Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex

October 12th, 2010 by Christian Rudder

Gay issues have been in the news a lot lately, from the debate over same-sex marriage in Congress to a sickening rash of gay-bashing here in New York City. We see a lot of emotion out there, instead of information, and we wanted to provide some data-based context on sexuality so that people might make better choices about what they say, think, and do.

We run a massive dating site and therefore have unparalleled insight into sex and relationships. Here's what we've found, in numbers and charts.

First of all, gay sexuality is not a threat.

Gay people are not sexually interested in straights.

The subtext to a lot of homophobic thinking is the idea that gays will try to get straight people into bed at the first opportunity, or that gays are looking to "convert" straights. Freud called this concept schwanzangst; the U.S. Army calls it Don't Ask Don't Tell.

We combed through over 4 million match searches, and found virtually no evidence of it:

Match Search Returns
  • only 0.6% of gay men have ever searched for straight matches.
  • only 0.1% of lesbians have ever searched for straight matches.
  • only 0.13% of straight people's profile visitors are gay.
Furthermore
In our dataset, there was not a single gay user, male or female, who primarily searched for straight people.

Gay people aren't promiscuous.

Another common myth about gay people is that they sleep around, but the statistical reality is that gay people as a group aren't any more slutty than straights.

Median Reported Sex Partners
  • straight men: 6
  • gay men: 6
  • straight women: 6
  • gay women: 6

Here's how the distribution curves compare:

  • 45% of gay people have had 5 or fewer partners (vs. 44% for straights)
  • 98% of gay people have had 20 or fewer partners (vs. 99% for straights)

It turns out that a tiny fraction of gays have single-handedly two-handedly created the public image of gay sexual recklessness—in fact we found that just 2% of gay people have had 23% of the total reported gay sex, which is pretty crazy.

Straight people have gay sex, too.

Another inquiry that had unexpected results: we asked 252,900 straight people have you ever had a sexual encounter with someone of the same sex?

Almost a quarter answered 'yes'.

Click the airport-bathroom style icons to toggle the sex(es) displayed. Not unexpectedly, more women than men have had same-sex desires:

    straight women's same-sex desires:
  • 1 in 3 straight women has hooked up with another woman.
  • and of those who haven't, over 1 in 4 would like to.

As for straight men, a surprisingly high 13% have had a same-sex experience, and another 5% haven't yet but would like to.

Using the incredible power of computers, we were able to break down this question geographically. Here are straight people who either have had or would like to have a same-sex experience in the continental U.S. and lower Canada. You can see some sharp geographic divides.

Awesomely, the mountain West lives up to its Brokeback reputation, and Canada is orange nearly coast-to-coast. Even in the yellow and blue areas, you can see pockets of gay curiosity in interesting places: Austin, Madison, Asheville. Anywhere soy milk is served, basically.

Sidenote

Doing the research for this post, I came across many awful things our elected officials have said about gay people; here's a relatively calm example:

For starters, I found that a fun game to play with stuff like this is to replace the words "homosexual" and "gay" with "politician"—then you have something that's actually true.

I also spent a lot of time looking up match questions to debunk this particular claim. Down in the database I discovered one question with a surprising disparity, not between orientations, but between genders. Like Frodo to the Balrog, I wished I'd never unearthed it.

Come on, people. #facepalm.

Beyond Sex: Gay & Straight Personalities

More than just asking about specific desires and behaviors, our match questions are designed to tease out our users' underlying personalities. We've collected over 669 million answers from users so far. Below is a straight/gay comparison on 23 personality categories. You can mouse-over the ?s for each category to pop-up some examples of the many questions that affect it.

Two things: (1) The idea of the typical straight man as a kind bullying jock seems to be broadly true, though there is also a strong dork streak there, as well.

(2) Looking closely at the chart for females, we can improve upon Marx's famous dictum.

Religion is the opiate of the masses, so long as the masses are straight. However, amass a bunch of lesbians and you're going to need actual drugs.

In any event, a lot of these measured traits are reflected by the users' own words. Like we did before with race, we looked at the interests and tastes statistically unique to the different orientations, according to their personal profiles. We crunched millions of words of essay text and found the phrases most correlated to a particular sexual preference; again, these are the users' own words.

The Stuff Gay People Like

For both sexes, a lot of this stuff is way stereotypical. The size of the phrases indicate their relative popularity to the norm, and I actually had to shrink "The L Word" down to fit in our template. Meanwhile gay men's interests speak for themselves, evidently with an exaggerated lisp.

