Twenty Thousand Women

Thomas Christopher

Wilt Chamberlain, who died recently, will be best remembered not for his 100 points in a game, but for the claim in his autobiography that he made love to 20,000 women in his life.

Just think about that.

It's strange that none of the newsmen reporting this figure asked to examine his logbook and call up some of the women. It would make a good story. And it's certainly an accomplishment.

Suppose he made love to one woman a day. Let' see, twenty thousand divided by 365. That's nearly 55 years. No vacations. No weekends. No sick time. He could have started at age 15 and gone on to retirement at 70.

What if it were two per day? That's a bit over 27 years. Three a day is eighteen and a quarter years. And somehow he found the time to play basketball, practice, travel, and everything.

Suppose it were his full-time job, working an eight-hour shift. How many women could he make love to in an hour? Given the refractory period, probably two, but it's not clear that is a sustainable rate. Anyway, call it two. That's ten thousand hours. How many hours in a year? A forty-hour week, two weeks vacation, that's 2000 hours a year. Divide 10,000 by 2000. That's a five-year, full time job.

And all these calculations assume none of the women ever cared to repeat the experience. If a significant number did, it would take a lot more time, and that might make the figure sound suspicious.