In Columbus, we periodically hear about studies that rate our fair city as number 7 in this category or number 14 in that one. Now Time magazine tells us that Columbus ranks number 2 in a “sexual satisfaction” survey by Men’s Health magazine. (Indianapolis ranks number 1, Fort Wayne, Indiana is number 3, and Cincinnati is number 4, so the Midwest is well represented on the list.)
How do you determine “sexual satisfaction” on a city-wide basis when many, if not most, people consider their intimate relationships to be their own, deeply private business — particularly in a reserved Midwestern burg like Columbus? Men’s Health looked at condom sales, birth rates, and the sale of sex toys and other erotic paraphernalia from two retailers I’ve never heard of (Babeland and Pure Romance). I’m skeptical that looking at just these factors gives the Men’s Health survey the same scientific weight as, say, the Kinsey reports. The factors may have some relation to sex, but they don’t necessarily seem to correlate with “satisfaction.” Higher condom sales may just indicate that people are being more responsible in practicing safe sex, not that they are having more (or more rewarding) sex. And the sale of sex toys could mean just about anything, including that the maid of honor thought a few racy gifts given to the reserved bride might spice up the bachelorette party.
I don’t know if Columbus is more “sexually satisfied” than Lexington, Kentucky, which Men’s Health placed at number 100, and I’m not going to try to find out. We don’t talk about such things in polite company, thank you very much.