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20 Women Open Up About Their "Number"

May 05, 2015 5 min read

Sexual record keeping (or lack thereof) seems to vary a great deal. Read on to see what 20 women have to say about their numbers.

1. “I wouldn’t say that I keep count, necessarily, but I can remember every guy I’ve slept with, where we were, if he got the job done, if we were sober, etc. I’ve never been particularly promiscuous, but I like sex…a lot…so I don’t use the number. If I’m happy with what I’m doing and safe then the number shouldn’t matter.”

2. “Not only do I count, and I also keep separate lists for people I’ve had sex with, versus people I gave head to, made out with once at a party, etc.”

3. “I like the Pat Benatar method, a.k.a., notches on my lipstick case. Seriously – it’s perfect. In general, I like the idea of keeping track of my number, not because I want to ‘limit’ myself, but because every single one of those notches is a story for me. Sex is fun (or at least it should be if you’re doing it right) and I like that when I look at my lipstick case I’m reminded of that.”

4.”Number was more important when I’d only ever been with one person. I was naive and thought that you were somehow closer to your partner if you had both only experienced each other. After having more sexual partners through the years, I find that those experiences in no way impacted my relationship with my current boyfriend. I mostly haven’t kept count because I’ve had all different types of sexual experiences. As long as you’re safe and enjoying yourself, number seems irrelevant.”

5. “I actually keep a handwritten list. In addition to names, I’ll sometimes write a note about the best part, or if they taught me anything new. Number 14 was an asshole, but he was the first person to go down on me and finger me. How did it take me 14 guys to find one who’d do that?Things like that are worth writing down.”

6. “I lived abroad for a long time and slept with somewhere between 15 and 20 guys, which is about the time I stopped keeping track. I was safe for the most part, got tested regularly and had no regrets about it. I’ve had sex in 4 of 5 Romance languages and I honestly don’t think I could spell all their names for a list.”

7. “Everyone I’ve slept with matters, but it’s not a big deal how many people I sleep with. I don’t like everyone I’ve slept with but they were all important experiences to me. I keep count in that I want to have all their numbers in case I need to backslide.”

8. “I count, but I would never say no to someone I really wanted to fuck because of a number. If I’m single for the next ten years, and I sleep with five men per year because I think there’s relationship potential, my number’s bound to add up. And I’m not going hold myself accountable for that. I’m not a slut, I’m just trying to date.”

9. “Honestly, I have a range. I know I’m somewhere in the 20s and I don’t particularly care if I cross the threshold to 30. I probably wouldn’t even notice and that’s the way it should be.”

10. “I only count the boyfriends. I’ve tried to count the ones who I had flings with, or the ones who only lasted a few nights, but it ends up frustrating me and I don’t need to put myself through that.”

11. "I keep a list and have never felt good about it. I was uncomfortable with my number when it was 2, when it was 5 and I still feel shitty about my number even though 14 is perfectly normal for a 25-year-old. When a man my age has slept with 14 people, that’s considered ‘normal’ or ‘not enough pussy,’ and yet I’m made to feel awful about it.”

12. “When I hook up with someone, we typically exchange numbers. Then I mark the contact specifically in my phone if we have sex, and that’s how I keep track. On my phone, each of the men I’ve had sex with have a semi-colon at the end of their last name. It looks like an innocent typo and I’m the only one who knows what it means.”

13. “I used to count but then I went through a promiscuous stage. I guess, yeah, I want to keep track and know the specific people for some reason, even the regrettable ones. It’s like they have a part of me.”

14. “The best and worst part about being 29 and single, is that you’ve fucked a lot of guys at this point. Or women, or both if that’s your preference. I don’t count, I don’t always try to remember names. Some people I really do just want to forget. And while I really hope they didn’t give me anything, if they did, how will tracking them down help chlamydia anymore than an antibiotic?”

15. “I hate to admit this, but I always answer “7” when men ask how many people I’ve been with. It hasn’t been true for a while, but I constantly feel like it’s not fair for me to have to answer for the people I’ve slept with, when he probably slept with 7 women during his first year of college.”

16. “The only person I’ve ever not counted is my one experience with a micro penis because there’s no way that counted as sex.”

17. “I count people I have sex with, but not necessarily on purpose. I just find it hard not to. The number doesn’t actually matter but the people do. I can picture certain moments with each of them that I just can’t shake.”

18. “I keep a mental tally. It helps me sort through the ‘never agains’ and ‘the ones that got away’. My 15 all had their ups and downs.”

19. “Sometime in college I wrote down everyone I could ever remember kissing on my iPhone— I thought it would be funny to have a list I could reference and add back to. Then I just added asterisks next to the ones I slept with. That’s my system: Write down all the hook-ups, with an asterisks noting whether we slept together. It’s pretty damn official.”

20. “Yes, I’ve counted, but if I said I can only sleep with X number of people by the time I’m X age, it may have stopped me from meeting the right one. I’m not saying you gotta sleep with a lot of wrong ones before you meet the right one, but it really makes me appreciate my current boyfriend and our emotional and physical connection. We joke thank God I met him at 30, not 20 because we both got that sexual curiosity out of the way. We watch people we know in their 30s openly cheat on women they’ve been with for years. I don’t count men as some sort of trophy list, but I’m really happy with my number.”

I don't keep an official count, but I do know my number and echo many women here in saying that they have all been important experiences. Tell us your thoughts. Do you have a meticulously detailed ledger or have you lost count? Do you have a max number in mind? Are you afraid to cross it? Please share with us, we'd love to hear from you.

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