Sexual habit statistics - are there any reliable ones?
August 17, 2004 5:54 AM   Subscribe

Are there any vaguely reliable statistics out there about people's sexual habits? I want to know how common my abject lonely misery is.
posted by Pretty_Generic to Human Relations (37 answers total)

aw--go out. meet people. London MeFites, get busy fixing him up.

Here's a weird page chock-full of stats
posted by amberglow at 6:08 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: "NCPCF: Moving the people of God to embrace, live out and defend the biblical truth of sexuality"

Possibly not the most academic source, babe. Thanks though, it's interesting.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:13 AM on August 17, 2004

Do you want real research, or ballpark estimates? A lot of the stuff that passes for "research" out there nowadays is sponsored research for Viagra, Cialis, etc. It's still "research" but often you find that "Lo! everyone is getting a lot more than you, maybe you need some help there...?" In the UK they do the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles which published some results in The Lancet [user/pass: metafilter/metafilter]. Depending on how old you are, you can check the charts and see exactly how common your abject lonely misery is. It even splits out the results between London and the rest of Britain.
posted by jessamyn at 6:17 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: That's fantastic.

What does 95% CI mean?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:22 AM on August 17, 2004

maybe you need to join something? a club, group, cult, coven...
posted by amberglow at 6:24 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: Xenu you say? Yes, I'm veerrry interested....
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:26 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: So 20.6 percent of 16-24 year olds are in my position. Well, that's reassuringly high. However, only 5.2% of 25-34 year olds are in my position. Which is alarmingly low.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:32 AM on August 17, 2004

confidence interval

join a cult, not a coven, cults are all the rage i like to think.
posted by rhyax at 6:37 AM on August 17, 2004

What does 95% CI mean?

Confidence interval. Since the survey is only a sampling, it basically predicts the range [confidence limits] that reflect the true value that is being approached by the survey sample.
posted by jessamyn at 6:37 AM on August 17, 2004

try christian singles stuff
posted by angry modem at 6:39 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: The top Google ad is for "Discount Vegas Hotel Reservations".
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:39 AM on August 17, 2004

There are statistics about people's sexual habits available aplenty, easily found with rudimentary search engine syntax. Does that answer your question?

[I'm sorry, but this kind of E/N angsty-moaning attention-seeking excuse-to-chat thread is getting really tiresome. Next thing you know, people'll be doing it in Metatalk too.]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:46 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: I was looking for scientifically reliable ones, which jessamyn amply provided, thus justifying my question.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:48 AM on August 17, 2004

There's something of a question mark over whether any survey about sex can be reliable - as it's something most people probably don't tell the whole truth about.

I'm not exactly the most qualified person to be handing out advice, but if you're looking at sex and loneliness as two sides of the same coin then you might want to step back and reconsider.
posted by cell at 7:04 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: /steps back

Wow, I could use that coin to buy sex! That would stop me being lonely!

No, didn't work.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:09 AM on August 17, 2004

Pretty_Generic , is there any chance of you specifying what your abject lonely misery is? Possibly it's not so abject, or alone as you think? Personally, I wouldn't really trust any of those statistics, anyway. I would most likely figure that most of them are starting from "X" point of view, "X" being either the lowest-common-denominator point of view, or from the point of view of a sponsoring "a-typical" group.

In other words, if I wanted to, I could hire a professional statistician to prove that having sex with one's childhood dolls whom you've made up to look like David Bowie is completely normal. AND if you answered a poll within my site, and were either 1) not interested in doll sex, or 2) not interested in David Bowie, you would definitely be a total freak. (and my statistics would prove this.)

I think I'm outside the statistics in a lot of ways, and some of them have to do with sex - but to me, the standarized sex tables have always been completely freaky and wrong anyway. They are totally due to be updated, which, I think (and hope), is happening even as we speak.
posted by taz at 7:40 AM on August 17, 2004

I'm with Taz, PG. I was immediately struck by how you conflate having sex with not being lonely.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:46 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: Haven't had a girlfriend in 4-5 years. Only had one. She was moronic. Seriously. I mean, we went to the coast of China, I said "What ocean do you think this is?", she thought about it, and answered "Mediterranean?". And SHE had to dump ME. The sex was nice though.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:48 AM on August 17, 2004

PG, if want to X up your life, drop the lonely feelings. You must find love in yourself being single. Because if you alone can't enjoy yourself - then how will one enjoy you alone with them?. Occupy your time not looking, it works better when they find you. If you go to bar or a club alone, sit furthest from the door in the back area alone(this is if the place is crowded). See what happens, add have more smile than talk.
posted by thomcatspike at 7:56 AM on August 17, 2004

