The LGBTQ+ community is just that which is communicated in the acronym, wide-ranging and diverse. We are not a monolithic group in the scene that we are all cut from the same cloth. Yes, we strive for equality as a whole and advocate on our community’s behalf mainly as one voice but when it comes to many things, one in particular, sex, we are unique and intrinsically different in nature. We all explore our sexuality differently, which is one of the empowering unapologetic attributes of our community. However, in our 2nd year annual Sex Survey we learned that no matter how diverse and unique our community is there are some similarities we share when it comes to our sexual behaviors.
Unique Facts About The LGBTQ+ Sexual Expression and Relationship Norms
Bisexuals make up the largest share of LGBT Americans. An analysis by UCLA’s Williams Institute in 2011 found that bisexuals accounted for about 1.8% of the total U.S. adult population at the time. A slightly smaller share (1.7%) were gay or lesbian. And the latest Williams Institute estimates, from 2016, find that 0.6% of U.S. adults, or 1.4 million people, identify as transgender (source).
Gay men and lesbians are more likely than bisexuals to be “out,” according to the 2013 Pew Research Center survey. Overall, only 28% of bisexuals say that all or most of the important people in their lives are aware that they are LGBT. Meanwhile, 77% of gay men and 71% of lesbians say the same. Bisexual women are much more likely than bisexual men to say most of their friends and family know about their sexuality (source).
(Falsehood) People who are Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual are promiscuous and have no family values. People who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Straight have a range of sexual behaviors which range from promiscuity to strictly monogamous. Many people who are Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual, or Straight cherish and practice traditional family values of support, love, understanding, mutual respect, and community. Discrimination, prejudice, and hate are not family values (source).
LGBTQ+ couples are more willing to think outside the box of what a typical relationship should look like and be more open to non-traditional relationship models. They are more likely to resist social norms in their partnerships and embrace polyamory and non-monogamy. The lack of social scripts and cultural templates give LGBTQ+ partners a chance to make their own rules. LGBTQ+ partners can make their own traditions, celebrations and relationship priorities (source).
Celebration of sexuality doesn’t always apply to the public arena. LGBTQ+ partners were less likely to show affection in public, often caused by fears around social stigma and personal safety. Living in a society where your wellbeing is at risk takes bravery and courage to be who you are. It also requires you to own your vulnerabilities and be sensitive to those of your partner (source).
Same-sex couples are much more willing to share traditionally ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ roles at home alongside routine tasks. In contrast, research on heterosexual relationships consistently shows that the responsibility for domestic chores falls disproportionately onto women. Men are far more likely to overestimate the time they spend on chores, while women underestimate their time (source).
LGBTQ+ couples are therefore more reflexive, they actively and explicitly work through – together – how they want their relationship to work. Young LGBTQ+ people expressed highly emotional, rational and pragmatic reasons for committing rather than simply falling into the trope of marriage. As such, while they conformed to traditional relationship scripts in one way, they were also active and sometimes highly reflexive ‘scripters’ of convention (source).
Sex Then & Now
The similarities and differences from our first Sex Study in 2021 to our 2022 Sex Study results.
In our 2021 Sex Survey we pointed out 3 key questions that stood out to us while reviewing the numbers: How Often, Slow and Easy, and Kissing is Key. This year after receiving more respondent answers (312 respondents) to the survey than last year, we revisit those 3 key questions to see if the numbers read the same.
Whether the new numbers will shock you or not, we leave that up to you to decide. But we must admit, the trend to what we as individuals know what we like and what we want has not wavered much.
How Often: In 2021 a majority of our respondents (52.8%) reported they have sex regularly and that’s still the case in 2022. In fact, this year’s survey presented a higher overall percentage (53.6%) than last year.
Slow and Easy: Foreplay still tops the list as an important precursor to actual sex. In the 2021 Sex Survey 86% of respondents emphatically screamed “Yes” foreplay is important. And this year the same sentiment was echoed at a slightly higher frequency of 89.4%.
Kissing is Key: If our 2021 Sex Survey didn’t make it clear then the reinforcement of our 2022 Sex Survey puts the debate to bed. There is no doubt that locking the lips while in the act is important to most. In 2021 52% of respondents reported kissing as the highest of importance on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 being the highest. And currently, 60.2% of respondents say kissing is very important.