I once went on a date with a girl who told me she had slept with 160 men. My reaction was a mixture of confusion, intimidation and intrigue.
How did she find the time? Could she really remember all 160 of them? Then my own insecurities quickly surfaced.
How would I compare with the other 160? How would I measure up? Would she quickly get bored of me if all she was seeking was variety? Did her sexual appetite mean that she wasn’t in it for the long haul?
Was she already scoping out number 162?
Is someone who has slept with a 160 men a better lover than a person who has only slept with one person over the past 20 years?
I always felt that sex got better the longer you knew somebody as your inhibitions, insecurities and embarrassment slowly fall away. Could you really get to know someone sexually if you’re just trying to notch up numbers on your belt? Does experience with a number of lovers and techniques make you a master lover?
What is a number anyway?
In the movie, What’s Your Number, Ally (played by Anna Farris) and her friends compar their numbers.
According to the 2014 Australian sex survey 27.4% of the female population claim they have slept with between one and five partners while the second most common number at 26.3%is 21 or more partners.
I’m guessing the percentage for having slept with 160 plus people is quite small.
Does having a variety of sexual partners make you less likely to stray because you know the grass isn’t greener? Does marrying your first lover make you more likely to stray wondering what you’ve missed out on? Or do you not miss what you’ve never had?
And what is the perfect number?
My work colleague Sandi told me she has slept with over 100 men, explaining, “Sure I regret some of them the next morning, the way you regret a hangover, but looking at the big picture, it did no harm. I had a good time and life is too short to have regrets about things that have already happened.”
Another female friend of mine has just come out of a 20-year-marriage and she is now making up for lost time by visiting sex clubs and swingers parties. So was sleeping with that one guy over the past 20 years time wasted or time well spent?
Why do people even ask how many people you have slept with? My mates ask me and new girlfriends always ask me but do you ever really tell the truth or do we round up or round down, depending on who is doing the asking?
And isn't it a little bit creepy sitting down to compile your list?
If you’re going to ask your partner how many people they have had sex with, will it change the way you feel about them if the number is too high or too low? And when they ask you, can you really say, "Well you know how you've slept with six people, multiply that by ten, then double it, and you're getting close to my number."
Maybe the only conversation we should really be having about sexual partners is asking about safe sex practices. "When was the last time you were tested?"
I looked up "Miss 160" to see how she is doing these days and found that she is happily married. Does her husband know her number? Does he care? Is it even any of his business?
Do we really want to know the truth about how many partners came before us? Before you ask someone, "What's your number," ask yourself if it even matters.
Because when you start talking about how many people you've slept with or your partner has slept with, as you can see there are a lot of questions - and these questions may lead to dark relationship places.
Maybe the past is best left exactly where it is.
On the latest episode of The Prude and The Pornstar: does your number really matter?