Between The Sheets: Poll Reveals Attitudes and Behaviors of African Americans

Share Article

Survey profiles lifestyles of middle to upper income San Francisco Bay Area Black adults in sex, relationships and race.

A new survey by shows some general population similarities; safe sex not a priority among middle and upper income Bay Area African American adults; sexual melting pot brews, while marriages continue to suffer. To view the entire survey results, visit

VIPLineup CEO Michael DeFlorimonte said the survey was developed to identify behavior patterns among this previously unstudied segment. "Some of these results are surprising, especially when you consider the education levels of these middle to upper income cultural sophisticates. Apparently sex has few boundaries, and its lure is potent."

Sex - Not So Safe, Not So Often, But Good When You Can Get It

The survey revealed that 52% of Bay Area African Americans have had unprotected sex "on occasion" while uncommitted (not in a monogamous relationship), a startling number in today's AIDS conscious society. This is on par however with the Durex Global Sex Survey which reports that more than 50% of U.S. adults 35 and older acknowledge they have had unprotected sex without knowing their partner's sexual history. Bay Area Black women are slightly more risk averse than Black men, as nearly 60% of uncommitted African American men admitted to playing sexual Russian roulette, compared to 47% of African American women. See our site

Perry Lang, Executive Director of San Francisco's Black Coalition On AIDS understands the sport of sex, "It may push our moral and political buttons but recreational sex is no different from other forms of play. We put on professional gear when we engage in recreation like playing football. When we’re engaged in recreational sex we must wear a condom."

Almost equal numbers of Blacks in the Bay Area are sleeping alone, versus having sex 1-2 times per week (39% vs. 37%), and nearly 1 out of 4 are sexually active at least 3 times per week. However, more "between the sheets" activity is desired, as nearly 50% of Blacks feel that a couple should have sex four or more times a week, with 13% feeling that sex should be a daily activity.

Among these sexually active and well heeled African Americans, the survey found that 69% rank the quality of their sex life as "good or off the charts," while only 5% ranked their sex life as "bad."

Relationships - Fight or Flight?, Diversity Sentiment Strong, Till Death Do Us Part?

More Bay Area Black women versus Black men voice discontent with their relationship or marriage, as 40% of Black women versus 26% of Black men would not choose to be with the same person they're currently with "if they could do it again." Interestingly, if assured that a spouse or mate wouldn't find out about a part-time lover, slightly less than half as many of all African American women versus men (15% vs. 33%) would slip away for that lunchtime rendezvous.

In 2002 the National Opinion Research Center reported that 22% of men and 13% of women admitted to having had sex outside of their marriage (i.e. cheated on a spouse), with the frequency among Blacks at 23%. The VIPLineup survey reveals that 40% of middle and upper income Bay Area African Americans (50% of Black men and 33% of Black women) admit to having cheated on a spouse or mate, suggesting that perhaps infidelity finds its roots prior to the nuptials.

"Infidelity is the most charged sex you’ll ever have," said Dr. Brenda Wade, author and clinical psychologist. "It has added adrenaline pumping because you know it’s forbidden and you’re putting yourself in danger."

A true melting pot--in an area where Blacks are typically thought to be conservative, the survey revealed that the majority (63%) of Bay Area Blacks support same sex marriages. Nearly three quarters of Bay Area African American men, and 57% of African American women have been involved in an interracial relationship, and 92% overall remain unopposed to interracial marriage. If dating outside of their race, 39% of Blacks indicated "no preference," while one third of Blacks preferred people of Latin origin. Only 11% stated that they "wouldn't date outside of their race."

In these times when the United States divorce rate exceeds 50%, the survey revealed that 40% of Bay Area African Americans do not feel that "till death do us part" is a realistic expectation. Harriet Cole, author and nationally syndicated advice columnist observes dating behavior which may explain this pessimism. "During dating, sometimes people stay in a relationship if it’s marginally comfortable. Many people resign into relationships and resign into marriage."

The online survey, a sample of 524 adult Bay Area African Americans was conducted between April and September of 2004. Sixty three percent of respondents had incomes in excess of $75,000, ages 28 to 57, with the most representation in the 37 to 48 year range.

To view the entire survey and results, visit

About VIPLineup LLC is a San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle and entertainment website for urban professionals. VIPLineup also publishes The Lineup, a weekly e-magazine, which reaches over 15,000 subscribers weekly.


For more information, contact:

Ave Montague

Ave Montague & Associates


phone: 415.346.0199

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ave Montague
Visit website