Taking fictionalised events from film and television and translating the lessons learned by the characters and applying them to real life is one of my favourite things to do. Most of my romantic and dramatic moments in my life are based on seasons 1 and 2 of the OC and I am not ashamed. I do however take issue with the film ‘What’s Your Number?’ and how many of my friends have now gone on to comment how they are worried about ‘their number’ and are taking steps to make sure that it doesn’t increase until they find ‘the one’.
I haven’t actually watched the film, but I do know that it’s about a girl who reads a MAGAZINE ARTICLE that states women who sleep with more than 20 men have difficulty finding a husband – and her number is at 19. First of all, Magazine Articles are one of the worst places to get advice from. I need only point to any issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine and their patented Dating and Sex Tips such as “During a date go to the bathroom and take off your panties and use it as a scrunchie, see how long it takes him to notice” and “Place one hand at the base of his shaft, and twist the tip with the other—like you’re opening a jar.” Magazine articles are not exactly the greatest life textbooks
The concept of the numbers also confused me, what constituted a new notch? Face and dick stuff? Or did it have to be the whole turkey (turkey = penetration). Apparently it had to be the whole turkey, so at least the guidelines were clear) After it first came out in theatres I remember being out for drinks with some friends who had just watched the film and they were discussing their numbers and they eagerly asked me for mine. I couldn’t answer it straight away and everyone thought I was being coy (and mysterious and sexy) but I had honestly not tallied up before or obsessed over it and thought maybe there was something wrong with me because I hadn’t.
This week Ruby commented to me the other day that her number had reached 10.
Me: “Like for this year?” I asked.
Ruby: “No…. for my life, obviously” she replied.
Me: “Oh totally, yeah, I was thinking life too” (shifty eyes)
Apparently 10 was the limit, Ruby wasn’t going to sleep with anyone else until she found someone to get serious about (and I would believe her if she hadn’t declared a sex-ban about 3 weeks ago as well – love u gurl) but it wasn’t so much the declaration that was frustrating as it was this new widespread belief that somehow we depreciate in value because of the number of people we sleep with. One of my friends lamented the fact that she hooked up with a guy that was pretty much unanimously known as The Douchebag from Sydney again but she proudly declared ‘at least I didn’t increase my number!’ – this is insane behaviour – if avoiding sex mistakes is your goal, going back to the ghosts of vodka past is not the answer. Ruby went on to say that if she knew that a guy had slept with a lot of girls it made him less hot to her and made her feel less special. Similarly she knew that some guys had the idea of her that she got around and would never hook up with her because of that.
If you feel less special because of the number of people that someone has slept with then that’s fine and valid, but to me it slightly reads of insecurity. It’s a bit unrealistic to expect someone to have only had a handful of sexual partners if they’ve been single for most of their youth. And what does it matter really? If the person wants to be with you now isn’t that what matters the most? Similarly it’s stupid to feel bad about the number of people you have slept with, because obviously at some point, for the majority of the cases you had enough feelings for this person that you were willing to either enter or be entered by the person – and whether those feelings lasted for 10 minutes or 10 months it was still part of your ~sexual journey~. If you’re worried about the amount of one night stands you’ve had, that’s okay, it just means you need to think about the signals you’re putting out into the world – you slut.
Finally after a bit of back and forth Ruby synthesized her own problem
And while I got all philosophical and deep in this post, let’s just bring a little realness into the equation. The reason why people get bajiggity about numbers is below.
She speaks the truth, no party until the hat is on people.