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What’s the ideal number of lovers a person should have during their lifetime?

A study reveals the ideal number of people to have had sexual relations with.

That was the question asked by Illicit Encounters, Britain’s biggest extra-marital dating site.

More than 1,000 people took part in the online survey, in which they were asked how many lovers they would want a new partner to have had. And it seems men and women agree that ‘10’ is the magic number.

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This number is considered the ‘goldilocks’ answer: neither too hot nor too cold; neither promiscuous nor inexperienced.

38% of women and 37% of men answered that between 8 and 12 was their ideal range. More than 20 lovers was considered ideal by just 3% of women and 4% of men, meaning it was a turn-off for most.

The results show that both sexes gave almost identical responses.

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“Neither promiscuous nor inexperienced; neither hold nor cold.”

Christian Grant, a spokesman for IllicitEncounters.com, said: ‘The dating game is changing so quickly. I think we are all becoming a lot more tolerant and sexually adventurous. If we had conducted this poll ten years ago, men would have expected a potential partner to have slept with far fewer people.’

The survey also asked people if they wanted to know how many lovers new partners had had in the past. Just 35% of women and 30% of men answered yes. In other words, individuals have become less concerned about their partner’s past sex life.

However, this figure varies widely between generations. Twentysomethings answer very differently from people in their forties. People are, as Grant says, becoming more ‘sexually adventurous’, but is this as positive as it sounds? Or might it mean that sex is becoming less important to us?

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