Dating service Match is celebrating Pride this year by releasing the company’s first-ever survey of LGBTQ singles in the U.S.
For six years, Match has conducted an annual survey on singles in the U.S. for Valentine’s Day.
“It’ a bit like our Super Bowl,” said Match scientific advisor and Indiana University’s Justin Garcia. “We’ve always asked about sexual orientation in our past surveys. But there’s never been a targeted survey—only little bits of data here and there. We wanted to know how LGBTQs were different, how they were similar. It was an ambitious study—and a needed study.”
Match organized the LGBTQ in America study much like the annual singles survey. A representative group of 1,002 single LGBTQ Americans were selected through Census Bureau data and other sources—though not from Match members, Garcia emphasizes. Ages ranged from 18 to over 70 years old.
The scientific team designed a questionnaire specifically for LGBTQ singles.
“It became really tricky,” he said, “because of how to measure how many people are out—which you’ll see in the data. But we did a pretty nice job.”
Here are some highlights from the survey results.
More gay singles want to get married than straight singles—even before the Supreme Court ruling last year.
This Pride, LGBTs everywhere will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of 2015’s landmark marriage equality court ruling. Gay singles certainly have wedding bells on the brain. Match found 63 percent of gay singles have always wanted to get married against 25 percent who never want to get married and 21 percent who have no opinion.
Only 41 percent of straight singles said they definitely want to marry.
As for Obergefell v. Hodge, only 17 percent of gay singles said they changed their mind about marriage once it became the law of the land. Most gay singles (61 percent) feel the same way about getting married as they did before the court decision.
Straight men have "better sex" than gay men—and everyone else, for that matter.
Yes, you read that right. The Match survey found that 85 percent of straight men orgasm during sex, compared with 80 percent of gay men. Gay, straight, and bisexual women orgasm the least, in descending order, with bi women only orgasming 48 percent of time.
However, Garcia warns that the orgasm isn’t the perfect measure for great sex.
“People assume that every time a man has sex, he’s has an orgasm,” he said. “But all people have sex for a wide variety of reasons. You can still have great sex that doesn’t always result in orgasm.”
More LGBTQ singles would date a transgender person than wouldn’t—but not by much.
When asking if they would date a transgender man or woman, LGBTQ singles split pretty evenly. Those who were open edged out those who weren’t, with 47 percent totally open or mostly open vs. 44 percent who were unwilling. Gay men were the most unwilling to date a transgender person, at 60 percent.
Bisexuals are the least likely to be out compared to all others.
An overwhelming 96 percent of bisexual men are not out, while 39 percent of bisexual women are still in the closet.
“From this data, you can see that bi erasure is very real,” Garcia said. “Bisexuals are often stigmatized from both straight and gay and lesbian people. We as people like categories, and bisexuality poses a challenge to that.”
Garcia even wonders from the data how many who answered gay or lesbian might really be bisexual.
“Each individual wants to pick a camp, and that’s hard,” he said. “A lot of singles may be bisexual and don’t find out until much later in their dating lives.”
PrEP use across the country is very low among gay men.
“This surprised me,” Garcia said. “I assumed we would see higher numbers of PrEP users.”
Only 4 percent of gay men surveyed are using PrEP, a medication that dramatically reduces the likelihood of transmitting HIV during sex. Eight percent of gay men are considering using PrEP, and one percent have used it in the past.
“What’s even stranger is that the most sexually active men were the least likely to use PrEP,” Garcia said. “That’s the group we hope is using it—who could benefit the most.”
PrEP use increased among LGBTQs who were out about their sexual identity.
“That’s one good thing,” Garcia said. “We saw that people who were out with their own identity were safer about their health.”