Rape Fantasies and Hygiene By State

November 25th, 2009 by Chris Coyne

For OkCupid‘s inaugural blog post, I’ve picked a few match questions and will be showing you some cool graphs. Graphs you’ll never find elsewhere.

But first, a reminder: OkCupid match questions are written by OkCupid users, not by staff. The community writes the questions, and our software simply asks them. Good questions climb to the top, and new users are asked to answer these first. By “good” I mean people (1) disagree over them and (2) feel strongly about them. God and sex are hot topics, as you’d expect. So are dating expectations, personal politics, and habits.

And a word about statistical validity: the best questions on OkCupid have been answered over a million times. Therefore we have unique insights into the American mindset. A quick comparison:

OkCupid Question Popularity

Old media could only get 3,050 people to answer a poll about Obama. And it was enough to call the election with confidence.

OkCupid, on the other hand, can ask the world’s most personal questions and get hundreds of thousands of answers. For example, here’s a provocative match question posed by a user:

OkCupid Sample Question

300,000 people have answered that question in 3 parts, and there are thousands more questions with as large or larger data sets.

Yesterday, I wrote a Python jam that consolidates the data by state and plots the trends using Google’s chart API. I plotted a handful of questions, and what follows are a few of the more exciting results.

OkCupid Rules

Would you consider role-playing out a RAPE FANTASY with partner who asked you to?

OkCupid Rape Fantasy


data set: 340,000 people answered

The few states skewing green said “Yes” more than the national average (hello, Nevada!), and the reddish states said “No” more. Perfectly yellow states (like Virginia and Tennessee) answered “Yes” and “No” in the same proportion as the nation as a whole. It’s worth pointing out that because there are only a handful of greenish states and yet roughly a dozen reddish ones on the other side of the mean, those few green ones came down very strongly in favor of rape role-playing compared to the rest of the country. It’s also worth pointing out that cattle outnumber women 26:1 in Wyoming.

Here’s the same question, plotted on Europe:

OkCupid Rape Fantasy Europe


As you can see, the original England skewed the same as the brand New England. And there’s a strong interest in consent play in Lithuania, perhaps because of repeated Russian invasions. Sadly, countries in white have too little data for conclusions; maybe in a year we’ll be able to look deeper in those places.

Would you date someone just for the sex?

Just For the Sex


data set: 448,000 people answered

Westward, ho! I guess I didn’t know what I was expecting from this question; maybe that the more “metropolitan” places would be greener and the more “rural” ones redder, and while that turned out somewhat true (for New York at least), the overall geographic continuity of this plot was a big surprise. I guess things are literally more wide-open in the West, and it looks like the depression is hitting more than just pocketbooks in the near Midwest. Is the Rust Belt now the Chastity Belt?

How often do you bathe or shower?

Bathe or Shower


data set: 261,000 people answered

This is a good example of results that seems surprising at first, but make sense after some thought: it stands to reason people in hot and/or humid states must shower more regularly. I’d be very interested to hear from any New Mexicans why their state bucks this logic; I suppose there are a lot of mountains there, so maybe it should have more in common with Colorado than with its other neighbors. Those of us up North skip once in a while, probably in the Winter. Vermont and Oregon are earthy as hell.

The scale for this map is slightly mislabeled, because this match question has multiple answer options. The first, “At least once a day,” is followed by “Most days. I skip some,” and goes all the way down to “Rarely.” This graph represents the fraction who chose “At least once a day,” and I labeled the scale as I did, because I think it most accurately reflects my query.

Should burning your nation’s flag be illegal?

Flag burning

Attempts to chart this question state-by-state yielded indifferent results, which makes sense since a person’s answer is fairly closely tied to his general political views and only a few states show extreme (far-off-the-norm) tendencies one way or the other on that. Digging deeper, I plotted this question by latitude and longitude. And now the results really show what’s going on: only people in cities believe flag burning should be legal. And even then, many conservative cities are opposed. Look at Texas: Austin, a liberal college town, is surrounded by Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. It’s interesting that Florida, even though it went blue in the last election, is almost entirely red here.

OkCupid Rules

These are just a few of the thousands of questions we have in our database. Are there any other you’d like us to analyze? I’d be happy to; just drop me a line. Either way, I hope you enjoy these graphs and the discussion. I had a lot of fun programming them. We’re going to be posting similar back-end and data discussions on this blog every week, so see you next time. Also, just so you know: though we plan to discuss and manipulate user data on this blog, it will always be anonymized.

OkCupid Rules

OkCupid is totally free, so if you’ve stumbled on this blog entry, check out www.okcupid.com. If you’re an existing OkCupid user, invite your friends! Become a pixel in our graphs!

