‘Forget The Love Island “Bodycounts”, I’ve Only Ever Slept With My Husband’

As Love Island contestants descend into debate over how many people they've slept with, one reader shares her very different story...

The Islanders

by Grazia Contributor |
Updated on

Not for the first time this series, on last night's Love Island, 'bodycount' - aka the number of people you've slept with - became a topic for debate. Ranging from three to over a hundred, the answers sparked debate and unrest in the villa. Here, from the magazine's weekly column, 'The Last Time I Had Sex... And What It Meant', one woman shares her very different story...

Alexa*, 30, is a nurse and lives in Cornwall: On a colleague’s hen night recently, the conversation turned to sexual partners or, to be more specific, how many. Lips loosened after the cocktail-making class, one of the bridesmaids kicked off the confessional and one by one the group of women revealed their ‘number’, ranging from six to ‘around 50’.

I cringed when it was my turn, knowing from experience that what I was about to say would almost certainly elicit a reaction. But, not wanting to be a party pooper by refusing to play, I said jovially, ‘Just the one for me. My husband.’

There was a very brief silence before the usual reactions. ‘Oh... that’s so romantic... how sweet... you two must be made for each other!’ But I didn’t miss the glances between a few of the hens, clearly baffled as to how someone in this day and age has only ever slept with the man they’re married to.

And, of course, I worried they’d all think I was secretly judging them, when I really couldn’t care less how many men or women a woman has been with – it’s none of my business.

I get it. I’m definitely a bit of a sexual anomaly, as is my husband Jake* who has only ever slept with me, too. Particularly as neither of us is religious, so we can’t even explain our lack of experience in the bedroom as a faith thing.

We met at sixth-form college when we were 17, both of us virgins, and we’ve been happily together ever since. We first slept together when we were 18, and married four years ago when we were 26. It’s always just been him. Sure, I did ‘stuff ’ with other guys before him – the usual teenage snogging and touching – but he’s my one and only sexual partner. And I his. It’s retro but that’s the way things worked out for us, and most of the time I’m really happy about it.

Unlike many of my friends, I’ve never had a terrible sexual experience, never felt pressured into doing something I didn’t feel comfortable with, never regretted going to bed with someone.

And although I don’t have anything to compare it to, I think Jake and I have a good sex life. We know what each other likes – I love him going down on me, he’s a fan of doggy style, and we try and sleep with each other at least once a month. It can feel a bit routine, but show me a married couple who wouldn’t say the same.

That said, from time to time a little voice creeps into my thoughts and I wonder, have I missed out? If I’d slept with more men would I be ‘better’ in bed, and would Jake be more skilful if he’d had more experience? Would our relationship be even stronger as a result? When I hear from a friend about her ‘dirty weekend’ away with a new boyfriend, or from another about a one-night stand she had and what they got up to, I can feel a bit old-fashioned and dull.

But after the hen night, I went home, tipsy from the cocktails, and stripped off, jumping into bed with Jake. Straddling him, it felt familiar but really good. For me, sex has always gone hand in hand with love and trust, something I know many women are searching for. I think I need to be more grateful for what I have – and stop wondering about what I missed out on.

*Names have been changed

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