When I asked The Beautiful One how many women he had been with he gave a quick and proud "Over 200" as his answer. His answer made me question my apprehension in sharing my number. It was easily less than a sixth of his conquests, but I was still a bit concerned. I don't normally ask men this information. God forbid they ask me in return. The conversation came up because he was intrigued by my openness around sex and I am pretty sure he wanted to hear tales of me with other men. He wanted to hear a big number. Yet, I still hesitated for fear of being judged. Yes, I too fear judgment. Everyone does.
Telling someone my number has always felt equivalent to getting a pelvic exam. It's a very personal bit of information. This quantitative divulgence is a perfect example of the gender bias fucked-up-ed-ness in sexuality. When it comes to sexual liberation, we were not all created equal. Some of us were born with vaginas, some with penises and a lucky few with both. Those born with penises are allowed to live life as one person. They are allowed to be the guy that had many conquests and eventually picked some lucky lady to be The One. The woman should feel lucky that of all those women, she was the one he wanted. Those born with vaginas are allowed to have sex, but they are not allowed to live as one person. They should be a ho in the sheets and a lady in the streets: Be sexual beings, but keep that shit under wraps, lest you embarrass the man that chooses you or scare him away before he even gets to realize you are The One.
I have a fear of that number. As I write, I am not sure if I am going to give that information away today. I tell my friends. When it comes up in conversation, I share it, but I still don't tell my partners unless it is clear that they are cool with knowing regardless of what the number is. And even then, I am apprehensive. I have been a victim to the okie-doke, told my number and then faced the wrath of judgment, post-coitus, of course. If the guy is not going to give it up, because he dislikes my answer, for whatever reason, I don't share that info. If the conversation gets too intense and won't go away, on occasion, in the past, I would lie. I will not lie anymore. If they want to know, they are going to know and it can be on them to deal with the answer.
After discussing this post with a guy I am currently sleeping with, I am not going to divulge my number. He was honest enough to tell me that he wasn't sure he was ready to know. I respect that. He reads this blog and he has always been open and nonjudgmental. We are all dealing with breaking the societal ties that bind. At least, he and I have started a new dialogue that we can both use to learn more about our selves and each other.