How many partners is too many?

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It’s a trick question; there is no universal right or wrong answer. The number of people you have sex with is entirely up to you, and whether it’s one person, 100 people or even no one, it should be completely up to you and no one else.

So why isn’t that the case? In the modern world, we believe ourselves to be accepting and tolerant. We claim to be a progressive people, but when it comes to attitudes about sex things aren’t as modern as you may believe. Take the case of Georgetown University student, Sandra Fluke. Fluke testified in February 2012 at an American congressional panel, where she spoke about her and her friends’ experiences obtaining and paying for birth control. Fluke was labelled a slut by many right wing media sources and her reputation was called into question for no other reason than she wanted government help paying for birth control.

It’s called “slut-shaming,” and it isn’t really about the math. It’s about telling women that enjoying sex is wrong, that being in control of their own bodies is wrong. That isn’t to say that only women can be shamed, but it’s far less common for a guy to be told he is “used up” or to be compared to a “greasy cup” (two ways ‘sluts’ are kept in their place). Whereas girls are often judged for having sex, guys are often judged harshly for their lack of experience. AND THAT IS WRONG TOO. However this is about how arbitrary the term “slut” really is, how silly it is to bully and insult someone JUST FOR ENJOYING SEX.

Calling someone a slut for whatever reason IS NOT OKAY. The only time you need to worry about how many partners someone has had is if you are going to sleep with them. In that case, feel free to judge. Judge away! That’s the great thing about having sex, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO. So if you don’t want to have sex with someone because they had sex with 3 other people (or five, or 10, or whatever number is the limit you are comfortable with), THAT IS FINE. What is not fine is making someone feel ashamed for enjoying sex and judging their worth as a person based on their sexual habits. It sounds simple, like common sense, so why doesn’t it happen?

Why do we need to be concerned with how much or how little sex our friends and neighbours are having? The simple answer is that we don’t. Sure, be nosy, be voyeuristic (with permission, no peeping toms!) but don’t be judgemental. Maybe you only want one other person in your member’s only areas, maybe you have an extensive guest list; it doesn’t matter. Sex is fun, whether with one person a hundred times or a hundred people one time (or whatever math adds up for you), let’s just stop judging and start enjoying it.