The cons of the numbers game: Should your past number of sexual encounters affect future ones?


When it comes to dating, numbers can be pretty important. For a select few, the numbers are a person’s income or salary. I find it hard to believe that these people ever find happiness in the end. Others tend to think more of the number of years that separate them and their partner. This difference is often crucial, as it determines where you stand in your lives.

But what about that other number? You know, your roster, track record, or to put it simply, the number of partners you’ve had.

I’m sure most of us, after noticing other qualities of course, have estimated a person’s number. I know I have. But, do you have a right to know? And, if you do find out, should it be a deal breaker?

From what I’ve heard, asking a person his or her number can be a tricky situation. It seems to be a lose-lose game. Either the number is higher than you hoped or lower than you thought.

“You’re screwed either way, no pun intended,” one girl said.

The problem with revealing your number is that it labels you. The upside to having a low number is that there is less chance of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The downside could mean inexperience or that you’re a bad hookup. With a high number, you could be dating someone who is very good in bed, but a potential nymphomaniac. Or, you are dating someone who is not necessarily good in bed nor have they had a lot of experience, he or she just sleeps around.

As always, when it comes to most things related to sex, there still seem to be different standards for guys and girls.

For guys, the more girls you’ve slept with, the more power to you. We tend to think that most guys boast about their number. The rumor is, according to the classic “American Pie” series, a guy typically adds three more to whatever his number actually is.

For girls, it seems that the lower the number, the more attractive you are as a potential partner. Going back to “American Pie,” all the guys in the movie believed you had to add three more to what a girl tells you her number is.

If you are keeping your own personal track record, how do you know what counts? What if it slips in? What if he doesn’t climax? What if it’s less than 30 seconds? What if it only happens once?

The problem with keeping track is that there are exceptions to every rule. Some people will come up with every excuse to not count someone, but I think that if it’s in, it counts. You can’t “accidentally” sleep with someone.

A friend of mine has a number that is definitely higher than she says, but she is the queen of writing guys off. Her main reasons being those above, he didn’t finish, it was only three thrusts, it only happened once, etc.

“Having sex once is just a handshake,” one guy said.

Regardless of what you’re shaking, a person’s number should not be a deal breaker. My friends and I choose not to share our numbers with anyone, but, we also don’t expect people to share theirs with us. The only information that should be shared is if you or your partner has an STI.

As for keeping count, in the end you are only keeping score with yourself.

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