Take a moment and make a mental note of how many partners you've had. Some may just be a name that pops up on your newsfeed from time to time; some may be right in front of you watching you count on your hand. As long as you've taken the proper precautions and safety measures, I urge you to forget this number. It doesn't matter. You're human. You. are. human. And I don't mean this as a precursor to say "you make mistakes." I mean this in the purest and most pragmatic sense- it's in your biological design to want sex and you are not wrong to be motivated by it. That's the science, now forget the math.
It was said to me recently, "To be a woman these days is to be the most controversial life form on the earth." Perhaps it was a bit of editorializing but to some extent, it feels true. As a woman, you are the center of the world's attention, for better or worse. Wars are fought, bogus laws are made, gender trend profiles in cultural commentary magazines are written; for and about you. You've got the world looking at you from every angle and its...exhausting. Why we judge women for having multiple partners and celebrate men for it is a joke. We formulate redonkulous equations for "the number" that triple what men say and divide the answer women say because we believe that only after adjusting for our sexist inflation, we can reach a harmonious ratio of what "seems right."
Due to this wildly unfair imbalance, the equation is fraudulent. It misrepresents. No two encounters are the same and since there are no statisticians in every bedroom, car backseat and airplane bathroom tabulating thrust for thrust (#statsporn!) then it's a mere front door in which we as second hand recipients of this information can never really understand what we perceive to be behind it. My point is, throw this number out. And don't lie when asked. There might be 1 partner. There might be 20,000. What matters is that you give yourself permission to enjoy the lifelong exploration of your sexuality and welcome whatever number of partners feels right to you along the way.
Just be happy, be safe and be a considerate and communicative partner.
xx(x), Sarah Jayne