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What’s your ‘magic number’?

I have a list of all the people I’ve fucked. I know, that sounds intensely weird, and also a little bit creepy. I compiled it many years ago after a long, hazy night in a bar in Amsterdam, during which a good friend and I tried to work out what our ‘magic numbers’ were. I wasn’t particularly bothered about the total, but the exercise gave me pause for thought, and subsequent enraged weeping, when I realised that I couldn’t remember everyone’s name.

I thought I’d got it right at first. I counted people off on my fingers, smiling with glee when I got to a particularly good one, hissing when I reached the name of a person who’d fucked me over, and reminiscing over some of the filthier moments of my life. He did the same, regaling me with some sexy anecdotes as we sipped pints and hoped no one would notice that we were flagrantly ignoring the weird ‘you can smoke weed but not cigarettes’ rule that had just come into force.

Eventually, we both settled on our final numbers, and we clinked glasses – delighted at our powers of recollection.

An hour or so later, a cold dread crept over me: I’d missed one out. Not just any one either – a pretty significant guy, with whom I’d had some fairly intense experiences. Back to the mental drawing board, and the back of a napkin to make notes. And eventually the final list which, while possibly a bit strange, was a godsend when it came to writing my book: it meant I got the chapters in the right order and didn’t have to go back to cram in a quick fuck that I’d somehow forgotten.