What's your number?

When it comes to dishing the number of people you've slept with, how honest are you REALLY?

The “what’s your number” chat is always super awks. Fact. It’s a total minefield that’s just asking for irrational jealousy to rear its ugly head. Sure, it all happened before you both met, but there’s a good chance someone is still going to get hella jelly. But even if we hate The Talk, we just can’t resist knowing. So how do you navigate the stormy waters? Apparently, the answer for a lot of ladies is to lie.

A recent survey, which polled 1,362 women aged 18 to 30, found 52 percent of chicks had lied about their “number”. Yikes. It looks like that old urban legend was true: women divide their numeros while dudes multiply.

And it’s not the only evidence suggesting we’re big fat fibbers either. A 1990 study of college kids found 85 percent of couples had BSed each other about their love past or recent indiscretions. And what’s more, a psychologist specialising in relationship deception, Dr Bella DePaulo, even thinks couples lie in a third of all their interactions with each other. So really, telling porkies about how many dudes you’ve slept with is just the tip of the iceberg.

But before we assume all femmes are playing down their digits, some chicks are lying to boost the notches in their (obviously fictional) bedpost, “Women lie in both directions, some lie saying they have slept with more as an attempt to make themselves appear sexually sophisticated or to communicate to a potential partner that they’re willing,” says relationship expert Dr Matthew Bambling from the University of Queensland.

So, on the flipside, why do some women round their numbers down? “There’s still a dualism in society where women are expected to be more conservative with their sexual experience than guys to be considered good catches,” Bambling says.

He also adds that they might think being a low-baller shows they have high standards and are discriminating about who they spend time with. And let’s face it, they’re probably trying to make the dudes feel a bit spesh by being one of the select few.

Women who dial things down probably also want to come across as a “nice girl” because they (often mistakenly) think nice girls don’t have sex with a lot of people. Of course, if they’re uncomfortable with their love past, they might feel guilty sharing it ‘cos they don’t trust the dude to stick around if he knew the truth, shame on him!

But aside from being straight-out fibbers, there could another reason why a lot of women’s numbers seem be lower (at least to us) than the average guy… the genders have different views on what counts. A 2001 Archives of Sexual Behavior study found that more guys count oral and manual sex as “legit sex” than women do. So maybe we’re just not on the same page.

That said, if you are tempted to lie, think again, because it’s better to come clean at the starting line, when you’re settling into your love. If one day you just decide to blurt it out, “Hey you know that number I gave you? Triple it”, it could have a serious impact on your relationship – cos it’ll force your guy to redefine his total image of you.

“In essence the issue will become alive for them in the current relationship, almost like the discovery of an infidelity,” says Bambling.

Your guy should love you no matter what the number is, so if you’ve got to have the chat, just ‘fess up.