No, this isn’t yet another warning encouraging you to only have protected sex and the dangers of sexually transmitted infections. It’s about past relationships!
I once endured verbal abuse from a partner when he discovered that I had several relationships before him. I was old enough to have had that many, but still too young to know it was nothing to be ashamed of. I felt ashamed that my relationship attempts had not endured the test of time, despite the fact that in most cases I was not the first to stop trying, or the one to cheat. Another lover admitted to being irrationally jealous of my previous partners: “why did you go with them?” he said “you should have waited for me”… the only problem being we had not yet met!
The truth is, my current partner benefits from my previous experiences in ways he cannot begin to imagine, both sexually and domestically. I have learned from each and every one of my previous partners (even from the abusive one) and today I am proud of my history. Different lovers and domestic arrangements bring out different facets in me. For example:
I was once hopelessly impulsive with spending and although I had received a good income for years, my finances were shot and I was very much in debt. With love and patience, and very much by example, he showed me that I could change, and why I should. Today I have big financial goals I work towards, and a budget I stick to. Sure, I could have learned about budgets on my own, in fact I already knew all about budgeting, but I didn’t use what I knew. I would not have had the motivation to change had I not been inspired by him and seen the positive results first hand.
The same applies sexually. The diversity of previous lovers has inspired so many ingredients into the sexual recipe in so many ways: romance, excitement, tension, practicality, spirituality, intimacy, etc. The way I practice sex today is mostly affected by what I know my current partner enjoys and what I most enjoy from him, but the options available are very much influenced by everyone of my previous lovers: the good, the bad, and the ugly.