couple in a restaurant holding hends

What is a body count and why does it matter?

Have you ever come across the term “body count”?

At first, it might be confusing, as we all only have one body. You can’t have two (right?). However, body count refers to something entirely different – your sexual experience.

In this blog, we’re taking a deep dive into body counts, whether your body count is essential, and what to do if you don’t want to reveal your body count.

Scroll down to find out more.

What is a body count?

Body count is a slang term for the number of people you’ve had sexual intercourse with.

Usually, sexual intercourse is defined by heterosexual penetrative sex. But, of course, this will change depending on your sexual orientation and personal definition of sex.

Some people count oral sex and mutual masturbation into their body count. It’s entirely up to you – if you even want to count at all!

Though it might seem like you need to make a list of everyone you’ve ever been intimate with, you don’t have to keep track. Many reject the idea of a body count altogether. But more on this below!

Does your body count matter?

In short, your body count doesn’t matter. If you’re not bothered about tallying up your sexual history, you can wander through life ignoring body counts. However, it’s not always that simple.

Many find that body counts are most often discussed in the dating scene. When you’re getting to know someone new, the awkward topic of past partners comes up, and sometimes, you might feel pressured to explain your sexual history.

It’s important to know that you don’t owe anyone this information, and if someone is being too pushy, it’s a sign that they likely won’t respect your boundaries in the future.

Why do people care about body counts?

Talking about body counts often feels like an impossible discussion. Those with higher body counts are judged, and those with smaller body counts are also shamed.

What these opinions generally come down to is a difference in how different people value sex. For some, it’s not a serious topic and a physical release. For others, it’s an emotional act that should only be for one other person.

If you’re worried about your body count, it’s best to tune out of the internet discussions. Like other sex-related topics, people will always have strong opinions. But when dating in real life, the question doesn’t come up as much, and people are usually much more relaxed.

Also, remember, you don’t have to discuss your sexual history if you don’t want to.

close up couple holding hands during sex

Are attitudes to body counts changing?

On the plus side, attitudes to body counts and sex in general are changing.

Thanks to better sex education and a more open conversation around sex and sexuality, the younger generations are much less concerned about body counts and sexual experience than the ones before them.

Of course, many people still hold old-fashioned views on the topic. However, the general trend is in a sex-positive direction.

Should you care about your partner’s body count?

It’s only natural to feel curious about your partner’s sexual experience. But you must approach the question with an open mind, clear communication, and respect.

Create a non-judgmental environment and speak honestly about your feelings. Remember that they’ll likely also ask you about your sexual history. So, if you’re uncomfortable sharing yours, consider whether you should be asking about theirs.

If you find yourself obsessing over your partner’s body count, it’s critical to step back and examine why this is. It might signal a negative view of sex, and such feelings can lead to jealousy, unhealthy comparisons, and extra pressure on the relationship. A sex-positive therapist or counsellor could help you work through these feelings.

What if your partner is bothered by your body count?

Having an open and non-judgmental conversation about your sexual history should bring you and your partner closer together, not further apart. So, a negative reaction to your history can be challenging to work through.

What matters in a relationship is the present moment, not your previous sexual history. Both partners must let go of the past in order to move forward.

Luckily, most couples can put their body counts behind them. However, if your partner continues to be judgemental or even resentful, you might need to consider whether you want to be treated like this.

In a healthy relationship, both partners accept the other as they are. So, if your partner starts withdrawing, making cruel jokes, or keeps bringing up your body count, you might need to have a serious discussion about the future of your relationship.

couple having sex under the sheets

If you’re nervous about discussing your body count

It’s only natural to feel nervous if the question of body count comes up.

Sex is an intimate act, and revealing how much or little of it you’ve had is very personal. If the question comes up, only answer it if you feel comfortable and trust the person you’re speaking with. If not, consider whether having the chat will be a positive talk or not.

Consider trying to divert the conversation or explain how you don’t agree with body counts as they remove the nuance and intimacy from sex. After all, it’s unfair to reduce your past partners and relationships to mere numbers.

If someone won’t stop asking about body counts, feel free to shut them down. Anyone who is obsessed with your sexual history is likely not someone you want to be sharing your body with.

The takeaway

Though attitudes are starting to change surrounding body counts, there’s still a long way to go. When it comes to sexual experience, there’s no normal, and everyone is on a different sexual journey.

Instead of focusing on your amount of partners, switch the narrative and prioritise your sexual health and pleasure. These two factors are much more important than experience and will ensure you’re not only a better partner but a safe one, too.

Explore more about sex and relationships on the Vivastreet blog now.

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