Under the covers: “Getting the digits right”

We’ve got a secret surprise hiding under our covers this year. The Hatchet will bring you an anonymous columnists, Delilah, to report on sex at GW.

Editor’s note: Names have been changed to protect the naughty.

As a foxy 20-something, I have a lot of numbers to keep track of. Like the number of credits to complete my major, the number of days I hit the gym, the number of days left until my birthday, the ridiculous number of clothes in my closet and the number of drinks it took to get up on the table and dance to Akon.

There are also a few numbers I don’t care much for like the number of orders I’ve made to DCSnacks in the past week or the number on my bank statement at the end of the month. Besides the routine numbers that sometimes run my life, there’s a bigger number that seems to be on the minds of my friends, a few curious scientists and myself. No, its not the number of drinks someone has had in a week or how many times someone bums off their roommate’s bong. It’s the number of people that have been between our thighs and that we’ve shared more than a pillow with.

According to an old issue of Glamour that was lying on my coffee table, the average number of sexual partners for a woman is nine and for men is 10.7. I’m not exactly sure what science is trying to communicate to the world with this statistic but I do know that this naughty number seems to be anxiously tracked and analyzed over and over again by many of my girlfriends.

Take my friend Classy for example. Classy likes to feel and act just like her name implies, and she insists on sleeping with 10 men or less before she meets Mr. Classy.

“My rule is that I shouldn’t be able to count my sex partners on more than two hands by the time I get hitched,” she said.

I’m not exactly sure how she conjured up her own Big Ten Conference of sex partners but she explained, “I don’t want to have to fess up to my husband about a whole village of men I slept with when I was in college.” My other friend Pearls seems to also be worried about her number, but unlike Classy, one worries one is an awfully lonely number for being a 20-something. Pearls has been dating Blue Jeans for two years now and Blue Jeans is the only pair of pants Pearls has slipped on.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love Blue Jeans, but sometimes I just wonder if I’m missing out because I’ve only been with Blue Jeans, sometimes I feel like I should have slept with more men by now.”

Much like my friends, I used to be pretty geeked out about sex and the numbers game, like it was this all-important, tell-all description of who I was. I even remember walking across the stage at my high school graduation and looking out onto the crowd of people and wondering if any of them could tell that I lost my v-card two weeks prior. As I have gotten older and have had more partners, relationships and flings I realized that summing up my sex life as a number is just something I cannot do. To me, thinking about my sex life as a number is like reducing it to a row of dildos in a porn store, just a bunch of erect penises that all happened to have taken one or more trips to Delilah-town.

I prefer to think of my past sex partners in much more individual and detailed terms because one sexual partner is not always equal to the other. Some of my partners counted for a lot more than others in the total sum of my sex life. I could never compare that hookup I hardly remember to sex with my old hero Hercules, a man I really loved and could never forget. Nor could I compare Hercules to the kinky sex of “Dr. Pepper” a chain-smoking bearded poet who I used to tie to my bed with stereo cords. Aside from old heroes and mild S&M, sex, lust, attraction and relationships are too complicated to quantify.

I think sometimes we tend to fixate on numbers because it makes easier for us to judge our actions and, and more often, others’ actions. It’s certainly not fair to call a fine lady a whore and a poor excuse for a man a stud based upon a number. What is more important is that you follow what works for you. Besides, when I’m 70 I don’t think I’ll care if I’ve slept with 30, 40 or 50 people, what I will care about is that I took some chances, did my own thing and most of all didn’t give a damn.

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