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What's Your "Number"
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wonderingaboutthis posted:
Over the past few months on this board I've run across a what looks like a pattern. Mostly females, but also some men, placing what seems to be a huge significance on their "number". Meaning, the number of sex partners they've had since becoming sexually active. What is so curious about "the number" is that many of these posters seem to look at "their number" as an indication of what kind of person they are. The lower their "number" supposedly the more desireable they are, or the "better" person they are.

I'm sure it's a societal judgement at play, but its one that seems so stifling to a happy and healthy sex life. Providing these are encounters with partners who are free from STD's, I just don't get it..what is the big deal about as person's "number"? I suppose it comes from the storybook theme of two virgins meeting, marrying, and never having sex with anyone else the rest of their lives. A romantic concept maybe but hardly realistic. My own opinion, a woman with several prior sex partners (again STD-free) is a much better catch than a woman with little or no experience, yet alot of females seem to strive to keep a low "number" or at least try to hide "their number" as if it's something to be ashamed of. And I don't buy the argument that it's because men will think they're
"sluts". Self serving neanderthal types who think they're God's gift to women may say boorish things like this, but I find it hard to believe that rational thinking males with good attitudes about women and sex in general find anything wrong with a woman who has had some previous sexual experience. At least to me, those are the most desireable women, most likely to be an excellent sex partner either short or long-term.

Okay, I'm sure there's a study somewhere, but I haven't seen it. What is the average "number" of sexual partners for men and for women. say 18-45? Presumably the number stops growing when a person marries.

Anyone care to share what "their number" is? Hope to hear from both men and women here...What is the "average"? Come on, this is just research, nobody really cares....What is YOUR "number"?
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queston responded:
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from a few years ago, the median number of female partners for adult men is 7, while the median number of male partners for adult women is 4.


Both of these medians seem suspiciously low to me. Perhaps people are not telling the truth.


I have a fairly low "number" (4). I don't think that makes me a better person than people with more lifetime partners. In my case, I have always been a monogamous person: I had a small number of long-term girlfriends as a teenager, until I met my (future) wife in college.


My marriage has been struggling in recent years, and as I have contemplated divorce, my relatively limited sexual experience (in terms of number of partners) is one of the many things that makes middle-aged single life seem very scary. I feel like I'd be operating in a dating pool where all of my potential partners would be much more sexually experienced than I am.



 
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Jeremy3456 replied to queston's response:
I've seen the number 7 in various statistics over the years. The women may very well not be telling the truth. There was a study done on college students who filled out a survey asking them to report the number of partners they've had. Then the students were taken to another room and were given hints that they would be taking lie detector tests about their surveys, but they had a chance to change their answers first. The women, but not the men, changed their answers and increased the number of partners in their answers! Men like to boast but it seems women are more cautious about revealing how many partners they've had.

You have to consider population dynamics with these national statistics. If you have a village full of nuns along with one prostitute, then the average number of partners will be high for women and possibly low for men, but the median for both wwill be very low. There are some very promiscuous people out there of both sexes, but I suspect that very promiscuous women have many more sex partners than promiscuous men do simply because it's easier for them to get sex when they want it. So the true median for women as a whole is probably lower than for men. Some men might not count a prostitute (or even sex with a slutty woman) as a bona fide sex partner either. And then nowadays the definition of what constitutes "sex" is not the same with everyone----does oral sex count?

And I wouldn't worry about your sex life after divorce. In my experience and from what I hear, compatible partners get down to business sooner the older they are although sex isn't necessarily as high a priority as when they were younger. Experience has its benefits. Age doesn't necessarily mean increased knowledge about sex however, but thanks to the internet people are more aware of what's out there in terms of various sex practices, and people may be curious after divorce to experience new things they've always wanted, or didn't know they wanted until they looked. And many divorcees are coming from sexless marriages, so it's not like they're all well-experienced, knowledgeable and expect you to be the same. Good luck!
 
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wonderingaboutthis replied to queston's response:
Thanks queston, I agree 7 and 4 does sound a little bit low as an average. I suspect that a couple of decades or more ago, when marriages lasted alot longer, "numbers' like 4 for women and 7 for men seem more accurate. Ostensibly, as we marry, if we stay monogamous, that ends our "count". Mine and my wife's haven't changed in over 30 years. But with over half today's marriages breaking up, it seems more logical that the "numbers" would increase.

