Friday, May 15, 2009

Women's sexual partners do not easily number in the fifties

++Addition++Jason Malloy goes to work in the comments. He rarely writes at GNXP, and has no other regular forum so far as I'm aware, yet everything he contributes in comment threads are worthy of wider attention.


In the comments of a recent Inductivist post, in proclaiming the death of the nuclear family (to which Ron counters here), Whiskey writes:
When a man finally gets income and power and status GREATER than his female
peers, they are not very attractive. By that time their sexual partners can easily number in the fifties (assume 3 in HS, 8 in College hothouse environment, and 4 per year average ages 22-32 which is not unusual for professional white Urban women). The ability of a woman to bond with more than a few sexual partners is questionable at best, fertility is limited in any case, so most men in their thirties pursue young women in their twenties. Of whom there are fewer each generation (birth dearth). This leads to ever declining birth rates as women opt for one kid in their thirties as single mothers (or low income women opt for many in their twenties).
Overexaggeration of this sort is thick in the Steveosphere. It's difficult not to come away with the impression that females are too often viewed as a mysterious foreign species, presumed to be giving it up to every well-dressed guy they giggle at and playfully hit on the arm.

That's not the case. Women have a natural inclination to engage potential mates, even when they are not conscientiously thinking about it in this way.

Ostensible flirting is an easy point to arrive at. See a receptionist at your doctor's office searching for something. "What did you lose?" "[Whatever it is]," without looking up. "I just saw you throw a whole stack of stuff away a minute ago. You should keep the stuff you need instead of throwing it away. It'll be easier to find then." She'll scoff or do something similar. "Hey, don't treat me like that. I'm not your boyfriend." You might be ignored from then on, but there's a reasonable chance you now have a conversation going that you can parlay into continuing somewhere else. In a setting where girls are actually fishing for that kind of interaction, it's even easier.

But that's more than a few furlongs away from hitting it. Women play a restrictive role in granting sexual access to men, for obvious evolutionary reasons. You have not scaled the great wall in simply getting face time. The barrier surrounds the inner citadel, not the outskirts of the realm. It is the last thing you'll have to conquer, far more challenging than any of the progressions you'll have made up to that point. The girl's restrictiveness is innate, not easily cast aside in the face of a putatively ever more promiscuous society. We may be inching in the direction Whiskey wishes we'd stear clear of, but we're still leagues away from arriving there.

The GSS allows for approximating the cohort his loose girls are part of. Following is the distribution of sexual partners since 18 for women ages 30-35 (N = 680). Only responses from 2000 to 2008 are included. These women were in their primes during the nineties and the earlier part of this decade:


One in ten have had more than ten partners, an average of one new fling per year. Fewer than 1 in 100 report having at least fifty. Nearly a quarter have stuck with the same man for more than a decade, and more than two-thirds have had five or fewer partners in their entire lives. Some respondents may be underreporting, but the idea that a significant number of women are having sex with a different man every three months is not supportable.

GSS variables used: NUMMEN(0-100), AGE(30-35), YEAR(2000-2008), SEX(2)


agnostic said...

That guy is completely deranged. He always says wild stuff like that. He's the "testing99" guy at iSteve. Shocker.

n/a said...

TGGP checked another dumb t99 assertion here: "Most women strongly oppose preferences in hiring blacks

Anonymous said...

... So deranged that he probably maintains a website advertising his massive success with women, and regularly applies the phrase "comically smug" to other people.

Jokah Macpherson said...

"It's difficult not to come away with the impression that females are too often viewed as a mysterious foreign species, presumed to be giving it up to every well-dressed guy they giggle at and playfully hit on the arm."

With this many nerds in such a close proximity of cyberspace you're bound to run into a little of this.

In fairness to whiskey I tried filtering your population even more to include only white women living in cities who had 16+ years of education since he does specify "urban professional white women." It caused maybe a 5% increase in the 11-100 cohort and made the number of relevant cases so low that you couldn't really conclude anything. That's a far cry from easily finding women with 50+ partners.

The Undiscovered Jew said...


This is off topic, but Arizona Vital Statistics shows that from January to April 2009 overall births in Arizona have decreased year over year by 7.1%, 6.96% decline among unwed mothers and births to women under 19 have fallen by 9.9%.

Hispanics were a pluarlity of total births in Arizona in 2007 so it is a decent bet that the decrease in births is occuring among Hispanics, especially for births to teenage mothers and unwed mothers:

Jason Malloy said...

