Some people write in a journal or save faded photographs to reminisce on old flames, but there’s one guy out there who has a far more unique method of remembering the women he’s slept with—he keeps a tally of them by adding pearls to a rosary-like tattoo on his back.
In a recent live chat with Mallory Ortberg, also known as Dear Prudence, one woman talked about an unfinished “rosary” tattoo on her boyfriend’s back, which she was shocked to discover was not a religious piece, but rather, a means of rating his past women. “I recently discovered that the unfinished rosary-like tattoo on my boyfriend’s back gets one new pearl for every girl he sleeps with or dates,” she explained. “He ‘gave’ me four pearls on his back as a ‘surprise present’ for our second year together.”
According to the poor girl who’s dating this dude – she is identified only as “42 Pearls and counting” – she “always assumed it was a religious tattoo (he has a lot of tattoos) and never asked, but he volunteered info on almost all the others.” So when she got the “surprise present” of four pearls on his back, she found out the true meaning behind the ink, and was, as she says, “incredulous.” “He’s got his sexual and dating history on a rosary on his back, come on,” she said. “He took it very badly (four pearls is the most any girl got, apparently) and won’t talk to me until I apologize.”
“42 Pearls and counting” finished her Dear Prudence submission with this question: “We’re in our mid-20’s and we’re good together, but am I wrong to think this is a red flag or do I lack empathy?” In response to the question, Dear Prudence pretty much tore the dude to shreds, writing, “I don’t see how your boyfriend’s tattoo is anything other than ridiculous, and the fact that he refuses to speak to you until you apologize for not finding the sexual scorekeeping affixed to his back somehow complimentary to you speaks volumes about him.”
Dear Prudence also noted that, while the back tattoo isn’t necessarily grounds enough to end the relationship, “The real red flag is the petulant, absurd tantrum he’s decided to throw because you feel insufficiently honored by the creepy romantic scorecard he’s etched into his back.” Well, we’re just hoping that this girl does all other women a favor and stays with her boyfriend, so he doesn’t get the opportunity to add more pearls to his back tattoo.