Carrie – Hey, it’s me. Someone you don’t know and someone you probably will never know. The only reason why I’m aware we’re connected in this universe is because we were both intimate with someone who once meant a lot to me. I just have so many questions for you though and the unknown has been bothering me.
So you just started seeing him – my ex. I imagine you met on Tinder cause he never goes out or does anything social, including interact with humans.
A couple of weeks ago my roommate and I were involved in our favourite Sunday ritual: rom-coms, Uber Eats and vegetating on the couch. We’ve passed many a weekend watching Cameron Diaz in “The Sweetest Thing”, Cameron Diaz in “The Holiday”, Cameron Diaz in “The Other Woman”…you get the idea, she plays ‘hard-ass looking for love’ quite well. Anyway, on this particular Sunday we flipped on “What’s Your Number”, a silly story about Anna Farris’ character tracking down her 20 ex-ual partners (Trademark: Samantha Jones) to see if any of them are worth a second shot. Why, you ask? Well, thanks to trashy magazines designed to make women feel miserable, her character learns that the average number of partners a woman has in her lifetime is 8, and anyone over 20 is deemed “unmarriable”- a category that she finds herself in right before her younger sister’s wedding….yikes on bikes.
Now, my roomie and I are usually quite talkative during our slothy Sundays, constantly interjecting to discuss drama from the previous night or to comment on the latest pic of avo toast on Instagram….but as we watched a VERY skinny Anna flirt with a VERY gorgeous Chris Evans, we were both oddly quiet. About half an hour into the movie I looked at her and awkwardly said: “Doesn’t 8 feel kind of low?” To my relief she immediately agreed, having been wondering the exact same thing.
This got us thinking…is 8 really the average? It felt kind of low to us but honestly, we’ve been known to be a wild pair so maybe we were the outliers? Thus, we set out on a noble quest for the sake of all womankind: conduct an experiment to determine what today’s average truly is (amongst our friends at least).
So, once again I don my scientist lab coat and present to you, TheThirsty Thesis: A study investigating the response pattern of millennial women when questioned on their sexual history.
Thesis: The average number of sexual partners a woman has in her life is greater that 8, contrary to that reported in “What’s Your Number”.
Method: We sourced voluntary responses from 19 of our friends to determine statistically significant results (Funny, had we gotten one more participant our list would’ve been deemed unmarriable…).
The mean was 20, however, the median and mode were both 14. For those of you forgetting statistics, the mean is the average, median is the middle number and the mode is the most frequently reported number.
These data points show that we had a high degree of variability in our results, with a couple numbers largely skewing the data. Removing the bottom and top 2 outliers to adjust for this variance (I told you I’m a scientist), the more accurate average amongst us was 15 sexual partners.
If the girl’s unsure, don’t listen to her. EVERY TIME someone was unsure of her number and reported two potential responses, she’d end up realizing the higher number was true when pushed to confirm.
In my expert opinion, this highlights a subconscious pressure amongst women to keep their number low, as no one actively admitted to misrepresenting themselves for any reason other than failure to recall.
Three participants asked for clarification on what actually counted, providing further support for the hypothesis that women will try to lower their number wherever possible.
The difference between the highest and lowest number reported was 78 people.
For those of you gasping, don’t…this was a significant outlier and honestly…to each their own. See ‘Discussion’ below for further details on “slut-shaming”.
When the numbers seemed too low, I polled more sexually promiscuous friends of mine…sue me, I was 3rd highest on the list until 90% of the polling was complete.
This study relied on self-report, which given on the sensitive subject matter may not be an accurate reflection of the proper numerical response..