I dunno. I find Whiskey interesting, but often alarmist, wrong, and/or over-reaching about gender politics. Which puts him square in the center of the Roissy/Devlin/Houellebecq Sexpocalypse Now universe, really.

In fact, it is uneducated women that are increasingly having illegitimate babies and unstable relationships. College educated women (the primary target of promiscuity doom-mongering), have had increasingly stable and conservative family behaviors: Only 4% of college educated women have out-of-wedlock births. 16.5% of women with a college degree get divorced within ten years compared with 38% of those with only a high school degree.

But as for the specific claim about sex partners in the city, I am less bothered. It's worth looking into more. He simply said "not unusual," which is vague enough that it could more easily be reasonable depending on the facts.

The disparity between men and women's claims about sex partners is particularly large in the GSS, and how that is interpreted could make a big difference:


0: 5.6//5.8 (97%)
1: 17.2//33.6 (51%)
2-3: 15.9//24.8 (64%)
4-6: 18.9//18.8 (101%)
7-10: 13.9//9.2 (151%)
11-25: 16.9//6.0 (282%)
26-99: 8.4//1.5 (560%)
100+: 3.3//0.3 (1,100%)

Both of these claims can't be correct. Men can't be 11 times more likely to have had 100 opposite sex partners than women. It is not due to prostitution or overseas sex. One sex here, or both, must be very wrong.

If, if, we assume that men are the ones telling the complete truth, then we can say about 6.7% of women have had more than 50 sex partners. And up to 8.5% of women in cities bigger than 250,000 have more than 50 partners.

FeministX said...

The level of baseless misogyny on blogs and message boards is disturbing to me. What can women do if people want to believe they behave in ways they do not? You can't change what you are not doing.

Anyways, AE, will you add me to your bloglist?

Thank you!

Jason Malloy said...

OK, so looking only at women who are a) white, b) with graduate degrees, c) who live in a larger city, d) and are aged 30-45: 0.9% report 50 or more partners.

The "more honest" number for their male counterpart is... 0.7%.

If these successful men are the "alpha males," then there is no indication they are cads living it up in a hypergamous "sexual utopia".

So these numbers indicate that this kind of promiscuity is very unusual among people that fit this demographic.

Sex & the City and Seinfeld are just TV shows.

Here are the average sex partners for this demographic:

MEN__ 6//14.6
WOMEN 4//6.8

The second thing to look at is if men and women are more promiscuous with education or urban residence.

Large City__: 7//14.4
Medium City: 6//13.2
Small City__: 6//12.9
Town______: 6//10.2
Country____: 5//10.0

Large City__: 3//6.1
Medium City: 3//5.7
Small City__: 3//4.5
Town______: 3//4.7
Country____: 3//5.5

(Respondents: white, ages 30-45)

City size has a modest effect on sex partner number. The relationship is stronger for male reported numbers, and the male-female disparity in reporting increases with city size.

Less than HS: 7//13.5
High School: 7//14.4
Vocational: 6//16.8
Bachelors: 5//11.4
Graduate: 5//11.9

Less than HS: 3//4.3
High School: 3//5.5
Vocational: 3//6.0
Bachelors: 3//6.0
Graduate: 4//6.1

(Respondents: white, ages 30-45)

Education has a modest effect on sex partner number. Men with more education report less sex partners, and females with more education report more sex partners. The male-female disparity in reporting decreases with education.

Jason Malloy said...


Glenndale said...

A study of Swedish sexual networks found that:
Specifically, in the case of the web of human sexual contacts, we find that the 10% most connected man have 48% of the sexual connections, while the 1% most connected have about 15% of connections. For women the numbers are 40% of connections for the 10% most connected and 10% for the 1% most connected.

In contrast, for men, the 50% less connected are responsible for 12% of sexual contacts (about as many as the 1% most connected), and for women the 50% less connected are responsible for 15% of conctacts (also about as much as the 1% most connected).

agnostic said...

"and regularly applies the phrase "comically smug" to other people"

lol, ur just jealous cuz i'm hot and ur not. fag.

TGGP said...

That isn't the first time I've used the GSS to refute testing99 either.

Overcoming Bias had a thread on why surveys show a disparity between men & women's self-reported numbers.

Randall said...

I suspect women are under-reporting their number of sexual partners. Some aren't counting and then choosing a number that sounds not too bad.

ironrailsironweights said...

Sex & the City and Seinfeld are just TV shows.Samantha on SATC is often cited as a prime example of a wildly oversexed affluent urban woman. In fact, some critics and others have suggested that the show's writers, many of whom were gay men, designed the character to be a parody of the stereotypical promiscuous gay urban man.


