Keeping Score?

Someone on FB posted this a week ago, and I found it pretty interesting and entertaining:

Why I Keep a Spreadsheet of Everyone I’ve Slept With

It was sort of funny to read, because when J and I were “celebrating” our first year of having an open relationship, I decided I wanted to make a spreadsheet of all of the people we had met in the open community, and whether we had had a romantic, sexual, and/or friendship type of relationship with them. I did it chronologically and systematically. I felt like I was being an excavator of my own wild sexual self, uncovering and reliving all of the memories we had made. It was also helpful in remembering all of the lessons I had learned from each person we had encountered.

I haven’t kept up that list but it’s still an interesting idea to me. And the author brings up several points that resonated with me. For one, even if I had a casual sexual relationship with someone/people, it was an intimate experience that we shared. I don’t walk around the streets naked and I don’t share my vulnerable, sexual self with everyone. Undressing and showing people how to pleasure me and learning how to pleasure them is an intimate act, even if the emotional and mental connection isn’t sufficient enough for me to call it “intimate sex.”

Like Barry expresses: “Sex is still an intimate experience for me, even if at times the circumstances in which I’m having it are casual. I form a connection with those I sleep with, and there’s a fundamental respect I have for all of them. I tend to remain friends with those I’ve hooked up with, or at the very least amicable.”

And, for me, the process of legitimately keeping track is not about belt-notching/quantity/numbers. It’s about having a way to really keep track of the connections I have made, lost, and regained with people.

What do you think? Is keeping track (and not just in your head, but on paper) who you have sex with, had a relationship with, dated, etc a neutral act? Or does it introduce some kind of score-keeping into the intimate landscape of relationships that shouldn’t be there?

2 thoughts on “Keeping Score?

  1. Of course, this could add a new term to the pop vocabulary, just like the Seinfeld episode about the discontinuation of contraceptive sponges. Only instead of “sponge-worthy”, you can now say someone is “spreadsheet-worthy”.

    I have kept a mental list in my head, not for a scoreboard as much as a way to revisit awesome moments of joy in mind. As you point out, these moments of intimacy are some of the greatest times of bliss in our lives, and we shouldn’t think less of them because they aren’t our current partner or they were fleeting times. We benefit from every intimate connection that isn’t coerced or abusive. Why not keep them in some sort of mental or actual list? Look at what people do with scrapbooks….

    • Haha I love Seinfeld :) Except in my own experience of keeping a spreadsheet, I tracked everyone, as I thought of everyone as “spreadsheet-worthy.” It was a way to keep track of everyone I had encountered sexually/romantically, not just a select few. For me to say someone was “spreadsheet-worthy” implies that some people aren’t, which hasn’t been my experience :)

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