P-G - if it's just nookie you're after I can suggest a couple of places where simply having the male piping will get you laid. If it's a relationship you are after you might try looking further afield. I was single for 2 1/2 years and found my true love nearly 5000 miles away. But by god she's worth it.
Feel free to email/IM me some time and I will try and help you any way I can.
posted by longbaugh at 7:58 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: I'm pretty happy, generally. The antidepressants help. Just sometimes it gets to me.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:59 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: inexcusable
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:05 AM on August 17, 2004

PG: this was just an excuse to see if any lonely mefilies in london were looking for love wasn't it?
posted by Stynxno at 8:08 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: No! Thanks to this edutaining thread I now subscribe to the Lancet! Eat that, Internet.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:11 AM on August 17, 2004

height: 3’ 0” (91.0 cms) to 8’ 11” (272.0 cms)

at least you keep your options open!
posted by Stynxno at 8:20 AM on August 17, 2004

Haven't had a girlfriend in 4-5 years. Only had one. She was moronic.
You will be moronic spilling this to a woman. Keep you past dating life where it belongs, in the past. As this is how you would want your date to do as well.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:26 AM on August 17, 2004

Just sometimes it gets to me.
“Sometimes I want a date.” Will you sound like this the rest of your life?

Take some time and work on yourself if you don’t feel total confidence in yourself walking up to a complete stranger. You are the important one and finding a date takes work, sorry to spoil the allusion. Honestly take up a hobby or a cooking class. Woman do look at men, so relax and let them come to you.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:36 AM on August 17, 2004

Ha ha..., maybe your problem here. Because by your standards the girls have no excuse but they are not washing their hair at your house.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:41 AM on August 17, 2004

That's a good start, PG. You're very amusing, and will surely charm the pants off of someone. That's the spirit!
posted by onlyconnect at 8:53 AM on August 17, 2004

That's the spirit!
agree. Do you have a freind or realitive that you hang out that is a woman? Sounds like your hanging around too many men that are cock blocking you.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:39 AM on August 17, 2004

I was romantically alone for almost the first 30 years of my life. I explained this away by the mantra of "I'm not physically attractive to women." A therapist told me this was an easy excuse, and I thought she was crazy. EASY? How could it be EASY? It hurt SO much to be unattractive.

But eventually I realized she was right. Though painful, it was an excuse, because it took me off the hook. I was ugly. There was nothing I could do about that. There was no point in changing anything about myself.

I ignored the facts that (a) I might not be Brad Pitt, but I'm NOT ugly. And (b) there are loads of women -- even beautiful ones -- that are with less attractive men.

Eventually, I realized that I had other problems:

1) I didn't really understand women. I thought women worked the same way as men sexually. Basically, I don't care much what a woman wears. She's attractive to me if she has an attractive face and body. So I didn't bother much with how I dressed. As soon as I wised up and started dressing well (and there are books out there if you don't know how to do this) and grooming myself, women tended to look my way much more often.

2) I came across as needy. On the first date, I was practically ready to scream "WILL YOU MARRY ME?!?!" This is a great way to scare any woman off.

3) I refused to participate in any courtship rituals. I framed this image of myself as being a "non-superficial person" who hated "games" like flirting.

4) I was very self-centered. Love, for me, meant obtaining a person for ME. It didn't mean sharing, listening, sacrificing.

5) I am VERY picky. The truth is, I COULD have had relationships with "moronic" women. Many people DO settle for less-than-what-they-want, because they'd rather be with somebody -- ANYBODY -- than be alone. I'm not like that.

I'm happy to say that I've overcome all of these problems except the last one -- and I've accepted that one. The result: this former geek who couldn't get a date has now been happily married to a beautiful woman (who is also my best friend) for seven years.

PG, I don't know how old you are or what kind of person you are, but if you're like a lot of us here -- geeks -- you should also be aware that men like us don't tend to attract women in our really youthful years. But as women mature, they tend to look for different qualities in a man than they did when they were teenagers. The problem is, if you were rejected a lot (or if you're being reject a lot now), you have to try not to carry any anger about that into future relationships. For a while, I was REALLY angry at girls for not liking me. While that anger lasted, I couldn't have a normal relationship.
posted by grumblebee at 11:06 AM on August 17, 2004 [2 favorites]

Jesus Christ, there are some pompous, supercilious motherfuckers lurking in the green, aren't there?
posted by IshmaelGraves at 12:43 PM on August 17, 2004

(*me sends heartfelt applause to grumblebee*) That was beautiful, man! (sniff)
posted by Lynsey at 2:11 PM on August 17, 2004

That's a good start, PG. You're very amusing, and will surely charm the pants off of someone.

pg is the reason i irc sans pants.
posted by quonsar at 3:05 PM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks grumblebee, onlyconnect. Snuggles q.

thomcatspike, spellcheck's right there when you need it.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:18 PM on August 17, 2004

What grumblebee said!
posted by five fresh fish at 3:25 PM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: Sorry, inexplicably nasty to thomcatspike there. Thanks for advising.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:18 PM on August 17, 2004

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