“What’s your number?”
Seriously. How many times has a conversation about your number come up? We all know the number I’m talking about. The number of people you’ve gone to pound town with.
Beyond the fact that there are a multitude of complications and ambiguities that go along with the whole “what’s your number?” question, let’s just start by addressing my real problem with putting a number on it. The problem is that it’s a lose-lose situation. If it’s too low you’re a prude with a stick up your ass, and if it’s too high you’re a slut with a dick up your ass. And trust me, it will always be either too low or too high by someone’s standards.
You see, I personally think my number is pretty average. But when I listen to my housemates talk about numbers, it hits me that I’m the group whore. Then again, I’m also the Virgin Fucking Mary in comparison to the friends I rage hardest with. Now right about here is where I should probably let you know that I don’t share my number—not even via an anonymous column. Because guess what? My number is none of your damn business.
In fact, there is exactly one person in the entire world who knows what my number is—my best friend, Raina. But herein lies the second problem with putting a number on it. Yes, we technically know each other’s numbers, but the numbers themselves are up for debate.
Raina and I have this agreement. We’re each allowed one fuck-up. You know what I’m talking about; the coyote ugly guy that no one in their right mind would ever go home with, but then you had 5 too many tequila shots and next thing you know you’re realizing the guy in bed next to you is so ugly/weird/creepy/shady/sus that there is no fucking way in hell you are counting this. Since Raina’s fuck-up happened to be of the salmon shorts and bow tie wearing variety, I agree, that shit never happened. But the ambiguity of the number doesn’t arise solely out of pacts with your best friend.
What actually counts as adding to your number? What if it was just the tip? I mean, if there was no full on penetration then it wasn’t sex. What if it was just a couple pumps? That’s not really sex either, and if I’m forced to count that, well then it was also the worst lay on my list. What if neither of us finishes? Really, is it still sex if someone had whisky dick? My point is this: everyone’s standards for what counts are completely different and without uniform standards putting a number on it becomes pointless.
Even if there were uniform standards, people will interpret your number in the way they want to. Have you ever heard a guy explain that to get a girl’s real number you have to take the number she gives you and multiply it by three? I have. Multiple times. It doesn’t matter if you’re being honest about your number, people will think what they want to. Trust me, the fact that I refuse to share my number seems to leave most with the impression it is unspeakably high. And that is because it doesn’t matter what your number actually is, what you say it is, or what you wish it was. Putting a number on it and then sharing that number accomplishes nothing.
So I say stop putting a number on it. Sure, keep track for yourself and tell your best friends. Hell, rehash how terrible #7 was and how great #11 was at going down over drunk brunch. But stop propagating the “what’s your number?” game. It is a question predicated upon the desire to judge. You only want to know other people’s numbers so you can know how you measure up, but maybe we should all just stop caring. Your sex life is exactly that—yours. No one but you knows how many people you’ve banged, who you banged, or why you banged, so sharing that arbitrary number is meaningless in every way. The only thing the “what’s your number?” question accomplishes is creating awkwardness and discomfort for everyone involved.