Sex and the city: LV lusty at No. 3

Two items of note here: Las Vegas is sexy as hell. And, apparently, we like to read.

Those are the results of a survey released just in time for Valentine’s Day by a publisher of erotic books.

Atlanta took the top spot as the nation’s Sexiest City because “Hotlanta” is a sexier nickname than “Sin City,” apparently.

Seattle, which doesn’t have a nickname but does have lots of caffeine, clouds and leftover ’90s grunge music, took second.

Vegas is third.

How’d they figure this out?

It wasn’t nicknames or guitar riffs.

The publisher, an Internet outfit called, figured out a way to put the reader right into the book. The smut book.

Readers fill out a form on the website, and the company prints erotic books with those details. Names, eye color, favorite music, that sort of thing.

It’s like “The Never­ending Story” mashed up with “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The company says it ran the numbers and figured out which cities buy the most of its personalized erotic books, per capita.

The top 10 list was dominated by cities out West, which makes a certain sort of sense, said Barbara Brent, a sex researcher at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“The East still has a legacy of cultural puritanism,” she said.

Much academic research has been done on the sexualization of Western culture. People are more open about sexual topics than they used to be. This is particularly true of commercial sex activities, researcher Phil Hubbard of the University of Kent in Great Britain has found.

The general increase in open, commercial sexually themed businesses and products, when combined with everything on the Internet (cough, porn, cough), has led to an overall sexualization of the culture.

Which, of course, makes Las Vegas ground zero for such a cultural shift. You can’t drive down the street here without seeing mostly naked bodies on a billboard or some other ingenious advertising venue.

“Las Vegas is the symbolic center of the sex industry,” said Brent, a sociology professor at UNLV. “We have a slightly different perspective on it than many people do.”

Except, there’s a glitch.

Lots of companies have done these kinds of surveys, where they rank the nation’s or the world’s “sexiest cities.” It tends to get them press.

Las Vegas doesn’t always fare so highly in the rankings.

In one, where Rio De Janeiro came in on top, Sin City merited merely a mention. Miami was named the sexiest city in the United States.

In another, which ranked the top 20 only, Chicago came in first. Our little brother, Reno, took the 12th spot. But Las Vegas wasn’t even on the list.

Another one ranked hipster delight Austin, Texas, at the top.

Excuse us?

That survey ranked Las Vegas 70th, ahead of New York, San Francisco and Miami.

We’re not even as sexy as Tulsa, Okla. Go figure.

So believe what you want to believe. We’re either super-schmexy or we’re not.

We’ll leave you with this to consider, though.

In a survey conducted last year and commissioned by the American Bible Society, a nonprofit Christian group, Las Vegas ranked as one of America’s least “Bible-minded” cities. It would appear that folks here don’t read the Bible, and they’re not too aware of what it says.

All of which means we’re reading here in Las Vegas, it just ain’t exactly pious material.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at or 702-383-0307.

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