Think of a number. Now double it. Subtract the day of the month your birthday falls on. Divide by your bra size/inside leg measurement. Add forty-two. Round to the nearest whole number.
Yes, this is my take on that perennial old chestnut: “The Number!” You know the one I mean; the one about how many people we’ve had sex with.
It’s a question that comes up from time to time and, it seems, it is one that we are endlessly fascinated with.
Personally, I’m in the mildly curious but generally couldn’t give a fuck camp. It’s an interesting insight into the person you are currently fucking, possibly a handy bit of trivia to store away for those Mr and Mrs type quizzes, but, otherwise not important.
The problem with it is, that when you start thinking about it, it’s not actually a straightforward question.
What exactly counts as a sexual partner?
If you limited it strictly to men and women that I’ve fucked, and if you give me some time, I could probably work it out. It would, however, take me considerably longer than it took Andie MacDowell’s character in Four Weddings and a Funeral. But then, you see, I’ve included women, and I haven’t had penetrative sex with women, only oral and finger play. So does than mean that I also now have to include all those men with whom I have only ever sucked their cocks? On the assumption that it does, then I have no chance at all of determining the total; given that my penchant for the drunken, random, back of the pub blow-job means that I really don’t know.
Still, even if I could, somehow, divine the total number of men who’s cocks I’ve sucked and add it to the number of men I’ve fucked (eliminating any duplication as I go), and then add on the women I’ve had sex with, does this give me my number?
What about the lad I jerked off at a friend’s 16th birthday party? What about the boy in my class whom I let thoroughly finger me so I could scrounge a cigarette off him when I was at school? What about that boy that first kissed and sucked my nipples and made me feel oh so good when we were both horny teenagers, even if I didn’t actually come? What about…?
You see my point though. Clearly “the number” does not simply refer to penetration. If it did, then I would have had no female sexual partners, and I most certainly have had sex with women. But, if sexual partners are not limited to those that you have had penetrative sex with, where do you draw the line?
Orgasm perhaps? Well maybe, but does that mean if I don’t come, I haven’t had sex? No, surely not. On the other hand, does the boy who snuck his hand up my top to cop a feel while snogging me at a school disco also count? Again, I don’t think so (although, had I not wanted him to do it, it could possibly have counted as sexual assault).
So, given that I can’t suitably define what a sexual partner is, how can I possible tell you how many I’ve had?
Let’s just say I’ve had rather a lot and let it go at that…