How Many People Have You Slept With? Here’s the Number You Should Give.

This one seems to crop up quite a bit, and it shouldn’t. Like asking a woman’s age, or a man’s penis size, there are certain questions which are just plain rude.

Yes, I have been asked the question a few times, and I no qualms about not telling the truth with this particular information request – this falls under the category of “ask a silly question, get a silly answer.”

Last week, the ageing, sad, misogynistic Hugh Hefner came out to the press and revealed (oh how classy!) how many women he had bedded in his lifetime. So what is the number? In an interview with Esquire magazine he said: “How could I possibly know? Over a thousand, I’m sure. “There were chunks of my life when I was married, and when I was married I never cheated. But I made up for it when I wasn’t married. You have to keep your hand in.”

Well, at least Hugh is not a cheater. I have written previously about what I think about married men and women who cheat on their partners. So Hugh has bedded a thousand birds – it sounds like a lot. Let’s take his age into consideration, Hugh is 86, and assuming he has been sexually active since age 16, that’s 70 years of gettin’ busy. Still, that’s 14 women a year, every year, for his whole life. That’s less than two a month – not really that bad, is it?

Of course, the question is always more loaded for a woman than it is for a man. It’s the old “slut vs. stud” double-standard. So, what is my actual number? If I was going to be honest with you – I would have to say that I don’t know. Even that sounds bad, doesn’t it? It sounds as if I have had so many lovers that I have lost count, but the truth if the matter is that I have never counted, and I won’t start now.

But – I have worked out the answer to give to any schlub who is dumb enough to ask me that question. You simply have to give them the answer they want to hear.


So what do guys want to hear? From what I have gathered, they want to know that you are experienced, but not too experienced, that you are discerning, but not so discerning that he isn’t in with a chance. So what answer should a lady give?

There are two answers you can give.

You can either say 8 guys, or 11 guys. And if you want to be particularly cagey, you can further confuse the questioner by asking:

Do you mean, “Played around with?” or “had full sex with?” In which case you can give the two figures, covering your bases. So why have I picked those two numbers? Well, any less than four sounds like you may have some sort of problem, or a very restrictive or religious background. Between four and six might sound like it should be acceptable, but really this can indicate that you only ever sleep with people you date long term – meaning that you are probably a bit on the dull side (sorry!) and should probably get out on the town and live a little.

Saying eight is the perfect number. You are not yet into double figures, but you’ve probably learnt a few skills and tricks. Saying 11 is reserved for those (like me) who can’t get away with such a blatantly low number, often because I have pashed more than one person in any given room.

No woman (or man) should ever feel guilty for lying about this figure. It seems that I am not alone in my calculations: a recent survey by asked 1,000 clients to name the perfect number of ex-lovers anyone should have, and the answer, from both males and females, was 10. Any more, claim the respondents to the survey, would be promiscuous; any less would betray an inexperienced fumbler, or a repressed loner.

Remember, whatever the number, sometimes mystery is the best policy: Mary Killen, The Spectator’s agony aunt and queen of etiquette, says, “Who wants their friends or strangers imagining them having 10, or any number, of couplings? Mystery is always best. Once graphic details, or even numbers, have been spelt out, they can never be forgotten.”

  1. Pingback: How Many People Have You Slept With? « muffins&mocha

  2. Anonymiss
    May 14, 2013

    I subscribe to the rule of 3; multiply by 3 for women; divide by 3 for men. So I say my number is 8. It’s actually 26. I’m 27 btw.

    1. May 15, 2013

      Wow – I haven’t heard that one yet! OK next guy that asks I’m going to multiply my real number by 3. Hope he sticks around!

  3. calTOny
    February 21, 2014


    1. February 21, 2014

      Hi calTOny – thanks for your comment. I agree that honesty is the best policy when it comes to relationships. However, not everyone needs to know everything about your life and I think the “how many people have you slept with” question is unnecessary information. It’s better to maintain a little mystery.

      All the best — Alyce

  4. Pingback: How to get away with lying and what are the most common lies?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.