Study Reveals 1 in 10 Craiglist M4M Users Want ‘Non-Gay’ Partner

A study recently published in the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity found that one in ten men who use the Craigslist M4M section specifically seek out “sexual partners who do not identify as gay, either to fulfill a fantasy or because it allows anonymous sexual encounters without discovery.”

The researchers reviewed 1,200 ads and compared ads specifically seeking non-gay-identified (NGI) men and ads not specifying the preferred sexual orientation of their partners.

ScrimschawThe study found that 1 in 10 ads were placed by men seeking sex with NGI men, and:

Although men who posted NGI-seeking ads were more likely to self-identify as bisexual, married, and/or discreet and to seek out an anonymous encounter relative to the ads of comparison men, only 24% of online advertisements seeking NGI men were posted by men who were themselves non-gay-identified. This suggests that many of the posts (roughly 76%) are placed by gay men seeking NGI men, perceived by some gay men to be more masculine, dominant, or "straight-acting.”

… men seeking NGI partners were significantly less likely to mention that they wanted to have safer sex/use condoms (15% vs. 33%) and were more likely (66% vs. 42%) to omit mention of condoms or safer sex in their advertisements. "This suggests that these men are more likely to be looking for and willing to engage in sex without a condom which may place them at greater risk for HIV/STI transmission than men who are not seeking non-gay-identified male partners," said [Dr. Eric Schrimshaw, PhD, at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, pictured].

The study could help further future research regarding the sexual activities and STI risks of NGI men who have sex with men. Such research could help keep everyone healthy, no matter how they self-identify.


  1. Dback says

    I don’t give a good godd*mn if people want to sleep with guys who are bi-curious, “mostly” straight, etc.–but everybody, EVERYBODY should be using condoms if you’re engaging in anal sex, the #1 method of HIV transmission. This is a proven fact, and anyone who tries to sidetrack or avoid the issue by complaining about “stigmatizing” people who are HIV+, or “shaming” people’s sex choices deserves a good rap across the knuckles. I didn’t spend the late 80’s and 90’s watching friends and acquaintances (and even a former partner or two) contract HIV/AIDS to watch it rear its ugly head 20-some years later because people are too horned-up to stop and think for 10 seconds.

  2. Malcolm says

    Only 10 percent? In my observation, it is more than half, including All the dudes who may not explicitly say they are seeking dudes who identify as straight, yet still exclude guys who identify as gay.

  3. Bestcomments says

    I am surprised the % is that low. From my empirical analysis of reading M4M craigslist ads daily for months it seems more than that.
    I also notice a trend of not many posters outright labeling themselves as gay, and very few outright looking for gay or bi only. It is a very sad trend that only denotes self-hate.

  4. Javier says

    Yep, I think there have been studies are reports about how dudes who identify themselves as gay on m4m sites receive much fewer responses than those who do not.

  5. Mikey says

    Not surprising, but it still bums me out. That “masc” or “straight-acting” (hell, even “butch” is too gay a word to say, I guess) is such a red flag. If someone sends me an “are you masc?” message on Grindr, it’s basically just “I’m looking for a top, but I have bottom shame”

  6. steve talbert says

    A lot of the married guts on CL only jack off or maybe do oral. So not using condoms doesn’t necessarily mean unsafe sex. I have a friend who likes married guys because he is in a gay relationship and doesn’t want to meet someone who might want to date…so he told me he would never mention condoms because he doesn’t want to scare off any guys not into fcking. I would think the study should have also looked at words such as ‘safe’ in addition. Using safe implies a condom if fcking.

  7. steve talbert says

    I meant when add specifically mentioned anal. If it just mentioned hand job, etc, then it would be weird and strange to mention condom or safe.

  8. Mike in the Tundra says

    @ Mikey – I’m certain what you’re saying is true, but any guy who says “straight acting” should have a knee slammed into his balls. Those words say that they think being straight is better than being gay.

  9. says

    Not gonna lie. I luv me some straight guys. They are just more natural and together. It’s hard to describe but in a lot of ways, I just think that straight guys are better. I dunno, you just get tired of all the freaks after a while.

  10. TommyinSD says

    I hate to say it but I actually agree with Little Kiwi. There’s nothing wrong with liking straight-acting guys. That expression is not saying they are straight. It is saying that they are saying that they regular guys, not freaks and weirdos.

  11. Mike in the Tundra says

    @ TOMMYINSD – Straight acting, huh? WTF does that mean. There must be another way of saying that. A straight person reading your comment would read it as straight is better than gay. Not acting straight means someone is a freak or weirdo. Right? No in between? Of course, you are entitled to your preference, but you really need a better way of saying it. Butch maybe?

    I’ve been told that I’m straight acting, and those guys didn’t get what they wanted. My heart has long belonged to a guy who is certainly not straight acting, but he’s all man.

  12. UFFDA says

    The gay guys theatened (resentful) of the “straight acting” preference (masc vs fems and freaks) have got a whole lot more problems than those that are easy with it.

  13. Mike in the Tundra says

    @ Uffda – it’s the words! I don’t care if you like butch guys or guys who seem to have wings. Hell, if you have a thing for Hobbits, go for it. It’s the words “straight acting”. If we have all these guys looking for “straight acting” guys, it would seem that straight is better than being gay. Say butch or masculine instead of “straight acting.”

  14. Dean says

    It might be at least partly a problem of semantics. By ‘non-gay identified’, most of them probably mean “non-mincing non-effeminate”. They might not realize that mincing effeminate guys (not that there’s anything wrong with that) are only a small fraction of the larger gay community.

    I’m gay and 99% of my friends are gay. Only 1 or 2 could be called effeminate in any way.

  15. says

    I don’t even get the “straight-acting” thing. It doesn’t matter how masculine the guy you are boning is, you are still having gay sex and anyone who dislikes gays isn’t going to care that your guy is a bro. All it says to me is that you have serious issues with your own masculinity and by extension your sexuality. It’s pathetic.

  16. John says

    There’s a stereotype at play here – an assumption that self-identifying gays must be ‘sissies’, effeminate, in search of a boyfriend, etc. Assumptions are often incorrect – we run the entire spectrum.

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