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I'm not down with Lucy's suggestion either. All that self-denial... it would be like suffering from sexual anorexia. Sex is there to be enjoyed!! Not to mention it would more or less suck for both parties. To extend my anorexia metaphor I'd hate it if someone wanted to go out for a meal together and spent the whole time messing with their food in an attempt to make me feel bad. A whole relationship based on that would be hell on wheels.

That said, Lucy, I hope you feel free to stick around - most people may not agree with you or want to act like that but maybe we still have things to offer each other anyway.

Princess - as a general rule I try to say as little as possible until I know and trust a person really well. In the early stages of a relationship, people can come across as more casual than they are and fish for more info than they really want to hear. Other people can be totally cool with it but until you know them pretty well how do you know?

Plus, while it is their business that you have had safe sex and are disease-free, but who did what with who might be personal. My guess is to just disclose what you feel you're comfortable talking about to a person that you know that well.

Then again it may never come up. I for one have never asked anybody for a number or even an estimate!
ugh, not anyone's business but my own, wtf. really, who the hell asks that kind of question? it's RUDE unless you know the person well and/or it's REALLY in context. dang. i'd decline to answer that one at all. what i do and have done is private. well, 'cept i tell YOU girls but what the heck eh?
Well personally, I'm not interested in knowing the number of sex partners that someone I'm with has had. Whatever the number would be I don't think would be important to me, but like you've said safety and keeping disease free has always been important to me.

I guess I'm worried about a guy getting hung up on number of sex partners, as in thinking that I've had "too many". Since ending my last relationship I had many partners and while I don't have any regrets about that, I also have gotten over that whole sleeping with lots of random men thing. That phase of my life isn't something that I'm ready to share with this guy, even though I can assure him that I always protected myself when with anyone.
Ok, I think I understand better now, princess. My bottom line about that issue is that as long as he has correct info about STD risks, he doesn't really have any right to know anything that you're not comfortable telling him yet. Of course, he *does* have the right to decide not to sleep with you until/unless he gets a complete sexual history, but I've *never* encountered a guy (or anyone, really) who operates that way.

I think that at this point, if I were starting to get involved with someone and that person asked me how many people I'd been with before, I'd probably respond with something like, "Hm. I'm not sure that I understand why you're asking me that. After all, it's a bit of a personal question, you know?" Then hopefully we could sort out why he was asking and sort out any concerns, etc. from there, perhaps telling my "number" and perhaps not telling it, depending on if it seemed necessary to settle whatever was up.

Also, I want to pose a question that's more rhetorical than anything: why are you reluctant about revealing that you had a random/casual sex phase? There could be tons of different reasons... a few of which might have to do with some internalized shame/guilt/dirtiness/etc. ideas about sex. If those are there, it might be worth exploring and sorting out within yourself.
i could have slept with 100 men and used a condom with each one of them
i could have slept with 10 men and used a condom with only a couple of them.

which is 'worse', if there is a worse here?

really, a number is just a number is just a number. asking for particulars like that is invasive at best. and anyone ANYONE who would judge me on the 'number' of encounters i've had and deem them too many or too few is no one that i want to get intimate with. that's super yucky.

what's next eh? where i've done it, in what position, which orifices, how many people at a time (heh), with what (heh heh)? what is ok then, and what is not?
seriously, where does anyone get off making those kinds of judgements about other people's sex lives? gah.
In my opinion, I know we all have a past, and thats where it should stay, right?

I dated a girl a few years ago who not only told me (without me asking, mind you) how many men she had slept with, but also went into great details about each one.....not what I wanted to hear. Needless to say, the attraction disappeared VERY quickly, and she was relegated to singledom not long thereafter.

Some people might WANT to know, I do NOT. Those that do want to know, and ask me repeatedly will have to be very close to me to get even a 'glimmer' of my past sexual history. I would never ask anyone about theirs.
Hmm, I guess I see this really differently. When I started dating my current boyfriend, and things started progressing to the point where we were wanting to have sex, I needed to have a conversation about past partners and experiences.

I also told him that he needed to get tested for everything before I'd have sex with him, even though he told me he was fine. I also got tested, even though I hadn't had sex, well, practically ever smile.gif But I thought, if I'm asking him to do it, I should do it too.

He was worried, because he thought I thought he was "dirty." But I was just worried. I wanted to feel comfortable and free with him (even though we used condoms for quite a while). I don't think it's invasive or rude-I mean, if you are going to fuck someone, how can it be rude to ask them who else they've fucked? I did'nt care about his number, or how he got to that number, I just wanted to find out if he'd had safe sex in the past.

For me, it was more embarrassing, because I'd had random sex like twice, years ago...

