Everyone knows their number.
Well, maybe not everyone. But I would argue that most people generally keep track of how many people they’ve slept with. And those who don’t keep a careful tally on the bedpost can probably at least ballpark a figure.
But I don’t just have a number; I have a list. And I don’t just have a list; I have a list with details.
It all started in my freshman dorm room, when, after a particularly rowdy string of weekends, a friend of mine and I decided to make a list of all the boys we’d made out with recently (back when “making out” with people still counted).
But it gave me an idea, and I decided to start another list as well. I numbered a page in my journal (yes, I had a journal) and started listing all the names of boys who had shared my bed (or theirs). At this point I was still in the single digits, so writing them all down didn’t take very long. So I decided to embellish my list with some details about each guy; editorial comments, if you will. Who he was, what we did, where we did it, how good it was, notable physical characteristics, and memorable moments. And sometimes—occasionally—even my feelings about him.
Over the years I kept adding to the list; putting little stars next to the guys who, thanks to me, were no longer virgins, and little smileys next to the guys I really liked. One guy—the one I fell in love with—even got a little heart.
“Cute virgin from Iowa who lasted 45 minutes! On the kitchen tile floor! Sex injuries… ”
“Hot Columbia Business School grad in town for……his own bachelor party! Oops!”*
“Adorable Concordia freshman soccer player with washboard abs and the perfect penis; a bit young.”
“Sexy Parisian, just graduated, sex in the Mount Royal Park (almost got caught!), lots of sexy tattoos.”
*In my defense, I didn’t find out it was his bachelor party until the next day. As unbelievable as it sounds, exactly who the groom-to-be actually was wasn’t a detail that seemed important to us during the course of the night.
Over time my enthusiasm about keeping up with the editorial comments started to wane, but I knew that if I broke with tradition, and just kept a list of the names, or nothing at all, I would regret it. Looking back at the beginning of the list now, I realize how much fun it is that I wrote down all those details, because if I depended on my memory alone, I probably wouldn’t remember half of what I can when I have a couple of prompts. Taking a stroll down memory lane, it’s amusing to see how much my standards have changed over the years. What was amazing at twenty, I would barely call mediocre now. And I certainly took some liberties then that, for better or for worse, I would think twice about today.
Today my list advances much more slowly. I took a couple of years off from it, for a long term relationship, and after that I just didn’t make as much progress as quickly I had in undergrad; understandably enough. Sure, when I sleep with somebody new I try to find a minute to update the list, and pencil in a few details that, thirty years down the line, might help me remember who the brooding, tortured artist from Minneapolis was. But it doesn’t make me as giddy as it did when I slept with the boy from the booze cruise and broke into double digits.
Still, it’s a list I’m glad I have. What does your list look like?
Originally published on Date Daily. Republished with permission.
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