If you’re a sexually active woman in 2018, the topic of your number is definitely something you’ve thought about at least once (in the last week). Post after post on DTT6 highlights our sexual exploits, with some referring to the count explicitly (Sorry Carrie, there’s no such thing as a 10 a & 10 b 😉 ) and others shying away from posting about every tantalizing tale (myself being one of the biggest perpetrators here). Come to think of it, I’ve actually even added a notch to my metaphorical bedpost since conducting this study…
Nonetheless, whether you report a 2 or a 20, there seems to be a connotation attached to the number of partners you have as somehow reflecting of the kind of person that you are. In my mind, this is completely absurd and totally problematic. The “2”, who may be cautious with her heart or just had multiple long term relationships, is no better or no worse than the “20”, who may be focused on her career or just hasn’t met the right guy to settle down with. When you’re perpetually single and want to have a lot of sex you end up sleeping with a lot of people, it’s just the reality of the situation.
And honestly, the very idea that a woman is somehow deemed “unmarriable” because she surpassed an arbitrary number picked to be “normal” is both archaic and downright offensive. The tagline for this very movie perfectly points out the root of the problem: Women subtract, men add. This common-held conception posits that men can have as many partners as they want and this is acceptable, but women should remain pure for their husbands. Though pre-dating the 1950’s, this ideal really took off when Hugh Hefner (RIP) brought to life the modern ‘Bachelor’ with the introduction of Playboy. Keep in mind, this was a marketingconstruction, built to sell magazines and a lifestyle to sad consumers who needed an outlet from their painfully repressed suburban lives.
Sidenote: If you don’t know the history behind Playboy, Penthouse & Bachelor pads, you totally should read on up…it’s beyond fascinating and such an interesting outcome from that time period. I’d suggest “The answer to suburbia: Playboy’s urban lifestyle.” Fraterrigo, Elizabeth. (2008). Journal of Urban History 34 (5): 747-774. It’s accessible online AND YES THAT IS A PROPER MLA CITATION THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
But I digress…Despite Hef’s genius marketing strategy, there really shouldn’t be differences in the way that men and women are perceived for the sexual choices that they make. I’m not naive to think that we can fully disrupt these norms, but we all biologically have hormones, so I refuse to support an antiquated ideal that forced women to wear CHASTITY BELTS to contain their sexual urges. Women want it just as men do and this is not blasphemous by any means.
I am not saying that there isn’t a point in time where being sexually frivolous can be unfair to your partner and to yourself, especially if you aren’t taking necessary precautions. However, I truly believe that as long as you are being safe, respectful and doing your thing for the right reasons, you should feel empowered to sow your seeds in whatever field you’d like (Farming euphemism for the win!). To me this means owning your choices and making them because you want to, not because they may perceived one way or another by someone else.
End of the day I still enjoyed parts of this movie – particularly Chris Pratt as Disgusting Donald and Andy Samberg as the sexually-perverse puppeteer – but I CANNOT STAND the ending message. Anna ends up with Chris Evans’ character, finally accepting that she can cross 20 partners and still get married, only to find out that she didn’t actually sleep with one of the guys and Evans is her 20th partner, putting her in the marriage range….wow, progressive AF you guys. One small step for feminism, followed by one subsequent face-plant into gender normativity.
Forget everything this study has taught you. While it was fun to do and actually quite informative, the lesson here that is way more important than knowing how you compare to an average of your peers. It’s about realizing that the number of partners you have does not determine your self-worth. It is the choices you make that define who you are. Now that’s a tagline I can get behind.
Carrie – For the past nine months, I have withheld my re-born again virginity from potential suitors in hopes that the next guy that I slept with would amount to something more. Not necessarily as in a boyfriend and not even necessarily more than one night (although ideal) – I’m talking about someone that I felt a connection with.
What was this weird self-imposed pressure to make it meaningful? Well, you see, the next guy I would sleep with would be my tenth. For someone who lost her virginity to someone she loved for five years after, I hadn’t ever envisioned myself having sex with more than one partner, much less eight others after that. Sex should be something more than lust, right? I started losing what sex had meant to me so I became infactuated with this idea that hitting double digits – the big 10 – should be something. Maybe 10 would even be my next One + Nothing (1 + 0) because everyone else before that didn’t really mean much.
Yet alas, the spell has been broken…
10(a) : Mr. High School Musical
Upon heading back into the cesspool that is Ottawa from my May abroad, I felt hopeful my first few days of June. “Summer is the best season in Ottawa,” everyone boasted. With a best friend from the 6ix moving in with me for the summer and a good drinking crew, I was looking forward to Canada’s 150th anniversary in the capital.
