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According to dictionary, body count simply means the number of soldiers killed in a specific period or in a particular military action or operation, but I am not talking about the military neither am I talking about people that have been killed; but I am looking at body count from a romantic relationship perspective.

Some of us will be familiar with a situation when we’ve been dating someone for a while and the relationship is escalating into physical territory, then one partner feels it is needful to have that talk about sexual history, and ultimately number of partners – which I refer to here as body count, and a lot of lies and sometimes shocking revelation starts to fly around.

Some years back, at a “Singles’ gathering” a Pastor told us a story of a “born again” bro who cancelled his wedding after the day had been set, and the invitation had gone out, because his intended bride eventually told him the truth about how many guys she had slept with. Initially, at the start of the courtship, the ‘bro’ asked her if she was a virgin, the sister rightly told him she was no longer one, as she had been in the ‘world’ before coming to know Christ, then he asked her how many guys she’s been with, she told him just two guys, one when she was very young and didn’t know anything about relationship, and the second when she started dating seriously and felt the relationship was going to lead both of them to the altar. The ‘bro’ who himself ‘claimed’ a virgin thought about it, and decided the situation was not too bad, and they went ahead for the pre-wedding counseling and every other laid down procedure for intending couples in their church. After 16 months of courtship and intense counseling, fasting and prayer, the wedding day was set and invitations were printed and shared alongside the aso ebi; then the ‘bro’ decided to ask the sister again, this time imploring her to tell him the whole truth as they were going to spend the rest of lives together and must not have lies as the foundation. The sister thought about it, and decided to say nothing but the whole truth, alas! She had slept with almost a whole community in the bro’s estimation; a total of 8 guys – the wedding ceremony was instantly called off.

I know deep down inside most of us, we would love to know if our partner had been very reckless before they met us or not, even if we won’t admit it because we are too conscious to sound ‘romantically’ correct. But the questions really if we decide to do body count are:

Is a number too high to create some type of stigma?

If a man and woman decide to be totally honest about body count, would both of them get away with having the same number?

And, is body count conversation really necessary at all in a relationship?

While writing this, I had two friends in my living room, a guy and girl, the guy is married and the lady is not, I asked them if their partners’ body count would be something they would love to know, they both told me they had never asked the people they have had relationships with in the past who and how many people they had been with before meeting them, instead they just fell in love and sex happened naturally until somehow they got married, broke up, or someone got tired and walked away. Admittedly, some conversation and questions are necessary when starting out with someone new, questions like, if they have had a test, when did they have the last test, and what was/were the results. And, of course, in a case where you are entering into a relationship with someone who currently has another relationship or is married, issues about protection and birth control are important, and don’t start ‘forming’ “why would I have a relationship with someone who has another relationship or who is married” it happens all the time, and I might just write about it soon.

Years back, I was in a relationship where the girl asked me how many girls I had been with before her, I simply told her she wouldn’t want to know. My first opinion on this is that, body count has nothing to do with the two people in love at the moment they are together, the number of partners each of you had before entering the relationship should have no bearing on how the two of you feel about each other as long as the love and the relationship is genuine.

The second is, contrary to some people’s belief, the numbers of the partners you have slept with does not necessarily mean you are more experienced in the art of lovemaking as a guy and neither does it mean you are a slut as a woman. One isn’t necessarily related to the other, even if we would like to think so.

My third opinion is, revealing the number of partners you have been with in a new relationship is all up to you. You need to be smart and think about what the revelation would bring to the table and if it is a good move at the time.

Finally, I believe that during our younger years particularly in early 20’s, body count was “the necessary conversation” out of curiosity, but as we grow older, I think we no longer want to know, we just want to enjoy the current relationship and the body count convo becomes less important. What do you think?


Christopher Bamidele

Christopher Bamidele

Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian; an amateur writer and aspiring TV director who holds a first degree in Mass Communication, but majored in Radio and TV Broadcasting. He is cool headed, a realist, and an optimist to the core. Chris Bamidele blogs African stories on and tweets @degreatest2. He currently lives in Lagos.


    1. Thanks Oluwadunni, some people’s body count will fill an 80 page book! so we shouldnt just bother to ask. Lolz

  1. I noticed that guys r more interested in d body count palava and they usually make it a big deal….but y? Did d lady sleep with haemaphrodites ni???

    1. Lolz! Temi, you know we guys always wanna be the FIRST, while you girls might not necessarily wanna be the first, but once you love the guy, U would wanna be his LAST!

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