Here's a fact I don't often divulge about myself: I keep a spreadsheet of all my sexual encounters. Yes, it's definitely the kind of thing a serial killer would do, and no, I'm not proud of it. What started as an in-joke with my best friend has now spiralled into a detailed and exhaustive account of all the sex I've ever had. There are categories ("oral", "dirty talk", "sex") that get marked out of ten, and then of course there are "additional notes".
The notes are generally never that complimentary – they encompass the actual sexual encounter, as well as the dates and situations that led up to it, meaning that there's quite a lot of scope. One reads, "Invited me round for dinner but just handed me plate with plain pork chop and one raw, unpeeled carrot" and another, "Tried to get me to drink my own wee out of a plastic cup." It's reductive and it's ridiculous but it's brutally honest.
While I was updating it the other day I started wondering whether anybody else has a spreadsheet like mine. More specifically: what the fuck if I'm on 30 percent in someone else's Google Doc? I started to wish I could give people one of those feedback forms delivered with the check at chain restaurants asking you how the service was. Or maybe a survey like the ones people endlessly spammed Facebook with when they were doing their dissertations. That way I could be totally sure that I was good at sex.
Narcissism giving way to masochism, I decided to actually do it. I wrote emails and Facebook messages to everyone I've ever slept with (well, the ones I have contact details for), framing my request for a review in an "I'm doing really well and am writing a really cool article" way rather than an "I'm a raging egomaniac and this actually has nothing to do with writing an article and everything to do with a desperate, gnawing need to be validated" way.
A couple of people ignored (and then unfriended) me, a few more politely declined, and I discovered that one guy had given me a fake number when I went to start a conversation with him in WhatsApp and was faced with a glamour shot profile picture of a girl I had definitely not slept with. Ouch.
Thankfully, though, a bunch of people did agree, so I sent them a survey covering all the important bases; kissing, how hot I am, foreplay, oral, sex, fetishes, and whether or not they would fuck me again. Boxes were left for comments. Results were, let's say, mixed.
I also left an option to rank me out of 10 for each category. Then I added together all of the scores out of 10 for each category, divided it by the number of people who answered and then multiplied that by 100 to get a percentage. Here were the results:
I never really thought I was that smooth, partly because everything I say comes out in a Tina Belcher monotone and partly because I have the sexual subtlety of a teenage boy attempting to initiate sexting with an "and then wot?" This was confirmed.
My favourite of these was, "You harassed me on social media for a month prior to the encounter." The worst thing about it isn't that I harassed them on social media, which is still very much my style, but that the word "encounter" gives this comment the cool air of something that should probably have a police incident number.
Rating: 52 percent. Slow start. It isn't looking great for me.
My kissing technique got compared to an Arnold Schwarzenegger film! This is everything I've ever dreamed of! But the second answer makes me sound like a Rottweiler on heat.
Rating: 76 percent.
In his defense, I did have a fucking terrible fringe. The septum piercing stays though.
Starting to think the last guy wants to fuck me again.
This was fairly boring, to be honest. My only real complaint is that I'm fairly sure the guy who said "not memorable, sorry" and rated me a 2 OUT OF 10 is someone who couldn't cum unless my feet were touching his penis. I'm not a contortionist, pal.
Rating: 65 percent.
At this point I really started to realize how much of a narcissist I am. "Top 3" is great. "Second best" is totally great. Yet somehow they fill me with murderous rage. I want to be the best. HOW CAN I BE THE BEST?
Rating: 78 percent. I just want to say, I feel like these results were skewed by the dude with the weird foot fetish. Story. Of. My. Life.
Some real zingers in here. The first one: terrible. Second one: even worse, although it does miss the point almost entirely. Third: oh, there's the Rottweiler again. Last one: you lost your hard on anyway. But it's the fourth one that really gets me. "You played your part well." What is this, a West End review? I have no idea who wrote it, but I guarantee that whoever they are they now live with two expensive sex dolls they had imported, and I'm starting to regret ever sleeping with them.
Rating: 80 percent. Strong.
Brb, changing my Twitter bio to "Potentially life-ruining experience."
So much to unpack here. So much."If you're more mentally stable," seems quite poignant. Secondly: "I secretly think this isn't anonymous and this is the only question you wanted to ask me." This whole response, I suspect from an old university boyfriend, speaks volumes about who I am as a person. Do I really seem like the kind of woman who would set up a detailed fake survey in order to fuck someone again? Because that is what an actual psychopath would do.
Rating: 71 percent would go there again.
So, what did I learn from this experience? I learned that I am apparently great at going down on people but absolutely horrible at trying to seduce them. I learned that I can be deeply and profoundly horrible to people to stop them from getting too close in a futile attempt to prevent myself from feeling anything real or authentic. It's made me realize that I have sex with a lot of people who have bad grammar. Will I stop updating my own spreadsheets with remarks and scores for every boy I sleep with? Definitely not.
OVERALL RATING: 71 percent.