It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
I don’t talk about statistics, unless it’s about gun control or football. So when asked the inevitable question, I don’t answer it. No amount of puppy dog eyes or good natured prodding will produce the answer. It’s not that I’m ashamed of my number, but it’s just not something I like talking about with my partner. It’s obvious the question – how many partners have you slept with? And it’s not something that should be discussed.
One night, at a party, I sat next to a man a few years older than myself. He was debating whether or not to date a particular woman. She’d slept with twenty-five men. It was, he felt, a number that was just two high. Nevermind that his tally was close to five hundred. The one time I did say something to a partner, he immediately felt immasculated – he had slept with only two women total. My number was higher and I’m not sure if he felt he had to prove something or not, but the anxiety lead to imtimacy issues between us.
There is a double standard of sorts – my guy friends who have numbers in their twenties are considered studs. And yet a woman who is as “easy” gets a reputation. Man whores are thought of as belovedly amusing yet a woman who is a whore is just a whore. As far as we’ve come, we haven’t necessarily come far enough.
But it gets complicated as I approach thirty; the numbers scew. For all intents and purposes I’ve been dating for ten years. Some people my age have been dating longer, and when it comes to dating sex naturally pops up. It just happens. Two consenting adults meet each other, they hit it off and because it’s the modern age, sometimes they fuck. For the most part, society doesn’t disapprove. No matter the morality, couples tend to have sex before they get married and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. What if there’s just no sexual chemistry? Sorry, but sex is important. Don’t argue it. It just is. So if you’ve been dating for ten years, or more, then you’re bound to have kissed a few frogs. Or well, subsistute kiss for something else. (I only curse once a post kids.)
And then what about the friends with benefits situation? Singles tend to find other singles to feel good with together, even if there’s no romantic connection. This too has a direct effect on the number of people a given person has slept with. (Duh.) But it doesn’t make someone a whore, or undesirable. It just means they enjoyed sex but for some reason couldn’t or didn’t want to form an emotional connection with someone.
So by the numbers I’m a modern woman. And that’s okay. Because chances are, so are you.