"Men rarely put a woman down for having too little experience, but an insecure man might throw her sexual past in her face if they're having problems," explains Dr. Kanaris. Clinical social worker Lenore Pomerance adds, "Let's say a woman with a lot of sexual experience marries her husband because they have a great sex life, and he's as good as or even better than her previous lovers. In that case, there shouldn't be a problem.
"But if she marries him for reasons other than sex, say, because he'll make a good husband and father, she will eventually resent that their sex life isn't great. And he'll end up feeling inadequate, knowing he is not satisfying her the way previous lovers did."
Is it just for the conquest?
Some women end up in bed with men they don't even like because they need sex as a constant affirmation of their attractiveness.
Do I feel bad the next day?
Women who hate themselves in the morning need to ask. "Why am I having sex in the first place?" Is it for their own pleasure, or to win a man's love?
Do I want a relationship?
If a woman has many partners because she's not ready for a settled relationship, that's fine. But if her goal is to be married, she needs to evaluate why none of her liaisons lead to permanence.
Is sex pleasurable as well as mutual?
Mutual pleasure is the definition of healthy sex, says Pomerance. If a woman respects herself, he body, and the man she's with, and is enjoying the sex, numbers don't matter.
© 2001 First for Women