Everyone knows that men lie about sex. Recently I heard an updated version of an old joke. The version I heard was: "To figure out how many women a guy actually slept with, ask him, cut that number in half, then subtract 3." I wondered what happens when a guy says an odd number (9 people = 1.5). How do you sleep with half a girl? Are we talking Necrophiliac, or maybe he just got a BJ?
The real problem is that some men are actually honest. In fact, the lower the number, the more likely it is to be true. The number of women I have slept with be counted on one hand - assuming you are using Bill Clinton's definition of sex. Even if you use a prosecutor's definition, that number is less than half my age. When asked, I usually say 5, as in my mind, the strictest definition is more in keeping with my character.
The entire myth of men bragging about sex comes from a relatively small subset of men. There are lots of honest men out there. If you want one but can't find one, then your personal standard for dating needs to be upgraded.
Usually when men lie about their sexual conquests, the only people they fool is themselves There is a incredibly silly scene in Cocaine Cowboys II, where drug dealer Charles Cosby claims to have slept with a legal assistant who was prosecuting him. When you find out later the legal assistant blew a big case because of sexting with someone ELSE, you realize why this idiot thought he could get away with such an obvious lie. I doubt anyone except Charles Cosby was stupid enough to believe his tale of being seduced.
Men claim to have sex with women that wouldn't touch them. But women claim that they are not shallow and don't care about appearances.
There is a web site called OK Cupid, and they track what their members do. It found among other things (Source), that women rated 80% of men as 'below average' attractiveness. Keep in mind that they were rating attractiveness based on a picture, without easy access to height or job information. Men on the other hand gave the expected bell curve, with about 50% being below average and 50% being above average.
This is because most women do not understand what makes a man attractive. They know what they personally like, and lie to themselves, saying they don't care about appearances. At heart, women still think that the general societal view of male attractiveness is "Male Model". But the typical Male Model is "Pretty", not Handsome. They are chosen not to appeal to women, but to appeal to gay men. So the women rated the men on how close their face was to "male model pretty", and found that 80% of men were less than average 'male model pretty', and they did not care that much about 'male model pretty' when it comes to who they email. Male "below average" were in fact more likely to get mail than "average", using the women's score of attractiveness.
It reminds me of a scene in "How I Met Your Mother" (HIMYM). They are discussing how in every relationship there is always a more attractive person and the other person is 'reaching'. Marshall (Jason Segel) asks Lilly (Alyson Hannigan) and eventually gets her to admit she thinks she is more attractive.
First of all, let me state that I am a big fan of Alyson Hannigan. In my personal opinion, she is a 9 (10 if she dresses up as Vamp Willow - but that's just my inner kinky geek). But in HIMYM, they downplay her attractiveness to make Robyn (Cobie Smulders - a 10 who does not actually need the help) look better. So while Alyson deserves at least a 9 for attractiveness, Lilly earns an 8.
But Marshall Eriksen is just about a perfect 10 when it comes to the average girl's first impression. He is 6'4", corporate lawyer that is not stuffy, has hair, and is in good shape.
Marshall is clearly the 'more attractive partner', at least from the shallow perspective, but Lilly doesn't know it. Why? Because she (like most women) thinks that attractiveness is found in the face of male models, and Marshall does not look like that.
Note, it should also be noted that in HIMYM, it is demonstrated that Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) that we know sleeps with a lot women - lies about sleeping with women. Women lie about not being shallow, men lie about sex. It is a very realistic show.
The average woman does not like male models, they like: tall, successful, men with a full head of hair and more muscle than fat (but not body-builders). The average man does not sleep with very men women. Unless of course you are in good shape and are either very famous or very rich.
So women claim they are not as shallow as men. Simultaneously, men claim they can get laid as easily as a woman can. Neither claim is true.