Does Her Past Sex Life Matter?

Don, age 73, who read Better Than I Ever Expected, wrote this email:

A question for Robert Rice. I need your help. Like you I have re-entered the world of two people in the same house after 5 years of no one, and like your Lady, my Lady has had a very active sex life in the period before our meeting. The question is this…how do you deal with that? Do you think about the other men that were before you? I understand that at our age it shouldn’t be an issue but I find myself wondering how I “stack up” to the others. I don’t want to ask, I feel that would be crossing the line. Should I just accept the fact that we are together and that’s the end of it? Tell me how you deal with it… and thank you !

Robert replies to Don:

Don, in response to the question that you asked me, I understand where you’re coming from. I used to worry about this myself. I am fortunate to have someone who assures me that I am the one she loves. This assurance comes in many ways, and sometimes it’s up to me to see and recognize it. This gives me great freedom to let go of worrying about what has happened before.

Since we learn from all our previous sexual experiences what we want and like, and what we don’t, this sexual learning necessarily includes all past lovers. A couple of Joan’s past lovers are now our mutual friends, and both of us get along well with the other’s ex-spouse.

The question whether we measure up to other guys who have had sex with our partner and question whether we are good enough, or big enough, etc., I am told — and believe — it’s much more a male concern than female. In any case, I have come to believe that authentic expression of love and the ability to be playful and experimental seem to be the most reliable ingredients for successful sex, rather than focusing on measuring up (which can only be unknown anyway).

It seems to me that you answered your own question in your last statement about accepting the fact that you are together. That says a lot! It sounds like you’re on the right track!

I hope this helps with your concern.

Joan replies to Don:

When I fell in love with Robert, it didn’t matter to me whom I had bedded before and what I had experienced with anyone else. All that surfaced in my mind was how powerful my bond was with this man I loved. Remember our primary sex organ is our brain. For me, my previous experience was a good thing, because I was done with needing to experiment, and I knew whom/what I wanted, sexually and emotionally. I’ll bet your special lady would tell you the same.

Have other readers dealt with this situation? What do you think about Don’s question? I invite you to comment.

— Joan


  1. Gratitude on April 24, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Hey by age 50 I hope we’ve all had a few sexual experiences. I sometimes tell people, as a joke, “now you know I HAVE had sex before.”

    I’m not into comparing and ranking my sexual experiences. Sure some were more fun than others for me, but that’s very subjective. My past is filled with cherished memories of various lovers, each one unique. And isn’t the lover we’re with NOW the best one?!

  2. charlie on September 10, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Don ! get a life. If you’ve a new friend and a lover at age 73, just stop worrying and enjoy what you have.

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