The other day I stayed up late and started thinking about numbers. Not numbers as in the amount of money you make, the economy, or anything similar to either of those. I decided to count out my number of sexual partners.

After I counted, recounted, and edited the numbers accordingly I came out with THE number. A big fat number…that stared me in the face on a lovely little paper I had written out every one of my partners names on.

I was a little shocked at first. I wasn’t really expecting for my number to be what it is. I’m not sure if I expected it to be higher or lower though. However, my number bothers me a bit and I’m not sure why…

I’ve always been open about sex ever since I was a kid. The first time I watched pornography was in elementary school and it kind of just took off from there. My uncle used to get the Playboy channel and my cousins and I would sneak up to the room and watch it.

Everything in every movie fascinated me.

As I got older I became more interested in what others thought of sex. All of my friends in high school were virgins (like my actual friends) and my closest one was waiting until marriage. It was interesting to hear their views on what the other kids on campus were doing, who was sexually active, how they’d/we’d refer to them if they’d slept with “too” many people. But what’s too many people and how do you count it?

I’ve asked around and received a variety of responses.

“It’s not what happened before the relationship that matters. You can’t control that.”

“I’d prefer if I was their first but they wouldn’t be mine.”

” The girl can have 3 or 4…”

“As long as it’s single digits it’s no big deal!”

Seriously? Why is this important and why is there a double standard with it? Many of the men I’ve talked to stated that they don’t want their girlfriend’s number to be equal or greater to theirs while women didn’t seem to really care. Alluding to the fact that if they (the women interviewed) were with someone and loved them their past numbers didn’t make a difference.

Keep in mind these were not the opinions of all the women interviewed nor were these the opinions of all the men interviewed. 

My number is twelve ironically and at first I thought that was high until I read articles about people my age with numbers higher than mine. Still why does it feel okay for their numbers to be what they are but mine feels like it should be lower.

Is it because the body is a temple? Women are still seen as conquest? Or is none of that true. If that is the case and more and more women/men are starting to care less why do we still shield our number from our partners? Why can’t we have open conversations about our past without feeling as if we’re shaming each other with a dirty secret? Deep down inside do we feel the need to think that having less is better?


2 thoughts on “Twelve.

  1. The only answer you received that I can even remotely agree with is the one that stated that it doesn’t matter what happened before the relationship. The fact that there is a double standard for men and women when it comes to sexual partners is depressing…though not surprising at all. Name a movie where sex is a major plot line. There’s a pretty good chance that the man will have a past where he slept around a lot, while the woman will be more proper and chaste. It’s ingrained in us from an early age, so many people believe it because they’ve never heard anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that setting a standard number that is acceptable for previous sexual relations is completely insane.

    I think it’s a relic from a time when marriage meant a woman belonged to her husband–which is why people are still FAR harsher on women and their “number” than they are on men–and I think it’s an outlet for frankly ridiculous jealousies.

    My husband Tyler and I actually happen to have the same “number.” But does that really say anything about us or how we lived our lives? Not really. Because for him, he started dating in high school. He had like 5 or 6 years in which to have 7 sexual partners. I got married to my first boyfriend, got divorced at 21, and had all 6 of my other sexual partners in the following year. Clearly, my 7 is from a totally different lifestyle than his 7 was.

    It’s one thing to get tested and make sure that you’re healthy and clean before going into a new sexual relationship. If they’ve had multiple previous partners, that’s a reasonable thing to ask of someone too. But you weren’t with this new person when you had sex with all those other people. If they care, they’re not worth your time.

    It pisses me off that we are still raised with this archaic notion of the virginal female and the “boys will be boys” attitude toward male sexuality. I think it really messes with self-esteem and mental and sexual health, and it makes people like you with a totally average, reasonable level of sexual experience feel like their number is “too high” or sometimes, especially for boys, “too low.”

    And I’m not just saying this because I went through a “slutty phase” either. I am entirely unashamed of that time and I actually made some very important emotional connections and grew my sexual experience to what I consider a much healthier level for my age.

    Liked by 1 person

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