American sex. Desire rises in the Lone Star State but goes limp in the cold surf of Maine, at least according to a survey of 100 U.S. cities in the October issue of Men's Health magazine.
Austin came in at No. 1, and Dallas at No. 2, but five other Texas cities -- Arlington, Houston, Lubbock, Fort Worth and San Antonio -- made the top 15. El Paso was No. 27.
"Wow. I mean, 'Wow,' said 23-year-old Tessa Thibodeau, an employee at the University of Texas in Austin, amazed. "Maybe [Texans] aren't in the Bible Belt after all."
The survey determined the bedroom barometers by using census birth rates, sales of sex toys and condoms, and rates of sexually transmitted diseases.
Other sexy cities that made the top 10 were Columbus, Ohio; Durham, N.C.; Denver; Indianapolis; Oklahoma City and Bakersfield, Calif.
Portland, Me., and Burlington, Vt., on the other hand, came in last, at Nos. 100 and 99, respectively.
Other unsexy cities were Manchester, N.H. (96); Charleston, W.Va. (97); Yonkers, N.Y. (98); Manchester, N.H. (97); and St. Petersburg, Fla. (95).
But in Texas, where the summer heat tops 100 degrees, the bedroom exudes its fair share of sweat.
When Men's Health announced the survey results this week, the Austin American-Statesmen called its hometown the "Capital of Copulation."
"As Texans know, size does matter," the newspaper bragged. "We do note that a lot of the cities on the list are college towns. Maybe there's a correlation? Go figure. Either way, the heat is on in Texas, but you already knew that."
"If you have a college this size, you're bound to get a bunch of hot girls," said Kyle Goldstein, a 23-year-old film major. "I mean, it's Texas. You're bound to have all those cute little Southern blond girls running around."
The ranking "could mean we are just the sleaziest city in the country," said Mark Teschauer, a first-year graduate student. "But it could also be a reflection on the city's progressive culture. People are more open-minded here."
Each year, hundreds of thousands of scantily clad men and women flock to Barton Springs to lie on the banks and soak in the cool waters, and the night life on Austin's popular Sixth Street may be the reason the city gets dubbed the "King of Promiscuity."
Being the "king of sex" means high condom sales, but also high rates of STDs.
"Sure, it's a positive to see that we are being smart about sex," said Andrew Schnitker, a senior broadcast major. "But nobody wants to be the city with the most STDs. That's not exactly something to be proud of. It probably shouldn't go in our tourism brochures."
Matt Marion, deputy editor of Men's Health, said he had confidence in the accuracy of the survey's results. He would not disclose which statistics from each city weighed more heavily.
"If you knew the amount of work that went into it, and the number crunching, you would take it seriously," he said. "It's great to get people talking about sex. Communication and sex go together and everyone wins."
But why did two cities known for promiscuous excess, Sin City Las Vegas and Gotham City New York, rank 70th and 73rd?