Why are gay men so promiscuous? Because we are Men.
Yeah, that’s kind of it. Gay dudes are attracted to other dudes, and since most dudes like sex, making a connection can be pretty easy. Evolutionary theory says that men are wired to sow their seeds as widely as possible, so being male means being wired for promiscuity, something true for all men, straight and gay. So two men together can be all gas pedal and no brake.
Women, on the other hand, may love sex just as much as men, but are more likely to take other factors into consideration. Before the invention of birth control in a pill, for example, women could be left pregnant and caring for a child. So traditionally, women suffered more dramatically from poor sexual choices than men. In male-female relations, then, it is often men who are pushing on the gas pedal, and women in charge of the brakes.
Of course sexual ethics still apply to men, whether we are with a woman or another man. While sexual orientation is not a choice, gay people still choose when to have sex and with whom… and a surprising number choose not to have sex at all. A recent study found that over two million gay American men had not had any sex in the last five years.
Still, it remains true that some gay men are profoundly promiscuous, but the numbers are smaller than some people think. America’s largest online dating site, OkCupid, observed their customer’s online behavior and found that gay people had almost exactly the same number of sexual partners as straight people. According to OkCupid’s data, 45% of gay people and 44% of straight people had five or fewer sexual partners, while 98% of gay people and 99% of straight people have had twenty or less. So according to OKCupid’s data, the promiscuous 2% minority of the gay members had 23% of the gay sex, which sounds about right to me. A small percentage of people, gay and straight, male and female, are particularly promiscuous, but that is not the majority.
To add an even more intriguing note – as gay marriage spreads, promiscuity seems to be dropping. According to a ten year study by the US National Surveys of Family Growth, gay male promiscuity dropped significantly during the first decade gay marriage was an option.
So to review:
Why are gay men so promiscuous? Because we are men.
And are all gay men that promiscuous? Of course not.
And do changes in tolerance and acceptance affect gay men’s promiscuity? Yes.