She said, “The worst possible thing you can do is lie to me. I prefer to hear the raw and honest truth, no matter how awful it is, rather than you lie to me. Got it?”
Someone in her past must’ve lied to her, and it must’ve been bad. I could see it in her eyes, the importance of what she was saying and the degree of conviction in which she held this belief. She felt it necessary to make eye contact and put her hand on my forearm, take a deep breath and say this. But we were all brought up to lie, weren’t we? Not to deceive in any malicious way, but to just lie to smooth things over, to move on with life. Sorry, they ran out of chocolate or Yeah, I do think you’re funny for a girl or Of course my parents like you the best out of all my exes.
“But what about white lies,” I asked her. “Sometimes women ask questions thinking that they can take the answer — but they can’t. They have bad judgement of how strong they are, and we know this, and so we mitigate the risk of drama by white-lying our way out of your question. It’s the best for everyone.
“No. You will get in more shit for lying than whatever it is that you’re lying about.”
Weeks later, she asked me how many women I slept with.
“I have no idea, I stopped counting after twenty,” I said. “If I had to take a wild stab at it, somewhere between 40 and 100?”
I was probably close to twenty when I left Toronto. Then in three years of living in Asia, doubling that amount seemed reasonable. Sometimes I slept with a few women in a single week; other times I’d go months without sex. Bangkok was a haven because I knew the most people there, because it was my home and I was actively dating. But in Bali, Saigon and Taipei, I had sex exactly twice while living for 5 cumulative months in these cities — which is an atrocious amount for a single man in his 30s.
The majority of them weren’t one-night stands; they were women whom I dated and then things went awry. I don’t sleep around often, I just date frequently. So they weren’t purposely one-night stands, but accidental — the intent, the mens rea wasn’t present.
So I got in shit. I got in motherfucking shit for that truthful answer; she had to hang up the phone and go to bed and sleep on it.
The next day: “Well which is it, 40 or 100?”
“I guess it’s 40.”
“Why would you say 100, then?”
“I was just exaggerating, you know? Just to demonstrate how much I don’t keep track. It could be anywhere between 40 and 100! Ha ha.”
“This is a staggering amount. My brain can’t even fathom…”
“Look. You told me to tell you the truth and now you’re like this. I’m quickly learning to never tell the truth again,” I said. If I was going to be in trouble, I might as well set some precedences for the future, right? If I’m ever caught in a lie I could always say, “Remember the How Many Sex Partners argument of April 2017? Well I just didn’t want a repeat of that so I lied to you in order to protect us…”
So it’s bullshit when women want truthful answers, but then ask scary questions. Why even bother? Why are they even curious about the past? I have no idea how many sex partners the women I slept with had. I barely even remember their last fucking names.