• 08.11.10

Smartphone Sex Files II: The Droid Lovers Strike Back

OkCupid, yesterday caused a stir with data purportedly showing that iPhone users get more sex. But do they really? Or are they just more promiscuous?

That renowned institute for social scientific research, OkCupid, yesterday caused a stir with data purportedly showing that iPhone users totally get more laid than Android and BlackBerry users. The news was picked up, well, just about everywhere.


As often happens in science, the study has provoked controversy, drawing a rapid response from other researchers in the field. Some sullenly looked for explanations. “Who knows, maybe it is because we have porn,” wrote Android Central’s Kyle Gibb. Others were quick to point out that correlation does not equal causation, and it may simply be that “people who tend to score a lot more, for whatever reasons, might also be the type inclined to get iPhones for some of those same reasons.” Still others, without disputing the findings, sought to overturn them in future surveys by changing user behavior now: “go out and have sex,” commanded Android Police’s Aaron Gingrich. “We can’t have those iPhone asshats showing us up that badly.”

The most compelling objection to the OkCupid study so far concerns interpretation of the data. Though many outlets, including our own, reported that iPhone users had more sex than others, in fact the study only measures number of different partners. Droid partisans have been insistent on this point; after all, someone who has sex thousands of times with a single partner certainly has more sex than someone who has a dozen one-night stands. “I’m married, monogamous, and have more sex than most single people. 3 – 5 x per week,” an Android Central commenter helpfully illustrated. (“The downside is I still have a BlackBerry,” he added.)

So would like to revise our prior declaration that iPhone users have more sex, purely quantitatively speaking, than others–a conclusion impossible to reach definitively until further research is conducted. Let’s hope OkCupid gets a fat grant sometime soon.

About the author

David Zax is a contributing writer for Fast Company. His writing has appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian, Slate, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal.