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Hyphens First Sex Survey

September 1, 2005

Writer Claire Light Artist Cielo Oreste

This summer Hyphen polled 261 mostly Asian Americans on the Internet about their sex lives. Ranging in age from 18–58, and almost perfectly divided between men and women, our respondents were mostly unmarried (81%), mostly sexually active (73%), and devastatingly honest.

We found out that they usually love their ethnicity, sometimes blame America’s racial landscape when they don’t get any action, and are very discriminating about whom they sleep with. This, in a nutshell, is how Asian America gets down...

Our folks are all over the place about pleasuring themselves, with 55% masturbating several times a week or at least weekly. A whopping 12% claim not to really do it at all or never to have tried it (come on people, that’s what hands are for!) To our relief, a balancing 12% do it every day, some more than once.

77.8% have used porn to masturbate with, which is a majority of both men and women (but more men than women.) 44% have used objects to masturbate with (the majority of women have and the majority of men have not.) Our respondents tend to date and have sex with other Asians (35%) or with no specific ethnicity primarily (30%).

A substantial minority opted mostly for whites (21%) and only 1% each fetishized African Americans or Latinos. 78% get their action from their dates (see above), but 13% pick up folks in bars and clubs, 10% do it online, and 3% pay professionals for the pleasure. 16% said they found sex partners in other ways, many of these having sex with friends.

While our folks start early and get pretty kinky, they don’t get around all that much. Most of you (62%) claim to have had fewer than 10 sexual partners, with 18% claiming between 10 and 20 and only 10% more than 20. 1% claimed more than 500 sexual partners and to them we say: please don’t wear the world out before the rest of us get to it.

While not consistently slutty (only 9% of you do it on the first date), our respondents most often tend to give it up on the second, third or fourth date. 41% wait either for the relationship or the serious commitment, while only 3% wait for marriage.

“Marriage shouldn’t be an institution but an union between two people.”

Many of our respondents who are in a same-sex partnership viewed their relationship as a marriage. They had this to say about why: “Hm. Let’s see. I’m 26, I’ve been in this relationship for 4 and half years, I’m gay, and I live in San Francisco. We’re basically married without the documentation, or the expensive wedding.”

88% identify as straight, 7% as bisexual and 4% as gay or lesbian. 87% have had sex with someone of the opposite gender and 16% with someone of the same gender. 33% lost their virginity before the age of 18 and another 41% got the job done between 18 and 22. With one exception, no one would admit to losing it after 30.

Our respondents tend to find dates mostly within their social scene (75%) or at work and school (53%). Substantial minorities meet dates by volunteering or participating in structured activities (27%), or by letting their friends set them up (26%). The more traditional bar and club scene (23%) may be taking a hit in favor of the Internet (22%). Other folks mentioned scoping honeys at the gym, the mall, restaurants, on the street, and even in church. Hallelujah!

“We are totally committed to each other.” “It is a marriage.”

While 43% of you have only one current sex partner, a full 10% are “playing the field”. We are relieved to see that some of you have read The Ethical Slut and are being regular with more than one person (5%) * 25.3% are celibate or have been celibate in the past. 38.7% Half have lived with a partner and half have not. 36.8% say their current relationship is exclusive and monogamous while 6.9% say their relationship is open.

It seems Asians like their sex like they like their math: lotsa variables.

On the kink front: 91.6% have had oral sex

43.7% have had anal sex

30.3% have engaged in BDSM activities of some sort

20.7% have engaged in voyeurism for sexual pleasure

17.2% have had sex with more than one partner at the same time

14.6% have engaged in exhibitionism for sexual pleasure

5.4% have had or performed a “golden shower”

3.8% have engaged in transvestism for sexual pleasure

2.7% have engaged in infantilism for sexual pleasure

1.1% have played with excrement for sexual pleasure.

While 14% have had an STD and 5% don’t know if they have or not 56% don’t get checked regularly for STDs and 45% have never had an HIV test. “Appreciating the culture that is the root of one's sexuality is acceptable.”

A cheerful 42% don’t think their ethnicity has any effect on their sex life and 28% say it depends on the situation and the person. But 17%, more than four times as many men as women, think it hinders their sex life and 12%, equally men and women, think it helps.

Asian Americans are torn, as to what they think of racial sexual fetishes.

31% think they’re bad, 29% think they’re fine, and 39% are undecided.

“If you just think someone with a certain look is beautiful, than that's OK. But if your desire is based on some stereotypical vision, such as the case with Asian women, than that is not right.”

“Not sure that they are [acceptable] but why be judgmental?” *****

“They scare me. I find it kind of weird... but I don't think I should directly attack people because they have a racial/ethnic sexual fetish. As long as they don't affect me directly... As in a guy asking me to do "Asian" things.”

“As an Asian man, I am low on the totem pole, even for fellow Asians.”

“A lot of men tell me I’m beautiful and that makes me feel sexy, which, in turn, translates into a more confident performance in bed.”

“I’m hot and I have a great attitude. My ethnicity has nothing to do with how much ass I get.”

“I like to think I don’t get any because of who I am, not because I’m Asian.”

“It may play a role but never a primary one.” “There are other, crazier fetishes.”

19.9% have paid for sexual services (almost eight times as many men as women)

5.7% have been paid for sexual services (more than twice as many men as women)

44% reported having sex several times a week to several times a month, while 12% do it less than once a month.

Only 2% do it every day. Read ‘em and weep, Asian America.

Almost 28% have a sexual fetish. have cheated on a partner at least once.

23.4% have had an affair behind a partner’s back.

19.2% have spoken their ethnic language to turn someone on

17.2% have had sex with someone who had a sexual fetish for their race or ethnicity

13.8% have played up their race/ethnicity to get someone into bed

9.2% have played down their race/ethnicity to get someone into bed

8% have role-played a stereotype of their ethnicity as sex play

5.7% have changed their sexual behavior because a sex partner expected it of their ethnicity

3.1% have dressed in their ethnicity’s traditional clothing as part of sex play.

24% think that they might have a fetish for a particular race or ethnicity, but no one wanted to specify what race or ethnicity they might have a fetish for.

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