Why the Double Standard? Issue #2: Your Magic Number


After yesterday's innocently intentioned post which set off a comment firestorm, I'm a little wary about powering forward with Double Standard Week. However, I have nothing else prepared so we're foraging onward.

I grew up with a South American father who would outfitted my sister and I with chastity belts if he could have. BougieMom handed us the Sex-Ed pamphlet with the following lines triple underlined in red: The best form of birth control is ABSTINENCE. Yes, we got the message. There would be no skankitude in the Bougie Household. As if this wasn't enough, BougieDad made it sound like premarital sex led directly to a life of dunking sliced potatoes and flipping sizzling beef at the local Dairy Queen. Suffice it to say, we were not the ones hooking up under the bleachers at the pep rally.

A few months ago, I was talking to some a male friend of mine from high school. He was a renowned dog back in the day, now supposedly reformed and married with kids.

He said, "Remember when ya'll had the pact that you wouldn't sleep with over x number of guys?"

I nodded.

He laughed, "How'd that work out?"

I raised a brow, "I'm still within the number."

His jaw dropped, "What?! All these guys you've dated?"

"Yeah son, unlike you I don't confuse a date with naked Twister. One doesn't necessarily lead to the other."

"Wow, you're holding down that good girl thing, aren't you?"

"Would you rather I turned skanky? Cuz I think it's a little late for that."

"Well what number is skanky?" he asked.

"I don't know, I think when you get to the point that you can't remember names or faces – that's too many."

"For men or for women?"

"Either, why?"

"Well, I know a lot of guys who can't remember names and never saw the faces. Hell sometimes, I didn't even ask for names."

"Now that's sliding toward slutty, dude. I mean damn, pause for a name, huh?" I teased.

"Shut up, I was a young buck out there doing what I could do."

"No doubt. So what number do you think is too high?"

"It depends on the age of the female but I don't think it should be more than 10 a decade. I think for men, you can multiply that by ten."

"Boy, you are tripping. So when a woman is in her 30s, you think it's okay if she's slept with 30 men but her partner of the same age would have a number between 300 and 400? Where did this formula come from?"

"The inner workings of my mind. But my number isn't THAT high - I left myself room to grow." He smiled.

I shuddered, "Eeew, that's scary and a blatant double standard."

"Don't hate me cuz it's a playa's world."

"Boy, bye."

Okay BougieLand. Play nice. Why is it more acceptable for a man to run up his number and not a female? Why do people even want to know what the number is, does it make a difference? With the exception of a Chamberlain-like number, is there a number beyond which you just don't want to be next? And can there ever be a number that's too low?