When Lindsay Lohan wrote her infamous sex list, everyone wanted to know all about it for two reasons: 1.) to know who was on it; 2.) to mock her. Crazy as it may have seemed, though, Lohan actually had the right idea. And these days, Generation Y (aka "millennials") is proving it with their own sex lists.
In case you're wondering, a sex list is more or less exactly as it sounds -- a list of all the men (or women) a person has slept with. Some are as simple as numbers and names. Others are more detailed and include information about each partner to help the writer remember. And the fact is, most of us -- no matter how many people have been in our beds -- keep them in some form.
Even if you have only been with three people, don't you know all their names? And it only stands to reason that if your number were higher, you would write it out, right?
Not everyone thinks so.
Marriage consultant and coach Lesli M. W. Doares, who wrote Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work, has mixed feelings on the whole thing.
The trend "may be one more way young people seem compelled to validate their lives outside their own minds and memories," Doares says. "It may be a kind of 'selfie' that memorializes a particular part of their lives but is still focused on them, not the meaning of the sexual interaction."
She even thinks it has the potential to cause marital problems down the road.
"In terms of the impact on a future marriage, having a list may be an indication of self-focus -- which can create issues," says Doares.
Fascinating. But is that what jotting down sex partner names really means? Or is it simply a way of keeping track? In Lohan's case, it was accompanied by "slut shaming" -- making her feel badly about her conquests.
Look, no mom would be thrilled to find her daughter's sex list. But would she be upset because her child seemed promiscuous ... or too self-involved, as Doares suggests? That's where a talk about what's behind it might be in order if mother and daughter can do it comfortably. If it's only a means to remember names, it might not be such a big deal. There are plenty of people whose "numbers" are up in the double digits for various reasons -- among them, getting married later -- and, yes, all of them likely start to lose track after a while.
Lindsay Lohan's list made waves because she's Lindsay Lohan -- and because of WHO is on it (Justin Timberlake, Heath Ledger, and Adam Levine among them). But a normal girl who isn't famous has a list that likely includes some serious boyfriends, a handful of one-night stands, and maybe a "friend with benefits" or two. She's not a "slut." In fact, keeping a list might actually be a responsible move if it means being aware of all the people she's been with for health and emotional reasons.
So let's stop shaming women (and men) for making sex lists and lighten up. Maybe we should draw up our own if we haven't already! After all, it could serve to improve our love lives by remembering what different people liked or didn't like. Or maybe the way to go is a list focused on just ONE person -- writing down all his likes and dislikes. Bottom line: keeping track of lovers is just fine. Try to ignore the naysayers and slut shamers. They're probably just jealous.
Do you have a "sex list"? What would you do if you found one written by your adult daughter?