Hello, I'm Dr. Wm. Steven Humphrey of the Mercury Institute for the Advanced Study of Sexuality. And while "sex" does occasionally "make a baby," it's also one of the least understood of human functions. That's why every year the Mercury asks our readers to help us lift the shroud of sexuality, stick our fingers inside it, and dig around until knowledge is ultimately achieved. And we do this via the Mercury's Annual SEX SURVEY. This year, along with Dr. Marjorie Skinner, director of our Applied Sexuality Division, the Mercury was determined to get to the very essence of sex by asking you a very simple question: IS THIS HOT, OR IS THIS NOT?


This year, nearly 2800 horny souls agreed to reveal their dirtiest fantasies via the Mercury's Sex Survey; almost twice as many as 2004! This can only mean one thing: the Mercury's Sex Survey is "HOT" and the Willamette Week's Automotive section is "NOT." Better luck next year, guys!

DISCLAIMER: And now a few words about statistics… you may notice that some of the following statistics don't add up to 100 percent. While we're pleased you can add, this is not a cause for alarm. It simply means that some respondents chose not to check certain boxes, or checked multiple boxes, or were high on Robitussin and checked every single box. So if you find any of the following answers are not to your intellectual liking, then perhaps you should consider blaming Portland's many Robitussin addicts. Thank you.

53% of this year's respondents were MALE, 44% were FEMALE, 1% were TRANSGENDER, and 2% have yet to decide what they are.

Your Average Age = 25


Livin' Single = 38%
Goin' Steady = 20%
Gotten Married = 13%
Just Cohabitatin' = 12%
"Seein' Someone" = 10%


Before we get to the dirty stuff, one controversy must be addressed. Since the dawn of humankind, our species has been plagued with one, perhaps unanswerable question: "DO HANDJOBS COUNT AS SEX?"

Like John Kerry, Mercury readers are big "flip-floppers" when it comes to this subject, alternately saying that handjobs do, and then don't, count as "having sex." This year, instead of asking our readership what they think, Dr. Marjorie Skinner, director of our Applied Sexuality Division, unilaterally decided that handjobs definitely DO NOT count as sex, and THAT was THAT. Marjorie, perhaps you'd like to explain your stupid reasoning to our readership.

MARJORIE: "Certainly, Steve. When defining 'sex' for a population that includes not only old-fashioned boy-girl pairings, but also girl-girl, boy-boy, pan sexuality, etc, it's important to find common denominators, i.e. things that everyone is capable of without accoutrements. For instance, penetration of the ass or vagina is a clearly unfair definition, as it excludes penis-less lesbians. However, if you add oral sex to the definition, it becomes all-inclusive, i.e. anyone can do it, regardless of gender or persuasion. Thus, we've attained the aforementioned common denominator for 'sex.'

"The other important consideration we have when crafting this definition is to keep 'sex' as exclusively defined as possible--elevating it above more casual encounters, deemed as such by their degree of intimacy and gravity of health risk. This is to avoid discrepancies between partners' perceptions, statistical manipulation/exaggeration, and outright lying. For instance, let's say 'Joe' was given a handjob by 'Jane.' Following which, 'Joe' tells the whole town that he has had 'sex' with 'Jane.' It also comes out that 'Joe' has the clap. Therefore, the town assumes that 'Jane,' having had 'sex' with 'Joe' must have had the clap and be a diseased slut--so she gets her six older brothers to beat the living shit out of 'Joe's' lying ass. That wasn't very fair to 'Jane,' was it? Nor, for that matter, would it be to 'Jim's' 'Johnny' or to 'Sarah's' 'Mary.' See?"

Thanks, Marjorie… I guess it's pretty obvious who "Jane" is in this story. Do you disagree with Marjorie's handjob assessment? Send your argument to @portlandmercury.com and put in the subject header, "I Love Handjobs!"

Well, regardless of Marjorie's retarded methodology, and even with the exclusion of handjobs, "sex" is nevertheless on the upswing in Portland! Check out these comparative stats concerning how many people you've had sex with in your lifetime:

2003 = 8 - 10 people on average.

2004 = 12 - 17 people on average.

2005 = 12 - 20 people on average!

So if we keep this up, that means I'll be having sex with at least three more of you by the end of this year! YAY! (Don't worry; unlike Marjorie, I gladly accept "handjobs.")

However, before I stick my "tab A" into your "slot B"--I need to know what kind of STDs you have. Thank goodness then for the Mercury Sex Survey! Here's how you stack up on the "weird looking rash" front.

