This is the story of Autumn and her sexual history. I realize that some readers might take issue with Autumn’s choices, or tie sexual behavior to ethics or morals. While you are free to disagree (respectfully! articulately!) any inflammatory, aggressive comments will be deleted. Just as a point of reference, based on this 2007 study, 9% of American had more than 15 partners.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am a 28-year-old California native. I think it’s relevant to understand that my parents were young, optimistic, hippies. They got married six days after they met! Because my father was enlisted in the military, I grew up in a very nomadic fashion bouncing between the two coasts and multiple states in between.
When I was 12, my father finished his service and my parents divorced and we settled back in California. As an adult, I worked a corporate job attending college and, upon graduation, moved overseas to South Korea. I’ve spent the last three years teaching English in Asia and have just recently moved back to America.
When you were growing up, what were your thoughts on sex?
I can remember always being fascinated by sexuality but I don’t think I associated it with the act of sex when I was young. I collected pictures: pinups, Jane Russel with tousled hair and a shirt slipping down her shoulder, Sinatra rakishly looking out from under the brim of a fedora. The images of confidence, charm and swagger completely mesmerized me.
At the same time, I started masturbating around seven or eight. My mother had been raised in a strict, Catholic southern family, was taught that to touch herself was sinful and I know she was very resentful of the years it took her to become comfortable with herself (I’m not implying that all Catholic families hold this view; however, I know it pertains to her family in particular.)
When she did catch me in the act for the first time I was ten there was a long conversation about how it was perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of. She offered to show me her copy of “The Joy of Sex” and answer any questions I had. My father, while never completely comfortable discussing sex with his daughter, did make some awkward but well-intentioned attempts as to discuss various birds and bees as well.
When did you start having sex?
The first time I tried to have sex I was thirteen. It was with a boy in my neighborhood and was really just experimenting. It was uncomfortable so we stopped. Nearly a year later I dated someone I liked in that heady, twitterpated way you only can as a teenager and we succeeded after several fumbling attempts.
After my initial experiment, I had gone to Planned Parenthood for birth control and we used a condom. I felt no pressure to have sex whatsoever, if anything was the more forward of the two, and have nothing but fond memories of the experience.
How did you come to have so many sexual partners?
I think it mostly pertains to being single for long periods. I have been sexually active for nearly fifteen years. Over that time, nearly six years have been spent in monogamous relationships.
I have never kept a list or names or partners; however, after a conversation with a close friend, jotted down the experiences I remembered and estimated my activity over the years and came to the conclusion I have had between eighty and ninety partners.
That’s roughly ten per year, or less than one a month so really, there are people in long-term relationships who have had far more sex. I feel it’s important to express that the how, or why, of it is not consistent: I had multiple partners as a teenager for different reasons than in later years.
How does one go about finding 70+ sexual partners? To what do you attribute your success with the opposite sex?
When I was young (and I know some will argue too young) it was an interesting experiment, a way to build a connection with someone. I was an only child who had been ricocheting across the country for years and felt a driving desire to connect. I wanted to know what sexuality was about, what this secret, adult act was.
As I got older I wanted to explore my body. In my impressionable late teens, I didn’t understand why sex didn’t make me moan and writhe like women in the movies. There were times of insecurity and need for validation.
I hope you won’t think I’m naive when I say I don’t think those emotions were related strictly to the early age or frequency with which I was sexually active, but simply the byproduct of youth. There was also the times of simply being young, carefree, and around beautiful young men.
I don’t know if I’d call it success! It’s not very difficult to find a young man willing to have sex, they’re not known for their propriety. 🙂 During the majority of my activity I wasn’t looking for quality of character, I wanted excitement and I think that opened up a great many more options. I used online dating for a period, Craigslist as well; but, mostly met people while out and about. I’m fairly outgoing and gregarious and have always enjoyed meeting new people.
Have you ever thought about the reasoning behind your sexual activity? Why were you interested in sleeping with 70+ people?
I’ve spent a good deal of time attempting introspection at my motivation. I think, as I mentioned briefly above, the carefree and body-positive values instilled in me as a child combined with a strong curiosity about sexuality and a desire to meet and connect with people led to the number of partners I’ve slept with.
It was certainly never a goal and, truth be told, was briefly balked at when realized. I have very few negative memories associated with partners so I can’t say that I wish that I’d waited. Though if I’d been a bit more discerning I probably would have saved my mother a few grey hairs.
The reasons for sleeping with any partner have always included attraction and the desire to experience the person intimately, although I’m sure other reasons could be inferred by those wiser than myself. 🙂
Many people associate sex with intimacy. Do you?
I very much associate sex with intimacy. I would say that in previous years my idea of intimacy itself was skewed and that you can only explore in others to the depths you’ve ventured internally; however, an affectionate and familiar interaction was always the goal even in, ahem, short-term engagements.
What are the benefits to having had 70+ sexual partners? The drawbacks?
The stories! I have some hilarious stories. Strange, awkward, fun, some romantic, some cringe-worthy, and some endearing even in their forgettable-ness. I learned that no matter the pomp and swagger, everyone has fears when naked.
Everyone struggles and fumbles, “movie sex” rarely happens, certain positions are better left as page fillers for naughty calenders – and that one position, the one with your bum up in the air, will almost always make that noise and there’s no way to stop it so you might as well laugh. I learned to be comfortable with strangers and appreciate the weird and fantastical bits of different bodies that clothing hides.
I think it’s funny that a partner may be intimidated if he asks my “number” but it has made me so much more understanding of the great variety of bodies, preferences and most importantly, hilarious things that can go wrong.
The drawbacks? A fair number of broken hearts and bad poetry have come out of my dalliances. Experience taught me what common sense failed to: Just because you aim to care for or treat someone respectfully doesn’t obligate them to return the favor. That isn’t to say I wanted reciprocated emotions from everyone I’ve slept with, but there were times I confused intimacy and sex and learned the hard way.
I don’t want to sound like I’m encouraging young girls to hop from bed to bed, but I truly haven’t experienced a multitude of drawbacks simply from promiscuity.
What’s your relationship status now?
I’ve recently started dating a really lovely man. I’ve had my fill of short-term affairs, having learned that for me the passionate excitement I feel with a new partner, while fantastic, is no longer as satisfying as a more practiced and intimate understanding of someone.
It’s become more fun to know what my partner enjoys than awkwardly wondering where this person’s hand is going or be caught off guard in the realization that when they asked for a pair of thigh highs, it was for them. Predictability is nice too. 🙂
Does 70+ seem like a particularly high number to you? Any (respectful!) questions for Autumn?