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Why I Stopped Answering The Body Count Question

Enough is enough.

Her Voice

I cannot tell you the last time I was dating a guy and he did not ask me how many men I slept with prior to meeting him.

And I, young and naïve, answered the question truthfully and cautiously each time. I became paralyzed with fear that whatever number I gave him would be either too high and he would consider me easy, or that it would be too low and he would consider me inexperienced. This one question of "What's your body count?" caused me to wince, and I began to feel like it would put my attempt at building a relationship with someone in jeopardy.

Now, after reaching maturity and understanding what the question is REALLY asking, I feel that enough is enough.

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Asking someone, "What's your body count?" is basically asking someone, "How many people have had you before you met me, and is this number worth me adding myself to?" We have become a society where how many people a woman has had sex with will override any quality about her, and will be the main thing she is remembered by. This concept has become so outrageous that women have refused sex with men to keep the count low, or lied about the number in order to not seem fast.

A body count is something that men somehow feel the need to find out, and that women are quick to hide.

This all stems from a society where women are taught that sleeping with one too many men is promiscuous, and that choosing not to be as sexually active or choosing abstinence will make you a prude. Women having sex without a relationship simply because they enjoy having sex seems as if it automatically makes them a hoe. Yet, men are able to sleep with as many women as they choose without fear of comments and rejection. I've never met a man who was taught to live by the "keep them all on one hand" rule, nor who has felt ashamed about the number of females they've had sex with. But for years, women have been forced into categories based on this, and enough is enough.

The number of people you have had sex with IS NO ONE'S BUSINESS. PERIOD. Men have become so concerned with a woman's past that they they fail to work on being a part of her present or future.

The idea of "too many" other men previously having a woman deterring a man from pursuing her says more about the man, not the woman. As I was taught, genuine men do not ask women about other men. They concern themselves with her, rather than worry about who she has been with.

Men are so concerned with a woman's past that they fail to work on being a part of her future.

Furthermore, women have the ability to be as sexually free as men, regardless of how men or women may feel about it. Quite frankly, I feel that part of the problem is that many men can't handle a woman who is as sexually carefree as they are. This mindset has transferred from men to women, as now women will also judge another woman based on how many men she has allegedly slept with. We have involved too many opinions into our personal business, when there should only be one. What a woman does with her body and who she does it with is up to her; it is only her opinion that counts.

I no longer answer the body count question. I also no longer debate what I do sexually based on how another man or woman would feel. We need to learn to involve ourselves in someone's present without worrying about their past. Everyone needs to find themselves some business, and a woman's body count is not it.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

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