211 Responses to “Rape Fantasies and Hygiene By State”

  1. Mark says:

    this is pretty great, reminds me of woot statistic maps when they’re selling something ridiculous like a gutter cleaning robot o.O

  2. Kevin says:

    Maybe as a next step you could do cross-analysis with the mapping. like do rape statistics and hygiene together, for the cleanest rape fantasy ever? I mean it sounds f-ed up when you put it like that, but imagine overlapping hygiene and say… religious conviction? safe sex questions and willingness to put out? Love of raspberries and marmalade? you could average the scores across the states to show where someone may want to look for a combination. a dynamic map with questions you can select may be a little processor intensive now, but I think it’s a cool idea to look at in the future.

    This is a phenomenal tool, keep up the great work!

  3. Mike Caprio says:

    What is the distribution of number of people over total questions answered? What percentile of people answer 90% of all questions, et cetera?

  4. Travis says:

    Whomever did your maps should have projected them. The work you did was great, but the presentation is lacking from any sort of cartographic perspective. A geographic projection or no projection just ends up looking poorly done.

  5. Pingback: national dating trends — award tour

  6. fabiocbinbutter says:

    These are awesome graphs. I would love to see more.

  7. John says:

    I’d actually be more interested in the figures themselves. What percentage of folks are OK with rape fantasies? What is the average period between showers? Etc.

  8. englishbah says:

    New Mexico: we care about water conservation.

  9. Trevor says:

    Very interesting, and for certain questions very powerful!

    That said, I have an alternative hypothesis about the results of the question “Would you date someone just for the sex?’

    There is an imbalance of men and women on the coasts. There are more men on the west coast, and more women on the east. Thus there is very likely to be more of each gender being single and looking on each coast. Given the nature of your site, it seems that there would be more men answering the question on the west coast, and more women answering on the east coast. Men are more likely to answer yes to that particular question than women. These two facts lead me to think that it isn’t the populations of the west and east coasts actually differing in their thoughts, so much as it is a profound selection error brought on by the nature of your site.

    Despite this, I think there is an enormous amount of data that could provide very valuable insight into people, dating, and mating. I hope to see more interesting findings in the future. Keep up the good work!

  10. John says:

    Is there any way you could maybe polish up the system and make a public ‘ok trends’ tool? I’m working on formulating my sociology thesis, and this seems like an incredibly powerful (though maybe not scientifically rigorous) tool for discovering trends.

    Also, data comparisons by gender would be great.

  11. Laura says:

    Cool charts! I’d be interested to see more of them on topics like opinions on abortion and same-sex marriage rights, attitudes on adoption and in vitro fertilization, and even simple preferences like favorite type of music.

  12. Gideon says:


    wow this is very interesting, although I live many thousand miles away… would like to see more graphs of perhaps other countries.


  13. MorpheusNYC says:

    If you are in NYC, let me know and the next time I teach a class on Play Rape at one of the local BDSM organizations I will let you know.

    Well…this is great to know if I am visiting…but I would like a matching system for “play” rapers and rapees….where you could know whether someone was safe, sane and consensual…and emotionally stable…..and while we are at it…you would know their Sexually Transmitted Infection status. This could be a bluetooth system for mobile devices…..you walk within say 200 feet of each other….you would be alerted that someone who fits your profile wants to be raped or wants to be raped by you. I know I am living in a fantasy world here…but hey….play rape is a wonderful fantasy:)

  14. Dr_monkey says:

    I’m fascinated by this. More please!! Also, any chance an anonymous data set will be made available to folks. I’m a PhD candidate in religious studies, and I would love to see how the religion questions correlate to other questions.

  15. Antithestasia says:

    I like this, but I am disappointed in how you showed the Rape Fantasies and Just for Sex ones: you showed us which states were more likely than other to say yes or no, as compared to national average, but I have NO IDEA what the national average is, so this data is a bit arbitrary for me. Next time, plot those more like you did with the showering one or the flag burning one, please.

  16. Yes says:

    “These are just a few of the thousands of questions we have in our database. Are there any other you’d like us to analyze?”

    Yes. I want to know where I should move to find the most compatible friends and the most single women who are a high match with me. (Duh.) We should be able to see things like this in our profiles.

    A few months ago I started writing a Python script to scrape information from the Match results page and plot this myself, but I only got as far as plotting the matches as dots of different colors. What I’d really want to see is a color map of the whole country, like blue is matchiness and red is eneminess.

    And don’t plot this by state. As you already figured out, this is not a good representation of the data. Plot by latitude and longitude always, so we can see the difference between cities and rural areas. The scraper doesn’t work as well for this, since you only list the nearest town, and results tend to stack up on each other at the center of towns instead of the actual locations.


