What’s Your Body Count?

Have you ever been asked what your body count is? I know I have…I’ve also been guilty of asking others in the past too. It’s time we stop asking how many people someone has had sex with though…it’s an outdated and unhealthy measure of a person’s worth.

Here are some of the harmful reasons people might want to know your body count:

  • To slut/stud shame: Society generally shames women for a higher body count (what a slut!) while men are shamed for a lower one (why can’t he get laid?)
  • Gauge experience: Quantity of sexual partners is often associated with experience
  • Measure potential: To evaluate if they see you as suitable for casual fun or a relationship
  • Safety: To decide if you are ‘safe’ to have sex with or if they are likely to get an STI

Why is this question (and the reasons people ask it) so unhealthy?:

  • It carries a heavy focus on penetration as the only valid measure of sex. This discounts sex between most gender identities other than cis heterosexual…sex is is so much more than just penis in vagina (PIV) encounters
  • Someone isn’t more or less worthy of sex, dating or a relationship because of their body count. Tropes like ‘she’s only been with a few guys, she’s marriage material’ need to go
  • Body count doesn’t mean you are good or bad in bed. We all enjoy different things…communication and a willingness to learn are key to good sex with anyone
  • Anyone can get an STI…whether you’ve had one sexual partner or ten, safety depends on regular testing and use of protection

No one’s value should be defined by their body count. When you meet someone new, what matters is the experience you are forging together in the present. This is based around open communication and exploration with each other now…not by dwelling on the past.

The next time someone asks what your body count is, gently shift the focus of the conversation. Explain that you’d rather put time and energy into what you are building together and ask more relevant questions like ‘what really turns you on?’ and ‘how can I pleasure you best?’ I promise, asking these kind of questions will make for a much better experience than ‘what’s your body count?’

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