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Liberal Artists Don’t Need Orgasms, and Other Findings from OkCupid

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From “Words and Politics: How your vote influences your dating profile” (all screen shots by the author via OkCupid)

Could your Neil Gaiman book collection reveal something about both your political leanings and your willingness to squeal like a dolphin during sex if your partner asked? A new study by dating site OkCupid, called “Words and Politics: How your vote influences your dating profile,” offers some strange insights into the correlations between online daters’ political, sexual, and cultural preferences.

OkCupid analyzed how the words on 190,000 user profiles lined up with self-reported political leanings and answers to dating survey questions, at least one of which asks about squealing like a dolphin. “Today, the amount of OkCupid users who couldn’t date someone with opposing political views is at 50% — a number that’s been rising since 2008,” the researchers write. Based on their data, you’re not just being a snob when you dismiss the profile of anyone who mentions Creed: clashing tastes in music, books, movies, and TV shows can suggest deeper political incompatibilities.

Some of the results are not surprising: conservatives are more likely to discuss the Bible, guns, the Marines, and Ayn Rand in their profiles, while liberals more frequently write about feminism, The Daily Show, Broad City, and weed. But in other cases, the results reveal strange, hyperspecific correlations between our politics, aesthetics, and erotics. Republicans who mention Disney in their profiles, for example, are more likely to want pain during sex. Go figure. Herewith, a random arts-related sampling of the findings.

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“Are orgasms the most important part of sex?,” OkCupid asks its users. Liberal artists, writers, and musicians, among other professions, were more likely to answer no. Conservatives working in law enforcement, business, and finance were more likely to answer yes.

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Democrats who want pain during sex reference Quentin Tarantino and Pulp Fiction30 Rock and Daily Show viewers are less masochistic. Pain-seeking Republicans reference The Walking Dead, Tombstone, and, yes, Disney.

Francis Ford Coppola is the great unifier: users on both sides of the political spectrum referenced The Godfather with relatively equal frequency. Godfather fans, apparently, would also rather “do the tying” than “be tied up.”

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Liberals “looking for sex” tended to prefer books by Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, and Neil Gaiman, whereas liberals “looking for love” referenced Harry Potter, The Kite Runner, and Toni Morrison. Sex-driven conservatives read Atlas Shrugged, while love-driven conservatives are into the Bible and Lone Survivor.

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Call it Republican dad rock: referencing Frank Sinatra, George Strait, and John Mayer were signs of a conservative. So was the phrase “except rap.” Democrats — and this isn’t so surprising — love Kendrick Lamar.

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