I stopped counting the number of people I've had sex with when I was about eighteen. By that time I'd been sexually active for two years and was a freshman in college. I stopped tracking bodies because I think it's another way to slut-shame women. I don't see the point in keeping a numeric record of my sex history. What does it benefit a person to know that information?
No matter what we do women can't seem to shake the double standard--the more a man has sex, the more praise he gets; the more a woman has sex, the more she's judged. I've decided to lead by example and be the change I want to see. Some argue that having a high number of sex partners shows a lack of self-respect or worth. On the other end, those who don't engage in lots of casual sex or whose numbers are low are called prudes, squares, or late bloomers. I can't remember any guy I've seriously dated ever asking my number, which is great. Drawing a premature conclusion can keep one from finding a great relationship.
When I'm asked about my digits I'm quick to say how irrelevant I think it is. Once I was interviewed by a man who wanted to present me as a role model (or anti-role model?) for young women. He pressed me when I told him I didn't know the exact number of men I've been with. He then changed the question and asked if it was "a lot" or "a little." What may have been a lot to him may have been a small figure to me. It's all relative to personal perspective and experience. Regardless, in that moment I could feel judgemental energy coming from him. He was trying to back me into a corner of feeling guilty about my sexual history in an effort to sway girls from having too much sex.
Lovers ask about each other's quantity for another reason too. Sometimes it's about comparing who has more experience, which could be harmful to a relationship as well. In my opinion, the only things two people about to share a fuck should be concerned about are safety and how to please each other. Adding numeric figures to the equation can make things uncomfortable.
Of course there have already been a number of feminist pioneers who've defended the sexual liberation of women. People like Lil' Kim, Gloria Steinam, Christina Aguilera, and Lena Dunham are all outspoken role models in the campaign for equality. The more people who rally around this movement the better. Although it's difficult to banish social stigmas it's important to start somewhere. If our generation begins changing the conversation and raising kids to think differently, we can help make it so our children don't have to deal with the same small and closed mindsets that are prevalent today.