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CONSEQUENCES OF PREVIOUS SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS


By Veronica Williams   


Thursday, December 20, 2012.

Many years ago when I had my first sexual encounter with my then boyfriend I thought this is it, this is the man who has courted and won me.  We were engaged and marriage should have followed.  Unfortunately the relationship ended because of his infidelity.  As a consequence of this I have dated and had another sexual encounter.  

The question which I am posing is whether I should share the fact that I had had more than one sexual partner with the next person with whom I choose to have a relationship with or should it remain a well-guarded secret?  Do you think it’s important to know about another person’s sexual history?


In answer to these two questions I believe that it’s important to communicate honestly with a current or prospective partner about each other’s previous sexual relationships.  In contemporary society one’s sexual health is something which cannot be taken lightly or left to chance.  There are various diseases which can be contracted through sexual contact, arguably the most lethal being to contract HIV or the AIDS virus. Knowing or being kept informed about previous partners and their ‘status’ is vital if one wishes to ensure that you are sexually healthy.  Additionally practising safe sex, that is to ensure your sexual partner wears a condom or you wear the female condom will ensure some protection from sexually transmitted diseases.


So what’s your number?
The number of sexual partners that someone has is entirely their own business.  By this I mean that you should not judge someone based on who they may or may not have had sex with.  In addition any discussion about previous sexual partners is a private matter between the parties concerned and not a debate which should ever take place in the public arena.  


In today’s contemporary society women are just as likely as men to have had more than one sexual partner.  However its arguable that men who have numerous sexual partners are perceived in the same way as women who have numerous sexual partners.  This comment can be borne out to some extent by the television show Sex in the City  where we are presented with female characters and their sexual lives.  One of the protagonists is presented as a nymphomaniac whose sexual appetite seems difficult to satisfy.  This particular type of behaviour is frowned upon, and she is gradually brought back into line to be less radical in her sexual behaviour.


Throughout this article I have indicated that communicating with your partner about previous sexual relationships is important for a variety of reasons, one of which is to ensure your own sexual health, but also to ensure that you have some understanding of what has taken place in your partner’s life.  Given that this is the case is it a good thing to discuss your sexual history on a first, second or third date or should you see how things go prior to bringing up the topic.

I would suggest that when or if the topic arises we need to take various factors into consideration. Some of the factors are evident just in terms of taking into account your physical environment, the sensitivity of the person you are communicating with and how much information is disseminated.  The way in which the topic was approached would also vary from relationship to relationship.
Another consideration is what are the possible outcomes - and by this I mean if you reveal everything about yourself, leaving yourself somewhat vulnerable, might the other person find this overwhelming, and decide to end the relationship. 

Where should the discussion take place and how in-depth should the discussion be?  For instance when you’ve been dating for about three months and decide to have a sexual encounter with that person, would this be a good time to discuss previous sexual partners or is it something which you should have discussed earlier in your relationship, perhaps on a second date? Each person and relationship needs to be approached differently and you should judge accordingly.


Finally in talking about your previous sexual partners would you include the subject of masturbation, STD’s, HIV or AIDS with this new partner or do you think it’s a private matter?  I personally believe that certain information should be shared if you are sexually involved with another person, even  if you are practising safe sex. Essentially I am arguing that if you have a sexually transmitted disease this should be discussed prior to having sex  so that everyone is able to make an informed choice.  You may not choose to mention that you and a previous partner had sex swinging from the chandelier but you should  ensure that they are able to make informed choices.  I also believe that if you  have had a negative sexual experience, for example been assaulted or possibly raped this should be mentioned early on in the relationship.


Overall, I believe you should be friends with someone before having a sexual relationship, when you may feel comfortable to share certain sexual information.  Be careful though not every single piece of information should be discussed, this may also add to a sense of mystery about you.  In communicating with each other prior to becoming ‘involved’ it means everyone is fully informed and able to choose wisely.
                
Veronica Williams is a graduate in English Literature and has a Masters Degree in Cultural Studies.  She has taken early retirement from teaching and recently completed writing and publishing her autobiography entitled The Mind of the Individual.  Veronica moved from the UK in 2010 and now lives in the Caribbean, where she is actively involved in writing articles for a variety of magazines.  Additionally she writes educational resource materials. She can be reached at v.ambris12@mail.com

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