Does the number of people you’ve slept with matter?

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Watching an ad for the new movie “What’s Your Number”, I got to thinking… Does how many people you’ve slept with really matter?
When it comes to how people feel about the number of people you’ve slept with, we hear, “Doh tell man or woman how many people you’ve slept with”. Some people might think you’re promiscuous, and you’re not relationship material. Some people might think you’re a goody two shoes. And some people might think you’re lying. Why? Because people do lie about the number of people they’ve slept with. Women make it less… and men more.
On the other hand, maybe both people lie in the earlies, so that they ‘look good’, and it’s only later down, when they’ve definitely snagged each other, that they come clean with their real number.
Why do they lie? Well, it all comes down to how men and women feel about numbers. Your view of sex has something to do with what sex you are in the first place, because we’ve been socialised differently.
Popular opinion says the average guy views sex as physical, while the average chick views it as emotional. He’s thinking score! And she’s thinking, “OMG… he like meh!” And maybe he does, but sex won’t necessarily make him make her his ‘queen’.
Now, if men are expected to sow their oats, should they feel justified in telling a woman, “Yeah baby I smashed about 30 girls, but I don’t want a woman who’s slept with more than 10 guys because I want a ‘good girl'”? Similarly, in this age of supposed gender equality, shouldn’t we trash double standards, and let women feel comfortable with whatever their number is?
If you meet someone you want to get serious with… do you tell him or her how many people you’ve slept with, if they ask? Or do you leave that in the past, or bring it up because HIV/AIDs and STDs are real?
What if you meet someone and he or she is great, but their number is 50 or 100? Does having a big number disqualify you from being someone’s soul mate?
Let’s be real, not everyone is lucky enough to find the person who wants to spend the rest of their life with him or her early in life, and in these modern times, where sex is expected to be part of the dating/hook-up equation, chances are that you’d end up sleeping with a few people along the way, unless you’re still a virgin, have pledged yourself to celibacy, or just haven’t had a love interest in years. So the pressure to have sex is there. And if you’re head over heels in love, chances are you will have sex. Your number is a casualty of your build-up to settling down.
I mean, how many guys would really wait two to three years for sex, knowing that the sex will only come if they put a ring on it? Not that many. They’d have to really love you, and be patient enough to go sexless while getting to the point of knowing you enough to think you’re worth it.
Oh, and because the stereotype is that men love to sow their oats, that doesn’t mean you won’t find men who actually view sex as something sacred, have only conquered a few fair maidens, and are actually willing to wait and be celibate. And, if he does wait, someone is sure to be whispering in your ear that he’s getting it from somewhere else, and make you doubt yourself, and him.
Now I might seem to be digressing here, but all of these thoughts are the kinds that float around in women’s heads, and contribute to the pressure to have sex, and the ensuing debate about sex and numbers.
Health and social perceptions aside, some people take sex very seriously because of their spiritual beliefs. Some people believe that fornication is a sin, and have sex anyway. Some people stick to it, and try their best not to get turned on when a sexy man or woman starts to buss lyrics on them, and risk their chances of getting into heaven.
Some people believe sex joins spirits, and that you’ll forever carry around other the shadow of other people’s spirits in you. I do believe that sex is an emotional and spiritual connection. But does it happen with everyone? Some people say that they’ve never felt as if they’d ‘joined spirits’ with their sex partners, not even methylated.
If you’re able to weigh each sexual interaction on its individual merit, and decide that yeah you may carry Tom, Dick and Harry in your heart always, but Peter and Paul… not so much, then I guess that, personally, only a certain percentage of the people you’ve slept with will matter.
Honestly, some of us, even women, are capable of being emotionally disconnected from sex, if we weren’t emotionally connected to the person in the first place, know how to walk away before things get sticky, or if we know for a fact that the person is someone we would never want to be in a relationship with. Yes folks. Not just men are capable of clairvoyant thinking when it comes to sex.
Technically, your numbers shouldn’t matter. But somehow they add up, and when it’s time to utter them, it really depends on how secure you feel about your sexual past, and how the other person views sex… and you, to determine the impact it has on your love life (and your health).
So… talk to me. Does the number of people you’ve slept with really matter? Would you ask a potential partner about how many people they’ve slept with?

Watching an ad for the new movie “What’s Your Number”, I got to thinking… Does how many people you’ve slept with really matter?

When it comes to how people feel about the number of people you’ve slept with, we hear, “Doh tell man or woman how many people you’ve slept with”. Some people might think you’re promiscuous, and you’re not relationship material. Some people might think you’re a goody two shoes. And some people might think you’re lying. Why? Because people do lie about the number of people they’ve slept with. Women make it less… and men more.


