I Am in Love With My Boyfriend, But I Still Want to Get More Sexual Experience Before I Am Married

This is a question that is a response to ‘My Girlfriend Wants to Get More Sexual “Experience” Before Getting Engaged. What Should I Do?’ My question is coming from the standpoint as the girlfriend. I am 24 and my boyfriend is 28. We have been together for 8 months and he has told me over and over how much he loves me and knows I am the one for him. I feel very much the same about him. We get along great and love each other very much. Recently, he decided to tell me how many people he had sex with before me. I did not ask the question, as I think it’s best not to know. It’s none of my business and I didn’t want to risk getting hurt. This is because I had only been with one person before him (he knew this) and I knew he had been with at least 2 times more people than I. Well, he has been with 15 women. I do not think 15 is an outrageous number by any means. However, this number made me very jealous. Not that he has been with other women before me, because there is a reason they are in his past. But that I realized I have not been able to get out there and live and experience different sexual partners. I have already told him how I feel about this. We have a very honest relationship and I cannot let a problem fester inside me because then it will just blow up at a bad time.

What if it was you who had slept with 15 guys and your boyfriend didn’t have any sexual experience?

 

We talked about different solutions. One was taking a break. This would work in the sense that I would not be cheating, but I don’t want to break up! Also, I would die at the thought of him sleeping with other women, so I don’t want to do that to him. I also fear he wouldn’t take me back, and I wouldn’t blame him. Oh man! Second was being in an open relationship. Well that just does not work for me, I don’t roll that way. Third, was getting in a time machine and going back to when I was 20 and single and getting my fill of experience before meeting him. I need a DeLorean ASAP! So, obviously the third one will not work. I feel that since we are only 8 months into the relationship it’s best to decide what to do now, than wait however many years (if we even stay together that long) and risk even bigger heartbreak. Let me tell you though, this thought of needing more experience would never lead to me cheating on him. I do not cheat. I am very confused by my thoughts. I really want to be with him yet I want the experience. I cannot explain why I have these feelings. Any advice would be great! Thanks! P.S. Sorry this is so long!

 

Brenda

 

You know what you sound like, Brenda? A guy. Which isn’t a bad thing.

Jealousy is normal. Envy is normal. Insecurity is normal. Confusion is normal.

Your dilemma is what to do with all of these conflicting emotions.

You outlined all of your options clearly – take a break, have an open relationship, or break up (I’m not counting the time machine thing, although I agree it’s your best bet.)

And yet none of these options are appealing to you, because they mean driving a stake through an otherwise perfect relationship.

So let’s flip things over for a sec. What if it was you who had slept with 15 guys and your boyfriend didn’t have any sexual experience? What would you advise him?

Suddenly, the decision’s a lot easier, isn’t it?

“You don’t break up with me to fool around with some other women, you idiot!”

The more I read and the more I coach, the more convinced I am that the main thing keeping us unhappy is our expectations about how things “should” be.

If I spent my time worrying that I don’t have my own Dr. Phil-sized TV show, I’d be really unhappy.

…both of us wish we could have a piece of what the other guy’s got…without giving up what we’ve already got.

If I spent my time envying the Hugh Hefners of the world, I’d be really unhappy.

If I spent my time wishing that I were leading someone else’s life, I’d be really unhappy.

And yes, sometimes I do wonder what it would be like to be married to a 29-year-old woman instead of a 40-year-old woman. And what it would be like to get syndication fees for reaching millions of women instead of thousands of them. The grass is always going to be greener. But that doesn’t mean that your grass isn’t pretty darn green.

I’m reminded of a friend who met a woman when he was in his early 30’s. Three years into the relationship, he wasn’t positive he was ready for marriage, but he had no real compelling reason to break up with the woman he loved, who was in her mid-30’s. They got married and, now, at age 38, he has two healthy gorgeous kids.

Do you know how envious I am? I might not be able to even have 1 biological child.

By the same token, my buddy would always beg me to tell him my crazy online dating stories. In fact, this reminds me of an old Lavalife ad campaign that said: “Lavalife: Make Your Married Friends Jealous.” So true. No matter what decision you make, there are always tradeoffs.