I guess it's different in the context of casual sex though- you don't really care as long as you're using a condom, I guess. I'm just paranoid about diseases, I guess, and I'm also not into casual sex and never have been (no judgement-just not for me at this point in life!)

maddy, read what i wrote below. really, if you want to ask about someone's safe sex history and get mutually tested that's different that asking for "the list", ye know? yes, i discuss testing and safe sex history with my partners, regardless of whether it's a casual encounter or not. that's a given. but it's not the same thing at all.
Ok, but don't you think asking about someone's sexual history IS part of having safe sex? I mean, yeah, I wanted to know what he's done (not like in great detail) and who he did it with. I mean, if he can't tell me about his past, then our relationship isn't going to go very far, and I'd rather know that before I sleep with him.

I'm thinking you are responding more to the number thing, right? And I agree, the number doesn't mean as much as what you did (safe sex or not) with those people. I guess the issue is more about judgement, rather than what is ok to ask, and what's not.
but why would anyone be entitled to know WHO someone has been with in their past? that's so private. just because someone is having sex with me (or a relationship for that matter) doesn't entitle them to the details of my personal hisory. and that isn't about sharing and caring or whatever for me. it's really a personal thing, i'm a private person about that stuff and i don't want to share what's mine and no one else's. my memories and experiences make me who i am, and who i am is what i'm offering, not how i got to be me.
it's a personal call for sure, i just wouldn't give in to anyone else's expectation of all my secrets revealed for their perusal just because we were intimate. i wouldn't even tell most of that to a husband. really, we don't become one person, i'm still me, i think i still deserve to retain that, my individuality, my thoughts, my secrets.
so long as i'm not endangering anyone's health, and that can be determined with some blood work in a way that talking will never reveal.
Guess it goes to show that we're all different! Not that I didn't know that already (Durrh)....but just another great example.

I think having a relationship with someone (for me) MEANS sharing our pasts (not just about sex). It means sharing our secrets (not all) and our experiences. I really wanted to hear my boy talk about sex, and talk about his past experiences- cause I think that gave me clues that a blood test couldn't-like what kinds of risks he's taken, in what context did the sex happen (girlfriend, random hook up, prostitute, etc).

Hell, I even found out he'd made out with a crossdresser, not knowing it was a man smile.gif THe way he talked about this was so cool, a lot of guys would never share that, and I found it so great that he wasn't threatened by it or anything....

I don't think anyone is entitled to know anything, it's just what you are willing to share, and what the other person wants to know about. I have major trust issues, so for me I wanted to know like, everything! Probably most people would prefer not to know though.

Maybe it's easy for me to say since I have like, no sexual history smile.gif
Am I the only one who thinks its a turn-on to talk/hear about past partners?
My dearly departed Brit Boy was all into discussing that stuff, started as a safety issue, but then we started swapping stories like that Jaws spoof scene in Chasing Amy.
I dont know if its a European thing but he didnt seem to have any hang-ups about me having a past,
and frankly, that really turns me off about American dudes, the whole "you were supposed to be saving yourself for me" bullshit.
If a guy I started seeing did think I was TOO experienced, I would take it as a clear sign that he has issues.
aaah, i'm waaaaay too jealous greenbean smile.gif
bella coola
Hey all, sorry to pop out of nowhere. But this was a big issue to me too at one time, and so I did some figuring and formed my own firm opinion. Here it is!

First of all: if you sleep with one "Joe Schmo", or you sleep with twenty-one, and you tell your sig. other your number of Joe Schmos: it will tell him little of how likely you are to have an STD (from what I understand). Because, you don't know how many people the Joe's slept with, and you definetly don't know how many people the Joe's previous partners had slept with. Catch my drift? Once you really get you're feet with, you're at risk. Even with a condom (segway)...

Point two: although they *help* prevent transmission, condoms are NOT near 100% in avoiding HPV (genital warts) or HSV (herpes). Right - the ones that don't go away! Because they are spread by skin-to-skin contact. Even if your partner has been tested out the ying yang (cough) and is 100% honest with you, s/he may have either without even knowing it. They say that if you have had TWO OR MORE sexual partners you are highly likely to contract at least one strain of HPV (some wart-causing, some cancer-causing). That's with or without a love glove. 75% of North America's sexually active population has HPV. You can give the life story of each of your sexual partners, to any future ones - and nobody will ever know any better which STDs you may have!!!

