I hate plane trips. They’re cramped, the food isn’t great, and they’re just plain boring.
The only good thing about long haul plane trips is that I get to indulge my embarrassing fondness for romantic comedies. Preferably action rom-com, but that’s not really a movie genre that sees a lot of new releases.
On my most recent plane trip, I watched the hilarious “What’s your number?” which not only had suitable eye candy (helloooo Captain America – and how nice of you to bring a six pack with you!) but a scene that imitates the accent of the Swedish Muppet chef (hurdey gurdey, gurdey hurdey).
Anyway, those winning elements aside, the idea centred around what an appropriate number of men to have slept with was – and whether after sleeping with a certain number (in this case 20) your chances of ever finding happiness with the one man was severely compromised.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I think it’s unlikely that the amount of sexual partners you’ve had in life has any direct correlation with finding someone you actually want to spend the rest of your life with.
But it did get me thinking – if I did a poll of my girlfriends, would I be surprised by their numbers? Would they be higher, or lower than I expected? What would they look like compared to me? (I mean granted, as I’m not yet married to the man of my dreams, I haven’t actually managed to notch any number up, but you know, in my imaginary life) (I know Dad, I am such a good girl!).
And more interestingly, what would my guy friend’s numbers look like? Would I be shocked by how little or how much man-whoring they had done? I remember once calculating with a girlfriend of mine, that if the guy she had started seeing had been sexually active since he was legal, and had 3 serious girlfriends over a period of 6 years, that left 6 years of single male promiscuity. Assuming he picked up someone new every fortnight, he would have slept with a whopping 159 people. Adjusting downwards for repeat shags, or just occasionally lazy nights out, he’d still probably slept with 124.8 other people (borderline-midget perhaps?).
That’s the kind of number that can floor you. Of course, it turned out he’d slept with “more than 10 but less than 20” people, but I mean, after thinking he’s been bumping uglies with the equivalent of your entire graduating high school class, any number not in triple digits is going to sound reasonable.
So where is our cut off? Do we even have a cut off, and does it even matter? Is there some deal breaker number that when confessed would make you think twice about being with someone you really saw a potential future with? And if your partner did tell you their number, would you be tempted to revise yours upwards or downwards to make them feel more comfortable?
While men might be tarred with the possibly unfair reputation of exaggerating their conquests, women can be just as guilty of demurely under representing their dalliances because they think it might reflect poorly on them.
In the end, it shouldn’t matter. Who you are, what you’ve done, and who you’ve met along the way are just stepping stones to becoming you. And if the person you’re with doesn’t accept you for everything you are, then they don’t deserve you anyway.
But still. Sometimes, the people you love, they just don’t need to know.
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