?

Log in

No account? Create an account

A thing wot has been on my mind - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 12th, 2012

09:41 am - A thing wot has been on my mind

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

This morning...

Him: I wish I had a higher constitution.
Me: We could always buff you with spirulina potion.

I also realised this morning that I have never purchased or owned an Apple product. This isn't for any reason of politics, fashion or taking sides in the Great Gadget Debate. I just.. haven't. Does this make me some kind of freak?


So apparently Kiwi women are the most promiscuous in the world. So promiscuous in fact, that we have had on average 20.4 sexual partners (I am not sure what the 0.4 signifies eh) vs the global average of 7.3, and the Kiwi men's average of 16.8.

We are getting a lot of nooky. O.o

However, I find myself wondering who they asked. Because if you asked me when I was 21, the answer would have been different from 31, and different again at 41, you know? I wonder if there's some kind of assumption going on there that people stop having new partners as they get older or something. Or get married and are monogamous for ever after..

Anyway, naturally I started to do a headcount because I can honestly say I've no idea how many sexual partners I've had. I know I'm supposed to notch the bedpost so I can keep track and not let the number get too high to preserve my reputation or something, but I'm gonna just put it out there that this is the 21st Century and victorian sexual norms mean shit to me. I have yet to come across any potential partner who has insisted I be a virgin and nobody has ever asked me for THAT number.

But I'm gonna try to give it to you anyway. So I started my tallying. David, Jason, Marcus.. um.. that guy whose name I can't remember... Steve, Austin, Warren.. you know what? I can't actually remember if I boinked Warren or not, I just remember fuzzy darktime gropings and us declaring undying love for each other...

.. and this is the problem. I can't remember the details of every sexual encounter I've ever had. I would hazard a guess that since Warren and I were fumbling and declaring when I was about 19, by the time I reached 30 my 'tally' had probably made it to the teens .. Oh, Charlie! He was good, I remember him. Um.. and then after I turned 30 there were a few more and by now I'm probably sitting somewhere around the national average.

But the problem with this is that whenever I do this and think I have a number, I suddenly remember "Oh yeah, that guy!" and then I'm not sure I've remembered right, and if I ever told anyone My Number, I couldn't be sure it was accurate. Not through any desire to Hide The Truth Of My Sordid Doings, but because sex is a natural part of adulthood and not something that gets carved indelibly into my memory every time I do it with someone new. It's just not that big a deal.

So now I find myself wondering why people make it a big deal. What is with that?

Disclaimer: None of the people I know make it a big deal, but I am aware that when I was younger some people thought it was important to keep that number low (for women) and exaggerate it (for men). I'm also aware there's still a stigma attached to sexual promiscuity in certain circles. "Like, over 20 partners? You must have low standards!" Actually, I just like sex.

Maybe I'm not supposed to?


In other news, yesterday's experiment of swapping the fruit salad in my lunch for bread, cheese and nuts, then having the fruit for dinner worked really well. Come 6pm I still wasn't hungry! Win! This morning I added a helping of yoghurt to my breakfast.

Check me out being all healthy and shit.

Meanwhile, the YoT's school sent home a notice saying they've had a case of rheumatic fever*. For those who aren't aware, rheumatic fever is a disease of poverty*, exacerbated by living in damp, cold, overcrowded conditions, and its incidence has doubled in New Zealand since 2005. How's that brighter future coming on, John?

* My Dad had this as a kid, living in northern England in the Great Depression in a 300 year old stone house with 11 other people and sharing a bed with his siblings. It was why he didn't get drafted for World War 2 - at 18 he was still too sick to be considered fit enough. This should not be happening in New Zealand.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:friggasmuse
Date:October 11th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
(Link)
wow, do you have pictures of your dad's home? that sounds like it would be quite something to see.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
(Link)


If you're going "That's not stone, it's brick!" you're right. It was brick, not stone. The property was a brickworks for a long time and there was a lake which was once the claypit. Dad slept in one of the upstairs bedrooms under the roof.

This picture was taken in 1958, just before he took the top storey off and turned it into a bungalow.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Her house is cutesier than Dads - but that's Yorkshire for you. He said that it was too big with just him living there, and that it was cold and getting a bit munted. He wanted a small house that was easy to maintain and didn't give a crap about historical value (the place is crawling with Ye Olde Arkitecshur).

It looks like this now:

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
(Link)
In that case I am a saint, because I haven't de-historicalised any historical buildings, ever. I am a historical virgin. Or something.

I am totally referencing your number in my next essay. Wait, there won't be any more essays! OMG.