Compare those lists to their equally typical straight counterparts, below. It's like two zen koans, one by Meg Ryan, one by a viking:

The Stuff Straight People Like

As you can see, sexual orientation makes a huge difference in the words you choose to describe yourself. The small but enormous difference between lesbians' a girlfriend and straight women's my girlfriends says it all.

We extended this gay vs. straight analysis and for each orientation measured the frequencies of all one-, two-, and three-word phrases against the site-wide rates. Here's the breakdown:

There's no question that according to this analysis gay people are "different;" as you can see, gay interests and self-descriptions have little to do with the mainstream's. In fact what these numbers are saying is that the average gay person has only about 30% in common with the average American. But, ironically enough, when it comes to identity, it's hardly rare to be an outlier here. Adding an ethnic group to the plot helps put it in perspective:

Of course, as far as I know, no one's saying that Indians shouldn't get married or shouldn't be allowed to adopt children. The people of Louisiana even elected Bobby Jindal, an openly Indian man, as their governor!

We hope gay people can expect the same treatment very soon.

Adventurous

Would you consider trying food without being told what it is?

Would you consider permanently living in another country?

Would you ever get on a motorcycle?

Aggressive

Do you like to argue?

Have you ever yelled at the TV?

Do you go to great lengths to avoid conflict?

Ambitious

Would you be happy raising the kids while your spouse worked?

Which comes first for you, work or friends?

Do you want to be famous?

Artsy

Are you an aspiring actor/artist/writer or other creative type?

Do you like going to museums?

Do movies with subtitles bother you?

Compassionate

Is it your responsibility to help your fellow human beings?

Are you the type of person to tell a homeless person to get a job?

Do overweight people annoy you?

Competitive

Is it important to you to have the last word in an argument?

Do you like board games?

If someone wrongs you...do you eventually exact revenge?

Confident

Would you say you're smarter than average?

Are you okay with trying things that you're bad at?

Are you intimidated by a partner who is more sexually experienced than you?

Dorky

Do you think the International Space Station would be a cool place to get married?

Do you know what 'http' stands for?

Do you own any dice with more than six sides?

Generous

Do you give your best friend a birthday gift?

How much do you give each year to charity?

When you loan something small to a friend, do you really care if it gets returned?

Horny

How often do you think about sex?

How often do you masturbate?

Ideally, how many dates would you go on with someone before you have sex?

Into Drugs

What's your relationship to marijuana?

Do you think drug use with your partner can be a romantic activity?

Have you tried hard drugs, like, anything you need to 'cook'?

Into Sports

Do you play actual sports?

Do you enjoy exercise?

Do you have a favorite sports team, that you really like to follow?

Introverted

Does the idea of staying in and reading a book on a Friday night appeal to you?

Do you need "alone time" to re-charge after social situations?

At parties, do you go up and talk to people?

Kinky

Does group sex sound like a great idea?

Do you like sex toys?

Have you ever used nipple clamps?

Literary

Can you name an author from each continent (besides Antarctica)?

In high school, did you read books that weren't assigned in class?

Do spelling mistakes annoy you?

Optimistic

Do things generally turn out for the best?

Can just one person significantly change the world?

Do you think happiness is possible for all people?

Polite

Do you say something like 'bless you' when a stranger sneezes?

Do you hold the door for people?

Are you frequently under-dressed for special occasions?

Political

Have you ever marched in a protest?

Is it a person's civic duty to vote?

Do you know who your state's Senators are?

Romantic

Have you been around candlelight recently?

Do you like costume dramas?

Do you like to say 'I love you'?

Religious

Do you believe in the power of prayer?

Is there a God?

Do you believe in miracles? You sexy thing?

Spontaneous

Do you bring an umbrella if it looks like rain?

Do you often find yourself bored in relationships after a few months?

Have you ever had a one-night stand?

Trusting

Do you think most people give to charity?

Do you ever leave your drink unattended at a bar?

Do you think a straight man and a straight woman can truly just be friends?

Violent

Would you find it easier to kill for your beliefs or to die for them?

Have you ever thrown an object in anger during an argument?

Do you own a gun?

702 Responses to “Gay Sex vs. Straight Sex”

  1. Mily5 says:

    Re: Giancarlo’s question “Why is it that so many gay people seem to put so much personal stock into their identity, and into how others perceive them?”

