Bedroom Secrets: Hiding your sexual past

You partner has most likely had a more active sexual past than you know. A new study finds that most people underestimate the number of people their partner has slept with. Also, most are unlikely to know if their partner had a one-night stand or sex for money or drugs.

Researchers talked to 300 couples at the State University in New York at Buffalo. They found that women had 6.3 partners on average, while the men they were dating believed that number to be closer to 5.3. Men reported an average of 10.4 partners, while women they were dating thought they had sex with only 8.5 people.

M. Lynne Cooper, Ph.D, from University of Missouri at Columbia found other discouraging news about secrets and extramarital affairs. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed admitted to having sex with someone other than their partner in the last six months. Some 55 percent of these partners knew nothing about the affairs.

Cooper is worried that couples in long-term relationships may underestimate their risk of sexually transmitted diseases. The researchers found that people judge their risk on what their partners have revealed. Partners who trust their mates the most were also the most at risk at underestimating sexual diseases.

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The researchers reported their findings during the conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

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