My wife's "number" is 6, including 2 marriages, mine is 17 including 2 marriages. I honestly don't know if that's high or low by today's standards for either of us. I guess it doesn't really matter though, neither of us put much meaning into it, other than in remembering "the good old days"....
 
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tlkittycat1968 responded:
I'm female and my number is 6 or 7 counting DH. Only one of my partners I wasn't in a relationship with, more of a friends w/benefits thing.
 
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FCL replied to Jeremy3456's response:
"Some men might not count a prostitute (or even sex with a slutty woman) as a bona fide sex partner either"

Define what a "slutty woman" is, please.

I wonder what "some men" would call a prostitute if not a sex partner ("bona fide"? lol). You either have sex with yourself, a toy or another person. If a prostitute is not a sex partner then what is she? A receptacle?
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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wonderingaboutthis replied to FCL's response:
I didn't get that either FCL...although I never employed the services of a professional, if I had, well, I had sex with her, so she's a sex partner, so she counts toward my "number". I just realized though, that I am guilty of not considering oral sex as part of my "number". When I was single, on a business trip I chatted up my hotel restaurant waitress at dinner, gave her my room number, and asked her to slip up to my room after her shift. She did so, and we were having mutual oral sex when she suddenly confided in me that she was married. As bad as I wanted to continue and have penetrative sex with her, I stopped the whole show and asked her to get dressed and leave. I didn't add her to my "number" though. Must be I didn't think that one through well enough, probably due to the frustration involved and not ultimately getting what I was after in the first place.

Jeremy, your "slutty women" comment is precisely the type of thing that causes women to senselessly worry about "their number" making them a slut or a less desireable woman. I'm curious, if I had said my wife's number was 17 and mine was 6, would you then make the leap that my wife was "a slutty woman" because her "number" was high? In my view, no "number" can make a woman slutty, or even promiscuous (whatever that term means). A woman could be promiscuous with even a low "number", depending on the circumstances surrounding each encounter. And it goes both ways - a woman with a "number" like 20 is not necessarily "promiscuous" either. Could very well be that she simply loves sex and has several "friends with benefits" arrangements, practices safer sex with all of them, and doesn't use sex as a tool or a way to control men. Even the most intelligent and well-grounded woman can have reponsible sex with a variety of partners - that just makes her confident and actively enjoying a full sex life.

This is exactly why I wanted to post this question, to ferret out people's ideas on whether "the number" has any significance at all in their mind. I personally think "the number" is totally insignificant and irrelevant to anything. I feel bad for those (women and men) who pass up an opportunity to have good sex with someone soleley based on not wanting to add another click on their counter. It's another prime example of society sticking their noses in an individual's business to the point of controlling their behavior, and that's as wrong as it gets.
 
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zabroza86 responded:
This is a VERY interesting topic.

I've had 2 "major" relationships in my life (25 years) but I'll admit once I got burned by my ex...I went sex crazed. I'll admit my objective was to get anyone I could and have a good time regardless if it hurt our friendship. (FYI: I did make sure everyone was STD-free and wore a condom)

Back to what you asked: my magic number is 21 (including my 2 ex's, random hook ups, friends with benefits and ultimately my baby daddy).

BTW, I'm not ashamed of my number at all.
 
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wonderingaboutthis replied to zabroza86's response:
Good for you! It's refreshing to hear something like "I'm not ashamed of my number at all". As someone with a higher "number" I'm curious if you are like me - I can remember each and every partner in amazing detail. Not every time we had sex, of course, but each particular partner. Even though it's been over 3 decades since I had sex with any of "my number" other than my wife, I can still recall their bodies, breasts, eyes, smiles, hair styles, pubic hair "style" or if they were shaved, whether they were quiet lovers or "screamers", and any particular thing I liked or disliked about the sexual experience with them. Yours are much more recent, but do you still remember each one?
 
