Love and sex — they're our most private experiences, yet they're almost always shared with another person. Or several people, sometimes at once.
When it comes to talking about love and sex, most of us clam up. We're often unable to talk even to our lovers about the subjects.
So why did CityBeat think that you'd be willing to spill the goods in our pre-Valentine's Day issue? Why did we expect any of you to tell us about your sexual habits, your embarrassments, your triumphs, your inner-most thoughts and feelings?
Well, anonymity was a key selling point for sure.
Beyond that, though, we're all curious about how we fit along the spectrum of "normal" sexual and romantic relationships. Many of us want to assure ourselves that our desires and actions are normal, while some of us desperately want to be anything but what passes for normal in Greater Cincinnati.
So compare your own answers to what our readers say their lives are like.
Share the survey results with your friends and lovers, and make them the topic of conversation on your big Valentine's Day date.
Maybe you'll get the juices flowing and end up with something worth telling us about in next year's survey.
(Note: The 2007 Love & Sex Survey was posted at citybeat.com from Jan. 10 through Feb. 4. Respondents were asked to provide their email addresses but not required. Percentages have been rounded off. Only the highlights of the open-ended answers are presented.)
1. What's your gender?
Both: Less than 1%
Neither: Less than 1%
2. How old are you?
Under 18: Less than 1%
3. What's your Zip code?
Top 10 survey responses (in order):
A total of 74 different area Zip codes had more than one survey response
4. What general sexual category describes you?
I like the opposite sex: 87%
I like the same sex: 6%
I like either sex: 7%
5. Are you in a committed relationship?
Yes, but not for much longer: 4%
No, but I wish I were: 19%
No, and I'm in no rush to be in one: 15%
6. Are you in any uncommitted relationships?
I'm seeing someone, but it's not serious: 10%
I'm seeing many people right now: 5%
I'm seeing someone outside of my committed relationship: 4%
There are many others outside of my committed relationship: Less than 1%
Both my partner and I see other people: 2%
7. On average, how many times in the last month have you masturbated?
Less than once a week: 31%
Twice a week: 28%
Every other day: 16%
More than once a day: 3%
8. Has anyone ever walked in on you while you were masturbating?
Yes, and I've never been more embarrassed: 10%
Yes, but it was no big deal: 16%
9. Have you ever had sex (with a partner) in your workplace?
Yes, but it was after hours: 19%
Yes, and it was during work hours: 12%
No way, no thanks: 34%
No, but I've always wanted to: 35%
10. How many sex partners (excluding yourself) have you had in the last two years?
Over 20: 1%
11. Which did you experience first?
Pleasuring someone manually: 23%
Being pleasured by someone manually: 28%
Giving oral sex: 7%
Receiving oral sex: 13%
Mutual manual: 13%
Mutual oral: 2%
12. Do you have a favorite sexual position?
Doggy style: 23%
I couldn't choose just one: 45%
Anything to add?
"Legs on shoulders"
"Yab-Yum (Kama Sutra)"
"A-Frame (doggy with girl's face and shoulders down)"
"Involves trapeze over bed"
"The phrasing of the question largely excludes a lot of same-sex activity."
"Arthritis really throws a monkey wrench in the works. Bad knees especially!"
13. Describe a time when you weren't expecting to have sex but did.
"In a dressing room while my wife and I were getting prepped for a family picture at the studio."
"At the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show at the Southgate House."
"In my new empty apartment right after I signed the lease and the landlord left."
"At the office."
"A picnic table at Kings Island."
"After a Halloween party. We were both dressed like nerds and it seemed to get us all horny."
"I met a girl at Mount Adams Pavilion and started making out with her instantly. Left the club with her within 20 minutes, and the rest is history."
"I always expect to have sex."
"When I called a friend to come over and watch a movie. Then we made out and had sex, not expected at all since the movie was for homework!"
"Back row of a movie theater during a movie."
"I was all dressed up and ready to go to work. I was working as a hostess and it was Friday night and we were bound to be really busy. I don't remember how it happened, but the next thing I remember was calling my boss to tell him that I was having car problems and was going to be late. And an hour later I showed up at work with my face still red and messed-up sex hair. I can't believe I didn't lose my job that night."
"Walking to the restroom during a dinner party at Pigall's. The woman I was sitting across from followed me. I had no idea she was that into me."
"While breaking up with someone."
"In a movie theater watching Finding Nemo. I know, I know..."
"On the way home from a funeral."
"While I was pooping."
