10 Kinkiest Cities In America
America's sexual pastimes have long been at odds with our puritanical roots. One such example of sexual contradiction is conservative Utah, which was found to be the largest consumer of online pornography a few years ago. Despite America's sometimes shameful misgivings around sex, we can't seem to keep it in our pants. Wish Lonely Planet would stop being such a prude and release a guide to where you can let your inner freak flag fly? Well, look no further. Some cities cater to their constituents' wanton needs with festivals, clubs, or plain ol' randy reputation. Other cities get their sexy on more discreetly, thanks to the phenomenon known as the Internet. Whatever your preferred desire, the following places, in no particular order, can definitely show you a good time.
1. Roselawn, Indiana
Not only does Roselawn maintain a thriving (and family friendly!) nudist resort, the Ponderosa Sun Club also hosts a yearly pageant called “Nudes-A-Poppin,” MC’d by none other than famed porn star Ron Jeremy. It’s not just the strippers and porn stars shaking their money makers on stages and poles that draw thousands to this celebration every year; erotic dancing, public sex, and of course, exhibitionism abound. Located about 50 miles south of Chicago, on 88 acres of rural woodlands, Ponderosa also offers several G-rated recreational activities you never knew would be more awesome naked, like horseshoes, volleyball and chili cook-offs.
2. New Orleans, Louisiana
N’awlins, aka the Big Easy, has long had a reputation for debauchery. Of course, Mardi Gras, the infamous pre-Lent bacchanalian carnival has something to do with that, but New Orleans’ dirty dealings far exceed the typical Girls Gone Wild fare. Over an extended Labor Day weekend (starting the Wednesday prior), New Orleans hosts Southern Decadence, colloquially known as Gay Mardi Gras, but open to all orientations. This festival draws crowds upward of 300,000 from all over the U.S., with non-stop parties, “Big Dick” contests, and, well, sausage fests of the non-andouille variety. The South will rise again, indeed.
3. Las Vegas
Any city whose nickname is “Sin” shouldn’t raise any eyebrows when it comes to raunchy revelry. Known for its plentiful strip clubs, unabashed dungeon parties and bondage-themed Cirque du Soleil shows, Vegas is practically a caricature of itself when it comes to sexcapades. The Green Door claims to be the largest sex and swinger club in the U.S., with two floors, spa amenities, a “sextagon” hot tub, juice bars, a Shadow Box room for voyeurs/exhibitionists, and themed rooms like Pussy Whipped Dungeon and Dr’s Office. To get all your fetish action in one location, you can always check out the annual Fetish and Fantasy Ball, which has been happening around Halloween for over 15 years now, and even got props from the Travel Channel as a must-see event. Honorable mention goes to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, made infamous by the HBO series, "Cathouse," about American brothels. Nevada has almost 30 legal brothels around the state.
4. Hurley, Wisconsin
The question of which city has the most strip clubs per capita has been hotly contested. Portland, Oregon, sometimes referred to as “Pornland,” claims the title, and there’s even a documentary in the works about it, but no official study has been done on the subject. Get on that, America! There was a recent brouhaha about tiny Eugene, Oregon taking the title, but that appears to have been debunked. I’d like to bring your attention to a Hurley, a small logging town with 1,547 residents (according to 2010 estimates), that also has quite a few strip clubs, six to be exact, which means there’s one strip club for every 238 residents. Not only that, Hurley was one of the few places to reject alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, and was known to entertain some of Chicago’s notorious mobsters, likeAl Capone, John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson. Actual details of what kind of entertainment Hurley provided are curiously absent from its tourism site, but if Al Capone’s crazy case of syphilis means anything, we can probably safely assume these guys were up to no good. For that, Hurley gets a solid nod of salacious approval.
Hotlanta, the Big Peach, the dirty South -- these nicknames are not used merely to annoy the locals. If this Unicorn Booty infographic is to be trusted (and how could it not, despite spellingpromiscuity wrong?) one out of every two people in Atlanta has posted a Craigslist ad searching for gay sex. It also boasts the third highest gay male population (again based on Craigslist ads), coming just behind San Francisco and Seattle. According to a recent Trojan condoms sex survey (more on that to come), Atlanta is one of three cities where residents are most satisfied with their sex lives, reporting 80 percent satisfaction.
On the swinger front, Atlanta boasts one of the largest sex clubs, Trapeze, giving the Green Door in Vegas a run for its money, with an indoor pool, dance club, lounge area, hot tubs, and more. For entertainment of the backdoor variety, you'd be remiss not to swing by Swinging Richards, ATL’s all-nude, all-male strip club, or the Buford Highway Twin Cinema, if you miss the (dare I say quaint?) option of viewing pornos in public theaters. Perhaps the diamond in the rough of kinky Atlanta is the Clermont Lounge, which resides underneath an abandoned/condemned hotel in a tiny basement bar, and where you’ll find the oldest strippers in the U.S. Some are pushing 70, and they are legendary. If you’ve never been solicited for a lap dance by a grandmother with four teeth, then you haven’t truly lived. Just don’t touch their peach cobbler or there’ll be hell to pay.
