Internet searches can reveal so much. I’m interested in finding what light they can shed on the world’s sexual mores and appetites.
I used Google Trends to compare “sex” and “gay sex” search terms against each other, using 2004-present as my timeframe. The long-term results are below, with “sex” in blue and “gay sex” in red:
As we can see, there are any more searches for “sex” than “gay sex.” As a function of the world’s LGBT population (estimated to be as high as 20%), this seems very low. One explanation is that the “sex” search encompasses the “gay sex” hits, whereas the “gay sex” results logically only contain the one specific category.
Now to break it down by region and city:
Google Trends terms countries as regions, and shows the top 10 countries. South Asia makes a strong showing, with Sri Lanka (100%) and India (85%) grabbing the top two spots. Southeast Asian countries Vietnam (67%) and Cambodia (64%) also appeared as well.
India dominates this category, taking 9 spots in the top 10. The only non-Indian cities are Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, which clocks in at #6.
The strong showing in India speaks to its population, now estimated to be around 1.27 billion. So it makes sense that it’s overwhelming the data set due to sheer quantity.
“Gay Sex:” Region:
Cambodia takes the top spot here, paving the way for other Southeast Asian countries: Laos (92%, #3) and Vietnam (77%, #4).
“Gay Sex:” City:
Ho Chi Minh City, capital of Vietnam, took the top spot here. Hanoi placed fourth with 43%.
The Philippines grabbed the second and third spots with Manila (69%) and Makati (58%).
Indian cities comprised #5-#9 of the top 10 spots, with Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur taking the last spot at 35%.
South and Southeast Asian countries are robustly represented with these searches. This could point to large populations leading to larger quantities of searches. There’s also the fact that many of these countries have culturally conservative sexual mores, so any interest piqued gets some play online.
Stay tuned for more! Any specific trends you’d like to see? Let me know!