Foreign Affairs

Wednesday, September 27, 2006, a new internet dating site, have undertaken a poll of Londoners' dating habits. Their results on nationalities are intriguing. The poll asked Londoners which nationalities they would date. London men and women are very much interested in British men and British women.

Men would choose to date: British (62%), Australian (37%), Scandinavian (34%), American (33%), Mediterranean (33%), Spanish (33%), Brazilian (30%), French (27%), German (23%) and Eastern European (21%).

Women would choose to date: British (61%), American (30%), Mediterranean (27%), Australian (25%), French (18%), Spanish (18%), Scandinavian (16%), Caribbean (16%), Brazilian (13%) and South African (10%).

My first reaction to this was the 'Mediterranean', 'Scandinavian', 'Eastern European' etc. were not actual nationalities. The definite choice of British as most popular is significant, I think, as it does not reflect how I see dating in London on the gay scene.

All around me, perhaps as a result of being a foreigner in London, I see relationships developing with many nationalities and outside the horizons of Britain. This may be in part due to the large numbers of gay men from foreign countries in London.

Research from a study of gay Londoners shows that a significant minority come from other European countries and the rest of the world, with 23.3% born outside the UK. These figures outnumber official census figures for Greater London which show 21.7% born outside the UK. 6.9% of those in the Census came from other European countries (11.4% in the gay research), only 0.06% from North America (3.6% in gay resarch), and only 0.06% from Australasia (3.2% in gay research).

My boyfriend is Austrian; many of my friends and his friends are in relationships with people from other countries. I find this mixing of nationalities incredible, and now it's not surprising to meet people from all around the world. A quick roll call shows relationships made up of people from:

Ireland & Austria
UK & New Zealand
UK & Australia
UK & Ireland
France & Denmark
Germany & South Africa
Sweden & Brazil
Greece & Basque Country
South Africa & Japan
UK & St Lucia
Ireland & Jamaica (& China & Poland)

While the last one might have been a more fleeting relationship, there certainly are more fluid boundaries in London.


Chig said...

"Ireland & Jamaica (& China & Poland)"

When was this 'party'? And why wasn't I invited? :-P

This is all very interesting stuff. You've managed to combine two of my favourite subjects: surveys and nationality/national identity.

Adrian said...

Well, sir, as much as I wish it were true, I wasn't the "Ireland" in that particular party.

Jamie said...

How unexotic are my mating habits! British and British doesn't sound half as exciting as Ireland & Jamaica (& China & Poland)! Still I have been with my boyfriend for 9 years and I'm 29!!!

I can however profess to British and Bitish and Australian in New York!