I got to mess around with a lot of women before finding my incredible wife. My friend found his incredible wife at a younger age and missed out on sowing his oats. Who’s to say which is better – except that both of us wish we could have a piece of what the other guy’s got…without giving up what we’ve already got.

Alas, Brenda, that’s not how life works. You’ve already acknowledged that to get your sexual experience, you would have to damage the relationship severely. You can’t just manage to sleep with 10 guys and run back to your devoted boyfriend and say, “I’m done now! Let’s get married!”

So I want to encourage you to look at what you DO have, instead of what you DON’T have. If you’ve been reading this blog, you are aware that there are many women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who seem to have trouble believing that there are any good men out there who will tell you they love you and declare that you’re the one.

If you’re 24 and you think you’ve found Mr. Right, I’d say to hold on to him. If, in fact, he doesn’t prove to be Mr. Right, you can always get some more sexual experience.

And if he does turn out to be “The One”, congratulations, you found the most important thing that life has to offer. Well done.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Helen

    Great advice, Evan.

    From a married woman’s viewpoint, I’d like to share this thought with Brenda, with no regrets that it doesn’t sound politically correct, because it’s honest:

    It’s not that special to have a lot of sexual experience with other men. It’s OK that men and women don’t want exactly the same things. I sense that for men, it’s a lot more important to get a lot of notches on their belt. For women, we don’t need a lot of notches as any measure of self-worth (or, to put it bluntly, enjoyment).

    So what is the point of aiming for something just because your boyfriend had it? I don’t want everything my husband has. Nor does he want everything I have. To want something just because he has had it (and for no other good reason) seems pretty competitive.

    Besides, if you haven’t talked about getting married, being with him for now doesn’t mean that you’ll NEVER have any more sexual experience with other men. Don’t jump so quickly to conclusions about how the future will look. As Evan said, be grateful instead for what you have now, relax, and let the future take care of itself.

  2. 2
    Karl R

    Helen said: (#1)
    “For women, we don’t need a lot of notches as any measure of self-worth”

    I’d like to add that it’s a stupid way to measure self-worth. The easiest way to get more sex partners is to lower your standards. If that’s still not getting you enough partners, lower them further.

    I’m not certain that it will do much for your self-worth, though.

    Brenda said: (original post)
    “I realized I have not been able to get out there and live and experience different sexual partners.”

    What would experiencing other sexual partners provide you that your boyfriend does not?

    Is it the visual appeal of a variety of naked male bodies? You can get that by watching porn. (I’ve heard that bisexual porn has the best looking men.)

    Is it a wider variety of sexual experiences? You probably don’t want the experiences that are different just because your partner was lousy. (I certainly could have passed on those experiences.) Is it the possibility of getting better sex than with your boyfriend? You can accomplish that if you and your boyfriend put some effort into becoming better sex partners. There are hundreds of books on the topic. A little reading and a lot of experimenting will make both of you better lovers than you could become just by sleeping around.

    Are you looking for different experiences just because they’re different? The same books can provide lots of suggestions. Or you can just download a purity test off the internet and use it like a checklist.

    Is it wild stories that will amaze and amuse your friends? If you start experimenting (as I mentioned above), you will acquire those stories.

    It’s quite possible that you can get whatever benefit you want, without having to hurt your relationship. Some of these solutions may even appeal greatly to your boyfriend.

  3. 3
    Kenley

    Brenda,
    Rather than seeking sexual experience with different men — which I agree with Helen is completely overrated — why don’t you instead focus on having the best sexual relationship you can have with your boyfriend? I have read in several books that for many women, casual sex ends up being disappointing not just mentally but physically as well because they just don’t have orgasms as often as men do. My own personal experience is consistent with what I’ve read. Casual sex was disappointing to me because in most cases, the guy got a happy ending and I didn’t! And, I never had that experience of an unforgettable night of passion with a Greek God. So, if you are thinking you are going to have mind-blowing, toe-curling sex during a casual encounter, the odds are against you.
    So, an option that you didn’t consider is to work with your boyfriend to have the best sex ever. If your relationship is as open as you think, talk to him about what your fantasies are and get him to do the same. As with lots of things in life, sex is about quality not just quantity. For women, your chances for great sex are a lot better with a boyfriend you care about than with a stranger you don’t.