David said...

Fascinating post. Thank you.

Kamal S. said...

I make no value judgment, this is offered as an observation. But Whisky may not be too far off base in his numbers.

In my life, take 4 partners over a 4 year period, all highly educated (2 had masters degrees, the other two finished undergrad), three from middle class or upper middle class backgrounds, one from a working class background, and all white. All between the age of 19 - 32, living in a conservative midwest city

Two of them had over 20 partners. The 19 year old had exactly 20 partners. The fourth had 7 partners.

I have a large circle of female friends. I can assure you, this is not uncommon. Now 20 is a far cry from 50... but it is still close.

Now I live in a conservative midwest town, imagine the coasts.

Jack said...

I agree with Kamal. Women are notorious for lying about this stuff. many have huge numbers of partners, to the point where the vast majority of young, white urban women are worthless for anything more than a fuck.

Audacious Epigone said...

Sorry for the latent response.


The sample sizes for white women in "big cities" for 2000-2008 is small (N=70). Three of these report 50 or more partners.

Whiskey also mentions that the frustrated men are of higher status than these well-educated, urban, white professional women (it's not clear to me that he is _only_ talking about said women though, but instead highlighting them as leaders in the promiscuity trend). So we're talking about high achieving men, not run-of-the-mill guys.


The Arizona updates are always appreciated. Great to see the news continues to be promising.


Why is the prostitution explanation impossible? In the thread TGGP linked to, it strikes me as the most plausible explanation outside of blatant lying (I'm incredulous that someone who has had four sexual partners in his life stands a decent chance of honestly forgetting the exact number and consequently misrepresenting himself). If prostitutes are not sampled representatively, this explains some part of the gap.

Thanks as always for the data exposition.

You are stretching for Whiskey's benefit, though. I'd bet that men are more guilty of inaccurate reporting than women are. For single guys, it's not unusual to say something along the lines of "I've met four girls down here in Dallas. Banged one, one ignored me, and I'm talking to two." It's an ostensible measure.


Shouldn't it be either "many ways" or "anyway"?


It would be fascinating to see the demographic data on the people who participated in the study, but the link doesn't suggest that it is available.


I live in a midwestern town, too, and my female friends are of two social circles: High school and early college, from affluent middle class families with a mean number of partners of two or three, and three are virgins; and white collar women in their mid-20s to early-30s, several of whom I can only guess about. No way that 20 hits somewhere in the middle of the pack, though.


Why do you say women are notorious for lying about these sorts of things? It sure seems from my experience than guys BS about it regularly, especially when engaged in something competitive (think of the kind of things that are said when a team brings it in for a quick solidarity/adrenaline booster).

n/a said...

White women willing to date someone named Kamal: probably not a representative sample of white women.

Jason Malloy said...

"You are stretching for Whiskey's benefit, though. I'd bet that men are more guilty of inaccurate reporting than women are."

To clarify, I agree with this. I would guess that low status men are the most suspect group. (One study found that women report more partners under more anonymous polling conditions. But several studies show that men lie as well, especially under conditions where status is on the line.

"Why is the prostitution explanation impossible?"

Because the GSS has a question about ever paying for sex, and I've looked at it before:

Median//Mean sex partners15.4% of men paid for sex: 15//33.9
84.6% men haven't: 4//10.7
All men: 5//13.8

1.8% women paid for sex: 5//16.5
98.2% women haven't: 2//4.5
All women: 2//4.6

Taking out men that have visited prostitutes certainly narrows the numbers some, but still leaves a sizable gap (300% vs. 233%).

This refutes the PNAS paper that tried to argue the MF gap in sex partners was plausibly due to prostitutes.

Tom said...

I must run in a different crowd. The men I know and have known for the 25 years I have been an adult rarely boast about their sexual prowess or numbers of partners. A guy would be embarrassed to admit being virgin, I suppose, but beyond saying "she was great" men rarely go into any sort of detail.

The men who do, a very small number, are ignored or disbelieved or considered low class.

Whiskey said...


"According to Karyn Bosnak, who researched the topic for her novel "20 Times a Lady" - about a New Yorker who vows to have sex with a maximum of 20 men - the typical New York City woman's number is twice the national average.

"Women in other parts of the country tend to get married much younger. It's not a big deal to be single in your 30s in New York," says Bosnak, "There's also the anonymity factor. You can date men from different social circles here. If you have 20 sex partners and you live in a small, rural town, that's not good.

