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The Geography Of Hookups

Posted May 27, 2013 by

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According to so many online dating sites that specialize in casual sex, they advertise that they have millions of members worldwide. Granted, I’ve always made the argument that if you’re looking to find some great casual sex hookups, your best bet is to sign up with a site that specializes in just that, and there are always plenty of them around.

Of course there are lots of people out there looking for casual hookups on Craigslist, in spite of the oft sited dangers of Craigslist hookups. Craigslist can often have many legitimate services, but it’s also rife with scammers and dangerous people, so caveat emptor! The classifieds are completely unfiltered and there’s no guarantee that the people that you’ll meet through Craigslist personals are there for the same reason that you are. If you choose to meet people on Craigslist you could be murdered.

All that being said, Craigslist is completely free and unfiltered which makes it one of the most popular places online for people to meet up for casual sexual encounters. Also, due to the popularity of Craigslist, there’s tons and tons of data out there available to cull in relation to dating which, to someone with a statistically oriented brain like myself, Craigslist is an excellent resource to chart people’s dating patterns.

craigslist map

Another fellow statistician over at Techno-Anthropology plotted out a great map based on the frequency of people looking for casual sexual encounters as a percentage of apartments available. I’m guessing that the apartment data was used to provide a general assumption of population, though that data is probably a little skewed since apartment availability doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a large population (it could actually mean precisely the opposite!). One has to wonder if places like California or Florida really have that few people looking for casual sex on Craiglist. Maybe they’re just smarter in those places and instead use all of the great sites out there that are designed for casual sex. Either that or there just aren’t very many apartments available in those regions, a statistic I’d trust coming out of California or New York but not Florida so much.

The strips of bright red through the center of the country do provide some enlightening insights certainly. What we can see from this map is that there are basically two major areas of intensive casual encounters being advertised on Craigslist. There’s a strip through Appalachia stretching from around West Virginia or Southern Pennsylvania down to Louisiana and another one farther west that stretches north south from around western Nebraska down to west Texas.

What does this tell us?

What can we learn from these statistics? The famously religious Appalachian region seems to be secretly pretty kinky once we see that looking for casual sex on Craigslist is that popular. Compare the above map with this one  from Wikipedia relating to church attendance:

800px-Church_or_synagogue_attendance_by_state_GFDL.svg

It would appear that there are plenty of people, especially in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama, who are leading double lives. The high degree of church attendance stands in stark contrast to the popularity of casual encounter sex. Maybe those churches that they’re attending don’t have good dating scenes themselves. Maybe they feel that they can keep their sexual encounters even more anonymous if they use Craigslist. Or maybe there’s a certain lack of education in those areas as to the better and safer places out there to find casual dates.

In defense of the religious guy in Arkansas who wants some casual sex, he’s probably feeling safer on Craigslist which is completely free so that his wife cannot trace his desire for a sexy fling without her discovering anything suspicious on their credit card statement. Also I think what we might need to make this analysis complete is a map of the frequency of subscriptions to the casual dating sites throughout the country. Maybe people in Appalachia are just that much more casual about casual dating and the rest of the country should follow their lead and get on board.

 

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About the Author

Paul Abbey
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Paul Abbey has a Masters Degree in Sexual Health from the University of Sydney in Australia. He has authored several self-help novels and has been a guest speaker in four Continents and many different cities from around the world. At Onlinedatingstats.com, Abbey is the leading authority in human sexuality and he strives to help shape the dating community into a more relevant and understanding place for both men and women.