Now of course, not all men care, but I wanted to answer this question because it’s something I get asked about a LOT—and almost always from women. It’s a complex topic, too, but I wanted to be as succinct as possible.
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All right, team. Welcome back to The ManTalks Show. I am Connor Beaton and today we’re gonna explore an interesting topic, which is why men care about a woman’s sexual past or sexual history and what most women get wrong about this question, or at least don’t understand.
And I don’t say that last part to be condescending or ignorant. I say that because genuinely I get messages all the time from women who are asking me: “I don’t understand why men, why my boyfriend, why the men I date care so much about my sexual past.” So we’re gonna talk about this. Now the truth is that it’s a complex topic and there’s many different things that play into it, but I’m gonna try and break it down into something very simple, very tactical, and very tangible.
Okay? And so here we go. We’re gonna start off with a very simple analogy, and ladies, I wanna talk to you first. Before I do that very quickly though, I want to hear from you. Let me know what you think. Did I miss something? Do you like the analogies? Do you think there’s a better one? Do you disagree? I’m curious to get your thoughts.
Okay, so analogy number one: ladies, I want you to imagine for a moment that you have been dating your partner, your man for four years or maybe five, and after about a year, year and a half, you realize you love this man. You want him to commit to you, you want to commit to him, you want to get engaged, you want to get married, you want to take this relationship to the next stage. And you start dropping hints. And then those hints become not so hinty, right? Not so subtle. And they become more direct. And then eventually you just have the all out conversation of when are we moving forward, when are we getting engaged, when are we getting married, et cetera.
And eventually months go by, and maybe a couple years go by, and nothing happens. But finally, one day after four or five years of dating, he proposes. You’re excited and you feel really good. And a few weeks go by, or a few months go by, and you’re having a conversation with one of his close friends or maybe a family member, right? Maybe one of his siblings. And it comes out that he, in his past relationships, in his past major relationships [he] had proposed to his exes. Maybe there’s three of them, or four of them, and he had proposed to those exes in half the amount of time that it took him to propose to you. Maybe he had proposed to one of them in a couple months, and maybe one within twelve months, or a year or a year and a half. But he proposed to them, all of them, and he proposed to them in half the amount of time.
Okay. Number two analogy. Number two: ladies, I want you to imagine for a moment that you’ve been dating a man and you’ve been dating him for a couple years and you really love him, and he is wonderful and he meets all your requirements. And you’re a woman that really likes to be worldly. You want to travel, you want to experience nice things, you want to go to nice restaurants, and you like to be romantic, right? You like to feel like your man is taking care of you and he’s romantic and he’s doing romantic gestures, and so you’ve expressed that to him.
But for the most part, he doesn’t take you to nice places, and you don’t really go out to nice dinners, and the vacations that you go on are never to cool places around the world. They’re in the backyard of America. And it’s not really that interesting, but you’re kind of subsiding for it. It’s, okay. Right? It’s all right. But after two years have gone by, one day – again, you’re talking with one of his friends, you’re talking with one of his family members – and it slips that with all of his exes he traveled the world with them. He took them to Italy, and they went to Paris Fashion Week, and they rented boats, and they went to Michelin star restaurants, and he took them out to beautiful places, and created these big romantic gestures to show how much he loved and cared for them.
Now I can almost guarantee that for the majority of women, if they were in either of those scenarios, they are going to feel devalued. They’re going to feel maybe disrespected, and they’re going to feel less loved in some capacity, and they might have the right to be upset. Now, why is this important and what does it actually allude to?
It all alludes to the fact that mostly speaking, women are the gatekeepers of sex, and men are the gatekeepers of marriage or commitment. We can just replace marriage with commitment. Now, how do we know this to be true? How do we know that women are the gatekeepers of sex and men are the gatekeepers of marriage?
For the most part, men are trying to get as much sex as possible with as little investment, right? So as little time, effort, energy, and resources spent; and women are trying to get as much commitment with the least amount of sex spent. So when you see a relationship starting between a man and a woman, for the most part, a woman is looking for: “is this man expending time, effort, energy, and resources on me. Is he listening to me? Is he texting me back? Is he spending time with me? Is he taking an interest in my life and who I am and what I care about, and what upsets me?” And a man is looking for: “is she sexually open to me? Is she sexually interested in me? Is she attracted to me?”
So the same is true for men, but when it comes to sex, men are trying to discern your loyalty as a woman, your interest in him, your commitment to him based on your attraction and your level of sexual openness. Sometimes – and often – as it compares to your past and previous relationships.
So the truth is that men are assessing this sexual loyalty. Your sexual loyalty to them. Much like you are assessing their relational loyalty, right? Their commitment, their willingness to spend time with you, spend effort, spend energy, take interest in you. All of those things are how the relationship and the level of commitment is being assessed.
So the real question here is: do your words match your actions? Because most women see a man’s ability to prioritize them, prioritize time, dates, effort, listening, conversations at night on the phone, text messaging, planning things. Really showing that interest as a level of commitment, right? And women will look at, are you as a man expending time, effort, energy, and resources in me? And if so, then that needs to match your level of commitment that you say you are at, the level of commitment that you have for me. And men are looking for sexual interest, sexual openness, right? Will you explore with me? Will you get freaky with me? Right? Will you do things that maybe you haven’t done in past relationships or wanted to explore in past relationships?
Here’s the crux of it: if a man finds out that you have been sexually active in the past, very, very, very sexually active, and you’ve had many, many partners; or you had a couple partners that you had exceptional sex with, have expressed having a better sex life, or explored more sexual things with those past partners than him, and you’ve been more sexually promiscuous with them, then he is going to feel devalued. He’s going to interpret this as meaning that your level of commitment to him is less than those other partners.
Now lastly, because I can hear the commentary coming, I want to address the double standard because this is something that comes up often when this conversation comes up – the notion that women get upset about the double standard. Why does a man get praised for having a high body count or having been with many women in the past, having many partners, and a woman is often looked down on or talked negatively about? And again, this is a bit of a complex issue, but I’m gonna try and break it down to this exists because the truth is that for the majority of men, for really a lot of men, it is incredibly difficult to secure sex in any form. It is incredibly difficult; and the amount of effort that you have to put into acquiring sex as a man is incredibly challenging, especially outside of a relationship, right? Especially if you don’t want a relationship, you just want to sleep with women. Whereas for the majority of women, this is going to be of little issue, right? Any woman could go on social media or dating apps, and if all that they want is to have sex and get laid, they can get that pretty easy at almost any time. So the valuable resource here, what men are looking for is the ability to regulate or temper sexual acquisition and sexual satisfaction, because that’s the resource.
What women are often looking for is the resource of giving commitment, giving the assuredness of interest: emotionally, time, effort, energy, et cetera, because that’s the thing that women know that men are hesitant to give out freely, and that women have to work oftentimes harder in order to acquire, whereas men oftentimes are going to have to work a lot harder to acquire sex.
So with all of that said, I hope that this answers the question as clearly as possible. I’m curious to get your thoughts. What would you add to this? What did you love not like? What analogy would you use? And don’t forget to man it forward. So until next week, this is Connor Beaton signing off.