Yesterday a young woman came to Slate’s Dear Prudence with a problem — or, if not a problem, a curious situation. She had discovered that her boyfriend was using the rosary tattoo on his back to record the women he’d slept with: Each girl earned a new pearl on the tat. (The letter writer had believed the tattoo was merely religious, until her boyfriend “gave” her a generous four pearls in honor of their anniversary.) Was this a red flag? she wondered.
We, meanwhile, wondered: Wait, people are getting sex-list tattoos? And also: Wait, how do YOU keep track of the people YOU’VE slept with? In honor of Lindsay Lohan, who appeared to keep her fuck list on a Scattergories answer sheet, we decided to investigate.
Below, our personal strategies.
“Dude, just keep a vague note on your phone like everyone else. My friends all keep one; that’s how they remember. One night we started reminiscing, and they all whipped out the Notes app for reference, so then I made one. I like lists!” –Anon., 24
“My guy friend has one and he uses emojis to rate the girls. Mine is pencil and paper.” –Anon., 23
“Another good way to keep track is just to be in the same relationship with someone for like 10 or 11 years.” –Anon., 35
“I have them in my Moleskine at home. I wrote them on a train once ‘cause I was bored.” –Anon., 29
“I have a piece of paper in my nightstand where I write, in pen, the name and year of each lay. It is numbered.” –Anon., 31
“I have them in my brain. Every so often I go back through to make sure I remember.” –Anon., 29
“I feel like I started a Google spreadsheet in college but never updated it.” –Anon., 27
“Mine was sticky notes — the app I never used on my Mac.” –Anon., 30
“I have a list. It’s literally a piece of paper I’ve had since like 1999. I had one before that but it got wet and I had to recopy it.” —Anon., 39
“It has never occurred to me to write them down, but I do recite them in my head occasionally? I think the youths have more sex. To their credit.” –Anon., 32
“Can I weigh in as the voice of old women who can’t even remember all their lays? I didn’t write them down and now I wish I had. I cannot FOR THE LIFE OF ME remember the name of the guy I slept with my senior year.” –Anon., 40
“I am team no list. I like to keep that in my head — although maybe I should take notes of the weird things to tell my children so I sound cool.” –Anon., 28
In conclusion, there are many ways to do this. Getting a tattoo is extreme but by no means unacceptable. Feminism is the right to choose the method by which you track your lays.