Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dan Savage: How many Partners is too Many?

This is a conversation Eric the roommate and I find ourselves having quite often (he's straight, btw's.) However, it always boils down to what do we define as "sex."
For the straight world (most straights I talk to tend to agree,) sex is going all the way; while for me, sex is any form of getting off from light stuff to the whole enchilada. I suppose there is no answer, like Savage points out. But I do feel as though the difference between a healthy amount of partners and an unhealthy amount all comes down to the way you feel about yourself, your partner and how the choices you made make you feel in the end.



Marc said...

I also think that the 'right' number is fluid, and changes over time as your personal situation changes. A single person in their twenties might be comfortable having multiple partners over the course of a month or year, where a thirty-something or forty-something person in a relationship might have a totally different 'right' number.

rptrcub said...

As long as it's safe and consensual -- it's up to you.

ryan charisma said...

Oh man,

If you're asking how many men I've had anal sex with, the number is low.

But if your asking me what's number of men that I've 'gotten off' with, I've totally lost count and couln't pretend. My friends think I'm a tease sometimes because I'll make out with ya, a little oral, some slap & tickle - but there's no way anal is going to happen. Especially if you're a complete stranger in a bar/bathouse type of situation. I'm sure it's because I'm the first generation that grew up with safe sex rules. I simply won't and will tell my partner up front, I won't.

But I do consider any form of 'getting off' a form of sex.

Anonymous said...

I'd say look to the "quality" aspects of any physical encounter/s before you focus on the "quantity" when it comes to defining yourself.

To this, I have observed, over my many years of fucking in NYC, that those men who frequented group sex experiences (parties, sex clubs and bathhouses), myself included, weren't emotionally maturing as much as my friends were who had committed (open or closed) relationships. To me it was about not getting age appropriate emotional challenges to surmount, but the same - yes, exciting - but narrowly ranged experiences over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Gay men in the seventies were fucking themselves to death!? It really wasn't the sex itself that did the damage. Sure, having lots of sex might increase your chances of catching an STI, but if you take your safety seriously the extra practice also increases your condom skills -- as any sex worker can tell you -- so these things even out.

I think Savage is taking high sexual appetite as a particular trait of some men and applying it to all gay men, whereas the sex pigs are only a small minority made highly visible by the preoccupations of safe sex culture, and there's a much larger contingent of men who prefer kissing and cuddling and 'body contact' and really find our community's obsession with anal sex bewildering.

Boomer said...

It's up to each person how many is too many. But a bath house is a brothel staffed by volunteers is hysterical.

Dan said...

I too lost count of the number of men I have "gotten off" with, but then again , I didnt know there was going to be a quiz one day.

bstewart23 said...

"...really find our community's obsession with anal sex bewildering."Some people need to be introduced to their prostates.

the zak said...

Questions about the effects of... "Let's get tested 2GETHER B4 we have sex, for A VARIETY of STDs."

What would be the effect on sexual health in a population if a tiny percent of the population did the strategy?... of "Let's get tested 2GETHER B4 we have sex, for A VARIETY of STDs."

Sexual health checkups reduce ambiguity and can be like anything else POTENTIAL sex partners do together.

How widespread is the phenomenon?... of the strategy of "Let's get tested TOGETHER BEFORE we have sex, for A VARIETY of STDs."

What evidence is there of failure?... of the strategy of "Let's get tested 2GETHER B4 we have sex, for A VARIETY of STDs."

see also

sangito said...

there is no such thing as too many partners because than there would would be such a thing as too few partners or not enough partners to counterbalance : these statements are all judgmental.

Mr Savage not well informed. there were str8 bathhouses in germany in the 80s and there are str8 and mix bathhouses in Montreal today.

if one s sexuality is a positive thing in one s life than quantity is irrelevant

sex in my opinion is more than just the intercourse phase

but who am i to say Clinton manage to convince your people that a blow job was not having sex ...

str8 people often say of gays that we are too sexual are they the same str8 who believe sex is only intercourse lets do a poll

ciao Guy Déom Quebec City