Thursday, June 9, 2016

Swinger Personality: Results from Myers-Briggs Survey

Claire and I conducted an informal Myers-Briggs survey of our local swinger Lifestyle community, in a major metropolitan hub of the Southeastern US. The Myers-Briggs personality test breaks down personalities based on four categories of distinction. In list order, those are extraversion vs. introversion, sensing vs. intuitive, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving. If you have not taken the Myers Briggs personality test and are interested in doing so, you can find a link here.


The objective of this survey is to look for patterns in personalities within the local swinger community, based on the frequency of different personality types and characteristics.  The first part of this blog entry recaps the raw data we collected. The second half summarizes our observations, based on this data.



Raw Data on Myers-Briggs Survey of Local Swinger LS

92 respondents overall
48 female
44 male

Color Code for the four Myers-Briggs sub-groups

Analysts (NT’s) are purple: 31 total
Diplomats (NF’s) are green: 31 total
Sentinels (SJ’s) are aqua blue: 24 total
Explorers (SP’s) are yellow: 6 total

To see one descriptive analysis of these personality subgroups, consult this link:

Most common personalities: (9 -13 respondents in overall): ENFJ (9F, 4M); INTJ (4F, 6M); ESFJ (9F, 1M); ENTJ (0F, 9M).
Three extroversion and one introversion type. Three intuitive vs. one sensing type. Two feelers; two thinkers. All are judging. Two analyst types (NT’s intuitive, thinkers).
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Mid-Range personality frequency: (8-5 respondents in overall): INFJ (6F, 2M); INTP (1F, 6M); ENFP (4F, 3M); ESTJ (2F, 5M); ENTP (1F, 4M); ISFJ (5F, 0M). Three introverts and three extroverts; four intuitives and two sensing; three feelers and three thinkers; three judgers and three perceivers.
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Least common personalities (1-4 respondents overall): ESFP (3F, 1M); INFP (2F, 1M), ISTJ (0F, 2M); ISFP (2F, 0M). One extrovert and three introverts; three sensors and one intuitive; three feelers and one thinker; three perceivers and one judger.

Explorers (sensing, perceiving) were extremely rare. Two of the Myers-Briggs Explorer types were in the least common group and two were not found at all in our survey.
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Not found at all in LS: ESTP and ISTP
No LS Women: ENTJ or ISTJ
No LS Men: ISFJ or ISFP





Our Interpretations of the Data

According to the Myers Briggs web site, in order of occurrence in the general population, the most common personality type is ESTJ (13%), ESFJ (12%), ESFP (11%) and ESTP (10%). The four most rare personality types in the general population are INFJ (1%), INTJ (1.5%), INFP (2%) and INTP (2.5%).
Note that that among the most common personality types in the general population, the only one that is correspondingly represented in the LS is the ESFJ.

The four most common personality types ESTJ, ESFJ, ESFP, and ESTP totalled 21 respondents out 92. They only comprised 22.8% of the LS. 92 respondents fit into one of the bottom four personality types in the general population (INFJ, INTJ, INFP, and INTP), but comprised 30.4% of the LS population.

We were also very interested to learn which personality types were far more common in LS than in general population. The following five personality types represented the biggest discrepancy between the LS and general population in terms of frequency (ranging from 10% to 5%): ENFJ (10%), INTJ (9%), INFJ (8%), ENTJ (6%) and INTP (5%). Note that these five personality types are among the least common the general population (under 5%).

Click on Chart to Enlarge It

Intuition

Our survey showed a high frequency of intuitives in the LS, as opposed to sensors.

“Intuition refers to how people process data. Intuitive people focus on the future and the possibilities. They process information through patterns and impressions. They read between the lines, they are abstract thinkers.”
http://www.mypersonality.info/personality-types/sensing-intuition/

Intuitive personality types focus on abstract thinking and possibilities. This allows them to question social norms, deconstruct and decide for themselves whether the social norm is valid. In the case of the LS, the social norm that is being questioned is monogamy. In contrast, sensing types are more practical and grounded. They tend to focus on the real world and the facts they can derive from it. Sensors are more grounded in the details of the external world and are more likely to be “conservative,” in the sense of not challenging prevailing social norms. Meanwhile, intuitive types tend to focus more on the overall pattern, rather than the details of the data. They also are more likely to have a bias towards imagination, innovation, and change.  This type of person might be more comfortable challenging the prevailing path or deviating from it.

