“One thing that links gentlemen together, across ages or across the cubicle wall, is that you kind of just shut up about it. In a tell-all age, why not distinguish yourself with a little restraint?” (GQ, Adam Sachs, page 124, July 2000)
A gentleman may have an active sex life. Or not. But no one needs to know, one way or the other. Even with your closest friends, there is never an appropriate time to discuss intimate details of your intimate life. Even after a few drinks. The only exception to this is if a very close friend is having sexual dysfunction issues, and you can give him advice based on your personal experience, without specifically referring to any of your sexual partners.
Bragging about sex is one of the most juvenile and pathetic things a man can do. As soon as you hear such a boast, you can be sure that the speaker is:
- Unsure about their own sexual prowess, and needs validation
- All of the above
If your girlfriend asks how many lovers you’ve had, the best answer is “enough to appreciate you.” That’s suitably ambiguous and vaguely complimentary at the same time. If an acquaintance insists on telling you stories of his “conquests”, look suitably bored, glance at your watch, and move on. If this continues, feel free to mention that you heard the woman in question discussing the same sexual encounter, but thought she had mentioned something about dysfunction? If you really can’t shut the guy up, it’s okay to mention something about the extraordinarily high rate of stds associated that with particular position/neighborhood/whatever.
Incidentally, if there’s something we can learn from shows like Sex and the City, it’s that it’s just as boring and tasteless for women to discuss their sexual adventures.