Dear Aunty Em: Sex number
‘My boyfriend wants to know how many people I’ve slept with. I know how many people he’s slept with and my number is way higher. What should I do? Tell the truth or lie?’
– Sexy McSexface
Dear Sexy McSexface,
Men are funny. They want to date an attractive girl but then act all surprised when she’s popular. My point is: do you want to dine at the busy restaurant or not? Would you rather eat at the place with the scary fluorescent lighting and zero customers, or the bustling Italian place with the warm, inviting ambience and wafts of garlic bread?
So should you tell the truth? It depends. Do you value honesty over your partner’s ego? Because that’s what this is about. We all like to imagine that we’re pioneers, forging new frontiers in sexual pleasure for our lovers, when the truth is that we’re probably the next in line doing roughly the same thing as the ten, 20, 30, or 100 people who came before us.
Part of a long-term sex life is the creation of romantic mythology – a psychological play between two people who both believe they have something unique to offer the other person.
Which, I might add, is total bulls*t because we create this illusion time and time again with new people so there is nothing that special going on except for what is happening in the minds of the people involved.
So do you want to shatter that illusion? Only you can decide. Creating a feeling of exclusivity is something that marketers spend billions of dollars on every year, convincing us that this product or service is specially designed for our needs. Are they telling the truth? Probably not but it makes us feel good about our purchases.
So your choice is this: Do you want to be a marketer or an accountant? Give him the favourable lie or the hard truth?
It’s also worth asking what sex means to you both. Is it a sacred union or is it more of a Benny Hill-style romp? Are we talking about an annual festival that involves a goat, a bonfire and magic mushrooms? Or are we talking about a Friday night at the pub, followed by some messy pashing and sticky hands down pants?
The further along the ‘sex is special’ arc your partner’s beliefs fall, the more likely he is to freak out if he finds out that your idea of sex is more like ‘special sauce on a Big Mac’ i.e. delicious, readily available and cheap.
None of which answers your question.
I am going with lie. Men tend to lie (they round up) and women tend to lie (they round down). Follow in the great tradition of Fibbers for Peace and stick with counting on your fingers and toes.
What do you guys think? Wrong advice?