  4. 4
    A-L

    You’ve gotten some great advice here, Brenda. I think that Karl’s suggestions in #2 might work particularly well for you.

  5. 5
    Diana

    Brenda, be very careful what you wish for. Evan’s advice is excellent and Karl has the right idea.

    Getting out there and experiencing other partners is a fantasized thought where the reality may not be what you dreamed of, leading to disappointment, even danger. If you and your boyfriend are dearly in love, and he seems to be a pretty open-minded guy, then make the most of what you already have.

    Don’t let a number define your sexuality or make you feel any less of a person. There are women who have done what you’re wishing, and only dream of having a loving and open situation like yours.

    So relax, enjoy, explore, play, tease, and tantalize. Drive each other to the edge of your existence, and you won’t be wishing for a relative stranger.

  6. 6
    Pancho

    Sounds like my situation. Flipped.
    I’m a 29yr old male, I lost a bunch of weight, 140lbs, met myself a woman, which is 33 and ready to settle down and start a family.
    Me, though, she is the first and only girl I’ve ever held hands with, made out with, and had sex with. I’d let my weight and perceived un-attractiveness (she likes big boys) get the best of me.
    We’ve been together for 18months now, and recently moved in with her. She loves me, I love her.
    She is afraid though, that she won’t be enough to keep me happy sexually forever. That she can’t possibly fulfill all of my sexual desires and doesn’t like the pressure she feels since she knows she’s the only girl I’ve been with.
    I’ve told her I’ve thought of marrying her (she is a great woman and have an great connection with her), and she gets scared of course. And then she tells me, that she wouldn’t marry me until I get a lick of something else. But I know if that happens, it would kill the relationship.
    So I don’t know, I’m living with her right now and it’s been great. I want to keep things that way.

  7. 7
    Michael

    I don’t see any reason for wanting to “get sexual experience” except not being happy with what’s going on in the bedroom. And if it’s gotten to the point where she’s running feelers by a third party, well, it’s a problem.

    As Marc says, the choice here is either break up or talk about it. And as he also says, the number of partners in and of itself is immaterial.

    If he’s willing to talk it out and hasn’t decided that because of his vast experience, “his way” is the “right way” to have sex, then this relationship is prime for salvage. If he’s willing to try different things with her, and she’s willing to read a few books and talk openly about her fantasies, they’ve got a huge head start over a lot of people.

    However, if he’s being rigid (pun not intended) and inflexible (again) in bed, and the sex is that unsatisfying, then she should definitely consider breaking up. Sex is important, and if you have a partner who’s not giving you what you need, you probably need to find a partner who can. Not to mention that this can signal inflexibility in other areas.

  8. 8
    Lance

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting more sexual experience and desiring other partners, esp. at her age. If she’s only ever had 1 partner, I would HIGHLY suggest she go out and sleep with other dudes to fulfill that side of her. We’re not just talking about notches on belt…there’s fantasy fulfillment and connecting with men at that deep level and just plain having fun.
    My suggestion is they both maintain their relationship, but open it up with a set rules for a set time period or X number of partners. Keep it safe and make sure neither partner accidentally “falls in love” with someone. They could even try threesomes or swapping partners with some non-judgmental friends. There’s a world of options out there and it’s faulty to think having sex with other partners would damage their relationship if they did it right. Once they finish that process, their relationship will be much stronger for it.

  9. 9
    Jennifer

    Brenda I understand your dilemma. But I’d suggest that if having more experience was important to you, you would’ve done it already. Surely you had opportunities in high school and college (or just your late teens/early 20’s) unless there was some major issue holding you back. So maybe it’s not as big a prioritiy as you think it is? Maybe it’s just something you feel like you should’ve wanted to do? At this point it sounds like you just want to make sure you aren’t missing out on anything, which I get.

    I can’t tell you that you aren’t. But if you had to pick something to miss out on, I think the better bet would be the possible thrill of sex with other people vs. the happiness, satisfaction and stability that comes from being with a guy that you love who loves you (and with whom you know you have good sex).

    Life is all about opportunity cost. There are several things that you’ve ‘given up’ in order to have the life you have now that have probably escaped your notice because you are (hopefully) satisifed with your life. I hope you will find a way not to dwell on the sexual things you’ve ‘given up’.

  10. 10
    Karl R

    Pancho said: (#6)
    “She is afraid though, that she won’t be enough to keep me happy sexually forever.”

    I’m afraid there’s no easy way to solve this problem … since this problem is rooted in her insecurity. You can’t fix that.

    But I can’t see any conceivable way that sleeping with other women would reduce her insecurity. It sounds like she’s afraid that you’ll wonder whether there’s someone who is a better sex partner than her.

    I can answer that question right now. There are 3.4 billion women in this world. I can guarantee that at least one is better at sex. Sleeping with other women won’t change that. It may end up confirming it. So that won’t reduce her insecurity.

    There is no way to guarantee that someone will be able to satisfy you sexually forever … or vice versa. As you age, one of you could get put on a medication that lowers your libido. Arthritis could make sex painful. Energy and stamina levels could change. Menopause, erectile dysfunction … you don’t know what might happen.

    Relationships succeed because both partners choose to solve those complications together. They don’t ignore the issue, nor do they look outside the relationship for a solution.

    And that’s the best any couple can do.

    “That she can’t possibly fulfill all of my sexual desires …”

    This sounds like a smokescreen. You made it to the age of 27 or 28 without having any of your sexual desires fulfilled (except those which you could fulfill by yourself). This should be less of a problem with someone like you than it would with someone who had a longer and more extensive sexual history.

    “she […] doesn’t like the pressure she feels since she knows she’s the only girl I’ve been with.”

    This sounds like another smokescreen. I was in a serious relationship with a girl who had never been past second base. There was no pressure. She had no preconceived standard that I had to measure up to.

    You might try to get some couple’s counseling. That may help you discover what she’s really afraid of.

  11. 11
    Joe

    Whao, if someone told me at 24 to give it all up for one person I’d have said no way, no matter how much in love i was. Course, it’s kinda young and the chances of it lasting forever maybe aren’t so great–so she can always get experience later. not a nice idea to say, but kinda true.

    I vote for sex with a lot of people bc it lets you know hwat is out there. which is alot of interesting experiences. how do you know what you like if you dont try out the different flavors? its like your saying all guys are the same. not true lol! sounds like the guy doesnt know how to keep his woman happy. :)

    also, @9. that’s what I say about women who want to get married, kids, etc & are over 30. if you really wanted to do it you woulda done it already.

  12. 12
    HRGoddess

    Is this really all about envy? The poster is jealous because her boyfriend has had more sexual partners and now she feels she is missing out. Why has this become so important now, only after he confessed the number? Why do it because he did it? I have been there and I can attest that there is nothing special about casual sex. Sex is so much better with someone who knows you, knows your body and cares about you. It sounds like the poster may be having doubts and is not really ready to commit to a serious relationship. If she truly feels like she is missing out, then she should take a break, do the deed with a bunch of different guys (hopefully keeping safety in mind) and let the chips fall where they may. Personally, she should thank her lucky stars that she is in a loving relationship, but some people have to totally screw things up before they realize what they’ve got and appreciate it.

  13. 13
    Jennifer

    @Joe #11- I don’t really disagree with you. If a woman’s singular desire was to marry and have children before 30, I’m sure she could get it done. Not necessarily with a guy she really wants, but yeah, she could definitely get it done. Usually people have different priorities at different times in their lives though, and most women want more than just any guy and some kids.

    That’s also assuming every woman’s do-or-die age is 30. I think that’s a dangerous assumption.

  14. 14
    Karl R

    Lance said: (#8)
    “There’s nothing wrong with her wanting more sexual experience and desiring other partners”

    Except Brenda doesn’t want the consequences that would accompany that choice.

