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He wants to know how many men I’ve slept with

By Bunmi Sofola

Dear Bunmi,
What’s a girl supposed to say if a man asks her how many men she’s slept with? I read somewhere recently that the average female had between seven and ten lovers in a life time. Well, I’m currently 30 years old and I’ve had lots more than that.

Like 30, as a matter of fact, and I’m sure some of my friends have even had more. Does this make us easy lays? Do you think I should say 10 if I’m asked by a man? My current boyfriend asked me once but I didn’t answer. I’m sure he’ll ask again. I don’t want him to judge me, but then why should I lie about something I’m not ashamed of?
By E-mail

Dear Betty,
I make it a policy not to answer the “How many before me?” question and I’m not about to do it now. The reason isn’t because a girl should hide anything -but because the question means nothing. For instance, two women could both have had 10 lovers.

One could have had four monogamous, long term relationships, with the odd one-night stand or shorter fling throw in. The other might have lost her virginity to her husband and had nine affairs with married men. The circumstances of the sex tell much more about a person than the number of lovers.

Let’s face it, even if you have managed to hook up with the world’s most liberated man, few can resist a reserved reaction to anything over 10 because this is the number that’s most quoted. At 30, 25 – 30 lovers is, in my own opinion, nothing to be ashamed of. But I still wouldn’t tell if I were you.

It’s irrelevant really because when a guy asks how many people you’ve slept with, he’s really asking: “Am I special? Or do you behave like this with everyone?” If he’s serious about you, he’s actually far more interested in what’s happening to your heart than your bits. If he does ask, tell him what’s past is past and it’s what happened after you met that’s important. Reassure him he’s special, tell him you love having sex with him and are not interested in anyone else anymore and he’ll probably drop it. If he doesn’t, tell him 10 to shut him up!

It’s my first time soon, what do I expect?

Dear Bunmi,
I’m in my 20’s but have never really been interested in sex until now. My current boyfriend is older but nice and considerate and I don’t want to put him off any longer. He’s hinted he loves oral sex but I’ve never even indulged in that either. What exactly do I expect and what would he expect in return?
By E-Mail

Dear Adaorah,
If you haven’t had oral sex, and you’re willing io learn, you should let him put you through the paces. If you don’t like it, however, you don’t have to continue with it. In the mean time, a serologist has given these pointers for first timers like you: Be alive: You don’t have to bounce around like a four-year-old who’s just consumed her body weight in sweets, but don’t leave it up to him to make all the moves.

Don’t be stressed about your body, hiding under the covers or insisting the lights are out. Even if your thighs look like orange peel, you’re having sex with him, not being judged! Unless it’s a one night stand, at some point, he’s going to see you naked.

Let him know you’re enjoying it. He’s read some girlie magazines and maybe even picked up the odd sex book or two. He knows women fake it and it’s not that easy to get everything right. Don’t patronize him by pretending you like everything he does (unless of course you do-lucky you!) but do let him know when he’s doing something particularly well. A moan or “ummmm” will do.

Save the post-sex emotional fall out for your girlfriends: if he really doesn’t want to know you, now he’s had his wicked way with you, you’ll just embarrass yourself by trying to find out if you’re an item. If he really likes you, he really will call the next day and organize your next date. The more relaxed you are about the whole thing, the more smitten he’ll be.

My ex deceived and used me

Dear Bunmi,
I had a stormy relationship with my ex for close to two years and we broke up because a friend lied to him that I was cheating on him. I saw him again recently after a long break and we started texting each other. He said he still had feelings for me and we agreed to meet.

We resumed having sex and I thought our relationship was back on track. But a friend told me she was sure he had a steady girlfriend. When I sent him a text to ask about her he replied that he was not only engaged to the girl but was getting married to her soon.

You can imagine how humiliated I felt especially since we’d just resumed having sex. I feel used and I want to hurt him as much as he’s hurt me. He’s now stopped texting me.
By E-mail

Dear Tonia.

After 16 years with him I want to move on

Dear Bunmi,
My partner and I have been together for 16 years, but we’ve achieved nothing in that time. We still don’t live together and to be honest, I don’t trust him. I know he’s cheating on me as he often gets sexy texts from girls. I no longer want to stay with him, but I’m scared to go. I don’t know if I have the strength to leave.
By E-mail

Dear Michelle,
Believe me, you have the strength to leave your partner. If you didn’t you’d still be finding reasons to stay and making excuses why you shouldn’t leave. But you’ve finally made your decision – you know you need to go and that means you’re ready to take action.

Of course you’re scared, leaving a long relationship is a terrifying thing to do. But know deep in your heart it’s right. 16 years is far too long to be marking time. Plus you know this guy is bad for you and you could do a lot better. No doubt, it’ll be hard, but you can do it. Get your family and friends on your side and, if necessary, seek counseling to help boost your confidence. In a year from now, you’ll be wondering why on earth it tookyou so long to make a move.

Your ex probably wanted a last fling before he got married and who else to have it with but someone he once had a relationship with? That is why he manipulated and then made love to you which was cruel of him, Most men go for sex when it’s readily available and women have always forgiven their weaknesses.

The best thing to do is let him and your anger go, you are no less beautiful and valuable because this ex felt unable to deny his greed for you. Forget this unfortunate incident and move on.

I had to tell her hubby about her affair

Dear Bunmi,
My best friend of decades confided in me that she was having an affair and was actually in love with her lover.  She said she was caught up with love for this new man and still loved the husband she married. So when her husband came to me a few weeks later, distraught about lack of sex in their marriage, I thought I owed him the truth so he could put things right. I used to be close to both of them.

Unfortunately, my friend’s husband wasn’t exactly thrilled by my advice and his wife must have convinced him I was lying as they are both not speaking to me. I feel ashamed and embarrassed at the turn of events. These two were good friends and I’ll do anything to win their friendship again. How can I heal the rift and make things better between us?
By E-mail

Dear Stella,
The situation your friend put you in was a bit tight as you would have ended up losing out, whichever way you acted.

By telling her husband, you betrayed your best friend, especially if you’ve been sharing similar secrets in the past. But by keeping quiet you’d be a bit awkward around her husband. The husband heaping all the blame on you, however, is not fair.

It’s obvious the relationship between you now is considerably strained and it’s dicey if you can make things better. By making you the baddie here, they’re both easing the pressure off themselves and however hard you try, they might not forgive you. I’d let the whole thing go and find yourself new friends who won’t put you in tight corners.

Should I change to please my friends?

Dear Bunmi,
I’m in my late twenties and enjoy visiting friends, reading and watching movies, yet my friends keep telling me to be more adventurous and have more girlfriends and more sex. Admitted, I am a bit introverted, but I’m contented with my life and love-life and I am happy. The problem is that I don’t seem able to show my feelings, so people tend to think I’m cold. How can I be more happy-go-lucky?
By E-mail

Dear Dagogo,
Hang on – why are you trying to be happy-go-lucky? And why should you try to act the casanova you are not? Looks to me as if you want to change to please your friends. But you really don’t need to.

You enjoy what you do and are happy when good things happen to you. So what if you don’t show your feelings?

Be proud to be who you are and not what your friends want you to be. Look around you and you’ll discover people who value you for you just being you.


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