Readers responded to the question asked by “Moral Compass” - How many sexual partners are considered too many? (June 16):
Reader #1 – “Before I'd turned 20, my first true love committed suicide and left me with a gaping emptiness that I couldn’t process properly, then.
“I went through a short phase of partying – excessive drinking, drug use –attempting to numb the pain I was feeling.
“I also had multiple sexual partners in a short time because I couldn't cope with my loneliness and wanted to feel SOMETHING.
“This behaviour continued for several months before close friends helped me recognize the dangerous lifestyle I was living.
“I saw doctors, ensured I was free of STI's (sexually transmitted infections) and did what I could to turn my life around.
“Because of this, I'd had more sexual partners prior to turning 20 than I was comfortable about.
“When new relationships started to form and pasts were discussed, many people couldn't see past the number of partners I'd had in such a short time.
“Those connections often ended before they really had a chance to begin.
“This was due to harsh judgement rather than an honest understanding of a traumatic event that still, today, affects me.
“I'm almost 40 now, and though my "number" is high, very few will take into account that most of those sexual contacts happened in a three-to-four-month span.
“In the 20 years after, I’ve only had three new sexual partners.
“I made those younger choices in the moment, but does that mean I deserve to be judged for them for the rest of my life?
“Perhaps “Moral Compass” and the group of friends discussing this, should be open to realizing that a person shouldn’t be judged by the choices they made, but how they've learned to grow because of them.
“Nothing is as simple as "a number."
Reader #2 – “On the subject of a person's sexual history, even today we view men as being "the conquerors" and women being "the conquered.”
“Men are seen as those who go out to hunt for sexual conquests (sowing their wild oats) and women are the prize.
“The more sexual partners a man can claim, the more he's seen as a great hunter.
“What does this say of women who are viewed as past conquests? In some cases, they’re seen as being easy or needy or lacking self-confidence.
“I personally know many men who have little regard for a woman they deemed as being easily conquered several times.
“We’re yet to arrive at a point where men and women are given the same leeway of having sexual desires which they can freely act upon. Or that both sexes can be hunters without shame.
“Meanwhile, neither the number of partners nor their sex, has any bearing on a person’s “moral compass.”
“Whether people are kind and compassionate to others says a lot more about them than their sexual past.
“We use all the wrong metrics when judging people on such criteria. See the person, not the number.”
Reader #3 - “As a male, I think 500 by age 25 is not only acceptable, but should be encouraged.
“But for females, any more than three by age 30 and she’s a slut.
“Oh, and if you know any such females, please forward my contact information to them.”
Ellie – Several men wrote similarly joking responses which still made the point: Numbers don’t tell the story.
I’ve been seeking reasons why my significant other’s adult child manipulates people into helping/buying into her victim role.
Granted, she had a tough childhood. It taught her how to “play” her Daddy. He drops everything, from miles away, to rescue her.
Yet her “problems” are often menial chores - like home improvement tasks. (It’s all she cares about).
With her child-of-alcoholic-mother syndrome, she’s devoid of emotions.
I try and feel sympathy, but I want her to reach out to me when I offer. I want HIM to promote my existence by asking her to invite me in.
But she won’t, and he won’t.
This strange scenario living here is getting even more complicated.
You already know the background reasons for this father-daughter dynamic.
Now, talk to a therapist to learn how to be there without being dragged down by it.
Or, decide whether it’s already gone beyond your tolerance, and consider leaving.
Tip of the day:
Comparing numbers of past sexual partners is misleading. What counts are reasons for past behaviour and the person’s character today.