This Is the Ideal Number of Sexual Partners, According to Science

Sophie Miura

While love is difficult to quantify with facts and figures, research suggests certain qualities are deemed more attractive than others. For example, one study found that brunettes with brown eyes are far more popular on dating sites, while another named teaching as the ideal female profession. Given our fascination with these surface observations, it's only natural that researchers would delve into a far more personal field that can influence attraction: sexual history. 

A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Research suggests the number of partners you've had could be perceived as attractive—or a massive turn-off. So how does your number fare? According to the study's findings, people are willing to start a relationship with someone who has had two to three sexual partners—any more or less, and you lose appeal.

Interestingly, those polled admitted to having far more relationships than the so-called ideal number. According to Psychology Today, women had about six former partners, and men had slept with an average of eight people. 

If two to three sexual partners seems like a low figure, it's worth noting that the study was conducted on college students under the age of 25. The findings are consistent with other relationship studies that suggest promiscuity and a lack of sexual experience are equally unattractive. 

In the words of the author, "The message here seems to be, don't sleep around too much—or if you do, at least don't announce it to the world."

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