The heterosexual male. He’s like forbidden fruit. So alluring. Yet so unattainable. Of course, anyone who’s actually hooked up with a straight guy knows they’re really not all they’re cracked up to be, but the fantasy lives on.
Dr. Eric Schrimshaw (try saying that five times fast) and his gaggle of researchers at the University of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health noticed an interesting trend among gay men looking for sex on Craigslist: A surprising number of them sought straight men. And so, like any team of curious, well-funded researchers, they decided to conduct a study on it.
The team looked at more than 1,200 Craigslist personal ads, analyzing 282 of them. Roughly half of the 282 specifically said they were seeking straight men, or as Schrimshaw’s team likes to refer to them, NGI (non-gay-identified) men.
“Among the ads studied, 11% were placed by men seeking NGI partners,” a press release from the university reads. “Although men who posted NGI-seeking ads were more likely to self-identify as bisexual, married, and/or discreet and to seek out an anonymous encounter relative to the ads of comparison men, only 24% of online advertisements seeking NGI men were posted by men who were themselves non-gay-identified.”
The press release continues: “This suggests that many of the posts are placed by gay men seeking NGI men, perceived by some gay men to be more masculine, dominant, or ‘straight-acting.’”
That’s quite a bit of verbiage to say something that we’ve known for years.
Schrimshaw’s team also found that only a slim number of ads placed by gay men seeking NGI men mentioned anything about condoms.
“The analysis revealed that men seeking NGI partners were significantly less likely to mention that they wanted to have safer sex/use condoms (15% vs. 33%) and were more likely (66% vs. 42%) to omit mention of condoms or safer sex in their advertisements,” the press release reads.
“Although few advertisements posted by men seeking NGI partners specifically sought anal sex without a condom (1% vs. 2%), they were significantly more likely to seek oral sex without a condom (14% vs. 5%),” the press release continues.
“This suggests that these men are more likely to be looking for and willing to engage in sex without a condom,” Schrimshaw says, “which may place them at greater risk for HIV/STI transmission.”
Engaging in sex without a condom increases one’s risk for contracting an STD? Who knew?
“Future research on NGI-seeking men could lead to better understanding of their risk behaviors which, in turn, could be helpful for developing and targeting HIV/STD prevention and intervention efforts,” the doctor continues.
Schrimshaw says he’s hopeful further investigations will offer answers as to how successful NGI-seeking gay men are in their quests for finding willing partners.
“Regardless of any study limitations, the research has allowed us to document the existence of a subgroup of men who actively seek out sexual encounters with men who do not identify as gay,” he concludes.
What do you think? Do you ever fantasize about hooking up with a straight man? And would you be more willing to do it without a condom simply because he identified as straight? Sound off in the comments below.