• Wed, Nov 2 2011

Real Talk: Men Tell Us If They Judge You By How Many Sexual Partners You’ve Had

In 2011? No one judges women based on that anymore, right? That’s some sort of circa 2000 cliche about women subtracting three from their number or dividing by three or something?  Oh. I guess men do judge. Also, I’m going to start titling all the real talks where we talk to our male friends “my male friend depress the bejesus out of me.”

In conclusion, if you are with a man who really cares, just lie, okay? Get yourself checked out, make sure you’re healthy, and then subtract the ones who weren’t “fun.” Just lie to people! Lying is great!

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  • sarita

    Frank and George appear to be the only reasonable men involved. I mean, at least George admits he doesn’t have too much of a rational explanation for judging (I almost agreed with him all the way, but then I remembered that I have friends who got really excited about sex when they first had it and banged, like, thirty people, and then calmed down, which led me to remember that you can’t really make generalizations about mental health based on how much sex people have had).

    Bill made me laugh just because there was literally zero sense involved in his answer.

    • MR

      Yeah, I agree it’s all mental. Again just one guy’s opinion. I was sexually active the first two years I made love with other adolescents. I slept with 8 young women in the 22 months before I turned 17. Yes, I counted and had a big smile on my face, but they were all very satisfied too. Then an exogenous occurrence happened – a summer job outside the City – where no woman my age would have sexual intercourse with me. It was the late ’70s and the sexual revolution relative to adolescents hadn’t landed everywhere yet. But in that summer of forced abstinence – my girlfriend that summer did everything but have sexual intercourse with me – I suddenly realized it was about the feeling not about the action itself.

      A guy’s going to have an orgasm when he has sexual intercourse, it’s a given. But how does he take it to the next level? Since then I’ve always preferred to have feelings for a woman when I make love to her. It’s not that I haven’t had crazy sex intensive periods since that summer, but I don’t look for it.

    • sarita

      MR– that’s a much healthier way to view sex than arbitrarily assigning numbers to denote sexual contentment/sluttiness. I think insisting that your sex life is dirty and wrong past a certain number is just as asinine as insisting that you’re only sexually content/adept/whatever if you’ve slept with x amount of people. One shames people out of enjoying sex with multiple partners and the other shames people into having sex with multiple partners (or at all) lest they feel like total losers. I’m equally frustrated with those who view virgins as the paragon of all that is beautiful and pure as I am with those who view virgins as chumps who can’t get any.

      Obviously, the only healthy way to approach it is what you suggested: it’s about the feeling, not the action itself, not about numbers, just whether you’re having a good time or not (and of course, being safe while you do it). It’s totally fine to have lots of sex, or not, and it’s dumb to be judged on it either way.

    • MR

      sarita – I’m so happy you responded to my posting. I thought maybe my email to you might have been a little over the top – but thought your comment most tied into my views on the subject matter. Yeah, I don’t judge anybody, and nobody judges me.

    • Mar

      sarita- I was with you until you said you viewed virgins as “chumps who can’t get any. ” Some of them (I was one until recently) have the opportunity but choose to wait until we feel ready.

    • sarita

      No, I said it’s DUMB to think of virgins that way, or really of any way, because it doesn’t matter if you’re a virgin or not. I say I was bothered by people who judged anyone by having/not having sex.

      I’ve posted way too much on this thread, btw.

  • Laura

    How about this: I don’t care about your number, my number is none of your damn business- now are you going to take your pants off or are we going to continue talking?

    • porkchop

      preach it

    • Charisse

      AMEN!

    • Rob

      I like your comment. We can talk in the morning, about other things.

  • Ella Jane Goeppinger

    What incredible BS.

    “It depends on her age. You can say women probably start having sex between 15 and 20. They probably get married around 30. 1 for each of those years seems reasonable. But that means it shouldn’t go over 10 or 15. ”

    okay, so I’m 25. I started having sex at 16, and only had sex with that one dude until I was 19. then I fucked 9 guys over the course of 6 months or so because I’d broken up with my shitty high school boyfriend! then I met a guy I really liked. and I only had sex with him for two years. then we split, and over the next year I had sex with 15 guys. then I met my husband and I haven’t screwed anyone else since.

    So is 27 really that high a number? One guy a year? What, no casual sex? no sex for a couple weeks then a fizzling of the relationship?

    yo, men: if you want me to have sex with you, you have zero right to care about the number of men I’ve slept with. if I was safe with those 27 men, you can care about, and I encourage you to ask! but disdain for my “number” just means you will not get access to my finely honed sexual prowess.

    • Raye

      AMEN!

    • Kate

      hea!r hear!

  • Steph

    Frank is awesome.

    • Kate

      Frank is AWESOME! I want to hear more from Frank and less from the slut shaming other dudes. I’d love to know what their “numbers” are.

