I recently watched the film ‘What’s Your Number?’ starring Anna Farris as the worried 20-something who is just about to reach her 21st sexual partner. Embarrassed by her own number, she is determined to make sure her next partner is the man who she will marry and therefore goes through all of her ex-boyfriends to try and find ‘the one’ amongst them so she doesn’t have to reach 21. Slightly farfetched, but it got me thinking: in this day and age do numbers really matter? Does it change our opinion of someone as a future partner if their number is too high or too low and is it different for girls compared to boys? I decided to investigate...
Now I know amongst my friends our numbers differ. Some of us have been in a couple of long term relationships since school and therefore have quite low numbers and others have been single most of their adult lives and therefore have higher numbers. When bringing up the topic with my gal pals they all seemed to agree that different factors affected people’s numbers (age, how many group holidays you’ve been on, etc.), but one issue that kept coming up was that it’s different for girls than it is for boys.
But do the boys think this too? I asked 4 males in their early 20s what they think a girl’s number should be, whether it would put them off a girl if her number was too high and why a guy who sleeps with a lot of people is a complete stud whereas a girl is a complete slut. Here’s what they said...
Male (21): “I think personally a girl’s number should be like 3, if they hit double figures it’d be off-putting, and I do think it’s different for a lad, you expect higher from lads”.
Male (20): “for a lass more than 10 would be off-putting for a relationship, but if it’s a one night stand, I don’t think a figure matters. Girls’ numbers aren’t as bad though if you don’t know the lads they’ve slept with, but if I knew a lass had been with a few of my mates or even 1 or 2 it’d probably bother me.”
Male (21): “If a key opens many locks it’s a good key, if a lock is opened by many keys it’s a crappy lock, that’s how most lads seem to look at it. But personally I think the lads that have slept with a lot of people will go for the type of girl who sleeps around a lot and the guys that haven’t will go for the girls that haven’t.”
Male (20): “I think a girl should be below 5 and it would put me off if it was above 10. I know it shouldn’t be different for guys but I think it definitely is. My number’s 11 so technically I’m put off by myself!”
If I’m being honest it’s what I expected to hear from the boys, they are often quite happy to have someone who’s ‘easy’ for a one night stand but for a relationship they want a saint. But is this even possible?
As our generation gets older we are marrying much later (gone are the days when you wed at 18 as a virgin and spent the rest of your lives together as a happy housewife).
If we don’t marry until we are 30 and the average age people lose their virginity is 15, then surely our numbers are bound to be higher! From talking to the boys even though they know it shouldn’t be different for the two genders, they say it is. And with boys the desired number of sexual partners a girl should have had is so low, is it even realistic anymore? Let’s face it, no-one likes to think other people have been intimate with their girlfriend or boyfriend but it is often the case.
So what now? 200 years ago women couldn’t vote, yet even now with equal rights we are still criticised when our behaviour is like that of the male species. But what does it matter!? I say us girls grab our bodycon skirts and heels, head down to Propaganda, dance until our feet hurt, drink some Jaegar-bombs and at the end of the night if you want to go back with the guy you’ve been dancing with all night then do, or if you’d rather get a McDonalds and head home with your girls then do that instead. As long as we are making safe, non-alcohol-influenced decisions then it is no-one else’s business or decision but our own!