Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's YOUR Number? (Or Discussing Body Count)

"What's Your Number?"

What a loaded question! I mean, consider it in the case of a cutie you've been spying across the bar comes over to ask you for your digits before the night's done. That's good.

But, how about when you're dating someone for a while and the relationship is escalating into physical territory? Then it means that it's time for the talk about sexual history, number of partners... Which makes the question "what's-your-number" not so sexy. 

 While this topic is not a new, it's one that still matters, especially in this day and age which means that there's always room to break it down. Shall we?

Pro for admitting your true number: On one hand, you clear the air and get to keep it real and honest, especially when taking a situation to that physical level.  

Things to think about when admitting your number:
  • Does a number too high or too low create some type of stigma (slut or inexperienced)?
  • Moreover, would too much risky behavior such as pregnancy scares or past STIs make a person look less desirable? 
  • Can a woman and a man get away with having the same body count? Not necessarily -- that may cause insecurity. (Seriously, do you want your partner to flat out tell you they wished you did something someone else used to do to them in bed?)
But, don't be fooled by all of this because it's about more than a number. The truth is, it's not quite that black and white. In reflecting on the conversations I've had with friends, I was surprised to learn how many of them hadn't had that talk with past boyfriends, instead choosing to just jump into the sex which didn't always fare out too well.  I mean, the first time I was in an ongoing sexual relationship, I actually had a pretty long sit-down with the guy, even going so far as to ask all sorts of questions that in hindsight may have been overkill.

Admittedly, the conversation is a hard one and not easy to have.  And, for situations or people with whom the acts will be isolated incidents, maybe a whole formal conversation isn't worth the drama. But, asking the Test question is always smart (Have they had a test? When? What were the results?). And, of course, in cases where there is no monogamous relationship, making sure there's protection and birth control can help protect from unwanted pregnancies and STIs. 

Survey says: However, regardless of this obvious stuff, there are some things that may be fair assessments to make when it comes to the Number question in a dating relationship:
  • Body Count has nothing to do with the two of you at that moment: Regardless of the number of partners each of you had before entering the relationship, that should have no bearing on how the two of you feel about each other at that moment. The two aren't related.
  • Numbers aren't experience: The number of people a person has slept with isn't necessarily related to the amount of experience.
  • Having the talk is a smart thing to do: Sure, it's not fun. But having this unfun talk now is definitely a mature thing to do and if handled properly can avoid a lot of pain later.
  • Feelings Count: Each time you choose to escalate a dating situation into physical territory, it's an indicator that things are real. Truth is, a sexual milestone in a relationship is an important one -- it's a way to grow the bond you have. I mean, that may be old school, but the whole sex with feelings thing? Yeah, that's still in.
Choosing to reveal your number is all up to you. Ultimately, think about what you BOTH will be comfortable with and take it from there. Or, to sum up? Play it smart for you! That's always the best move, wouldn't you think?

Photo Credit: PhotoXpress


  1. I think that as we get older "the number" becomes less important and I don't even think it's necessary that we ask it. During our late teens and early 20's it seemed to always be "the conversation" but I feel like it was more out of curiousity than anything else because like you said no matter what the number is has no bearing on the current relationship. What I do think is more important are the types of relationships had and the reasons why they were all one night stands or reoccuring booty calls. That may speak to the persons ability to committ and whether or not they have walls built around their heart for whatever reason.

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