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A thing wot has been on my mind - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 12th, 2012

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

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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:

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From:friggasmuse
Date:October 11th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
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wow, do you have pictures of your dad's home? that sounds like it would be quite something to see.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
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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.
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From:pixiebelle
Date:October 11th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
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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....

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From:pixiebelle
Date:October 11th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
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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.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
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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
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From:Will Marshall
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
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Also contraception and the lack thereof.
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From:hullabalo_o
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
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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)
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From:tatjna
Date:October 11th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
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I bet those saints were at it like rabbits, truth be told. ;-)
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:October 12th, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
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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.
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:October 12th, 2012 04:10 am (UTC)
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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!
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From:bekitty
Date:October 12th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
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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!
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:October 12th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
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"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.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 12th, 2012 01:07 am (UTC)
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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.
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:October 12th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
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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.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 13th, 2012 01:12 am (UTC)
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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.
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