Kelly had a landing strip.
At least, I think that’s the right word. She sported a narrow band of trimmed hair stretching northward from the clitoris. I’ve never really understood it. The name, I mean, not the fashion. To my mind, the landing strip should be the part that’s shaved completely smooth, maybe bordered by two lines of unshaved territory. You know, like a runway. But I guess “landing strip” sounds better than “clit mohawk.” Besides, nobody asked me.
Learning my status as her number seventy five really wasn’t all that devastating. With sex, I flatter myself that I take a realistic approach based on realistic propositions. That means, among other things, that I don’t tell myself that she’s never had anyone other, bigger, or better than me. I don’t imagine that no one’s ever faked an orgasm with me. These are unattainable secrets. It does, however, also mean that the impact of uncomfortable information can be deflected by math.
So, I’m thirty. Well, thirty-one. Thirty-two this summer. Look, it doesn’t matter. Thirtyish. So let’s assume the average age of my sexual partners is also thirty. Let’s further assume that they became sexually active at twenty. (For the purposes of this exercise, we’re defining sexually active as “activities that could result in pregnancy.” Like I’ve mentioned before, my densely Catholic upbringing left me paranoid about the possibility of parenthood through unsanctioned sex. As a consequence, it also left me with the period between my fourteenth and twenty-first years inclusive as an uninterrupted era with which to practice cunnilingus. Sometimes, there are people who practice things with focus and dedication for the better part of a decade. Some of those people go to the Olympics. I mention it only by way of an aside, but y’know. I’m just saying). So we can further assume that, given an interest in dating and an absence of impediments like the smoldering wrecks of marriages or long term relationships, a sexually active adult could easily sleep with two people per year. Two people per year sounds way, way less slutty than “I’ve fucked twenty people.” Two people per year is a number that says you’re trying.
Of course, applying this formula to Kelly gives a result of seven point five partners per year (which includes me, so if we’re concerned only with past partners, we get a result of seven point four partners per year and can easily round that down to seven), a number which, I’ll admit, could engender some discomfort, even if it was mitigated by her assurances that she remembers the names of everyone she’s slept with, a claim I’m only reasonably sure I can make. So, okay. We can push the start date back to fifteen, a perfectly reasonable (meaning not completely abnormal) number for roughly millennial adults in America. Still, that leaves us with five. Me, I’m comfortable with five. Probably she just had a really good year. Every year. For fifteen years.
Post-coital, we talked. Like you do. We talked about past relationships, also like you do, and we discussed how they ended. Emotionally, this game is equivalent to showing scars and saying “That’s nothing, lemme tell you how I got this.” You already know how I got this, so we can move on. Her story that I found most interesting involved her breakup with her college boyfriend. She broke up with him by having sex with two of his friends.
It wasn’t the sex with the friends as a means to breakup per se (to an extent, I’ve become jaded to that sort of thing) so much as the simultaneousness thereof that really raised the warning flag. It just seemed like an unnecessary cruelty. Perhaps it was a deserved cruelty; we didn’t get too deeply into this story’s particulars. However, I could make inferences. For example, I could infer that the sex had been, at most, simultaneously oral and vaginal as opposed to the more classically pornographic DP. I could infer this because she abhorred anal penetration, saying she’d never engaged in it. Not that this isn’t a particularly stupid hair to split, but I have now and had then a really hard time not drawing wholly unnecessary conclusions. Also, she lived in Dayton.
I couldn’t look past it.
My OkCupid account stayed up. Soon, I began talking with someone more local, and soon, Kelly asked me to accompany her to a wedding. These two tenuous pressures proved sufficient to break us up. Kelly retreated back into pharmacy school where, last I heard, she met a very nice boy. I don’t know what happened after that.
As for me, I’m nice, but not very. And I went on a date with the local someone.