In the wake of a downpour of highly publicized slut-shaming news these past few months, from the Republican “legitimate rape” debacle to a wailing, scandalized public calling for Kristen Stewart’s succubus head on a post after an affair, the hits just keep coming to our collective maidenly honour. Really, this is hardly news. The treatment of female sexuality as a plague with the potential to destroy the world didn’t simply fall victim to the feminist movement and fade away. If anything, the notion that it is OK to call women slimy whores for having sex seems to be experiencing a marked resurgence. A large point of contention in this battle is this whole “numbers” dance we as men and women play, particularly as heterosexuals, as though there’s a perfect number to hit to still be viewed as moral but not be viewed as dirtbag. We’re all familiar with the old adage, “if a guy fools around he’s a player, but if a girl does it, she’s a slut.” This rather succinctly explains the dichotomous nature of societal perceptions relating to one’s number of sexual partners. In an attempt to clarify once and for all why the number of people you’ve slept with is not a good marker for anything, EVER, I have chosen a few key arguments in opposition to this ridiculous practice of judge-by-numbers.
1. The average number of sexual partners for straight men is NOT, as faulty surveys suggest, larger than that of women. Let me illustrate this for you with some maths, shall I? In Canada, there is an almost identical percentage of men in comparison to women. For every hetero act of vaginal intercourse, there is a man and a woman. Ergo, no matter what, the average number of partners will be the same for heterosexual men and women. That’s how averaging works. For the record, the Canadian average is 8 partners, but keep in mind that this figure factors in liars, old people, guys who are 45 and still live at home and ladies who are going to die as virgins and get eaten by their cats.
2. Even if you regard promiscuity as a character flaw, the number of previous partners someone has realistically is no indication of who they are as a person now. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you are examining the sexual history of a 30-year old woman with 25 previous partners. Now, let’s say that 20 of those were during an irresponsible, booze-addled phase in her teens and early university years. This proves… what exactly? That she was perhaps lacking in judgment during her formative years? Congratulations, you have just described everyone ever. You got a questionable tattoo of Daffy Duck, she sucked a few cocks. People evolve.
3. Becoming sexually involved with someone with a low number of past partners is no indication that you are less likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection. Would you rather have sex with someone who has had unsafe sex with 5 people or safe sex with 10? In the case of sexual safety, it’s not how many people you do it with, it’s how you do it with them and, of course, making sure you get tested with every new partner. Some studies even suggest that women with a greater number of partners are more likely to be sexually self-aware enough to take care of their lady bits in contrast with their less promiscuous counterparts.
4. You’ll never have any idea whether your prospective partner is telling you the truth anyways. It’s that simple. He might be inflating his so you don’t think he’s a socially defunct loser, she might be knocking dozens of dudes off the list so you don’t think she’s a slut. You never know.
In closing, sexuality should be individual. What is right for you is not necessarily right for someone else. Wait for marriage, screw sparingly, fuck the football squad, nobody should give a shit. Take care of your emotional and physical well-being, whatever that entails, but please, please, PLEASE stop treating the number of people you or anyone else has boned like it means something.
By E-Z Breezy
Illustration: Jarett Sitter