Once upon a time #zlotybaby caused some serious drama which eventually resulted in poor little #englishrosiee being savagely evicted on to the street 4 days before the end of the month simply by starting a Friday night drinks discussion around the subject of how many sexual partner’s a person had had. Understandably, this can be a sore spot for some. You’d think those that’d be more sensitive about revealing their number would likely be the 30-something virgin or perhaps the WISO who’d lost count of their conquests. However, what our case study from yesteryear highlighted that regardless as to where you stand on the spectrum of sexual experience : ‘What Is Your Number ?’ remains a question that tends to stir up a bunch of emotions.
Why does it matter?
It shouldn’t, really. However, let’s face it. The world is one hell of a judgmental place.
Obviously, it depends on the context one is operating in but your number has the potential to say a lot about you. You are all well aware of feelings about 30-something virgins, and I know for sure that most people around me feel the same way, although they may not be so brutally vocal about it. We live in a society that is pretty sex-obsessed, holding onto your V-card so late in life would be seen to be rather odd. However, in a deeply religious society the reaction would be quite the opposite. As hard as it may be to believe, there are still societies where you’d never dream of walking down the aisle with a popped cherry! Then again, as sex-obsessed as our society is, if your sexual conquests start to hit double or triple figures, chances are you’ll still get judged for being sexually promiscuous. Clearly, there is no pleasing some people.
And naturally, living in a man’s world the nature of the judgement you’ll face when comes to talking about notches on your bed post is likely to vary depending on your gender. There are plenty of people that’ll say things are changing but to be honest guys are still more likely to be openly bragging about their conquests than us chicks.
How do you handle such a question?
Of course, ‘What’s Your Number ?’ along with a whole host of other personal questions such as : ‘When are you going to find a man and settle down?’, ‘When is he putting a ring on it?’ or ‘Why are you waiting so long to procreate?‘, are invasive and quite frankly none of anyone’s business. However, most people don’t give two hoots about your personal sensitivities and will go ahead and ask anyway. So how do you deal with it?
Well, you can be brutally honest and say, call them a pervert and tell them to do one because the minutiae of your sex life has nothing to do with them. But that isn’t likely to win you any mates. You also have the option to lie. Pull a number out of the sky and go with it. Who is going to know any better? And if it shuts the gossip mongers up for a bit then it’s all good. Finally, you can totally just be out and proud of your number. Look them in the eye and let them bring on that judgement. That though, is probably easier said than done.
How about in a relationship?
So it’s one thing telling a random down the pub to keep their nose out of your business or lying to a bunch of chicks at a hen party but how about when it comes to discussing your sexual history with a significant other? It’s bound to come in conversation at some point or another. And sure, they are into you and an arbitrary number won’t necessarily change that. But let’s be honest, the judgement is still going to be there although it maybe a bit more subtle and hopefully a little less mean-spirited. There is always a some degree of comparing yourself with your person’s past. Imagine having to follow in the footsteps of a former geisha or a yoga instructor Pressure’s on! And let’s not even get started on the responsibility that’s placed on your shoulder’s if you know you’re somebody’s first time!
Whatever the case though, if you are with a good human who truly has feelings for you, even if some judgement (or panic) exists following a discussion of your sexual history, hopefully it won’t be much cause for conversation, they’ll get over their issues pretty fast, move on to more important things (read: the bedroom!) instead of dwelling on the past.
What about the facts?
As I said in my recent post about the Sex Recession, because we live in an age where we are bombarded by images of sex, songs about sex, blogs about sex (hehe!), we are often tricked into believing that everybody around is getting loads of lovely, lovely bedroom acrobatics on tap. The truth is though that it would probably be unwise to give up your Virgin (In) Active membership so soon because most people, including both those in and out of relationships, cannot rely on their fellow humans for their cardio sessions.
So for the facts. According to the most recent survey I could find quoted on the interweb, the average number of sexual partners a person has in their lifetime is …. (about) 7! Obviously, that figure changes depending on your sex (i’m sure most guys are gonna be higher), location (the survey was based on people in the UK/US), sexuality (gay/straight/a-sexual or undecided), as well as your propensity to lie (as it how you judge your own number and what you regard as prudish/sexually promiscuous!)
So, basically its really difficult to gauge an average number of sexual partners a person should have had by a certain point in their lives. It’s an incredibly complicated matter. For instance, you could have had a lot of (s)experience in terms of number of partners but never experience good sex and the big O. At the end of the day, while one’s sexual history can put some of us on edge, these types of invasive question provide nothing more than ice-breaker for those somewhat mindless booze-fueled conversations. It’s not a topic that should necessarily make you re-think your life or change the world. So get angry, lie, deflect or stand your ground. It’ll be yesterday’s news soon enough. From a more serious point of view though whether you choose to hold your V-card for evermore or treat sex as a sport and play the field, be safe, try to make sensible decisions that you can live with the morning after and don’t come home with anything that can’t be cured by antibiotics.
Rinsers, it’s over to you. What’s Your Number? An overly invasive question or a good starting point for a bit of banter on a Friday night? How would you go about answering the question yourself? How much does it matter? And what does it say about the way we judge people according to the level of sexual experience? Are you surprised by 7 being a rough average? Let’s chat in the comment section below.