The magic number: how many people have you slept with?
19 days ago
From a 40 -year-old virgin to a role-play devotee, real people disclose everything theyve learned between the sheets. Cautioning: adult content
You didnt go all the way unless you were stupid, because it would ruin your life
Jane, 81, three partners
My grandmother was a Victorian and wouldnt mention the lavatory. For her, sexuality would have been something a woman suffered rather than enjoyed.
Coming to London in 1955 was a revelation. My friend and I shared a flat with three chaps. This was unheard of at the time, but by gosh we had fun. There was a bath in the kitchen and, if you didnt want to miss the party, people could hand you a drink through the curtain.
But Id never go all the way. You couldnt enjoy sexuality to that extent, because youd be afraid of losing control. We had no contraception. You didnt go further unless you were stupid, because it would ruin your life. Even when you were married, you were holding back, in case you got pregnant again. That destroyed a lot of the pleasure for women. The greatest liberation was the contraceptive pill. That changed everyones attitude to sex.
I marriage at 24 and had two children, but I used to wish I could have sex just for the sake of it. Im divorced now and, a couple of years back, a male acquaintance asked, Are you still active? And I supposed, whats he on about? My arms and legs still run. I can walk about. Then I realised it was a euphemism for sexually active. When I told my grandson, he burst out chuckling. Hed have to be fairly damned gorgeous, but I dont guess I could now. A man of my age would expect me to cook his food. I cant be bothered with that.
I went on Grindr when I was 16, and I was frightened
Paul, 20, three partners
When I was really young, I imagined myself being with a woman, because that was the norm. Growing up and used to identify I was gay changed everything.
At my age, a lot of gay men are quite sleazy. Straight men are likely the same. People sleep around, and its not my scene, so finding a long-term partner can be difficult. I recollect going on Grindr when I was 16, and I was terrified because older humen started sending me photos. I was like: what are you doing? Youre 40. Is that OK? That 40 -year-old humen can approach 16 -year-olds?
Its very easy for lesbian men to find sex. If I wanted to have sex tonight, I could probably find someone, but I wouldnt feel the connection. I could go on Grindr, chat person up and invite them round, but I dont like the idea of inviting a stranger into my house.
I miss people actually talking to each other, instead of being online. You ensure 90 s Tv programmes where people go up to someone in a bar and say, Hi, can I get your number? And I think, that would never, ever happen these days.
Ive not been in that situation yet, but I think sex is likely best when youre in a relationship, because youre more comfy around one another. When you dont know person, you always think, Oh God, is this OK? Am I doing this right? Especially if theyre more experienced than you. Ive slept with guys whove had more experience and guys whove had less, and you can tell the difference, so I always wonder: can they tell that about me?
There are lots of things that are way more pleasurable than penetration
Matt, 28, more than 25 partners
The sex we see in the media is one-dimensional. Its nearly always penetrative, and that might be how you construct babies, but its not the best style to induce your partner climax. I had an illness when I was a child, which meant I lost one of my legs. Disabled people have a blessing in a manner that is, because they learn that there are lots of other things that you can do that are style more pleasurable.
I discovered that confidence is a trick when I was at university. Its a style of holding your head up and faking it, because women dont actually care how you seem. But I also realised that the best thing I could do was to learn how to induce women genuinely enjoy themselves. So much of sex education is not based on female pleasure at all. A lot of men have a narrative in their head about how sex should play out, which objective up prohibiting genuine experimentation. Some humen get intimidated by a woman who is sexually empowered or open because its not what they were taught was meant to happen.