What’s Your Number: Does Your Lover Count Matter?

Anna Faris and Chris Evans star in the 2011 film What’s Your Number?. Above is a trailer that practically tells you the whole story, as well as how star-studded the cast is! The list includes Andy Samberg, Martin Freeman, Dave Annabelle, Zachary Quinto, and Chris Pratt.

But as lush as the male lineup is, the subject on the table lies in the title of the film. What IS your number?

In the film, Faris portrays a typical single woman. After realizing that her count of lovers has reached 20, she decides to give each of the 20 another chance as her ‘happily ever after.’ Here’s a few excerpts of Faris realizing that her number may be a bit high.

Faris: I’m sorry. It just says here, the average number of lovers women have in their lifetime is 10.5.
Older Woman: Yeah, that seems very high.
Faris: High? No, that’s low! 10.5 is low!
Older Woman: Whatever you say.

In a real-life study, the millennial generation has been projected on having only 8 lovers throughout their lifetime, compared to Generation X’s 10 and Baby Boomer’s 11 lovers. The Washington Post‘s article about the study explains the potential causes of this decline, as well as including other relevant studies such as being sexually active later in life.

The Daily Mail separates the averages by sexes, resulting in women averaging 8 lovers and men averaging 12 lovers throughout their lifetimes. However, as much of these studies go, there is a degree of flaw in the statistics for chance of false recording. Women may have lowered their count whilst men increased their count, both to maintain an appearance in accordance to their sex.

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Though America may have more than the global average of 9 lovers throughout a lifetime (America averaging 10.7 in this particular study), we are hardly near the top end of the spectrum. Turkey (14.5), Australia (13.3) and New Zealand (13.2) hit the top of the charts. America actually holds the 13th spot in the study, out of 34 countries.

On 29 May 2015, Slate provided a calculator in their article to see where your number of lovers land compared to the study they referenced. My results are as follows:

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My ‘number’ is at 6 lovers, which puts me in the halfway mark of my peers (however, some may argue that my number is at 8 lovers, which only bumps me up from 49% to 57%). At looking at the graph, it saddens me that nearly 20% of my age group are virgins or had one lover, but it awes (or maybe sickens?) me more that there is 5% that has had 30+ lovers!

Personally, I don’t have any shame in my number and it a fun topic to talk about amongst friends. With my past lovers and with Perseus, I’m still comfortable telling them my number and even go as far as tell them what I’ve ever tried out. Conversations about sex is natural and actually shows a closeness between you and the people involved in the conversation. I’m really open about my sexuality, and my friends are open to talk about their sex life with me, which leads to funny conversations sometimes but it’s all in good humor.


Being a gay man, I do feel that my number is a bit low. I know that Phoenix’s number is 20+ as well as my other lovers having 10+ lovers, but honestly, each of my past lovers seem to have had a period where they wanted to be promiscuous after coming out of the closet and fucked anything with a hole or sat on anything tubular. I wouldn’t say I’ve always been comfortable in my own skin, but I never had a point in my life where I needed to ‘find out what I liked’ and try everything out there, resulting in a higher number of lovers.

But honestly, when it comes down to it, the number’s just a number. I may have had sexual intercourse numerous times with 8 lovers and Perseus have had sexual intercourse once or twice with 100 lovers — all that matters is that we synchronize together now, in the present.


It’s like the episode from Will and Grace with Grace dating Woody Harrelson. Grace announces that she’s had 23 lovers while Woody admits to 5 lovers; however, Grace adds the actual amount of times she has sex, which estimates to only 282 times, compared to Woody’s 3105 estimated times. It plays out in the first half of the following YouTube clip.

The whole idea of ‘numbers’ makes a great movie, and I actually have watched the film repeatedly because it’s good entertainment, but in reality, I can’t see the number of lovers one has should matter in the great scheme of life. If I were to reach 20 lovers and still not finding my prince, I would just keep swimming until he comes around.

I guess I’m lucky to having only need to reach a few loser lovers before finding Prince Perseus.



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