20 Time a Lady • What's Your Number?
All right. Honesty time. Everybody's got a number. In fact, everyone's got a few numbers. There's the one we tell our friends, the one we tell our spouses, the one we tell our parents, etc. But only we know what our true number is...
How many people have you slept with?
Meet chick-lit's sauciest, sassiest new heroine...
“My name is Delilah Darling, I'm twenty-nine years old, I'm single, and well… I'm easy.”
When Delilah reads a survey revealing most people have 10.5 sexual partners in their lifetime, she begins to feel like a tramp. She's slept with 19 men so far – almost twice the national average. During a self-help moment, Delilah vows to cap her "number" at 20, swearing that she'll save her last spot for the right guy. But after losing her job and spending a wild night on the town, she falls into bed with Mr. Wrong.
Unwilling to up her number but unable to imagine a life of celibacy, Delilah dreams up a foolproof plan: she'll track down every man she's ever slept with in a last-ditch effort to make it work with one of them. Hitting the road in a rental car, she begins a madcap adventure that takes her across the country, from New York to Chicago, New Orleans to LA.
A smart and bubbly romp, now a major Hollywood motion picture starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, and Andy Samberg, What’s Your Number? asks—and answers—the provocative question, how many men is too many?
What's Your Number? Videos
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PROLOGUE: STOP THE INSANITY
So I feel like I’m at a twelve-step meeting, like I stood up just as you opened this book. You’re staring at me, waiting for me to introduce myself, waiting for me to tell you why I’m here. And I’m sweating, sweating because I’m nervous, sweating because I don’t belong here, sweating because never in a million years did I imagine I’d end up this way. But since I did and since you’re here, I might as well come clean and explain myself, so here goes:
My name is Delilah Darling. I’m twenty-nine years old, I’m single, and well... I’m easy.
There, I said it. I’m easy, I am. Now you know.
I’ve always suspected I was easy but never knew for sure, not until about six months ago, when I broke up with a guy named Greg, a guy I like to call Greg the East Village Idiot. Although it was my decision to end things, I was angry about the breakup, angry for two reasons.
For one, I wasted four months of my life on him, a guy who didn’t even have a real job. I met him while shopping in Soho one day. He walked up to me, all cute and charming, and was like, “Excuse me, can I ask you a question about your hair?” Yes, he was one of those guys—a young, good-looking stud hired by a local beauty salon to butter me up so I’ll buy a bunch of coupons. Needless to say, I fell for his spiel and for him.
But forget all that now, forget that he had the face of a Baldwin (Alec or Billy in their younger days, not those other two jokers)—where was he going in life? Nowhere, that’s where. I might’ve overlooked this minor flaw if he had a personality, but he didn’t. Talking to him about anything other than hair was like talking to a box of hair. He was dull, wrapped in a pretty package. He was a foxymoron.
The second reason I was angry is that even though I knew our relationship wasn’t going anywhere, I slept with him. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, which, ironically, is how it ended up becoming a big deal. To be honest, I was getting a little self-conscience about my “number.” It was getting rather high, and sleeping with Greg didn’t do anything except make it higher. When I say my “number,” I’m of course referring to the number of men I’ve slept with.
Exactly what number is considered high for a woman my age, you ask. Well, it’s hard to say, because people rarely tell the truth about their number. They don’t; it’s no secret. Men usually up it, believing if people think they’ve slept with forty women even though they’ve only slept with four, they’ll appear to be a bigger stud than they are. Women, on the other hand, usually lower it, leaving out the guys they’d like to forget. (You know... the ones they met on spring break, the two who were brothers and the three who are now gay.)
I’ll admit, I’m just as guilty as the next person is when it comes to fibbing about this. In fact, my number even changes depending on who I’m talking to. For example, every boyfriend thinks my number is somewhere around four. (They also think they’re the only one of those four to give me an orgasm, but that’s beside the point.) My gynecologist thinks it’s closer to seven, all done with protection, of course. (Oh, come on... everyone’s had at least one slip-up, and you know it.) My mom—even though I prefer not to talk about sex with her—thinks it’s somewhere around two. (I needed someone to pay for the pill when I was in college.) Even my best friend thinks my number is a little lower than it really is, because no one—I repeat, no one—tells even their best friend everything.
All these numbers are primarily the reason I was so worried about my own. It seemed high, yes, but with all the lying that goes on, who’s to say?
The New York Post, that’s who.
On the very day Greg and I broke up, my favorite newspaper printed the results of the world’s largest-ever sex survey. I had just finished reading a thought-provoking piece of journalism (two blind items on Page Six) and was about to learn how to get the most from my MetroCard (how to find love on the F train), when I ran across the incriminating piece of information. It was right there, nestled in between the average age people first have sex (17.7) and the average time spent on foreplay (19 minutes):
The average person has 10.5 sexual partners in their lifetime.
Yes, 10.5. I almost had a heart attack when I read this because the truth is... well... Greg the East Village Idiot was the nineteenth guy I slept with. Yes, nineteen, as in there were eighteen others before him. My number was almost twice as high as the national average.
Quickly realizing I needed to take control of my number before it got any further away from 10.5 than it already was, I took the advice of my favorite infomercial star, Susan Powter, and decided to stop the insanity. How, you ask. Well, it's simple. I decided to stop having sex. Not forever, don't get me wrong—I just decided to put a limit on my number, a cap, if you will. I mean, if I kept doing what I was doing, if I kept having sex at the current rate, then my number would be 78 by the time I turned sixty years old. Yeah... ewww.
Considering the current situation was so dire, after careful thought, I decided to make my limit twenty. Yes, twenty. I was giving myself one more chance to get things right. If I blew this last chance (excuse the pun) and wasted it on some random Tom, Dick, or Harry (excuse that pun too), then I’d force myself to live a lifetime of celibacy.
Maybe setting a limit is crazy, but there comes a point when one drop of water will send a full glass overflowing. I was at that point. Enough was enough.
Twenty was it; it was as simple as that. Twenty.