  • rita

    GOD I have been waiting for a Real Talk like this… because I feel like my number is reasonable, one day, and the next I think I’m a huge slut. And but really, I’ve been having sex for 7 years and my number is 12. (disregard the fact that I’ve basically been in some relationship for 6 of those years)

    • Sam

      There’s no such thing as a “huge slut,” girl. Don’t make yourself feel bad for stuff like having sex–not only will you just needlessly beat yourself up about it, but you’ll also base too much of your self-opinion on something that you are completely within your right to enjoy fully. :)

    • Jennifer Wright

      If an arbitrary designation for sluttery existed, it would still not apply to someone who had slept with a mere 12 people.

  • Sam

    What’s with the number 15? What an odd, arbitrary number. And this whole “one for every year since virginity was lost” thing is ridiculous. I’m at a fairly high number (and am a-okay with that)–I know all their first and last names, I’ve always used protection besides in committed relationships, I get tested frequently, and I’ve never had an STD.

    I think telling girls that there’s a certain “number” that they should stop at or else, as the first guy said, the lady won’t be “clean” as a wife or whatever, is just another form of slut-shaming. It’s as though they’re saying, “Hey ladies! Use your sexuality and enjoy it! But NOT TOO MUCH OR ELSE WE WON’T DATE YOU. But we might have sex with you anyways. No marriage, though.”

    I don’t give a damn what the numbers of the folks I sleep with are–as long as they use protection, we’re solid. And likewise, if they give a shit about anything besides my protective standards/STD-testing frequency, then I absolutely tell them to eff off because it’s not for them to judge.

    • Sarita

      Didn’t anyone tell you vaginas invert once you hit 15?? They straight up turn inside out. THAT’S why it makes you unfit for wifehood/motherhood.

      Real talk, I have no idea why 15 is such a prevalent number here, it’s so weird. Like, “Wait, did you say you slept with 14 or 15 dudes? Because if it’s 14 then we’re totally on but if it’s 15… slut.”

  • CW

    Any guy who is worth actually being in a long-term relationship with would care. If he didn’t care, that would be a HUGE red flag to me, because it means that he’s not interested in a long-term commitment. No guy wants his future wife and the mother of his future children to be a slut…

    • Lo

      Better things to care about: did she respect the people she slept with? Did they respect her? Did she jerk them around and vanish in a puff of smoke in the night? What of safe sex? What?

      Number of sexual partners is a crappy indicator of ability to commit. Better to look at how we treat people in general.

    • sarita

      But how do you define “slut”? Because if it’s just “sleeping with my personal definition of a bunch of people,” that’s really not enough to count someone as being unfit for wifehood or motherhood. And by “not enough” I mean “is actually meaningless,” because just the act of sleeping with several people doesn’t really indicate anything about a person other than the fact that they enjoy sex. Actually… it might not even mean that much.

      And because it apparently somehow matters to some people, I’ve only slept with one person and that’s my husband. I personally feel this is pretty irrelevant, but just in case that gives my words more weight than if some slutty slut slut wrote them…

    • CW

      What would I consider a slutty number? If you’re under 25, you should be able to count the number on one hand. Otherwise, you should be able to count the number on two hands.

    • Fabel

      That’s so fucking arbitrary. What? Who are you??

    • sarita

      Yeah, that is… really, really, totally arbitrary. I guess if that’s important to you, then so be it, you’re entitled to your own nonsensical opinion. I just don’t see how a great person who’s slept with 1 person is any better than a great person who’s slept with 50 people, or whatever “slutty” number you want to insert there.

      JUST SLEEPING WITH PEOPLE SAYS NOTHING ABOUT YOU AS A PERSON. It’s as if you literally see someone becoming more tarnished with every sex act, whereas virgins must look like sparkly magical diamond people to you. You must preface each and every conversation with a potential significant other with “How many people have you slept with? Because if it’s more than you can count on your hands, then we might as well stop talking.”

      I’m interested to know if you hold guys to this same irrational standard. Just out of curiosity.

    • Sam

      Because if she enjoys sex and has had it frequently, she’s a “slut” and therefore incapable of taking care of children, being a good partner, and is just overall a shitty person to have a relationship with?

      Seriously, that’s a ridiculous sentiment.

    • CW

      “JUST SLEEPING WITH PEOPLE SAYS NOTHING ABOUT YOU AS A PERSON.”

      It says something about your morals. Humans are not mere animals, so you should control your animal urges to screw any guy you find attractive. And yes, I do judge guys who are promiscuous as well.

    • Lo

      So what if we do, and only screw people in whom we have a reasonable degree of trust, and that’s a ‘high’ number? Again, the number itself says far less about morals than the way in which those people are treated.

  • MM

    Wow. I am a self-professed Major Prude and even I am too slutty for some of these dude’s standards.

  • Coconut

    My husband has never asked me how many people I’ve had sex with and I’ve never thought to ask him. So weird that 15 is the cutoff for some of these dudes. Who cares?

  • Fabel

    Okay, this is depressing but not surprising. The only guys I’ve met who legitimately “didn’t care” were open-minded because they had slept with a lot of people themselves & didn’t want to be a hypocrite by judging. The rest were like these guys, assigning random numbers when a girl became “dirty” or a “slut” or just “not dateable”.