    Lance said: (#8)
    “My suggestion is that they maintain their relationship but open it up”
    “it’s faulty to think that having sex with other partners would harm their relationship if they did it right.”

    Brenda said: (original post)
    “being in an open relationship. Well that just doesn’t work for me,”
    “I would die at the thought of him sleeping with other women.”

    Lance,
    Some people are capable of having open relationships. Most people are not. I’ve known a couple open relationships that ended because one of the partners overestimated their ability to handle it.

    Therefore, when Brenda says that she’s not that kind of person, I’m inclined to believe her.

    And could you explain how Brenda would find more fantasy-fulfillment outside a long-term relationship? In my experience, it’s easier to get fantasies fulfilled within a serious relationship. For example, if my girlfriend wants to play with handcuffs (or vice versa) there’s enough trust to where I (or she) would readily agree. I wouldn’t trust an acquaintance enough to play those kind of games.

  15. 15
    Cat

    I think a lot of people would like to use the DeLorean to go back in time and *undo* a lot of sexual experiences they’ve had! That said, a movie that deftly handles this topic of jealousy over sexual pasts is Kevin Smith’s “Chasing Amy” from 1997. In that case, it’s the guy who doesn’t have as much experience and wants to catch up.

  16. 16
    Selena

    @Cat #15

    LOL! Yes, I would certainly use the Delorean a few times for that purpose if it were possible. ;) More does not necessarily equate to better.

  17. 17
    Honey

    I have to say that talking about previoius # of partners never results in anything good. Someone will always either be jealous or appalled. I know that Jake is already jealous that I was actively dating for the 7 years that he was, more or less, in 2 LTRs, so I will never, ever tell him that I have slept with significantly more people than he has. Though I’m sure he’s guessed.

  18. 18
    hunter

    It just maybe, that, Brenda is uncertain of her present relationship. Which is fine, when one is in their 20’s, uncertainty is,….pretty much normal.

    Brenda maybe fearful, or may not know how to deal with the guilt involved when seeing other people or she would have gotten the experience without having to write to EMK.

    Brenda, some women get the experience, by being tactful and diplomatic.(they keep secrets for a lifetime)

  19. 19
    Jessica

    To Honey @ 17,

    I hope Jake does not read this blog…!!!

  20. 20
    Michael

    <i>
    I’d like to add that it’s a stupid way to measure self-worth. The easiest way to get more sex partners is to lower your standards. If that’s still not getting you enough partners, lower them further.</i>
    In many places and times, self-worth is measured by how you measure up to other people. Imagine if you were alone, while seeing so many people around you with others, and knowing that everyone whom you went to high school and college with are married. How would you feel? What would be the only logical way to feel?

  21. 21
    Karl R

    Michael said: (#20)
    “In many places and times, self-worth is measured by how you measure up to other people.”

    In every place and time, you choose what measure your self-worth is based on. That’s why it’s “self” worth.

    Why do you choose to compare yourself based on one characteristic where you think you suck?

    If you want to see yourself as better than other people, try being a better person. Try being compassionate and generous. If you do that, I will see you as a better person, regardless of how you see yourself. If you want a concrete measure, give 10% of your income to charity. That will make you superior to 95% of Americans.

    “Imagine if you were alone, while seeing so many people around you with others,”

    That would be my situation for most of my adult life. It hasn’t affected my self-worth.

    “knowing that everyone whom you went to high school and college with are married.”

    I went to high school with 2,000 people and college with 4,000 people. I am not keeping track of everyone’s marital status. (I couldn’t even tell you if they’re alive.) Don’t you have a job or a hobby?

    “How would you feel? What would be the only logical way to feel?”

    I watch person after person getting divorced. I watch others remain unhappily married to horrible people.

    I feel a profound sense of relief that I wasn’t in such a rush to get married that I ended up in their situation.

    Michael,
    If you’re so convinced that sex proves something, why don’t you pay $20 to some crack whore? Then you can see for yourself how your self-worth improves (or not).

    And if you’re so convinced that marriage proves something, spend the $10,000 and get a mail-order bride.

    If you take the plunge, please let us know how much these “accomplishments” improve your self-worth.

