Go big or go home...right?

On occasion, I’ve been known to discuss my life too frankly for my own good. At best, I could be considered a “mild oversharer.” By having shared most of my teen and college years with the type of friends who will happily show me their boobs, post-Brazilian ingrown hairs, sex journals and Fleshlights (which are so much less convenient than vibrators, just FYI), I have joined the many other young people who lack the filter of a 45-year-old conservative Puritan.

However, while most sex-related topics have always been easy to discuss, I learned at a young age that you aren’t “supposed” to tell boys how many people you’ve slept with because they’ll think you’re a gonorrhea-laden slut. Though I was fairly active, I would avoid the topic like a Greenpeace clipboard guy around anybody outside my immediate friend group. The idea of anti-number sharing was concretely said in all our minds.

And now, Internet science can now back that idea up!

BuzzFeed took a look at several numbers dictating how many partners a women “should” have in order to maintain her good name. According to AskMen, anything after 5 makes you “promiscuous” though as BuzzFeed pointed out, that was merely the lowest answer — AskMen’s manly men could potentially believe that if your number’s higher than 0.75, you’re a wanton woman. Others said that 25-30 would be too much. The average calculated by BuzzFeed was 23.89 so if you’re anywhere around there, you should probably avoid ever telling anyone again. And especially don’t tell your partner because his or her genitalia will shrivel up and implode upon hearing your trampy tales. That’s it! You’re out of the Normal Numbered Club!

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