On the other hand, maybe both people lie in the earlies, so that they ‘look good’, and it’s only later down, when they’ve definitely snagged each other, that they come clean with their real number.

Why do they lie? Well, it all comes down to how men and women feel about numbers. Your view of sex has something to do with what sex you are in the first place, because we’ve been socialised differently.

Popular opinion says the average guy views sex as physical, while the average chick views it as emotional. He’s thinking score! And she’s thinking, “OMG… he like meh!” And maybe he does, but sex won’t necessarily make him make her his ‘queen’.

Now, if men are expected to sow their oats, should they feel justified in telling a woman, “Yeah baby I smashed about 30 girls, but I don’t want a woman who’s slept with more than 10 guys because I want a ‘good girl'”? Similarly, in this age of supposed gender equality, shouldn’t we trash double standards, and let women feel comfortable with whatever their number is?

If you meet someone you want to get serious with… do you tell him or her how many people you’ve slept with, if they ask? Or do you leave that in the past, or bring it up because HIV/AIDs and STDs are real?

What if you meet someone and he or she is great, but their number is 50 or 100? Does having a big number disqualify you from being someone’s soul mate?

Let’s be real, not everyone is lucky enough to find the person who wants to spend the rest of their life with him or her early in life, and in these modern times, where sex is expected to be part of the dating/hook-up equation, chances are that you’d end up sleeping with a few people along the way, unless you’re still a virgin, have pledged yourself to celibacy, or just haven’t had a love interest in years. So the pressure to have sex is there. And if you’re head over heels in love, chances are you will have sex. Your number is a casualty of your build-up to settling down.

I mean, how many guys would really wait two to three years for sex, knowing that the sex will only come if they put a ring on it? Not that many. They’d have to really love you, and be patient enough to go sexless while getting to the point of knowing you enough to think you’re worth it.

Oh, and because the stereotype is that men love to sow their oats, that doesn’t mean you won’t find men who actually view sex as something sacred, have only conquered a few fair maidens, and are actually willing to wait and be celibate. And, if he does wait, someone is sure to be whispering in your ear that he’s getting it from somewhere else, and make you doubt yourself, and him.

Now I might seem to be digressing here, but all of these thoughts are the kinds that float around in women’s heads, and contribute to the pressure to have sex, and the ensuing debate about sex and numbers.

Health and social perceptions aside, some people take sex very seriously because of their spiritual beliefs. Some people believe that fornication is a sin, and have sex anyway. Some people stick to it, and try their best not to get turned on when a sexy man or woman starts to buss lyrics on them, and risk their chances of getting into heaven.

Some people believe sex joins spirits, and that you’ll forever carry around the shadow of other people’s spirits in you. I do believe that sex is an emotional and spiritual connection. But does it happen with everyone? Some people say that they’ve never felt as if they’d ‘joined spirits’ with their sex partners.

If you’re able to weigh each sexual interaction on its individual merit, and decide that yeah you may carry Tom, Dick and Harry in your heart always, but Peter and Paul… not so much, then I guess that, personally, only a certain percentage of the people you’ve slept with will matter.

Honestly, some of us, even women, are capable of being emotionally disconnected from sex, if we weren’t emotionally connected to the person in the first place, know how to walk away before things get sticky, or if we know for a fact that the person is someone we would never want to be in a relationship with. Yes folks. Not just men are capable of clairvoyant thinking when it comes to sex.

Technically, your numbers shouldn’t matter. But somehow they add up, and when it’s time to utter them, it really depends on how secure you feel about your sexual past, and how the other person views sex… and you, to determine the impact it has on your love life (and your health).

So… talk to me. Does the number of people you’ve slept with really matter? Would you ask a potential partner about how many people they’ve slept with?

 

Karel Mc Intosh

Karel Mc Intosh is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Outlish Magazine. She's also the Lead Communications Trainer at Livewired Group, where she conducts workshops in business writing, social media, and other communications areas. A real online junkie, when she isn't surfing the Internet, she's thinking about surfing the Internet. Find out more about her here or tweet her @outlishmagazine.

1 Comment

  1. Corey Gilkes

    October 10, 2011 at 5:33 am

    ” shouldn’t we trash double standards, and let women feel comfortable with whatever their number is?”

    Most definitely. But the reality is we still live in a society profoundly shaped by patrientric values and ideas of morality. As such most men are threatened by women’s sexuality and that is not going to change anytime soon particularly as we are seeing a resurgence of religious influence in many aspects of public and social lifestyles.

    Further, here in Trinidad many of the old discredited ideas of human and particularly women’s sexuality and morality still hold sway by both sexes. For this we can blame the lack of sex-ed and the puritannical conservatism in schools and in mainstream media (Raj notwithstanding). There needs to be more and perhaps aggressive discussions of these issues in every forum one can find a foothold.

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