Big tangent, really sorry. Also, a lot of people that ask the 'number' may have a right, and a wrong answer already set in their head. I agree Pep, it's personal and I don't think there's a good reason for asking it. "Do you get tested regularly, and have you ever found anything" is the best info they can give you!
word girl. the "do you use condoms every time, no genital contact without them?" and "do you get regularly tested?" questions are the best measures i've ever found.
Except... how a boy acts with you when you start to get it on is a DEAD GIVE AWAY as to how he acts in general. if he's right in there, no conversation, trying to rub his junk on you, obviously not bacteria conscious, etc, you can pretty much see where he stands on thangs right then and there. of course, it's hard to be rational and say, "um, hello? yes, STOP now please..." right then but... that's where what you yourself are like comes into play. how careful of a lover are you? and what will you allow to happen in a moment of passion?
this is how "accidents" happen after all. no one intends to get pregnant unexpectedly or catch something either.
Absolutely agree, pepper. As I'm sure someone else has said: 'sex is a good way to get to know someone.' Sex is instinctive rather than learnt by observation for the most part, so if they have generous instincts (for example) they'll come out during sex. IME anyway.

And yes, if someone is being an asshole about condoms, that tells you a lot... and it can be hard to stop but you have every right to. After all, if they are balking at condoms it gives you a great reason to call the whole thing off.
I agree with Pepper and also in some ways with Maddy.

The way I see it, what's wong with saying something like "it's been X months since my last HIV and diseases test, when was yours?" THAT is the info I want to know, not how many partners they have had or how it felt or any other personal info. Later, if you decide to have monogamous sex without condoms or something like that, then you can plan for up to date tests, the three month window etc. And I agree the way people act is a dead giveaway.

I agree with Maddy in that for me, knowing some stuff about each other is part of an emotionally intimate relationship, but you can't force that. That stuff comes up naturally in conversations over the years, just like every other aspect of your past life. It's a process about give and take, sharing etc, and what you learn is in context with everything else about the other person's life, attitude and personality. I can't say it turns me on at all but it's part of who we are as people. There will always be secrets and personal things as well.

This is very different from being presented with some sort of Sex Resume on your third date.
hee, sex resume.

i get totally turned on hearing about sex my partner has had. that's part of what i meant by "really in context". i'd share for that reason (names changed to protect the innocent, heh heh) and i like to listen to exploits but that is a whole 'nuther thing as far as i'm concerned.
Yeah, talking about past sexual exploits never bothered me. Heh, kind of a comparing notes conversation. tongue.gif
I would very strongly resent a guy feeling entitled to know how many partners I've had and what I did with them as though he is considering buying a car and wants to know how many kilometres have been run up on the odometer.

No one is entitled to that knowledge. I may choose to share it with friends or lovers if it's part of a conversation and will not be received with judgement. I'll share my stories if we're spinning yarns about our pasts in good fun. I'll share them in the sack if I think it'll turn him on. But I'm never going to respect a man who evaluates my fitness as a sexual partner by the things I did in private with other people before he even met me. And I respect his past and don't need to know anything he doesn't choose to share with me.

With a mind to safety I will say when I was last tested for the full round of STDs and I'll ask when he was. The rest isn't relevant to that conversation.
y'all are pretty trusting-you take someone at their word if they say they've been tested? You take them at their word that they don't have HIV or HPV, and then you have sex with a condom? To me, that's risky and scary. I'm not judging, just stating a different opinion. I don't have casual sex, I have sex with a man I'm in love with. And I certainly didn't feel "entitled" to know that information, I simply asked. I don't know why everyone is getting all riled up about that. Honestly, this thread is pissing me right off.

I got to know my boyfriend BEFORE we had sex. We were friends for a few months, things changed, we slowly worked up to sex, and the std conversations and past partners conversations. I didn't ask him this on the 3rd date, because I wouldn't sleep with him (or anyone) on the 3rd date. Again, I'm not judging those who do, but I choose to do things differently.

When you say "there's not a good reason to ask how many partners" that pisses me the fuck off! Maybe there's not a good reason for YOU, but I'm NOT YOU. So, I have a good reason- my reason. So don't fucking tell me what I can ask my own fucking boyfriend. God. For me, it mattered how many people he'd had sex with. I wanted to know how he thinks about sex. Cause to me, sex is an emotional as well as physical connection, and I wanted to know how he felt. I got good information, information that I wanted and needed to have.

AND, you can tell a lot about a guy by how he TALKS about sex, his past sexual experiences, about STD's, safe sex, etc. I feel like people are kinda trying to justify having casual sex here, and there's no need to justify it. I guess it's really weird to me that it's still so "not ok" to talk about sex! I'd much rather get the feel for him through talking, then "having him rubbing his junk right on me." I mean, why would you wait until his cock is on you to to ask the questions? Isn't that uh, just a little bit too late?

