April 26, 2011

The Floating Sheep Take on Casual Sex

Last week the OkTrends blog posted 10 charts about sex which has a wide array of statistics and graphics (essentially chartporn). As we know that FloatingSheep readers are a sensitive lot who can take offense easily, we will be relying upon a series of euphemisms for the act that Shakespeare so elegantly referred to as the "beast with two backs." Our hope is to be informative whilst preserving the dignity of our blog and readers.

We were most, ahem, attracted to to the surprising relationship that the OkCupid data showed between a country's GDP and interest in casual sex, as per capita income rises so does the search for a quick "trot around the waffle"...at least according to OkCupid.

Because it is the biggest free dating site in the United States, OkCupid has a unique look at dating and the ways in which people represent themselves and seek others. Moreover they have been extremely open about sharing their insights and amazing and surprising trends in the world of online dating. We're particularly amused by the relationship between the cost of college tuition and the number of times per week students desire to "wax the spoondiddle."

But as we are FloatingSheep (also known as geographers) we couldn't help but wonder what a map of the data from the chart above would look like. In short, "a cartography of casual carnality." So we geo-visualized the percent of OkCupid.com users per country that indicated an interest in casual "parsley padding."

So what could be behind this desire to "get one's wheels oiled" outside the constraints of a committed relationship? Is it simply a matter of income as the OkTrends data suggest? We don't really know the answer but we are able to visualize the relationship between the size of a country's economy and the size of its desire to "take a spin through the juniper." So in lieu of an answer, we'll make another map.

One can see how the size of the U.S. economy causes to bulge like a ripe melon (much to Canada's shrinking horror) while on the other side of the globe, the "miracle economy" of South Korea doggedly pursues a Japan whose swollen landscape of GDP is layered with a high level of interest in casual games of "hiding near the turnip."

But is GDP really the best variable to consider in this case? After all, individuals looking for a casual game of "bottle the carburetor" on OkCupid are, by definition, wired to the Internet. So rather than using GDP it might be better to use the number of people with internet access to determine country size. After all, you know what they say about the size of a man's broadband... faster downloads.

The result is remarkably similar to using GDP which we expect. But since the above map combines both the number of people online and the level of interest in casual hookups, it seemingly, albeit spuriously (not that it has ever stopped us before), creates a directory for would be trollers where they are most likely to find others interested in casually "grinding their Irish wappers." Again, the relationship shown in the above is rather spurious. More people are going to be looking for a casual "thrunking" online in places where, well, there are more people online.

A better measure would be internet penetration (snicker), or the number of people on the internet divided by the total population. Using penetration (snort) to determine the size (giggle) of a country results in the map below. Which seems highly suggestive (at least for a map) of some kind of global group effort to "hop the last train to Cleveland."

Initially, we assumed this would correlate with our religion map, but as it turns out, Americans just aren't looking for a casual "hauling of someone's tomatoes" at the same rate as Europeans.

However, by this point we are so confused by the euphemisms and cartograms that we're in a bit of muddle. I think we'll just wonder off for a quick lie down. No euphemism intended.

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