"I stopped counting at 56," says Christine, 35, a locations director from Bayside who lives in SoHo. "There are so many opportunities to meet men here - bars, restaurants, clubs, walking down the street, the deli. Men are everywhere."

Brooklynite Linda, who has been with 13 men, agrees. "I'm married now, but when I was single, I had a blast. Sex was empowering. I once had sex on [the] F train. It was three in the morning and the car was empty. So we were like, 'Why not,'" says the 39-year- old Carroll Gardens artist."

Note, this is a female-oriented story where women talk about how many partners. Simply acknowledging this is not something you'd see in say, 1994. Certainly not 1984. That's a big change in 25-15 years or so. Massive.

It does not jibe with the GSS data, suggesting that women massively under-report numbers, thinking, "it doesn't count."

Women are hardly mysterious, they are in fact quite transparent if you watch any female oriented entertainment or read any female oriented media.

For example, the View/Oprah, both of which are money-making machines, enthusiastically endorse a hard left cultural attitude and specifically, Affirmative Action.

Whiskey said...

Is it accurate to think that many, perhaps even half of girls 15-18, in suburban White areas will have about three sex partners in HS, particularly if they are single-mother families? Stats say yes, this is not unusual (greatest predictor for teen sex is single motherhood).

College? I've seen studies (Durex condoms, sorry no link right now) suggesting 6-8 partners over four years. That's 11 right into prime dating/mating ages of 22-32, on the high end, and 9 on the low end. You might argue 4 partners per year over 10 years, average (actual data would be bunched up into flings/monogamy) or 3 or 2, but that still gets you 50+ on the high end to 31 on the low end. [Are these assumptions accurate? With the admittedly small data sizes of personal acquaintances, yes. ALL College+Masters, urban, professional.]

The rule of thumb is divide a man's claimed partners by three and multiply a woman's claimed partners by three.

Since a man's number of partners validates his attractiveness (other women had sex with him, a value judgment). Whereas a woman's attractiveness is based on physicality, and relative lack of partners.

The underlying GSS data is only as good as numbers accurately reported.

I just don't see how the data if accurate square with the sort of thing in female media (acceptance of high numbers) and the popularity among women of Sex and the City. The Sex and the City movie, did $415 million worldwide and $152 million domestically.

Sanity check: it seems reasonable to assume that if the GSS numbers ACCURATELY reflected sex partners (2-3 lifetime) then attitudes towards stuff like Sex and the City would be NEGATIVE instead of wildly positive.

I'm reminded of the acquaintance I had at Countrywide who had a great computer model showing sub-prime loans if re-sold and bundled were not a bad risk. Shrug. How'd that work out again?

Charles Murray link has some preliminary data that we can use as a proxy for # of partners (assuming of course that illegitimacy correlates highly with large numbers of partners).

His findings are that White working class women have 40% illegitimacy, White Middle Class women (describes most White female professionals) are 20% illegitimacy.

Simply put, Murray's numbers (again assuming the link between large # of partners and illegitimacy which HAS HELD for Blacks in the Urban Core, and the White British Underlcass) DO NOT JIBE with the GSS data.
Is this "misognynist?" No, no more so than reporting accurately on the total family breakdown of the Black Urban Core is "racist."

Largely, women don't want/need the "beta provider male" and you see a LOT of feminized guys who look/act "gay" in female dominated workplaces and social circles, in various unstable couplings. It does seem wrt to the Murray data that particularly Wealthy Men (Upperclass) don't have trouble attracting mates and the wealthiest women seem to have far fewer sexual partners as a general rule (excluding celebrities and the like).

Just like Steve Sailer found that strawberry pickers paying off 600K mortgages laughable, I don't see why women would want/need ordinary men as husbands given that their own incomes and cheap immigrant labor makes single motherhood an attractive choice, maximizing sex and reproduction. Given that this pattern plays out in Tropical Africa, much of Britain, and the Black Urban Core (itself a big change as Obama noted in his autobiography). We are looking at deep, radical changes in the situation of women: anonymous urban living, reliable/cheap contraception, and equal/better incomes than men. I would be shocked if these changes did NOT provoke radical behavior and goal-seeking changes in women wrt Men.

I certainly DO find disturbing the widespread anger in the blogosphere regarding women. I myself believe it to be the natural outgrowth of little direct investment by men in women. No different than Rap attitudes towards women and for the same reason: decline of monogamy.

Whiskey said...

Correction -- "Frustrated Men" are of equal status to women. Their "beta male" cubicle dwelling co-workers.

You can see the female attitudes towards co-equal workers in stuff like "Mercy" (check my blog or Youtube for the preview) or Parks and Recreation or the Office or what have you. A marked change from the enthusiastic reception on Friends of co-equal partners (Chandler and Monica). In the mid-late 1990's, the guy across the hall was an acceptable fantasy figure for women. Now it's the hunky superior "Mr. Big."

Murray's data if correct (20% of Middle Class women being single mothers, illegitimacy in other words) suggests that women would prefer, even increasingly among middle class, to have kids on their own, than settle down with Joe Average. Tellingly, the illegitimacy rate of the Upper Class, Paris Hilton aside, has not changed at all.

I can't begin to express how HUGE a change this is. Women historically in the West have mostly married amongst their own class, this is a big change.

We've certainly NEVER SEEN illegitimacy rates go DOWN in any population post 1965 (date of widely available birth control). That itself should be highly suggestive.

Whiskey said...

My apologies, I was not clear.

In the original comment, I meant by AGE cohort. Most men with greater income, status, etc. than female peers tend to marry YOUNGER women.

Think Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

This is the function of market power. A man with high attractiveness (good shape, high status/power) can easily attract women ten years younger than them. They don't settle down with Age Peers.

See Female Blogger "Dawn Summers" or any post-30 female blogger writing about her dating experience. Short but sweet, women in their thirties take a significant cut in the general attractiveness, sociability, desirability, and so on of their dates, within their age peer group, OR they date appreciably older with the baggage that comes with that.

Nearly any woman dating in her thirties will say that the quality of the man they date now is dramatically worse than in their twenties when they were more desirable. This is not due only to age, but the "assumed sex partner discount" that men apply to older women.

I mean, who would not be surprised by basic laws of economics applying to the sexual marketplace.

TGGP said...

Cultural products do not tell us much about what they depict. "Gangsta rap" was popular in the 90s, even as homicide was dropping dramatically. Teens engage in a lot more provocative kind of dancing nowadays even though they've gotten less promiscuous. The GSS has also shown that intelligence both predicts having morally lax views and more moral behavior. TV shows are fictional evidence and whenever actual evidence (which should go beyond cherry-picked anecdotes) is available, it is far preferable. Even trends in news articles (which should be based on fact) show little correlation with the prevalence of the phenomena being discussed. We should expect fiction to track it even less.

We've certainly NEVER SEEN illegitimacy rates go DOWN in any population post 1965Illegitimacy rates among blacks dipped slightly since the mid-90s. Illegitimacy and single-motherhood is somewhat distinct from promiscuity. The lower-classes are also more likely to divorce, and age of marriage or remaining unmarried (perhaps "cohabiting" with children) has increased generally.

Audacious Epigone said...


I agree that what has become socially acceptable to talk about has changed with regards to female sexuality. But as TGGP points out, Agnostic has shown that greater provocativeness has not translated into greater promiscuity.

A story with a few anecdotes does not constitute statistically meaningful data, though. If NYC is twice the national average, and some of the people quoted in the story don't even hit 20 partners, it seems like a stretch to say that many women across the country easily reach 50 men.

Re: the popularity of something that does not accurately represent reality--that characterizes virtually the entire entertainment media world. Is Prison Break realistic? Heroes? Lost? That they are surreal is a large part of their appeal. Nobody wants to watch a show about satisfied housewives.

Dividing a man's number of stated partners by three and multiplying a woman's by three will lead to disparities as bad or worse than the number of partners reported. Men tend to report between 2-3x what women do, not 9x.

James A. Donald said...

I know two women who have had very large numbers of sexual partners, neither of whom told the truth about it.

If women rarely had over fifty sexual partners, I would not know one woman like that.

For a significant proportion of births, no father is reported, indicating that the mother was banging multiple men at the time of conception, which would indicate that she was banging more than fifty over a decade or so.

So self reported number of partners is unlikely to be accurate, and we have evidence that a substantial proportion of women have a very large number of partners.

Engram said...

"I know two women who have had very large numbers of sexual partners, neither of whom told the truth about it."


As I recall, you are familiar with women who have been engaged in the "prohibited professions". Were these girls among that number?

Audacious Epigone said...


Also, if women are so open about talking about the number of partners they've had to a journalist researching a book or writing an article featuring them, why would they be apprehensive in telling an unknown interviewer in an anonymous survey (the GSS)?


