Everybody has a number, and I don’t mean the one on your phone. The average millennial will have 8 sexual partners in their lifetime, according to a study published last year in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
I’ve had one: my husband. It sounds romantic, right? Meeting bae in high school, pledging your eternal love and your virginity to him, till death do us part, forever and ever amen?
Sorry, but I’m more of a “romance is about as real as unicorn farts” kind of girl. I love my S.O., but if I had it to do all over again, I can’t help but wonder if I’d spend my 20s having a little more fun in between the sheets with a few more people. If you ask me (I know, you didn’t, but just go with it), you should sleep around—if you want to—at least a little bit. Here’s why.
1. The stigma struggle is real.
The wine’s been flowing with some of your girls, and the topic turns to sex. That’s when the one girl you’ve known since high school points at you and cackles, “She’s still with her high school boyfriend! Can you imagine just sleeping with the one guy for the rest of your life?” Sure, she’s a bitch. But, also: A Kinsey Institute study found a bonafide link between sexual inexperience and feeling stigmatized. No matter how happy you are in a relationship, no one actually enjoys being called a prude.
2. It will make you more openminded.
Turns out, that woman who shamed you for your lack of experience may not have gotten around so much herself. The Kinsey Institute study found sexually inexperienced people are more likely to judge people with more romantic relationship experience. Check it out: Have sex—become a better person!
3. It’s far too easy to get “tied down”—and totally stuck in a sex rut.
Judging from all women’s magazines dating back to forever, you’ve got to keep things fresh if you wanna keep it hot. Turns out, research backs up the cover lines you see on all the women’s magazines: Relationship satisfaction is linked to partners’ frequent sexual transformations. But having one partner makes it pretty damn easy to fall into a sex rut, and when you’ve only ever known experienced one way of doing things, getting unstuck winds up being challenging AF.
4. If you don’t, your imagination will drive you nuts.
I need to lay this one out RN: Sex with my husband is pretty fan-damn-tastic. But all I really know is what he’s brought to the table and what I’ve caught on some late night porn. Is there some magical touch I’m missing out on? They say you can’t miss what you’ve never had, but that doesn’t mean you don’t wonder.
5. Because you fucking can.
It’s 2016. There’s no shame in enjoying sex, so long as it’s consensual and you’re staying safe. You are a grown-ass woman—go out and get what you want.
Related-ish: 8 Thoughts Every Woman Has During Sex With an Ex