I have started seeing a new man. He is 30 and really fun. But we were chatting about our sexual history and I am so turned off by the fact that he has slept with 100 women. When I asked him how he even knew, he said he kept a list on his phone. What should I do?
No woman wants to be another name on a list of sexual conquests that already numbers 100, so your response to this revelation is hardly surprising.
I would, however, guess that it is probably a lie.
It’s not an attractive characteristic, but your boyfriend is not the first man to inflate the number of women he has slept with.
When the 2019 Love Island contestant Jordan Hames bragged that he had slept with more than 100 women, his partner at the time, Anna Vakili, got her calculator out, subtracted a two-year relationship, added an unreasonable degree of infidelity and concluded, as did the public, that he was a liar.
Certain men think that it makes them seem more attractive. The issue is worsened when their friends do the same.
A hundred might seem like a nice round number to a clueless, immature man, but it is stratospherically higher than the average number of partners a man might expect to have in his lifetime.
In the third British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (2013) the average number of sexual partners for a man was 14.4. For women, the number was 7.12.
Assuming your 30-year-old became sexually active at 16, he would have to have had seven sexual partners a year to achieve a score of 100 by the age of 30.
If that is true you need to think whether a man who has, to date, been incapable of staying with a single partner for longer than two months is the kind of man who will make you happy.
Although the lifetime total for men in the study is modest in comparison to your boyfriend’s count, the fact that the number was twice that reported by women aroused some suspicion, so Kirstin Mitchell at the University of Glasgow decided to investigate.
It was not a frivolous bit of research. Accurate reporting of sexual partners is a crucial factor in the estimation of STI and HIV transmission rates in the population.
Previous research has shown that when people are asked to report the number of lifetime sexual partners they have had, women have a tendency to enumerate, or count, actual instances, which leads to lower estimates.
Men have a tendency to approximate, and to report larger round numbers, which lead to overestimates. Men also have a tendency to include non-penetrative sex partners in their count.
Mitchell’s study supported all these findings, but the biggest problem was a tiny number of men who reported high numbers, inflating the overall average.
When men who reported 110 or more partners were eliminated from the data, the gender gap closed from 7.02 to 5.47. This finding confirms that your boyfriend’s tally, if it is true, makes him an outlier.
Boasting about treble figures with friends is very different from telling a new partner that she is the latest in a line of 100 casually acquired and discarded sexual relationships.
Your boyfriend may be fun, but any man who thinks that 100 conquests at the age of 30 makes him more of a catch is not the brightest penny in the pot.
I have to give him a tiny bit of credit for being honest about his number — lying would have been unforgiveable.
Perhaps, if I’m being extremely positive and generous in my assessment, he told you because he is ready to put this kind of casual, party-boy lifestyle behind him.
Therefore, if you decide to persevere, I’d advise you to lay down ground rules about what is acceptable within your relationship.
The first condition should be that he tells the truth. The second should be that he deletes that list.
I still don’t give it more than two months, I’m afraid.
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