If you’ve read any of my posts from last week it should be pretty clear that there is quite a bit going on in my life outside of this blog. Between losing my best guy friend and some other stuff I’ve alluded to, I was STRESSED AF and needed to blow off some steam. Clearly my drunk brain thought so too, because at 4 am last Saturday I made a date with this guy I’d been talking to on tinder. Now, when I say talking to, I really mean that I made a date with a guy I’d sent 3 flirty messages to, AKA I knew zilch about him.
The next morning I was not in the mood to date this guy that I had no read on…I mean, he suggested meeting smack dab in the middle of the Superbowl….What the hell was I getting myself into? The main reason I’d answered in the first place was because had a very nice bod, so planning to *HUHH (definition at bottom) would probably have been a better play….you know, use tinder for its real purpose. A date this blind felt as if I was heading to the Superbowl with no stats on the other team, a blunder not even the most amateur of players often make. But as I was heading to Rachel Green‘s to watch the game anyway, I begrudgingly prepped for the date cursing my drunk/horny self.
The game begins and Rachel and I get down to business stuffing our facing with sushi, yelling at the TV and attempting to hype me up for this ‘blind-to-his-personality’ date. We were having so much fun that I was really tempted to bail, but as the first quarter ended it was time for me to go. With nerves in my stomach reminiscent of pre-game jitters, I met him outside the bar and was greeted with a huge kiss on the cheek. He grabbed my hand and said “Come with me” explaining that he lives above the bar and wanted to make a drink instead of buying one. I quickly did the lightening speed calculation in my head and realized 1) he’s as cute as his profile, 2) he seems sane enough , and most importantly 3) he clearly just wants a bang. Everything added up in my mind, so I texted his address to Rachel with one hand as he led me upstairs holding the other.
We get to his place, which was pretty damn nice, and settle onto the couch with gin and tonics in hand. I find out he’s a professional poker player, does krav maga and is all about #GoodVibez. When I asked him why he wasn’t watching the Superbowl, he said he was more interested in getting to know me (TRANSLATION: more interested in getting laid) and ten minutes into the convo, he made a hail mary pass at undoing my bra. I admit, everything was moving pretty fast, but as I was just looking to get it in anyway I didn’t mind. To put it into football terms, this guy’s plays were very effective and he was soon in scoring position.
I won’t go into details but if sex is like a football game then this guy was def Rookie of the Year. Not quite MVP level just yet but very, very good with tons of potential. Our half time show was just as good as Gaga’s and he definitely kept me entertained until he was ready to “play the second half”. He was pretty rough (in a good way) and after both reaching the end zone multiple times, we lay in bed basking in the glow only experienced after surprisingly great sex. I got up about ten minutes later…pillow talk has never been my thing, especially with a stranger…and decided it was time to head out.
As I left we agreed to message each other again if the mood struck, but it wouldn’t be a big deal to never hear from the other again. I grabbed my stuff, got dressed and headed out with a kiss goodbye. Unlike the Pats and Falcons, neither left the game disappointed.
I stepped back out into the cold, winter night, cheeks flushed and a huge smile on my face… Nothing like getting off to get rid of some stress. I headed back to my gal Green who opened the door to her apartment shaking her head in disbelief. The entire tryst lasted about an hour and a half and I was back on her couch in time to catch the end of what turned out to be an extremely exciting game. We unpacked the details of my adventure as the clock wound down and I headed home soon after, smile still on my face.
You know, I look forward to the Superbowl every year. Who doesn’t love an excuse to drink with friends, eat too much, and watch the gloriously gorgeous Tom Brady prove he is truly the #GOAT. This year did not disappoint, and despite being left a little bruised (I did say he was pretty rough), I am really looking forward to whatever Superbowl LII has to offer next year.
*HUHH Definition: Hook up and head home…The quintessential tinder kill. Meet up with the conquest, have (hopefully great) sex, say goodbye and move on with your day.