What’s Your #?

What’s your number? No, not the one that makes your pocket vibrate, or startles you into consciousness with a ringtone that you bought in 2010; your NUMBER; the one that superficial, small-minded people use to determine your social worth.

Nope, not your salary.

Try again, it’s not your shoe size (besides I think science debunked THAT connection years ago…didn’t they move on to 3x your thumb? (I digress…)

It’s not your bra size, although from personal experience some people STILL place too much value on that one.

Your NUMBER. What’s your number? How many people have cracked your code? How many people have you been intimate with? More “importantly,” how many have you had SEX with?

In reality, it doesn’t matter to anyone but you. As long as your intimacy was consensual*, and as safe as you wanted/needed it to be, then who, or what is stopping you from getting out there and having your sexual fun? Why should someone be judged by how many people they’ve felt comfortable exploring sexual intimacy with? They shouldn’t. PERIOD.

Yet it happens on the daily. People throw their noses down at others (let’s face mostly at women) who’ve experienced sexual pleasure from multiple partners. Antiquated theories of virginity, and purity are still perpetuated in what should be a much more open-minded society. FFS, there is a shop at the mall that sells sweatshirts aimed at teens that scream “VIRGINITY ROCKS!!!” in bold colourful letters across them.

Does virginity rock? For some people, I guess it does. For many, it’s a socially constructed state of existence that really doesn’t matter. In the latter part of society, people make moral, and ethical choices for their physical bodies based on their own personal needs, wants, and desires. Ideally, the decisions are respected, and reciprocated.** I can’t state it enough that consent is the foundation, and pillar of importance in all aspects of any relationship, especially when intimacy is involved!!!!!!

I keep veering off track…Let’s get back to numbers!

I know people who are so caught up in numbers that upon entering a relationship, they demand statistics, and then compare themselves to their potential partner. A partner with a more decorated past is not only judged for their life choices but made to feel responsible for the judge’s personal feelings of inadequacy.

I’ve even heard of situations in which one partner has told the other that it’s impossible for them to currently be in love since they had claimed to love other people felt comfortable enough to share intimacy with other people in the past, and were obviously wrong in their thoughts since those relationships ended. How, they queried was it possible to be in love with people in the past, and have that love crash and burn? Clearly, it must have been pure lust, and the person clearly has no self-respect, or they would have waited to be with someone they were in love with.

I can’t type BULLSHIT in large enough letters!!!! Seriously! First of all, there is nothing wrong with relationships based on lust. Secondly, it’s possible to love many people in life. Thirdly, relationships change like the weather, and there is no way of possibly predicting the future! (I have more thoughts, but I hear Polonius yelling at me that “Brevity is the soul of wit” -Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2)

Numbers, numbers…infinitesimal numbers…

From a medical perspective, I can understand the purpose of having one monogamous partner for life. There is clearly less risk of STI transmission, and were an encounter to result in a child being born, it’s easier to know from whom the sperm escaped.

Monogamy has its values, and benefits, for sure. It also has potential downfalls, but I’ll save that for another blog post…

I believe I was raised to be a “Numbers Girl,” to care about how many partners I had, and how many my partners had. The lower the number, the better the quality of person they were. Again. I can’t type BULLSHIT in large enough letters!!!!!!

Personally, I never had many sexual opportunities. I had partners who wanted me to be more intimate with them than I was, but I was terrified of three things: STI’s, pregnancy, and a bad reputation.

If I could go back in time and tell my younger self what I know now, I’d tell her that condoms ARE quite effective when used properly, and that regular testing is important for sexual health. I’d tell my inner sexual being that STI’s are not the stigma that people throw upon them, most are as simple as having Strep throat, just further south on the body. Of course, some are scarier, and carry heavier consequences. That’s why condoms, honesty with your partners, and regular testing are important.

I would tell my younger self that it’s okay to explore my urges. I’m a sexual being with desires, and curiosities. I’d tell myself that pregnancy isn’t the most fearful outcome because as a person with a uterus, I have choices for my body. The may not be easy choices, or choices that are necessarily right for me, but were the need to choose in my face, I’d figure out what was best for my body, and my life.

I’d tell myself that the people who are judging me are not living in my body and they have no right to deny me the pleasure that I deserve.

All of that advice would probably have led me to better decisions, and possibly more respectful partners.

I’m frustrated that in 2023, many of my friends are still encountering a double standard that stands tale as old as time: the one that states people with penises are entitled to more experiences, and more partners, but people with vaginas are supposed to be as pure as the fallen snow.

Again with the BULLSHIT!!!!! First of all, where are all of these penises expected to poke if the vaginas are closed for business? ***

I guess all of my rambling is trying to debunk the myth of numbers actually being important in a loving relationship. What matters is the level of respect, consent, honesty and trust that people have with their intimate partners. What matters is being true to yourself.

If you’re a person who thrives on one-night-stands, make sure that you’re honest with your partners. Stay safe. Don’t be afraid of your medical professionals. No one has the right to judge you for your decisions.

If you’re a “one and only person,” make sure you are able to vocalize your needs, and desires. Communication is key to every relationship.

Most of all, treat yourself, and your partners with respect. No means no. Consent is never assumed. Stay safe…emotionally, and physically.



***NOTE: With all respect to our LGBTQ2A+ people, I do recognize the cis-gender norms that being perpetuated in these scenarios I am speaking from MY personal experiences, and do not feel appropriate assuming situations in LGBTQ2A+ relationships, although I’m sure that partners of every gender and sexual identity face very similar, if not exact situations!

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