You meet someone, they like each other. He invites you to go out to a nice place. The conversation flows, he is very nice. It shows that he is interested in you and you think he is a good match, intelligent and sexy. Gradually, the conversation becomes more interesting and personal. At a certain point, the uncomfortable question arises: How many partners have you had? What is the correct answer? Or maybe: How many is “too much”?

Different numbers

Although we are in the 21st century, many things remain the same: the sexual behavior of men and women is not measured by the same yardstick and even today, women are criticized for their “happy life”, while for men It is a “feat” and an award.

How many sexual partners are enough for the ego not to feel offended? How many can be considered promiscuous? One, three, five, ten, twenty, one hundred… at what point does the number of sexual partners go from “normal” to “suspicious” or “reprehensible”?

The American author Karyn Bosnak, who inspired the comedy ‘Tell me with how many’, maintains that women should have 20 sexual partners before getting married.

Psychologist Norman R. Brown, a researcher at the University of Michigan, conducted a study on the matter. He discovered that on the subject, men respond differently than women.

They calculate quickly and with a tendency to “inflate” the numbers, without going into much detail. Instead, they name and dwell on the details of the matter: the summer love, the irresistibly seductive neighbor, the office mate, the slip for revenge. In his research, Brown concluded that the average in women is 8.6 couples and in the case of men, 31.9. But this is not the only study that has been carried out in this regard.

The dating site eHarmony inquired among its British users. Women confessed an average of 7 and men, 10. Both men and women mentioned about 4 horrible dates, which they preferred to forget. Most said that she had fallen in love a couple of times in her life and had had her heart broken on a similar number of occasions.

Based on data from the Kinsey Institute, men between the ages of 30 and 44 have an average of 6 to 8 partners, while women stay at 4.

dance of numbers

If you have ever wondered what is the “ideal” or “acceptable” number of sexual partners you should have throughout your life, it is important that you know that many studies, in addition to those already mentioned, have tried to answer that question. .

A study carried out by the European Society of Gynecology, which included 9,600 women between the ages of 16 and 45, determined that the average number of sexual partners of a European woman is 10, while men exceed thirty.

For its part, a survey carried out by the Illicit Encounters page, dedicated to dating between married people, set out to discover specifically what would be the number of sexual partners that would be socially acceptable. To do this, the website surveyed a thousand of its users. 38% of the women and 37% of the men answered that between 8 and 12 couples was that figure and only 3% answered that more than 20.

This figure seems to be the easiest for men and women to accept. Both they and they agreed that the number has to be balanced enough not to send wrong signals to the couple on duty.

Apparently, it’s always better to present yourself more conservatively than to be completely honest and “scare” the new suitor or woman you’re seeking a commitment to, as too much might not be acceptable to the other.

A spokesperson for the portal assured that men tend to be more insecure when it comes to facing the past stories of their intended (this is due to an ego issue), while women tend to want to focus on the present without considering the past pages. People were asked if they really wanted to know the sexual history of their partners: 35% of women answered yes, compared to 30% of men.

A study by obtained other results: while the “baby boomers” (born between 40 and 50) had an average of 11 sexual partners throughout their lives and Generation X (born between 60 and 80) had 10 Millennials have about 8 sexual partners in their lifetime.

Are the answers reliable?

It tends to be thought that neither men nor women say the exact number of their sexual partners. A little jokingly and a little seriously, it is ensured that if you ask a woman how many partners she had, you must multiply by 3 to know the true number and in the case of men, divide it by 3 to obtain the exact result.

Myth or truth, it has a lot to do with the different way of judging men and women on this subject.


Figures are figures and human beings are not. A number “X” can mean something specific in one context, but something very different in another.

In the first place, it is necessary to think about age: a change of partner at 20, 30, 40 or more is not the same. It is important to consider that it is difficult to set an “ideal” number since, although our culture tends towards successive monogamy, other types of relationships have also emerged: “polyamory”, the free relationship, “friends with rights”, couples who live apart, etc. These new forms have a variable degree of acceptance, although they are imposed on a sector of the population.

On the other hand, it is necessary to think about many questions before making a value judgement. Can we necessarily consider more stable or more reliable a person who tends to have few relationships? Could it be that perhaps he is more dependent and is afraid of abandonment?

The issue should be considered worrying when a person is unable to maintain an emotional bond with someone or changes partners due to a pathological compulsion. For this, it is essential to know the person and their circumstances. Ultimately, the number of sexual partners we have in life is a personal decision. The fact of confessing or not to your partner how many people you have been with depends only on you, because perhaps starting a relationship with lies is not the best thing.

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