No doubt you’re familiar with that irksome conversation between a new love interest and yourself where you reveal your sex numbers to each other. You know, that magical, mystical number that reveals so much about your personality, and ability to be perfect girlfriend/boyfriend material? Or in layman’s terms, total BS. The debate over the “appropriate” number of sexual partners for both men and women is shockingly still plaguing new generations, and it’s about time to put an end to it.
Enter the glorious Dr. Brooke Magnanti, or as she was known in her former life, Belle du Jour. Yes that’s right, folks, we live in a world where an ex-sex worker has her doctorate, and yet we still feel we must be guarded when having conversations about our sexual experience. Dr. Magnanti’s falls into the category of women who’ve had 100 plus sexual partners, and is damn proud about it.
In an article she wrote on the Telegraph, she somberly points to a new sex survey given to college students which revealed that 20 percent of the female students admitted to rounding down their “number”, whereas 12 percent of the male students admitted to round theirs up.
Women feel like they have to round their sex numbers down, because they don’t want to appear slutty to a potential future partner. And the reason they have that crazy idea in their heads is because our society is still regarding it as truth rather than taboo. Just last year, the well-regarded fashion magazine Marie Claire wrote a piece on the subject, which made any woman with a number higher than 16 seem like she had the word “whore” tattooed on her forehead. And not at all surprising — it was written by a man.
He actually had the nerve to put a picture of Samantha, the “promiscuous one” on HBO’s Sex and the City as his feature image for the article. Lodro Rinzler, the author, declares that women of a certain age (over 30) can get away with sleeping with more men than women in their 20s.
“If you are twenty and have slept with twenty men that says something different to a guy than if you are thirty and have slept with that many. If you are in your late teens/early twenties and have slept with this many men you might get an eyebrow raise and some questions.”
While Rinzler is obviously trying to be careful in how he phrases his responses, the message here is clear as day. Having over a certain number of partners is saying you’re easy, and therefore not worth pursuing as a possible future mate. It’s dangerous articles like this that help sustain women’s fear of being judged, and even more ludicrous, losing out on a potential life mate.
This completely outdated notion that only women who are “pure” get their man is also being perpetuated in movies and television. According to Dr. Magnanti, “The aesthetic of sexual attractiveness and availability that gets so much stick in the media from both left and right wing alike still presupposes that the women who ‘look the part’ (whatever that means) still play hard to get when the time comes.” Sounds like something out of a 1950s musical, if you ask me.
It’s time we start doing our part to show women they don’t need to hide their sexual reality in order to secure a mate. Here are four myths of what your sex number says about your relationship potential versus the realities.
Myth 1: If your sex number is over 50 and you’re female, you will be regarded as slutty and never find a lifelong mate.
Reality: Your number does not denote anything about who you are as a person, and anyone who can’t see past it, isn’t worth having anyway. Dr. Magnati’s number is above 100, and she married a man who’s number was in the single digits. True story.
Myth 2: Your intelligence and personality are intrinsically linked to how many sexual partners you’ve had.
Reality: No…just no. Dr. Magnati has her doctorate, and now she lectures at the Sydney Opera House. If anything, more sexual partners makes you smarter and more interesting.
Myth 3: A higher sex number will attract a certain kind of person who probably isn’t marriage material.
Reality: Or it will attract a brilliant person who doesn’t let silly things like numbers of sex partners influences how he regards a person he already likes.
Myth 4: A woman with a high sex number likely had a traumatic childhood, or is making up for “daddy issues.”
Reality: Possibly. But using sex to deal with those issues is no reason to shame her, or make her feel like she’s broken. She may also (drumroll) just like having sex! Neither answer is a reason to rule her out as relationship material. You know, unless she’s also a serial killer.