[OPINION] Don't allow old encounters to create new problems in your relationship...
By Lincoln Anthony Blades
As I watched the most recent episode of Issa Rae’s hilariously adept new show Insecure, I came across a scene that I found incredibly intriguing.
Issa’s homegirl Molly, who has been having a real tough time finding a compatible man who wants to explore her mind and soul just as intensely and purposefully as he explores what’s between her knees, finally met a good dude named Jered, who was interested in building something with her. After an intense and spontaneous quickie before their dinner date at her place, they sat down and traded stories about their wildest past sexual encounters, which lead to him revealing that he once slept with a man.
That was a deal breaker for her.
She definitely cared about Jered in a real way, but after he told her that, she simply couldn’t get past it, and ended up breaking up with him. It would be easy to label her as petty, immature or short-sighted, but I have no inclination to do any of that. The truth is that Molly did try to overcome it and she simply couldn’t.
While there are many people who may not be able to empathize with that specific issue, the problem of letting one’s past sexual experiences linger in your mind in an uncomfortable and problematic way is not an uncommon problem. In fact, it’s partly the reason why I’ve always believed that once you enter into a new relationship, your sexual history should stay right where you left it—in the past. Here are five reasons why I subscribe to that theory.
1) It’s most likely not germane to where you’re headed.
I’ve always thought of sex as a mutually traverse journey between two (or more) people who are looking to discover the heights of ecstasy with their significant other(s). You start where your sexual contact begins and you continue to grow as your intimacy increases. You begin touching each other in new ways, and you begin exploring parts of them you’ve never explored with anyone else before, in ways you’ve never explored with anyone else before. This journey to sexual Nirvana should have nothing to do with where your journey began and ended with someone else. The idea that you need to share those past explorations is mostly pointless, because it does nothing to advance your own sexual chemistry with your partner(s).
2) It most likely won’t help your sexual chemistry.
Whether you have great sex or mediocre sex, drawing on the past doesn’t help a damn thing. Sexual chemistry is created by the energies of the parties involved, and sharing other experiences does nothing but add a weird third-party element that is useless to the people having sex with one another. The intimacy of sex brings us both together in an undeniably vulnerable manner, and as we work to improve our connection, subjecting each other to tales of great sexual exploration literally adds nothing to building our own mastery of sex.
3) You may need a professional.
If you’ve had serious sexual trauma in your past, it may be best to break that down with the help of a professional in tow. Revelations about deep issues that may play themselves out in your current relationship shouldn’t just be shared offhand. They should include a serious consultation with a therapist who can assist you in breaking things down, and assist them in hearing and understanding what that trauma did.
4) It’s a breeding ground for insecurity.
This might be the biggest point of all. Sometimes exciting and amazing stories are best left unsaid because it can be a daunting standard to a couple’s sex life. Some women will hear her man talk about having a sexual encounter that was so damn good that she literally had to use a defibrillator on him to bring him back to life, and that can create a barrier the next time she’s having sex with him and looks up to see him, well, living. It’s not pretty, but being self-conscious is aggressively human.
5) Grown ups don’t really care.
The truth is that many people just don’t wanna hear about it. As we’ve pointed out many times, it holds no value. Most adults get to a point in their life where they realize that whoever they’re encountering is probably not a virgin. That realization comes with accepting the fact that, as a red-blooded grown up, they’ve probably encountered a litany of multiple sexual experiences from good to bad. At that point, what does it truly matter where your significant other has been?
Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.