6. New York, New York
If New York City and Sex were in a relationship on Facebook, it would undoubtedly be classified as, "It's complicated." NYC's rep as a no-holds-barred party town often clashes with its political and cultural mores. (Insert Anthony Weiner joke here.) It's hard to pin a number on just how many sex clubs NYC has; sources vary from a dozen to 106 on- and off-premise parties. It's safe to say that America's most populated city has plenty of places for you to do unto others as others would do unto you, while your husband continues to vote Republican. For an artsier serving of deviant sex, CineKink film festival is the ultimate in voyeurism. With everything from documentaries to camp to hardcore porn, CineKink is an experience that keeps on giving.
Elsewhere is the Museum of Sex, a small but intimate museum that encourages you to touch what's on display. It also offers many intriguing insights into the evolution of porn. Plus, you know you've always wanted to watch silent porn films from the 1910s. If you've been a bad boy or girl, head over to the monthly spanking party on the first Saturday of the month at Paddles, a popular BDSM club that also hosts slave auctions. If you don't have a paddle handy, fear not, for NYC offers a copious amount of sex toy stores, including favorites Babeland, the Pleasure Chest and Fantasy World. And don't forget the infamous Black and Blue Ball, a top fetish event sure to leave you black, but never blue. Unless you're into that.
7. Austin, Texas
Last year, Men’s Health magazine took a poll of the sexiest U.S. cities. “Sexy” by its definition took into account birth rates, condom sales, rates of sexually transmitted infections, and sales of sex toys. Austin, Texas took the number one slot. And actually, seven of the top 15 cities out of the 100 urban areas polled were in Texas, including Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, thus proving that hot in the streets can and does translate to hot in the sheets. (I guess the song “All My Exes Live In Texas” wasn’t all country-western hyperbole.) A few disappointments from the more well-known hook-up cities include Las Vegas (ranked 70), New York (73), San Francisco (74) and Miami (88).
8. Southern New Mexico, Southern West Virginia
Since not all Dionysian denizens are comfortable airing their durrty laundry on fetish websites or city streets, sometimes it’s best to find fellow libidinous lads/ladies through other means. Last year, artist/designer R. Luke DuBois created a series of maps depicting the U.S. based on how people described themselves on online dating sites like Adult Friend Finder and Match.com. One of his maps was called the Kinky States of America. I know, I know, these aren’t cities but regions. However, they still provide a fascinating array of previously unknown kink pockets. DuBois culled data from 19 million dating profiles, and determined these were the kinkiest. Winners include: Southern New Mexico, which is awash in kinky men, and Southern West Virginia for the most intemperate ladies. Honorable mentions go to pervballs in Alaska, Washington D.C. and northeastern Iowa.
9. Chicago, Illinois
Despite being the third largest city in the US, Chicago can sometimes be overlooked by other pervy coastal city brethren as a destination for sinsation. But oh how wrong they are. Chi-Town has the distinction of hosting the yearly International Mr. Leather competition (IML) every Memorial Day Weekend, and the Mr. International Rubber competition (MIR) held on the first weekend of November every year. Chicago also hosts Shibaricon, an international rope bondage conference. Not only that, but for three days in October, Kinky College, a “Pansexual BDSM Institute of Higher Yearning” allows you to get your masters (or master’s) degree in all things kink.
If you’re too cool for school, you can also check out the Leather Archives and Museum in Rogers Park. LA&M is a library, museum, and exhibit space devoted to leather, sadomasochism, and alternative sexualities. It also hosts erotic film screenings and houses a collection of old timey sex toys and lascivious devices. Just around the corner from LA&M are three leather-friendly bars, Touche, Jackhammer and the Granville Anvil. After you’ve taken all that’s bestowed upon you and still want more, then peruse an extensive collection of erotic comic books and zines at Quimby’s bookstore.
10. San Francisco
A list of kinky cities that didn’t include San Francisco would be a sin in and of itself. Renowned for its queer denizens and its brazen flouting of convention, San Francisco knows how to get down and dirty, and often does so in broad daylight. One of the most telling kink symbols is the Folsom Street Fair, a yearly event dedicated to all things fetish. Folsom draws upward of 400,000 people each year, and covers 13 city blocks with exhibitions, live dominatrix demos and enough naked men to completely desensitize you for life. Folsom is the largest leather/fetish event in the world and the third largest single-day outdoor event in California.
Speaking of nudity, it is one of San Francisco’s favorite pastimes and naked men (and some women) can be found everywhere from street fairs to protests. As District Attorney spokesperson Debbie Melosh said in 2004, "Being naked in San Francisco is not a crime." San Francisco is also home to the Armory, a huge Moorish castle that takes up almost an entire city block in the Mission. Inside is Kink.com, which makes and distributes fetish porn, as well as hosts facility tours (don’t miss the giant hamster wheel!), and monthly women-on-women porn wrestling matches that anyone (of age) can attend. Lastly, according to a recent Trojan condoms poll, S.F. now ranks as the most promiscuous city in the nation, with an average of 30 different sex partners apiece.