Anyways, not trying to start any shit here, but this discussion is really frustrating me. By the number of upset responses, I can tell I've pushed people's buttons. Might be worth looking at why y'all are so upset about the idea of someone asking you that.
Hey maddy, I understand your perspective and I think you make several good points (esp. the idea that it's dangerous to take a casual sex partner at their word re: STIs and testing). It seems to me like one reason that you have such a different take on this than several other posters is that it seems as though you're mostly referring to having this conversation within the context of a relationship (where it certainly seems to me like there would and should be a higher degree of openness) while others and largely talking about having this conversation with a more casual partner. I may be wrong in that impression. But if it's the case, well, it does make a lot of sense to me that different things are ok to ask your boyfriend/girlfriend v. someone you've just met. You know?
bella coola
Hey maddy & octin. Here's my two cents, I can only speak for myself but I think the others may be on a similar page. I'm just representing my own opinion. I don't want to tell anyone else what they should or shouldn't do, because of course I certainly don't apprecaite people doing the same thing to me. Regardless of what I say/believe, I will always respect everyone else's opinions and offer my apologies if I come across otherwise.

'y'all are pretty trusting-you take someone at their word if they say they've been tested? You take them at their word that they don't have HIV or HPV, and then you have sex with a condom?'

Well.. if I trust him enough that I decide I want to have sex with him, then shouldn't I trust him when he says that he has been tested?

Although I have made some bad decisions in the past, I believe in having 'the birth control/STD' conversation before the act without question. And of course the sharing of personal information is required. It is absolutely necessary to talk about sex, but I don't believe that there is a need to disclose the specific number of partners. It does not give you any facts about their sexual health. It may suggest at how 'at risk' they are for infection, but it only takes one partner to infect you, right?

From what I've read, I want to know is it fair to say that you (maddy) believe that you can learn about them by the *way* they answer this question? See how comfortable they are in telling you, and that?
Bella and octin- thanks for the responses. Sorry if I was super rude, I was feeling really frustrated.

The initial question was about "how to answer if a new partner asks my number." I think that princess was more worried about how to answer, or if she had to answer, and people gave their opinions on that. and, of course all of our opinions are different.

It just seemed that some people were soooo offended and upset by the fact that I wanna know more stuff about my sex partners than they do. That was weird. I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should do, so it's annoying when people are telling me I'm rude, entitled, etc etc., for asking that question.

And yeah, I was happy when he said 9, not 90 or 900. I don't care how many people you've fucked, but I care about how many my boyfriend has, and that's my opinion, and my preference. If my boyfriend had gotten offended or upset or refused to answer, I would have been very suspicious and would have thought he was hiding something. Like I said, I have trust issues wink.gif

But yeah, the way he was willing to share some stuff and talk about it really made me feel good, cause it's hard to talk about our pasts. But really, I told him about my incest, and that's "personal", but I wanted him to know before we had sex. That was important to me, so I don't think it's unfair or whatever, for me to get info from him too.

To the rest of you-head over to "our bodies" and check out the HPV/STD thread. Do you ask the same questions before giving or receiving oral? Or just for vaginal sex?

bella, i think this sentence "Well.. if I trust him enough that I decide I want to have sex with him, then shouldn't I trust him when he says that he has been tested?" is verrrrry tricky! That kinda reminds me of something a guy would say when he wants to not use a condom or something. Of course, at some point, you gotta trust, or just take the risk, cause you really never can be 100% sure, sadly. I'm not sure if it's about trust though, or about how much risk you are willing to take on?

bella coola
It's good to get people thinking. I don't think anyone means to be rude here, at least I hope not!

I agree that it's a really tricky statement. But trust is tricky too, it's tough to know when to do it. If I felt that I needed to get a guy to have his doctor phone me with his test results, well - I think that that is an unhealthy lack of trust! I think that it's about trust and risk - when you're choosing to trust someone, there's always risk involved. Otherwise it wouldn't matter if you trusted them or not, right? So it's definetly not something that a partner should ever put on you "Don't you trust me?" (I've had some master manipulators pull that trash on me, I totally get where you're coming from!) but maybe it's something to ponder. If he would withold STD info from me I sure as HELL would not want to be sleeping with him, for the principle just as much as practical reasons.
maddy, this conversation isn't about You in particular. if that's the way you're going to hear others opinions and thoughts then be prepared to get frustrated a LOT. this is an open forum where we discuss OUR feelings about stuff, don't take it so personally.

