How Does Your Sex Partner Number Stack Up Against Other Americans?
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What’s your number? It’s a question that might stress the average person out. There’s a stigma around how many sex partners a person should have — and this “sex partner number” is largely dictated by one’s gender and sexual orientation. A recent survey conducted by Bespoke Surgical revealed that folks of different sexualities count their sex partner number differently; and that the stigma of just how many sex partners is “appropriate” differs based on gender.
Dr. Evan Goldstein, Founder of Bespoke Surgical, says, “Although we live in a time where many sexual taboos are diminishing, there is still a certain level of attention paid to the number of sexual partners one has had. This study shows there is still stigma if a man has not had ‘enough’ partners, and stigma for a woman if she’s had ‘too many,’ which are sexist stereotypes.”
Bespoke surveyed over 3,000 Americans on two factors:
1. the actual number of sexual partners they’ve had
2. the number they tell people when questioned
They learned that the top three states that lie about their sex partner number the most were Connecticut, Wisconsin and Kansas. And interestingly enough, the top three states that had the highest average number were: Washington, Connecticut and New Mexico.
What is happening in Connecticut?
When asked what sort of sexual acts counted toward their number, 56.8% counted only penetrative sex, and 43.2% counted non-penetrative and penetrative sex. Additionally, over 20% of people admitted that they felt the need to lie to their partners about their sex partner number.
Dr. Goldstein continues, “Most straight people define a sexual partner purely by penetrative sex, while the LGBTQ+ community is much looser with their definition because penetration isn’t always the ultimate goal of sex. In reality, a person’s number of partners is irrelevant. As long as they are engaging safely with informed consent, there shouldn’t be shame associated with it.”
The results also revealed the prevalence of a harmful stereotype about the LGBTQ+ community: 14% of Americans assumed that homosexual folks had more partners than heterosexuals.
You can read through the rest of the survey results here.