  22. 22
    Dot LeSage

    Evan really hit the nail on the head! Stick it out with your guy. Either it’ll work out and you’ll be so glad you stuck with it or it won’t and then you can sew your oats all you want! Sounds like a win win to me.

  23. 23
    Jean Paul

    Staying in the relationship that doesn’t fulfil you just so that it lats doesn’t make sense to me. Fair enough, many women are disappointed with their sexual experience but are those women really good in bed themselves? If the girl feels she needs to be with other people, maybe there is something else going on in the relationship and this is just a symptom.

  24. 24
    sayanta

    EMK-

    If I spent time leading someone else’s life, I’d be really unhappy

    This struck a chord, because I know I definitely have a tendency to do this. I have a lot to be grateful for, but then I look at my friends, relatives, etc. and think, “oh, but s/he’s so much better off.”- it’s a hard, vicious cycle to break, and it does no favors to anyone. Under certain circumstances, it can incite motivation to reach certain goals, but the unhappiness and jealousy is so strong, half the time it’s just not worth it. LOL

  25. 25
    sayanta

    sorry for the double post- but I love that green grass quote! I should put it on post-it as a daily reminder.

  26. 26
    iris

    This is insane.
    Why need to get more sex partner to gain sexual experience ? So many thing you have to learn from each other as a life partner , especial in better sexual life.

  27. 27
    Debbie

    My? to Brenda is what exactly you feel you might gain from sleeping w/a lot of guys might bring you.  Experience maybe, but there are many guys out there who into for 45 seconds & out…………..what do you get out of that?. Maybe an STD or ? There are some great books on the market if you want to experiment w/the guy you really want to be with & this way you’re w/someone you really care about.  That’s what makes sex great!  Women feel sex differently than guys: we’re much more emotional about it.    I doubt you’d really enjoy sex w/a bunch of different people you barely know.   There’s many women out there who would love to be where you are right now……………wish they had waited for a guy they really cared about & enjoyed it.

  28. 28
    Terri

    Brenda:
    If your BF had the exact same number of sex partners as you have had, would you be okay with the status quo?  You mention being jealous of his additional partners – what great revelation do you think will occur after 1 or 2 or more experiences?
    And how many more will bring you up to the point where you feel you have had “enough”?
    I only read a few of the comments from others so do not know if I am repeating their opinions…..More does not mean better.  Quantity does not mean quality.
    Do you want to compare his sexual prowess with others?
    I have heard men say they would like to shrink their woman and put her on the shelf and take her down when needed.  It seems like you might want to put your BF on hold or in suspended animation while you are making comparisons for whatever reason and take him down if you decide he is “the one”.
    Whatever you decide, I wish you luck!

  29. 29
    Sarah

    Brenda,
    I understand your point but breaking up with him for a time will make things worst. Based on what you say, he seems to be a nice guy. What I did was to have a few affairs with other guys before getting married with my husband. Nobody got hurt, nobody knew. Just you and your lovers. That doesn’t mean that you don’t love your boyfriend. I think it’s part of our human nature. Trust me, you wont need to be with 15! After five or six (or even less), you wont want to cheat on him anymore.

    1. 29.1
      Cat

      Sarah (#29) I think that’s terrible advice and a great way to end up with STD’s (which will certainly inform your boyfriend of your infidelities and have consequences for him as well) and/or an unwanted pregnancy. And there’s no guarantee that your “lovers” will be discreet either. Not to mention, how good are you at keeping secrets from your best friend, your boyfriend, who you’d be cheating on and feeling guilty towards? That’s a whole lot of drama waiting to implode. Doesn’t sound too sexy, does it?

      I agree with what Evan said: “You can’t just manage to sleep with 10 guys and run back to your devoted boyfriend and say, “I’m done now! Let’s get married!” and, ultimately, this: “If, in fact, he doesn’t prove to be Mr. Right, you can always get some more sexual experience.”

  30. 30
    Kurt

    I feel sorry for the idiot who married Sarah (#29)!  If you have no remorse for cheating on the man who became your husband, I wonder what other selfish things you would do.

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