"In the middle of a party with 200 people downstairs."
"Riding in an elevator."
"I stayed at my 'straight' best friend's house one night. I always wanted to sleep with her but never tried because I thought she was straight. We had some drinks, then she hopped on top of me and told me she was always curious about women — and it went from there."
"At a pool party, the rest of the guests went inside to enjoy the home theater and my wife got the idea to have sex under a big tree in the yard."
"When I stopped by a co-worker's house to pick something up that I'd forgotten at a party."
"My second date with a woman last summer. We were taking a walk in Eden Park after a Playhouse show and did it behind the Seasongood Pavilion stage."
"In a train in Italy at 4 a.m."
"Watching Fourth of July fireworks."
"When my ex-husband visited me right after our divorce."
"Hiking in a canyon in Wyoming. It was hot. She left her socks and her virginity there."
"At my buddy's wedding when I got with the maid of honor."
"In a bathroom at an event. There were four of us involved."
14. Are you happy with the quality of sex you've had with your partners?
Yes, it's been great: 30%
Yes, it's been mostly pretty good: 60%
No, it's been mostly not satisfying: 9%
No, it's been consistently disappointing: 1%
15. Which do you find sexier?
A well-dressed hot bod: 58%
An undressed hot bod: 42%
16. Have you or a partner ever used a pharmaceutical product to enhance one or both of your sex drives?
Yes, and it worked: 19%
Yes, and it sucked: 4%
17. Pierced genitalia?
A turn on: 21%
A turn off: 79%
18. Have you ever dated or had sex with more than one person from the same family?
Yes, but not at the same time: 18%
Yes, and at the same time: 2%
No, are you insane?: 80%
19. Have you ever told someone that you loved them and not meant it?
Yes, and it works every time: 13%
Yes, but it made me feel terrible: 29%
No, I would never do that: 58%
20. Have you ever wanted to tell someone "I love you" but didn't?
Hasn't everyone?: 65%
When I've felt it I've said it: 32%
I've never been in love: 3%
21. Do you still pine for a former love?
All the time: 8%
I'm content with my memories: 36%
Trust me, there's nothing to pine for: 14%
22. Have you ever been on a truly blind date organized by friends or family?
Yes, and it went well: 15%
Yes, and it was a complete disaster: 25%
23. What's the oddest thing someone has said or asked you on a first date?
"Will you go bathe with me?"
"Do you masturbate?"
"Aren't you a hipster?"
"Do you want to go to a swingers club after this?"
"I love all types of porn, the kinkier the better!"
"You looked prettier the first time we met."
"Will you marry me?"
"Are you weird?"
"Is it true you have a big dick?"
"Can I paint your toenails?"
"My late husband and I talked about getting married on our first date. We were married 15 years."
"What is your mom like?"
"Are you a virgin?"
"Would it offend you if your husband made less than you?"
"I would like to see you again but you'd need to get your hair cut short."
"He wanted to know if I'd piss on him — give him a golden shower. I declined and never called or spoke with him again."
"Do you want to have sex with me and my girlfriend?"
"He said my boobs were too big."
"You know those little corns they put in Chinese dishes? Do they come from little tiny corn stalks?"
"Do you know how to do the Electric Slide?"
"Oh, you're an English major..."
"If you could be a color, which one would you be?"
"Your ears look like dried apricots."
"What kind of panties do you wear?"
"He said, 'I think I found the person I'm going to marry' and it wasn't me, which was quite alright."
"You remind me of my ex."
"Can I touch your eyeball?"
"You're just jealous cause I'm hotter than you."
"He said he hated his penis and sometimes wanted to cut it off. I told him I was thinking of entering the convent. I might have even meant it at the time — it was an emergency."
"He said, 'I like to call my brother Fag Brother Number 1. You'll find that I like to call people what they are.' I didn't stick around to find out. I'm sure I'm Horrified Internet Date Number 82 in his book now."
"Thanks for having sex with me."
"One time a guy's dad asked me if I was a true redhead. I never went back to the guy's house again."
"Will you go to Vegas with me this weekend?"
"I'm innocent, but I think you should know that right now my ex is accusing me of child molestation and I might be in the papers soon."
"He asked if I planned on paying."
"Less than five minutes into the date she told me she walks around her house naked whenever she's at home."
"Your mom's pretty hot."
"Do you mind if I call my wife?"
"Do you want to meet my mother before we have sex?"
"He asked if he could lick my face."
