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What’s Your Number?

by Kat de Naoum

How many sexual partners is “acceptable”?

Yes, that’s right. No introduction this week. Straight to the nitty gritty. How many is too many?

We all know that when discussing our “number”, men round up and women round down.

“Oh, just roughly, approximately, in the ballpark of, around, perhaps 10,” from a woman can be taken to mean 19. When a man tells you 30, you can safely assume that it’s half that.

I’m on the fence about partners telling each other detailed accounts of their past lovers but a rough estimate is necessary. I mean, is it closer to 5 or 50?

It’s commonly believed that men don’t keep count of their past conquests but women on the other hand can identify their lovers by number in order of appearance. My research for this post proved otherwise with a male friend telling me, “22 and a half; the half refers to this one time I couldn’t keep it up but I did manage to get it in for a few seconds; does that count?”

I have more than one girlfriend whose number is under 5. Yes, these are adult women and they exist. (I’m so proud of my cute little munchkins.)


On the other side of the scale, I have a couple of female friends who needed to also use the back of the A4 sheet of paper we were writing our past lovers out on, one drunken night. I was so shocked… at how neat their handwriting was even after all that wine.

I remember the days when I used to count who I’ve kissed. I even had a list. (I used to be young, cute, romantic and naïve once upon a time.)

Opinions vary vastly on the subject. Some think it’s incredibly romantic and ideal to have had just the one sexual partner in your life. Others insist that in order to settle down and not ever have to wonder what you could have missed out on, you need to have experienced a whole multitude of skins.

A lot of men (including, without limitation, cavemen) have a prehistoric opinion about women who have been with more than one lover. They like their women virtually untouched but at the same time, they’d like her to know what she wants and what she’s doing in the bedroom. How exactly would she do that, fellas? By taking an online course?

I also wondered about whether it takes (a) a lot of sex or (b) a lot of different lovers to make one good in the sack. Initially I was more inclined to think that a lot of sex would make one “experienced” but that being said, long-term relationships often suffer from the mundane sex routine (man goes down on woman till she’s done then quickly puts it in while in missionary, woman goes down on man on man’s birthday).

Doing it with new people however makes you pull out all the stops. You bring your A-game in an effort to impress.

I can’t exactly conclude this Convo with an actual assumption (i.e. ‘so in conclusion, go out and f**k as many (willing) participants as you can,’) because there are so many differing opinions on the subject and I don’t want to offend anyone. Here at Convo we are nothing if not careful what we say. *Roars of laughter from the Convo team*


For all the people who are in long-term monogamous relationships and haven’t really been all over the field, you can make it work without having to wonder if there’s something you are missing out on. Whatever you could do with someone else, you can also do with your partner. Get creative, do new things, get out of missionary, get out the baby oil and get upside down.

Having someone who loves you and someone who listens to you, gets you and loves you in your teddy bear pyjamas, fluffy socks and glasses is better than having lots of great sex with gorgeous, new, hot people, feeling that first kiss all over again, tingling in anticipation and finally getting all sweaty and slippery and… Um… I forget where I was going with this…

Anyway… Convo’s number is 46. This is the 46th time we have come in your inbox and all over your timeline. *Lights cigarette (and chokes because doesn’t smoke)*

Was it good for you?

*Xeni Kouveli makes the Convo collages with pics found on Google images – we do not own them (except for the ones we do own).

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