"Anyways, not trying to start any shit here, but this discussion is really frustrating me. By the number of upset responses, I can tell I've pushed people's buttons. Might be worth looking at why y'all are so upset about the idea of someone asking you that."

if that ain't trying to push people's buttons (and the "head over to the std thread comment) then i don't know what is girl. seems an awful lot like an attack to me when no one is attacking you, just the perspective that a person's private life is anyone else's business. i have no problem with my past, sexually speaking or otherwise. the problem i have is with another person thinking that they have a right to evaluate and judge me based on that. if you like me, if you trust me, if you want to be with me it had better be based on something more solid than a number.

for the record, i haven't been with a ton of people, Way less than most of my girlfriends that's for sure. not that i would tell someone that to reassure them about my sexuality because i think using that as a measure is stupidity.

once again, that isn't about YOU so don't go making yourself all frustrated and offended over it.
Pepper, the thread is not about me, but I posted several responses, and people responded to my opinions, using strong language like: "entitled" "have the right" "judgement." This is SOO not what I was talking about, and it's frustrating to not be heard. I can manage my frustration, and it's ok for me to feel upset in here, so please don't tell me how to feel, or what to be frustrated about. I did feel somewhat attacked, because of the language that was being used. It wasn't just Oh i disagree. It was "how dare anyone ask me that!!!!!" How DARE anyone think they are entitled to that information!!!!! No one ever said anything about being forced to give up that info.

Also, yeah, people seemed really defensive in this thread, and the more I wrote, the more defensive people seemed to get. That made me think I was pushing some sort of button in people. If that's not it, then what is it? Cause I truly would like to know, not in a snarky way. What's so upsetting about someone asking you how many people you've slept with? Why is that SUUUUCH a horrible thing, in your eyes (not just pepper, everyone).?

The reason I told people to go over to the STD thread is because there is a related conversation going on over there with some of the people from this thread. and yeah, I think that people are too cavalier with what they think of as "safe sex."

To respond to bella-yes, that manipulative thing "don't you trust me?" that's exactly what i was responding to! I could just see a guy saying that when he doesn't want to use a condom, ya know? But yes, sex is a combo of trust and risk, definitely. It's not like I think I'm all safe because I'm monogamous, there are still risks! (if he cheats....).

to bella again re: this statement

"If I felt that I needed to get a guy to have his doctor phone me with his test results, well - I think that that is an unhealthy lack of trust!"

I did say I had trust issues, right? wink.gif But also, I think this brings up an interesting point about the whole safe sex thing. Why is it enough for someone to "say" they've been tested and they are fine. That's not enough for me. Even knowing someone for 4 months, and yeah, pretty much "trusting" them, isn't enough for me to trust them with my life!

I was happy that my boy had me listen to the nurses message on his voice mail. it made me feel like i was taking really great care of myself and my body. it made me feel more relaxed. i felt proud that i could request these things, to keep myself safe. (hasn't always been like that and i'm lucky i never got anything). so for me, it was empowering. it was about not ignoring the bad or risky sides of sex. it was about looking at the good and the bad, and not trying to pretend there aren't risks. it was important to me.

i wish that when you got tested, they'd give you an official document that states when and what you were tested for, and the results. i don't know why it's so secretive and stuff. i've known too many women who've gotten diseases (mostly hpv) from guys they "trusted" and who said they'd been tested, etc. so no, i'm never going to just believe a guy's word. UNLESS i am willing to take the risk, which i am not. some are, that's fine, but at least admit that it's a higher risk! do'nt try to deny that it's not risky to some degree.
bella coola
Wow. So even though you don't trust him to tell you the truth when it could come down to life/death - you still sleep with him? Not trying to be critical or anything of course, just trying to see your point.

'i've known too many women who've gotten diseases (mostly hpv) from guys they "trusted" and who said they'd been tested, etc. '

In my opinion, this is the tricky-est statement yet!!! They don't test for HPV other than pap tests, and diagnosing genital warts (at least where I'm at), and often people can carry it completely without symptoms. These women could have gotten it from any of their partners, at any time and they would never know who gave it to them unless one of the partners actually had symptoms. They could have used condoms 100% of the time, and still contracted HPV because it is spread by skin-to-skin contact. So it's entirely possible that all of those men had been tested, and maybe the women that contracted HPV didn't even get it from who they thought (it can lay dormant in the system for weeks, months, years..). The nurses could have left messages, and the women could have listened to those messages and they still could have contracted HPV. With some stds, it isn't about trust - it's purely about risk! Couple last things while I'm still here on the soap box:

75% of sexually active people in North America have had or will have (or do have) a strain of HPV

If you have had sex with two or more partners, chances are you'll be part of that 75%

80% of above-mentioned North Americans don't know they have it (even if they test regularly)

Recent studies suggest that the body either suppresses, or clears HPV from the system typically within 6 months - 2 years

I am passionate about the subject because I have it myself - more people NEED to know more about it, and the docs NEED to do more research about it!!!

