Now we all know that our sex number is just a fact that says little or nothing about who we really are but most of us BELIEVE differently because with numbers come competition and judgement, from within and without. With numbers come allegedly quantifiable standards and comparisons. With fucking numbers, we’re suddenly Susan all Olympic athletes in the bedroom and our scores ARE who we are. What.
I’m going to let you in on a not so dirty secret: I didn’t lose my V card until I was twenty one. And a half. And I’m still inordinately sensitive about it because I couldn’t GIVE that fucker away at the time, okay? I told E., who’d lost his at FOURTEEN, and I was hella more embarrassed than he was because he was not. Like at all. Of course. He’d been starring in his own version of Skins, the explicit UK teen drama that “explores adolescent sexuality” while I was old enough to drink in the U.S. With all my clothes on. Alone #notthesameshowdude
I look back and I know without a doubt that I was a hot little number who should have been deflowered waayy before then; if not junior high, then at least the prom, for the love of God. However, I was also incredibly naïve and sheltered for my age. Add an astonishing lack of self-awareness and a negative amount of self-esteem and voila – a virgin for the fucking ages. Go, me.
E. - my own Edith Wharton - in contrast, is confidence personified in the low key, no arrogance way that great guys are. He knows himself and his place in the world and I guaranfuckingtee you that he was that at fourteen, killing it because he could.
Fast forward almost three decades: E. is back home and I’m here and we’re texting allofthetime. We talk about our small daily blah blah blah and we talk about big…and his number comes up.
Previously, he’d mentioned it to me in passing but with the caveat that he had only a general idea of its magnitude, I didn’t really want to know and it was something he preferred not to dwell on because chagrined. At the time, I was too busy calculating my own paltry number on my fingers and toes to press the issue. He’d been incredulous at my V card reveal; I was sincerely hoping to recall a few someones in the past years of online dating to not get THAT face again.
See what I mean about numbers? He was hiding his because he felt it was too high. I was Where’s Waldo?ing my memory so mine wouldn’t be seen as too low #fuckingwhack
Then it came up again and this time he said: “If you really want, I could give you an estimate...if it would make you feel better.” I’d been talking about him not wanting to know MY number so this didn’t really make sense but I said: “Sure. Give me a ball park.”
Well, the good news is he’s no Wilt Chamberlain, who said he’d slept with twenty THOUSAND different women in his lifetime. It’s a wonder the man had time to play any b-ball, amiright? But of course, he’s not anywhere close to me either. My approximate number is a Guinness world record for how many people can fit into a BMW mini. A fucking MINI, dude. And that was with all the extra Waldos!
Let me be clear – for E. to give me his number was no small gift. He takes no pride in it. It’s just an irrevocable piece of his past before his eleven year marriage and now it’s once again looming in his present. Does he revert to his former self or has that casual sex ship sailed? And regardless, his number has to be revealed AGAIN to his next serious relationship. FUCK.
So then E. asked me: What’s your reaction to hearing that? I said: Surprise. But I don’t think or feel differently about you because of it. However, he didn’t believe me, saying that’s only because we’re not in a relationship and he slow walked me up to it.
And yeah, I understand the difference for sure but here’s the thing: though E. and I are “only friends”, at the same time because of my unabated attachment to him, his feelings about his number are important to me. Not the actual number itself because that can’t be changed. It is what it is. I just want to change that he thinks I give a fuck because I don’t.
The rhetorical question then is: what if I were to ever end up naked with E...unlikely as that would be now? Would all of his practice – and knowing him, I’m sure he’d be pretty fucking epic because that’s how he rolls – make me feel too Mini to be myself and just enjoy? Would I truly be too conscious of the invisible IOC committee in the corner with their numbers ready to flash? Or would I actually be in the moment not in my head because with E #justoneonone
I mean how would ANY one of us feel it that position? Kama Sutra or otherwise?
You know what, dude – I have no fucking idea. All I can say is I don’t know the E. who would hit it and quit it on repeat; I just know the guy whom I told: “Not in a serial killer way but I want to cut you open and climb inside and be all safe and cozy.” Because safe and cozy outside with him. Hello.
He’s the guy I sat in the dark talking to for hours and hours about nothing and everything. He’s the guy who just laughed, holding me to him, when I told him my “not a serial killer” confession. He’s the guy who never once complained, even though his heart was breaking. And he’s the guy who spent a dozen dates kissing me good night like a maiden aunt to protect me from himself because I am not a just a number to him.
He’s the guy I that I wanted. Very much.
We're also a missed opportunity. That. Blurgh.
So yeah, I’ve got E.’s number and it’s a lot more fucking people than can fit in my teeny tiny car but as long as when we’re together, it’s just him and me in that safe, cozy yet not murderous way we have, then I’m all good. Even if it's always gonna be clothes on #likeimavirginagainyay
As for anyone else: let's not share and say we did because at the end of a day and a date, the only number that matters is one - the guy who's your glue.
Allison says it’s men that give a shit about numbers not women and I must say I’ve never had that discussion with any of my gfs. I mean – it’s not a thing we talk about. Is it something you talk about with your homies? And if so, does anyone give a flying fuck? Do tell.
And to begin at the beginning of my epic dating journey click here.