"Are your nipples pierced and would you like someone to lick your ears?"
"Is it alright if I cry?"
"Will you shave my armpit hair? It's a major turn-on."
"Are you gonna eat that?"
"Sex isn't a big deal for me. I've slept with somebody different the last four weeks in a row."
"She wanted me to drop her off at an old boyfriend's house."
"Please don't leave bruises."
24. Have you ever been the cause of someone else's break-up?
Yes, and I'm glad I did it: 17%
Yes, but I wish things had been different: 21%
25. Have you ever been cheated on?
No, thank God: 29%
26. Have you ever cheated on someone?
Yes, and with no regrets: 26%
Yes, but I wish I hadn't: 34%
27. Have you ever attended a "singles only" event?
Yes, it's a great way to meet new people: 7%
Yes, and it sucked: 12%
28. How would you rate your flirting skills?
I'm gifted: 20%
I have moments: 70%
I have zero flirting skills: 10%
29. If you discovered pornographic images of someone you knew on the Internet, you would
Tell the person: 39%
Tell others: 15%
Tell the person and others: 24%
Tell no one: 22%
30. What would be an appropriate porn star name for you?
(Many survey responses went with the traditional porn name choice: name of your first pet and the street you grew up on; others winged it)
Sparkle Wagon Tongue
Juggles the Clown
31. What was your initial reaction to being rimmed for the first time?
Oh. My. God. Mmm...: 32%
Never been rimmed: 39%
What the hell is rimming?: 21%
32. Have you ever had a sexual experience in a public place?
33. If yes, what's your favorite public space in Greater Cincinnati for a sexual experience?
(In alphabetical order)
Bathtub at Arnold's
Carew Tower observation deck
Contemporary Arts Center emergency exit stairwell
Delta Crown Room at the airport
Eden Park gazebo
Alley beside the Esquire Theater
Floating down the Little Miami River
Main Public Library downtown
Miami Whitewater Forest
Mount Echo Park
In the jellyfish room at the Newport Aquarium
Newport on the Levee
On the grass inside the track at River Downs after a Riverbend concert
Purple People Bridge
Dressing room of Saks
Shawnee Lookout Park hiking trails in
Spring Grove Cemetery
YMCA sauna downtown
34. The sex you've been having lately feels
Perfectly timed and wonderful: 16%
Hey, just getting it is what it's all about: 16%
35. What male celebrity/personality in Greater Cincinnati would you like to have a one-night stand with?
Top three (in order):
Others who received multiple votes:
36. What female celebrity/personality in Greater Cincinnati would you like to have a one-night stand with?
Top three (in order):
Others who received multiple votes:
37. What questions do you suggest for next year?
"Does a loud sex partner turn you on or off?"
"Have you ever had an unexpected orgasm in a public place?"
"Do you use toys in the bedroom?"
"Would you and your partner consider a threesome?"
"Can you have multiple orgasms?"
"If you're single, would you sleep with a married person?"
"What's been the biggest age difference between you and a sex partner?"
"Best place to eat on a first date."
"If you really thought the chemistry was right, would you have sex on the first date?"
"How often do you imagine someone other than your partner while having sex?"
"Worst sex experience or most embarrassing sex moment."
"Have you ever observed another couple having sex?"
"Have you ever found a basket of your female neighbor's dirty clothes in the laundry room of your apartment complex and sniffed them?"
"Have you ever paid for sex?"
"At what age did you first start getting busy?"
"Does size matter?"
"Have you ever faked and orgasm, and if so how often?"
"Was sex better when you were younger, or is it better now?"
"What birth control method do you use?"
"What's your kink? List bondage, S&M, foot fetish, water sports, etc."
"Have you had better sex in Cincinnati or somewhere else?"
"Has living in Cincinnati killed your sex drive or increased your desire to experiment?"
"Have you done it with a teacher, a boss or another authority figure?"
"What's the longest you've ever known someone before having sex with them? What's the shortest amount of time you've known someone before having sex with them?"
"Have you ever been with your spouse's/boyfriend's/girlfriend's best friend for one night and remained friends?"
"Have you ever had a sexual experience with the opposite gender of your usual orientation (i.e., if you consider yourself straight, have you ever had a same-sex experience)?
"Have a survey where the questions aren't written by a 16-year-old."
"Needs to be more risqué."
"Needs to be cleaner."
"More nuanced answers instead of yes/no."
"Fine as is. The questions actually got me hot reading them."
"No more — 37 is plenty." ©