Sex in Ireland

We know that getting married there is an option for a lot more couples than it was a month ago – but last weekend the Irish Times published the findings of a big survey on sex and sexuality in the Republic.

Like other research from the USA, they find more women identify as bi than as lesbian, but more men report themselves as gay than as bi.

Based on over 12,000 completed questionnaires they say:

“More female bisexuals are “very happy” with their sex lives than male bisexuals (40 per cent, as opposed to 25 per cent). Bisexuals are more likely to have engaged in oral sex and anal sex and are less likely to be monogamous [than gay or straight people]”

Less likely is of course not the same as “can’t happen”. You’re less likely to win the lottery than to be knocked down crossing the road, but both things happen to people every week.  There’s still oodles of monogamous bisexuals out there.

People in their 20s-30s seem to be having more sex than those in their late teens to early twenties. That’ll be a disappointment to every tabloid headline writer wanting to scandalise about rampant casual teen sex.

Bisexual women were more likely than gay or straight women to have had more than ten partners (Bi: 48%, Straight: 32%, Gay: 23%).  For men those figures run Gay 69%, Bi 55%, Straight 40%. Something similar applies when the number of people who have had only one sexual partner is looked at – bi women are less likely to have had only one partner than gay or straight women, while bi men score somewhere between gay and straight men.

Gay men are more likely than bi men and bi women to have had sex with more than one person at a time, with the other groupings less likely to have done so.

In short, the findings seem to reinforce the idea that more men are sexually available than women, and so depending on your dating pool you may have had more or fewer partners. It might be argued that this reflects social pressures or something innate – which in turn takes us into how people perceive rival pressures of nature and nurture.

On which point, 40% of straight identifying women reported having found another woman attractive, while only 14% of straight men said the same of attraction to men.

Read more and put your own spin on the figures here.