Thank you for reading, please pardon my ranting.
bella, same with herpes. you can be a carrier and not ever have a breakout but still infect your partner(s). and they DON'T test for it because nearly 75% of the population has been exposed (pretty much the same stats as below). a clean test doesn't mean a clean human, unfortunately.
sex is a scary business. there is certainly a level of trust inherent in the act. either that or stupidity.

as for being asked about my sexual past, it's that i do not wish to be evaluated based on what i may or may not have done over the course of my lifetime and it offends me that someone might feel that they have the right to put my life, mistakes, loves, trials, troubles, blissful moments, under a microscope to pick apart. it's just none of their damn business and i don't care who they are. if someone Needs to know those details in order to approve of me as partner material then i am not partner material for them. i believe in privacy, a person's right to own their own experiences, and to not be judged by what they have done but rather who they are.
i've done so much in my life, it's all added up to the fantastic person that i am. i'm not going to be minimized into this act and that act. i find the whole idea repulsive. maybe it's because i'm older, more experienced? maybe not. i think it's because i have a high level of self respect (not that anyone else Doesn't and that's their reason) and that i won't lower my standards of what's ok for me to make someone else comfortable. meh, i beleive in compromise, just not compromising myself.
bella-that wasn't a rant-it was education! i don't know enough about hpv, i've always felt soo ultra scared about it, so it's interesting to hear the stuff about repression and even clearing completely.

it's true that a lot of people don't know they have it, and yeah-one of my frineds in college got it and her ex-boyfriend was like "oh it couldn't be from me." even though he's the only one she'd slept with in 2 years. But it took a looong time for it to show up on her pap! like, over a year.

do you think eventually everyone will just have the virus in their body and it won't even be a thing we have to worry about? cause, don't some people have frequent outbreaks? i mean, not everyone's is repressed/supressed, right?

i'm glad you are passionate about educating people! that's awesome:)

about your first sentence- it's not that i didn't trust him, it's that it was SUPER great to hear the nurses voice, and that he was ok with me hearing it. it's not like i thought he was lying, i just thought it was so cool to really feel more safe.

i mean, most times when people have sex with people, they don't trust them with their lives, right? i mean, i trust him with my life now, after two + years, but usually when you start havingsex with someone, you aren't at that point, right?

maybe i'm just confused about what you're asking?

pepper- i think this says it all:

"if someone Needs to know those details in order to approve of me as partner material then i am not partner material for them"

and, i think it answers princess's original question quite nicely, too. if it upsets you when someone asks, then don't sleep with them....pretty simple.

this is also a great sentence:

"that i won't lower my standards of what's ok for me to make someone else comfortable. meh, i beleive in compromise, just not compromising myself."

that's basically all i've been trying to say (albeit obviously not very successfully). WHat I need to feel comfortable is different from what others need to feel comfortable. and that's fine, to each their own.

also, i feel there is misunderstanding about what i wanted to know frm my boyfriend. I CERTAINLY didn't want to tell him every little sexual thing i've ever done, and didn't want that from him. i wouldn't want to be judged on dumbass stuff i've done either. but asking for information, and judging are two very different things.

ok, i'm done with this thread for now.
bella coola
I don't know that *everyone* will end up with it, mind you anything is possible :S

The friend in college - the bf couldn't have known whether or not it was from him, but on the same token - it's *possible* that she contracted it from a previous partner even before the two years that she had been with him. There really just isn't any way of knowing! I've got a bit of a history, so although I've pondered I haven't spent any real time trying to figure out the source.

I think that if the general population is properly educated, the stigma will dissipate. And for many of us, that's the worst part of it. Although there are strains that can become cancerous, the treatment for that doesn't quite sound like a picnic in the park. And yes some folk do have frequent outbreaks - I believe that for the most part it hinges on a person's immune system, how well they take care of themselves. It really isn't the end of the world.

That's cool, I was thinking about how awesome it is that your man was so accomodating for the sake of your comfort. You know - I'm not 100% sure what I was asking either! Heh. I think I wanted to understand what source of information you require for - ah, 'risk assessment' if you will!

Anyway. Glad to see another point of view, thanks for sharing
that is so interesting about the hpv stuff. i do think the worst thing about it NOW is the stigma. But before, i really thought that if you got it, you were just screwed (ha). like, you'd have warts all the time, or a lot of the time and it'd be painful and grody. but clearly that's misinformation.

it's funny looking back, cause her boyfriend was such an a-hole that i was just all "oh he's an a-hole and gave it to you, of course he's denying it." lol-whoops!

so, why isn't there a test? and why can't we tell if it's in our body? i also read a while back about a vaccine for it? do you know anything about that?

yeah, my boyfriend is a sweet dude. i put him through a lot, esp at the beginning. he's my first ever relationship, and first real sex, so i was fucking terrified of just about everything. i do feel bad that he thought that i thought he was "dirty" (his words), but i had to do what i had to do!

