• Fri, Sep 14 2012

How I Stopped Lying About My “Number”

Except for the fact that these are just arbitrary, mostly random numbers. There is no magic moment where you transition from pure to impure like some slutty werewolf (although that sounds kind of fun).

After all, you can get an STD from a person who’s had oral sex once with one person who doesn’t use proper protection, whereas a person who’s had sex with half the yearbook and is diligent about STD/pregnancy prevention might never have a single one in his or her life. At 5 partners, does your vagina just sort of say, “Fuck it, I think I’ll pick up some syphilis right about now!”?

Plus, as we all know, when a person calls another person a “slut,” it typically means, “You’re getting laid, I’m not, and you probably won’t have sex with me so I’m mad.”

Nevertheless, when I hit college I was still lying it to whomever I was seeing at the time — for some reason, they always asked — because I was terrified they would leave me if I didn’t just say a number that reflected theirs. I was extremely open about my sexuality and fully comfortable with friends, boyfriends and strangers seeing me that way, but the idea of anyone I dated know how many partners I’d had scared the marshmallow Peeps outta me.

Who are also kind of slutty, by the way.

But then I went through a pretty intense breakup about nine months ago and had to start doing the whole “dating thing” again. But since it was the very end of my college career, I found myself sort of not giving a shit what my prospective partners thought of me. If they liked me, rad! If they thought I sucked, I had always had a threesome of vodka and TiVo ready to bootycall at all times.

Sometime in February, I was on a “date” (i.e. drunkenly making out) with one of the frat boys I had started seeing when he turned to me and asked, “How many people have you slept with?”

Without even thinking to downplay the number, I told him the truth. He didn’t flinch, we kept making out and that was the end of the matter. After realizing how easy it would’ve been for me to just go home and not bother with the guy ever again if he had cared, I vowed never to lie about my number again. If somebody didn’t respect me as the kind of person who gets STD checked regularly and uses proper protection — or if they were simply too insecure to deal with a partner not existing purely for their junk — then I don’t think I’d want to partake in anything with them anyways.

Images via Forbes /Neatorama

Share This Post:
  • Jon

    what is your number?

  • Lastango

    No sale. Getting an STD can be serious business; chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most important preventable causes of infertility.

    Risk increases with frequency, and you can’t scoff or laugh away the danger.

    • http://samanthaescobar.com Samantha Escobar

      Agreed! But I don’t believe that calling people who partake with frequency “sluts” is an optimal way to avoid danger, particularly when so many websites state that only women shouldn’t discuss her partner-age while an “experienced” man is seen as a positive.

    • M

      True.

      I’m one of the unlucky few who lost her virginity at 24 to a long-term boyfriend and got chlamydia from him, because he didn’t know he had it.

  • MR

    Okay, so I’ll tell you partially. I cleared 25 before I turned 23 – and that was when I was living in South America the first time. 5 years later, including the summer I lived in Brazil, I cleared 35 – so I had slowed down a little. :) That was 23 years ago. I’ll be honest with you though, if a woman makes no effort to know me before she sleeps with me, I consider that to say I have diminished worth to her – so for longest time I’ve never been trying to grow my total. I know society would say my thoughts seem backwards, but I don’t see it that way.

    • http://samanthaescobar.com Samantha Escobar

      That’s really interesting! Oddly enough, I know a lot of people (myself included) who have slowed down with age. I wanted to make a wine or cheese joke here, but I don’t know that much about either so…pretend it was a good one. :)

  • DI

    being 18, having just lost my virginity this past january, and already having had 5 partners, (more than most of my friends that lost theirs before me) this makes me feel much better, haha. granted i’ve slowed down, (perhaps it was just getting caught up in the excitement of finally being a part of the cool, imaginary “experienced” club i made up in my head, filled with every non-virgin i’ve ever met) but i occasionally find myself almost ashamed of my number. i suppose i wouldn’t put myself in any sort of “slut” category, but i know for a fact that others, whether out of envy or just ignorant judgement, would. regardless, thank you for helping me to see it all as humorous and (almost) meaningless rather than something i should allow to define who i am.

    • http://samanthaescobar.com Samantha Escobar

      I’m really glad this made you feel better. :) It’s a shitty feeling to have judgment so ingrained in your system that you can’t help but judge yourself. It’s really great that you realize that anybody who puts you in that category is just plain ridiculous. =)

    • Lastango

      DI, one problem with websites like this is the endless flow of people that will help you feel that choices like the one you’re making are “humorous and (almost) meaningless”. In this case it’s the blogger.

      At other times it will be a crowd of commenters. For instance, if you had posted around here that you had decided to become a sex trade worker, a flock of supporters would have come out of the woodwork to shout you-go-girl, while others would have asked how much money you’re making and what you wear.

      You sound like you still have some doubts about the number of partners you’ve been having in a short time. Perhaps that’s your Common Sense talking to you. Good – this is a fine time to stop wondering whether you’re a “slut”, and to start wondering whether you’ve been behaving like a “fool”.

      You might consider seeking out professionals or other people with enough maturity and life experience to talk to you about what you’re doing, and what the impacts on your physical and psychological health can be. Then you’ll be able to make better, more informed choices. If you’re going to have a real-world wakeup call and change course, much better to do it now than later, when the damage takes hold.

    • Steph

      The fuck? No. No, Samantha Escobar, you do what feels right. Don’t let the woman who replied to you before tell you that its ok that you did that, but go ahead and shut it down because you’re a slut.

      You’re 18, you’re figuring out the whole sexuality thing, and you’re doing what feels right. You are not a slut, you did nothing wrong, and you are not a fool.

      That woman is the type of woman who would ask what you were wearing when you got groped on the subway. This is not someone to take it seriously when she calls you a fool for having sex.

    • Amanda Chatel

      @DI

      The next time someone has the audacity to call you a “fool,” especially a commenter who also suggests, “you might consider seeking out professionals” tell them to shut the fuck up and get off their soapbox. You’re not a fool, you’re not a slut — you’re living your life. As long as you’re safe and comfortable with your choices, that’s what really matters.

      And I totally agree with Steph in this comment thread who said this in regards to Lastango:

      “That woman is the type of woman who would ask what you were wearing when you got groped on the subway. This is not someone to take it seriously when she calls you a fool for having sex.”

      Internet high-five to Steph!

  • meteor_echo

    Three. Including the guy who raped me, four.
    I’m just not interested in sleeping with a person who isn’t in a serious relationship with me.

  • JayGee

    BTW, that “average” of 23.89 partners listed on Buzzfeed was given in a totally sarcastic context. The point of the article was to point out how silly it is to nail down a number.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/annanorth/9-completely-different-opinions-on-how-many-sex-pa

    • Samantha

      Haha I know, don’t worry. I love the woman who said 100. But I should’ve made that clearer that the buzzfeed article was a joke though it referenced serious articles.

  • DeistBrawler

    I always went with age. If you’ve had sex with more people than the years you’ve been alive…

    That was always awkward for me.

    A 26 year old with 20 partners? Not bad. It was when they hit 27 that my eye started to twitch.

    Of course this is all in my head. In reality I don’t really care what their number is. I certainly don’t ask anymore.