What makes a city sexy? A combination of hot locals, cool nightlife, a great setting and an undercurrent of desire, according to our exclusive poll. Here’s where the good people of America are sexting, swiping right, hanging out and hooking up
We conducted two customized polls with SurveyMonkey: The first general-population study ranked cities from one to 25; the second dug deeper into the attitudes and lifestyles of people living in the top five cities. Using data from the second survey and outside sources (see below), we uncovered key preferences and predilections in our five sexiest cities.
We partnered with NerdWallet, a San Francisco–based personal finance start-up, to crunch numbers on bars, restaurants and other entertainment outlets per 1,000 residents to come up with a nightlife factor, which we then combined with a walkability index to produce these overall after-sundown scores.
1. NEW YORK
➔ What makes New York the sexiest city in America? In addition to topping our respondents’ lists, it’s backed up by other metrics as well. It has by far the best and most nightlife in our roundup, with thousands of bars, clubs and restaurants in walkable neighborhoods linked by a dense web of subways, Ubers and taxis, making the possibility of frequent and convenient assignations likelier than anywhere else. The people are hot, the sex is prime quality and the frequency is high, averaging 138 times per year. It also has a touch of the forbidden: In our survey of the top five cities, New York respondents were the most interested in kink, with nearly two thirds of them open to experimentation and almost a quarter into BDSM.
2. LOS ANGELES
➔ Its reputation for beaches, blondes and sun is tough to beat. But Los Angeles’s nightlife score is shockingly lower than New York’s, even though L.A. nudges out its East Coast rival in the number of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues per 1,000 residents (3.03 versus 2.81). What made the difference? A low walkability score in a metropolis designed for the automobile. The City of Angels may be the second city of sexiness, but it’s at the bottom of our top five when it comes to venturing into Fifty Shades of Grey territory: Fewer than 20 percent of respondents are into spreaders and whips. What half a million Angelenos are into is cheating. The adultery website Ashley Madison notes that the city’s favorite hideaway for assignations is not the hip Ace Hotel downtown or the discreet L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills. It’s the unassuming Holiday Inn on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.
➔ This muscular, cold-weather, sports-crazy city may seem a surprising pick, but there’s more to Chicago than great architecture, major museums and da Bears. Its walkable neighborhoods—including upscale Lincoln Park, up-and-coming River North and bar-dense Wicker Park and Bucktown—amp up the sexy quotient, attracting young professionals who seek same in restaurants, dives, blues joints, shops and galleries. At one time Chicago was a major stop on the burlesque circuit, and you can still take in feathers-and-fans acts at nearly a dozen dopamine-release venues, including the Kiss Kiss Cabaret and Naked Girls Reading (what it sounds like).
We expected workaholic New York to win this category because its residents seem to be chained to their desks. It turns out, though, that Miami leads the pack among our top five in mixing business with pleasure. Nearly half that city’s respondents (46%) report having sexual congress with a co-worker, compared with folks in Chicago (40%), San Francisco (38%), New York (30%) and Los Angeles (28%).
➔ It’s no surprise the south Florida hot spot and its steamy sidekick South Beach enjoy the most sex by far among our top five cities—160 encounters a year. And the good news gets even better for this good-looking crowd of party fauna: According to a 10-city poll sponsored by Trojan, Miamians have the longest sex sessions (35 minutes). Our survey also shows Miami residents are most likely to have had sex with a colleague (see above right) and are the most digitally connected as well.
miami, sex machine
We averaged the self-reported weekly amounts in our top five to come up with the number of times residents do it per year. Miami came out on top, with respondents having sex 160 times per year.
5. SAN FRANCISCO
➔ A drop-dead gorgeous setting, abundant and varied nightlife and urban sophistication all factor into San Francisco’s seriously sexy scores. Densely populated and pedestrian- and bike-friendly, it also has the fittest population in the country. As for the dating market, good news, ladies: The city is home to 116 single men for every 100 single women. That’s not great for guys, but it’s a lot better than Silicon Valley to the south, where the ratio is a lopsided 141 to 100. Our survey shows San Francisco trailing Miami and New York in frequency of sex but leading the top five in quality—that is, frequency of orgasms.
Percentage of Americans who think sex gets hotter when the temperature rises, according to Trojan’s Degrees of Pleasure survey.
Ideal indoor temperature for sex.
Ideal outdoor temperature for sex.
Percentage of Miamians who have enjoyed sex during a hurricane.
8. LAS VEGAS
➔ Gambling, showgirls, countless hotel beds, strip joints, topless pools, swinger hangouts, adult stage shows, an anything-goes attitude—come to think of it, even the word Strip says “sexy.” No wonder Vegas is in the top 10.
