BODY COUNT... IT REALLY IS JUST A NUMBER.
Nope, we're not talking about how many people a you've killed in battle. The "body count" I'm discussing in today's post refers to how many people a person has had sex with. It doesn't matter how intimate the make out was, or how many times you've slept with someone, if penetrative sex didn't take place then it doesn't pass as a "body".
There's always been positive and negative perceptions when it comes to this particular figure, while some view it as an achievement, others might see it as an insecurity. For as long as I can remember, the (outdated) social expectations led with the idea that men were often praised for having a high body count, but were also seen as players with zero respect for women. On the flip side, women would be perceived as promiscuous if they had a high count. Ironically, there's been occasions where my girl friends explained their apprehension about sleeping with someone simply to avoid increasing their body count... admittedly I've been in that boat too! But if you want to engage in sex with a new partner, does it make sense for this number to get in the way? And is it fair to judge someone based on their body count? A survey ran by the UK health and beauty retailer Superdrug revealed that the average number of sexual partners for men and women in the United States is 7.2, respondents in the UK averaged 7 partners, while Italy averaged 5.4. The same survey showed that 41% of men and 33% of women admitted to lying about their sexual history. Overall, men were more likely to increase their number of sexual partners, whereas women were more likely to decrease it — funnily enough, I've often heard guys say: whatever number a woman gives you, add five (I think?) Nevertheless, they might be on to something here... I think it's inaccurate to define someone based on the number of sexual partners they've had, sleeping with X people doesn't mean you're a "hoe" or lack morals. This number is a personal thing and there are various factors that we sometimes don't even consider. For example, someone in a long term relationship who has one partner vs someone who has six different partners. Likewise the age at which someone loses their virginity; if you start having sex at a younger age, it's likely that you may have a higher number of partners than someone who started having sex three years later. Either way, it's by no means an indication about who you are. It doesn't and shouldn't matter to you or anyone else, and no one should ever feel pressured to adhere to society's (or any individual's) standards. However I will say that if I'm too embarrassed or defensive to discuss the number of people I've had sex with, then perhaps I should be more introspective about my sexual decisions overall. I believe if you value and love yourself enough, what's there to be ashamed of? And if you're concerned about how someone else will see you, well... I think that's very telling with regards to their preconceived notions and maturity level.
As long as you're having consensual and safe sex, don't get caught up in the number. You are in control of your own body so whatever feels right and works at your phase of life is a valid decision.