Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Magic Number

At some point in any new relationship, the most awkward of questions inevitably comes up. No, it's not "Will you pee on me?" (shout out to Kels!) or the classic "What are we doing?" (If you have to ask...). It's a question far worse, a question that has the potential to turn a solid, new relationship into a shaky one. That question is... "How many people have you slept with?" Damn! THE question! The question that, for some, is a defining point in their relationship.

There's only one problem, though: It seems like nobody ever tells the truth. As a man, I can say that it may be easier for us to admit to the truth due to "the double standard," but even men lie about their numbers in some instances to make the number more acceptable to the woman they're dating. A man that has slept with over 50 women may be a little reluctant to tell the truth to a woman who he considers his potential wife. That number may be trimmed down to 20 to 25. On the flipside, a man that hasn't had much experience with women and may have only had 3 or 4 partners may inflate that number to around 10 so that the woman he's dating won't think that he's a lame in the bedroom.

Even still, for men, more sexual partners means more sexual prowess and is more accepted in our society than it is for women...

Which explains why women are more reluctant to enter into sexual episodes than men. The weight that comes with "the number" is 100x heavier for women. They wear it like the Scarlett Letter. So fellas don't get mad when you try to spit game and she tells you to get the hell on! Either she's really not interested or she's testing you to make sure that you're worth potentially getting added to that unkind list. There is, after all, a reputation factor to consider. When that rep is damaged, it will be harder for her to find a man willing to marry her.

While women may be more willing to accept a man's sexual past on the way to marriage, you will find few men willing to marry a woman that has had an extremely large number of partners, as unfair as that may be.

I've had this honest conversation with females and most concur that they usually lie to some degree. There's a very complex system for some women that determines which ones counted and which didn't. This process of denial includes such things as not including guys who didn't last long, who were assholes, who were too small, one-night stands etc. Before you know it 50% of their past never happened; but should it matter? Should a new relationship be based on skewed numbers? Should it be a don't ask, don't tell thing?

Though I am a staunch protestor of dating Karrinne Steffans I personally think that playing Sudoku to help determine who you should be with isn't a good look. If you are confident that past behavior is past behavior you shouldn't let a number keep you from a good thing. I mean go get tested first, but after that, you shouldn't let a number keep you from a good thing. To quote the great philospher Cliffor "Tip" Harris:

"I've been told every nigga in the streets know she nothin' but a freak ho/when I look in her pretty eyes I don't see it though/Now she done showed me some things that I ain't seen before/but what we do behind closed doors is for me to know/...I done wasted plenty time contemplating, second-guessing, procrastinating, I'm gonna buy a ring and pop the question..."

F*** Shakespeare!


jermel said...

First off let me say, "Freak Though" is one of my favorite T.I. songs. But personally, I've never specifically asked "How many?". I've asked about past boyfriends and I've asked about homeboys and whether or not anything happened between them in the past. To me those questions are more important than the number of guys she's been with. I think what most guys fear about the number is being seen witht their woman out in public, and having some guy looking at him with a smirk like, "Yeah, I've had that before." (described in Brian McKnight's "Used to be My Girl") But if you enjoy your woman and she enjoys you, there's no reason to get caught up in numbers.

Anonymous said...

I've never been asked "How Many" which is good, because I stopped counting - if I ever really did count - in high school. But I usually offer the truth, which is I don't remember. Most women have not been completely comfortable with my saying, "I don't know," but what can they really say?! If a dude don't know, he don't know.

Plus if most women are honest with themselves about their fellow females and the state of the black male to black female ratio, it is completely understandable that certain dudes might be sexually active enough where they don't remember how many women they've been with. Go ahead and keep waiting for that "perfect" dude who has only been with "the right number" of women if you want to, and you will likely continue to be what you probably already are: SINGLE!

On the flip side, I've never been with a woman who has admitted to having a lot of partners. I really don't know how I'd respond if she did. But the double standard is real. Very real. There have been chicks that I was considering (even if only mildly) being in relationships with that agreed to sex too easily and too early that led me to believe I wasn't the first person that they've "entertained" so easily. And therefore, they were no longer eligible to be my Mrs. It might not be right, but it is what it is.

Ebonne said...

Very good post... and a very touchy topic.

i dont feel the amount of partners you have shouldnt dictate the future of a relationship at all, and feel a person shouldnt ask if they cant handle the truth no matter what it may be.

you were so right about the point of women shedding their numbers... I so dont count the person that took my virginity because i honestly dont even think they made it in... yeah he was that small... so I count the second guy...

brandon said...

Damn Ebonne... dude was that bad? Honestly, I'd wanna know if I was so bad that I didn't even count. Like I wouldn't even be mad that you told me it was terrible. Otherwise, I'd be "the loser dude with the small penis that thinks he did somethin."