[Post number 1,000 on this blog. I’m a chatty ILB.]
The new year, as ever, heralds the usual changes. I still haven’t gotten into the habit of putting a 3 rather than the extra 2 at the end of the year; January (the most depressing month) drags on, and the cold exacerbates a whole plethora or interesting viruses. I’ve no idea which one I have right now; it’s keeping me off work, which is certainly A Thing.
Memes have changed too. After thirteen years, Hedone has decided to close down her perennial meme TMI Tuesday, one of the things that kept me blogging throughout the last, difficult year. Thank you very much for keeping this one going, H. I appreciate it.
And so now we have Revelations, a new meme by Molly. It is, basically, a blogging prompt meme with a rather broad scope, but I couldn’t resist joining in with this one.
So… body count.
What’s a body count?
I’ve got a query about the term “body count”. I have always used this to refer to the number of deaths in a piece of media – from a few in Leprechaun to a round one hundred in Shoot ‘Em Up. Does Prince Harry’s 25 constitute, for example, a body count?
Sexually, what even is a body count? Does it have to be full penetrative sex to count? What about oral sex; what about kisses? Is there a special category for those whose name you don’t know, or whose body you have forgotten? Is the term useful, or a little objectifying?
What about cybersex? I’ve had a LOT of that. Do they count?
What other terms do you use? “Notches on your belt / bedpost”? Or do you simply keep a tally on the wall like Lavonia Shed in Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens?
I suppose, like with so much of sex and sexuality, this is one of the things in which you make your own rules. I’m going to sum it up like this.
ILB’s List of Lists
I have kissed twelve people. Of those twelve, I have had sex with eight of them. Four of those have been partners (ie. girlfriends, fiancées, wife). While this looks deliberate, my affiliation to the four-times table is not, despite four being my lucky number. It should please the maths nerds, however.
01. Rebecca (a girlfriend, then a fiancée)
06. The Oxford Seamstress (a girlfriend, then a fiancée, briefly)
07. Catherine (a girlfriend)
08. Jillian (a girlfriend, then a fiancée, now a wife)
[NB: The above are, of course, pseudonyms. I know all their names – both Christian name and surname – in all eight cases, although only a few I’ve ever really used!]
I’m of the opinion that, when talking with the sex-positive crowd (and I might bring this up if I can get a table at Eroticon), the number of people you’ve slept with is either going to be scarily high or scarily low – there are very few in between. But then, again, what is high and what is low? Magazines and websites will tell you things, but are they really true or just dead tree clickbait?
Is my eight high or low?
Impossible to tell. While this is a low number, I’ve definitely had a lot of sex. Bear in mind that, of these eight, only one was a once-off thing (everyone else was two or more), whereas four were long-term partners. I must have had sex hundreds, possibly even thousands, of times… even though, having not had sex for eight years or so, my memory of the act itself may be slightly hazy!
And then let’s think about my situation. For the longest time, like practically EVERY TEENAGER EVER, I was absolutely 100% sure that I’d never have sex. Nobody had been interested and I hadn’t even been kissed until I was 17! 17 itself was a very tumultuous year for me, with my first kiss, first sexual experience, first girlfriend and first sex all happening in the space of a few months!
The fact that anyone found me attractive enough to have sex with was certainly hard to believe… it still is two decades later! Looking at it now, after my first relationship catastrophically went wrong, the fact that SEVEN MORE PEOPLE ended up sleeping with me seems completely insane!
So what’s my body count?
Impossible to tell. Yeah, I’ve had sex with eight people and I do suspect that, to quite a lot of the sex blogging community, that isn’t the highest of numbers. But I’m very grateful for all the sex I’ve had, from the first experience with a janky branded condom, to sex on the studio floor while listening to Brian Patten, to trying to get my girlfriend off the ceiling in the Bristol hotel room.
Every sexual experience has helped to shape me, to inspire me, to beguile me. Yes, I do miss having sex, but the amount of sex I did have feels like a lot more than my single figure may suggest.
And to everyone reading this who I may have had sex with at some point…
…I’m sorry about that.