After a year of pandemic isolation, we’re all a little starved for human touch and affection — in other words, we’re horny.
But some cities are more turned on than others.
LawnStarter ranked the Horniest Cities in America by comparing the 200 biggest cities based on nine key indicators of sexual arousal. Among the factors we looked at with our eyes wide shut: the share of the single population, Google search interest in adult content, and sex-toy sales.
We also surveyed nearly 800 U.S. adults to gauge their libido levels during and after the pandemic.
Check out our ranking and survey findings below, followed by some highlights, lowlights, and insights from a panel of experts.
And if you plan to celebrate National Sex Day, June 9 (6/9), please use protection.
Table of Contents
- City Rankings
- Ranking Highlights and Lowlights
- Sex Drive Survey Main Findings
- Sex Drive Survey in Depth
- Ask the Experts
- Why This Study Matters
See how each city fared in our ranking:
|OVERALL RANK||City||Overall Score||Adult Content Popularity*||Adult Entertainment Access||Adult Supplies Access||Sex Partner Potential||Unprotected Sexual Activity|
|6||Fort Lauderdale, FL||49.92||122||6||42||18||19|
|18||New Orleans, LA||44.35||155||65||40||16||11|
|19||San Bernardino, CA||44.3||59||27||62||31||131|
|21||Kansas City, KS||44.18||3||179||44||45||41|
|24||Garden Grove, CA||43.93||59||14||9||151||161|
|35||San Francisco, CA||42.09||148||102||36||55||3|
|37||Las Vegas, NV||41.89||110||22||58||64||71|
|40||Moreno Valley, CA||41.67||59||24||28||126||131|
|42||St. Louis, MO||41.54||2||165||123||25||84|
|53||Baton Rouge, LA||40.04||168||53||91||15||18|
|56||Grand Rapids, MI||39.96||164||188||18||32||160|
|62||Los Angeles, CA||39.32||42||150||80||60||46|
|67||Kansas City, MO||38.34||148||161||27||75||95|
|68||Santa Ana, CA||38.29||59||39||57||133||161|
|81||North Las Vegas, NV||37.25||110||82||32||131||88|
|84||St. Petersburg, FL||37.21||27||56||119||79||119|
|89||Jersey City, NJ||36.62||155||8||115||125||63|
|90||Huntington Beach, CA||36.23||31||23||100||160||161|
|94||Des Moines, IA||36.06||184||197||23||62||102|
|97||San Diego, CA||35.77||3||149||122||105||72|
|98||Fort Collins, CO||35.67||49||93||105||81||190|
|99||Little Rock, AR||35.59||110||197||88||86||22|
|100||Long Beach, CA||35.55||59||61||132||71||46|
|104||Rancho Cucamonga, CA||35.15||59||21||94||172||131|
|105||Pembroke Pines, FL||34.9||122||7||144||159||28|
|106||Santa Clarita, CA||34.74||31||44||89||184||46|
|108||Boise City, ID||34.66||164||111||19||142||181|
|110||St. Paul, MN||34.53||180||132||50||70||110|
|111||Oklahoma City, OK||34.49||31||167||109||116||82|
|118||Overland Park, KS||34.23||16||185||39||189||197|
|127||Newport News, VA||32.92||42||138||127||108||156|
|132||Salt Lake City, UT||31.93||49||103||162||80||178|
|137||Chula Vista, CA||31.23||3||105||148||173||72|
|140||Santa Rosa, CA||31.18||94||66||128||127||153|
|147||New York, NY||30.41||148||166||163||96||7|
|151||San Antonio, TX||29.91||83||155||164||102||147|
|153||Fort Worth, TX||29.78||122||141||110||149||151|
|155||Virginia Beach, VA||29.59||42||162||114||182||183|
|157||Sunrise Manor, NV||29.32||110||79||198||34||88|
|162||Elk Grove, CA||28.42||42||68||147||190||68|
|164||Spring Valley, NV||27.45||110||69||199||48||88|
|167||Colorado Springs, CO||26.86||110||129||154||153||148|
|171||San Jose, CA||26.55||148||146||121||176||175|
|176||Fort Wayne, IN||25.16||188||137||129||113||103|
|178||Corpus Christi, TX||24.77||180||151||146||145||82|
|179||Sioux Falls, SD||24.14||164||189||157||162||121|
|181||El Paso, TX||23.9||122||194||180||135||171|
|183||Grand Prairie, TX||22.69||122||64||193||174||37|
|189||Port St. Lucie, FL||21.83||122||70||192||175||118|
|198||Cape Coral, FL||16.52||180||139||194||183||158|
*Winston-Salem, NC’s rank in the Adult Content Popularity category is listed as zero (0) for display purposes only. Winston-Salem actually did not rank in this category due to lack of available data. In such cases, a city’s overall score is its average score across only the metrics for which data were available.
