Coming clean about one's sexual history to a potential lifelong partner is crucial not only in matters of sexual compatibility but also the prevention of STDs.
According to a recent study, “How Far Into A Relationship Should You Disclose Your Sexual History?”, 33 percent of both men and women respondents said it was appropriate to share details about their sexual (mis)adventures within the first month of meeting a potential partner.
Conducted by National Health Service (NHS), one of Britain's most trusted health and wellbeing websites, the research team interviewed 2,180 respondents (1,263 males, 917 females) from the United States (1,058) and various countries in Europe (1,122).
More than a third of the respondents, though—36.3 percent of women and 35.3 percent of men—believed it was better to wait much longer before discussing intimate details of their past encounters. Their prefered time frame: between the first and fourth month of their relationship.
For 10.9 percent of women and 11.3 percent of men, however, believed it was unimportant to do such an uncomfortable task.
According to the researchers, dismissing the details is unadvisable. “One important reason is that, this lets will let you know whether your intended partner could have any STIs that could put you at risk, and vice-versa. You only have to have sex without a condom once to catch an STI that could affect you for life.”
If you ever find yourself in this awkward situation, Maribeth Brown, CHT, a Las Piñas-based family and relationships counselor, suggests that you shouldn’t answer that question until you are totally comfortable to talk about it with your partner.
"People reserve the right to keep some information for the time being or until they are comfortable with sharing," Brown says. "The couple must also have an agreement that they will respect each other as they divulge their past sexual relationships."
She adds: “And as far as honesty and acceptance go, always give accurate numbers. If you are serious about your relationship then it should be easy for you to be open and honest about your past."
Aside from asking about one’s past sexual experiences, the researchers of the study suggest that you also ask your partner these questions:
"How do you feel about sex?"
"Would you want to have sex with me?"
"I'd like to have sex with you, do you feel ready?"
"We should talk about safer sex if we're going to have sex.""
"We could go to a clinic and find out about contraception together."
"Do you like a particular type of condom? We need to get some."