real life

EM: "Men are uncomfortable if you've slept with this many people."

Em Rusciano.


Recently, I had a startling conversation with two of my straight male friends and I desperately felt the need to share with you all.

To begin with, I’ve had to coin an excellent fusion word – “Sexflation” – so you know this is a legit issue.

Both of these men have recently found themselves single. Both are 28, employed and very attractive.

You may be asking: “Em! You’re recently single, why haven’t you made either of them your own?”

Well, the short answer is: I am dead on the inside and fear I will be eaten by one of my 12 dogs when I die alone, in a house on a hill, wearing a turban.

But I digress.

We were sitting around at lunch and one of them, let’s call him Bruce*, said: “You know, you’d be lucky to find a 25 – 30 yr old woman whose number is below 25. My absolute maximum was 10 but I’ve had to lower my standards. Girls get around now.”

My other male friend Greg* nodded sagely in agreement.

My reaction to this statement was to snort my coffee out my nose. After I had recovered from scalded nasal passages, I started with the questions, all of them, at once:

“Your number?!”



“Lower your standards?!”

“Get around?”

“What the actual shit?”

What's your number?
How do you know a lady is telling the truth about her number?

The “number” to which Bruce was referring was the amount of sexual partners a woman has had.

Her shag summary.

Her ride count.

Her nude number.

He was actually lamenting the fact that he has to be more realistic about the number he finds acceptable (10) due to the changing times. His number has now been generously increased to 25, hence my genius fusion word “Sexflation”.

Don’t worry, I launched them both.

First of all, I clarified how they knew a lady was telling them the truth about her number?

“Oh we know,” they both answered.

As though they are a couple of muff mechanics who are able to pop the hood on a woman’s vagina and see how many clicks she’s done.


Then I asked what a man’s number should be?

They both admitted they had LOST COUNT on the number of women they had bedded.


“What if you met an attractive, intelligent, kind woman who has slept with 26 men? Is she banished due to that one extra on her ledger?” I asked.


“We are willing to take things on a case-by-case basis,” was the answer.


Nope. You've hit 26. It's over.
Nope. You’ve hit 26. We can’t be together.

Look – gender inequality isn’t a new concept, I get that. We all know of the glaring double standards in this area, you know – slut vs stud – but to have it so savagely spelled out in front of me was a shock.

To have these dudes feel they were being generous by increasing the number of men their prospective girlfriends were allowed to have shagged was downright infuriating!

I find it amazing that some men may deem a woman to be not worthy of a loving relationship should she have had a lot of luck in the bedroom. Why does this make her a bad prospect? A bad person, even?

What happens, though?! Do we instantly lose our moral compass when our number strays south of 25?!

“Officer, I didn’t mean to rob that bank but I shagged number 26 last night and I just lost my head!”

What an eye opener, eh?

FYI – My number is 12.

No fooling.

* Names have been changed to protect them.

Em Rusciano is a comedian, singer, writer and entertainer. She previously hosted the popular Mamamia Today afternoon program on the Austereo network. You can follow her on Twitter here and take a look at her website here. You can also find her Facebook page here.
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