Don't Reveal Your Sexual Past Or Your Income!

There are two topics which women should never discuss in a new dating situation:  (1) the exact number of men on your list of former lovers; and (2) your salary. 

Young women especially should take heed to this advice. If you reveal to your new man that he isn't your first love or that you make more money than he does, your name is MUD. Young guys tend to flip out and go crazy when they hear this wonderful accomplishment; older guys don't handle it especially well either, but they are more realistic. Some guys just can't resist asking a question when they know full well they don't really want to hear the answer.  Two cases in point:

Case #1: "I heard that my girlfriend hooked up with this random guy before and that she was supposed to hook up with my best friend. This all happened before she met me.  She never did hook up with my friend, but it is disturbing to me to picture her and him together. I am kind of stuck on it. I don't think I could break up with her, but it would just make it easier for me if I could stop picturing her with my friend or anyone else. I just want to get over it. Please help!"

Case #2:  "I am engaged to a 27-year-old woman that refuses to tell me how many men she has been with. The only thing she will say is that it is between 15 and 20 men. I don't know why, but I am upset about this. I mean, I really want to know how many men she has been with. I have told her everything about my life, including the women I've slept with. I want to know the same about her.  What should I do?"

How about you stop asking? Why a man would even entertain the thought of asking such a question? Obviously the answer is perilous to his self-esteem and mental stability, so the need to know the answer in this situation is beyond my understanding.

Men are very competitive by nature. They want to win and be the best at everything. This somewhat explains why the average man would attempt to size himself up by comparing his prowess to your past loves. But to do this well, he has to know how many men he is besting…therefore he asks how many men you've had. If it turns out that he's not your first or at most second lover, he's likely to feel insecure. Instead of focusing on optimizing each other's loving style, some men become fixated on comparing their loving styles with that of former lovers. Major tension, fights and eye-rolling repeated questioning follow. If you make the mistake of responding to his first question with even a tidbit of information, he will never stop running mental tapes or comparing himself to other guys. Watch: Sexual History: Does it Matter?

Paradoxically, women have been socialized to highly value a "manly" man of great romantic and sexual experience. This man has been around the bedpost a time or two and can boast honestly about the number of women he's seduced, becoming the admirer of less successful men and other female conquests. Think of Sean Connery as James Bond for a perfect example! 

This double standard forces women with sexual experience under cover. A woman is reduced to discussing in hushed tones with other women her favored and memorable liasons. Men want to believe they've discovered uncharted territory when they become intimate with women. They go limp at the thought that a woman has had bigger, better, more lovers, or has more sexual expertise than he does. Discuss: Do you discuss previous sex partners or "your number" with your dates?

If you really want to see a man go limp, tell him that you are in a higher income bracket than he is. More often than not, he'll resent you for it, which will be demonstrated in one of three ways: (1) his competitive nature will kick in and he won't rest until he improves his position and makes as much or more than you do; (2) he will grow sullen and uncommunicative and say snappy snarly things which communicate that you aren't the big cheese you think you are just because you make more money than he; or (3) his Pimp Daddy attitude will come out and he'll think he deserves to share your money and keep his—since you so much more and all. 

And though the situation has improved considerably with YOUNGER guys, for women 40 and above the "who makes more money" issue has yet to be resolved. If it's glaringly obvious that you're more educated and in a higher income bracket, don't bring the subject of money up unless you're ready to break it off. Remember, men have been socialized to associate masculinity and success as a man with the number of a man's toys and his income. What heterosexual man wants to date a woman who is more financially "manly" than he is? Read: Do Successful Women Intimidate Men?

So ladies, don't be suckered into telling your man about your sex life or your paycheck. You don't have to lie about either issue, and you shouldn't. Just do him a favor and tell him that your past and your finances are something you prefer to maintain as personal, and that you would appreciate him respecting your privacy as you do his. Establishing the fact that you are STD and AIDS free is the only requirement that should be met—by both parties. If you plan to begin a monogamous sexual relationship, being tested and comparing results is fair and equitable. 

Aside from that, all women should promptly tell any man asks "the number" that's it's none of his business. How many lovers a woman has had is no one's business but hers. Anyway, the new guy should be thankful, because he is the beneficiary of your sexual expertise!

Financial matters (income, investments, 401Ks and debts) need only be revealed should you two successfully advance your dating relationship to marriage, or if you should decide to invest in real property or a business venture together. 

And finally, whether you make more money than he does or not, it is only fair that you offer to split or foot the entire entertainment bill every once in a while.  Your guy should not have to ask you to do be a participant in your joint entertainment, nor expected to bear the financial burden of dating all by himself.