your partner better. Knowing whether your partner has had unprotected sex with a number of people can help you make smarter decisions about safe sex.