Rude Survey Claims to Know How Many Sex Partners You Should Have

February 26th 2016

Laura Donovan

Is there an ideal number of sexual partners? Depends on whom you ask. And there is a double standard when it comes to women vs. men. The real question should be: Does it matter?

According to Illicit Encounters, the Ashley Madison of the United Kingdom, people believe that 10 is the ideal number of sexual partners for a lover to have.

The site's poll findings indicate that society is "becoming a lot more tolerant and sexually adventurous" because most men "would have expected a potential partner to have slept with far fewer people" 10 years ago, Christian Grant, a spokesperson for Illicit Encounters, told The Telegraph.

It might be true that people worry less about their partner's sex numbers these days, but it's still troubling to think that many people still have an "ideal" number in mind for their lovers, as a person's number shouldn't matter at all.

The sex partner double standard

One of the survey participants explained that 10 is the perfect number of sexual partners for a man to have because it shows he is confident, according to The Telegraph.

Men, however, expressed hesitation about women who had more than 10 partners. This shows that women often face a sexist double standard when it comes to sex. Men are often viewed as self-assured for sleeping with lots of people, while women are deemed easy or promiscuous for doing the same thing.

No one really wants to talk about their own "number"

Many people fear judgment if they reveal their real number of sex partners, sex researcher Justin Lehmiller told The Wall Street Journal last year. They worry that having a "high" number will make others think they are trouble. But they also don't want to risk being rejected for having "too few" partners.

"Some people are concerned with being too far above average, because it will make them look promiscuous; others are concerned with being too far below average, because it will make them look inexperienced," Lehmiller said.

No one really wants to know their partner's "number"

More than half of singles said that they were not interested in knowing their partner's sexual partner history, according to a 2015 Singles in America study published by dating site Survey participants varied in age from 18 to over 70.

Singles in America 2015 study

Jezebel writer Tracy Moore noted this research in a post last year to highlight the issue with obsessing over sexual partner numbers and how this plays out in negative ways for men and women alike.

"Nobody knows what is normal, and we all end up playing out these scripted roles about how much we’ve had sex: Men feel the need to telegraph a healthy amount of scoring, and women feel the need to telegraph a healthy amount of keeping their legs shut," Moore wrote. "It's all stupid, and this is why revealing your actual number helps nothing."

RELATED: Science Explains Why Women Get Depressed After Sex