What’s Your Number?

whats your number

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, The Thirsty Thesis: A study investigating the response pattern of millennial women when questioned on their sexual history. 

samantha-jones-1024

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…).

Findings:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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”.

Limitations:

  1. 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.
  2. This study relied on self-report, which given on the sensitive subject matter may not be an accurate reflection of the proper numerical response..

Discussion:

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 marketing construction, 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.

66386704fb43efe40d2a970203f7532e.jpg
Damn – Between the Playboy and chastity belts references, this may be the most I’ve ever used my Communication Studies major in real life.

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.

Conclusion:

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.

Advertisements

Mr. Love You, Love You Not

Carrie – On the advice of my friends Pam and Sam, I’ve started to watch Jane the Virgin. 15 episodes in one day later (I’ve had a very relaxing holiday season, okay?), young Jane asks her mom “what does love feel like?”

Jane’s question inspired me to try to encapsulate my answers in a blog post. So also on strongly-worded suggestions from Pam and Sam, I’ve decided to finally write this blog that I’ve been putting off: the “I’m finally in a relationship again and I’m not sure if I’m in love” post.

2fd701a0-b9fe-0132-46b2-0e9062a7590a

There are definitely benefits to being in a serious relationship again and more importantly, committing to someone you really care about. I’ve got a cute, beardy, genuinely nice guy from small-town Manitoba (SO not 6ix) who not only texts me back but calls me first; someone who has got his shit together; moreso than me, with a job, car, and no insane amounts of debt (thanks #lawschool). Bonus: he’s got two eyebrows! (see Mr. Unibrow). He is quick-witted; he remembers minute details like when I randomly told him I hated the taste of Dasani water and weeks later, he grabbed me an Aquafina bottle at the gas station; and my brain’s dopamine levels probably go off the charts when I see him calling my phone. It’s for sure the most mature relationship I’ve been in, with someone who is willing to talk about our issues, own up, and apologize (cause he’s the one who’s always wrong).

But sometimes I have nagging single-girl tendencies that come creeping up from the depths of my subconscious.

  • For example, gone are the days of the stints of dry spells; I have a consistent sex-source. (But also my only sex source.)
  • No longer do I have to worry about finding someone who’s down to Netflix with me on a Friday night in the -30 weather when I don’t feel like going out, I’ve got a go-to cuddle buddy. (But sometimes I miss regaling my girlfriends with stories of the latest fuckbois over brunch.)

I’m not sure what I was waiting for. I mean that in two ways. Firstly, I don’t know why I made such a big deal of holding out for my tenth kill. In fact, it was putting myself out there back on the Tinder grind full-throttle led me to Mr. LY/LYN. And now, with the thought of being tied down again, I wonder if I did myself a disservice to not have “lived” a little more while I’m still in my prime (I am convinced I peaked in fourth year).

But secondly, and maybe more curiously, I mean holding off this blog post. Is it my need to have the holistic picture after the end of relationships to be able to write about it? Is it my fear of publicizing my rejection online if/when things inevitably come to an end? Is it my perpetual mode to be cynical?

So here is my attempt to Be Brave and write about the thing that scares me the most: have I fallen in love again?

giphy

“What does love feel like? How do you know for sure you’re in love?”

While Jane’s mother responds, “it sort of feels like your heart is glowing,” I find this very unhelpful in terms of practical assessment. If I were writing on the show, I would say there should be:

Continue reading “Mr. Love You, Love You Not”

Internal Affairs: Mr. Man

This is a post about nothing. Well, not nothing per say, but it’s pretty much a nothing that I hope turns into a something.
Businessman_alone.jpg

 

Let’s flash back about a month or so. It’s the end of July, the dog days of summer are upon us and Samantha is feeling randy and restless.  Having been occupied text-ually (sexual/texting hybrid, copyright ME) by UK Bae and Senor San Fran for the majority of June, I hadn’t been on the hunt for a summer fling like I normally would be. But by July I’d shed myself of the international baggage and was open to something new and a little more local.

Cue Mr. Man, as he can only be described, because that is exactly what he is…a man. In particular, a 6″4, good looking, snappy dressing, EXECUTIVE IN MY OFFICE, 41 year old man…I’m in trouble.

