I am expected to be amazing in bed. Able to satisfy a man with grace and ease and know my own sexuality better than I know the inside of my apartment in the dark.

and I do.

and It’s fucking awesome.

But how do you think women get good in bed?

Like anything else that I’m extremely good at (playing Mario Kart and cooking kale), it comes with practice. A lot of practice.

We’re expected to be amazing sexual partners, but pure and untouched.  This contradiction hits us in real life and is powerful enough to make any grown woman cringe. It hits us the moment sexual history is brought up for the first time in a new relationship. The thought of revealing the number of sexual partners that got us to that point of sexual prowess is scary and intimidating. Slut shaming has reached an overwhelming high and is simply a part of our culture at this point.

It’s not whether or not to lie about how many people you’ve slept with, but by how many and what story to tell that frames your number in such a way to lessen the blow.

Even sex advice god Dan Savage says that women should lie about their number of sexual partners since slut shaming has become such a problem. We judge each other so harshly and painfully that it’s not worth telling the truth if you have to face feeling degraded or dehumanized.

And woman are starting to rally around the idea that YOUR NUMBER doesn’t matter as much as it used to. Especially for single women in their 30’s it’s easier to accept that we’ve had more time on the dating scene so we will naturally have “higher numbers” than our 20 year old counterparts. We are beginning to get over the antiquated idea that the more sex we have, the lower the “value” of our sex becomes. Sex could never become less special because we are having more of it, quite the opposite actually! We start to value and crave deeper connections as we learn that hump-and-dump sex isn’t as satisfying.

But even with all of these intelligent conversations happening around me, when I’m out on date # 5, and the question comes up for the first time, I have a panic attack and lie through my teeth. And you know what they say… every time a lady lies about her #, an angel loses her vibrator.

Why the hell are we so terrified and nervous to tell the truth?

Simple. You don’t want this guy, who you really like, to think you’re a slut. Or that you’re cheap or dirty because you’ve slept with a ton of people. He might be intimidated that my number is higher than his and we’ll scare him off because he wants to be more experienced and masculine than we are. But nothing we do or say will change the reality.

Personally, It’s easy for me to say I don’t particularly care about my own number. But I have to admit, I lie. Because I don’t want the trajectory of our relationship to change based on my answer to the question “How many people have you slept with?”

So in order to start changing the conversation and avoiding these ridiculous conversations I need to get over this fear and lead with the truth. So here goes:

 I have slept with 24 people. Give or take a few BJ’s…

aaaaaaahhhhhhh…. I actually feel a lot better. Now moving on.

And I know that isn’t shockingly high (especially for a sex blogger) but I’ve had my fair share of longterm relationships and dry spells. But I still have lied about this and that sucks.

In order to feel empowered by our number and not held back or ashamed about it there are a few significant changes we need to make to the conversations we are having.

 

Stop having this conversation at the most vulnerable moment in your relationship.

Why is it that this is the first thing we ask when we start to lower our defenses. I think having this conversation is really important to a relationship. But we are having it before we really get to know each other. The number in context of a person’s life and experience is a great thing to share with each other, but on it’s own without a context, is just a social formality to test the waters on whether we are a good match. But it’s a shitty test and it needs to stop. It’s not an evaluation of trust, and it shouldn’t affect the trajectory of a potentially amazing relationship.

Get to the Point

Most people say they are having this conversation because they think it’s important to talk openly about sexually transmitted disease before getting into a more serious physical relationship. And YES, have that conversation. But take it out of the context of how many partners you’ve had and get directly to it. How did it become standard to probe into each others sexual history, but hard to ask a partner to wear a condom? That is backwards and seriously fucked up. Let’s start to make that change.

Don’t choose a man who is intimidated by the ones who came before him

If you’re concerned that your potential boyfriend might feel belittled by the fact that other men have been able to satisfy you, consider finding a more self aware dude. If a guy asks you how many partners you’ve had you should feel comfortable saying “enough so I know what I’m doing, but not so many that I think I’ve had the best.” No need for specifics, and if he pushes you, he might have some freaky baggage that you can deal with sooner rather than later.

The only conversation I want to have about how many partners I’ve/you’ve been with is after a particularly great romp, I’d like to know their names and addresses so I can go to their houses and thank them individually for whatever tricks you picked up from them and have culminated in you being an amazing lay.