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zabroza86 replied to wonderingaboutthis's response:
It's funny you say that because I remember each "encounter" but not in that much detail. I actually remember more what was going on rather then his junk size, shaved or not shaved, etc. HOWEVER, the ones that I extremely liked (no emotions, sex-wise), I made sure to use them as often as I could. If things got too clingy, boy did I cut that string faster than he had a clue it was being cut. Although, I wouldn't say that everyone is worth remembering (sounds harsh I know, but just speaking the truth).

I was always paranoid so I kept a list of the guys names along with noting them down in my calendar. Haha I guess I was a tad bit thorough, guess I just wanted to make sure all the bases were covered.
 
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wonderingaboutthis replied to zabroza86's response:
Actually not surprised by your answer, I think guys are a lot more visually inclined and that's why I remember the things I saw (breasts, pubic hair or not, smiles, eyes, etc.). Makes sense as women seem to be more into the experience as a whole, emotions involved, etc.

Even though I remember each one, there were some I wish I didn't remember, like the ones with great bodies and not a clue how to use them, or the psychos. Just like most guys, my "number" included the one-night stands for the single purpose of getting off, as well as some that I had to break it off with because I was getting way too involved emotionally with.

The most memorable were the FWB types, they didn't call it that back then, but the best sex was with the women who were there for just some good sex and a "see ya next time"...no drama, no head games, just some good fun.

Good idea with the calendar, but I guess I would have freaked if I knew I was sleeping with a woman who was keeping detailed records...back then there wasn't anything you could catch that could kill you though - the worst you could get could be cleared up with a penicillin shot. (Never had to do that though). Alot of my lovers were tuned in to the rythm method for bc, so condoms weren't even necessary most of the time.
 
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jjchosenjj responded:
Cant remember for sure but my # is somewhere between 70-80. Funny thing is, 60 of those were before the age of 22 when I got married.
 
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zabroza86 replied to wonderingaboutthis's response:
I guess I more focused on what we did, didn't do, likes/dislikes, the whole package. I find it funny with a couple of my encounters with exactly how everything went down but I don't regret anything.

Oh I have the ones that I wish NOTHING happened or maybe chose his friend instead jk. My entire "number" includes all my one night stands, FWB's and my 2 relationships. My last person was a FWB who blessed me with my son and now we are ex's. SMH, oh well though.

Were these all random people or people you knew? Personally, some were random people while others were really good friends, brothers, friends of friends and we all happened to keep it quiet. I know the ones that did get "emotional" and wanted more, I was harsh back then but I guess since a good amount of time has passed we are on a better note...but haven't reconnected at all.

Haha I wasn't keeping detailed records, it was more along the the lines of his name, where, and when (month/day). I was going to take a picture and post it and hopefully y'all get a laugh about it, but I forgot and then I thought maybe it would be TMI for everyone on here. *shrugs*
 
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3point14 responded:
My "number" is exactly enough
 
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wonderingaboutthis replied to zabroza86's response:
"Were these all random people or people you knew?"

Both, actually. Most of my sexual activity happened between 15 and 21. I came from a small town (high school graduating class of 60 people) where everyone knew everyone else. Word got around, there were those girls who would, those who might, and those who wouldn't under any circumstances. With so few people in our age group, guys switched girlfriends on sort of a monthly basis, or so it seemed. You know, you dated a girl for a few weeks, had sex with her 4-5 times, then moved on to the next one.

Then there were those 2-3 girls who were available to anybody anytime, where you sort of had to 'wait your turn"...be the first one to call her up on Friday night, and you were all set, otherwise, try again Saturday, and so on.

House parties were where the sex always was going on, somebody's parents out of town for the weekend, everybody showed up there with booze and smoke, and usually ended up in one of the bedrooms with somebody.

The random girls came when I turned 18 - that was the drinking age back then, so we headed into the bigger towns to the bars - live bands in every one of them, and if you danced you were always meeting new women. Unfortunately, that's also where you seemed to find the psychos hanging out. That or the young girls who drink way too much, ask them to leave with you, then 5 minutes down the road they're puking in your car...

A good time when I was younger, to be sure... marriage and kids came at 21 so that was almost the last of the random sex. After divorcing the first wife 7 years later, I had a few months of playing around again, then I met the woman of my dreams, and "my number" hasn't changed since....


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