    And maybe it’s just me or my circle of friends, but the whole “I would never ask someone their number! Nor would I tell if they asked!” just doesn’t happen. This question always gets asked.

    • Fabel

      Also WTF, Adam? I like how his was first, because it set the tone for the rest– “I’d want my wife to be pretty clean” means less than 15 partners? Do you automatically get all the STDs once you’re past 15?

      I know everyone’s said similiar things, but gah.

    • Sarita

      Agreed, the question always gets asked where I hang out, too. But not always in a negative way; oftentimes in a coy, “I’m so curious about your sex life and it’s fun to talk about sex so let’s do it!” way.

      I think most people would count me as having a pretty limited sexual experience, which I’m fine with, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying asking my really adventurous friends all about their orgies and fisting parties and random hookups/hi-jinks, and all this stuff I’ll probably never be involved in. Sometimes it’s just a good topic for discussion! “You’ve slept with seven different people this week? Tell me about it, please!”

  • C

    Wow, way to hate on virgins. Some of us had rough lives during our teen years…doesn’t mean we’re going to get all crazy on you.

    So depressing.

  • jude

    I’m a guy and I find this kind of stuff really stupid. I’ve slept around and my “number” is somewhere past 50 (I had a crazy period around the time I turned 20 which upped the number a lot, right now I’m 27) but even if it was in a lower region, I wouldn’t care about how many guys a girl I’m romantically interested in has slept with. If you’re looking for a woman to be in a relationship with, or even marry, the only thing that should matter should be who SHE is – which is not defined by her sexual history.

    I’ve dated girls who have been with a lot of guys, I’ve dated girls who haven’t been with many at all. Case in point, I dated someone whose number was triple digits (no exaggeration – she was all about being sexually liberated and had also worked in the sex industry) and we were in a committed relationship together for two years. My point here is that her sexual past had no bearing over our relationship. With or without that number being to my knowledge, it didn’t make any difference about how long the relationship lasted, how I felt about her, etc. My current girlfriend has only had sex with two other men before me, and I don’t view her as any higher or lower than the former girl I mentioned.

    Also, what’s so bad about your wife/potential wife having some experience under her belt? I mean, that’s nothing but beneficial in the long run.

  • Catherine

    I think every single one of these guys should have had to state their number before their judgment. So if a girl has had a lot of four ish month relationships from 17 on, she’s a slut? This is really really disappointing to me. Living in NYC, a lot of people get a LOT of tail here. So what? Are guys exempt from this judgment then? Oh you went through the populace of manhattan in your twenties? Deallll breaker!

    I just think its completely unfair and sexist. Normally these things are fairlyyy balanced but why is every guy on this one saying “less than 15 or…slut city!!”?

  • Eileen

    I am confused by Bill, but I think what he means is that a lot of casual sex partners is okay, but if you’ve genuinely been in love with a zillion guys he’s wary? Which is reasonable, I think. I don’t mind if a guy has slept with a ton of women, but if he falls in love every five minutes, I’m going to be uncomfortable.

  • Max

    I’m about 30, so for women my age over around 10 is too much.
    First off, men who sleep with lots of women are skanks, so there’s no double standard (don’t fool yourself).
    My health is very important, ‘safe’ sex with a prostitute is very risky… so ‘safe’ sex with a woman who sleeps with a lot of men is just as risky. the more you sleep with, the higher the risk.
    A high number also says she doesn’t have high standards, the previous 35 guys obviously weren’t special so I must not be special either.
    And if you do meet ‘the one’ you want to have something you can do together for the first time. If you’ve had lots of partners you’ve probably tried everything, so nothing is new or special.
    You can complain all you want, but the vast majority of men think this way… if your way around it is to lie to your eventual life-partner, well, good luck to you, your relationships must be so strong.

  • Rob

    I like Laura’s comment. For me it really doesn’t matter, if it wasn’t for sexually charged women we equally sexually charged men would have a hard time finding good partners. In my opinion, if you’re in a relationship keep it monogamous, if you want to go out and have fun with many others just make sure to wear protection and keep it safe. Rock on!

  • Daniel

    Some things in life certain men and woman will always feel different about, example, women can go to a beauty parlour and get all ‘done up’ taking lots of time making themselves look beautiful, or spend a couple of hours getting ready for a night out. If a man does this, generally he will be ridiculed for being vain, self absorbed etc, and in the eyes of a lot of women will become less attractive, regardless of his other personality traits. Another example could be when a man is a stay at home father, and the woman the major bread winner. In some relationships this may work, however, again a lot of women may find this to make the man less attractive, women are hardwired to find certain things about men attractive/ unattractive. People dont start calling these women judgemental, these women are allowed to use any criteria they like! Obviously not all women are the same, some may find these examples as things that would not bother them. And that is fine.
    Point is, some things in life are not fair, or equal, and all the feminist bullshit that the world tries to ram down mens throats doesnt always wash. Some men are hardwired to find women who have slept with alot of men less attractive, so women who have slept with a couple of football teams need to find a man who isnt bothered.