    Historically, groups of people whose identities have been oppressed are more apt to put personal stock into their identities. This is because they are constantly forced to defend who they are in both the grand social scheme (having to justify their right to marriage) and in their personal experiences (not being accepted by family, classmates, etc).

    In the past, there was complete nonacceptance of homosexuality, so gays had to hide the fact that they were gay. As you say, now being gay is becoming more accepted, so gays don’t have to hide anymore. Instead, with so many people still strongly opposed to them, they have to defend.

  2. bengal says:

    As for the queer identity thingy (Giancarlo): it would definitely be best if nobody gave a “flying crap” about one’s sexual orientation but the sad reality is that most people do. And some of that “most people” majority’s flying crap is actually a bomber plane intending to destroy, punish and blemish. Hence the need for defence in the form of all sorts of identities. And believe me, no one is more tired of labels and imposed identities than gay men like me for whom being gay merely means being sexually and emotionally attracted to other men. Period.
    Needless to say, when you look at who actually profits from identity-making, it doesn’t take much analysis to find that it is the same people who cash on creating other identities: happy nuclear families (from Christmas shopping to toilet paper), six-packed sweaty men (deodorants to shaving accessories), slim women in smart dresses (all sorts of things from chic spectacles to business ideas). Human ego is based on identification and loves it. And the massive army of advertising psychologists know that all too well. That’s the only reason why being gay equals wearing D&G and listening to Lady *&!%& Gaga…

    To Andres: I think you should apply for some church post, you’re bigot enough to be a wonderful priest. I especially like your apparent belief that you know what the solutions to our social problems are, or at least what they are not. “Social norm all throughout history” is a very bold statement but proves your knowledge of history is, to put it mildly, rather inadequate – you’d have to start with 13th Century Thomas Aquinas for Christianity and perhaps a little earlier for Islam and Judaism. What about the several thousand years elsewhere (Ancient Greece is quoted way too often but why not again) Want some Bible quotes? http://www.whosoever.org/v2i3/sodom.html
    Anyway, the answer to your question ” Why people like me have such an opposition to all kinds of sex/gender d e v i a t i o n s” is simple. Because of inherited dogmatic indoctrination. In history (by the way I have a Masters in it) people were always most happy to single out scapegoats for all their ills – and they had quite a few: wars, all sorts of diseases, famine etc. Usual scapegoats? All those people whose deeds make God freak out – and of course, there was always a group of people known as priests who have claimed to know what’s happening in God’s mind – Jews, gay people, people with learning disabilities, “heretics” etc. This is one component. Another is rather biological: animals (those living in packs) and human children naturally single out those who are “different than us” – which in our case includes all the named, and also people of other races, religion etc. Racists, homophobes, ageists etc. all belong to the same category, the only thing that differs is the focal point of hatred.
    So, to recapitulate, your refusal and opposition are based on 1) ideology originating in European Middle Ages, and 2) zoological instincts. As a human being you have the option to go beyond that but of course you may choose not to.

    Now why did I spend 40 minutes of my precious time responding to 2 people’s weird ideas? Because for me they represent two of the many strains of misconceived ideas people have about sexuality and thus apply to many more people than them…

    Howk.

  3. Michael says:

    For me, homophobia is my own fear of wanting to kiss or be with another man. I have great ambivalence concerning this. I consider myself STRAIGHT, but as I evaluate and analyze my feelings, emotions, and physical needs it seems as though being STRAIGHT can be so limiting. It can be exhausting to continue to defend my own persona and position. When I think about carnal thoughts it’s always with a woman. I get so lost in it now. All alone and the wanting drives me mad. Masturbation helps. More and more I feel like a pervert. And why shouldn’t I feel that way. I just turn on my computer and start stumbling porn. I look for someone to be with, but do I really want just one person. This response is mostly initiated by the lists of words comparing gay and straights. I am attracted to both lists equally, even tending to agree with more of the choices on the gay list. I tell some people that I believe that everyone is comprised of both genders, hence everyone is bisexual, yet most or many tend to remain seated at the same table for their experience of life. This is why I do take exception to this issue that gay people do not go after straight people. It’s about frequency and wave length. It’s about getting on the radar. If a gay man sees what he likes in me he might approach and … As the type of man I am I may just see this as a man trying to be friends. As a STRAIGHT with sensitivity for both genders in me, this can sometimes cause inadvertent signals to be sent. It’s like George Carlin once said something like this, “If you’re kissing someone in the dark and you’re enjoying it, then you turn the lights on and discover it’s someone of the same sex, does that mean the kiss can no longer be enjoyed?” I would tend to say yes only because of my sexual perspective!

