A big part of our growing and understanding of sex is about numbers and statistics. Yet, it can be far too easy to get hung up on these figures and forget about, well, figures. Sexy figures that you see across a crowded room or might even be in your room each and every night. This week, we're going to focus on some of the recent sexy statistics!

Cocked and Loaded

As of this writing, 416 people have been killed in mass shootings in the United States in 2016. As of this writing, I cannot find any data on the number of people who have been killed in mass dildo-ings. Despite this disparity, the State of Texas, on the 50th anniversary of Charles Whitman’s infamous shooting spree from the top the University of Texas tower, enacted a law that allows students to “campus carry” handguns. That’s right, people are bringing guns to class. To spaces that can involve debate, disagreements, and differing moralties. Sounds like a perfect place for firearms! In response to this outrageous law, concerned students are open-carrying dildos around because, oddly enough, those are still not officially permitted! Yup, no dildos, but guns are okay. Hell, dildos only became legal in Texas in 2008!

Addicted to Love

I recently reread Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic "Brave New World" for the first time since my high school days. I remembered the social control drug Soma and the conflict between the civilized and the “savages, ”but somehow I’d forgotten all of the casual sex in there. Given that I read the book as a typical sex-obsessed teenager, I’m surprised this detail has slipped away. Yet I couldn’t help but recall Huxley’s horny hedonism as I read about the potential to biochemically remove the feeling of “love” for hook-ups. "Brave New World’s" denizens are doing it not quite for the sake of it, but entirely without the effect of becoming pair-bonded. That is conditioned out of them in childhood. Now, it seems, there is a theoretical way to make that possible by playing with your brain’s chemicals (or just learning to deal with oxytocin's effects) to resist the feeling of “love” towards someone you’ve just slept with. Should we be resisting our bodies' innate reactions to sex? Or are those reactions just enforced by societal constructs of love? The quote “One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them” could go either way.

Add It Up

Can you even imagine what the sex numbers of the folks in "Brave New World" would be? More importantly, does it really matter? Because sex is still such a controversial subject for many, keeping a tally on how many people you’ve had sex with is still seen as a marker of many different things. Does it tell how experienced and skilled you are? Does it indicate that you’re some kind of dirty slut? Stereotyping and stigma go both ways when in reality, the only stereotype that is valid about people who have high sex numbers is that they’ve had a lot of sex with different people. And for people who have low sex numbers, well, they haven’t had sex with as many people. If you want to keep a tally for your own records, go for it. Really, we’re all accountants at heart and love to enumerate different parts of our lives. But if someone asks what your sex number is, say 42 and see if they get it.

Keeping Healthy and Horny

One place your sex number is going to come up is your doctor’s office. That is, if you are comfortable enough talking about your sex life with you primary physician. A lot of people aren’t, and with good reason. If you declare yourself to your doctor as someone who has sex outside socially-accepted norms, there’s a chance you’ll be misunderstood, shamed or even mistreated. Sure, we’d like to think a doctor will be unbiased and looking out for our best care. However, they are humans with thoughts and sometimes those thoughts won’t align with ours. If you find that your doctor cannot deal with your sex life - whether that's because you’re queer, kinky, non-monogamous, or anything else that's seen as “non-normative” - perhaps you can find a doctor who can deal with it. It won’t be easy in smaller areas, but here’s hoping you can find the care you deserve.

Sex Fun for Everyone

If you ask a parent to describe their No.1 priority, most of the time they'll say it is their child. If you then ask them what their other priorities are, sex may show up, but it probably won't be too high on the list. Despite the fact that sex is what made a person a parent, we’ve somehow desexualized parents - particularly mothers. As this Romper article by a single mom explains, we’ve added whole extra level of stigma on top of single mothers that pretty much removes the potential of sex-for-pleasure from their lives. They should be focused on raising their child, earning income, and eventually finding a partner to settle down with who will accept those children. There doesn’t seem to be any room for fun in there. Of course, there should be, if that’s what she wants, however she wants it.

Take Your Time

Finally, apart from how many people we’ve slept with, the other most frequently discussed sexual number is how long sex should last. This one has troubled, confused and perplexed people for as long as there have been clocks. At least, I don’t imagine folks were as preoccupied with time before it was measured in our meticulous increments. We know for sure that folks are paying attention these days, keeping one eye on the clock and another on their pleasure. And sure, we all want to be available to our partners to provide them pleasure, but this preoccupation with the duration of sex can lead to feelings of inadequacy. A better goal might be communication about what each partner wants and desires and aiming for each to meet the other's needs as well as possible.