How often do you get asked about your “number”? You know, the number of penises or vaginas that have met with your corresponding parts. I have found myself being asked this question a few times over the years, and as recently as the last couple of weeks. I tried to figure it out a year or so ago. I made a list which had entries like: Mike, Jon, Keith, guy I met at the pump that night, guy who was on acid while I was on E at Sasquatch, etc. After I wrote down what I thought was all of them, I counted them up and was at a number that I thought was rather reasonable given my age and dating lifestyle. I was a virgin until I was 22. No, 23. Wait. 22. Anyways. I waited. Not for anything specific. I wasn’t waiting for “the one”. I was just waiting. I like to do things in my own time and that was the time for me. His name was Mike and he slept on a futon. It wasn’t good, and it wasn’t a big deal. It just…was. I didn’t even tell any of my friends about it at the time because that was how boring and matter-of-fact it was. Well, that’s done. *brushes off hands*
So, back to the numbers. I was at a number that some of you would probably consider high, but I’ve been having sex for 12 years with no long-term relationship in there. And I like to drink, and I like to have sex. It’s a winning combination. So I thought it was rather reasonable. But then I started remembering more. I’d be driving in my car and another one would pop into my head. And then another. And another. Months down the road, I was still remembering men I’d forgotten. (Sorry fellas! Be more memorable next time!) So I decided to stop keeping track.
I started talking to this guy on Tinder. It started out well enough. We exchanged phone numbers and started texting. He’s younger than me, 27, and he lives a couple of hours away. He wanted to play 20 questions and asked if there was anything off limits. I told him he could ask me anything he wanted and if I felt like it was too far, I just wouldn’t answer it. The first half of the questions were basics…favourite food, where we want to travel, etc. And then of course there was the measurements question. What is it with you men and your need to know exactly how big a woman’s breasts are? Aren’t you supposed to be visual creatures? I have pictures on my profile. But that’s not good enough. And the reason is always the same…”I’m a numbers guy.” Whatever. If I’m in a good mood, I’ll tell you. Especially since I know you don’t really understand how bra sizing works and the relation between cup and band size, and anything over a 36C is going to blow your mind.
So then the questions lead into more sex talk, favourite position, weirdest place you’ve done it, and then anal. That’s where I stopped him. Not because I’m uncomfortable talking about it, but because sex is one of those topics that I don’t think should go too far when you’ve only just started to get to know each other. A good number of men will push these limits. He was fine with stopping though, and went back to regular questions.
Some days later, I found out he was married for a couple of years, they split a couple of years ago, and he hasn’t had sex since they split. First I asked him why they divorced and he said it was because she thought it was ok to sleep with other men. I told him I was sorry that happened to him and asked if she gave him a reason for why she cheated. His response was, “I dunno. Cause she’s a whore?” I guess he’s still a little bitter about it. And then I asked him why he hasn’t had sex in so long. He hasn’t met anyone special and he’s never had a one-night stand. He asked if I’ve ever had one. Uhh….yes. Have I had a lot of them? …..uhh…. I told him I’ve had a couple. Ok, you can all stop laughing now. Next, he asked how many people I’ve slept with. I laughed and said that was none of his business, and asked if a big number would bother him. He said it depends how big the number is. I asked why it would bother him. He said he didn’t know, and that maybe it wouldn’t. I said it wouldn’t matter to me, 1 or 100, I don’t care. To which he replied that he’s only had sex with 3 women, so…
When he didn’t text me the next day, I thought I had scared him off, but he messaged the day after that and regularly for the next few days after. Unfortunately, he’s terribly boring over text and can’t seem to carry on a conversation beyond the few topics we’d already discussed. Meh. I already had the feeling that this guy has some stuff to work through. And like so many other men on Tinder and Pof, he wanted to talk about sex and push the boundaries of what is acceptable conversation, but if I have a colourful, bountiful past, that could be a problem? Come on! I haven’t been guarding my sexuality all this time just waiting for you to come along like some kind of goddamn Christopher Columbus!
I feel like numbers aren’t something that we (especially women) should have to hide, and yet, we all know that if you’ve surpassed single digits in the number of partners you’ve had, you’re going to either lie about the number, or just not admit to a number at all. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, whether it’s 1 or 5 or 35, or 100, or if you’re not even on the board yet. Shout it loud and proud, if you want! But be prepared for the judgement. I would never want anyone who would judge me on it anyways, but I also don’t want to deal with having it thrown in my face like it’s a bad thing. And so my number will remain a mystery. I’m going to keep living like an Agatha Christie novel and loving who I want to love with my honey pot, and you should too.