Sex and the Numbers Game…A Man’s Perspective

A male’s perspective on the significance of a woman’s number of sexual partners.

By: A.J. Niles

So what’s your number?

A pretty harmless question. But when it’s asked regarding the numbers of sexual partners you may have, it can lead to quite a negative reaction from the person who asked.

This is one of those dicey questions that can lead to the giving of “the eyebrow”, an argument or possibly a break-up. But why does this number you have, possibly, lead to such volatile reactions from your current or potential partner?

To help find this answer, we have to first be reminded, unfortunately, of one of the many double standards we have in American and Western society. “Back in the day”, before the feminist revolution and other social and political activist movements, women were looked upon as property.

Yes, you were looked upon as property back then.

Even as recent as the 20th century, women were expected to be “seen & not heard”. Men ran everything and society looked down upon women. Men, whether they were the father, legal guardian or husband, “owned” the women in the family. As property, women were expected to be “kept brand new” in the sense of being “untapped”. Men wanted women to be virgins because as a virgin, it increased the value of property the father could trade with the husband in exchange for giving his daughter’s hand in marriage. Even as men stopped trading property with other men trying to marry their daughter(s), Christianity and other religions advised against pre-marital sex, as they still do now. As women gained equality with men in western societies thanks to women suffrage and feminist movements, women became more liberated with their sexuality as they took more control of their own lives.

Fast forward to today.

More women are having sex and more women feel comfortable with their sexuality than ever before (thank you Sex and the City). However, there are still negative connotations that we have regarding the number of partners a woman may or may not have. We all know how we looked at that one girl/woman who constantly broke co-ed visitation rules of the dorm in college.

Many men today want their potential significant other to have as few partners as possible. We all know how we looked at that one guy that was dating the girl that constantly broke co-ed visitation rules of the dorm in college. Men also want their potential S/O to be sexually liberated in the bedroom as well. We all know why guys were “helping” that one girl who constantly broke co-ed visitation rules of the dorm in college.

Ironic isn’t it? Many men want a woman that doesn’t have very many partners and is quite experienced in all aspects of bedroom activities while men will usually screw any chick we can (the ugly ones we will never brag about).

When I was about 15, my cousin, whom I looked at as a big brother told me something prolific about these numbers. He was 2 years older and getting ready for prom. He was the starting QB of the football team and could have any girl he wanted in L.A. He told me that men bragged (lied) about their “number” to stay cool with the boys. You didn’t want to looked upon as a virgin or a dude that couldn’t get with the girls. I then learned later in life that women deduct from their number so they could fit that mold that we men have for them.

I am guilty of running my notches high in my belt and hoping my future significant other has very few notches in hers.

But as a man, I have to realize that my potential wife may have had sex in her life with multiple men and/or women (yes, I said women). Now if my potential significant other was a feature of many West Coast Production DVD’s, has many Craigslist “adult” ads or ever had a “interesting” result from a STD test, then we may have one of many issues but I digress. There are more important issues regarding the success of a relationship to deal with than the number of previous sexual partners she may have.

The same thing applies to the number of sexual partners a man may have. Now if he was “involved” with a woman on every floor of every all girl dorm on campus, shoe boxes full of “souvenirs” left behind by women or books written by groupies about his adventures in the bedroom, then you just may have an issue. Other than that, as Aaliyah proclaimed about age, it’s just a number.

They are in the past. Focus on the present so that your future is bright with your current partner and you are the last one to add to that number that they may have.


  1. This article is such a breath of fresh air. Too often women are judged for how many sexual partners we have had, while men get a pat on their backs for theirs. Hopefully, we can all end up with people who won't dwell on the past, and appreciate the growth that we have accumulated from past mistakes.

  2. I love it when we hear from the men and get their thoughts on sex and relationships. This is one of the reasons I really enjoy this magazine. Great insight.

  3. I agree with Shayla, however, I can understand why numbers are so important. When you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, the thought of a multitude of people sexing them in the past is disturbing. It really does take away from the intimacy knowing everyone has had your partner.

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