there is a test for herpes but it can only tell you if you have been exposed to it and the likelyhood is very high that most people have so, they just don't bother testing.
there are so many strains of hpv, it imagine it would be near impossible to test for them all, not to mention the expense. and we have nearly all been exposed anyhow so why test? exposure doesn't indicate whether you will suffer breakouts or be contagious. sad. perhaps it will end up being the norm.
I don't want to sound lackadaisical about the HPV issue, but if 75% of SA Americans have it, condoms don't pervent it, doctors cant test guys for it and people dont always have symptoms for it,...doesnt the worry seem a bit moot?
I mean, if I could get it from just one guy, then the only way to not get it is not have sex with ANYONE, which is pretty tough.
Its like, you know no matter how responsible a driver you are you can still get hit by another car, do you not drive at all to avoid the risk? Hmmmm....
yah, i mean i certainly feel a lot better about the hpv risk. chances are good that it's already in my body somewhere, it just hasn't surfaced. i was always really scared of getting hpv, and i knew that condoms didn't prevent it, so i always have felt like the whole condom=safe sex was bs.

maybe this has something to do with my asshole professor of women's health class showing us this horrific picture of a woman with untreated genital warts, she had like a 50 pound mass of warts and you couldn't even tell she was like, a person. i can't even describe it but it was absolutely awful. (he also showed us pictures of aborted babies, nice-esp for a womens' studies class-he claimed we should jsut be aware of what it actually looks like).

so, hpv is not really cureable but at the same time, doesn't seem to be nearly as bad as the hype or whatever. so, other than HIV, are the other std's cureable?
Pretty much everything is cureable or at least treatable,..the goal is to know if you have something so you can take measures to clear it up, rather than let it fester.
I had one freakout after I had sex with a new partner without a condom (first and last time it'll ever happen!)
After that incident, I got tested for everything and the clinic counsler told me while it was good of me to check things out, catching HIV from a single encounter (the biggest fear I had) was very unlikely. She said that usually when women get it its because they are having regular, unprotected sex with a man who is positive but doesnt know it (like a cheating husband for instance). So that put my mind at ease, and sure enough, all the tests came back negative.

I guess the general consensus here is that the NUMBER of sexual partners one has shouldnt be a determining factor when contamplating a new relationship, ..whats more important is how safe the person has been. I second the theory that having had 20 safe-sex partners is better than 2 unsafe ones.
yeah, it's funny because when i was getting tested at planned parenthood, i really thought they were being kinda weird about it. i wanted to be tested for everything, just in case. they were asking about my exposure risk and acted kind of like "oh you have NOTHING to worry about, but we'll do the tests anyway if you want us to." I knew i was being way overly cautious, but i still thought they were being kinda cavalier about it, like oh well you're monogamous s oyou're fine. but when it comes down to it, it sounds like it's the cheating that reallydoes it, and that's not really something you can prevent.....

yeah, i think most people here expressed that number doesn't matter, but risk-taking behavior does matter.

i dunno, maybe i read way too many of these HIV transcripts, cause I'm SOOO Fucking scared to get HIV. Just overall, scared of it.
bella coola
As far as HIV goes, I don't think that you CAN be too cautious! I've had doctors give me a bit of a rough time over it too but it IS live/death! HPV is much different. You just keep your pap tests regular, watch for anything abnormal and don't worry about anything.

As far as the misinformation about HPV, my guess is that many educators will tell the worst case scenerio about everything with hopes that we will be as careful as possible. But like you say greenbean, nobody will give up sex forever just to avoid HPV!

I wish that accurate information was as contagious as any given STI.
I agree with Bella and Greenbean about the all HPV comments- it's been linked to cervical cancer, and regular paps are important, but I don't feel scared of it. (although I've had an irregular pap, and I'm procrastinating about making the app't- but that's another story!)

About HIV exposure- I don't know if you all know this or not, but there's actually something you can do if you think that you've been exposed to the virus. It's called PEP (post exposure prophylaxsis). You have to start treatment immediately, and it's pretty hardcore. But it is available.

I'm really tired-it's pretty late where I am- but I just kind of thought I ought to put that out there.

Oh, and I definately don't think numbers are important.
I'm surprised nobody's referenced Savage Love and his many columns about the "American Taliban," which includes quite a few information about the HPV vaccination which is out there, and available right NOW.

Lobbying groups across the country are shrilly attempting to block efforts in several states which would institute universal administration of this vaccine to girls under 13. These perverts believe that to offer protection from this incredibly common virus (which, as y'all have noted, is LINKED TO CERVICAL CANCER) would encourage promiscuity, because - apparently - in the twisted minds of these terrifying whip-wielders, freedom from a common virus, which can still kill eventually, equals "free pass to fuck like bunnies." These are people who equate behavior and opportunity; all I can assume is that they themselves would be heedlessly fucking like bunnies themselves, but for the chastity belts and brutally ritualistic shunning their clerics and republican representatives have in store for those who will not conform to this narrow and defeatist worldview.

