how many is too many sexual partners?

sexual partners Dear Emily,

How many is too many sexual partners? I’m recently divorced, single, and quite frankly torn with my newfound emotional and sexual freedom.  Now I’m not talking about a full on orgy with many men at once. I’m talking about the world of dating at 35 and being safe with sexual partners. When does playfulness with men become slutty due to multiple sexual partners?!  I shrieked a bit when I realized in the month of May I had been on 12 dates (some 3 and 4 dates) in May and of the 12 dates, I engaged in sexual activity with four of the men. So, as I re-evaluate my dating and sex life, I’m taking a step back to reflect on the “how many is TOO many” sexual partners in the world of dating and sexual activity? Thanks, Trudy

Dear Trudy,

Congratulations on newfound emotional and sexual freedom! Many people don’t get to experience what it’s like to be single in their 30’s and it sure can be a fun, fulfilling and wild ride. I can’t answer the “what is slutty” question because it’s no one’s business what you do with your sexual freedom. So, instead of beating yourself up about the number of men you slept with in May, you should think about how having sex with them makes you feel. It’s one thing to feel empty after having sex without an emotional connection, and another thing to feel guilty because of a social stigma that women shouldn’t have too many sexual partners. If you’re exploring your sexual freedom and enjoying it, go for it. Just make sure you’re practicing safe sex with good people. I’m happy that you are getting out there and dating after a divorce. Enjoy being single and do what makes you happy, whether that means sleeping with multiple sexual partners or not. Finally, it’s common that after we end a long-term relationship we want to go out and experience what we think we’ve been missing. I bet the pendulum will swing the other way and you’ll find yourself wanting something different in the future. So enjoy your newfound sexual freedom, use protection, and check in with yourself once in a while to make sure you’re still enjoying the ride.