Text by Delphine Chui
This is the highest ‘acceptable’ number of sexual partners men and women like their other half to have, apparently…
Read any study, any magazine, heck, even read this website right now and you’ll be met with a plethora of information telling you the number of partners you’ll probably have before settling down, how many is too many and how many people you’ve indirectly come into sexual contact with through your own direct sexual encounters (the queasy need not read that one)…
So it should come as no surprise that there’s another study out there dictating the number we should be striving for. The latest, from Dr Ed, tells us that 43% of Europeans never want to discuss their sexual history with their partner which if I’m honest, I get.
It’s not something I’m proud of but I’m definitely the jealous and possessive one in my relationship and the thought of my boyfriend with anyone else quite frankly makes me feel a little nauseous – but I’m also an insatiably curious person and there’s nothing I love more than knowing all the ins and outs of someone’s past. And yeah, it’s a bad combination.
So, while I have never asked my current squeeze’s ‘number’, I’ve come to a sensible estimate in my head that I can happily live with. But, according to this survey, female participants said 10 is the highest ‘acceptable’ number of sexual partners in their other half, while the males surveyed said 7 is their ‘cut-off’ point. Interestingly, the study also said that most people prefer others to have had at least five different sexual partners in their history.
The problem with reading studies like these is that you suddenly have a bar to compare yourself with. I remember figuring out I hadn’t reached my ‘optimum’ sexual partner number ‘until you meet the one’ and asking myself, ‘does this mean X isn’t the one for me?’
Ludicrous right? Yes, I agree.
Basically what I’m saying is, take these surveys with a pinch of salt. Just because this is the most common number doesn’t make it ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ because really, what exactly is normal?
Divulge said number if someone asks you and you’re comfortable with telling them, or, simply keep it to yourself.
Having spoken to a sex therapist about the most important factors to remember in the bedroom, it’s communication that’s key – and that also means knowing yourself well enough to understand what you actually want to know and the repercussions of that choice.
Altering your number is a common phenomenon but that doesn’t make it okay, we shouldn’t be made to feel like we have to undersell (like 22% of men) or oversell (like 1% of women and 4% of men) anything – and sorry to sound like a Hallmark card here, but really, just be yourself.
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