I’ve been watching the show Whitney on NBC. It’s a new sitcom this year. Whitney is the main character and Alex is her boyfriend. They have the usual friend side kicks every episode. In this episode, Alex’s friend, Mark, goes with Whitney’s friend, Roxanne, to donate blood. The nurse needs Roxanne to fill out a questionnaire first and asks how many sexual partners she has had. She tries to cover the sheet so Mark doesn’t see her number. However, when the other nurse comes out with a questionnaire for Mark he blurts out, “58 happy customers served” before he is even asked the question.
Are guys sexually insecure? That is a good question. I can’t speak for the whole male population, but generally speaking I think a lot of guys are sexually insecure. Later in the same episode Mark accidentally tells Roxanne the number again and it is in the 60’s. She confronts him about changing the number. He finally admits to her his real number is 7. She is surprised the number is actually low because he talks a big game when it comes to sex. She asks him why he lied. He admits he was embarrassed to say that he feels sex should be shared with someone special.
Why do guys talk a big game, especially in front of their buddies? If you are tuned into the media like teenagers and young adults tend to be, then you know how both men and women are portrayed. Sex is everywhere in the media. They don’t show men who choose to wait to have sex until they are in a serious relationship and it is unheard of to see someone, man or woman, waiting until they are married. Like Mark said, he was embarrassed to admit that sex means something to him. That isn’t what is seen as “normal” for guys. Instead, you see Jersey Shore, and everyone is having sex with different people all the time. It makes it seem like it’s a great thing for guys to have sex with as many women as possible. Go out, party, get drunk and have sex. The pressure to feel like you fit into that kind of lifestyle can be pretty intense. Some guys are confident enough to keep their sex life private. However, sometimes friends and peers can be pretty hard on guys who are more quiet or reserved about their sex life.
Guys also have an issue with wanting to date a woman who has a lower number when it comes to sex partners. They might not care if they are having a one night stand, but when it comes to getting serious, the double standard still exists. Guys have told me they can be really insecure if their girlfriend’s number passes a certain limit set in their head. It comes down to competition. The more men their girlfriend has slept with, the more men they have to compete with. Many guys have admitted they don’t want to think of competing with the 9 other guys their girlfriend previously had sex with. Even though their own number may be higher. Other guys have also admitted it has been difficult to continue dating a girl who’s number is higher than their own. Not all guys feel this way, but sometimes the greater the perceived competition, the greater the insecurity.
I can sympathize with the pressure guys are under. No one wants to be thought of as incompetent. It is hard to get through high school or college and not feel inadequate if you aren’t out conquering sexually. I think there are a lot of guys out their trying to break down the double standards, but it isn’t easy. It is usually done behind the scenes because the media doesn’t really emulate responsible and respectful behavior. To all the guys out there respectful and responsible, I say THANK YOU. I hope you feel confident about your choice and that you find a great women who appreciates you for it.
Remember, there is more to you than just the number of sex partners you’ve had. (Same goes for you women out there!) It is a good idea to stop thinking of sex as a competition. Instead, start to think of it as pleasurable experience you have with someone you are attracted to and hopefully care about. It is about you and the other person. Leave the past out of the bedroom and focus on being in the moment. This may help lessen that insecurity you may feel due to the numbers game.
It isn’t easy to develop confidence over night, but it starts with accepting yourself. You don’t always need to change to please others. Try to drown out the voices of the media and others around you who try to tell you you’re missing out because you aren’t bagging a different female every night. Sometimes it starts with accepting that you might be different or not fit the “norm” of society. However, in this case I think that is a good thing. I like the character, Mark, a lot more now that he stopped trying to be something he wasn’t. I’m glad he was able to admit he isn’t really an disrespectful idiot, even though he thought it was more acceptable to be this way. He is much better off just being himself.
Plus, if you saw the whole episode, you know that both Roxanne and Mark are worried the blood bank is going to call them to say they can’t accept their blood because of STD’s. It may be hard to admit your number is low, but trust me, it is a lot harder to tell your partner that you’ve contracted an STD. No matter what, always use protection when engaging in any type of sexual activity. It is true that the higher your number, the more at risk you become of contracting an STD. So be smart and be safe!