Not to kick Motown when it’s down, but our survey voted Detroit the unsexiest city in America. It has all the attributes respondents rate as their biggest turnoffs: crime, grime, lousy weather and supersize locals (it’s the fourth-fattest city in the country, according to a 2014 Men’s Fitness survey).
9. SAN DIEGO
➔ It’s only fitting that OkCupid members in this slacker-friendly city list casual sex as a profile option more often than members in any other city in America. Also, per capita, Portland has more strip clubs and bars with happy hours than all other cities on our list.
➔ Residents here have less sex (104 times a year) than residents of any other burg except Philadelphia in Trojan’s 10-city roundup. But at 39 minutes, Big D denizens last longer than other American lovers, even if 47 percent of them fake orgasms—more than in any other U.S. city. (Nationally, 19 percent of men and 60 percent of women fake it. We knew it!) If you’re in the market for sex on the side, Ashley Madison claims Dallas has the youngest mistresses, with an average age of 28. (The site defines mistress as a single female Ashley Madison member who dates married men.)
➔ Sometimes less is more: In Trojan’s survey of 10 top markets, Philly ranked lowest in sexual frequency (99 times per year) and highest in sexual satisfaction (82 percent).
It’s the top international destination for both men and women cheaters, according to Ashley Madison. It’s next door, no special visas are needed and most of the population speaks a recognizable form of English. Second favorite place for foreign affairs: the equally anglophone U.K.
➔ A recent Men’s Health survey named it the most sex-happy city in America, based on condom and sex-toy sales, birth rates and instances of STDs. Nothing says “sex happy” to us like that last metric.
DIGITAL HOT SPOTS; TOP CITIES FOR…
Newport Beach, California
➔ It’s one of the nation’s five fittest places, according to a Men’s Fitness survey, and the leanest, says the CDC. But those hard bodies need to slow down a bit when they reach the bedroom. The average sex session lasts just 26 minutes—one of the briefest in the Trojan survey.
➔ According to Adam & Eve, a major player in the $15 billion U.S. sex-toy industry, Atlantans spend more per capita on pleasure products than the residents of any other city in our survey—more than twice as much as runners-up San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Top three sellers in Hotlanta: the Silver Bullet 2.0 vibrator, Make Me Cum clit sensitizer and Adam & Eve lube.
➔ Warning! Valley of the Sun wives, lock up your men. Ashley Madison says 33 percent of its female members here are on the prowl for somebody else’s husband—the highest rate in the U.S. Plus, Phoenix mistresses rack up five partners a year on average, double the rate anywhere else. The city also has the shortest sex sessions—a mere 25 minutes—in Trojan’s survey. At least the pursuit of coitus concisus is affordable. According to NerdWallet, Phoenix offers one of the nation’s cheapest nights out, just $62.50 on average.
19. WASHINGTON, D.C.
WHERE I DID IT: OUR RESPONDENTS CONFESS
“In the gazebo in my in-laws’ backyard.” (New York)
“We got caught doing it in an empty classroom—so embarrassing.” (Los Angeles)
“I enjoy semipublic areas; the danger of being caught, seen and/or watched is arousing!” (Chicago)
“I like very much to have sex on the beach.” (Miami)
“Ha-ha, I have a good one. I once had a threesome in a Porta Potty! Don’t worry, they had just dropped it off, so it was totally clean.” (San Francisco)
TIE ME UP, TIE ME DOWN
We asked respondents in our top five cities about their attitudes toward sexual experimentation. Regardless of zip code, about a third said “I’m in!” When we focused on Fifty Shades of Grey territory and asked how many had fooled around with BDSM, the numbers plummeted. The least kinky, surprisingly, is Los Angeles, where only 17 percent spend any time down in the dungeon.
➔ The Trojan survey found Houstonians rack up 125 sex sessions a year, ranking near the top nationally. They also like to buy sex toys: According to Adam & Eve, Houston accounts for nearly 80 percent as much in sales as New York, even though the Texas city has only one third the Big Apple’s population.
BEYOND THE BEDROOM
The backseat, of course, is the favorite alternative to between the sheets in our top five cities, though we didn’t expect Miami to enjoy car sex (75%) more than auto-centric Los Angeles (65%). Neither did we think parks would be the next best thing to beds in San Francisco (33%), L.A. (36%) and frosty Chicago (38%). It’s no surprise nearly half of Miami respondents like sex on the beach, but who knew New York had enough pools to accommodate all that soggy squonking (36%)?
➔ The Steel City is second only to Washington, D.C. in cheaters per capita, according to Ashley Madison, with 5.6 percent of the metro area signed up for assignations—surpassing New York (4.8 percent) and supposedly straitlaced Boston (4.8 percent). Most of the action centers on Brighton Heights, a residential neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s north side.