Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: SPuck on October 05, 2012, 02:12:09 PM

Title: Your history of scrabble
Post by: SPuck on October 05, 2012, 02:12:09 PM
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2012/10/dear_prudence_my_wife_had_more_sex_than_i_did_and_i_m_intensely_jealous_.html

So the first letter had me wondering, in what way is it ever acceptable to mention or inquire about that level of history when it comes to "scrabble"? I can understand disclosers and preferences, maybe revealing a particular person if they are still involved socially with your partner, but should you ever going into that much detail with anyone?
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Yvaine on October 05, 2012, 02:18:06 PM
I think it's pretty normal for partners to discuss this stuff in detail, actually. I would give the stink-eye to someone who was pressuring their partner for detail they weren't willing to give, but I see no harm in it if both people want to share this information. In this case it sounds like the wife only revealed it to clear up a misunderstanding that had haunted their relationship for sixteen years! The LW's attitude is troubling, but I don't see anything wrong with clear and honest communication in a marriage.

Or do you mean the act of writing to Prudence about it?
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Judah on October 05, 2012, 02:20:16 PM
I think it's pretty normal for partners to discuss this stuff in detail, actually. I would give the stink-eye to someone who was pressuring their partner for detail they weren't willing to give, but I see no harm in it if both people want to share this information. In this case it sounds like the wife only revealed it to clear up a misunderstanding that had haunted their relationship for sixteen years! The LW's attitude is troubling, but I don't see anything wrong with clear and honest communication in a marriage.


I agree and I'll add that if the couple had had a good discussion about it sooner in their marriage, maybe the LW wouldn't be so upset about it now.  The reason he missed out on 16 years of the particular activity is because they didn't talk about it.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Moray on October 05, 2012, 02:20:32 PM
 
I think it's pretty normal for partners to discuss this stuff in detail, actually. I would give the stink-eye to someone who was pressuring their partner for detail they weren't willing to give, but I see no harm in it if both people want to share this information. In this case it sounds like the wife only revealed it to clear up a misunderstanding that had haunted their relationship for sixteen years! The LW's attitude is troubling, but I don't see anything wrong with clear and honest communication in a marriage.

Or do you mean the act of writing to Prudence about it?

I'd venture to say that clear and honest communication about this sort of thing is essential in a healthy sexual relationship. I agree with Yvaine that the LW's attitude about it is pretty off, though.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 05, 2012, 02:22:19 PM
I think couples can share whatever information they are comfortable saying/hearing. I don't think etiquette even comes into it; it's a relationship choice. And I agree w/ PPs, in general, more communication in a relationship = better. My DH is still friends with many of his exes and I know exactly what went on with them because I am nosy and wanted to know. He didn't want to know anything about mine other than "who," so that's all he knows.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: SPuck on October 05, 2012, 02:25:13 PM
I do understand disclosure of vital information (diseases, pain brought on by the act), and preferences, but the number of times you performed a certain move with former partners is kind of beyond my grasp.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Zilla on October 05, 2012, 02:26:04 PM
I think your sexual past is private.  All is needed is a test at that point in time to show that you are healthy.  You shouldn't have to tell your current beau how many sex partners you had or all your sexual encounters.  Do you list all your friends you have had since school?  Or every single job or every place you lived at? 


Some people like to talk about who they had sex with and how many and that's fine too as long as both of them are comfortable with it. 
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Amava on October 05, 2012, 02:29:34 PM
I'm just sitting here shaking my head at that letter.
Sixteen years married, and yet more angst than an awkward, inexperienced teenager who has just started to date.

Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: JenJay on October 05, 2012, 02:31:01 PM
I think sharing how many partners and what kinds of acts, in general, is fine as long as both partners are comfortable sharing. If someone isn't comfortable i think they're obligated to disclose that they have, in fact, had sex and if there are any related issues that would affect their partner. I can't imagine tallying it up like these folks seem to have done "Okay how many times did you do X with Joe? And Fred?"

My main issue with the LW was that he rejected his wife's offer to do something because he assumed she didn't like it, then, when he found out she did like it, he complained that she'd done it more times with old boyfriends than with him. Well duh, you turned her down when she tried with you! The poor lady can't win!
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Yvaine on October 05, 2012, 02:33:03 PM
I do understand disclosure of vital information (diseases, pain brought on by the act), and preferences, but the number of times you performed a certain move with former partners is kind of beyond my grasp.