The vaccine has been yapped about even as far as Good Morning America now, and the pharmaceutical company which makes it has had an ad campaign for the vaccine on the air for at least two months now. This isn't new stuff, and Dan Savage has been on about it for a year I believe.

The vaccine is pretty much moot for those of us past a certain age, or sexually active. The point in giving it to 13-year-old girls was to save those who are least likely to have already been exposed. It is simple, straighforward, and literally could mean life or death for some girl in the future.

So the opposition to this doesn't even threaten those debauched old fucks out there who've been sinners in these activists' eyes for quite a while already. It threatens the innocents who MIGHT become great big whores, by withholding medicine and demanding compliance.

(I'm kind of amazed to be the first to note this stuff ...)
bella coola
Hasn't it been spoken of in the HPV/STD thread?
Michigan proposes it should be provided in schools: local info

Calling attention to the cancer potential seems less inflammatory than highlighting HPV as a STI...
thanks for all the info! i read about it several months about it, but haven't noticed anything more-but, i kinda avoid the news a lot of times.

that seems cool to just add it to the shots that people get, at the same time something feels weird to me about it? but, i guess it's like, eventually they will be sexually active, whether it's at 13 or 40, and they'll be protected.

do they know about the risks, or side effects, etc? long term effects?

yeah, i'd be too old for that but it seems really promising. although, i just guess maybe i'm suspicious of anything that's "just for girls." like, why wouldn't they give boys the vaccine too, so they won't get hpv?

i have no clue about this and i'm excited to learn more...

oh and definitely seems like it'd destigmatize hpv? do ya think?
i dunno, it is still WARTS after all. it's weird to have one of them anywhere. i have one on my knee and it is icky. having them in your kootch (i have btw, when i was stupid16, no reoccurence as of yet but apparently it can happen anytime) is so unpleasant and not something that you really want to have to tell someone (i did). it's still a tough thing to deal with i think.
ok, so doesn't that seem even more like they should give it to boys, too?

yeah, i used to have warts on my feet and one on my knee. and i had a cold sore once on the inside of my mouth, so i figure i have all sorts of warty viruses in my body. it is dumb that having warts in your "kootch" (love it,i call it coochie), is so BAD but lots of people have cold sores or other warts. i guess everything connected to sex is stigmatized.

ok, i know i'm a little stoned, but isn't "WARTS" just an ugly sounding word? we should call it something else, not warts or sores, like, hmmm....bumps. or something.

oooh pepper did you read about the clearing in the hpv thread? like if you were tested it might just be gone?
I was just coming in to say that in my newspaper today they were talking about how the uk gov't wants to start the vaccine for boys and girls from the age of 9. The vaccine hasn't been cleared by NICE(national institute for clinical excellence) yet, but they're trying to fast track it, so that they can start the vaccination programme next year
So, yeah, boys too. smile.gif

I agree Maddy, don't you wish we could see our bodies as all of us, and that having a wart on your toe from the swimming had the same significance as a wart from the lovin?
i always suspected that mine had just gone away, even when i'm stressed and low energy and vulnerable i've never had a reoccurence so... and i did have a homeopathic clearing treatment years ago that was supposed to clean any old junk like that from my system. who knows, some strains never come back as far as i know. guess i just got lucky *knocks on wood*
i'll go read that thread, thanks for the heads up.

ugh about vaccinating so young though. i won't be doing that to my son. i plan to have frank conversations with him about s.e.x. and all that it entails. when he gets curious we'll discuss that vaccine and other measures. unless he turns out to be a secretive unreliable brat that is. then he's gettin' stuck...
There's so much confusion about HPV. I had an abnormal pap when I was 16 and then had a colposcopy (with a man doctor, and they did a biopsy, and it was so painful and humiliating, I cried the whole time). The results said I "probably" had some type of HPV. I never had any symptoms, no warts or anything. I had to have a re-check every 3 months for a year after that, and every one of those paps were clear. At the time, I thought that once you had HPV, it would never go away, that I might get warts, that no one would ever want to have sex with me again, etc. But after a year of clear paps, they told me that it was gone. I mentioned this to my new gyno at my last visit and she said that it's very common in young people for it to come and go, without ever having any symptoms, and that my body was just able to clear it on its own. The first new partner I had after that scare was when I was 20--4 years later, and I didn't tell him (or anyone else I've slept with since, for that matter). I've had perfectly fine gyno exams ever since that one abnormal one, and I didn't feel the need to tell anyone about it. I'm just really glad people are becoming more educated about it, because it was an awful experience for me, being so uninformed about it.
word to what everyone has said about HPV!
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