Sex history calculator: Is your number of sexual partners low, average, or high?

Tell Us How Many People You’ve Slept With. We’ll Tell You if That’s a Lot.

Tell Us How Many People You’ve Slept With. We’ll Tell You if That’s a Lot.

Commentary about business and finance.
May 29 2015 12:01 AM

Is Your Sexual History As Impressive As You Think?

Tell us how many people you’ve slept with. Our calculator will tell you if that’s a lot.


Photo by MarishaSha/Shutterstock

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Data based on answers from more than 13,000 Americans in the General Social Survey, 2006 - 2014.

You, dear reader, are a human being. And as a human being, you are naturally curious, a little bit self-conscious, and maybe even competitive about sex. At some point you’ve almost certainly thought about the number of people you’ve slept with and wondered: Is that normal?

Wonder no more. Enter your stats into our new calculator, and, based on your age and gender, it will tell you exactly which percentile you fall into when it comes to how many partners you’ve hopped in the sack with.

Why make a sex calculator? We were inspired by a study published this month in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, which found that millennials (or snake people, if you prefer) are on pace to sleep with an average of eight partners during their lifetimes, fewer than Generation X (10 partners) and the baby boomers (11 partners). In other words, as a group, today’s young adults are shaping up to be less sexually prolific than their parents. But averages—and medians and modes, for that matter—only tell us so much, and when it comes to sex, they also hide the vast array of individual behavior that makes life so darn exciting. So we dove into the same data set that the paper’s authors used, the General Social Survey, and created this calculator to illustrate the full spectrum of Americans’ sexual histories. We used figures gathered between 2006 and 2014 that included answers from more than 13,000 survey takers.


We noticed a few patterns. First, men generally report more partners than women. Second, these graphs have long right-hand tails, which means a few people in every age group, both male and female, have sex with lots and lots of people. While glancing at the raw numbers, we noticed one man had purportedly slept with 1,000 people. Whoa there, Wilt Jr.

That’s 1,000 people, by the way, not men or women. Although the GSS does ask participants to count up their male and female partners separately, we decided to combine the answers. Sadly, that means our calculator won’t provide you any info on how your behavior compares with that of people of your sexual orientation, just your age and gender.

Which brings us to the final issue: These figures are self-reported. People do, once in a blue moon, lie about sex. Memories get hazy. And there were some obvious signs that at least a few survey takers may have been fudging their answers a bit. For instance, round numbers are suspiciously popular. Not a lot of people report having slept with nine or 19 people. A bunch report sleeping with 10 or 20. Beyond that, while the survey asked participants how many partners they have “had sex with” since their 18th birthday, it does not define the phrase, which means people may have interpreted it differently.

However you stack up, just remember: Whether you’re a member of the sexual 1 percent or a 40-year-old virgin, people should never measure their self-worth by the notches on their bedpost.

Andrew Kahn is Slate’s assistant interactives editor. Follow him on Twitter.

Jordan Weissmann is Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.