In the cursed online “body count” discourse people often seem horrified or at least concerned by how many sex partners people have before marriage, particularly the less-committal sort of trysts. But really, what strikes me is how little action both the average man and the average woman get, for all the hype about how people are so sexually liberated now.
How much Action are People really getting?
Consider that the median age for a man to get married for the first time in the United States is 30.4 as of 2021; for a woman it’s 28.6 (source). Both of these figures are near record highs. As of 2015-2019 the median lifetime number of sex partners for Americans was 4.3 for women and 6.3 for men (source). Even if Americans all married for life (famously, they don’t), that equals 4 or 5 people total before marriage. How long of a time period is that? The median American girl loses her virginity at 17 (men lose it at similar ages); though sexual desire surfaces a few years earlier, let’s roll with that. That means that between the ages of 17 and 29, a period of 12 years, the median American woman has a total of 6 partners, which equals one new person every 2 years.
Certainly even less than that, once you factor in divorces, remarriages, and affairs while married, so the average young person in this country is getting sex with a new person perhaps once every 3 years. The median young person is having sex perhaps 5 times a month. This is accounted for by the prevalence of “relationships”, where you have sex with the same person regularly. So common is having sex as a “boyfriend” or a “girlfriend” that people who save themselves for marriage, especially outside religious contexts, have a tough time in dating.
That’s what’s really driving body counts as high as they are: these boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, not “hookups”. Having casual sex at some point is not uncommon; of those 5 people the median American has been intimate with before marriage, maybe 3 of them were boyfriends and 2 of them were wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sort of affairs. But for a whole lifetime that’s a very small number of hook-ups. The truth is only a very small portion of people ever have casual sex on anything remotely resembling a regular basis.
What’s the share of people who have so much as 15 partners over the course of their lifetime? 12 percent of woman, and 28 percent of men. Again, let’s average this out over 12 years between loss of virginity and first marriage; that’s a bit more than one new person a year on average. As you progress to higher sex partner counts the proportion who can boast of them becomes ever-more-rarefied.
“A Carousel of Chads”? The Numbers don’t add up…
The fact is, if people were anywhere near as promiscuous as the online “body count” discourse would have you believe, the median count would be far higher than the 4-8 that it actually is. Or even the 15 figure that is the lower bound of the highest category tracked by the CDC survey.
Consider a hypothetical person who makes a point of dating for fun times and hot sex. Maybe they try to find dates most days, and they succeed once a week in actually going on a date; let’s say a quarter of the time they succeed in actually getting sex out of the other party. That means they’ll pull a new person to have sex with once a month. Once a month is 12 new partners a year.
If you’re getting sex with a new person just once a month, you’re a super-elite by average people’s standards; you have more sex partners over the course of a year than the average person has in their entire lifetime! That’s striking, for all the talk about how people are so liberated, hedonistic, and promiscuous now.
And this pace of new sex partners, adding up to 144 over the course of 12 years, is languid compared to the lurid fantasies manospherians spin about “Chad”, a fictional character who embodies all the characteristics in men that give women the tingles, and who even below-average women are all having sex with all the time, because Chad is willing to have sex with them, but they’re not willing to have sex with below-average men (who are increasingly becoming involuntarily celibate, i.e. “incels”, which is bad because reasons). Or something like that.
Anyway, to hear these people talk, you’d think women were getting action with a new man at least once a week. If you average once a week, that’s 52 sex partners a year. Over the course of 12 years that adds up to a partner count of 624. That’s a hundred times what the average actually is! And yet this is the pace average people would have to set to live up to what is popularly imagined to be happening in this “hook-up culture”.
Keep in mind this isn’t even the more lurid version of the tale. In some takes young women, especially the more attractive ones, are easily able to go on hot dates with new “Chads” every night, every day, including in group sex situations. If you have sex with a new person once every day on average, that of course is 365 a year, which adds up to 4,380 men over the course of 12 years.
It should suffice to say this is not real life for all but a tiny minority, and even out of them the vast majority are not exclusively getting hot action with “Chads”. Since men who even remotely live up to the description of “Chad” are a tiny minority, one has to wonder how they find enough time in the day to pleasure all these women; even if that’s all they do 24/7 they can only attend to one girl so fast, and as the manosphere never tires of pointing out with regard to these “alphas” they have many other demands on their time as they lead these awesome lives as members of the master race or some such.
While this strong form of the narrative is ridiculous, even the weaker forms don’t hold up to scrutiny; the truth is there’s a lot less sleeping around than people seem to think there is. It’s not hook-ups with Chad that are robbing young men of the prospect of a virgin bride, but rather these “relationships” where women put out after just a few dates and are strung along for years, wasting away their best years when they’re in the full bloom of youth with a commitment that won’t end with marriage, which is still the ultimate goal for the vast majority of the population.
Let’s be Sensible
How far we have fallen from the 1900s, when the average time from first meeting to engagement was two weeks, and the norm was that if men didn’t propose swiftly he were dumped. A man often knows if he truly want a woman to be his bride within seconds of seeing her; the vast majority know within a few dates’ time at the most. It strikes modern people as crazy, but it really isn’t.
A truly sensible sexually liberated culture would have kept this norm: even if there’s hot sex on tap, if you want your girl to be more than just a date you propose marriage, and swiftly. Keeping the hot sex part and perhaps even dating itself discreet and professional would be even more sensible.
These Frankenstein-monster quasi-marital “relationships” that we’ve normalized to the point of consuming the entirety of young adulthood were the worst possible option we could have selected. After all, slutting it up with a thousand men for cold hard cash might have its downsides, but psychologically nobody comes away from that feeling like marriage is superfluous, whereas that does happen with people who do “relationships”, to the point that children born from such cursed unions are nearly the majority! The culprit for out-of-wedlock births becoming rampant isn’t the one-night stand or the sperm donor, it’s the boyfriend.
Traditional stigmas can easily lead you astray; for the marriage-minded it’s the legions of forever girlfriends that are the problem you need to solve, not the rare few who enjoy a night of pleasuring by a stranger and can actually get it on the regular. That’s one of the real “red pills” you need to take…