What’s Your Number?

How many sex partners has the average American woman had—and does anyone still care?

Jessica Grose

111003_DX_WhatIsYourNumber_EX.jpg Anna Faris and Chris Evans in What’s Your Number?

Photo by Claire Folger © 2011 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

What’s Your Number?, the new Anna Faris comedy about a 30-something woman named Ally Darling who is fixated on the fact that she’s slept with 20 men, is a critical and box office failure, with reviewers slamming the film’s retrograde sexual mores. For those of you who missed this flop, here’s a quick synopsis:  Ally, who has just lost her job and hit bottom, becomes obsessed with the significance of a woman’s “number”—the number of men she has had sex with—after reading in a women’s magazine that women who have sex with more than 20 guys are much less likely to get married. As Slate movie critic Dana Stevens notes, the film doesn’t really argue with the notion that Ally is a capital-S slut. As Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum put it, “Whore is the kind of descriptor the creators of What’s Your Number? think is hilarious for a woman to apply to herself, one whose only ‘scandal’ involves a head count of her sex partners. And by the way, who in this day and age is counting?”

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