Say you meet a guy at a bar right? He’s attractive, says the right things, you’ve both been drinking on his dime, and at the end of the night he may ask you for your phone number.
Many sexting sessions later you meet up again, spend the night and by the next morning he is asking you for a very different type of number, the number that just increased by one. The current average amount of sexual partners a woman has in a lifetime is 9.5. That number is a combination of the three types of females out there, the prudes, the promiscuous, and those straight up the middle. The deemed average number looks horrifyingly high to the prudes, and horrifyingly low to the promiscuous, only to the Goldie Locks of the group does it seem just right.
Of course when I say prudes that really covers all sorts of groups, the freakishly religious, the high school sweetheart types, and the people who just can’t get laid. And when I say promiscuous that doesn’t necessarily mean vapid whores, a lifetime is quite awhile, and men tend to pile up like parking tickets in NYC. You may have the best intentions when going to bed with each one, but is it our fault that most of them end up being total shmucks?
Even if you’ve only dated ten guys in your lifetime, long committed relationships, presumably sleeping with each one, that’s still over the accepted average. I suppose those people would be the borderlines, using the average number as a guide to life.
So what does this number tell us about ourselves? Is it to be looked at as a credit score? Determining if we are eligible for housing, a good husband, or a happy life? A surprisingly brilliant movie recently came out dealing with this exact notion; it was titled as that same invasive question, What’s Your Number?
Anna Farris played a character that hit a little too close to my own antics; she was a woman in her thirties, who had engaged in quite a colorful dating life. She read a magazine article citing the average number of partners, and was appalled that her own number was over two times greater.
Farris’s admittedly promiscuous character is even more disturbed to discover another statistic in the article, stating women who have slept with over 20 men have trouble finding a husband. Her own number stood at 19 and quickly rose to 20 after a drunken rendezvous with a former boss. Desperate not to be an old maid she goes on a quest to seek out her former boyfriends to determine who is marriage material without increasing her sexual partners.
This obsession with a conceived acceptable number makes a huge impact on the life of this woman, as it does for many of us each day. It pained me to see a fictional character strive to remember her list of suitors, to write them down. I have done this same act, and I am positive I’m not the only one.
I’ve studied the names, some not even complete, and their correlating numbers, remembering just where I was in my life each of those times. I remember the rules I use to make in my head, “never go a number higher than my age” or making a point to make certain numbers “really count”. None of these so called rules I had made for myself quite followed through, or had any meaning in the end, why had I even bothered?
We often take these numbers as just another way to assess our self worth, like in Puritan times when a non-virgin was damage goods, have we not progressed at all? Why do we continue to provoke the assumption that a woman who has opened her heart and consequently her legs to numerous men is therefore somehow broken and less valuable?
One line the heroine uttered at the turning point of the movie especially moved me; she exclaimed “I will not let another asshole into my heart or my vagina!” Then she of course fell for her bad boy turned prince charming neighbor who had been there all along, but no matter, that’s how movies work.
The story may have been fabricated, and the ending may have been foreseen, but the movie had real insight and applied to the lives of many. The film also caused me to have a realization, which I had already been churning in my mind for some time. Regardless of my number, which it practically did me no use to keep track of, I decided to close off my vagina and my even more closed off heart, till someone worthy appears, or some movie star neighbor arrives at my door.