Why I Told a National Newspaper my

I am in The Sun today, alongside four other women, talking about how many people I’ve slept with.

At first, I was just going to do the piece, have my photo taken in a nice dress, and not tell anyone about it. Because, you know, it’s kind of a personal thing, isn’t it? Talking about how many people you’ve slept with is seen as a bit unladylike, isn’t it.

But then I thought, balls to it. I’m in a bloody national paper, and I loved the way I looked in the photos. I had a lovely day, met some brilliant people, and had some great photos taken by one of the best photographers in the country. It’s not often you get to text your friends saying, “guess what, I’m in the biggest newspaper in the country!”

So why talk about it in the first place? Why reveal just how many people I’ve slept with to the entire nation?

Because I don’t care what the entire nation thinks.  And to be fair, of all the things people can judge me on, the number of men I’ve shared a bed with is really the least of my concern. If people thought I was a bad mother, I would be bothered. If you think I’m a slag, you crack on.

The thing is, there is a certain section of society that hates women, isn’t there. And it’s not made up solely of men. Women are encouraged by the media to judge and to hate each other. If my number is higher than yours, I’m a slag. Lower, I’m a prude. I can’t win either way!

In a world where female celebrities are on the front of magazines with captions saying they’re too skinny, too curvy, piling on the pounds, with a new boyfriend, crying over their split from a boyfriend, getting married for the umpteenth time, spotted kissing a mystery man… society loves to judge, and we’re encouraged to do it. And it’s often women rather than men that judge each other so harshly. Men on the whole tend not to care about such things, in my experience. It’s the women who congregate in groups, gossipping about a woman’s outfit, the way her toes looked in those shoes, her bad hair extensions, you name it. We seem determined to balance our own sense of self-worth precariously atop others’ failings, and it’s ridiculous and frankly boring!

Of the five women in the piece, I am the oldest, but in the middle number-wise. One of the ladies has slept with 100 men; another is still a virgin. Does it matter? Can you tell from our faces? No. It makes no difference at all to who we are as people and that’s why I really wasn’t bothered by revealing my “magic number” to a national newspaper!

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


E J Frost · 17/05/2015 at 11:28

Bravo! There is a segment of society (mostly men, but I’ve met some very judgmental women, too), that judges women on their numbers. Weight, dress size, divorces, even number of children. Men you’ve slept with is another number used to humiliate and marginalize women. Well done for refusing to bow to that judgment!

    Vicky Charles · 17/05/2015 at 11:45

    Thank you Emma. I think there’s this big thing about it, and it makes no difference really. I’m a woman, I’m living a life. Who gives a shit as long as I don’t hurt other people!

Amy · 17/05/2015 at 11:54

Do you know what huni? You are right I don’t think it really matters (as long as people are careful obvs) I’m sick of the way society denigrates women for THEIR choices, weight, face, hair, voting preference. Whatever. Go girl and fab and gorgeous picture x x

KitKat · 17/05/2015 at 12:14

Sod it ! Its not the 1900’s anymore! Bravo you brave chicken xx

    Vicky Charles · 17/05/2015 at 13:27

    Ha brilliant thanks Kat x

Sandra Piddock · 17/05/2015 at 16:17

You’re absolutely right – who you get horizontal with is no reflection on your character or your morals. All it says is that you love sex, and that’s a healthy attitude, because done right, it’s the most fun two people can have without laughing, and it’s also free. I’m 62 and in double figures – so what? My partners and I were, and are, willing participants. That’s all that matters – and that you are of legal age. It’s no big deal, even though some people still insist on making it so.

    Vicky Charles · 17/05/2015 at 21:02

    I think this is another of those things where we’re encouraged to be ashamed and not to mention it, as if somehow it makes us a bad person.

katy allred · 17/05/2015 at 16:36

Good for you! There’s a million different ways we can show our children to be proud of and own who we are, and you tackled a tough one!

    Vicky Charles · 17/05/2015 at 20:59

    Thanks! I think it’s a load of balls, why should the number of people a person has slept with have any bearing on any other aspect of their life!

Lissette · 17/05/2015 at 16:56

You are my new hero! That is a very brave thing to have done, especially with so many people who currently judge women from how they dress, their weight, their grooming, their education, and even what they do or don’t do behind closed doors.

You’re absolutely right! How you live your life is nobody’s business, but yet everyone thinks they know better then you how to live your life. It’s sickening, and tiring and flat out depressing.

    Vicky Charles · 17/05/2015 at 20:58

    Ah thank you, what a lovely thing to say! It’s one of those things where people say it’s brave, and you think, why should it be brave?

Keisha | The Girl Next Door is Black · 17/05/2015 at 20:42

Wow, that is really brave of you to do. Our sexuality as women is judged by so many, when as you said, it doesn’t matter. Sleep with 100, sleep with none, just do what makes you comfortable. Good for you, Vicky!

    Vicky Charles · 17/05/2015 at 20:55

    Thanks Keisha, I think you’re exactly right. It makes no difference to my ability to be a person!

Mama and More aka Zaz · 18/05/2015 at 13:00

go you and bravo for those wise words! You are quite right, we are encouraged by the media to judge, and then further judged in the media for judging, but the more we refuse to judge each other, or to buy into those titles that encourage that type of mentality, hopefully we can begin to turn the tide!

The Monkey Footed Mummy · 22/05/2015 at 11:39

Oh all the numbers we are judged on its utterly insane! Well done you and you look fab

John · 21/06/2015 at 00:49

I’ve never really understood the whole stud vs. slapper stigma that is attached to someone’s magic number. I don’t get asked, and so don’t voluntarily talk about mine, mainly because I don’t think it matters. Good for you; I don’t read The Sun so I’m none the wiser, it wouldn’t change my views of you as a person anyway.

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