OK, well, first of all, we have no idea from the letter who brought up the exact number of incidents. As jealous as he sounds in the letter, it may be that he grilled her once she opened up about her history.

But in any case, the only reason she brought it up at all was because the husband made a false assumption and rejected her for years and years out of a misguided attempt to play white knight. It would not surprise me--again, given his attitude in the letter--that he just kept telling himself it wasn't consensual so he wouldn't have to admit to himself that she had a history.

I think your sexual past is private.  All is needed is a test at that point in time to show that you are healthy.  You shouldn't have to tell your current beau how many sex partners you had or all your sexual encounters.  Do you list all your friends you have had since school?  Or every single job or every place you lived at? 


Some people like to talk about who they had sex with and how many and that's fine too as long as both of them are comfortable with it. 

This. There's no obligation to tell all, but within a marriage it's really not an etiquette issue, and there's no obligation not to tell either unless your partner asks you not to.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: WillyNilly on October 05, 2012, 02:35:08 PM
Well first off I think that LW needs to be smacked upside the head!  His wife tried to perform "X" on him and he stopped her, and now he's jealous he didn't get any "X" for the last 16 years?  Um hello mister its your own dang fault!

But I think the fact that he knows (or quite frankly that she remembers and relayed) the exact number of times she performed "X" on her high school boyfriend prior to the age of 19 when she's now in her 30's is creepy.  I have never nor would I ever suggest anyone else ever, get into that level of detail.  What does it serve?  Nothing but jealousy at best, or possibly even worse: disgust or resentment.

Sure people should know the relative level of expertise their partner has (is it their first time?) and their inhibitions (are they, as Dan Savage calls 'em GGG, or are they vanilla?), do they have any transmittable diseases, etc.  But details?  Nope.  I don't think details are healthy. 

Communication is good especially about the present and future (with perhaps a slight history as relevant), but details are bad.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Amava on October 05, 2012, 02:37:49 PM
Additionally, I think that sharing juicy details is a bit disrespectful of the ex-es' privacy.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Yvaine on October 05, 2012, 02:38:25 PM

But I think the fact that he knows (or quite frankly that she remembers and relayed) the exact number of times she performed "X" on her high school boyfriend prior to the age of 19 when she's now in her 30's is creepy.  I have never nor would I ever suggest anyone else ever, get into that level of detail.  What does it serve?  Nothing but jealousy at best, or possibly even worse: disgust or resentment.


Honestly, I think the conversation could have just gone like this:

Husband: You did WHAT? How many times?
Wife: Oh, I don't know? Four or five?

and he latched onto the five and is taking it as a literal number. He sounds like a bacon-fed knave and I don't think his letter necessitates the wife actually remembering an exact number of encounters.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Cat-Fu on October 05, 2012, 02:43:18 PM
Thirty-seven!?



Sorry, couldn't resist.  :-*
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Twirly on October 05, 2012, 02:52:00 PM
Thirty-seven!?



Sorry, couldn't resist.  :-*
haha that's been on my mind this whole thread.

I think it's totally dependent on the rel@tionship and the people in it, some people will be be way more comfortable sharing than others of course. But it's always been my experience that discussion of past scrabble experience and partners comes up pretty organically when getting into that territory with someone new, though I tend to be a pretty open person in general. It's so sad that for 16 years the LW and his wife have had such poor communication to affect their lives so negatively..and even sadder that he's giving his wife grief over something she did as a teen a billion years ago.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Witty Username Goes Here on October 05, 2012, 02:53:19 PM
I don't play Scrabble, but at one time I had 24 Words With Friends partners. 
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: TurtleDove on October 05, 2012, 03:29:45 PM
I don't think good communication requires or is even helped in any way by asking details about someone's Scrabble past, unless this communication reveals the intense insecurity and jealousy issues of one partner or the other and allows the couple to see they are not a match.  The only reason to ask for details like this would be to hold the answer against your partner, and that is simply not beneficial for a relationship.  If my SO asked for details (well, he wouldn't) I would ask him why he wanted to know, because really, why on earth would you want to know that.  I challenge anyone to come up with a reason why that is both necessary to the relationship and beneficial to the relationship.
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Jones on October 05, 2012, 03:32:40 PM
I don't play Scrabble, but at one time I had 24 Words With Friends partners.


Thank you very much for the laugh, this made my day!
Title: Re: Your history of scrabble
Post by: Wordgeek on October 05, 2012, 03:42:54 PM
This forum is not an appropriate place to discuss sexual etiquette.