  4. RaeRay says:

    A friend sent this to me — really cool!!! Thank you for taking the time to do this, really awesome!

  5. Pam says:

    Okay… why are we using the term “straight” to describe someone who is interested in sleeping with members of the same sex? They are not straight – they are bi (or “queer,” as I and many others prefer to say). Most people are queer. Very few people are “straight” or “gay.” Remember the Kinsey scale? I think the sooner we stop using dichotomous labels, the sooner all the judgment and assumptions will end and the better off we will all be.

  6. Lee says:

    I’ve noticed that in the past week I’ve had 7 different straight males looking at my profile. I’m a lesbian. I’m constantly hit on by straight guys and I find it absolutely disgusting and while I feel bad for the guy I can’t help but wonder WHY the hell I have so many straight guys looking at my profile on a DATING site.

    I’m disturbed by it because I’ve had plenty of times before in which a guy has said “oh, you’re just gay because you haven’t found the right guy” and I know plenty of people who’ve said that I’m just gay because I can’t find a boyfriend when it’d be a hell of a lot easier for me to find a guy. (Yeah, you try finding a lesbian who isn’t taken and is your type. HA) I also realize that there’s a lot of guys who jack off to lesbian porn and would love to bang a lesbian so he could have bragging rights. It’s sick and perverted and it’s mainly because women are raised to be seen as sex objects and be treated as such.

    I had one guy that I asked why I was looking at my profile and he eventually went from saying “I have no problem with gay people. I have many friends who are gay” to saying something like, “By being a lesbian you take the mans role, you really need to think about Your lifestyle a bit.” Which REALLY bugged the hell out of me. I think OKCupid should do a little study on how often LESBIANS are looked at by STRAIGHT males on dating sites. It’d be interesting to see what they find.

  7. Heron says:

    Regarding gay desires: kind of funny, being gay and growing up in a homophobic household, I was inculcated with the belief that homosexuality=pedophilia, more or less. Imagine my surprise and distaste when I started having same-sex attraction. SHIT SHIT SHIT! What would I do now? Rape a kid? Because I was thinking about boobs and my Calculus teacher, that probably meant I would rape a kid, right?!

    So, growing up in this hate-filled household with this secret, I found myself checking in with myself when I was around kids, like, “OK, there’s a kid over there. What do I think of that? Am I really stoked about that in a creepy way?” My mind and body just didn’t care, while it definitely did care when I was with people my own age. When I was fantasizing, I kept on thinking of my favorite actresses and girls in my class, but I still kept fearing the day when that would change to something more aberrant and awful and predatory. It never happened and I eventually sort of forgot about it, but every now and then, my mind drifts when I hang out with a kid and I think “Oh god, am I into this? I don’t THINK I’m into it, but what if my mom and dad were right about gays? Because *I’m* gay and my parents must be right because they’re the ones who raised me oh my god oh no oh no!” I found myself madly searching for internet statistics on pedophiles (mostly dudes, mostly “straight” except for, um, the pedophilia) and was so relieved when the statistical data on child molesters said one thing: gay ≠ pedophile.

    Turns out: I’m gay. I’m into other same-sex adults. Just boring old t ‘n a.

  8. TW says:

    Thanks for this article but I’d like to know why you didn’t do the reverse of the first question. As a lesbian, I’d be really curious to know how often straight people are searching for gay people of the opposite sex, judging from my visitors I would estimate that certainly straight men are searching for gay girls a lot.

  9. David says:

    Awesome article like always :)

  10. -0_0- says:

    The issue isn’t gay people or stupid women. The issue is bisexual people. Unfortunately, the Republican party is full of straight morons that don’t understand that because they are too busy trying to lynch Barack Obama [This also explains why spell-check puts his name in red].

  11. Erick says:

    If these stats are from North America and Europe (given that your website is English, they likely are) then, o dear one, gay vs straight is just political claptrap. Most of you dudes are neither. You’re just horny and curious. You’ll fill a hole when you see it. Get over intellectualizing it so much and go get laid.

  12. Cmirandacw says:

    I’m surprised Cold Play was not on the list of what gay people like….hahha

  13. LLL says:

    This is just another way to sensationalize the “gay issue” for those who are BORED and have nothing else to read or do at the time. Like reading the gossip column of Perez Hilton. Not much content but slanted enough to entertain.

  14. Sarah says:

    I came here to post what TW said.
    It isn’t that I think straight men shouldn’t be able to see lesbian’s pages, it simply weird that they can actually filter “matches” that way, just like it’s weird that someone can search saying they’re a straight women and toggle their search to only include gay men, or even a gay woman could search exclusively for gay men, again, for what reason, I can only speculate.
    A lot of lesbian identified pages have a note complaining about guys, either in general, and some specific claims of guys trying to tell them they are just confused.
    I only sometimes see men in my visitors, but sometimes the “Others like this” on a gay girl’s page will be straight girls, so I have browsed people I have no business browsing on accident, perhaps this explains some of the straight men browsing lesbians? But the messaging complaints are certainly a different thing

  15. liv says:

    haha, look at the personality chart – gay people are waaaaay more interesting than straight people. or, i dare say, more european? because i love so many of the same bands and things as lesbians do, and here i am, one hundred percent straight – still, i also enjoy an episode of the l word once in a while. maybe the influence of my gay best friend. maybe its an american-european difference thing? i say, gays and lesbians, rock on. and everyone else, get out of that middle-aged kind of thinking.
    liv from europe

  16. Woolf says:

    It’s really sad that you people in america has to discuss such things. Here in europe beiing gay is a normal thing and nobody cares about it. But it shows again the double moral of the americans. Poor country, thank god that i’m gay and thank god i live in switzerland, the real free country:

  17. FrankW says:

    FWIW, I am a Gay man who has been hit on by far more guys on OKC who identify as Straight in their profiles than by those who identify as Gay or Bi.

  18. Jane says:

    love this article! just want to query this though:

    “It turns out that a tiny fraction of gays have single-handedly two-handedly created the public image of gay sexual recklessness”

    Are gays really ‘responsible’ for this image or have the majority public created this image, the stats suggest the latter….just a small point that could easily be tweaked in this article.

  19. cringe >- says:

    “We see a lot of emotion out there, instead of information, and we wanted to provide some data-based context on sexuality so that people might make better choices about what they say, think, and do.”

    Really!?!

    Is this data-driven context?:
    – “…the idea that gays will try to get straight people into bed…the U.S. Army calls it Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
    – “I found that a fun game to play with stuff like this is to replace the words “homosexual” and “gay” with “politician”—then you have something that’s actually true.”
    – “Religion is the opiate of the masses, so long as the masses are straight. However, amass a bunch of lesbians and you’re going to need actual drugs.”
    – “Meanwhile gay men’s interests speak for themselves, evidently with an exaggerated lisp.”

    Usually I find the OkT articles to be informative and data-driven. In this case, far more editorializing and trying so damned hard to be cute with the language that it’s just another piece of the same kind crap that it alleges to decry . Disappointing.

    I feel this article does a disservice to the cause of educating people on the facts, and certainly does not support people in making better choices about what they say, think, and do.

  20. 613 The Evil says:

    I knew Final Fantasy is gay! :P I am happy I never played any of this pompus crap.

  21. 613 The Evil says:

    Also, from what I read, young straight guys from usa are fucking Nazis. No surprise of course. But it looks horrible being confirmed.

  22. Mathlover says:

    Beautiful stats people! I’ll have to find some way to throw money at you, because what you are doing is both hilarious and informative!

    Thank you.

  23. OMGIKnowThatGuy says:

    This site reeks of political correctness and Marxism.

  24. Ambria says:

    Sorry to say ladies, but I don’t think people give too much thought to lesbians when there is a discussion about people who are gay. I don’t know many girls that are threatened by lesbians the way guys are about gay men. Also, most guys love the thought of females together. Where I work, for example, there has been a lesbian working there for years and no one even mentions anything about her lifestyle, but a gay guy was recently hired and people are freaking out.
    It’s unfortunate that even in the gay community, women aren’t seen as equal to men.

  25. Melissa says:

    So I’m happily and monogamously married, but if I weren’t, I would want to skip the ok cupid scene and date the writer of these fabulous articles, whatever his/her gender, race, age, and sexual orientation might be. This is some of the best social science reporting I’ve seen! Why can’t I write this well?

