Back in college, I knew this girl Lauren. Lauren was known for her reputation, and it wasn’t a good one. She was beautiful, outgoing and a lot of fun. Unfortunately that wasn’t all that she was known for. Lauren was also known as the campus “bike”. I watched her go home with different guys almost every weekend, but I figured that this was college and she should be allowed to have her fun.” Isn’t it every girl’s right to explore her sexuality in college away from the prying eyes of her parents?
Lauren had been “seeing” (sleeping with) this one guy, Kyle, for almost a month when she mentioned to me that she was starting to really like him. But as soon as she let her feelings be known to Kyle, he bailed.
Now, Kyle was actually a friend of mine, so I decided to investigate. I asked him what went wrong. His response: “Yeah she’s cool, but I’d never date her. Who knows how many people she’s been with, or what she would do behind my back.” Kyle and Lauren had jumped into the sack right from the start, and he also knew of her reputation. So his concern wasn’t entirely unfounded.
This scenario seemed to play over time and again for Lauren. I watched time and again as Lauren was treated as a commodity and passed over once the initial attraction had been satiated. It made me wonder, once you are known to be promiscuous and have had a certain number of sexual partners, is there any correlation between your number of sexual partners and your dateability?
Every person is different when it comes to sex. Lauren is an extreme example. But, just to give some perspective, the Kinsey Institute found that the average number of sexual partners for women is 4; for men, its 6-8. This research was done a few years ago, so don’t have a panic attack if your number is a little higher. This just shows where most people fall on the scale. For instance, Lauren’s number was a (very high) multiple of 4; I wouldn’t recommend that.
Where men get praised for sleeping around, women are called sluts. But it takes two to tango, so every time a guy puts another notch on his bedpost, so do the girls. And now that we are getting married at an older age and starting to have sex at a younger age the time gap between your first sexual encounter and your wedding date increases the amount of time a woman is sexually active, so naturally numbers will be a bit higher.
This is one of the biggest double standards around. A woman’s number shouldn’t stop a man from wanting to settle down with her, or have a relationship longer than a one night stand. Some of those guys who wouldn’t date Lauren probably had numbers just as high, if not higher, than hers.
In America, 96 percent of women who have slept with more than 20 men can’t find a husband. Don’t worry! This statistic is not real, but it is the premise of the movie “What’s Your Number?” starring Ana Farris.
Like the protagonist in this movie I started thinking, is there a number that is too high? Can the number of partners you’ve had make you un-dateable or undesirable? If so, what is the turning point between having fun and earning a bad reputation?
What’s the big fuss over this number? Why is it more acceptable for men to have a higher number? Is it an ego thing, is it jealousy, is it about wanting a conservative girl to bring home to mom, or is it just competitive nature? And girls, are you embarrassed by your number, proud of it, or so indifferent about it that you never even bothered to count?
How many people have you slept with? Is it too high? I’d love to know, so please comment and share your opinions.