So it’s Valentine’s Day this Friday.
I don’t know about you, but I’m over all the red cards and L words already. They’ve been in the shops and supermarkets for weeks! There’s just something so forced about the entire event. In my humble opinion, it’s the other 364 days of the year when I want to know someone loves me … because on those days I know the gesture is all his idea!
So in slight defiance of the commercialised V word, rather than focussing on Love this week on the blog, I thought it would be a fun time to kick off #SexWeek! A couple of weeks ago #BodyConfidenceWeek went down really well, so hopefully the EDs will have lots to share on the topic of Sex too!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
I decided to start by talking about The ‘Magic Number’.
No … I’m not making a crude 69 joke, before you ask … though I guess inadvertently I just did! Instead, I wanted to talk about something I find really interesting – ‘acceptable’ numbers of sexual partners.
It’s a topic that I’ve always found rather interesting, partly because my own attitude towards what are acceptable numbers has changed a lot as I’ve grown up.
A child of the eighties, I’ve grown up in a very different world to that of my parents. My Dad had been my Mum’s first proper boyfriend, and as such, was the only man she ever slept with. Sex before marriage wasn’t unheard of, but it was definitely frowned upon in the close-knit community my mother grew up in. I can remember cringing at times when my Mum would mention how ‘experienced’ Dad was before she met him. What she meant was he wasn’t a virgin when they first met. I (rather thankfully!) never found out my Dad’s magic number, but I can’t imagine it was particularly high!
In my teens, I remember actively deciding that I would only ever have sex with someone I was in love with. And then changing my moral code on the subject when I realised I’d never ever properly fallen in love before!
Now, I’m not planning on making this post a potted history of my sex life, but what I will say, is that in my experience, just like First Dates, the more experience you get of doing something (with one person, or a number!), the more relaxed and comfortable you get. The more comfortable you are, the more you can be yourself, and the more fun you can have.
I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, and most of my closest friends are guys. Attractive, confident guys. The kind of guys who spent their teenage years bedding a different girl every week, if not every night.
Whilst most of my male friends would never think to share their ‘magic number’ (or even a ballpark figure) with a potential girlfriend, because I’ve always been treated like a guy mate (for example just today one of them texted me to tell me what a good blow job he received last night!!!!), I’ve always been privy to their real numbers.
And so, because I know the realities of attractive, eligible guys, and their sexual histories, and equally would recommend any of my male friends as boyfriend material to the right girl, when considering my own partner’s eligibility, the number of women he’s slept with has never fazed me!
I have a friend I call ‘The Centurion’ who keeps a black book with the names of every one of the 100 girls he bedded in. (Ok, I say names, some numbers just say things like ‘Brunette I met in that club in London’!!!) But deep down I also know he’s a great guy, who will one day make a girl a great boyfriend (possibly after getting the all clear from a clinic … 🙂 ) .
Whilst I know some girls would be put off completely if they ever knew how many women he’d slept with, because it’s something I’ve always known, I shrug off that knowledge and judge him by the more important aspects of his personality.
A reality of our generation, is that no one has set any rules for us. We’ve grown up sexually liberated. No sex before marriage is reserved for the devoutly religious. It’s no longer frowned upon to have had multiple sexual partners.
But how many is too many?
A few years ago, while I was backpacking, the question of numbers became something I would regularly ask other backpackers. I was curious – what was an acceptable number of partners for a 25 year-old man, and the same for a 25 year-old woman? I asked backpackers of both sexes the same questions, and it was interesting, bearing in mind the liberal-minded folk that go backpacking.
On average 12 partners was considered an acceptable number for a woman. And 25 an acceptable number for a straight man.
Why the dramatic difference? Who were they expecting the men to sleep with?
I had the same conversation with a close male friend recently, and he said I’d missed a trick. That the ages of 25-30 were the game changers, and where most guys rack up their numbers.
So what would be an acceptable number of partners for a woman of 30? And how many for a man of the same age?
I have a feeling the ratio would still be pretty similar. That whatever number people gave for the guys, the number for the girls would be half … or less.
But why do people have such diverse attitudes to it?
There’s that joke in American Pie that girls all divide by three before answering the question, and guys all multiply by three.
But why? Really, why does it matter?
As long as people have been safe, and respectful, and no one has got hurt, why is having had sex with 100 different guys or girls any different to having had sex with one guy a hundred times?
I think the important thing to underline is that you need to respect yourself in all of this. Realistically, you set your own parameters. And if your parameters are high, then make sure you’re setting them like that for the right reasons. You should never sleep around to gain self-worth … trust me, you’re almost guaranteed to come away feeling worse! And you should never sleep around to impress other people.
As peoples’ reactions suggest, whilst your friends might egg you on, they’re more than likely to be judging you behind your back.
What about me? Well I can honestly say, I have no idea how many men I’ve kissed in my life. Or even how many guys I’ve more than kissed. Yes, I do know my ‘number’, and actually my male friends tend to think I’m lying if I tell them the truth! What I will say, is that whilst I definitely haven’t been in love with every guy I’ve had sex with, I’ve never regretted the decision to sleep with a guy … and it’s not a decision I’ve ever taken lightly.
Sex will always be the most physically vulnerable you can make yourself to another person. The ultimate physical sacrifice. You, laid bare.
And I think that’s something important to remember when deciding if you want to take the next step with someone or not.
As for guys and their numbers? Well I genuinely have a lot more respect for a guy who will tell me the truth and openly admit his own magic number (or more realistically, where guys are concerned, a ball park figure!). Because that genuinely takes a lot of guts and trust, particularly if it’s a considerably high number. And interestingly, telling someone you care about, and who you’re hoping to impress, your magic number, is one of the most emotionally vulnerable and honest things you can do with another person, when you’re in the early stages of getting to know him or her.
So stay safe guys! Enjoy Sex Week … and enjoy some nice, safe sex …. no matter how many people it’s with! 😉
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx