It has been brought to my attention that I might be obsessed with numbers. I disagree. I think I have a very healthy relationship with numbers.

My feelings about my nights camming usually depend on **how much** I made that hour. Or **how many** men were in my room. Or how I was **rated**.

I gained confidence with my body with the knowledge that 500 men were jacking off. I gained pride in my phone sex skills by getting a #1** **rating (if only for a moment).

I constantly run numbers. When I am scared, I also run the numbers.

**How many** years can I live on my savings if I never find a job? What is the **statistical probability** that I will get hurt bungie jumping? **How much** will it cost to raise a child alone if I never find someone? What is the violent crime **rate** in this town? What is the **chance** I will die of breast cancer?

See? Very healthy!

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Sara,

I hear what you say about numbers, but I have to agree and disagree at the same time.

Some of the numbers you list are what I would call “math”. Years you can live off of your savings, number of men in your CB room. Those can be calculated and added and divided. If your assumptions don’t change (your spending doesn’t go up or down; or you ignore that some men have multiple accounts and may be in your chat room under multiple names) the logic is unassailable.

However, there are other numbers which you can cite, but need to be interpreted with care. ‘What are the chances that I will die of breast cancer?’ is one.

The trap in these statistics lies in the fact that they are written from the “average” or “aggregated” point of view.

If (making numbers up here) you have (only) a 5% chance of dying from breast cancer, you might feel good because you have a 95% chance of *not* dying of breast cancer.

But if you jump to this conclusion you have taken an “aggregate” number and applied it to a personal outcome.

Each individual who has breast cancer survives or dies. (Sorry, don’t mean to sound harsh here and breast cancer is no laughing matter, I’m just trying to make my point).

So for each person, the “success rate” is either 100% or 0%. But when you add up a lot of men and women you find that (in this example) 95% of people survive.

Do you see the problem with taking an average number and applying it to an individual situation?

If you’re in the 5% that does not survive breast cancer, then you are 100% dead. So, to you — the individual — what is the success or failure rate?

I’m not saying don’t study the numbers. Do! But don’t use statistics to give yourself false comfort.

YM