Also, the house just across the road from the cottage is still Historical Ugly Square Brick, but the important historical wassit on Dad's property was the wind pump that kept the pit from flooding when it was a brickworks in the 19th Century. In 1928 it looked like this:



In 1973 it was listed as a Grade II Heritage Building and restored to working order. It looks like this now:



(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:Will Marshall
Date:October 11th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Any number that includes a "depending on how you're defining sex" clause is basically awesome.

(In my case, 5-7 depending on the same)

I REALLY WANTED TO SHARE THAT INFORMATION.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
(Link)
But Happy is almost twice your age! How am I supposed to draw evidence-based conclusions and therefore make moral judgements on my friends' relative depravity with such variables involved?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:rivet
Date:October 11th, 2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
7-15, depending on same. My depravity has a confidence interval.

Edited at 2012-10-11 11:01 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:empresskylon
Date:October 12th, 2012 05:46 am (UTC)
(Link)
I hit 12 before I was 18 (methven was boring, I also raced fast cars), and its been 20 since then. Grand total of 38! Wow didn't realise there'd been that many and I've probably forgotten a few (remembering is hard - I can only remember about 10 names). I'm only 26 so I'd say that's a relatively high number by all standards. What can I say, I really enjoy sex and I don't tend to have long periods of monogamy.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:thesecondcircle
Date:October 12th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Definition of sex? That's what the decimals must be for! Hmmm, let's see:

.2 -- kissing (not a peck here, real kissing)
.4 -- heavy petting
.6 -- manual stimulation
.8 -- oral stimulation
1 -- penetration

Numbers would not be cumulative (each partner gets one value based on where the action stopped).

So we can calculate based on all our encounters! Let's see:
.2 x 2 = 0.4
.4 x 1 = 0.4
.6 x 1 = 0.6
.8 x 6 = 4.8 (see note below on calculation bias)
1 x 5 = 5.0

For a total of 11.2... hmmm, though in applying this is seems that we're being biased against lesbian encounters. I don't think that's fair. All citizens should have the right to be equally promiscuous without regard to race, creed, or sexual orientation!

Perhaps someone will get a grant to continue this project, working to eliminate bias and improve the standards of measurement for promiscuity for all humankind!

Seriously though, why anyone should care about this I have no idea.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:Will Marshall
Date:October 12th, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
We can conclude that A: I am substantially sluttier than Happy, or that B: I am further up the male hierarchy and he is my bitch.

Take your pick.

(Actually 5-9. How poorly one keeps track)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:friggasmuse
Date:October 11th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
(Link)
no i was thinking "incredible!" to have that much edible family history :-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah. I don't have a lot of actual, tangible family (three of us now including the YoT and my brother) but when it comes to historical family back in Ye Old Country, I have them in spades. And luckily for me they were into writing stuff down and taking pictures. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pixiebelle
Date:October 11th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The whole numbers thing is just absurd. It's a private matter and I don't care if you had 50 partners, it doesn't say anything other than you had 50 partners.

I can remember all mine. All 5 of them. Though I was still considered a slut in college (which I hate slut shaming regardless of number).... Three of those five? I was with for at least 2 years, and two I was with for 4-6 (I lost count). One was a good friend. One... Well one was just cute and I'd never had a one night stand before (he's on my FB now, awkward much? But we had an interesting story where he wrecked my car and offered to pay for it. I was nice and let it go. I come to find out that the dude is wealthy as all get out.... Anyway....)</p>

I forgot where I was going with this....

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pixiebelle
Date:October 11th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Okay, I made this confusing. One guy I've been with for two years, two of them 4-6. I'd edit the comment, but I can't from my phone app.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's also kind of interesting that sex in a committed relationship is considered somehow 'better' or more justified than one-time-only or no-strings sex. Every time I try to think about why this is, I come back to certain values of family that arose almost entirely out of desire to protect property.

Which makes me go O.O
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:Will Marshall
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Also contraception and the lack thereof.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Maybe, but back in the days of no contraception, most of my family tree contained child numbers in the teens. For the most part there'd be one kid every one or two years till the mother got too old, essentially.

The difference between this (which was perfectly fine as long as you were married) and having 13 kids all with different fathers (which was considered morally abhorrent) didn't really have anything to do with access to contraception, but with some judgement based on someone's wedded state or lack of it. Which brings us back to propery.

Contraception only changed the risk of being found out having unwedded sex.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 12th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
Sure, I can buy that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 12th, 2012 08:22 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hang on, I've been thinking about this and I keep arriving at a question: What was the reason that if children were born in wedlock they were considered legitimate and 'belonged' to the husband in the event of divorce, whereas if they were born out of wedlock they were illegtimate and 'belonged' to the woman?

Because as far as I can tell, it was the idea of a woman (who was herself a chattel) having children that require supporting while being unable to support herself, that would bring about household income issues that would cause sex out of wedlock to be such a terrible thing. And all of that stuff came about because of men wanting to only take care of their own property, and preserve their own property for their family.