  17. Yes says:

    And for producing the maps with projection, as previously mentioned by a fellow pedant:


  18. christian says:

    We’re working on this very thing, right now. Expect news in a post in the next couple weeks.

  19. BSAX says:

    Nice first pass at data analysis.
    I would like to see the data presented by:
    1. Total number of response types by continent
    2. Total number of response types globally
    3. Mapping based on profile variables such as Location, Age, Gender, etc.

    This would make a good feature on OKC that will allow us to generate similar maps that show the density of site members that answered the question the same way we did with query options similar to #3

    Keep up the data mining and thanks for the blog.

  20. jon says:

    What would be amazing is if you could release something so users could inquire into the data on their own. I’m thinking something along the lines of the General Social Survey (GSS) graphing available online, where say you can graph number of children in a family vs income, things like that.

    I’m sure your users could find some really interesting things digging through the data, as long as you suitably anonymized it (say, require a question have a certain number of answers, etc.)

    It would be great to be able to view some of the results by age and sex and so on, rather than just geographical area.

  21. Nathan says:

    This is awesome.

    What about atheism? What’s the trend there?

  22. nietseel says:

    This is great. Of course you could keep adding features, break it down by demographics, age, plot one question against another. (I haven’t read all the comments)

    But what I would be really interested in seeing is the results here compared to national surveys or statistics. For example, the rape fantasy statistics, what if you were to correlate the likelyhood of consenting to rape play with the overall observed rape rate of each state.

    It’s been a little bit since college stats for me, and of course correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it seems to me like you might be able to make some relevant claims on people’s views and whether they correlate highly with actual social problems/trends.

  23. Make Money Online says:

    You all realize that some of this information might be worth a lot of money to some market researchers? Anyway, I’m never dating someone from the north west. Showers are essential for good hygiene… haha =P

  24. Cassie says:

    This is wonderful. Actually, it could seriously help people looking for information for research papers. Not just because it’s interesting but this is a somewhat reliable source of information. There are a tremendous amount of people participating in these questions and not realizing that it’s building a massive data collection about cultural trends and preferences. I can see how this could become a very useful collection of statistics for aspiring sociologists and statistics students.

    But on the lighter side, it’s also incredibly fascinating and fun. Keep up the great work. I’ve got it bookmarked and intend on checking in once a week to read the new statistics!

  25. James says:

    “Yes says:
    July 2, 2009 at 9:21 am
    “These are just a few of the thousands of questions we have in our database. Are there any other you’d like us to analyze?”

    Yes. I want to know where I should move to find the most compatible friends and the most single women who are a high match with me. (Duh.) We should be able to see things like this in our profiles.

    A few months ago I started writing a Python script to scrape information from the Match results page and plot this myself, but I only got as far as plotting the matches as dots of different colors. What I’d really want to see is a color map of the whole country, like blue is matchiness and red is eneminess.

    And don’t plot this by state. As you already figured out, this is not a good representation of the data. Plot by latitude and longitude always, so we can see the difference between cities and rural areas. The scraper doesn’t work as well for this, since you only list the nearest town, and results tend to stack up on each other at the center of towns instead of the actual locations.


    THIS THIS THIS!!! Damn good idea and would love to see it.

  26. time_seeker says:

    I love these. Great job! Please do more of these.

    I agree with BSAX, would like to see the data broken down too.

  27. M. Pace says:

    Re: Map of willingness to “date someone just for the sex”

    “[n]otice that usually liberal Vermont came out quite traditional here. I wonder what else that state has in common with Georgia.”

    Er, you seem to be thinking of South Carolina, not Georgia (based on the map above).

  28. Kellie says:

    I’m sure others have asked about this, but I would be very curious to see the gender breakdown for rape fantasies.

  29. Lewis says:

    I love this. More please.

  30. IthaelArlet says:

    I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said in the comments, but want to pass along a thank you. This is really interesting data and I can’t wait to see more of it. Some of the public tools people are suggesting make me cringe in terms of the processing power required, but would certainly yield really interesting to work with.

  31. oceanmuse says:

    I think there’s a problem equating willingness to participate in a rape fantasy w/ an interest in role play. Answers would likely be very different for men and women particularly since women are much more likely than men to be past survivors of real rape. These women might be interested in role play fantasies but not those involving rape. Because the specter of rape is always present in women’s lives they are far less likely to fantasize about it. This is a map that should be broken down by gender to have any real meaning.

  32. Andy says:

    You’ve referred to the whole of britain as england. sort of. i know it was for the joke of old england, new england but were different countries! honest!

