Everyone Lies About Their "Number" — And The Reasons Why Are Sad

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lying about number of sex partners

Are we surprised though? SERIOUSLY.

For me, lying about a "number" seems like a mythological thing to do. Then again I also believe it's an intrusive and even inappropriate question to begin with, just as long as everyone is open and honest about their health.

However, none of that stops it from happening — people do feel the need to lie about their number, and despite men claiming that this is something reserved for women, the University of Michigan reported that both genders are likely to lie about their number of bodies. The report even went as far as to call lying an "inherent aspect of reporting sexual behavior."

They found a pattern of men tending to add a few names to their list of sex partners, in order to up the count; while women are likely to knock a few names off their sex list

So, I guess it's true: men lie. women lie. But, numbers don't (or hips). 

Of course, it's been theorized that negative (and even harmful) double standards play a most-major role in making so many people feel the need to lie, but just in case there was more to it, I did a bit of digging on my own to confirm that when people (mostly women who answered one of my surveys) DO lie because of a sort of shame. 

More specifically, women told me that they've lied about their "number" for these reasons: 

  • Fear of judgment.
  • Fear the other person couldn't handle the truth ... without passing judgment.
  • Not to seem prudish (among other women).
  • If they thought the personal had long-term potential.

Through all of this, it was interesting to see that it wasn't just women lying to potential partners but lying to their friends too — whether it was to seem either more demure or bolder. And, I think that's awful because among friends you should feel your most comfortable; those are the few people you just shouldn't have to fear judgment from, yet I've found that other women can be waayy more judgmental and critical of what other women choose to do sexually. 

But, I digress! Whatever or whomever the source of judgment is the solution remains the same and that solution is simple: We must continue to destigmatize sex.

Not only will this make us all healthier emotionally, it could have a major impact on the work of the public health and health care providers, making it easier for them to create helpful preventative measures and offer proper treatment for HIV and STDs in our society, when there are, as U of M put it, "pregnant virgins and STDs among the abstinent."

Lying also creates a horrible foundation for trust in relationships.  

I could probably go on all day with reasons that lying about your number is a dangerous game to play, but instead, I'll just leave you with this:


Just don't.