Ranking Highlights and Lowlights
Paradise: More Sinful Than Sin City
Las Vegas might be a haven for general debauchers, but next door is a literal utopia for the horniest Americans: Paradise, Nevada, just outside Sin City, lands at the climax of our ranking.
What has this community all hot and bothered? With more sex shops and adult-entertainment venues than any other city, Paradise is the Adult Entertainment Capital of America — not to be confused with the more widely known Entertainment Capital, Las Vegas, which places second in the venues metric.
Pulling down Paradise in our ranking, ironically, is fancy underwear. The city disappoints when it comes to lingerie access, coming in at No. 178 out of 200. So forget the lace panties — Paradise lovers might prefer to get right down to business post-pandemic.
Sex on the Beach
Nothing gets the juices flowing like sunshine and water. And which states are better for beach tanning than California and Florida? Besides placing cities in the top 10 overall — Orange, California, at No. 2, Hollywood, Florida, at No. 3 and Fort Lauderdale at No. 6 — these two big and beachy states appear most often in the top 10 for each of the nine individual metrics we considered.
It’s not hard to see why these salt-life states are so horny: sand, sweat, skin, and sangria are everywhere to be found, which inevitably leads to some grinding. (Just don’t do it actually on the beach. The sand really chafes.)
Big things come in small packages — or at least small states. If you’re trying to break it into the adult-toy business, Providence, Rhode Island, is where Sex Toys “R” Us is most likely to thrive. Port cities generally are good for commerce, and this New England town is no exception — it’s sold more sex toys than any other city in our ranking.
But Providence isn’t just a sex-toy kingdom; it’s also a gay mecca, which might explain the abundance of adult stores and lingerie shops per 100,000 residents. Providence came in 11th and third in these metrics, respectively.
Game night is a different kind of ballgame here.
Adults clearly prefer to be alone with just their feelings in the aptly nicknamed Lone Star State. Only two of the 23 Texas cities in our ranking placed in the top 100: McAllen at No. 65 and Killeen at No. 73. Seven are in the bottom 10, including plain-no Plano at No. 194, not-so-frisky Frisco at No. 199, and Midland dead last.
So why don’t any of my exes live (or at least have sex) in Texas? The reason isn’t quite clear. But politics may be to blame: Match.com’s most recent Singles in America report highlights the 76% of singles who say their partner must share their political views, a number which has increased 25% in three years. While the state’s battleground politics are heating up, perhaps Texas bedrooms are staying cold.
Jackson: The Land of Promise(cuity)
They don’t call it the Dirty South for nothing. Despite placing 150th overall, Jackson, Mississippi, has contracted more STDs — nearly 4,300 per 100,000 residents — than any other city.
What accounts for this unfortunate reputation? According to local activists working in sexual health, a host of negative factors such as low wages, a lack of education, and, of course, a decrease in condom use. So if you find yourself getting lucky in Jackson post-pandemic, keep that hot streak going by using protection.
Sex Drive Survey Main Findings
Sex Drive Survey in Depth
All Survey Participants
- 13.9% of all survey participants, the highest share of adults, did not have any sex during the pandemic vs. 4.4% who said they had sex daily or multiple times per day.
- 58% of all survey participants had only one sexual partner in the past year.
- 35% of all survey participants engaged in casual sex during the pandemic.
- Men are more comfortable than women dating (58.2% of men vs. 47.4% of women) and hooking up (51.5% of men vs. 35.9% of women) today.
- 68% of women did not use any dating apps or sites for hookups.
By Sexual Orientation
- 22% of heterosexuals and 100% of adults politically identifying as “ultra right” claim to have not masturbated at all during the pandemic.
- 69% of bisexuals engaged in virtual sex (phone, webcam, or chat) during the pandemic, far higher than other orientations.
By Age Group
- 63% of 18- to 29-year-olds plan to have more sex after getting vaccinated, higher than any other age group.
- 21% of 18- to 29-year-olds most frequently had sex with a friend with benefits during the pandemic, more than any other age group. They also were more likely than any other age group to have a lower sex drive throughout the pandemic.
- 17% of the 70-89 age group cited depression as a reason for their decreased sex drive in the past six months, higher than any other age group. This is reflected in the amount of sex they were having over the past year: half said they had no sex at all, while 33% had sex only once per month.
- 22% of 30- to 49-year-olds reported stress and anxiety as a factor in their lower sex drive over the past three months, higher than any other age group.
