Monday, March 23, 2009

"Don Juan was not such an extraordinary case"

In an ethics seminar I recently attended at work, someone bon-mot'ed that "Ethics is about Money. Morals are about Sex."

Power and Love are the two main fields of human life that can account for almost all behavior, inspire most books, songs and movies and ultimately define a life's success.

No wonder society is constructed in a way that impacts both more strongly than anything else (your friends are all interested in how much you make and who you had/have sex with, but no one gives a crap about what you had for lunch - n'est-ce pas?)

No surprise then, that people are as hesitant to talk about their actual net worth as about the numbers of sex partners they actually had.

However, while most people realize that there are a select few who are insanely rich, people still get shocked by what happens between men and women behind closed doors.

I found a freely accessible link to the study on sexual networks published in Nature that I frequently link to (as one of my colleagues striving to get published in put it - Nature simply is the most prestigious journal in the universe). This is not just some bullshit data.

In this survey, the number of sex partners was collected for 2810 responding individuals (the fact that almost half of the people asked for did not respond leaves room for bias - the authors acknowledge the lack of elderly women, but let's assume it is a fair sample).

According to the discussion, the sample represented <1500 women (Swedish). Only one of them reported a triple digit number of life time partners (no porn movies and swinger's clubs up there in Sweden?!?). In line with other studies, the mean amount of life time sex partners is seven, with the median (what the actual majority of women experiences if you take the "outliers" of very promiscuous women into account) being closer to 3.

The numbers for men are much higher (it is well known that men tend to over-report and women to downplay their actual number of partners even in anonymized surveys).

There is reason to believe that there is truth to these numbers. The reason is that the distributions of male and female data looks exactly like what natural scientists expect: heavily skewed distributions (following a "power law), which are ubiquitous in biology.

The (somewhat counter-intuitive) implication that there are some men (and fewer women) who are responsible for most sexual contacts!

The authors point out that one of the guys reported >800 partners (keep in mind - this a random sample; there is no reason to believe that this is "glass ceiling" where things end in reality. Likely that there are guys with higher numbers as one screens through larger populations). This pretty much corresponds to half the female sample. In other words, this guy's ratio was 50% of the total population that participated in the study. In larger terms this means:

"we find that the 10% most connected man have 48% of the sexual connections, while the 1% most connected have about 15% of connections...

In contrast, for men, the 50% less connected are responsible for 12% of sexual contacts (about as many as the 1% most connected)"

Read the last sentence again. If you combine what half of all the men out there manage to pull into their bedrooms, you end up with the same amount of sexual contacts as the top guy in a thousand!

Women literally fuck the same guy(s).

Now, one twist of the study is that this is also true to some degree about women.

Does that mean that there are some very promiscuous people out there, who sleep with each other while most people are rather modest in their sexual behavior?

Nope. yes, there are very few promiscuous women who get around a lot. The guys with few partners are more likely to have slept with such an "easy girl" (fat? ugly?) than having enjoyed the actual pool of "good girls" (who, ironically are busy banging the same guys).

The point is that the high scoring men have high numbers of different partners. In other words, they are likely to bang the few sluts out there - but it just doesn't stop there. They pretty much bang any other woman, too (the ones with few partners). Since these women report less than a handful of life time partners, it seems likely that one or more of these were those "uber-scorers".

How can this be? It is because women love the guys who is loved by women, that's why.

If you are not one of these guys yourself, chances are that you are well connected to one of these "Kevin Bacons". He was there before you - or he will while you aren't there.


  1. Heyyyyy.... You brought back the blog, dude! That's great. I just stumbled over from Roissy's blog. Glad to find you again. Keep up the good work and don't get shut down again, huh?

  2. You came to almost the same conclusion as me in one of my last comments about 80/20.

    For example, five guys, plus one dude.

    All have good jobs, all are better than average looking, all are of good intelligence.

    The dude is the same as these guys, except one aspect, he has got a different charm and attitude.

    This one dude has slept with more women in one year than the other five have, summed up, in their whole lifetime.
    And then, for a man with many partners, it is not difficult to bed a "good girl" because he already has taken care of his neediness, creepiness etc.

    He is nevertheless a good catch... A hard one to keep tho.

    Still better to sleep with the man who is in "the society" than to casually sleep with a man who is not aware of this secret, who is in the mindset that a man needs to invest for sex.

    I've known "good girls" share their notes on the men they slept with, I've known "good girls" become the secret lovers of married bouncers.

    I've heard of "good girls" afraid of me using them, while in awe of me, and in the same time having no problem being one of the numerous girls banging the married gym instructor with two kids.

    "Good girl" is just a curtain pulled over the guys who are "not in the know"... It is a way to keep the males (do not want to use men in this sentence) in check, so that they still believe men invest to get sex.

    I've met shitloads of average and above men who are in single digits, and I've met more average and above women who are way into double...

    When these studies say 7 median partners (in Sweden???? Come on....) for women, and 15 for men,

    No man will ever admit to being a virgin, and men are known to add up their sexual partners, while women are known to "forget" numerous one night stands, and bathroom encounters, as they "were meaningless"...

    7? Sweden? Hell.... NO....

    These guys made a study of 2800 people? I am in scandinavia, and just from the tip of my head I can count five women way past triple digits, ten, twenty at least in midway from double to triple...

    And these are numbers I am sure of.

    I can make this statement:

    If you played around and had experience as a man, you have a high chance of attracting a genuine good girl and marry her.

    If you were the average dude, with low numbers, (and possibly harboring a deep hatred for the arrogant assholes you see out there who get the women), you will one day find the good girl, but chances are she has had way more sex partners than you, and the majority of these partners were the guys who you detest so much... Oh, and they did not need to commit, in order to get her continued affection.
    About the "good girl" thing.

    It will be a big mistake to let the definition be made by women.


    Here is an example.

    Woman. solid 8. Very sexy body. Also intelligent.

    Known her for five years, and in the meantime, she's had ten or so guys that I know of, and I see her only once in a month, and these she picked up then.

    Let's see,

    A chubby friend of mine, definite beta, hopeless, got banged so she had his flag mark.. (what is it the guys do, to get a mark from every country??)

    then some older jerk...

    Few foreigners (remember i am in scandinavia)

    Few locals.

    Relationship with a latino...

    Few other latino's after him.

    A guy from country x, because she never did a man from country x... And so on....

    I am interested in banging her, but she insists that we shall not meet in my place, but that she first wants to get a coffee or so, because she wants to know if I care about her more than she thinks I do...

    Even if at some past point I did care, which I did not, she just had shown me her sexuality is free for taking, so the value assigned to it is a big round zero.... It always baffles me how some women have the audacity think that the men that they are attracted to should still be willing to date them, court them, take them to movies and trips, in order to get laid, when they have been sexing lesser/higher men for free. Interesting.

    "Good girl" with dignity. She sees herself as.

    (I still interact, because I laugh my ass off at the difference in the perceived state of our "relationship")

  3. It is always a mistake to believe any study that analyzes what women say, as opposed to what they do. women are known to lie on surveys, particularly about sex. if you hook them up to a lie detector their numbers DOUBLE.

  4. el chief - I am totally on your page. Social expectancy bias hits hard on these studies. I would be curious about the study with the lie detector. Do you happen to have a link?

  5. here's a link:


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