You know that gut-wrenching music that comes on during a horror flick right before something bad is about to happen? Many people can testify to hearing it when asked how many sex partners they've had. The possible implications of being completely forthright in answering this question could be devastating to the future of a relationship. It could also be an insignificant detail, depending upon the person who is asking. Consider this, men, generally speaking, will have more sex partners on average over their lifetime than women. So in the case of a guy, most women are not expecting you to have slept with less people than she has, but she is expecting the number to be somewhat "respectable". Most women actually are reluctant to want to know the answer to this, but ask the question they will! In the case of women, men are definitely expecting that their sex number is less than his. One reason is most men like to know they are more sexually experienced than their female counterpart. Both men and women view great promiscuity in mates as undesirable; which begs the question, if you're truly interested in getting to know and date this person, why even ask it to begin with? And, anyway, is it really any of your business?