  26. Kat says:

    The personality traits chart is really funny. I am a straight female. Not into sports and religion. That leaves me with only three personality traits. I guess I have to be a lesbian to be more interesting lol

    I think every personality is unique and it doesn’t depend on their orientation. Right?:)

  27. junk food says:

    I really fell sorry 4 american gays I really fell sorry

  28. Jason says:

    Interesting analysis. I like it. Even being myself religious, I really think there’s no difference between the gay man or woman and the straight man or woman. Same sex-drive, same brain, same desires, same fears (albeit from different perspectives), and same Human. You can’t tell if someone’s this or that unless they want you to know, and that goes for anything, really. You can’t tell if a person’s Christian or if he’s gay, unless he tells you. Judgment, therefore, as well as condemnation, will always be there… but it’s also always been unnecessary – even the Bible says so, quite black and white about it, too. Hell, it commands the Christian, for example, NOT to judge OR condemn, and that if you do, you’ll be judged and condemned by God as harshly. It doesn’t get any clearer than that… but, you know, people are fucking morons, straight, gay, Christian, or neither. We’re all morons, doesn’t matter how you define yourself.

  29. joey says:

    I personally wouldn’t mind having gay sex with a woman lol. It would be pretty kewl to double up with another boy on one girl and just do some DP, etc…

    joey
    :-p

  30. Nena Logan says:

    Fascinating! awesome article, food for thought! GAY-STRAIGHT-BI woohoo! I know of a couple who have been married for YEARS and YEARS. The wife loved her husband and he loved his wife but he was more comfortable, actually felt HE was meant to be a WOMAN. He lived out his trial year as a woman, dressing acting, living as a woman, and went ahead and had the sex-change operation. Guess what? The two of them are still married! They are now TWO WOMEN as much in love with eachother now as when they were husband and wife. They are in a married, monogamous, committed relationship because each of them LOVES the PERSON that the other IS and couldn’t imagin loving or being with anyone else! Who’da thunk? They have a marriage that is simply based on LOVE, not Gender. Could it be that God might be big enough and all encompassing enough to sanction their union too? Whose to say that God can only bless and accept loving, monogomous, heterosexual marriage relationships?

  31. Adam says:

    What about androgynous individuals? Where do we all fit into this complex web of facts?

  32. Daigle says:

    It’s shocking and disappointing how many people have commented on this post, who clearly have not read it. People need to stop aggressively commenting on things which statistically vindicate them, simply because it has a buzz word someplace therein. It’s data, and it disproves some stereotypes (hooray) and reinforces that others are based in fact…and there’s nothing wrong with that. Something is not bad because it’s a stereotype, if it’s true…only if it’s false. Otherwise it’s not an insult, as much as part of the giant palette of unique characteristics which make people who they are and the should be celebrated not denigrated by morons who feel the need to post crap like “ZOMG, people made a graph about gay people, I hate America….” grow up.

    Nice work, well done as usual…an interesting, thought provoking post.

  33. Jan Wolter says:

    Cool article, but I think your data overstates the difference between gays and straights. The content of people’s profiles reflects not how they view themselves, but how they would like to present themselves to potential partners. If I’m a straight man hoping to attract the attention of a straight woman, I’m likely to act more “macho”. If I’m a gay man hoping to attract the attention of another gay man, then I’m likely to act more “gay”. The stereotypes about gays and straights are confirmed in your data because people are trying to present themselves in a way that is attractive to a large group of strangers. All they know about those strangers is a stereotype, so they act in stereotypic ways. The universe contains much more talk about long walks in the rain than actual long walks in the rain.

  34. peri says:

    Please clarify: when you say that all groups (gay/straight men and lesbian/straight women) have an average of six partners, does that mean at any particular time or over
    time?

    Otherwise, another thoughtful well-done article.

  35. Will Walters says:

    This is a wonderful piece. VERY well done. There have always been gays and Lesbians in and around my children and I. I personally am neither gay nor bi but I HAVE had a rather wonderful sexual encounter with another man which is a cherished memory.

    The idea that these groups should be treated any differently than anyone else is simply WRONG.

    I was a little surprised at the mediocrity of straight males. I DON”T fit that graph at all.
    I have little in common with those interests or activities.

    The percentage of straight men having an encounter or wanting one is I suspect much larger, particularly in older age groups. Perhaps an age study would revel this to be true?
    I see a great many older men online who solicit for such an encounter and a great many who cross dress as well.
    Another question could be “Are men who cross dress lately gay?”
    “Do men who cross dress tend to seek a male or female partner?”