MEN        WOMEN

Crabs = 8%    Vaginitis = 5%

HPV (warts) = 5%    HPV (warts) = 5%

Gonorrhea = 4%    Pregancy* = 5%

Chlamydia = 4%    Herpes = 3%

Herpes = 3%    Crabs = 2%

HIV = 2%    HIV = Less than 1%

*Marjorie also thinks that "pregnancy" should be listed as a sexually transmitted disease. She should really be fired, shouldn't she?

Another thing I need to know before I screw your brains out is what kind of protection you like to use! Here's the only thing standing between you, pregnancy, and my crab-infested pubic area.

WOMEN        MEN

The Pill = 14%    Condoms = 22%

Condoms = 13%    The Pill* = 9%

Rhythm method = 5%    Gay; Pregnancy non-issue = 7%

Celibate/Lesbo = 3%    Neutered = 4%

*Hey guys, just so you know… you've been tricked. You don't have to take the pill. Girls can sometimes be unnecessarily cruel.

Now let's go over to Dr. Marjorie Skinner, director of our Applied Sexuality Division (and America's least knowledgeable person on the subject of handjobs) to find out what YOU think is "hot" and what is "not"!


Thank you, Dr. Humphrey! Marjorie Skinner here, and you know, I've been thinking about sex since infancy. But the results of Mercury Sex Surveys still never fail to surprise, disgust, or inspire me with disbelief. Like this year, when we asked you for your opinion on a variety of sexual methods, fantasies, and tools. So without further ado, I hereby present Portland's democratically declared shortlist of what's HOT and what's NOT (in bed):

Performative Masturbation is HOT! 82% of you said so, so lay that Puritanical bashfulness aside and start showing your honey how.

Familial Fantasy is NOT HOT! An overwhelming 94% of you recoiled at the thought of sleeping with sis, just like good little taboo upholders.

Cheating is NOT HOT! So says 77% of those surveyed. (If it's sooo un-hot, why does everyone do it? Oh, because you and your girlfriend filled out the survey together--my bad.) Stereotypically, of those respondents who do consider it hot, there were well over twice as many men as women.

Money & Sex: Hypocrisy alert!! While 80% of you turn up your nose at the prospect of paying for sexual favors, only 61% of you are above accepting money for sex! Greed is the new virtue!

Orgies are HOT!? 54% of you said "yes, yes, yes!" to a pile of squirming naked people. Frankly, I'm surprised. Oh wait… cuz it's not cheating if your girlfriend's there, too, right?

Bestiality is NOT HOT! Phew. I suppose 88% of you only check out bestiality videos on the internet because they're so gross! 10% of you were commendably honest, and I thank you--just promise to keep it to fantasy.

Rape Fantasies are… KIND OF HOT! In a near-even split, 47% of you admitted you sometimes get off on imaginary rape scenarios, without the desire to receive or inflict actual trauma, in order to exorcise such common taboo fantasies in a safe and respectful environment. 51% of you don't, and the remaining 2% wrote in to hysterically reprimand us for even posing the question--because apparently you think our readers are too fucked up to tell the difference between imagination and reality.

BDSM is HOT! Break out the whips, wax and rope, Portland, because your BDSM desires are perfectly matched! 55% of you are into being dominant, and 55% are into submission! That's like… fate or something.

Icky Stuff is NOT HOT! According to 91% of you, pee, poop, and barf are not okay in the bedroom. You could've knocked me over with a feather.

Sex in Public is HOT! Prepare to see a sharp increase in public pounding, with 71% admitting they like to take their bedroom show on the road! (See page 37 for the most popular spots in town to get down.)

Blow up Dolls/Genitalia Molds are NOT HOT! Bad news for sex shops: 84% of you don't live the plastic life.

Rim Jobs are PRETTY HOT, way HOTTER than last year! In 2003, only 10% of you were interested in advancing your anal play, but this year 47% of you were very interested in licking assholes! Congratulations!

Porn is STILL HOT! Across the board, people of all genders and persuasions are sent aflutter by pornography--81%!

Cock Rings are SORTA HOT! 48% of you were into the idea of forcing a man's penis to maintain an erection for an indefinite period of time--especially gay men, who cast a "hot" vote nearly three times as often as a "not."

Fisting is NOT HOT! 72% of you are not having it. Lesbians, with whom this act is most commonly associated, are split evenly in either camp, while a slightly higher number of gay men think it's hot. Owwww.

Tit Fucking is HOT???? This awkward, hetero male-centric and frequently uncomfortable sex act scored surprisingly high, with 65% saying it's hot, even winning out among females! Weird!

Dry Humping is HOT! 63% of you still reminisce about the good old days--especially straight girls, who probably just miss not having to worry about birth control.

Fellating Dildos is NOT HOT! 68% of you would rather have a blowjob and/or not feel like a complete retard.

Dildos That Look Like Japanese Cartoon Characters are NOT HOT! 75% of you want to save the Pikachus.

