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HEALTH

Sexual Partners: How Many Is Too Many?

The question that won't go away

BY Agnes Amondi

Jan 21, 2023, 10:09 PM

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The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics revealed the sexual habits of men and women, a report that attracted a lot of debate on social media. Many men on Twitter could not believe that the average number of sexual partners women have is small.

According to the research, women have an average of 2.3 sexual partners while men have an average of 7.4 sexual partners. However, many opined that the figures were manipulated to favour us and questioned the authenticity of the report. 

In fact, some attributed this to the tendency of men to inflate the number of sexual partners they’ve had as it boosts their ego while women suppress their body count to avoid being seen as promiscuous. 

True as that may be, the question that comes up in all this is why would men expect women to have a higher body count and how many sexual partners should a woman really have?

We will try and figure this out by presenting a number of arguments.

There’s No Real Answer

Sorry to burst your bubble but the truth is, there is no set number, not just for women, but also for men. The number of people you sleep with varies from person to person. Some women have many sexual partners while others have few and some have none. 

That said, seven seems to be the most pronounced number whenever this question comes up and there’s no clear answer to why that is. Nonetheless, this figure tends to change with age among other variables, for instance, how sexually active an individual is.

Sexual satisfaction is also a key factor here. There are people who are completely satisfied with their partner and will not need to look around. Others do not get satisfied and thus will seek multiple people. 

Having multiple partners is also associated with dissatisfaction, particularly among women, and hence the dynamics here remain complex. 

Women, Society and Sex

Society imposes a higher standard on women when it comes to sex than men. It is alright for men to brag about their sexual escapades but not OK for a woman to do the same. 

In fact, women with a high body count (this remains relative) are deemed to be promiscuous and not marriageable. As such, I don’t understand why men would complain about the average given. Isn’t that what they would want to hear?

Additionally, could the number be higher? Maybe. If so, then we should also consider the fact that women get penalised for disclosing their body count and hence choose to go with a smaller number to protect themselves.

Going by what KNBS revealed, it is a sign that women know that they are largely on the losing end should they have a higher body count. They are the ones who get pregnant and at times, are left with the burden of caring for the child. 

Double Standards

When a woman has let's say two sexual partners, this number is considered low, when she had 10, again an example, it will be considered too high and when she has none, she is deemed to be weird, perhaps antisocial and shy.

You've heard people say that they prefer someone with sexual experience to none? Well, this again depends on the individual but the key thing here is that the posts keep changing for women.

If you happen to be a virgin, on the one hand, some people will praise you but on the other hand, other people will question why you haven't been able to sleep with any man. Some girls are embarrassed by their lack of sexual experience and move heaven and earth to break their virginity. 

So it's almost like a damn if you do damn if you don't kind of thing. There's no pleasing anyone.

Sexual Liberation

Perhaps this is why some men expected the figure to be higher. The availability of contraceptives makes it possible for women to have more sex than before as they can mitigate the risk of unwanted pregnancy. 

That said, statistics from KNBS show that married women are more likely to use contraceptives than unmarried women. That said, there is no direct correlation between this and the number of sexual partners as divorced, separated or widowed were said to have a higher average. 

The Lies Make It Hard 

Sex is still a taboo subject in this part of the world and that makes it difficult for us to be transparent about our sexual habits. Men will happily talk about their conquests, maybe to fellow men, but women can’t afford to do this. 

As such, some people might have given a number that is lower or omitted some information or even forgotten the number of times they were involved in sexual activity. Additionally, people define sex differently and that too can lead to misreporting.

So how many sexual partners is ideal to have? Well, it remains to be a grey area for these and other reasons.

Read More: How To Get Your Sex Mojo Back