by Dan Savage
on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 4:43 PM
I've been seeing a girl for several months now and we make it a point to be completely open and honest about anything we ask or that comes up. She has asked me about my sexual history and I've been honest about how many partners I've had (regarding vaginal sex and other, hookups, bdsm play, etc). The issue is thus: I make it a point to stay on good terms with girls with whom I get intimate and, as a result, a fair number of my friends (most of whom are female) I have a sexual history with. She has told me that she is extremely uncomfortable with this fact and my attitude toward "casual sex" for lack of a better term.
Not to sound like the kind of guy who thinks that not being a CPOS earns you brownie points, I have been 100% happily faithful to her ever since we started dating. But she says that she is uncomfortable with my outlook on sex, sexual history, and the fact that I'm in contact with exes or play partners (in a manner that is both platonic and respectful of my relationship) and goes as far as to insinuate that I should feel ashamed about my past and choices. I've made peace with my choices (both good and bad) and learned what I can from them, and I'm doing all I can to respect her feelings on the issue, but I feel like her attitude towards this is poisoning the relationship.
Am I missing the point completely or forgetting something that can appease the issue? I'm afraid that this is going to build into something that breaks us up when it doesn't have to.
Feeling All Insecure Loving Intense New Girlfriend
My response after the jump...
I'm going to assume, FAILING, that you're not prattling on endlessly to your new girlfriend about all the amazing, crazy sexual experiences you had before she came along. I'm going to assume that you offer info about your sexual history only when your girlfriend asks and that you present that info in a neutral and straightforward manner. No waxing poetic, no waxing pornographic. Honestly, FAILING, I have my doubts. In my experience straight guys who say things like, "the issue is thus," and, "girls with whom I get intimate," tend to be TMI types, i.e. oversharers who believe they're being "completely open and honest" when what they're actually being is "completely clueless and insensitive." The advice that follows doesn't apply if you're telling your girlfriend more than she wants to hear, FAILING, in which case you may be mistaking legitimate discomfort (and annoyance) for illegitimate value judgments.
Okay, FAILING, if everything is as you say, if your new girlfriend is judging you and making you feel ashamed, here's what you're gonna do:
When a girl you've known for "several months" asks you to choose between her and friends you made years before she came along—even if you made some of those friends with your dick—you shouldn't hesitate to choose your old friends over your controlling and insecure new girlfriend. That goes double when the new person in your life is an SSPOS ("slut-shaming piece of shit"). If the genders were reversed—if you were a girl and your new boyfriend was giving you grief about your past sexual experiences and he wasn't happy about "his" girlfriend being on friendly terms with her exes—you would've recognized her behavior for the slut-shaming, boner-killing, relationship-terminating nonsense that it is.
No appeasement, FAILING. If she's uncomfortable with your outlook on sex, your sexual history, and the fact that you're in contact with your exes, then you two aren't sexual or emotionally compatible and this relationship is doomed. End it. There are plenty of guys out there whose exes won't speak to them—usually because they're assholes—and your ex-girlfriend will either be happier with one of those guys or she'll quickly realize what a catch you were, see the error of her ways, and decide to change her outlook on sex.