Sharing Sexual History Is Risky

Too Much Information?
There are a host of issues boomers routinely hash out at the start of a new relationship. Career versus retirement, mental or physical health issues, old relationship dramas, outdoorsy or a couch potato, and other issues are readily discussed. But whether or not boomers in a fledgling relationship should offer each other their sexual histories is more complicated. Sure, honesty is critical in a relationship, but is sharing sexual history honest or TMI?

Most boomers have a fair amount of sexual history. During the '60s and '70s many had multiple sex partners, and this was the first chapter in many boomers' sexual history books. We had frequent guilt-free sex, which influenced future sexual behavior. The tens of millions of boomers who divorced after long-term marriages also have sexual histories, albeit less cluttered than their single counterparts. But it doesn't make any difference whether a boomer had two or hundreds of sexual partners, because the question remains the same. Is it smart for new partners to share sexual histories?

A Pitfall
I urge boomers not to fall into the trap that is sharing sexual histories because I've rarely seen that information contribute to a relationship in a positive way. And while some people can hear your sexual history and not be affected, just as many can't. It has the potential to damage a relationship even if that wasn't the intention. The number of sexual partners, how good or bad they were in bed, graphic sexual descriptions, sexual frequency, fetishes, and anything else you've experienced sexually with other people shouldn't become grist for your new relationship mill.

When my partner and I dated exclusively I mentioned I didn't need to know her sexual history. We'd each dated for a while and it was clear we both had extensive sexual histories. And while I wanted to know about deaths, divorces, etc., I wasn't interested in learning about her sexual history. I dated a woman years ago that felt compelled to share every sexual detail of her life on our second date. We were both in our mid-60s, and she insisted on telling me about her previous 40-year-old boyfriend who made love to her five times a night. I couldn't imagine what she was thinking, but it was way TMI for me.

Crashed Sex Rockets
It's difficult enough to create a new relationship without two people showing each other their crashed sex rockets. Will a boomer guy benefit from knowing about a woman's previous boyfriend's cock or how well or often he used it? Will a boomer woman benefit from knowing about a man's previous girlfriend's extraordinary fellatio skills? Just because boomers aren't virgins doesn't mean shared sexual histories go down easily, no pun intended.

Unhearing And Unknowing
It's impossible to unhear or unknow something, and sex is no exception. Sharing your body with someone is deeply personal and perhaps it's best to keep those experiences to yourself. Not knowing may help avoid feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, anxiety and a host of other bad feelings ending in the letter, "Y".

What we don't know can't hurt us applies to sexual histories. This is a circumstance in which you shouldn't ask a question you don't really want the answer to. Sexual stories are often told accidently, so think before you blurt.

Ask For Anything
If there is something you want your partner to do for you sexually, then ask for it, but not in terms of a historical reference. "My old boyfriend was a cunnilingus master, or my old girlfriend could swallow my whole cock," are not the kinds of sharing likely to make the other person eager to please you. Worse, it might make them feel sexually competitive, not a good place to have to act from.

The Fallout
I'm not suggesting sexual histories are unimportant. They're extremely important, but that information is most wisely used for internal reference. There's little upside to sharing sexual histories because you don't really know how your new partner will react, no matter your intention. Enjoy sex with your new lover as if he or she is your first. See your new lover through beginner's eyes instead of a head cluttered with and burdened by sexual history.

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