- 75% of adults who did not complete any education (no grade school, high school, or college) were concerned about infecting their sexual partner with COVID-19, higher than any other group.
By Political Affiliation
- 46% of Republicans were most likely to engage in virtual sex during the pandemic, higher than any other group identifying with a political party. Over 1 in 5 said they did it “frequently (multiple times per month).”
Ask The Experts
Predictions about a post-pandemic baby boom were a bust, which got us wondering: How else are Americans’ sexual behavior changing? Our panel of experts unzip the truth about these skintimate issues. See what they had to say below.
- Contrary to predictions about a sharp increase in births during the pandemic, an estimated 300,000 fewer births are expected in 2021. What accounts for this unexpected decline?
- What accounts for regional or city differences in sexual behaviors among Americans?
- How will sexual-activity trends change in the next 5-10 years?
- The pandemic has made us all rethink personal safety. What are the best ways to stay safe during post-pandemic sex?
Contrary to predictions about a sharp increase in births during the pandemic, an estimated 300,000 fewer births are expected in 2021. What accounts for this unexpected decline?
There was no real basis for the prediction about the sharp increase in births during the pandemic. It was based on an expectation that people would have more sex, being at home all the time, and hence more babies. But the number of births is much more determined by the use of contraception than by the amount of sexual intercourse.
So the decline wasn’t unexpected. In fact, the U.S. total fertility rate has been declining steadily since 2007, when it reached 2.1 children per woman, an unusually high level for a developed country. It was almost inevitable it would decline from that level.
In 2020, it reached 1.64 children per woman, which is slightly lower than the previous low point in the 1970s. But that’s a decline of only 0.06 over 2019, which is similar to previous declines, for example, in 2009 and 2010.
The U.S. total fertility rate (TFR) is now around average for developed countries, lower than France’s and the UK’s, but higher than Canada’s and Germany’s. It seems likely that the U.S. TFR will continue to fluctuate in the general range of 1.4 to 2.1 children per woman in the future.
Contrary to predictions about a sharp increase in births during the pandemic, an estimated 300,000 fewer births are expected in 2021. What accounts for this unexpected decline?
While the media predicted an increase, I don’t think demographers expected an increase in births during the pandemic. I certainly was not surprised by this decline.
There were several factors that contributed to this decline. First, many people were laid off or had furloughs during the pandemic, with some economic sectors still not fully recovering. They then may not have felt they could afford to have children or were worried that, even if they did not lose their jobs now, they may face negative economic consequences in the near future.
During times of economic precarity, and uncertainty about the future, childbearing rates tend to go down — we saw a similar pattern starting during the Great Recession. During the early pandemic there was also panic over supply-train disruptions, which I think put a deep fear about the future among the people in this country who had never experienced something like that before — who wants to be dealing with a pregnancy when they may not even have toilet paper or paper towels? Some may have also lost health care benefits when they lost their jobs, lowering access to fertility treatments or prenatal care. This means fewer intended pregnancies.
Second, dating and hooking-up rates likely went down over the last year as many young singles did not want to risk meeting up with strangers during the pandemic, and common meeting places like bars or in-person college classes were closed, and that likely led to a drop in unintended pregnancies. In a study I am working on where we interviewed young adults last summer, we heard from some who planned to put off all dating until after the pandemic ended, and I think this sentiment was common.
Third, many people who were already parents had children who were not able to attend school in person for at least a period of time, and many child care centers also closed down or had frequent temporary shutdowns due to possible infections in the school. Sick children could no longer be sent to school with a runny nose.
This raised the burdens associated with child bearing, which may have led some to reconsider or postpone their plans to have more children. This also meant that people who were already parents had much less privacy at home to make more children, especially as many children who were not waking up as early to go to in-person school ended up staying up later in the night and were home all day, too. Stress associated with increased child care issues and economic and health precarity also may have meant people were “in the mood” less often.
Fourth, the health risks to pregnancy during COVID-19 were not completely known, so many may have postponed having children until after the pandemic, when health risks may be lower. Early in the pandemic some hospitals did not allow partners to attend births, which may have also been a deterrent, as people postponed having children until they could have a better pregnancy and birth experience. Some in-vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics also shut their doors during the pandemic, which led people experiencing fertility problems to have fewer options.
Finally, the skyrocketing costs of housing over the past year may also have led some to put off having children, if they had been hoping to purchase a house before getting pregnant.
Some people also put off weddings until they can have a big party, which may have also led some to put off child bearing because they prefer to be married before starting to have children.
What accounts for regional or city differences in sexual behaviors among Americans?
