We at LELO are so pleased to welcome Emma Sayle, founder of Killing Kittens, the members-only club that hosts female-oriented sex parties around the world, to the Volonté blog as a guest author. Here, she delves into an issue that we’ve all experienced at one time or another – jealousy.
‘Comparison is the thief of joy,’ former American president Theodore Roosevelt famously once said. I don’t know what sparked this comment from a guy who died in 1919, but I do wonder if it had anything to do with the fairer sex.
Although I know a lot of women who are all about sisterhood, I also know plenty who continually poke knife-sharp pins into the fabric of their self-esteem by being in a permanent competition with their female counterparts. This ‘act of violence against the self’ to quote best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant, is addictive too. A recent study found that Facebook stalking can hold the same grip as alcohol or drugs and that 88% of 18-35 year olds stalk their ex’s new partner or their current partner’s ex.
It’s not exclusively a female thing but comparison is certainly prevalent among us – even when we don’t know the woman in question.
For some, it’s not just the significant big ex that creates that uncomfortable stomach flutter, it’s anyone who turned him on – the one-night stand or the girl who gave him a great handjob on vacation whose name he can’t remember. This twisted intrigue turns women into incredible detectives. They trawl through Facebook and Instagram accounts comparing everything from eyebrows to ankles. Am I hotter? Thinner? Sexier?
I’ve been on the receiving end of it myself. A boyfriend’s ex stalked me and threatened to tell his parents that his new girlfriend was a sex maniac swinger. (Perhaps I was a slight disappointment when they found out I was simply a smart businesswoman.)
I’ve had the odd Facebook research dip myself. As have you. I also hear of some women who check The Ex’s social media pages almost daily, just to see what they’re eating for brunch or whatever. Relationship experts say it’s a common phase some women go through when they get serious with a man but to compare means you either feel superior or inferior and neither are particularly nice emotions. Insecurity is, of course, at the core of the comparison – another brutal emotion that always come from a sad place – but within a relationship I find that the best way to calm raging imaginations is to be honest with each other.
My husband and I declared no bullshit from the start. His past certainly isn’t angelic but do I really want to know what happened in a relationship during his early twenties? Of course I don’t.
What we’ve never done, though, is discuss our Total Number. I’ve never asked any partner how many people they’ve slept with. If it was really low I would be concerned that he hadn’t got it out of his system and if it’s 1,000, well – lucky me – he should know what he’s doing then. In fact if you’ve got a juicy past, I think it shows character and living. I don’t feel threatened by it at all.
A recent study by Illicit Encounters, a dating site for married people, found that the ideal number of sexual partners in a lifetime is twelve. The survey found that ‘fewer than 11 means they are too inexperienced and more than 14 means they are either selfish or difficult to please.’ Twelve, they say, means they are ‘sexually adventurous, liberal and transient’.
But judging your partner on his numbers just leads to more pain and obsessive thoughts and sex with 12 people does not necessarily mean you are liberal.
People change and they grow up. I’ve found that most people make mistakes because of their own insecurities, naiveties and unrealistic relationship beliefs. Once they meet the right person, they behave totally differently because they finally feel fulfilled.
Another school of thought is to be grateful for all his past girls: from the one-night conquests to the ones who broke his heart. Together they (hopefully) taught him a thing or two about love in all its messy glory.