    Trans-gendered people have also been left out of this study. Not all Trans gendered people seek men.
    Where do Transvestites fit in this study?
    Though these groups are numerically smaller they still represent a large block of identifiable population.
    I would be interested in knowing your thoughts on this.
    Will

  36. Angela LaPorta says:

    haha i love the promiscuity section of the article it’s so true!

  37. LauraPalmer88 says:

    As far as gay ppl looking at straight ppls pages vs the opposite in my experience it’s been more that straight ppl have looked at my page. Well to elaborate when I first joined I only was interested in meeting women. I consider myself “queer” but that’s not an option so I put bi. I mostly just received messages from men so I changed my status to “gay”. I constantly had straight men looking at my page & writing me. I finally had to change my message filters so I would stop getting the emails. But still one guy every time I would sign on would look at my page, he literally stalked me! At some point I decided I was open to dating men again as well & changed my status back to bi….I hardly ever get messages from girls & most of my female “visitors” are straight. So at least in my experience, it’s just the opposite. It’s the straight ones doing most of the peeking, guys & gals! :P

  38. Christian Alexander Tietgen says:

    Straight and gay women are about equally attractive according to their personalities. Those interest cloud is just horrible.

  39. thomas lowdon says:

    I am quite fascinated by the general thoughts on here,I am a gay guy in UK,and here it seems its very different than the American lifestyle as experienced.Gayness here in england is almost totaly accepted.not always so and not so long ago it was difficult,but since the advent of http://WWW.com anything.It seems more and more no-one turns a hair if you say Im gay.if you are in a bar,any bar and say that guys gay,previously the room would stop for all to look,now if you say that guys gay,at least two or three will say my sisters gay or my brothers gay or my sisters uncle is gay.generaly speaking in the UK today you really can be who you want to be,Nobody gives a fart.
    they are all too busy living their own lives to care.We have a discrimination act which forbids any anti gay behaviour at the workplace,penalties are brought about for non compliance,all discrimination is illeagal in UK.We had big posters at work saying homophobia “stamp it out” Racial equality “bring it on”discrimination is punishable by LAW.Dont Do it.Come to England you guys we are truly free,All Of Us…cheers thomas.a happy gay guy for 45 years.

  40. Angel-Thane says:

    Two points I see when re-reading this…

    i) The 98% vs 99% (for having 20 or more partners) is actually quite considerable. That means that gays are twice as likely than straights to have had more than 20 partners. That’s not chump change.

    ii) You didn’t include, for comparison purposes, the % of straight users who search for (or message) gays. I’m guessing a lot more straight men search for lesbians than gay men search for straights.

  41. Ang. says:

    Oh wow,
    Great info.
    Thanks for sharing the info.
    Your sampling is huge.
    hehehe
    Thanks
    Ang.

  42. Rob Sandman says:

    Well personally I’m straight,
    and me and another straight friend attended a gay acquaintance’s 40th birthday bash and spent all night fending off advances from gay men,and to set the record straight I’d lived in this persons apartment complex with them for over a year beforehand,
    so there were NO illiusions that either of us were gay/bi/curious.

    Some of the advances ranged from the classics “you’ll never know til you try”
    to the sinister “don’t fall asleep”(this was while plying us with alcohol and attempting to ply us both with drugs)
    and one lad just straight sat on my friends lap and tried to kiss him,to set the record straight we are both 18 stone 6 foot tall bouncers,so needless to say the adventurous lad got dumped straight onto the floor
    (but no other reaction other than a final verbal warning),
    the night ended with a big gay orgy in one of the bedrooms,while myself and my mate sat on a couch chatting to two really nice lesbian girls who were just as pissed off as we were(quite a few straight peeople were there,including a young lad of 19 whose mental capacities were quite low,and we ended up escorting HIM out of there with the two girls in case something happened to him,
    so YES gay people DO go after straight people,and sometimes in quite a sinister way,
    its NOT just urban myths,between us me and my mate have had 25+ years experience on the doors and have seen the dark side of the rainbow!

  43. Rory says:

    I love you so very, very much.

