Sex is a strange part of the human experience. It’s extremely pleasurable and a very natural thing, but we treat it like a chore, a heist, or a top secret spy mission. Take, for instance, the subject of today’s chart:
This chart isn’t backed by any real statistics, just anecdotal evidence. Actual studies vary, showing anything between six and ten as the average number of partners that either gender reports (U.S.). The problem with most of these studies is that, well, they are self reported. People could be lying. People almost certainly aren’t telling the “whole truth”. I haven’t found any good, reliable studies that show the disparity between what people say and what the truth actually is, but very few people that I know will readily admit to the actual number. What studies tend to agree on are our reasons for lying. Dudes tend to lie about the partner number to boast. They make it sound like they’ve had more than they have. There’s also a stigma against guys for being virgins. If you’re a virgin, you’re a pussy or not a real man (at best). It’s the opposite for women, where the stigma is in favor of virgins – or that if you have ever done it, you’re a skank (also at best). As such, women tend to lie to seem less promiscuous. I think anyone that’s looked around lately knows that these views have been rapidly changing, but that’s for another time.
My (completely unscientific) findings are that men seem to say they’ve had significantly more sexual partners than they actually have had until they reach a level they find socially acceptable. If they bang past that amount, they either downplay that number to seem “like a nice guy” or boost it to be a “lady’s man”. Women, however, tend not to actually give a number (good choice, by the way), but rather use misleading euphemisms that imply low numbers, such as “a few” or “not that many”. Either is a pretty shitty way to be if the number really matters to your partner. If not, it’s probably better to spare their feelings.
We also have differences in what we consider to “count” – kind of like that moment in Clerks*. If you only had oral with someone, are they on the list? What if it was just a handy? If you don’t think that anal counts, then you’re retarded. It counts double.
I have personally lied about my total number of sexual partners before for both reasons. Looking back on it, it’s quite foolish. That being said, the subject is still very uncomfortable for me. I’ve definitely pumped the number up in my youth, which was clearly stupid. I’ve had ladies ask me more recently and I’ve low-balled it pretty hard. “Ah, you know. Just a couple.” This has usually been a mistake, though it was once taken as charming. Hell, I’ve even hooked up with a girl from a hook-up site and lied about it. She asked if I’d hooked up with anyone from the site yet (I had), and I was all like, “Ah… nah, not yet. Just not anyone I was really interested in until you.” I felt like a total douche as the words were coming out of my mouth.
That being said, the correct answer is, “Three”. Or just tell the truth. Or, better yet, don’t-ask-don’t-tell that shit. You don’t really want to know and neither do they. As long as you’re both free of STDs and are cool with each other, it don’t fuckin’ matter.
tl;dr – You lie about how many sexual partners you’ve had and so have I. Just stop talking about it.
*Try not to suck any dicks on your way to the parking lot!