1. How many sexual partners have you had in the last three months?
Wow, I thought. It really drops it on you right from the first question.
My friend H and I were answering a survey on sexual activity. We’re both pretty open on the topic of sex but the questions in the survey still made us cringe. Although we were both aware that our own conquests have been steadily on the rise lately, putting a number on them makes the picture uncomfortably clear.
“Do you think blowjobs count or is it just the fucks?” I asked H. He pointed to question number two in reply.
2. How many of those did you have penetrative sex with?
Oh crap, so there’s no way of trimming the figures.
“This is impossible, how am I supposed to remember all of them?” I sighed, throwing my pen aside.
“Just give an estimate. That’s what I did,” H offered.
I stared as the ceiling and began attempting to recall the guys I cruised or hooked up with. I must have stayed that way for a while because H suddenly snapped his fingers at my eyes.
“Fine, let’s do it by month,” he said. “How many were there last December?”
Ah, that just might work.
“Well,” I started, “that was the month when I was at my most active at cruising. I went there three times in a week at most, I think.”
“That makes twelve in a month.”
“No wait, let’s say I averaged twice in a week. So eight.”
“And how many guys did you get every time?”
Memories of group action suddenly popped up in my head.
“Let’s say that I only had one,” I said while trying to keep a straight face. “Then let’s add, say, two more for hook-ups that weren’t from cruising.”
H looked like he wanted to prod but decided against it.
“Then for January...” I started as my eyes went back up to the ceiling. “I cruised less that month, probably just went there six times. Then add two more for the random hook-ups.”
“That’s just about the same as December,” H said. “And what about last month?”
“Hm, February... Ah yes, I’ve already stopped cruising in the hotspot by then,” I said, nodding slowly.
“Why do I get the feeling that the number is still roughly the same for that month?” he said.
“Well, let me see... I got one from Grindr, one from PR –“
“Wait, I thought you didn’t have PR?”
“I made one last month. My first time.”
“Ah,” he shrugged. “And then?”
“Two from a mall, two from another mall and one from...somewhere.”
“Somewhere,” he laughed. “Oh, the fun of random hook-ups.”
“I hate this survey. So how many are there in all?” I asked. I’ve been avoiding adding the numbers up in my head since the beginning of the survey.
“Woah, really? Wait, let's count that again.”
“No, I think you’ve rounded it down enough times already.” H said. “That’s quite a lot, Nishi.”
“Oh come on,” I protested. “You know that’s just a fraction of what other guys get. You know, the ones who really put themselves out there.”
“I meant it’s quite a lot for you.”
I opened my mouth to say something but couldn’t, and ended up just letting out a sigh. Yes, it was indeed a lot for me, considering how I once concluded that I wasn’t built for casual sex. That was after the first time I explored the world of hook-ups and nameless encounters. I thought I had left that world for good, yet there I was again. It’s not like I haven’t been warned. Someone told me that the wind could shift back. And so it has.
Oh well, I might as well enjoy my stay, for however long it would last this time.
“No other choice but to own up to it,” I told H. “It was my choice to do those things, after all. It’s just right that I claim them.”
H started clapping his hands and standing up slowly. I threw my pen at him and we both laughed.
“So how many did you write in number one?” I asked H as we folded our survey forms.
“That’s a fucking lie.”
“Yeah, it is.”