Answer by Franklin Veaux:
Having many sexual partners has affected my life in a number of ways, including:
- I have learned things from all my partners. Not just things about sex, though that has been true as well, but also social skills, new viewpoints, new ideas, new practical skills, and new ways of looking at the world. That has made me a wiser and more well-rounded person.
- I have learned that the human experience is incredibly diverse, and that sexism is far more prevalent than I could have realized otherwise. That has made me more compassionate and more in tune with other people's experiences that are not like mine.
- I have learned to confront my own sexual and relationship insecurities, weaknesses, and other flaws, and because of that, I have become a better, more humane, less controlling, and more secure person. That, in turn, has made me more attractive to other people, which has given me more opportunities to learn greater security–it's an amazing positive feedback loop.
- I have learned to be more vulnerable, more authentic, and more true to myself, inside the bedroom and out.
- I have learned there is enormous diversity in sexual tastes, desires, and fantasies, and truly understood what it means to say there is no such thing as "normal" when it comes to sex. That has made me more flexible and less judgmental.
- I have learned that because of that enormous diversity in sexual tastes and desires, and because every person's sexual response is different, being good in bed isn't about technique, it's about communication and paying attention to your partner. That thing that drives one person crazy does nothing for another person.
- I have learned to express my own sexual boundaries better, to communicate them more clearly, and to recognize and understand other people's boundaries better.
- I have learned that having unusual or exotic tastes in bed does not make someone "abnormal," "weird," or a "freak," and that in fact there are far more people doing far more exotic and kinky things than most folks realize. That has made me lose my fear of exploring and of asking for what I want in bed, and made me more easily listen to other people expressing what they want in bed.
- I have learned that I am not destined to be alone if I have unusual tastes; opportunities for love, sex, and connection are abundant, and many people share my tastes, and therefore I do not have to settle for someone who is sexually incompatible with me. I have also learned that sexual compatibility is important.
- I have learned that a person's sexual activities or habits have no bearing on their worth and value as a human being, which has led me to truly understand just how stupid and self-defeating slut-shaming is.
- I have learned to be open and proactive about protecting my sexual health, and to do things like buy condoms or go in for STI screening without guilt, shame, or fear.