Can We Normalize Women’s Body Count?

Recently, I was caught in the middle of a group of my guy friends’ conversation where they were bragging about how many “bodies” they have. In our generation, body count refers to how many sexual partners you have had. During this conversation, it got me thinking, why is it that men brag about their body count, but women keep it quiet? Is it because men try to be “cool” in front of their friends? Men love to normalize having a high body count but when a woman has one they are slut shamed. 

After doing some research, women are 5% more likely than men to decrease their number of sexual partners they have had, while men increase their sexual partners twice as often as women. Women tend to lie about how many sexual partners they have for a series of reasons. Whether that is because they don’t want to be judged, or simply because they are afraid it will ruin what they have with a guy they are trying to pursue. I don’t know about you, but I have been put in both of those situations before. 

Now I am going to talk about two different women’s experiences on body count. The first one being a woman with a low body count, the other woman having a high body count and their experiences. 

The woman with the low: Over the summer I went home with a guy after going out to this bar. I had been talking to him for a while and we would always end up leaving the bars together. We both viewed it as nothing more than sex. After hanging out multiple times this one night after having sex he asked me what my body count was. I absolutely HATED being asked this because either he loves how my number is low or he will assume I am inexperienced. This shouldn’t bother me and I don’t know why it does to be honest. I went on to tell him at the time it was 4. He was shocked but he kept saying how much he loved that and that it was different from the other girls he’s been with. After he said that I felt uneasy. So if mine was higher would he not “love that”??? He continued to ask me WHO they were. That made me extremely uncomfortable because this was just sex why did he want to know? When I asked for his he responded 25 but he wouldn’t tell me who. I still don’t understand why he thought it was okay to ask who mine were and wouldn’t tell me his and why does it even matter???

The woman with the high: I grew up in a strict conservative family where having casual sex was frowned upon and never normalized. When coming to college it was a huge cultural shock, where it seemed that casual sex was the only normalized sexual interaction. When I say I “hoe’d out” that would be an understatement. For the first 3 years of college my body count skyrocketed. I would meet a guy at a party, go home with them, hook up with them, then either leave right after or as early as possible in the morning. After that I would either barely have a conversation with them or just say hi if I ever saw them out. To be honest, I liked doing it too. I didn’t care at the time about what my body count was or how high it was getting until I tried being serious with someone. Dreading THE conversation. I thought about it a million times, what do I say? Do I lie? Should I be honest? What is the “right” number to say? You know what he said? Confidently he said, “You were my 99th.” HOW!? Although, mine wasn’t nearly that much, I still lied and wouldn’t be able to confidently say my number.

Imagine with both scenarios, the roles were reversed? I have a proposition, why don’t men just not ask THE question or realize that women can do whatever they want, hook up with whoever they want and be able to hook up with just the same amount of people as men. Lets normalize women’s’ body count.

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