I tend to think that a question, or the desire to ask a question, usually isn’t wrong. What makes a question wrong to ask is the motives behind asking that question. I’m speaking generally here, but especially so when it comes to talking about sexual history. If you’re asking about someone’s sexual or dating history out of general curiosity, or risk assessment, I don’t think asking is inherently wrong. If you’re looking for an excuse to malign someone because of their answer, that’s wrong. Even if I disagree with you, if you’re asking about someone’s sexual history because you don’t want to date someone who is promiscuous, that’s not inherently wrong either. It’s your preference, and as long as you don’t insult someone because they’re promiscuous but you would prefer not to date someone promiscuous, have fun I guess? I think that the total number of people someone has slept with doesn’t tell you enough about a person to make a real judgment about them as a person or how they’d be in a relationship, but it’s not wrong, per se. Not smart, but not wrong.
I don’t think wanting to know more about someone you’re sleeping with, even if that means knowing the total number of partners they’ve slept with, is a bad thing. I also don’t believe that anyone is obligated to give an answer to you about the specifics of their sexual history unless it’s about informing you of risks. People only owe you complete honesty if their dishonesty, whether active or passive dishonesty, is something that will drastically change your quality of life or your health status. I haven’t told someone my total number of partners since, I want to say 2011 or 2012, and I’m planning on keeping it that way until I DIE. Primarily I do this because it’s not something I care all that much about keeping track of, nor do I think it tells anyone much about me. I’m still the same person that I am today, whether I’ve slept with 10 women or 100 women. That said, I’m way more open about things like the last time I’ve been tested for STIs, because that’s actually useful information. I’d much rather sleep with a woman who has had sex with 50 sexual partners who gets tested on a regular basis and can prove it, versus the career serial monogamist who has slept with 5 guys, all unprotected, and has never once gotten tested for STIs.
So is it wrong to want to know how many people your partner has slept with? Of course not. Are they obligated to tell you how many people they’ve slept with? Of course not! Are they obligated to tell you if they’re putting your quality of life or health at risk by sleeping with them? HELL YES! Should you ask the person you’re sleeping with how many sexual partners they’ve had? Maybe, if you want I guess.! Should you asks about your risks factors? Definitely!
Everything else really is up to you. Maybe you’d rather know if someone did specific acts rather than a total number of partners, or if they did certain things with an ex. Asking about that stuff is okay too, but the same rules for total number of partners apply. Just keep in mind that whatever the motive behind asking someone about their sexual history, different people will respond to it in different ways. I’m speaking very broadly here so please don’t #NotAllEverybody me or anything, but Western secular culture generally looks at promiscuity one way for men, and another way for women. If you ask a woman how many sexual partners she’s had, that comes with a bit more baggage than asking a guy. That baggage comes from the way society views the ownership of women’s sexuality, but let’s not forget that she’s probably been dealing with people implying she’s a bad person because of her sexuality since she hit puberty. Don’t be surprised if a woman at 33 years old is tired of being asked about her sexual history, and what people think it implies, if she’s been dealing with it for 20+ years.
Good Luck Out There.