July 21, 2005 :: The superwhore theory

As you've probably learned by now, I have a theory for everything. I've decided to share some of my dating and relationship theories with you. I was going to save these for a book about relationships that I plan to write and get rich from and retire, but what the hey... maybe this blog will help me to reshape and refine some of my ideas.

Today I'd like to combat an idea that I find to be prevalent among many women, and probably by extension some men: that men are bigger whores than women. They aren't. In fact, I think men and women are equally whorish. For the purposes of this discussion, we'll only consider heterosexual activity.

First, let's consider the "ideal" situation:

Figure 1. Ideal situation

In this fantasy land, each person has the same number of sexual partners, namely three. Therefore, men (in blue) and women (in pink) have the same number of average partners, three.

Of course, reality is nothing like this. Women insist that men have slept around more than they have. In practical terms, this would mean that men had to have a higher number of average partners than women.

This is impossible.

Every time a man has a partner, he's sleeping with a woman. Therefore, the total number of encounters for all men and all women is always the same*, and the average is the same. But women insist that they've had less, and that most women (or at least the women they know) have had less. Is this possible?

It is, under a special circumstance. In order for this to happen, there would have to be a small subset of women who have slept with a whole lot of people. We'll call them superwhores.

Figure 2. Superwhore situation

In the superwhore situation, you'll notice that girl A has had 5 partners, more than anybody else in the diagram. In fact, she's slept with everybody. All the men still have 3 partners, and a couple of the women have only two, making them feel more chaste I would imagine.

This is, of course, a very small example. In the general population, the numbers would have to be much drastically different. Depending on the size of the superwhore subgroup, their "body count" (so to speak) would have to be much much higher than everyone else's, including the most sexually-active men... probably an order of magnitude higher. Still, this could be possible. Finding this population would establish this theory beyond a doubt, and actually somewhat vindicate the women who feel good about feeling chaste, but I think it's unlikely we'll find them... it's sort of like looking for the Higgs boson, establishing a theory of everything.

In reality, I think the world probably looks something like this:

Figure 3. Realistic situation

Here, there is a distribution of numbers of partners. Most people are around average, with a couple of people on either side above or below average. In a large population, it probably resembles a bell curve, and it's the same for men and women.

So, in conclusion, if you find some superwhores, let me know. I've got some, uh, questions to ask them.

* The sexually active population of men and women isn't exactly 50-50, there are a very few more women than men. In these calculations, they'd be in the 2nd decimal place, so it doesn't matter.