How many times have you had sex?
How many times have you had sex with each person?
These questions have been uppermost in my mind this week after reading a couple of news stories in which people state, specifically, how many times they have shared bodily fluids.
First, it was the wife of the UK’s Jeremy Kyle, Carla, who was reported to have had sex 20 times with polo player James Carr at his Ascot home when Jeremy was away filming in the US. For those of you who don’t know, Jeremy is the UK’s answer to Jerry Springer, a very good presenter on mainstream TV (although occasionally prone to what I would call bullying) and quite a hottie (well, a hottie by ITV standards). Carla is reported to have enjoyed a smoking break outside her home with Mr Carr, after which he led her inside etc. etc. (I thought people lit up after sex – is lighting up before a new thing? Or am I just behind the times?).
Now, there’s another story in the news: a schoolboy who was seduced by “disgraced teaching assistant” Caroline Berriman, claims to have had sex 50 times with her, when she was 30 and him 15.
I’m not going to pass judgement on either situation, but I’m fascinated by the specifics of the numbers. How many people actually count, let alone remember? Pretty much everyone can recall their first time, and I suspect most can also remember their first time with a new partner. But after you’ve listened to them banging on about themselves (I’m thinking about men here), don’t you just get on with it whenever you choose and forget the time codes?
Sex is difficult enough to negotiate, both emotionally and physically (not to mention the post-coital laundry), without having to bring maths into the equation.
I already have a strangely prurient interest in these stories: such as, what was the 11th time like, Mr Carr? Did you keep a notebook full of polo statistics and, after riding your horse in a match, put something in the margin along the lines of “Later that day: another great ride”?
I’d be interested in seeing Jeremy’s diary for this period, too, because he, on national television, confessed to not having had sex with his wife for a very long time. Now this sum, I find easier to deal with, because, if you’re not getting it, you can always remember the last time. It’s all the counting between the first and last times that I’m struggling with.
I can, for example, remember my first kiss. It was at a schoolfriend’s party and with a boy called Wyndham. I remember he was wearing a bottle green V-necked sweater and had brown-rimmed National Health glasses. I was 13. I can also remember the first time anyone saw my breasts – so terrified was I, as an innocent in South Wales, they could hear my screams in England.
More recently, I remember the last time I kissed someone (who shall remain nameless). But as for all the kisses and liaisons in between, who’s counting? As I grow older, most of the time I can’t even remember where my tongue is, let alone where it’s been (I’m regretting not having gone to the pub last Saturday to see Wales beat England in the Rugby World Cup, though, because Welsh men can’t keep their tongues in their mouths after spectacular wins).
Speaking as a woman in relation to men, what do we really remember after sex? Not always the guy’s name, that’s for sure, so why would you record the notch on the bedpost? Here’s a list of what I remember (all things relate to the man’s actions, not mine, by the way):-
3. Stealing the duvet.
4. Breaking the door handle in the rush to escape (just me, then? He never paid for the repair, either).
5. No wine to keep me drunk enough to keep fancying them for the next 40 minutes (at most).
6. No milk in the fridge for a cup of tea in the morning.
7. The car registration number (just me, again?).
8. The registration number of the next car, when car number one is traded in (there’s a pattern emerging here, I can tell. For those of you interested: TB0 440H, followed by MUH 853P).
10. Three licks, followed by the words “My tongue’s tired.”
11. No licks at all.
12. Waiting for the early morning wake-up call that all the books tell you guys have, when they are already suited up and looking for the car keys to drive to work.
13. Texts from ex-girlfriends.
14. The decreasing content level in the baby oil bottle at the side of the bed (advice: mark it with a Biro when you leave, girls).
15. The bailiffs arriving to take away the bed you are sleeping in.
16. The police arriving to take away the guy you are sleeping with.
17. The ex-girlfriend arriving with an axe to chop up the bed and the guy.
18. Getting rid of him so that you can catch up with Law and Order: SVU on the DVR.
19. Wondering what on Earth you were thinking the night before.
20. Another reason why I am never drinking again.
And that’s just for starters. The nice ones. Wait until I get going on the guys I didn’t like.