It all started at an office karaoke night when I walked up to Mr. Man standing with my friend Adam and he offered to buy me a drink. Adam thought he was hitting on me and quickly made himself scarce. Truthfully, the drinks were $3 and I think he was just being friendly, but we chatted briefly until the convo lost steam and then parted ways. Innocuous enough.

The next night I attended another work friend’s 40th birthday party, because I’m seeeewww matoor with my many older friends. I show up and see a couple familiar faces, including Mr. Man’s. I didn’t think anything of the night prior but then he came up to chat to me, then again and then a third time…until all of a sudden he was ready to leave. In classic Samantha style I had just taken a huge bite of a caprese salad (which was really just cheese and basil on top of a tomato) and as I bit into it the tomato juice ran all down my hand. It was at this very moment that Mr. Man came over to say goodbye. Before I could do anything he had clasped my hands between his and I could FEEL the wet, tomato-ey slime smooshed between us as he looked into my eyes and told me that he’d see me soon.  Romance amirite? There’s NO WAY he didn’t feel it and I can only imagine that my face resembled the colour of the fruit that was responsible for my shame.

The following Monday I shared the details of the tomato story with Adam, who validated that yes, I am a total embarrassment. When he asked if there was a vibe between us I said that I had totally felt a spark, but how often do karaoke work nights and friends’ 40th bdays coincide? Thinking this was likely a one off I didn’t give it much thought.

That Thursday I had organized after work drinks with some friends and ran into Mr. Man on our way out the door. He joined us for the drinks and this is where things (thankfully) progressed past tomato fingers. We talked alllllll night long and as the number of people at drinks dwindled we showed no sign of stopping. Soon enough only the two of us were left chatting comfortably at the bar. Eventually he asked “So what do you want to do?” To which I responded “Well I guess we should head home”. He replied “I meant with your life, but ya sure”. He paid our bill and we headed out, walking home in the same direction. 5 minutes down the road we passed another bar and he asked if I wanted to go in. Hell yes I did. I was squealing (internally) at the ridiculousness of the situation, feeling like the star of some over the top, cheesy romcom that ends with a steamy affair in a fancy boardroom – well, that was my hope for our ending anyway.

We spent the next two hours at the new bar enjoying ourselves and discussing everything under the sun. Honestly, if it had been a legitimate date it would’ve been one of the best I’d been on in a friggen long time. At one point he even said “I’ve asked you all my first date questions” as we’d veered FAR from work-related topics. Not once did it feel weird that there is a significant age gap between us or did he act like a condescending executive. In fact, we had a chemistry and banter that I know from going on my fair share of dates is not something you can force, it’s either there or it’s not…and boy was it was there. To me, the air felt electric and it was a very unusual and exciting feeling.

The night ended with a short lived visit to his apartment…it’s a gorgeous place with an incredible view of the city and I couldn’t believe the situation I had found myself in. As I stood nervously on his balcony looking anywhere but his eyes he asked if I wanted anything, and OMG did I ever…I couldn’t very well ask for what I actually wanted so instead I told him that I had an important meeting the following day (which I did) and as it was already past midnight we hugged goodbye and that was that. TRAGIC.

Since that night I have developed a crush in every sense of the word. We spend a ton of time together during work, sometimes playing hooky for hours at a time to “discuss my resume” (with 5 minutes dedicated to productivity and the rest reserved for shooting the shit). I even went on an almost 3 week trip to South America (see Unluck of the Irish and Mr. Laid in the Loo) but the day I got back we spent all afternoon chatting about dating and relationships. We click soooo well it’s insane and I am ridiculously attracted to him. As someone who is usually quick to jump the gun and get a guy in bed the tension is legit killing me and makes me want him 1000x more. I’ve even tried to distract myself by going out with other men but have only reaffirmed that my spark with Mr. Man feels more like lightening compared to first date static electricity.