Or am I missing something blindingly obvious here?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thesecondcircle
Date:October 12th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Different societies had different rules for passing on wealth. In societies where wealth (whether that be money or land or customers or status or favors owed) passed through the mother, then issues of paternity were less critical (I'm thinking of some tribal societies here). In societies where it's passed through the father, then paternity is more important, lest another man's kids dilute your family's wealth (which with no birth control would be a lot of dilution).

There's evidence* that for many centuries in Western Europe marriage/breeding/paternity issues applied primarily to those with wealth (nobility) whereas the peasantry had much laxer attitudes to marriage and breeding as a whole. This changed over time through pressure from the church.

The inheritance issue applied to men too. A man's legitimate sons usually had preference in dividing the family's wealth, whereas bastards were accorded a secondary status.

* Which I'm too lazy to research, but I remember studying at some point.

In terms of women's wealth and inheritance, where do you think the modern obsession with engagement rings, fancy jewelry, and pretty clothes comes from? It comes from a time when women could not own property or be independent. A woman's wealth was literally on her back... in the form of expensive personal items. Giving a women an engagement ring was a man's way of saying "I have means and I'm willing to share it with you." This wealth was passed down to a woman's daughters when they married or she died. Hence the fairy tales where the evil step mother puts on the dead queen's dress or crown or ring (thereby stealing the daughter's rightful inheritance).

A woman of wealth could give favors to various men in her husband's retinue as a way of securing protection in the event that something happened to her husband. And an elderly women without family around might "donate" her wealth to the church upon entering a cloister... which is no different from signing over an annuity on your stocks or house when you need to go into a nursing home.

These traditions aren't so far in our past that they don't affect us. My mother for example, put a clause in her will that if she died first my sister and I were to split her jewelry immediately because "I don't want some other women your father brings home to get it." This when they were both in their 60s and he was pretty unlikely to be cavorting if she passed. And in his later years my father can't resist giving her expensive jewelry, thought she doesn't need it and has plenty. It's his way of saying that he appreciates her.

For my sister and I, this was odd. We never cared much about jewelry... but then again, we both had careers and could take care of ourselves quite well.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:hullabalo_o
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I don't understand why it even matters to others, it's a case of if you look after yourself stay safe then why ever not!

Me I would be considered a saint when I tally up but then I've never attracted guys I like (nice boys are boring and the guys I like don't like funny women)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I bet those saints were at it like rabbits, truth be told. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:dragonvyxn
Date:October 12th, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
so as a fellow liker of teh sex, i've counted and also stopped bothering to count. at one point i think someone asked me and that was why i counted. now i can't remember them all. so i think that's pretty funny, really. i think i left off counting when i hit 20 or so. and then i wonder whether in these averages are they only counting forms of penetrating intercourse or oral sex too? and how are they measuring sex with same-sex partners? because i'm bi and that would change my numbers a bit... hehe. anyway, yay for liking sex and it's just ridiculous that society makes us feel shame for it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:dragonvyxn
Date:October 12th, 2012 04:10 am (UTC)
(Link)
amusingly, reading the comments to this post made me want to get a more accurate count since i felt compelled to think of myself as "slutty" or whatever when it comes down to comparing things to others. i'm with someone who's had 5 partners, while i've had something like 25 or 40 in the two methods of qualifying quantities. it's never made me feel that odd, but i've kind of thought about it. my partner was in a 10 year monogamous relationship from age 19-29, nearly the same age range during which i was polyamorous. well, i guess i should say practicing poly... i am still poly, just not in more than one relationship.... is that a thing? anyway, whatever. this post and its comments made me think about how i perceive myself comparatively thanks to societal constructs. on my own, it doesn't occur to me to make a judgment. so, yeah. interesting!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 12th, 2012 08:00 am (UTC)
(Link)
The same thing had crossed my mind. It's interesting how we internalise these irrational moral judgements at the same time we are living proof that they have no basis in reality.

If I were going to go all criminology on your arse, I'd say this is an example of the way that external social control of behaviour is disproportionately applied to women, especially in the realms of sexuality*, and how that external social control tends to lead to an internal perception of certain behaviours as 'wrong' despite our knowledge to the contrary.

* Did you know that up until about the 1960s, women's crime was barely acknowledged at all, and when it was it was almost entirely 'sexual crimes' such as promiscuity. Except they called it 'incorrigibility' and it was used to brand women delinquent and lock them up.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:bekitty
Date:October 12th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
(Link)
I've had seven partners. The shortest relationship I've had lasted two weeks, and should really have been a one night stand; the longest was almost twelve years. My current relationship has almost been two years and counting.

