Sexuality Statistics

Gay Dating

11 Sexuality Stats That May Surprise You

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at DatingAdvice.com. When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major at the University of Florida, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to DatingAdvice.com. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Sexuality is a big topic in modern society. It was once taboo — even dangerous — to be out and proud as a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person, but now Pride Month brings crowds of rainbow-clad people to the streets to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Today’s dating apps often have 10 or more possible sexual orientations to choose from – including fluid and questioning for individuals still exploring their sexuality.

A sex-positive culture is on the rise nowadays. Many people have come to realize that sex is a natural part of life, and talking about sex openly and honestly can be crucial in relationships. The more we understand sexual topics, the more we can foster healthy sexual relationships rooted in consent and communication. While we still have a lot of growth to do in this area, it’s clear that the sex-positive movement is making an impact in the dating world.

Understanding the changing norms around sexual activity can help individuals navigate dating situations (not to mention situationships) and find a romantic partner who shares similar interests and preferences. In this article, we have compiled data to provide insights into human sexuality.

1. Approximately 88% of Americans Identify as Straight

According to the U.S. government census, a whopping 88% of Americans identify as straight. This number should come as no surprise to readers because Western society has accepted heteronormative practices for centuries.

As a society, our beliefs, norms, and cultural backgrounds shape the way that we see and express our sexual orientation. These core systems factor into many aspects of daily life, including how we choose sexual partners and set relationship goals.

Hands forming a heart shape
People in the LGBTQ+ community today have more societal acceptance and respect than ever before. But there’s still work to be done.

Every human being, regardless of sexual orientation, deserves to live with support, respect, and dignity. Unfortunately multiple studies show that bullying remains commonplace and non-heterosexual teenagers have more mental health challenges than their straight peers.

We as a society still have a lot to do to fight against the hate, abuse, and discrimination faced by queer youth.

2. Nearly 90% of Adults Have Participated in Sexting

A survey by Emily C. Stasko, M.P.H., and Pamela A. Geller, Ph.D. from Drexel University, shows that 90% of adults have participated in sexting at some point in their lives. According to the study results, adults actively participate in sexting for various reasons, including a desire to foster greater intimacy in a long-term relationship. 

As it turns out, sexting correlates with relationship satisfaction. If you often send your partner a sext, that means you feel comfortable with your partner. Couples also report that sexting can add more fun and a sense of excitement to their relationships.

Sexting is a smart way to improve sexual communication between you and your partner. By sexting, couples can create a safe space to express their needs without the pressure of a face-to-face conversation. When it’s done with consent and respect, sexting can strengthen the emotional connection between adult partners.

Of course, it’s important to note that there are security threats when it comes to sexting. Especially if the relationship goes wrong, you must be very careful with who you send messages to. There are too many stories of revenge porn – ex-partners leaking sexual pictures or videos from previous relationships – so make sure you’re always safe and cautious when sexting.

3. About 54% of Partnered Seniors Are Sexually Active

Sex isn’t only for young people. Data shows that 54% of senior partners are sexually active. People love to be intimate with their partners, regardless of their ages. What differs is the frequency of sexual activity. The older the couple is, the less often they engage sexually in their daily life.

Active seniors riding bikes in autumn nature.
Many couples remain sexually active well into their senior years.

Dialogue is the key to a mature partnership. Senior partners can keep their relationship strong by talking about their physical health, sexual health, and lifestyle.

“When people have sexual frustrations that they bottle up, it can spill over into the relationship in unhealthy ways,” Dr. Justin Lehmiller explained. “And the longer partners go without addressing the issue, the bigger the problems become.”

4. More Than 1 in 5 Americans Have an STI

Being sexually active doesn’t come without its risks. Sexual contact can cause STIs in some cases. One in five people in the U.S. have sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs counted for nearly 68 million infections in the U.S. in 2018, with half of new STIs affecting U.S. youths aged 15-24.

This number is staggering. That’s why it’s essential to practice safe sex to protect yourself and your partner from STIs. You can use condoms when participating in sexual intercourse and get tested regularly to make sure you are free from STIs.

If untreated, STIs can lead to serious health problems, from infertility to chronic pain and cancer. Don’t panic though, as many STIs are treatable with medication. By taking care of your sexual health and taking the necessary precautions to stay safe, you can enjoy a fulfilling sexual life with your partner.

5. Between 1-2% of People in the US Are Asexual

A recent study by the Williams Institute found that about 1.7% of minor adults identify as asexual. The researchers also found that asexual people tended to be younger, female, or gender non-binary and were assigned female at birth. This study compared asexuals to non-sexual LGB adults.

Inclusion image
Asexual individuals (also known as aces) prefer platonic relationships to sexual relationships.

Asexuality is not often studied by academics, so information and insights abou this orientation is still evolving.

“We see in these results that asexuals are an integral part of the LGBT community,” said study author Ilan H. Meyer, Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. “It is important to note, however, that this study only included asexuals who also identify as LGB, so the results are pertinent to a segment of the total asexual population. We have more to learn about asexual heterosexuals.”

