there is a scene from the t.v. show roseanne, that i quote so often, that sometimes it feels like it happened in my own life. it is a scene in which jackie, roseanne’s sister, and jackie’s husband, fred, decide to have the “numbers” talk. it goes down like this:
Fred: How many men did you date before we met?
Jackie Harris: Well, do you mean dated at all, or dated seriously?
Fred: Well, oh, I mean seriously.
Jackie Harris: Okay, I have to say… just a few.
Fred: Good. It’s not that I mind if you slept with lots of guys…
Jackie Harris:[chuckles] Oh, well slept with!
Jackie Harris: [chuckles harder] Well…
Jackie Harris: [soberly] That’s not what you asked me.
Fred: No I guess it wasn’t.
Jackie Harris: [chuckling] Well, Fred, don’t worry… it’s not that many. I’d – I’d saaay – three a year.
Fred: Since you were, what, eighteen?
Jackie Harris: [thinks] Okay, we’ll go with that.
Fred: [looking shocked] Oh, oh wow.
Jackie Harris: [getting defensive] Well, Fred! It’s not *that* many! Three a year for 20 years is, 60 – wow.
Fred: Gawd… I don’t even *know* 60 people.
Jackie Harris: Well, I didn’t *know* all of them.
i thought of this episode once again this morning when i discovered the “sex degrees of separation” calculator on the website of the british chain, lloyds pharmacy. to promote sexual awareness, this calculator helps you work out how many direct and indirect sexual partners you have had in the sense of possible exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. it totals up the numbers based on your number of partners, then their previous partners, and their former lovers, and so on for six “generations” of partners.
the average british bloke claims to have slept with 9 people, while the average british lass puts her number at 6.3, giving an average of 7.65. according to the “sex degrees of separation” calculator, that means the average brit has slept with 2.8 million people, directly and indirectly.
this is interesting, informative, and i’m absolutely a fervent promoter of safe sex and learning about sexual health. HOWEVER, i have several problems with lloyds and it’s little calculator…
1. lloyds expects people to remember their number of sexual partners. ok this may be an easy feat for some. but for people like jackie harris, that’s hard to do. if you’ve been sexually active for 10 years or more, trying to think back a DECADE to remember some horrible one-night stand is not easy.
2. after you are done feeling like a giant whore, and you’ve tallied all the possible notches in your bed post you can remember, you then have to know their ages at the time you boned them! now if you’re like jackie harris, trying to come up with a number was traumatizing enough, let alone trying to figure out when their birthday is.
3. so let’s say you actually made it to step three, the calculation. then i congratulate you! because i didn’t. actually it wasn’t that i didn’t, so much as i COULDN’T. just like when one gets a new ferrari, i wanted to “open this calculator up” and take it for a ride. so i entered my age, and put that i had slept with over 50 people (this is all in the name of science). and THIS is the answer i got back:
We are unable to perform this calculation.
what is the point of putting that option on there if your retarded calculator can’t even multiply!
my only theory is that lloyds pharmacy is owned by some uptight prude who wants to make people like jackie harris feel like a prostitute!
damn you lloyds!