What Is Love?

The Results Are In from Our Big Love and Sex Survey

...and y'all really don't mind making out in public.

By Katharine Shilcutt October 30, 2017 Published in the November 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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We polled hundreds of our readers on everything from sex on the first date to the ultimate Houstonian expression of love (and a lot of you express your love by peeling crawfish tails for your paramour). Within, our most surprising findings:

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Living across town from each other? Instant deal-breaker.

Over 2/3 of you wouldn't be willing to drive more than half an hour for a new relationship.

Yet you're romantic idealists about other things...

40 percent of you believe in the concept of soulmates.

Half of you have no issues making out in public...

while 82 percent said that break-ups need to take place behind closed doors.

What’s the secret to a long and happy relationship?

From our readers who’ve been together 20 years or more, a few suggestions via our survey:

  • 100 percent met their significant other through friends or social organization, never once ghosted a previous partner, and make time for date nights on a regular basis
  • 60 percent have sex once a week and 20 percent have faked an orgasm (but only to make their partner happy). 
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Inner Loopers vs. Suburbanites

  • 27 percent of Inner Loopers are willing to travel over 30 miles for a relationship 
  • vs. 43 percent of those who live outside the Loop

The majority of those living in the ’burbs prefer meeting people through friends or social organizations (43 percent), while the majority of Inner Loopers prefer apps (38 percent).

There goes the gayborhood...

More readers who identify as straight listed “Montrose” as their neighborhood of residence than readers who identify as LGBT. Where is Houston’s latter-day gayborhood, according to our LGBT respondents? The Heights.

Our LGBT readers also prefer using online tools such as apps (47% of readers) and websites (18%) to meet that special someone—not that it matters to the majority of our LGBT respondents, who answered that they’re happily invested in a relationship already.

When we broke our survey down along gender lines, a few data points started to diverge.

Twice as many women:

  • as men ghosted in their last relationship. (18 percent vs. 9 percent)
  • put the brakes on first-date sex.
  • (22 percent of women say it’s completely off the table, vs. 9 percent of men)
  • have faked an orgasm(66 percent vs. 33 percent)
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What do you miss most about dating?

  • Men: the variety (22 percent); the thrill of the hunt (17 percent)
  • Women: nothing at all (65 percent); a romantic night out (22 percent) 

More than half our male respondents say they’re having enough sex in their relationships, while only a third of female respondents say the same. (55 percent vs. 39 percent)

What’s the most Houstonian way of expressing your love? You’ll be shocked to learn that for many of our readers, the answer revolves around food…

Driving endlessly around 610 at night listening to music together ❤️ Taking her a cold Topo Chico while she’s gardening ❤️ Sitting in traffic for an hour to pick them up when they’re 8 miles away ❤️ Getting your lady’s name airbrushed on the side of your slab ❤️ Taking the recycling to Whole Foods for your partner because their apartment complex is too cheap to get on a program  ❤️ Agreeing to name your first son Hugo after you and your partner’s favorite Houston chef ❤️ Stopping at Whataburger to get her a No. 1 with cheese, no onions, after a night of drinking at 8th Wonder ❤️ Tacos delivered with at-home margaritas when they are feeling down and out  ❤️ Taking them to The Houstonian for a spa day  ❤️ Peeling crawfish tails for your squeamish partner ❤️ Taking a surprise road trip to the Hill Country ❤️ Bring them their favorite pie—a whole one!—from House of Pies ❤️ Making a blue-tile sign of their name❤️ Tacos from an out-of-the-way truck, just how they like them, just because

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