Sex Degrees of Separation Tallies Shags Back Six Generations

LONDON—The lede sounds far too good to be true: “The average British adult has indirectly slept with 2.8 million people.” According to Lloydspharmacy, however, the numbers actually do add up.

Building on its eye-popping computation, the U.K.-based chain of pharmacies has developed an online calculator—dubbed the Sex Degrees of Separation—using data collected from 6,000 British adults to reach its results, which are intended to raise awareness about sexually transmitted disease. In the research, it was discovered that the average British man claims to have slept with nine people and women say they have had 6.3 partners.  

Based on those findings, the calculator does the rest depending on the number and ages of sexual partners entered into it. The results show the average number of sexual connections going back six generations.

“It's the idea that we're all just six connections away from everyone else on the planet,” Lloydspharmacy explains on its website. “This is the inspiration for Sex Degrees of Separation. By answering the questionnaire below we will be able to calculate the number of indirect (and direct) sexual partners you have had, going back six degrees of separation.”

“When we sleep with someone, we are, in effect, not only sleeping with them, but also their previous partners and their partners’ previous partners, and so on,” explains Clare Kerr, head of sexual health at Lloydspharmacy. “It’s important that people understand how exposed they are to STIs and take appropriate precautions including using condoms and getting themselves checked out where appropriate.”

It is quick, easy and somewhat painless to take the Sex Degrees of Separation test. This reporter did so, with a rather impressive result, to be sure—and one he is probably not going to share with his wife. Suffice to say, people in his age group have had 2,454,207 indirect sexual partners.

Top that, Gene Simmons.