I worked out recently that in the last fifteen years, I've been single for about three months. Which is a bit disturbing, and makes me sound more co-dependent that I really am!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:ferrouswheel
Date:October 12th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
"So now I find myself wondering why people make it a big deal. What is with that?"

So unlike everyone else that's just agreeing, or saying it's a cultural thing, I'm going to take the personal approach.

For some people it's just insecurity. Especially if they want sex they are not getting. It's the inequality of some people enjoying lots of sex and others not, then people may have jealousy of not having the breadth of experience that others have had. Sometimes that insecurity lasts far beyond those awkward (and horny) teenage years, and so even if people find a committed relationship, they'll still have insecurity... especially if it's a monogamous relationship with a large disparity in numbers of partners. They'll always be a power imbalance (why power? Because if you are asked to do something, but have no reference for whether that's a sensible/enjoyable thing then I guess experience helps... and then if insecurity comes into play, one might feel they need to do something in case they come up lacking in comparison to everyone else their partner has been with)

If it's like a wide buffet of food and you are only allowed one small segment of the buffet, people may have envy for those that have had the opportunity to sample more of the buffet. That envy might make people make it a big (negative) deal, calling others gluttons or other such names, to make them feel better about themselves.

And while it would nice to think people can get sex if they want it, it's a very narrow viewpoint generally limited to people who are attractive, confident and/or outgoing (or are happy to pay for it).

I was in a 6 year relationship with my first sex partner. And that fucked my head up and really gave the relationship no chance. So I disagree with everyone who says it means nothing. The exact number might not matter, but the experience of life that it is a surrogate for, and how that makes other people feel, does.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 12th, 2012 01:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
Most of the people I've come across who've found numbers important have been in these categories:

1. Internet people who struggle to find sexual partners and think everyone else finds it easy.

2. Internet people who think a woman is 'used up' if she's had more than one or two partners.

3. Internet people who admit to feeling insecure because they feel inexperienced compared with their partners and fear comparison.

4. RL people who are really really old fashioned.

5. RL people who are very young and still trying to work out how they feel about sex/care about things like 'reputation'.

I think relative levels of experience do mean something, but what they don't do is give any information about a person's morals - which seems to be the main thing that number is used for.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 12th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
I can't say that I've ever met anyone who's thought sex is a component of love and therefore a big deal, who has also thought that how many people another person has had sex with is also a big deal - at least, not that they've admitted to me.

Not to say that it's impossible for these two attitudes to exist in the same person, and certainly not to deny the validity of that feeling, but let's not pretend that one naturally follows the other.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 12th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah nah.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:October 12th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Haha - I love those sexuality surveys. Who did they ask indeed? And who asked? It says Durex did the survey. So did they pack a survey sheet in every condom pack they sell and hope for returns? Because I would expect condom users to be more promiscuous on average because they have the need to protect against aids more than married couples with a family planning going on... And how do they calculate? If they ask the retired people the number is probably low because standards were different back when. And the young ones - you can't just extrapolate "oh, she had 20 by the age of 40 so she'll probably have 40 when she's 80". Doesn't work like that.

Also - losing one's virginity...? They seem to make a big deal out of it that there is a difference between Australians (17.3) and Kiwis (17.8). It all sounds like 17 to me :)

The evolutionary reason behind men bragging and women clamming up is resources. I've always loved that bit. We are the rare resource because we invest 9 months of child bearing and at least 10 years of intensive care while the man at best invests 10 minutes of fun. So we really need to put up high standards to insure the offspring is worth it. While he just needs to spread his genes as wide as he can. And say what people will, the instinct is still within us :-)

Personally I don't need to take my shoes off to count my sexual partners but barely... so I probably overcame some of the instincts for a time *g*

The rheumatic fever is really shitty. I'm still waiting for my shoe to drop there. I had scarlet fever and lots of ear infections and my anti-strep level is about 6 times as high as is considered healthy. I have a pretty good chance of coming down with rheumatic fever one year or another. Hope it's another.
It's not necessarily poverty or malnutrition although that certainly helps. It's also resistant strands that we bred by using way too much antibiotics on cows and pigs (and humans) so now we hardly have anything left to fight the buggers.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 13th, 2012 01:12 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, I didn't think 'condom users' would be a particularly representative group to ask either.

I don't set a lot of store by evolutionary psychology. It does have its place, but far too many people try to use it to extrapolate oversimplifications, and oddly enough those oversimplifications have a tendency to justify the status quo wrt gender roles. Which is, IMO, a load of bollocks, and often not backed up by evidence.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:October 13th, 2012 09:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
It's always bullocks when laymen use science to back up their politics. It doesn't make science irrelevant nor shitty behaviour any better. Agreed.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)