Heyyy [Ella],
Love the blog…read it on my breaks at work lol…and while at work today I decided to submit my first ever Ask Ella question!!! lol…sooo here’s my situation…
So im talking to this dude and the other night he asked me that question I hate, that eventually comes from most dudes…”how many dudes have u layed with”. Now I have been asked this question many times my dudes before and even other females, and every time I don’t want to answer and usually respond with “that’s something I don’t tell people”. When I told dude this, he followed up with a bunch of questions. Why can’t you tell me?…You don’t trust me?..Why do you have a wall up?..Why won’t you open up to me?…Is it a lot?, I won’t judge you…etc, etc….But that’s just the thing….in my mind every time someone ask that question, hell yea they are going to judge you. Whether you’re you’ve been with 1 dude or 50…you are being judge. That’s partially why I don’t respond and mainly because its none of the person’s damn business lol and whatever was in my past shouldn’t be relevant…right?? So from these types of situations, I get tired of being asked the same question and not knowing what to say…idk if my number is too many, or if the dude will think im easy/ a ho and give it up to him b/c of my number, or if he will lose interest b/c I’ve been with one dude and lack experience and he may have to wait to get it…Or should you eventually be able to get to a point with a significant other when telling your number is alright and should be done. I just wanted advice from someone else…and see if Im crazy for thinking I shouldn’t feel obligated to tell anyone my number regardless of how close we are or how long I’ve known the person. That is all..Thanks Ella!! 

Heyyy Miss Numbers, 

     Sorry its taken me so long to respond. I’ve been busy not gettin’ any. It’s actually been a long time since a man asked me that question. Typically, when men ask me questions I don’t want to answer, I give them responses that will lighten up the mood. Ranges always work best. When a guy I went to dinner with asked me how much money I make, I told him “Between enough and more than enough.” When my Ex asked me how many men I’ve slept with, I said “Between 5 and 46.” So.. I kinda answer the question, but don’t really answer the question. Men just don’t like to be ignored. 
       I think you’re completely correct: It isn’t anyone’s damned business. I feel your pain, sometimes, you don’t know if you should answer. Every man is different in the way he views women (or how he thinks a woman should be) so every time you respond to the question, it feels like pass/fail. All you want to do is respond correctly. Sometimes, all you want to do is win. But if your number is too high for him, it’s just too high. If your number is too low… maybe he’ll think you don’t know anything. Or maybe your number is too low –not everyman wants to break in a virgin. Besides, I have a friend Pamela who says that all the guys you’ve only slept with once, count as 1 person. [I love Pamela for that.]
        This is when you get lost on how to respond. In my opinion, women don’t talk numbers. You don’t tell a man your age, your income or your track list. The only number I give out freely is my telephone, cuz it don’t mean shit & I probably won’t pick up anyway. I’m just not sure he needs to know everything. I’m not sure any of these things make a difference in a woman really. If a man was really on his job, he’d ask you when was the last time you got tested? Have you ever have an STD? How many? How recently? There are other things that matter more. In all honesty, I don’t think the dude you’re talking to is mature enough for a real relationship. He might be a nice guy and –to be brutally honest — a good fuck, but that’s all he cares about really.  I feel like if a man/woman asks those types of questions (in the beginnings to a relationship), they’re attached to your physical more than they should be. How about asking you how many books you’ve read? Take the stance of a lady… tell him you enjoy sex, and obviously you’ve had sex, and that’s as far as the conversation will go. 
        Miss Numbers, since I know you personally, I know you more to contribute to a relationship than your body. I think a man should focus on those things first. Or, at the very least, equally. Does he press you about your emotions as well? Your goals? Your dreams? Does he ask you to open up about those things? We’re all human, so a man is going to be concerned about sex (as is a woman) but there are acceptable and unacceptable levels. If your body and your past outweigh his preoccupation with your self and your future, you might need to reevaluate that nigga. 
       I’m a woman just like you. Yes, I’ve had sexual relations in the past. Unfortunately my first didn’t end up being the love of my life and so here we are. I’m sure I’m not alone on this boat. In hindsight, I should have waited. I admire the women with the strength to hold out but I’m just not one of those women. Truth is, I like sex. Women like sex. Some more than others… but sexual stimulation is something human. Remember… it was Eve with the apple. So I’ve enjoyed my partners (for the most part). Thing is… sometimes… most times, I was let down by the experience. Sometimes, a girl gets fooled. & he adds one to his notch while you try to forget it ever happened. Men are not as good as they say they are… unless they are. So we get tripped up and fall in. The fact that you’ve had multiple partners doesn’t exactly make you a hoe, it makes you… a sexually reproductive organism that just so happens to feel pleasure when you mate… lol. What makes you a hoe is how a man perceives you.
      Why is he asking you in the first place? Was that the initial conversation? Did you ask first? Or is  there another reason? Did you give it up early?  Cuz if you did and your numbers are too high, you need to reevaluate yourself and the moves youre making. You don’t have to sleep with every guy. Just remember that every new guy just adds one to the count. Or is your stuff really magic? (I know mines is!!! lol) if so, that’s not you’re fault. I think the better you are at sex, the more likley you are to have sex… or maybe the other way around… well… you know what I mean. Still, I think mature men know that they don’t really want to know the answer. So they simply don’t ask. A man who asks… might want to … own you. He might need to know exactly who’s been in there to justify/solidify himself. But that’s just my assumption and something for a man to comment on… So I asked a FB friend. 

“Its just a question honestly its not like how when females ask the question the guy might not get the girl but the guy really doesn’t care he’s just gettin 2 know u more personally and 2 see where u stand on a sexual scale preference.” 
– P. Alexander

     I’m still not sure I’d answer the question. IDK what you’re looking for… but I believe that when a man wants your heart or your mind… questions about your body are few and far in between. But if you like him, perhaps he deserves an answer…. here’s something you can try: The Truth.  I’m not saying tell him your number, I’m saying tell him how you feel about answering. Let him know it makes you uncomfortable. That it’s something you’d rather say. Explain it to him exactly how you explained it to me. Sometimes, it’s so much easier to tell a stranger what you should be saying directly to the person the question involves. 
Then I asked Mr. Alexander what kind of number is a man looking for:
“I honestly could careless I would be more focused on us than just her..when I get with a chick and she tells me a crazy number I just say 2 myself she wit me so she has no past just future”

        If he speaks for all men, My God, have we been miss judging our men. But… us women, we think with our hearts. We’ll do anything just to get the answer right… We think about all of our answers. Everything we say, aim, text and message is calculated to illicit the response we want from you. We want to impress men at all costs. The thing about a woman is, she will do what she has to. Because a man’s motives are really too hard to figure out sometimes. Sometimes, they just ask shit to ask it. Sometimes, men have no motives. Some men are thinking simply like P. Alexander, but some are really just focused on owning your vagina. I might  have judged your guy a little harshly at the beginning of this post, but you know him better than I do. The point still stands that however you choose to answer the question, he should accept it. 
Me, I’m never telling mine. Because if I’m with him, I “have no past, just future”. And that should be enough.  Tell’ em, P. Alexander said so. 
Hope this helped.