  33. Norm says:

    I would like to see a pole and statistic on how blondes think they rate vs brunets? like do blondes expect better men than brunets.

    And what are the friendlier females, the ones that most likely will not cheat.
    would be interesting ?

  34. LeTinctoire says:

    More like this, please. Even though I’d prefer less focus on the US, it’s very amusing to see statistical (mis?)analysis like this.

  35. Velvetbluedream says:

    From your title I thought you were crossing hygiene and rape fantasies-
    How honest do you think your contestents are – and i would like to know the gender skew for the rape fantasies – being a student of sexuality and deviance- and deviant sexuality.

  36. anonymous says:

    Very nice job!
    It would be very interesting to compare the output to those questions together and with other questions about culture, education, religion, political beliefs.
    I reckon not many people are able to understand scatterplots and correlation methods – a very simple approach could be simply putting maps based on different questions side by side and let the readers compare them.
    Full-globe maps would be great!

  37. lolobee says:

    Please can you get the geographical nomenclature correct. *England* is one country (alongside Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) which makes up the whole United Kingdom.

    Would you please use “UK” instead of “England”, otherwise you risk offending the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish by lumping them together with those English anti-rape-fantasists.


  38. Chad says:

    I think there should be more! I think nationwide stats shouldn’t be made unless > 60% of active users have answered the question, I think you should break down by gender, but also show the whole. I think users should see stats broken out by county in their state of answers that have been mapped, if possible.

    I think a neat tool would be to help determine in what geographic location a user would most likely find a suitable mate based on the answers they’ve given. Compare their answers of the gender(s) of their interest to see if people from areas other than their own could prove to have a better probability of a match, and where they would most likely have enemies. I realize generating these stat maps per user would be fairly data intensive, but I still think it would cool.

    Keep up the good work!

  39. Steve says:

    I agree that making these types of searches available to the users would be an amazing step in helping us find matches, and that it’s extremely important to be able to sort the answers by which gender answered that way. Making it accessable to the users is key because we all have different interests. The questions I search for may not be the same as the next person.

    For example, the reason I keep a profile page here on OKC is because my perfect relationship ideal is not mainstream… and it’s a pain in the ass to discuss in public setting sometimes (having the profile page is sort of like putting out a fishing line). In my case, I’d love to have a wife, and for us to have a female partner. I mean as a long-term serious relationship situation, not just a fling. For me, it would be interesting to see (a) a map showing where women are interested in such a situation as an experimental/fling type deal, and (b) a map showing where women are interested in that kind of situation as a long-term, maybe permanent relationship.

  40. cseyfert says:

    Can you zoom in the flag burning map? Is DC blue??!!

  41. Raederle Phoenix says:

    This is really interesting stuff! I’m glad you guys are doing stuff like this. I’d also be interested in other ways of crossing your data –

    Are women cleaner than men, or the reverse?

    Are younger people more kinky?

    Do more women or more men enjoy anal sex?

    Do people who lose their virginity younger do more drugs?

    Do people who do drugs also do crazy stuff in the bedroom?

    All that stuff would be awesome. I’m sure you guys could come up with tons more! Way to go OKcupid!

  42. Beach_Hut says:

    I’d like to see the ‘if the price of an apple was increased by 50% and then decreased by 50% and was now 75c, what was it originally’ question plotted in this way. Thanks.

  43. Beach_Hut says:

    Another interesting one would the result of the Politics Test, if possible.

  44. KonstantinMiller says:

    Hi! I like your srticle and I would like very much to read some more information on this issue. Will you post some more?

  45. generative1 says:

    excellent. would love to see more.

  46. roens says:

    I’d love it if you’d provide links to each of the above questions. For some, I’d like to see if I’ve already answered & maybe change my answer…

  47. RosaDebi says:

    I love the flow chart!
    Sorry Chris, you and I parted ways at the cat question. I have three of them. My daughter put a bumper sticker on my car that says “I’m just one step away from being the crazy cat lady”.

    The chart explains just where I would not get along with someone or where we both could work together. I don’t think you could find out some of these things until much latter in a relationship
    Then surprise, “Did you just make a racist joke?”

    I can’t wait to see the charts! I just hope mine isn’t ten feet long.

  48. UniqueMaterial says:

    Amazing stuff. Thankx for programming it. I am not techy at all like that but I find your data fascinating. Thankx so much.

  49. chemboy says:

    I think it’s funny that chriscoyne won’t date anyone who doesn’t believe humans evolved from primates…lol

    hate to break it to you bro, but humans are STILL primates… we haven’t evolved past that yet and probably never will.

  50. Meredith says:

    This is fascinating!!! Will you hire me to analyze statistics for OKCupid?!