“Ask Alicia” is the Oracle’s new relationship advice column. Send questions to Alicia Rosenberg, a senior majoring in psychology and women’s studies, at email@example.com or post them on usforacle.com in the comments after her most recent column. Questions are subject to print by the Oracle.
So, I started seeing this guy a few weeks ago. I recently found out that he slept with more than 30 girls. This was very surprising to me since he is only the second guy I’ve been with. I really like him, but it worries me that he’s so experienced. What should I do?
First, I strongly urge you to ask him to get tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases. You should get tested, too, just to be safe. The best way to bring up the issue is to tell him that health is your No. 1 priority.
Though it may sound weird, getting tested together can actually make your relationship stronger and closer. If he is a quality guy, he will respect your fearless initiative and will ultimately appreciate you for trying to keep your body healthy.
That being said, I understand your shock at the number of women he has allegedly been with. Push aside the values society places on the number of sexual partners we have – it is simply a number. You should not judge people strictly on numbers, but rather on their motives.
You two need to make sure your expectations – short term and long term – are the same. If he is only interested in a sexual relationship but you want more, it will most likely hurt you in the end.
Make sure boundaries are set about what is OK and what isn’t. Under no circumstance should you stay in a relationship with him just because you want to keep him happy. Relationships are like two-way freeways: On one side you’re safe and happy, and on the other you get run over.
As far as experience goes, don’t be intimidated by the fact that he has more than you. You’re not alone. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that only 14 percent of women were involved with multiple partners, compared to 33 percent of men.
A more recent study, based on a collection of studies for the National Center for Health Statistics, found that 29 percent of men claimed more than 15 partners in their life, compared to only 9 percent of women.
Look on the bright side: He may really enjoy helping you explore your sexuality, or he may really like you. If he really likes you, then he probably doesn’t care about your experience. The bottom line is: Protect your body and your heart, know what you want and never be afraid to go after it.
If you’d like to locate a testing center near you or get more information about STDs, visit plannedparenthood.org.