Why Guys Lose Interest In Girls With A Lot Of Sex Partners

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Why You Shouldn't Care About Your Sex Number
Sex

I've lost track of how many guys I've slept with.

My first time was the beautiful end to a romantic night with a candlelit dinner, butterflies in my stomach, and the perfect boy. Just kidding.

My first time was in the middle of the summer before my junior year of high school when I told a boy, “For your birthday, I’ll sleep with you if you promise not to flirt with anyone else while you’re working at summer camp for a month.” He picked me up at my house in his mom’s SUV, drove three minutes to an abandoned house in the woods, parked in the yard, and told me to take off my pants. There was no foreplay and, for me, no pleasure.

I went home thinking, I just had sex, but I don’t feel any different. I didn’t tell anybody about it for over a year.

It also took me over a year to have sex again after that first time and I wasn’t bothered by the abstinence. After the second time I had sex, it was another two years before I had sex again.

Then, I was sexually assaulted and in some sort of effort to reclaim my sexuality (or perhaps just because it was fun), sleeping with guys became one of my favorite pastimes. I was safe about it, security-wise, health-wise, and emotions-wise. I never went home from the bar with someone I had just met, I (almost) always used a condom and birth control, and I kept my distance by knowing that sex and love are not synonymous with one another.

Growing up in a conservative area and home, the sex education I received was abstinence only. When I was twelve I signed a card saying I wouldn’t have sex until I was married. Boy, was that a lie.

While I never regretted any of the specific times I had sex or the specific guys I had sex with, over time I had difficulty coming to terms with the number of guys.

At points, I felt guilty — like I was doing something morally objectionable. I kept my sexual experiences a secret, hardly able to handle the immorality of them myself, let alone share my stories or number with anybody else. I didn’t even feel comfortable talking to my friends about my sexual experiences and still rarely do because they, too, grew up in conservative homes and have been judgmental in regards to sexual exploration.

By the time I had slept with five guys, I began trying to find ways to justify my behavior. I would tell myself things like, These have all been guys you’ve known for at least a year. It isn’t like you’re sleeping around with strangers.

Or, You were sexually assaulted — that would send anybody down a path like this. And even, Okay, the next person you sleep with is going to be the guy you marry or at least someone you date for a long time. 

However, telling myself these things was only making me feel a heightened sense of shame.

My shame hit an all-time high when I was twenty-one and began my second long-term relationship. My boyfriend at the time asked me the dreaded question, How many partners have you had? As it turned out, he had been with the same number of people I had. I thought this was great — no judgment and no guilt, right? Wrong.

We spent the next three days arguing about the double standard he was placing on me. According to him, it was different because he had only stuck his penis in chicks, while I had penises stuck inside me.

 

According to him, it was different because guys are expected to sleep around, but if girls sleep around they’re not as tight and thus, not as desirable.

This was slut shaming — plain and simple.

Slut shaming is any act which makes a person feel guilty for certain sexual desires or behaviors that differ from the norm, for having a certain body type, or for dressing a certain way.

While the anecdote I referenced happened post-college, slut shaming is one of the most common forms of sexual harassment faced by middle and high school students. In a 2011 survey, a third of all students had experienced someone making “unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, or gestures to or about” them in person. Not surprisingly, only 22% of boys had experienced it while 46% of girls had. Additionally, over a quarter of girls and about 13% of boys had been sent “unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, or pictures” or had someone post such things about or of them online.

Schools are not helping this gendered bullying by enforcing biased dress codes which mandate that girls cannot wear shirts/dresses/skirts/shorts that are too revealing. The claim is that revealing clothing is a distraction for boys and interrupts their education.

However, I argue that being called out of class, sent to the principal’s office, or sent home for violating dress code is far more harmful to a (female) student’s education than a boy simply having to learn to control himself and his urges.

These slut shaming dress codes are actually perpetuating rape culture. They place the responsibility on girls to dress a certain way rather than on boys to control themselves. Somehow, sexual harassment, assault, or rape become the girl’s responsibility to avoid instead of the boy’s responsibility to control his own reaction.

Boys are conditioned beginning as early as grade school to believe that they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions. They’re conditioned to believe that if a girl is wearing a short dress or her breasts are more developed than her peers, it is okay to point this out. School administrators point it out and punish girls for it, so it really is only natural for boys to assume that it is okay to call girls out for ‘taunting’ them with their short skirts.

As boys mature, they embrace the mentality that girls deserve to be shamed, rather than outgrowing it. Eventually, they become men who shame women for owning their sexuality.

 

Interestingly, information gathered in a recent survey of people across the US and Europe doesn’t quite line up with the prevalent slut shaming most women have faced.

According to the survey, women think that men who have had 15 partners or more are too promiscuous, while men think that women who have had 14 partners are or more are too promiscuous. The average ideal number of partners according to men is 7.6 while the average ideal number of partners according to women is 7.5. Of the people surveyed, men averaged 6.4 partners while women averaged 7 partners.

The reality here is that men and women average a similar number of sexual partners, claim that they think the ideal number of sexual partners is in that same range, and claim that they nearly agree on what number crosses the line into promiscuity. This demonstrates how men and women are essentially expected to act similarly in regards to their number of sexual partners, but women face much more scrutiny in everyday life simply because of the existence of their sexuality.

Another reality is that my number is higher than average and I have been slut shamed into believing that this is bad. According to these statistics, my number, whatever it is, isn’t normal. In fact, I know that my number exceeds the “too promiscuous” threshold for men and women. But, I’ve decided I don’t care.

As my future-youth-pastor brother says, “You can only judge people based on their own set of morals and ideals. You can’t judge people based on your idea of right and wrong when they don’t hold the same opinions.” Sure, in Christianity sex before marriage might be a sin, but I’m not Christian so I’m pretty sure I’m not breaking any laws or rules here.

Anthony Comstock was someone who could have learned a little something about judgment from my brother. During the turn of the twentieth century, he headed the Society for the Suppression of Vice and personally destroyed over 160 tons of erotic material.

In 1873, Congress passed the Comstock Law, which made the distribution of pornography as well as the production of materials involving information on abortion, contraception, and the prevention of venereal disease illegal. As a religious fundamentalist, Comstock played a tangible role in negatively impacting sexual and reproductive health across society. In large part thanks to his efforts, slut shaming is still widely prevalent today.

Thankfully, there are now people like Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson who are advocates for the sexually explorative and host a weekly anti-slut shaming podcast called Guys We Fucked. Prior to stumbling upon this podcast, most of my views on sex had been formed by people who more closely resembled Comstock. Even when, in the moment, I had no reason to believe anything I was doing was wrong, I later felt guilt and shame that I had been conditioned to feel.

Judgments on sexual promiscuity are informed by religious fundamentalists like Anthony Comstock and often justified by fear of STIs and unwanted pregnancies.

Science has advanced to a point where we can be 98% effective in avoiding HIV, significantly reduce the risk of other STIs, and over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Religion has no place in my decision making and science is on my side, so I see no reason to feel bad about having a higher number than average.

 

The only reason I’ve ever felt shame for my “promiscuity” has been other people making me feel bad by judging me based on their morals rather than my morals.

 

I don’t need approval from people who hold different morals than me. I don’t need judgment from people who are supposed to love me. I don’t need to disclose my number to anybody. Hell, I don’t even need to know my own number. This is me telling all of those people to take their judgment and shove it up their asses.

They are welcome to their opinions, but their opinions don’t reach me.

I’ve lost count of the guys I’ve slept with. And I am not ashamed of it.

Read more from Kammie Melton herefollow her on Instagram, and check out her website.

 

This article was originally published at 100 Naked Words. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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