6. American Men Have At Least 6 Sexual Partners on Average

You may need to kiss many frogs before you find your prince. This tagline is very true for modern singles in the dating scene, especially with swipe culture providing plenty of opportunities for mixing and matching. 

It appears that most sexually active adults have kissed and gone further with quite a few potential partners. The research from Kinkey Institute shows that the median number of opposite-sex partners that American men and women aged 25-44 have in their lifetime is 6.6 for men and 4.3 for women.

7. More Women Than Men Identify as Bisexual

Studies on sexuality have consistently shown that women are significantly more likely than men to identify as bisexual. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5.5% of women identify as bisexual, compared to only 1.8% of men.

In plain English, being bisexual means being attracted to both men and women. A bisexual person doesn’t have a preference in terms of their partner’s gender, but they’re often pressured to “pick a side” or seen as experimenting or questioning, even if they’ve been openly bisexual for years. 

American psychiatrist and sex researcher Fritz Klein tried to clear up this common misconception, saying “bisexuality is not homosexuality in disguise, nor is it disguised heterosexuality. It is another way of sexual expression.”

Bisexual colors
Bisexual singles are often misunderstood in the dating scene.

Bisexual singles often don’t come out openly on dating apps because of the skepticism they face. And because some men think bisexual women only exist to engage in threesomes.

Sexuality is a complex and personal experience, and bisexuality is a valid way to identify. Some people may be bisexual for a time and then choose to identify as gay, straight, or lesbian later in life. But many others remain bisexual, even after they’ve partnered with a man or woman.

More research is needed to understand the factors that contribute to the bisexual identity and their dating patterns on a more in-depth level.

8. Over 60 Countries Criminalize Homosexuality

LGBTQ+ people still struggle for acceptance and legitimacy in the world. Certain religious beliefs, social norms, and small-minded thinking can foster a homophobic culture that tries to dismiss and delete queer identities. Sixty countries criminalize homosexuality today. The LGBTQ+ community faces tons of challenges on a daily basis. They’re often vulnerable to becoming the victims of bullying and harassment. 

Regardless of all the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community faces, modern day technology is making their live easier by finding love through online dating. Features like ‘men seeking men’ or ‘women seeking women’ make their flirting sessions easier because they know they’re talking with people that share the same sexual orientation.

9. LGBTQ+ People Are Twice as Likely to be Victimized

According to the Bureau of Justice report, the rate of violent victimization is higher for LGBTQ+ than for straight people. Lesbians and gay people are twice as likely to become victims of violence, and the violence victimization rate for transgender individuals is 2.5 times that of cisgender individuals. 

Photo of a man covering his face
Homophobia remains a significant threat to the LGBTQ+ community.

People’s fear and ignorance can trigger violence against LGBTQ+ people, and it can be dangerous for queer people to be out on gay dating apps in certain parts of the world.

Sadly, only 58% of violent crimes against the LGBTQ+ community are reported to the police. Additionally, 25% of gay men report experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) of some sort. This could be rape, physical violence, or stalking as teenagers or adults.

10. About 40% of Women Find Pleasure in Anal Play

In today’s world, it has become more common for women to seek pleasure in sexuality. Partners also want to know more about how to pleasure women sexually. There are a lot of studies about this that shed light on the female orgasm.

According to a U.S. nationally representative survey, anal play is appealing to about 40% of women surveyed. There are three techniques to make anal stimulation and penetration more pleasurable. These techniques are anal surfacing, anal shallowing, and anal pairing.

Understanding these techniques can help women and their partners discover, engage in, and enjoy anal stimulation and penetration. It could introduce a new level of pleasure to an adult’s sex life. When you can identify your preferences, sex becomes more fun, and the spark of your relationship will light up.

11. Less Than 70% of Nevada Residents Identify as Straight

Many Americans might assume that a large liberal state such as California or New York might have the largest population of LGBTQ+ people. But it’s actually a Southwestern state that boasts having the highest percentage of rainbow residents.

Las Vegas skyline
Las Vegas might be part of the reason why Nevada’s LGBT population is so strong.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that less than 70% of Nevada residents identify as straight. That is the lowest percentage of straight residents compared to the other states. Utah has the highest percentage of straight people, with 85.2% of its residents identifying as heterosexual. On average, more than 70% of residents in the U.S. identified heterosexual in the study.

Sexuality is Always Changing – and Surveys Help Us Keep Up!

Sexuality is a complex and evolving topic in human life. Our culture and values can change the way we view sexuality. By gathering data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual behavior, we can better understand the societal norms and trends that continue to shape our dating lives.

A person with a full understanding of human sexuality is better prepared to date, connect, sext, and thrive in adult relationships. It’s important to study sexuality statistics so that we can learn to view each other’s passions and proclivities with greater compassion. By staying open-minded, we can create a society where individuals feel safe to express their true selves.