  44. sarahbesstup says:

    why dnt u all just leave the gay ppl alone its their business to live that life style not ours and i support gays not matter what

  45. James Elliott says:

    Would your statistics-fu and user database be able to shed any light on the still-perplexing question of what fraction of the population are interested in pursuing attractions to members of the same sex? A recent WSJ article discusses how difficult it has been to get meaningful answers to that question so far: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704116404576263383778476752.html

    I’m thinking your sample size is larger than the surveys considered there, although I am sure there are different biases at play here too.

  46. Ben says:

    “The subtext to a lot of homophobic thinking is the idea that gays will try to get straight people into bed at the first opportunity”

    Is that true? Remarkable: it suggests that homophobes do not think of sex as something that is mutually agreed upon.

    Maybe a corollary: a lot of female thinking is the idea that guys will try to get girls into bed at the first opportunity, and yet women don’t want to kill all the men (mostly). Is this why women are more mature about different sexualities than men are? Are homophobic guys really so incapable of dealing with being in a situation similar to what women have been in forever (except that gay men are not 30% bigger and stronger than straight men)? Have homophobes never heard of saying “no” to sex? Are homophobes more likely to be rapists?

    Are there some questions in your database that could probe this? I’m thinking of differences between genders and degree of homophobia in answering questions such as “I’m scared of anyone who has the ability to rape me” and “It’s always okay to say no to sex for any reason”. Got any questions like that?

  47. Alex says:

    I just want to add this small little comment. OkCupid has covered the LGB portion of the spectrum but what about us Transgender/sexuals who use this site who have not yet started hormones or had surgery?? What about us?

  48. ScrtPlsrRms says:

    I’d be very interested in knowing what sexual orientations search up bisexual men, according to the data used.

    I also want to share a hair-splitting set of definitions that I think clarify things a bit (or complicate things, perhaps, for some). These definitions assume two genders and will seem flawed to some because of that; however, they should be fine for the general population.

    Gay and straight are equivalent in that they describe lifestyle choices, primarily monogamous or fidelitous tendencies. Gay (including lesbian) involves pairing up with someone of the same gender, and straight, of course, involves pairing up with the opposite gender. These two terms are commonly used to indicate sexual orientation, but I think that’s innacurate and try to avoid using them in this manner.

    Het, homo, and bi are sexual orientations (or preferences, if you prefer). They are not necessarily indicative of a gay or straight lifestyle choice. Assuming sexual activity between two people, het and homo can be used to describe sexual relations or acts and are more accurate than gay or straight in this respect. In other words, there is no “bisexual” sex act, but there can be a homo or het act between a bisexual person and someone else.

    If a homo or bi woman searches for another woman on OKC, she can be said to be looking for a gay or lesbian relationship. She would not be wrong if she said she was gay or lesbian. If she also searches for men for sex but not a relationship, she can still say she’s gay or lesbian and not be wrong, BUT she couldn’t say she was homo. If she settles into a relationship with a man, she can say she’s bi, but certainly not gay or lesbian.

    I think that the distinction is important because of some of the comments I’ve read here. I don’t expect that they will be widely adopted, but thinking about the two levels, in my opinion, does partly explain why there can be bisexual men or women searching only for the same or opposite gender, other than simply saying that bisexuality is used for some purpose as saying to others, “I’m more sexually open, mature, or desirable.”

    I happen to have a personal stake in this because I’m a bi man looking for a woman (prefer she be bi as well, but not necessary) with the idea that it might lead to marriage in a few years. Does it make me less bisexual if I settle down with a woman? What if I swore off men altogether, forever; would I then become het or straight? For me, the answer to both of these is “no.”

    No matter what, though, we have to remember that these labels are for convenience in conversations or communications. They do not, and should not, place barriers on our lives just because we use them, whether on ourselves or each other. When someone avoids doing or admitting to “gay” sex because they’re “straight,” they are imposing the limits of the label on themselves. This is especially true for bisexuals, because it is often assumed that we cannot settle down into a relationship, or we will inevitably and invariably leave a partner of one gender for another partner of the other gender.

    Bisexuality simply means that we are sexually attracted to members of both sexes. Nothing has to be equal about these attractions, nor is someone “less bisexual” because they settle into a gay or straight partnership or search only for men or women on dating sites.

    I hope that anyone who needed these distinctions stated has found some clarity from it.

  49. gregory halley says:

    i would sure wanna have gay sex….i did and it was sweeter than straight sex.

  50. G says:

    I would like to add one thing about being a Bi-sexual. Being Bi-sexual is not just about being open to sex with the same or opposite sex, it about being able to be ” in love ” with someone from either sex.