According to the GSS, if you know 200 women, that wouldn't be unusual. I have about that many female facebook friends, and a personal rule is that everyone friended on the networking site is someone I could call at anytime without awkwardness. Throw in a little randomness, and I think even your anecdote is not that persuasive. Maybe if you knew 20 women who had been as active it would be.

Jokah Macpherson said...


You have 200 female friends you could call at any time without awkwardness? I'm jealous. I don't have enough time in the week to nurture that many social relationships, much less while constantly updating a social statistics blog.

Anonymous said...

I think women's sexual partners DO easily number in the 50s. I am a 32 year old woman and I have slept with 42 men. I don't understand the hang up over numbers. I always use protection, have never had an STD (last check up a few weeks ago) and have not fallen pregnant. My ex was very uncomfortable with my number. Before people start pointing and shouting "slut" just think about how reasonable that number is. I have been sexually active since 15. I know that is young but we had dated for several months, were together for a year and many years later got back together and married (that didn't work out and lasted 3 years) so I would definitely not change that and have no shame in admitting my young starting age. So, 42 partners in 17 years of sexual activity. That works out to an average of 2.5 partners per year. That really isn't very many. How many new people do you date each year? Most of my partners have been people I have been in a relationship with, whether for a few weeks or a few years. Some of them have been friends with benefits. Of the ones who were one night stands, only two were perfect strangers, as the others I knew through friends or because we attended the same university. I could still easily contact all but five of my partners either by email or telephone and many of them are friends of mine on Facebook. I still remember the first and last name of all of them. I don't regret a single one of them. If I am still single in a few years, my number will easily reach 50. It will probably reach 43 next week ;) I just hope he doesn't ask me how many people I have slept with because while I have no shame over my number I do really despise the look of horror I sometimes receive when revealling my number and of course that number is only getting higher with age. What should I do? Save myself from now until I meet a man I would like to share my life with? How dull. Would I lie about my number? NO. I like to think that I am a good and honest person. I don't believe that having slept with lots of people means you have lower morals. As long as people aren't breaking hearts or spreading diseases, I couldn't care less how many people they have slept with.

Anonymous said...

To any white woman in her early to mid 30's of the upper middle class and educated demographic searching for what is an appropriate number of sex partners in their lifetime- heres your answer. To the 32 year old woman that left the above comment saying 42 is a pretty conservative number- I think any woman curious about her number (in our demographic anyway) should pay attention to how someone like myself would view it. First off, I am a 35 year old white 'alpha' male with an above average income. I am from an affluent family. I have a graduate degree, however, I was in a touring rock band for 4 years while living in NYC- which probably throws off the statistic where men with graduate degrees have less sex partners than those that do. I am in shape. I'm not bad looking- in fact in my younger years I had various modeling jobs to supplement my income while I was in a rock band. I lived in New York for close to 10 years and now live in Cleveland- a city that falls somewhere within the list of the top 50 largest cities in America. All in all I have been with around 30 woman more or less. Only a few have been girlfriends; one for a few months in high school, 2 in college for a few months each, 1 for a little less than a year in New York, another for close to 8 years in New York and my last 2 girlfriends were each about 5 months long. I am currently single, but I would like to settle down. I had sex with about 7 or 8 girls in college and the rest were all after college. To my friends in Cleveland (an indication of the general US population), that are white, have graduate degrees and above average incomes (also the most desirable attributes to what a typical attractive, white, intellectual, upper middle class woman with more selective standards wants to date and eventually settle down with) my conservative estimate of 30 is a lot. I would say the average number of partners they have had is around 10. They are also married.

The point, I do not think your number is conservative nor should it set the standard for any woman wanting to know what the average number of partners is acceptable.

My previous 2 girlfriends were short term, because they have had high numbers and hence could not be trusted. From what you write, the majority of those that make up your number were all the result of bad decisions. Most woman in these modern times have had a few bad decisions- my ex fucked a baseball player on spring training- she's a slut. The majority of the girls I have been with are sluts as well and I don't even remember half of their names. This is a double standard to the core; never the less, no guy wants to/ date and especially not settle down with a girl that has not been a challenge for anyone else. Its not fair. Why settle down with someone that anyone else can fuck? It takes all the emotion out of having sex with someone that anyone can have. High numbers are indicators of future behavior and you can't trust someone that has had multiple sex partners. To answer the question what the appropriate number of partners is for an upper middle class white woman in her early to mid 30's is probably more like 12 and thats a lot. How can you trust someone with a high number? High numbers are an indicator of future behavior with woman and they are thus incapable of being in a relationship as a relationship should be based on trust and self respect.