Sexual partners: does body count matter?

I was talking with my girl Belle over at (@notjustsex on Twitter) recently and we decided to put together a little joint literary venture. Now we’ve got big plans, but first of all we thought we’d do some pieces that showcase the ways in which boys and girls view different topics. The idea is simple, we come up with a topic, and then we both write about it with no collusion and see how different or similar our viewpoints are. I’m really excited to read her take on this topic because I think girls get seriously hung up on this one. So anyway, have a read of mine and then click HERE for the link to her post on it and see who you agree with. So, welcome to the first part of our series, The Sexplanation.

Firstly let me put my cards on the table and say that I think the whole subject of body count gets too much importance attached to it. Having said that, I’m writing a piece about it so, rightly or wrongly, it’s not worth pretending that it isn’t something that sometimes comes up and can be a factor. Personally, I think it’s one of these questions that you just shouldn’t ask if you’re looking for a particular answer. I mean, if you ask a girl and you’re hoping the number is small, then you’re just creating a chance for unnecessary drama if you don’t like the answer. And realistically, why does it even matter? If a girl has slept with a lot of guys, does it mean the sex with you is any less important? If a dude has slept with 1000 girls, does that matter if 1001 is the last one he sleeps with? No it shouldn’t. But it does. Why? Perception. The girl with the high number is obviously a bit of a slut right? Easy. Anyone can have her. And the dude, well he’s a player. He’ll fuck and chuck so quick he’ll be gone quicker than JSA when there is a sale on Red Stripe. Or what if someone hasn’t slept with hardly anyone? Must mean they are frigid or boring right? This is the issue. Perception. It’s all perception.

So let’s look at it in more detail. We’ll start with girls. If a girl has got a high number, you can almost guarantee she’ll lie about it. There might be that one friend who she trusts implicitly who she shares everything with, but other than that, you can bet she lies about it, especially to dudes. The consideration here is, does she do so because she herself feels like her number is too high or because she feels like she will be judged by others? Perhaps the two are blurred together? See I think the social perception around if a girl has a high number has made it so that whilst girls feel like they will be judged by others if they have a high number, they also judge themselves. The idea that a high number somehow makes a girl less classy and thus less wifey material had permeated it’s way into the general consciousness, and so girls buy into it and feel the need to lie about the number to fit the socially acceptable paradigm of what is a ‘classy woman’. And what is a high number? Let’s be real, it’s the double digits. Anything 10 and below is acceptable, and anything above that is when it starts getting frowned upon. Again, that’s the perception anyway.

But let’s be real. It’s all bullshit. I’ll bet half the girls that read this have slept with more than 10 guys. I mean let’s look at this logically. If every girl has slept with less than 10, but most guys have slept with twenty odd, the numbers don’t match up. No, most girls have slept with a lot more that they say, but because they are all lying about it, it means the girl who is truthful about her number is made out to be a slut. It’s bullshit really. If girls didn’t let the social perception bother them and all just owned their sexual history, then the social perception would change and it wouldn’t be an issue in the first place. There is the flip side of course. What if a girl has slept with only a few people? I asked a few people about this and they said that they felt a bit insecure because they felt like people would think they were inexperienced.

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I don’t think this carries the same social stigma for girls but it can still be an issue. Interestingly, it’s the reverse for guys. But we’ll get to that. I’ve never really considered this one from the female perspective. Maybe I always just assumed that the smaller the number the better when it came to female rationale. I know that from a guys point of view, that is not an issue at all, unless her inexperience means she’s not very good in bed. But then it might be she’s had so few because she’s been in long term relationships, which in my experience always means they are good in bed and give awesome blowjobs. And if not, well practice makes perfect right!

So what do guys think about a girls body count? Guys are complex because a lot of it is rooted in ego. Even though we know it is irrational, we don’t like to think of our girl with other guys even though we know they existed. Whereas girls tend to take the abstract view of how many people a guy has slept with, men break it down into component parts. Like, if you’ve had sex with 30 guys, you’ve probably had 30 dicks in your mouth. It’s silly. I know it, and I’m sure all guys know it. But a guys mind is a weird place sometimes. Stress sometimes. It’s not like this is going to keep us up at night. But it does raise the question of whether people include oral sex in their numbers?

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It obviously varies, but I think it can be summed up by saying there is a split between those that think it indicates her suitability as a wifey, and those that think it doesn’t matter. I asked the question of Facebook and Twitter and these are two of the answers I got back which demonstrate the basic split I think you’ll find amongst guys.