All this being said I have a sneaking suspicion that this “thing” is going nowhere. It seems completely evident to me (and to Adam, who knows every detail of this little affair) that there is some sort of attraction here but maybe my crush is clouding my judgment. After all, I am a normal woman with a very active set of hormones, so whenever we speak rationality flies out the window and all my thoughts are replaced with “TAKE ME NOW”. Perhaps we actually have a 90% professional relationship and the cheesy romcom I referred to earlier is no more than a fictitious daydream perpetuated by workplace boredom and fifty shades fantasies…I mean, I definitely toe the line between what is appropriate and what is very much not but I doubt he’s going to cross it. Maybe it’s that I’m fifteen years younger, maybe it’s that he’s an exec and I’m far from it or maybe it’s something else entirely…whatever the reason I can’t see a scenario in which this ends with a bang instead of a bust.

End of the day I have no complaints. Despite the fact that I will probably come out of this looking like a silly little girl crushing on the handsome older man, it’s kinda fun being all consumed in this way and I haven’t actually had interest in someone for a long time. I have no idea how things will end up but the one thing I can guarantee is that I’ll be here to document it all, the good, the bad and the downright embarrasing.

You know you love me, xoxo…Samantha Jones.

Mr. Netflix and Chill Out!

Samantha – Recently, a guy that I’d met during first year at university started chatting me up on tinder. We quickly progressed to texting and Snapchat (hehe), and things were flooowwin’. The only crappy thing about him was that he lived about 30 minutes down the highway, but hey, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Though I don’t have much experience with “tinder kills” (/ˈtindər kil/ – meeting up with a match for the sole purpose of hooking up), our late-night tryst was surprisingly comfortable, and “netflix and chillin” was not nearly as awkward as I anticipated it being. I left his house feeling respected and satisfied…what more could you ask for from a random hookup?

We made plans for a week later, but just my luck, I managed to catch the flu in between our two “dates”. By the time I was supposed to head over I was not feeling all that hot – unless you count my fever. I warned him that I was still sick and that we should just reschedule, but he persisted and said to come over anyway. “Who knows”, I thought, “This could make me feel better…doesn’t fooling around usually cure headaches?” I should not go into medicine.

I made the trek over to his place and like last time, we went straight to his bed upon my arrival. Only this time I had to get up every 10 – 15 minutes to blow my nose so I could continue breathing…sexy stuff, I know. He puts on Avengers 2 and I was thinking that this would be great, I’d make some comment about how hot Chris Evans is, and after about 15 minutes we’d get to it.

But no. Maybe my intentions weren’t explicit…maybe he was really into the movie…or maybe, just maybe he shouldn’t have invited over the stuffed-up girl mouth-breathing because that shit ain’t sexy. Whatever his reason, he did not make a move the entire time, and the Avengers is over two. hours. long. Even when I’d be SUPER obvious by playing with his beard or plainly informing him it was time to put down the laptop, he did not make a move.

Sadly, here’s where things actually get weird. By the end of the movie I am so congested from lying down that I cannot function. So, when the credits began to roll and suddenly he’s ready to catch the flu, I was soooo not down. When I told him this, he proceeded to pin me to the bed, pay me some attention and beg me to stay.

Now, up until this moment he had been asking me on real dates, texting me at the end of every day and overusing the word “Darlin'”. But the second I put my foot down (both figuratively and literally off the bed) he flipped a switch and went into full asshole mode. On my way out he wouldn’t look me in the eye, say a word or hug me when I left! Legit, I went in for a hug and he kept holding onto the doorframe while I awkwardly just leaned in against his body….

Look, I realize that the whole thing must have been very confusing for him. If a girl comes over at 8 pm, watches a two and a half hour movie and then decides to leave, then yes, that is a huge tease. HOWEVER, I warned him I was sick, made some shamefully obvious moves, and tried to act like a normal human when I realized it wasn’t going to happen. So no Sir, your behaviour is not pardoned and I left that night feeling the exact opposite to how I felt the first time: disrespected and horny.

I never expected to hear from the guy again but it turns out that he is just full of surprises. I still receive texts, Facebook messages, and even the occasional Snapchat looking for a quickie. I’m not too sure how many times I will have to say I am busy for him to realize that it’s not going to work out, but at least I don’t have to pay anymore highway toll charges!