Friday, July 3, 2009

Brilliant post by Black Sea

As a quick intro, I was reading at Whiskey place ( and a dispute began about JUST HOW MANY Sex partners does the average young Woman have these days? Well, Black Sea breaks it down and gives some good points: (Mostly I want to reference this later, and hate losing posts to obscurity)

Black Sea said...
I'm not nearly as statistically inclined as many of the commenters here, so my observations will have to be more hypothetical or anecdotally driven, but this topic does interest me.

From what I can gather, for middle class, suburban reared, university educated women with some career orientation and -- more importantly -- the income to support a single's lifestyle, "normal" expectations would involve becoming sexually active in high school, having an active sexual/romantic life through most of ones 20s, then getting serious about settling down around the age of 28. Bear in mind, that doesn't mean getting married at 28, but rather, making the psychological transition toward getting married, so that one might actual snag a suitable fiance before the dreaded three-oh. And this is for the more realistic ones, who realize that their market value will diminish rapidly in their 30s.

Let's assume that such a woman first has sex at age 15, that she remains monogamous in every long-term relationship that she considers serious, and that in her own mind, she's leading the normal life of an educated young woman in your typical metropolitan area.

Let's further imagine that she is not particularly promiscuous, and between the ages of 15 and 28 she has four "serious", long-term relationships, which average a duration of 1.5 years each. Thus, within those serious relationship phases, she has four sex partners, over a total of six years. The end of each of these relationships constitutes something of a psychological trauma for her, since she was seriously bonded to each of these boys or men, even if she is ultimately the one who initiated the break up.

Let's then consider her seven "off-years" during which she may be dating guys for a couple of months here, a couple of weeks there, and a few one night stands in between. At other times, and for considerable periods, she is more or less celibate. Let's say that during the off years, she averages only three sex partners per year. Hardly "sluttish" by today's standards. Indeed, almost virginal as compared to "Sex and the City."

Neverthless, such a woman will, by the age of 28, have accumulated a total of 25 sex partners, and will have undergone at least four difficult, emotionally traumatic break-ups (she may have become pretty attached to several of the two or three month boyfriends as well). Furthermore, there could well be a pregnancy (aborted) and an STD thrown into the mix.

So now she's 28. After all of this, she's going to form a durable, powerful bond with a normal man, not an actor or professional athlete, or multi-millionaire, or whatever? And that bond is going to sustain her and her spouse through 40 to 50 years of marriage?

Almost all of her experience, from childhood really, has taught her that relationships are fragile and temporary, that men, or at least exciting, attractive men, are not to be trusted, and that when lovers quarrel, or grow bored, or meet someone newer and more interesting, the relationship ends. This has been her life since she was a teenager.

We rarely consider the extent to which the "rules of the game" are laid down for us between the ages of 12 and 25, when we really come into self-awareness, and ultimately, into adulthood. One of the first things I observed when I began dating in high school was that girls from divorced homes were somehow different, both quicker to go to bed and, ultimately, angrier toward men.

Such a woman as I've imagined above (even if not a child of divorce) is going to have to overcome and awful lot of engrained expectations to make a durable marriage with anyone, and the resultant divorces and prolonged, or lifelong, unmarried status of many can hardly be surprising.

Eventually, even romantics grow wary of hot stoves.
June 28, 2009 10:40 AM

Truly good stuff, if I may comment, it seems to put things in perspective for even the "best case scenario" when it comes to most American Women (really, it might as well be "all" with those odds). With the spread of STDs and the whole psychological support (or in this case enfeeblement) for long term relationships, well... How is this going to work?


  1. AS,

    Thanks so much for this find! I ran it on my blog also, giving you the hat tip...


  2. Heh, Thanks, I saw that, and because of the ensuing response (a LOT, though this is Black Sea's doing, not mine), I've decided to write and organize my longest post yet. I think it'll be my thesis explaining what I believe, and why, and what I think we should do.

  3. Can't wait to see it! I'll keep an eye out for it...