Your 'Sex Number' Says Nothing About Who You Are

Awww! 29

We hear a lot about "slut shaming" and how wrong it is to make women who happen to have had multiple partners feel bad about their sexuality. And yet it is not just those who have been with "many" who get shamed. There is also a certain shame that comes with only ever having been with one or less partners.

This "prude shaming" is no less rampant, especially among young women who grew up after the sexual revolution in educated families. There is often the sense that every young woman ought to sow her wild oats (but not sow too much!) or else miss all that life has to offer.

Writer Julie Kuenneke addressed this issue in XO Jane with her piece about only ever having been with one person. In it, she says she has been shamed about that almost more than those who are "slut shamed." I feel her pain.

My number is not quite one, but it is pretty darn close and I have certainly had my fair share of comments about how low it is. But I don't care.

The fact is, whether you have been with 40 men or 4, it says nothing about you or how you are in bed or how much you enjoy sex. People have sex in a variety of different ways and for all different reasons.

A woman who has only had sex with one may have met her husband young (like I did and like Kuenneke did) or she may only have sex with those with whom she is in love. A woman who has been with 40 may have just as well loved all 40 men. We just don't know and we can't judge. A woman's number means very little except how many people she has had sex with.

In the end, that number does not define us. It is not WHO we are or WHAT we are. A woman who has been with one is no more a prude than a woman who has been with 100 is a whore.

It's time we get past these notions. It used to be that women who embraced their sexuality and had sex with many men were shamed. Now women who have only had sex with a few are accused of not embracing their sexuality. The pendulum has now gone too far in the other direction.

Sexual freedom means having the ability to dictate what we want from our sex lives. My couple of partners are mine just like another person's 32 partners are theirs. Neither number defines us or says who we are as people or are as sexual beings.

It's just a number, baby.

Have you ever been "prude shamed"?


Image via whatleydude/Flickr



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the4m... the4mutts

Nope. But I have been slut shamed. And you know what? I never cared, because I am not my definiton of a slut. To me, a slut has nothing to do with a number. It has everything to do with situation. Serial cheaters, women that try (even if they fail) to seduce only married men... immorality = slutty. Not a number.

As far as being a prude, I can't imgine shaming someone for it. I would be JEALOUS that she found sexual happiness so soon in her sexualy active life.

Or maybe she has sexual issues. That's nothing to be shamed either.

As long as someone is a good person, the number of people they've slept with, doesn't matter.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Maybe it's just because I hang out with decent people but nobody has ever made a negative comment about me only sleeping with my husband other than one woman who thinks that monogamy is for idiots and she was a more upset about me only sleeping with one guy at a time as opposed to all together. I do have a number of friend's with much higher numbers who tell me they're envious and wish they had found their prince without shagging so many frogs.

CPN322 CPN322

Totally agree with the4mutts.

nonmember avatar blh

I disagree. Whether you've had sex with one person or a hundred it does say something about you. But its certainly not the most important thing about you.

nonmember avatar Shannon

I haven't been shamed, but I have met people who think it's weird I've only slept with one guy, my husband. I met him when I was 19 and didn't think we were going to have a serious relationship, but we fell in love and we've been together ever since. Some friends have asked me whether I wonder how things could be different, or whether I knew I was really happy with my sex life. I have wondered what it would've been like to be less picky and to have maybe dated a few more guys, but things have always been great, so I have no regrets.

nonmember avatar bawok o mama

it says EVERYTHING about who you are.Keep telling yourselves that it doesn't if it makes you feel better.That girl who has only been with one person isn't a prude.She just has character,is less impulsive and has class.As far as guys go the guy who has been with manty diff partners are usually the guys who have a long line of illegitimate kids they don't take care of-so they aren't seen as studs but as losers.

Elizabeth Gronewald

Your sexual partner number does say something about you, just as any other action or thought or feature does. The number of sexual partners does not define you though, just as one singular trait does not define you. I have have sex with one man. One. This does not elevate me above those who have had sex with more than one person. It just tells something about what I want for myself.That may change. That may not change. It still shows an aspect of me.

Elizabeth Gronewald

And bawok o mama, your quick judgments of people show something about an aspect of you. Every person has character in some sense. Definition of character is unfortunately not confined to what you deem it to be. Definition of character is not limited to what I deem it to be. Nobody can truly and finally define character for all persons.

nonmember avatar WOOHA

It does say something about you.... That you are incredibly impossible to please LOL =)

nonmember avatar Annabanana

I've been at both ends of the spectrum. I've had five partners, and while some people are shocked ("you've only had five?!") Others call me a slut. Only one of those partners was a one-night stand, and the others I was in a committed relationship with. I have currently been with my SO for nearly five years, and he isn't the least bit concerned about my number, nor am I concerned about his (which is quite higher than mine). I don't regret any of my partners, and I don't understand why it is so important for women to make others feel bad about their bedroom lives.

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