It All Started with a List


by  April S. Kelley

I like to think that most of us have a list, at least most females anyway. I’ve seen it depicted in movies like Reality Bites. Of course, I mean a list of our sexual partners. We keep this list for many reasons. It is in a way a chronological list of our sexual histories with which we can see our tastes changing and our sexualities evolving over time.

I started my list when I moved to Monroe, as that is when my libido became active and my promiscuity apparent. I certainly did not want to forget anyone that I have slept with because god knows most of them were not meaningful. To be honest, as I looked over my list just now, there was someone that I had totally forgotten about. Luckily, there were no names that left me completely clueless. I do know the person who I had forgotten about, but I have absolutely no recollection of ever sleeping with them. I must have been black-out drunk, but it must be true. The list never lies.

The last guy I dated had a serious problem with my list. He never saw it, but I felt open enough to tell him that I did indeed have one. This, however, was a horrible mistake. He claimed that I kept the list to validate myself, as if all the random penis (and vagina) I have received was somehow pertinent to my value as a person.

I completely disagree. While I do value the list as an unmistakable physical copy of my sexual and overall relationship history, however casual some of these relationships may have been, I most certainly do not need it to validate myself or my worth as a person. I value myself because of my intelligence, my drive, my impeccable taste, my friendships and my family, no matter how many or how few dicks have been inside of me.

To me, this list is no different than a diary entry from junior high school detailing the breakup between you and your boyfriend at the time and how you’ll never love another again, how you’ll win him back and you’ll be married and live happily ever after, or the diary entry about how you hate your parents and how they’ll never understand. Later you find out that they always understood, and that boy turned out to be a criminal and a thief or a deadbeat father. These are all parts of our history, and I see nothing wrong with having it written out.

As I gander back at my list, I wonder how many names have yet to be added, and how many of these experiences do I genuinely remember? From the unbearably awkward to the horribly ineffective to the cosmically beautiful, I may as well document these things with more than a name.

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