The ideal number of sexual partners to have before settling down

Men and women are in agreement about the number, but not about the importance of knowing

For many people it’s a tricky subject to broach but something they’re desperate to know: how many others their partner has slept with before them.

And some people are embarrassed to reveal their own ‘magic number’ for fear that their new lover may think it too low or too high.

But a new study has revealed what men and women believe is the ‘ideal’ number of sexual partners to have before settling down, and – perhaps surprisingly – the number is the same for both genders: 12.

The research, carried out by Illicit Encounters (a dating website for married people), concluded that 12 really is the magic number because it shows a person is “sexually adventurous, liberal and transient.”

According to the findings, having fewer than ten sexual partners suggests someone is  “too conservative” and “sexually inexperienced.”

And people who have had more than 19 are apparently likely to be “too selfish,” “difficult to please” or “too eager to jump from partner to partner.”

Although both men and women agreed on 12 being ideal, they were at odds when it came to how important it is to know the number.

And it’s men who are slightly more keen to find out about their partner’s sexual history than women.

53 per cent of men said they would want to know how many people their partner had slept with, compared to 45 per cent of women.

According to Christian Grant, spokesman for, this may be because men are more self-conscious when it comes to competition.

“They want to be seen as the biggest and best; whether that stems from genuinely wanting to satisfy their partner or to massage their own ego is another matter entirely.

“Women on the other hand, they’re just happy to enjoy the moment, past experiences aside.”

But at the end of the day, providing it’s consensual, a person should be allowed to have sex with as many or as few people as they want. You do you.

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