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Those are what I would call the two average views. One thing I will say however is that pretty much all guys will have a problem when it comes to a girl who is out there banging a lot of dudes on the regular. It might not be fair, but we’re not here to talk about fairytales. I mean, lets not bullshit, if a girl is out there banging every other dude on the daily, then it’s going to bother a guy. It’s unfair because if a man is doing the same it would just be him being a lad because he hasn’t found the right one yet. Take me for example. I don’t really give a shit how many guys a girl has been with. In fact I think that if a girl has had a varied sex life it just means she’s going to be better by the time she gets to me. Maybe she’s been single for a lot of years so her number is high because she’s had a lot of flings/not-quite-relationships. Whatever the case, if she’s had a lot of sexual partners, it’s not an issue.  However, if I know a girl has been putting it about a lot and has been fucking loads of guys, it is going to play into my thinking. This is my simplified logic for the different views; if a girl is fucking loads of guys, then dudes feel like there is less exclusivity to her and so it makes her less appealing as a wifey, whereas if a guy is shagging loads of girls, he’s viewed as something to be tamed. As long as he’s faithful and you’re the one to capture his heart and make him throw away his player card, then what came before doesn’t matter. We are talking extremes here though. If I got with a girl who had slept with 25 guys for example it’s not going to bother me. Again it’s the perception. 25 partners? Minor. But 25 in the space of a month? Not worth lying about, that is off-putting. I can’t even really explain why either. I shock myself while writing this piece! I mean, I know, that it doesn’t mean she’s a slut. It just means she enjoys sex. If anything it should mean that I would feel more empowered that this nympho girl decided that I was good enough in bed to satisfy all her lustful urges. The fact she loves sex and has had a lot of it also doesn’t mean she is any more likely to be unfaithful. But this is logic talking. I just know that while her body count doesn’t bother me, and it really doesn’t, if I feel like she’s been getting smashed left, right and centre then it’s going to make me think twice. I think that hit the nail on the head; her past is her past and it doesn’t really bother me, but if it’s been contemporaneous and I’ve known about it as it’s happening, then it would probably be something I’d think about prior to deciding to get with someone.

Right. And breathe. Sorry about that. Bit of a rant, but it just goes to show how complex feelings on the matter can be! So to sum up the girl half of this chapter, I think girls judge other girls because it is just the pressure of social constraints that make girls feel like they need to present a certain image. I think this in turn makes girls judge themselves, which causes the lying about the number. Guys, seem to attach meaning to it because it either a) bothers their ego that maybe another guy was better etc or that it somehow indicates her compatibility as a girlfriend. Either that, or they are just not bothered unless the number is ridiculous. No real conclusion here, except to say that in reality, it’s your body, do what the fuck you want with it, as long as it’s what you really want to do. You only get one go round so whether it’s 1, 10 or a 100 guys, as long as you’re true to yourself that’s that matters.

So onto guys. Firstly, let’s get the obvious out of the way. We don’t give a fuck how many girls a dude has slept with, except to be like ‘remember that one time…’ and then tell some stories. We don’t have to deal with the social consequences in the same way as a girl does, and even the ones that do effect us, like how girls view us for example, don’t matter one bit when you’re talking guy talk. I’m just happy when a bro gets some, and if he manages to get it every night, then that’s just more high fives I’ll be giving him. Boys love sex. I know that’s obvious, but we really, really love it, so the more we get the better. Do we give a fuck if someone wants to say we’re man whores? Please. If anything a guy would probably see that as a compliment because it just means he’s getting some.

However, how girls view it when assessing your boyfriend potential can be an issue. Like I said before, for the most part, I don’t think the fact you’ve banged tons of broads is gonna be an issue for a girl when it comes to getting with you. The female viewpoint tends to be around what your sex life indicates about how you’ll be in the future once in a relationship. It’s less about the actual amount of girls a guy has shagged and more about what the sexual history tells a woman about his ability to be faithful. That said, some girls did get back to me and say that just the number alone would bother them, but that they didn’t act like it did. So maybe it does bother girls more than I think, but they just don’t say?

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Back to the subject of fidelity, it seems a lot of the issue around a guys body count comes once she’s with you and jealousy or insecurity can rear its ugly head. You’re a shagger after all. Despite the fact you might never have cheated in your life and are the type of guy who is loyal once he finds the one he wants, the social perception is that this type of guy is always out to bang and so can’t be trusted.

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And what of the other side of the coin? Guys who have a really low body count! It just shows how the perceptions that shape our views of body counts are at polar opposites when it comes to males and females, because a guy who has only slept with a few will almost certainly feel a but embarrassed about it and probably lie that his number is higher. Everyone must have heard about guys playing the numbers game? Just trying to shag as many as possible to get his number up so that he can, I dunno, feel more like a man? It’s ridiculous. We all know it. But even I have been on holidays where I’ve shagged just to say I had because it’s what boys do. Masculinity is closely interweaved with sexual proficiency and potency that to have a low body count is almost viewed as a failure. Probably more by the person themselves than by anyone else. I don;t care how many people a dude has slept with, but I guarantee you he does. Get it? I guess it’s just part of what guys feel validates them.

Of course, we’re dealing in generalisations here. It’s not like every girl is going to distrust a guy because of his high body count, any more than I categorically wouldn’t get with a girl who I know has been sleeping around. It’s just that it seems even the most tolerant of us place at least some kind of stigma on certain aspects of the body count issue. Some guys may not give a wet fuck about how many people they sleep with as long as they sleep with the one person they want, just as some girls may feel it’s their right to take as much dick as is humanly possible. What I think I’m saying about the body count issue is that it is mainly about perception. Self perception and perception of others, all formed by a social perception, that is actually really antiquated and has no place in today’s society where we are free to be sexually expressive and explore our desires.

So in conclusion. Fuck who you want it that is what you want to do. Fuck long, and fuck often. Girls, get on your knees and take as much dick in your mouth as you can handle and dudes, including myself, take a chill pill and get over yourselves. And girls, the guy you like may have spilt more seed than Muhammad Ali at a bird feeder (RIP Greg Giraldo!), but who cares. Just look at the facts and decide; is he a dog, or is he just a single uy who has been getting laid? It’s sex. We all have it. We all love it. The past is the past and it doesn’t need to shape the future.

Social perception be damned. Just do you. Or more aptly, just do whoever the fuck you want.

So that’s my bit! I realise I could have written much more, but at least it’s a conversation starter! So click HERE to read Belle’s take on the subject and see what the female mindset is!