Including The Talk.
The Talk that all responsible people are supposed to have when they're embarking on a new sexual liaison. Which includes the minefield of How Many Previous Lovers to admit to having had.
Given that one is trying to talk the clothes off the other person - assuming they're not the inflatable variety - this becomes very tricky, and is all about second-guessing what their norms are regarding too many vs too few, rather than about the "honesty" one is trying to fake.
Too many, and they're worried their best buddy is also on that list, and that you'll be comparing. Way too many, and they're out of there, worrying if they haven't already perhaps picked up a disease simply by talking to you.
Too few, and they're wondering if they're wasting their time - after all, this is supposed to be about enjoyment, not about education. Way too few and they're wondering why - perhaps they're so drunk that their beer goggles are misleading them about any attractiveness they're attributing in your direction.
So getting it right is a Big Deal.
I was recently offered the following suggestion:
- If the person is conservative, three to six is appropriate.
- If they're not conservative, a number in the teens will work.
- If they're a sexual radical, you should be safe with the truth.
Again, coming up with a number too quickly suggests artifice, planning... lying. Spending too long trying to reach a number suggests discomfort, panic... lying.
How on earth do people still manage to get it together, with all that going on??
Oh, and on the question of HIV / AIDS:
Read all about the HIV/AIDS Colloquium here.
And then be there.