Judging

Every single one of the most four most common personality types found in our survey of the LS is a judger. However, once you drop down to the middle range of the LS distribution, perceivers comprised three out of six personality types, and were solidly represented.

Judging does not mean ‘judgmental’. Judging people like order, organization and think sequentially. They like to have things planned and settled. Judging people seek closure.”
http://www.mypersonality.info/personality-types/sensing-intuition/

A judging personality type tends to have a more structured, deliberate and decisive thought process, with a desire for control and resolution. In contrast, a perceiver has a preference for more flexible and open-ended processes, with less focus on resolution. The authors are guessing that the absence of perceivers in the most common segment of the LS may be due to the fact that if a perceiver desired sex with a new person, outside of an established relationship, they would be less likely to do this through the LS. Instead they might explore non-monogamy in a more “organic” fashion, perhaps seeking it in their pre-existing and non-premeditated social interactions. This is in opposition to the LS approach, which requires the person to research and venture out to a completely unconventional sub-culture, which follows very specific rules of engagement. Preferring a more fluid fluid approach, the idea of engaging in a highly structured system, such as the LS, with concrete rules might feel “forced” to perceivers.

Absence of SP Types

“SPs are observant, experiential and primarily driven by sensation. They are flexible, aesthetically-aware, ‘here and now’ people that, with hardly a moment's notice, will go where their senses lead. SPs naturally make an effort (with a realistic approach) not to miss an opportunity that may prove to be thrilling, pleasing or otherwise valuable. SPs are are laid back, open-minded and love to feel alive. They have a tendency toward athletics and anything that involves creating or crafting.” http://www.mypersonality.info/personality-types/sp-temperament/

At first glance, the sensation driven spontaneity of the SP’s seems to make them a natural fit for the LS. While outsiders may view the LS as a pagan free-for-all, the reality is that it is a highly structured system, whose goal, consensual non-monogamy, deviates from social norms. Contrary to the hedonistic stereotype, it takes a lot of thought and planning to engage in this environment successfully on a regular basis. In reality, the LS is nowhere near as organic and spontaneous as outsiders imagine, or an SP (sensing perceiving type) might desire. While it’s rules may be different from those of conventional society, the LS definitely has them, and its long-term participants expect you to follow them.
For example, if you came to an LS party and were not aware of the culture’s norms, you might expect a spontaneous physical connection with another person that you could pursue at will, aka the “porn” scenario. In reality, the majority of the couples play together (the partner in each couple switches with the partner in the other couple). To set up this four-way play usually takes some “get to know you time” and some negotiating. While some couples hook up the first time they meet new people, many of the more successful “players” in the LS pursue a one-two punch approach, where the sexual connection happens after first flirting online, or after having seen one another more than once after a swinger event. You would NOT be welcomed if you just walked in and came on strong to somebody’s wife/GF or husband/BF. The trailing spouse would be very offended and feel that you were disrespecting their feelings and boundaries.

Conclusion

We detected a higher frequency of Myers-Briggs’ intuitive and judging types in the LS and concluded that the reason for this would be the tendency of intuitives to question and challenge prevailing social norms, matched with the preference of judging types to pursue their objectives through a systematic, rules-based approach.

Further study of LS personality types would extend beyond the local community we surveyed. Also, since we were conducting an informal study, we did not control for certain factors. For example, we solicited responses from our local community using a Facebook group. Those who participate in the online, non-anonymous (where real names and faces are shown) LS community have a greater investment in swinging than those who casually visit a LS club or attend events on an irregular basis. In the future, we will publish the results and conclusions of another survey we conducted, which gives more specific background information on our respondent’s level of engagement in the community.

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I'm always fascinated by human behaviors and how our personality shapes the kind of life we lead.... thank you ladies for putting this together; I really enjoyed it!

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