What’s Your Number?

And no I don’t mean your phone number. I’m referring to quite a different number.

This is a topic that may be controversial for some, but has been on my mind since a conversation I had with a friend earlier. If you’re the type to get offended, click away. Or read my last post about the Katy Perry concert. There’s a lot of pink there and not a lot of controversy.

We live in an age of freedom. We’re not bound by the antiquated restraints of society, which considered sex to be taboo and never to be discussed. In the old days, you got married and that was your partner for the rest of your life. Now that personal choice dominates, marriage isn’t a goal for everyone. The concept of having one sexual partner has died out and, with this freedom has come indulgence. You’re not stuck with one serving, you can go back for seconds or as many plates as you want. With delicious free reign over your life, how much is too much?

How many partners is too many? Does the concept of “too many” actually exist? Would a person’s number of of past sexual partners affect whether you’d continue to pursue them? Will it affect your opinion of them?

I’ve got all these questions, and no one to answer them. The generic answer I usually get is “Men and women can live their lives however they want, whether they want to have sex with five people or fifty.” And for the most part, I completely agree. As long as you’re completely satisfied with the choice(s) you’re making, then no one else has any right to judge. But if you critically question yourself, without fearing judgement or accusations, how do you really feel knowing that your significant other has been intimate with 50 other people before you?

For me, that number would trigger vulnerabilities. If he’s been with 30 other girls, what’s to say he won’t want another 30 after he’s done with me? Are his feelings real or am I another notch in the bedpost? Should I get a penicillin shot?! (That was a joke. Mostly.) That being said, someone’s number wouldn’t be a deal-breaker by any means. I wouldn’t let someone’s past affect whether or not we could have a future, but I may behave more cautiously because of it.

I don’t believe that sex and love are mutually exclusive. One can exist without the other, with varying levels of success. Love without sex is challenging in the frustrations that manifest from it, while sex without love can feel meaningless and empty. Neither are effective approaches to long-lasting relationships.

If you’re looking for a serious relationship, I wouldn’t suggest meeting people through one-night-stands. Take the time to get to know and respect one another before you become intimate. The most you’ve got to lose are the people who were never interested in you from the start.

And remember that too much of anything, no matter how good it is, can still make you sick. (Couldn’t resist a good STD joke.)

– S.

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