What’s better than sex? Charts about sex!

Graph of the odds someone enjoys giving oral sex: vegetarians vs. non-vegetarians

I love sex. I love charts. But I love charts about sex most of all. And the latest number-crunching from the folks at OKCupid includes 10 of them! Yes, these studies of OKCupid’s users skew toward young, urban, tech-savvy, single people, so take them with the requisite grain of salt. But still–the charts are so pretty-looking and there’s lots to be learned.

For instance, I learned that I should probably get off Twitter once in awhile if I ever want a long-term relationship. But if, in the meantime, I’m masturbating every day (the odds sure are high!) at least I’m in good company in the Twitterverse. Also, although my self-confidence will just continue to climb, my sex drive will start to drop alarmingly soon (seriously, wtf?) Which makes me think I should probably find a vegetarian dude STAT.

You can expect to come away with more questions than answers though. Such as: Why on earth is “England” associated with women who like gentle sex? If women who say they “like to exercise” have an easier time achieving orgasm, is that more about the exercising part or the liking it part? Shouldn’t all those Ivy-Leaguers be too busy and stressed out to want to be having sex 6 times a week? Are all those Jewish women lying about never masturbating? If so, why?

Graph of the odds of masturbating today: Twitter users vs. everyone else

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Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/tino/ tino

    ahaha, i was just looking at these lastnight. okcupid’s questions are odd and hilarious (and sometimes unbelievably silly) to begin with. these charts are kind of the icing on the cake.

  • http://cabaretic.blogspot.com nazza

    What are the odds that people will go blind by masturbating?

  • http://feministing.com/members/swansoncide/ Erik

    I don’t understand how the vegetarians vs. non-vegetarians chart works. If there is a 1 in 9 chance a vegetarian male enjoys giving head, but a 1 in 7 chance that his meat eating counterpart does, doesn’t that mean the meat-eater is MORE likely to enjoy it, not less?

    Or do these numbers mean there’s only a 1 in 9 vs. 1 in 7 chance that a guy doesn’t enjoy it? Is that why?

    Either way, I’m surprised the numbers are so different for women.

    I’m confused. Who likes giving head more? Men or women?

    • http://feministing.com/members/thewonderful/ Maria

      According to the chart and what it says on the website is men who enjoy giving head more. On their website under the chart says “We found that vegetarians of both genders are more likely to enjoy giving oral”. So the higher the quadrilateral, the more they enjoy it. The green one are the vegetarians. I was very confused too, until I read what it says.

    • http://feministing.com/members/ermalex/ Robert

      Its just a ratio of people who like giving oral sex versus ones who don’t so the higher the ratio the better. It would probably have been better to do it as a percentage.

    • nicolechat

      It’s a ratio, not a percentage. So it’s not that 1 in 9 vegetarian men enjoys it, it’s that for every 9 people in that group who likes giving head, there’s one person who doesn’t. So you could line up 100 vegetarian dudes and count out “one, two, three,” etc, and you’d likely hit nine people who like it before you hit one who doesn’t. In the case of non-vegetarians, you’d (probably) get to the guy who doesn’t like it sooner, after only seven.

      To think of it in terms of a percentage, add the two numbers on either side of the colon together, and take the first number as a percentage. So 9+1 = 10, so 9 out of 10 vegetarian men (or 90%) like giving head. 7 out of 8 (87.5%) non-vegetarians like it. So there are indeed a higher proportion of meat-free dudes who like going downtown (although the numbers are pretty close).

    • nicolechat

      (By the way, I’ve never found a math problem so sexy.) :D

  • http://feministing.com/members/emthemarimba/ Emily

    Another great reason to be a vegetarian ;)

  • http://feministing.com/members/paloma/ Sara

    I don’t know why people keep misinterpreting the oral sex chart. In statistics, the word “odds” refers to a ratio of two probabilities – in particular, the ratio of the success probability to the failure probability. The odds that someone enjoys giving oral sex refers to the probability that they enjoy it divided by the probability that they don’t enjoy it. 9:1 odds for vegetarian men refers to a 90% probability. 1:1 odds – the bottom of the chart – would refer to a 50% probability. The chart shows that the majority of OKC users report that they enjoy giving oral sex, regardless of their category, but more men than women say they enjoy it, and more vegetarians than non-vegetarians say they enjoy it.

  • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

    Sort of as a nitpick, in the realm of statistics, it is generally more accurate to portray results as percentages rather than ratios — in this case, ratios skew the scale because area does not actually correspond with size. If these ratios of for:against, then the percentages look like 87% to 89% for men and 61% to 77%. When posed this way, the difference for men isn’t all that different — it’s really the women where a significant difference arises.

    “For instance, I learned that I should probably get off Twitter once in awhile if I ever want a long-term relationship.”

    I would not look at the Twitter numbers as being radically different. The average difference in relationship length is less than a month and generally falls in the ballpark of about 5%. Similarly, your masturbation rates of Twitter v/ Everyone Else is around 67% to 61%, which you probably should not make too much out of.

    “Also, although my self-confidence will just continue to climb, my sex drive will start to drop alarmingly soon (seriously, wtf?)”

    Getting older, at least after a certain point, often corresponds with bodies/organs being less responsive to the environment around them. While there can be bonuses such as increased tolerance to pain, arousal seems to be a likely victim.

    “If women who say they “like to exercise” have an easier time achieving orgasm, is that more about the exercising part or the liking it part?”

    While I am instead a man, I am a person who has been through stages of low activity and high activity in terms of exercise, and I have generally found it easier and even a little more satisfying to masturbate when I have been exercising regularly. While there are differences in sexual biology between men and women, and while I am just one specific man, there are still parts of the human body involved in the process that should be similar. Furthermore there is a difference liking exercise and actually exercising, but one would expect there to be a strong correlation between the two.

    As always, be careful with studies that do not use random selection — they do not establish a cause-and-effect relationship. Just because a graph is pretty doesn’t mean it is good — the issue of “scaling” (by using ratios) by itself is enough to distort results, never mind any issues with the data collection process.

    • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

      Err, the 89% should be 90%, but I think the general point holds.

  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Huh, I enjoyed oral sex (giving and receiving) before I became a vegetarian, continued afterwards, the one thing I’ve heard is that not eating meat changes the PH balance giving semen and vaginal fluids a more pleasant flavor. So then wouldn’t it be more interesting to determine if people preferred performing oral sex ON a vegetarian, not if they were a vegetarian themselves?

    The one about Twitter being bad for relationships I saw actually made it to some news sources, but it showed no causation as to WHY that might happen. I suppose if you’re the sort of person who tweets intimate details about your sex life, word might get around your circle and people may avoid getting with you, unless they’re exhibitionistic? I know for me, I use Twitter all the time, my husband doesn’t, but he doesn’t seem to mind when I read him little interesting tidbits or links to articles from Twitter. It’s even gotten so that when he sees it on the screen he asks me “Anything interesting on Twitter today?”