Does the number of sexual partners matter to me the non monogamist as much as it did in my monogamy?
When I was monogamous, my number of sexual partners mattered to me, a lot. It was a point of pride knowing that for the majority of my first relationship we were each others one and only sexual partner. And after a few break ups, it mattered to him that we were even in the number of partners we had. It was a strange hinge that kept us connected through the good and bad times. My number of partners meant something to me in monogamy, and even more early on in my non monogamous journey. I even kept a little black book.
I took a look in my book the other day, and while it brought back a few smiles, it also reminded me about what keeping track actually meant. It was a way of keeping tabs on myself, and my body. And I went on to realize just how blurry the people on that list are and why I have let the book collect dust. It actually became hard to keep track of who was an actual number or not. For example, do I count the non-consensual mistake that happened one Stampede morning? Does someone taking advantage of me really constitute a sexual partner? That one was tough to write down. Or how about all the members of a foursome. I was not physically intimate with the woman of it, other than kissing and some light petting. So does she make my list?
These blurred lines will become more and more frequent as time goes on. And I guess there is a symmetry to getting older and putting more emphasis on how you feel rather than the year on your birth certificate. But I cannot help but wonder, if I had remained monogamous, would that number have the same importance as it did early on. Or is the putting away of the list linked somehow to me being non-monogamous and truly OK with it.
Or is there perhaps a third option? And that is me growing up, and breaking free altogether with the notion of sluttiness. I have shifted my frame of mind into a sex positive understanding of myself and those around me. People’s sexual wants and desires are their own to explore and feel. Just as mine are. So what good does it do to allow my number to keep real estate in my head? I cannot remember the last time I asked a person what their number was prior to making out or whatever could follow. The number itself doesn’t matter. Where my concern lies, is on safety, cleanliness and how the person will treat me. None of those things are determined by an arbitrary number of sexual partners.
So here I find myself, no longer keeping track. The numbers no longer matter to me. This shift in thought was gradual, and then all but forgotten. The focus has shifted from the mere number towards building real and solid foundations. Towards finding a couple that really suits E and my lifestyle for more than a date or two. A couple that wants us, as much as we want them, regardless of what is kept in a little black book.