"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon." ~ Gloria Steinem

Friday, May 1, 2009

My "sex-positive"

In honor of the launch of the sexgenderbody website, I would like to share my own version of sex positive.

There's this...I don't know, thing surrounding the number of sexual partners a female has in her lifetime. We all know it; remember that episode of Sex & the City where Miranda gets chlamydia and has to make a list of everyone she's ever slept with? Her tally ends up around 42, a number she's a little ashamed of. The episode centers around the question of "how many is too many?" which is a ridiculous question, in my book.

Here's my rule: Never sleep with more people than you're willing to admit.

I'm not suggesting we should all go around telling everyone our sexual history. No. That is not what I'm saying at all. Who you talk to about sex is your decision; but when you are talking with that subsection of the population, those people you share your "number" with [Incidentally, when did the "magic number" get such high status in our lives?], those are the people you're most comfortable around, yeah? So if you're ashamed to tell the people you are most comfortable around how many people you've slept with, there's probably something wrong here.

[Note: There's a difference between being ashamed and just not wanting to talk about it. Whether or not you tell your number to anyone, ever, is your decision as well. I'm not shy about mine (in real life...not on the internet...), but it's cool if you are. My rule applies only to those who tell people their number. And I'm already sick of reading the word "number".]

In my opinion, when you are ashamed about your sexual past, your actions don't match your thoughts. Options:

1) You're having more sex than you're comfortable with (for whatever reasons).
2) You're fine with the amount of sex in your past, but feel that society is going to judge you.

Both of those options sort of demand a tweaking of something. And thus, in my opinion, if you think your number is too high, it's a warning sign of something else afoot.

Because I, like many others, do not believe there's any such thing as "too many" or "not enough". Too many for whom? As sexgenderbody.com says, "I define my sex, gender, and body. You define yours." Number of partners is something you have to define for yourself; society shouldn't have any say in it.

In closing, let's not forget the double standard displayed in another facet of the aforementioned Sex & the City episode. Miranda has slept with exactly 42 men and can write every single one of them down, but feels like a slut; Steve has slept with 60 to 80 women, isn't sure of the exact total or who they all were, but doesn't care much and just blames it on being a bartender. Women are sluts, men are studs.

I shouldn't need to tell you that I'm highly offended by all double standards based on sex and/or gender. Did you miss the "feminism" at the top of the page?


  1. And that's just a fictional character...a friend of mine once told me he'd slept with 70-100 women.

  2. 1 woman here, my wife, and it was on our honeymoon after 8 years of dating.

    *we were still Christians then