“Curvy”/”Skinny”: Sex Drive vs. Confidence

Whether you’re into online dating or not, the OKCupid Blog OkTrends should be on everybody’s must-read list. OkTrends makes up for its sparse posting schedule with amazing content analyzing the messages, preferences, habits and opinions of 1,000,000+ users. Among the latest charts to come from this goldmine of human behavior:

First, clarifying our terms: Green represents women who self-identify as “skinny” (note: this is distinctive from “thin,” a different self-reported category), and yellow is the self-identified “curvy” group (distinct from “a little extra” or “full-figured”). Yellow is a bigger dot to reflect the larger pool of women.

This graph correlates sex-drive and self-confidence across time for these two groups of women:

  • At 18: Skinny women have slightly above average self-confidence, but slightly below average sex drive, while curvy women are exactly the reverse, slightly low self-esteem, slightly high sex drive.
  • At 30: Both groups are reasonably self-confident, but the sex-drive of the curvy women is twice as high.
  • At 40: Curvy women are more confident with higher sex drives, a stasis that remains until both groups’ sex drives tank by 60.

Does this mean that curvy women are better in bed or like sex more? No. As OkTrends points out, “Curvy, as a word, has the strongest sensual overtones of all our self-descriptions. So we’re getting a little insight into the real-world implications of a label.” So basically, it comes down to choosing your label. Women who pick “curvy” among the myriad of similar labels will likely also have above-average sex drives. We’ve got correlation but not causation.

Here’s my theory: There’s evidence that links self-esteem and body confidence to better/more satisfying sex. This makes intuitive sense to me, fewer body hang-ups = willingness to look silly = open to experimentation¬† = higher likelihood of enjoyment = wanting to do it more. I think the selection of “curvy” over the other label choices and higher sex drive are both consequences of the a third variable… basic body confidence.

Related Post: More linguistic play around the “plus size” demographic. Thanks Tyra!

Related Post: See, body confidence is hot as hell!

Related Post: More thoughts on online dating. Who pays? And does it matter? (yes)

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6 Comments

Filed under Body Image, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sex

6 responses to ““Curvy”/”Skinny”: Sex Drive vs. Confidence

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