Monday, May 14, 2012

the "what's your number" BLOW OFF

You guys know I jump for joy anytime a reader of the blog contributes a post, but it's that much more exciting when it comes from a GUY.  Enjoy this awesome post submitted by Shotataduck.  And if any of you are interested in sharing your dating stories, email us at

So what’s your number? No, I’m not talking about your phone number. I’m talking about your “number”. The number of people you have had sex with.  What does this number really mean? Other than 0 = Virgin, everything else is fairly subjective, and there are plenty of equations to determine if you are on track as a healthy sexual being. For example- Take your age and divide it by two. Or, one for every year you’ve been sexually active. Or, as long as you don’t have any diseases you’re fine. Or, as long as you can remember all their names you’re fine. The point is, if you look long enough anyone can find an equation to justify their own situation. That being said, your number can and should be whatever you are personally comfortable with. Whether that number be 1, 10, 50, or 100. It’s a personal choice. BUT that number might not be what your current or potential partner(s) are comfortable with.

So, when you meet a guy or a girl and you find out they’ve only had sex with two other people how do you feel? How about thirty? How about zero? For most people they’ll say something like “I’d like them to be close to mine number” so as not to come off as a hypocrite, but this is probably not the total truth. According to the Kinsey Institute, the average 35 year old man has 7 sexual partners in their lifetime. The average 35 year old woman 4. So, as far as these statistics go I’m about average for a 28 year old American man. Though, I would venture to guess that number is higher for both men and women in my neck of the woods, Los Angeles. Toss a bunch of career driven 20-40 year olds together, mix in booze, and significant long term relationships tend to give way to short trysts. I’ve been someone’s 1st, and I’ve been someone’s 40th, and I’ve been a few in-between. And, I felt a little different about each of them after learning their numbers. Were any of them deal breakers? I don’t think so, but then again this number definitely skewed my image of these girls.

Just a lil FYI. While I’m writing this from a male perspective, I personally think Men are judged by both their partners and society as much as women are. People are just less vocal about it. Also this is not about slut shaming or Manwhore shaming. I don’t care if you sleep with a 1000 people; I just won’t be one of them. Each to their own I say.

Number of Partners: 0

But when I meet someone who is a virgin, I always wonder why have you waited and why now? Is this a deal breaker, no, but I’m a little hesitant. My first girlfriend and I lost our virginity together, and frankly I’m glad that is over. Virgin sex is horrible sex, and I hope to not have to deal with that again. Seriously, not sure why any suicide bomber would want 40 virgins in heaven. Besides, the whole having to be someone’s “first” thing is sort of a heavy weight that I’d rather not have to carry again. It’s too symbolic. No matter how many people someone sleeps with they’ll always remember their first.

Number of Partners: 1-10
I’m guessing you’ve been in a few long term relationships, and maybe had one or two short ones too. Some of this depends on age. When I meet a girl with this number I’m pretty comfortable. She has some experience, but the whole act still feels special. This feels average to me. And average is good.

Number of Partners: 10-20

Other than my first girlfriend, every girl I’ve been with since has been with far more partners than me. Frankly, this is always a little intimidating and off-putting. I don’t want to say it and I don’t know how to clearly express why, but when I’m with someone and I find out they’ve been with 16 or 17 guys it makes putting them into the long-term girlfriend category a lot harder. Especially when I know some of the other guys. It’s a gut reaction, and I always have to sort of give myself the “Chasing Amy” talk if I’m really into the girl.

Number of Partners: 20+
Again, I always wonder why do you sleep with so many people and what is it you’re actually looking for? Is it the sex or is the sex just a filler for something else. Sex is complicated and satisfies a lot of different things for different people. Sex because you like sex is fine. Sex because you need to fill some void in your life isn’t as much so.

I was someone’s 40th, and even though we knew each other very well, it still felt very impersonal. It felt closer to masturbating than having sex with another person. Good sex is about give and take. One night stands are all about taking what you can from someone. At the time it was kind of what I was looking for, no strings attached sex, but it was ultimately unsatisfying. The constant thought that I was being compared to all of her previous partners was unnerving, and I felt more like a replaceable part than a person. This effect was even more so because I personally knew some of her previous partners. The whole eskimo brothers thing is sort of lost on me.   In her case, it was pretty obvious to me why she'd had so many sexual partners. She had an intense fear of being alone coupled with an equally intense fear of commitment. This led to an endless cycle of short relationships and one night stands.  Everyone with a high number seems to say “because I like sex”, but I don’t always buy that.  So anyway, being someone’s 40th wasn’t pleasant either.

One of my girlfriends number was at least three times as many as mine. But the big difference was I didn’t know any of them. They were just numbers,  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, …. And that made all the difference. It wasn’t personal.  We ended up dating for some time, and those numbers disappeared, and there was just me and her. So what is my perfect number for the girl I’m with? Something close to mine. I know I know, it’s a cop-out, but  what I’ve learned over the years is that even if your number is higher or lower than mine, I’d rather not know, and I don’t think I need to know.  Nothing good can come from knowing. People say that truth and honesty are the most important things in a relationship, but sometimes discretion is more valuable that complete honesty.  I know you’ve been with other guys, I know you’ve loved other guys, but all I need to know is that I’m the only one that matters right now.  Right now, it's just you and me.


  1. Great points and well written. I like that you are firm (no pun intended but funny anyway) in your thoughts without being at all mean. I find that I too have reached a point in life where the number no longer matters. I don't know if it is a maturity thing or if I just had one too many pieces of info over the years and finally melted down but I now know it isn't really any of my business. It is the past and all that I care about with my husband is the now and the future (once it was established that we were both clean of course).

  2. great post! I was never anyone's first which kind of bums me out a little. It's nice to at least be someone's first so you can hold a special place in their heart. I don't know my husband's number, because he claims he doesn't know it. I wish mine had been a little higher before getting married, but I started dating my husband at 25 and didn't lose my virginity 'til i was almost 19. and after my first i didn't sleep with anyone again for TWO YEARS. So, that's only four years of being single and sexually active. Wow, that kind of depresses me. The last thing that i would like to add is that there were a couple of guys that were at the early part of my number scale and i wish they were later, cause we would have had a lot more fun later when i had a better idea of what i was actually doing. and yes, i also give you kudos for not being mean. it's a sensitive topic and i think you tackled it well!

    1. Thanks Guys! Glad you all enjoyed the read. - Shot at a duck.

  3. I've always wondered if it's mainly Americans who are fixated on this number. It never came up any of the times I lived abroad; I've always been curious if it's specific to us and just an extension of how we feel about sex in this country (or, maybe it's something they tell us to focus on during Sex Ed class in school?). I guess I never thought it mattered because a) how do you know you're getting a true number and b) people attach meaning to it that may or may not be applicable to a potential partner. A slightly divergent comment, I know, but I find it kind of fascinating.

  4. i'm sure you are right that it is an american thing, i think we are more puritanical when it comes to all aspects of sex than other countries. and maybe there's more of an std hysteria in the US than overseas? I know a couple of friends who are very opposed to getting physical with anyone unless they've been tested recently, i wonder if this conversation comes up as often in other places too.