I am in no way what you would call a stereotypical ladies man. I like the ladies, sometimes they like me, sometimes we like each other together and that’s great! If I’m going to write a self-referential article about sex the only thing I’m going to pat myself on the back for is being somewhat of a charmer, a good conversationalist and I’m a funny guy (objectively and so I have been told).
Recently a random woman messaged me on Instagram #omg #totsrandom #hastingisnotmything and started a conversation. A blind man could see she was more than attractive so who was I to ignore her? A single man with an “insta” babe messaging me? I’ll dive right in! The conversation was light at first, a little bit of this and that and she started throwing some flirt bombs my way so I lit the fuse. As we talked she just randomly asked me… “how many people have you slept with?”
Boom! Her question stopped me in my tracks. I thought it was strange and it kind of made me feel nervous as “that question” for me has always been something reserved for intimate relationships and metaphorical penis measuring during my teenage years. From my experience, a lot of guys tend to use their bedpost notches as the measure of a man, a trap I’ve fallen into the past. Just so you know, your numbers of sexual partners do not make you the value of your gender.
I asked her why she wanted to know? What relevance does it have to the conversation we were having and what does it matter anyway? She explained that she felt it really tells you what a person is like, who they really are and it warrants further exploration into someone way of life. (She studied phycology so I guess it made sense). So my clammy nervous fingers started to type out a response.
“Between …., I think, I’ve kind of lost count to be honest…” the message feed lay silent for some time, the panic set in, a flop sweat appears, why isn’t she messaging back? What seems like a lifetime passes and she responds…
“Wow! That’s bad.”
“is it? It’s not that bad, I’ve been single for over 3 years and most of that was clocked up in my early 20s, I go through random periods of celibacy as well!!!” I rapidly type with no recourse for what I’m saying.
“Yeah ,you’re a bit of a whore.” She says deadpan
“I’m not exactly a porn star! I haven’t been laid in months!” I cry into the tiny white text box.
(I’m really not a porn star, I’m offering mediocre sex with premature ejaculation and intimacy issues. You won’t be seeing me on pornhub anytime soon.
We stop talking eventually, which is no loss as being Judged by random members of Instagram isn’t really on my to do list at the minute. But all of this got me thinking. How many is to many?
M y own justifications for the number of sexual partners I’ve had is whilst possibly flawed is due to my lack of long-term relationships over the years. I’ve had them but they have been few and far between. Maybe you’re like me and you always seem to have a potential love interest lurking in the background, either way, sex is a natural part of life and like shit sometimes it just happens!
According to various news outlets, surveys and other sources the average number of partners is roughly between 7-10 people in a life time…so by them standards apparently, I’m a prostitute working double shifts with an unrelenting thirst for vagina and no form of monogamy will stop me…NONE DAMN IT!
I never really believed my numbers were that bad, nor had I given it much thought in recent time. I live in a swipe right, multi-dating, fast food relationship culture which seems to champion promiscuity… What was there to think about? I was having a hell of a time…Was. But as I take a journey deeper into myself and look back at all the one-night stands, mini relationships and condom expenses I fall upon a realization.
I’m damaging my own sense of self-worth, I’m hurting people and myself, I am still that teenage boy measuring my own values as a man.
This article isn’t written to offend, nor is it written to judge. You may have slept with more people than me, you may have slept with less. Whatever it is it’s not the value of you. Sure I felt judged by the “insta” girl, it was hard not to, but at the same time, her judgement turned it to more of a profound understanding of myself.
I’m damaging my own sense of self-worth.
By this I mean by taking on-board judgements of others I’m allowing my own self-worth to be mitigated by someone else’s opinion. Strangers don’t know you or me, they don’t know our story so worrying about their opinions is only damaging to your opinion of yourself. You are in charge of your own value, no one else.
I’m hurting others and myself.
This article isn’t intended to seek redemption either. Anyone I’ve hurt through one night stands, mini relationships, etc, my only hope is I made the appropriate apologizes at the time, I’ve been hurt to, by others and myself. Those random encounters of sexual conquest usually hurt one or both parties. I’m trying to be honest with myself and say the lustful sex always leaves me feeling hollow inside but it’s something I have buried or ignored emotionally. Sure it was great at the time, but those moments are fleeting. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have sex in a meaningful relationship then you know it out weights any drunken romp in a night club toilet. If you feel your sex life is out of control are you hurting yourself?
I am still that teenage boy measuring my own values of a man.
Being one of the last virgins in my friendship group at school always made me feel insecure. That was then this is now. Most if not all of my friends have meaningful happy relationships and when I talk to them about another notch, I’m usually met with “I don’t know how you can be arsed with that still.” There is the problem. I’m still that kid who wants to impress people with the amount of people I’ve slept with. There’s still an immature part of me that feels it’s all about how many people I’ve been with makes me a man. It really doesn’t. Not in my opinion at least.
With these new-found understandings of myself, all I can deduce is I clearly have an issue with my own feelings towards sexual partners. There’s a chance if you’ve found this article maybe you do to! But to answer the original question of “how many is to many” we have to be more honest with ourselves.
Are we judging ourselves by others opinions on sex? Do we see our numbers as a problem that is spiraling out of control? Have we matured from a version of our younger selves? Only you have the answers to those questions but maybe they can begin to open our eyes to our behavioral partners when it comes to sexual relationships.
So how many is too many?
That’s entirely up to you! No one else just you. Just don’t let it rule your life and don’t let news articles or society give you the answer. It’s really something for you to decide and take positive action towards if you think it’s a problem.
This article is written purely from opinion and personal experience, it’s not fact! Just a reflection. It would have been a very different story if a teenage version of myself had written it. I don’t wear my notches as a badge of honour, far from it, but at the same time, me, you, anybody for the matter shouldn’t beat ourselves up for our pasts. Our past selves don’t exist anymore, all that matters is who we are now and how we go forward. Peace.