This piece originally appeared on The Frisky and The Good Men Project in February, but is being republished on both sites as the film “What’s Your Number?” hits theaters nationwide.
Judging from what I read online and hear from my students, the question of the “number” is as compelling as ever. This month, Marie Claire ran an article, “What’s Your Number?” in which five women (whose numbers ranged from zero to 100) told their stories. The March issue of Cosmopolitan Australia features the same discussion, noting that 59 percent of readers surveyed thought knowing a partner’s exact number was important, and that 33 percent of those same readers had lied about their own pasts, claiming fewer sexual partners than they’d actually had.
The more men his girlfriend has slept with, the greater number of lovers to which she can compare his skills. It’s easier to win a contest against two than against 20, he figures.
I never went out specifically looking for bisexual boyfriends. But most of the guys I ended up dating just happened to be bisexual. Almost everyone has a type—the bad boy, the lumberjack, the math nerd. For me, I have always liked bi guys.
Maybe it’s because I grew up in the ‘90s, a strange time when gender variance suddenly became cool. Kurt Cobain was bi, Billy Joe Armstrong was too—there was a certain punk rock chic to it. And as if magically timed to correspond with a ‘90s nostalgia trip, bisexual men have been in the news a lot lately, thanks to a recent study from Northwestern University proving that bi men do exist, after all. Also I’ve recently been spending way too much time watching “gay chicken” videos on YouTube — a game in which two straight guys make out and whoever pulls away first is the chicken. Mmmm.
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I am going to refrain from going into too much detail and say that I, like most women, have one awful ex. I’ve dated lots of dudes in my years on the scene and there is no other man that compares to him in the badness department. I’ve lived with a low-level and persistent fear of running into him. I’m not afraid of him, but rather afraid of how I would behave if I saw him.
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What would you do if you wound up single on what was to be one of the most special days of your life—your wedding day? My friend Desiree did something remarkable and revolutionary: instead of hiding away, she marched boldly into a proud new future, and in the process became an inspiration to me and, hopefully, some of you as well.
On a recent Sunday, when I would have been attending her wedding to a man, I stood on Bow Bridge in Central Park and witnessed Desiree get married—to herself. A circle of her friends surrounded her while her cousin officiated, reciting vows she had written for herself, which included the lines, “I will make my happiness a priority and forgive myself when I’m not perfect. I will trust myself and stand within the power of my own strength. I will love myself forever more, through good and bad, thick and thin, and for exactly who I am today. I promise I will never, ever, ever, settle for less than what my heart and soul desire.”
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