Different areas of the country have different social norms — for instance, people in the South tend to be more religious on average, and rural areas may be more sexually conservative than cities.
Access to people your own age who are single can affect your chances of meeting people to date or hook up with — some cities have more young singles than others, in part due to differences in job opportunities, housing, cost of living, entertainment that may appeal to different age groups, and the number of local colleges.
Cities tend to have more singles than rural areas, both in terms of rates and actual numbers. During COVID-19, cities that had different densities and different rates of COVID infections may have had different “cultures” when it came to meeting up with people for dates or hookups because of the actual or perceived risk of doing so.
Some cities also opened up bars much earlier than others did, which may have increased rates at which singles were able to meet other singles.
How will sexual-activity trends change in the next 5-10 years?
I think in the short term we will still see depressed dating and hooking-up rates, since people are still not at ease despite lowering rates of COVID-19 infections.
Since infection rates tend to naturally go up during cold weather, I think it will take at least until the end of next winter, without another spike in infection rates, to put people fully at ease, and if we do have another spike it might take until the winter after that.
After that, we might see the equivalent of the “Roaring Twenties,” as people who have been home for two or more years go out and date and hook up at higher rates. We may even have a small baby boom as many people who were putting off having children during the pandemic have children all at once. The original baby boom started because many put off having children during the Great Depression and then World War II, but then all had the children they had been postponing once the war was over.
Now we have a similar situation, with many people putting off child bearing during the Great Recession and the years afterward and now the pandemic. Some of those people will not have children or will have fewer children than they might have otherwise, but some will “catch up” once the pandemic is under control.
The pandemic has made us all rethink personal safety. What are the best ways to stay safe during post-pandemic sex?
It is probably pretty hard to avoid getting COVID if you have sex with someone who has it, but there are definitely ways to reduce your risk:
- Get vaccinated against COVID (and other STIs like HPV), and ask potential partners about their vaccine status — if they start talking about microchips and personal freedoms, you may want to exercise your personal freedom to not hook up with them.
- If you are meeting a stranger from the internet, meeting in a public outdoor place (like a walk at a park) is a great first date that is cheap, can help you avoid health risks with someone who you may not want to continue a relationship with, and can help with other safety issues involved in meeting strangers.
- While I don’t think it’s necessarily realistic to ask everyone to get COVID tests before having sex, that may be a good idea if you are in an area having an outbreak.
- And as always, use a condom.
We ranked the 200 largest U.S. cities from horniest (No. 1) to least horny (No. 200) based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across all the weighted metrics listed below.
|Metric||Weighting||Min. Value||Max. Value||Best|
|Adult Content Popularity|
|Google Search Interest for Adult Entertainment-Related Keywords||3||116||159||Max. Value|
|Adult Entertainment Access|
|Adult Entertainment Venues per 100,000 Residents||2||0||53.17||Max. Value|
|Erotic and Burlesque Events per 100,000 Residents||2||0||43.92||Max. Value|
|Adult Supplies Access|
|Sex Toy Sales||3||2||884||Max. Value|
|Adult Stores per 100,000 Residents||2||0||8.08||Max. Value|
|Lingerie Stores per 100,000 Residents||1||0||6.38||Max. Value|
|Sex Partner Potential|
|Share of Single Population||3||35.14%||74.47%||Max. Value|
|Swingers Clubs per 100,000 Residents||1||0||8.58||Max. Value|
|Unprotected Sexual Activity|
|Sexually Transmitted Diseases per 100,000 Residents||1||186||4281||Max. Value|
Sources: All Swingers Clubs, Eventbrite, Google Trends, Innerbody Research, Lovehoney, U.S. Census Bureau, and Yelp
LawnStarter collected survey responses from a random sample of 797 U.S. adults aged 18 or older via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) on May 20-21, 2021. Each response was anonymized using a unique user ID assigned by MTurk.
Why This Study Matters
We’ve all been on top of each other during quarantines and lockdowns — but not in a sexy way. Turns out that scarcity of personal space, lack of work-life balance, and an economic recession can really zap our libido.
So it’s understandable why we all might feel deprived of intimacy.
When lockdowns started, experts predicted the birth rate would soar. After all, how else would homebound couples fill their time besides working, baking, and learning 24 new languages?
Despite this prediction, fewer couples were making love in the time of corona than in the Before Times. Singles were forced to put dating on hold, too. What does this all mean? The U.S. now is likely to end up with 300,000 to 500,000 fewer babies this year.
But now that summer’s here, we’re all in heat and ready to take off more than just our masks.
(Just a reminder from your friendly lawn care company: Make sure to get vaxxed and your personal lawn waxed before you remake Splendor in the Grass.)
Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock