“I have never lied about my “number” and successfully avoided judgment. There was a calculus that I had to go through in order to lie with a number that was at least plausible to the person I was trying to lie to. For example, how many people have I slept with does this person know personally? (I grew up in a small town. This was an issue.) How likely were any of them to tell this person if they found out I was sleeping with this person? Were we friends for a while before my sexual past became an issue for them personally? How much did they already know or suspect? How close to the truth could I get without freaking them out? How open were they about their own sexuality? Did I trust this person to not treat me like trash if they thought the number was too high?
The time and energy these mathematics took up were not worth it. There was no number higher than two that was ever acceptable.”