Sexual Exposure Calculator: How many partners have you been indirectly exposed to?

17 Sep 2019

We all have a good idea of how many sexual partners we have ever had. But how many sexual partners have they had before you – and what about the partners of those people? Even though your number is low, the number of people you have been exposed to via indirect sexual contact is almost certainly far higher, including countless people you have not even met. The size of this network can be quantified and estimated based on the number of your sexual partners and their average number of partners.

The calculator presented below allows counting the number of people you’ve been exposed to taking into the account six degrees of connection is calculated. Insert the number of direct partners you have had and how many partners you estimate each of those partners has had before you. The true scale of your sexual exposures will be calculated throughout six degrees.

It might be shocking to know your number of exposures presented as a percentage of the population of a major city in your country or the nearest global city. However, indirect sexual exposure has a far reach when a person’s sexual history is combined with that of his or her partners and partners’ partners – and so on for six degrees of connection. The implications are intimidating, as the greater this number of indirect sexual exposure, the greater one’s risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Seen from such a perspective, the true level of risk from unprotected sex will hopefully have users think again about precarious relations.

Other recently published calculators make assumptions about the sexual history of your partners and their number of contacts. However, this one produces exaggerated results and an inflated number of indirect exposures. Our calculator gives you an opportunity to choose your own estimate of the average number of partners that your partners have had before you. As graphed above, the exponential behaviour of this situation is revealed. That is, your sexual exposure grows exponentially with the number of partners that your partners have had. This is further compounded by the number of people that you have slept with directly, the latter of which is revealed by the various lines on the graph.

Even if you and all of your partners have only single-digit numbers of direct sexual partners, this can quickly add up to hundreds of thousands of indirect exposures - a number that more than justifies taking precautions. Remember: Just one exposure is all it takes to contract a sexually transmitted infection, but correct usage of protection such as condoms can stop a transmissible infection in its tracks. If you are not using condoms, it’s important to know your status with regular STI tests.

Given the sheer number of sexual exposures that many of us will face throughout our lives, taking an active role in your personal health and wellness is more important than ever. At, we offer medical professionals on a variety of sexual health concerns such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Several STI tests are available as well as numerous discrete treatment options, including Chlamydia treatment and Herpes medication. 


Sexual exposure was derived using established formulas for a finite geometric series, which, when applied to this situation, allow the following formula for sexual exposure to be derived: