He rolls off me and does the awkward condom removal maneuver before he climbs back in my bed, nestles in a bit and asks, “So what’s your number?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you seem like this isn’t your first song and dance. What number am I?”
I don’t know. At this point it’s all a statistic.
How many did I love? 3.
How many was I actually in a committed relationship with? 2.
The year I lost track of the number? 2012.
Does it matter if you’re safe about it? I get my tests yearly just to make sure a mistake wasn’t a terrible one. I no longer go into these trysts feeling dead inside, trying to get something more out of it than what it is. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business to know my number, especially when I’m not so sure myself. Why don’t I know? Because I don’t care, especially when the story behind each fellow is a lot more interesting.
If I had to guess, the number is somewhere between salacious and apathy, between someday, I’ll have a boyfriend and like I’m going in for the kill. It’s a number that knows I’m attractive but doesn’t want to sit and waste my youth on some knight on a white horse bullshit. My number is sometimes ambition and other times nothing better to do. You’re special if you make it to the next round of me cooking you dinner, otherwise you’ve more or less been voted off this island.
When I tell him I don’t know, his face changes from curiosity to disgust. He tells me I should know, that as a pretty girl not knowing means I don’t care, like I don’t have respect for myself.
My blatant lack of virginity is not out of personal disrespect. I enjoy affection and companionship in varying degrees. Denying myself that would be silly, especially for the sake of some archaic concept of how my womanhood should be. Furthermore, I recognize anything I do as a woman with a negative connotation would be a high-five and a round of shots at a bar if a dude did it.
Sex is not the deciding factor in morality or human compassion. By sleeping with x amount of men, it does not make me less efficient in my career or unequipped to read my niece a bedtime story. It does not mean I won’t do my taxes on time or give up my seat on the bus for an elderly person. If you’re going to judge my entire being based on my sexual expressiveness then maybe it’s you that lacks respect for me, not me for myself.
And I own my self-respect. I don’t need yours.
Maybe I wish I was loved more and fucked less, but it is what it is. If a guy coming into my room is going to judge me based on the only reason that he’s there, than he can leave. Do not pass go! Do not collect an orgasm! Lose $15 on a cab fare without getting anything out of it. I literally and figuratively could not and will not give a fuck.
I tell him I that my lack of a firm number doesn’t bother me and he gets into some big rant about the issue with dating and sex these days, like he’s still at the bar and didn’t come home with a stranger. I wake up as he’s putting on his jeans and overcoat. When he leaves, he kisses me on the cheek and takes his soap box with him.
My roommate is in the kitchen making tea. When I join her, she asks, “Was it at least good?”
I snort and shake my head, “No.”
We’re both laughing when she says, “Yeah, didn’t sound like it.”
Because sometimes, not only do these things not matter, but they don’t count, either.