Ever wondered if you've slept with so many people that future romantic interests might find it hard to swallow the exact extent of your past sexual exploits? Or so few that they might brand you as an inexperienced prude? Ever been tempted to lie about your "number"?
Of course you have. We all have. It's the thread that binds single people across cultures together. Lying about past sexual encounters is more universal than basic income, especially in a conservative culture like India's, with our exaggerated emphasis on chastity and the glorification of virginity as a virtue.
Women were completely put off by men who had had more than 6 partners; while men are bothered only if the woman had had more than 11 sexual partners in their lifetime.
A British study has found that singles—both men and women—want to be involved with neither virgins nor compulsive bed-hoppers.
The study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, found that when it came to serious relationships or marriage, both men and women prefer relatively inexperienced people as long-term partners — no more than 2 previous partners for prospective spouses and 3, in the case of casual relationships or flings.
The surprising find was in the stark difference between men and women's attitudes towards promiscuity. Contrary to what cultural tropes would have us believe, women are far less tolerant than men: women were completely put off by men who had had more than 6 partners. This number was significantly higher for men, who claimed they'd be seriously concerned only if the woman had had more than 11 sexual partners in their lifetime.Another surprise?
And finally, completely unsurprisingly, the participants of the study couldn't match up to their own stern yardstick; their own past sexual experience averaged to 5.81 partners for women and 8.4 partners for men.
Evidently, we're all going to relationship hell for lying to be more sexually attractive to our partners. So here's the number that's your safest bet according to the study: the magic number that lies in the no man's land of sexual judgement is 3.