Hesitantly she ventured,
How many women have you slept with, how many have you had?
Yaani, what is my body count, you mean?
Pretending to think and count, then
Hmmm. I’m not telling you. Or, let me say, X. Well, now X plus one.
We were lying in bed, our entwined bodies hot and sticky, in the suffocating stuffiness of a room slept in for too long, way after the sun had risen and had been baking everything for hours. She asks a lot of questions, her curiosity comes off her in waves, in engulfing waves, like her baby-lotion-ish fragrance mixed with sweat and coconut oil. I smiled. I felt warm inside. I enjoyed the sensation of being unravelled, of someone trying to understand me and get beneath the layers of bravado and smugness and whatever else façade I was wearing then.
Body count. It sounds a bit genocidal, intimating murder and mass killings, something a mad despot would say, or a serial killer. Admittedly, it rolls out of the mouth delectably. Body count. I find the term amusing, as if a man’s worth is measured by how women he has… Conquered? Subdued? Seduced? Alas, yes. A considerably important metric for measuring manliness is the number of sexual
conquests partners. Another name for the boys’ rooms when I was in university was ‘kichinjio‘ (slaughter house). Well, some boys’ rooms anyway, and no, not mine. I am somewhat shy around women. I have never been… That Guy.
That said, however, the pursuit of woman has always been and is still seen as a right of passage, a ritual that is carried out to cement one’s place among the brethren. Underneath the “success”, I always ask the lingering question, “Am I one of you now? Am I man?” This is a question I have always had difficulty answering. It seems like every other measure of how well one is doing: no matter how hot you think you are, there will always be someone hotter, and thus the importance of having your own conception of what it means to be successful. Although, having said that, getting some every so often does most definitely not hurt 😉