Here’s The Salacious Sex Statistics On Queer Women In Non-monogamous vs. Monogamous Relationships

Truths and Falsies

There are a lot of beliefs and misconceptions about non-monogamy, and research has found that “regardless of the target’s sexual orientation, individuals who engaged in consensual non-monogamy were viewed more negatively than individuals who engaged in monogamy on all seven dimensions.” So let’s look at some of those common beliefs about non-monogamy vs. monogamy — negative, positive and neutral — and how they hold up with our data.

Non-monogamous People Have More Sex Than Monogamous People: FALSE

We debunked this misconception in our first sex survey post about how often queers have sex. The frequency rates among those in monogamous and non-monogamous relationships were nearly identical, in fact.

monogamy-frequency

However, non-monogamous people have, by and large, had more sexual partners than monogamous folks. 51% of the non-monogamous and 33% of the monogamous have had 11 or more partners.

Non-monosexual People Are More Likely Than Monosexual Folks To Prefer Non-monogamy: TRUE

Relationship Style-5

Queer-identified, sexually fluid and pansexual folks are more likely to prefer non-monogamy than the monosexuals. Our survey found 70% of lesbians and 69% of gay folks preferring monogamy, compared to 38.5% of pansexuals, 45% of sexually fluid folks, 48% of queers and 50.4% of bisexuals. A 2014 survey about monogamy taken by 6,000 people showed a similar variation: “bisexuals (65 percent of whom were women) rated monogamy as less of an enhancement and more of a sacrifice than did heterosexual or gay/lesbian people.”

The important thing to take away from this is: 1) There’s nothing negative about being non-monogamous, so it’s not actually a negative stereotype and therefore we need not stress over debunking it, 2) This definitely doesn’t mean non-monosexual folks are incapable of commitment — non-monogamy is a commitment, too, just a different kind.

Non-monogamous People Are More Sexually Risky: FALSE

In a University of Michigan study on stigma around consensual non-monogamy, “one of the strongest findings was that people believed non-monogamous couples to be more sexually risky.” We found this stigma to be outrageously false. In fact, non-monogamous people are far more likely to use protection than the monogamous. 81% of monogamy-preferrers don’t use protection when having sex, compared to 37.4% of those who prefer polyamory and 51.9% of those who prefer open relationships. Dental dams were most popular among the poly (15%) and least popular among the monogamous (3.8%). Those most likely to always use protection were those who prefer polyfidelity and triads. 36.8% of monogamy-preferrers always discuss safer sex with first-time partners, compared to 59% of poly-prefferers.

Furthermore, 25.9% of those who prefer monogamy have never been tested for STIs, compared to 8.75% of polyamorous folks. However — and this is a tough nut to crack, ’cause it’s possible that some of those who’ve never been tested for an STI could have one — only 8.7% of monogamous folks have ever tested positive for an STI, compared to 16.6% of poly folks. When those who have tested positive for STIs were removed from the sample size, the numbers on safer sex practices changed very little or not at all — 81.6% of monogamy-preferrers reported not using protection and 38.6% of poly folks reported not using protection, suggesting that safer sex is employed as a smart precaution, not as a result of a definite STI diagnosis.

Non-monogamous Folks Are Kinkier: TRUE

As discussed on page one, people in non-monogamous relationships are more likely to be kinky than those in monogamous ones. (Also, many consider polyamory itself to be a kink.) 18% of monogamy preferrers are very or exclusively interested in kink, compared to 60.6% of poly-preferrers. I’ll speculate here that there’s a link between sexual adventurousness and a comfort with “sexual deviancy” in general that applies to both the kinky and the poly, as well as a greater interest in sex overall.

There are lots of individual sex acts that were more popular amongst the non-monogamous — 58.8% are interested in sex parties and 79.2% in threesomes, compared to 23.1% and 42.6% of the monogamous. 74% like spanking in a kinky context, compared to 52.4% of the monogamous.

Non-monogamy Is Just What The Kids / Middle Aged Couples Are Doing These Days: SOMEWHAT TRUE

There’s been plenty of trend pieces on this topic, like this one from Rolling Stone, in which we learn that “younger people, twenty somethings, maybe early thirties — are negotiating what their brand of monogamy can be.” That’s one end of the stereotype spectrum. The other is that poly people tend to be middle-aged white, married, opposite-sex couples, but that stereotype doesn’t necessarily extend to how we perceive queer relationships. According to our data, there was some variation by age, but not that much, really.

  • Twentysomethings: 61% prefer monogamy, 22.5% mostly monogamy and 11.42% prefer being poly or open
  • Thirtysomethings: 62% prefer monogamy, 21.3% mostly monogamy and 11.6% prefer being open or poly
  • 40+: 70% prefer monogamy, 16.4% prefer mostly monogamy and 9.5% prefer being open or poly

Well, there you have it! Some additional reading from Autostraddle:

Pages: 1 2See entire article on one page

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2842 articles for us.

11 Comments

    • Buggerit, that was meant to quote
      “research has found that “regardless of the target’s sexual orientation, individuals who engaged in consensual non-monogamy were viewed more negatively than individuals who engaged in monogamy on all seven dimensions.” “

  1. Whoever ran the statistical analysis on the STI testing and thought to remove the confounder of acquiring STIs gets 100 statistics sparklepoints and a grateful round of applause from the scientific peanut gallery.

  2. I’d be so interested to see that quadrupled likelihood of non-monogamy in trans women broken down — what are trans women’s preferred relationship styles? I am non-monogamous, but very aware of my lack of options if I were to seek a monogamous partner (or even a poly “primary” partner, not that I like that expression) as a trans woman.

    • Yes definitely. I’ve done some thinking on this, but haven’t entirely worked it out.

      My first thought was on the tendency for trans women to be relegated to a secondary relationship position and to be the first dumped if need be. But I can’t imagine that being the case for everyone.

      Secondly, given that significantly more trans women identify as non-monosexual than their cis counterparts, combined with this survey showing that non-monosexuals have a higher tendency for non-monogamous, might speak for more trans women to be non-monogamous.

      Or there could be other possible reasons I haven’t come up with. I’m trans and non-monogamous and most other trans people I know are as well.

  3. Thanks for this article, Riese! I am monogamous, and have only had sex with the woman who is now my wife. She on the other hand is polyamarous. She transitioned before we met, but had grs surgery after we got married. Since we’ve been together and I assured her I was okay with it, she’s been with two other people, one specifically for kink as I’m very vanilla. Currently she isn’t interested in seeing anyone else. It isn’t something that is talked about much, or at least it isn’t something I talk about much (I know my wife and her friends talk more about it). So all of this is to say that I found the article very interesting!

  4. Hm it’s really interesting atatistic! It’s interesting to know details about monogamous relationships! As for me, I can say that I’m in non-monogamous relationships! I and my girlfriend are dating with other people! We met them online on dating services( tinder, okcupid, kovla ) And I don’t think that it’s wrong! Our relationships became only stronger!

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