Menstruation is NOT HOT! 68% of respondents would rather not go there when a woman's getting her flow on--and nearly twice as many women said "not hot" than "hot." The rest of us will be over here enjoying our maturity and having our menstrual cramps relieved by multiple orgasms.

Sex with the Lights On is HOT! Fabulously, 87% like to leave a light on, including over five times as many women as those who prefer to be kept in the dark. Isn't it wonderful to know that we're unselfconscious about our bodies, and that we can stand the sight of those we're bedding?

Sex While Driving is HOT! Be extra careful on the ride home, because 69% (69, dude!) of you want to boff while behind the wheel. I'll be taking Tri-Met just to be safe.

Tasting Your Own Juices is HOT! 55% of you say yes to lapping up your own liquids. However, most straight guys are not into it, making it the only thing on this list that straight guys don't think is hot besides bestiality, poop, and fantasizing about their sisters.

Hitting, Scratching & Biting is HOT! While initially surprised at the popularity of this--64% of you say it's hot--I realized what a frustrating and difficult year it's been for all of us, and think it's great that you can take it out on each other in a loving way.

Toe Play is NOT HOT! Put your shoes on Lucy, because 57% of you don't want to taste toesies!

Videotaping Your Own Sex is HOT! 53% are willing to risk internet exposure, unflattering camera angles, and future partners stumbling onto the tape(s). I applaud your fearlessness.

Costumes are HOT! 59% of you would have it be Halloween every night, winning in every gender/preference category except among gay men, who are evidently very tired of the Village People.

Sex in Movie Theaters is HOT! Much to the chagrin of people sitting nearby, 59% of you think it's worth spending $8 to have uncomfortable sex instead of staying home for free.

Sex on Cocaine is NOT HOT! 68% of you are right, and 29% of you are tenacious motherfuckers.


You know, sexual activity can't be summed up by dry, unemotional statistics alone! Often times it's your description of a person or event that really determines what is "Hot" and what is "Not"! Here's how you "filled in the blanks!"

First, let's give the award for Hottest Straight Woman in Portland. And it goes to: Daria O'Neill! This radio personality and spokeshoney for UPN won handily over the competition--even after we subtracted all the "negative" votes from people who proffered such feminist perspectives as "Anyone but that Daria bitch." Congratulations, Daria!

Meanwhile… the award for Hottest Straight Man in Portland goes to: The Mercury's very own Wm. Steven Humphrey! Congratulations, Steve! (Accepting the award for Wm. Steven Humphrey is Wm. Steven Humphrey.)

STEVE: "Thank you! (Sob!) Thank you so very, very much! First of all, for all you haters who think I somehow tweaked the numbers to win this award, I would like to remind everyone that we should stay focused on what really matters; and that's the victims of the South Asian tsunami and 9/11. I'm sure if they weren't dead they would've voted for me, too. Thank you, I love you all!!!" [Cue music]

Hmmmm. Okay, now let's move on to the award for Hottest Gay Man in Portland, and the winner is: …huh… oh, no… Wm. Steven Humphrey!

STEVE: "Thank you! (Sob!) Thank you so very, very much! Okay, I don't want to forget anybody… Thanks to the boys at Three Sisters, to the sweet pieces of meat at Silverado and Boxxes, to Byron Beck… I told you I was hot, bitch! [Cue music] Don't cue the music yet! I'm not finished! I want to thank my hair dresser, my plastic surgeon (the pec implants are great), all the karaoke DJs who allow me to sing Barry Manilow, and most of all I want to thank my sweet and juicy honey baked ham. My ass and I have been through a lot together, and when I get home, my ass knows exactly where I'm going to put this award. Thank you, I love you all!!!" [Cue music]

Thank Christ that's over. And finally, the award for Hottest Lesbian in Portland goes to: Storm Large! Who is not a lesbian! However, this might explain alternate responses such as: "I don't know any, they're all dick loving poseurs," "Yo Dyke! You wanna arm wrestle?" and "You're kidding, right?" With more fill in the blank results, let's go back to Wm. Steven Humphrey!

Thanks, Marjorie! Portland, we asked YOU, "What hot sex-related activity did you do for the first time in 2004?" And the results were overwhelming: Portland loves "butt fiddling!" A clear majority of responses had something or everything to do with "anal play," including rim jobs, pegging, digital insertion, salad tossing, anal intercourse, felching, prostate rubbing, and in one memorable case, shoving a rubber duckie up their butt. Here's the top 10 list of experimental sexual activities you tried for the first time in 2004!

Anal Play
Threesomes (ménage a trois)
Orgies (sex with four or more participants)
Outdoor sex
Cheating (sexual affairs)
Car sex
The "69" position
Losing virginity

Screw the rain! Portlanders definitely think "outdoor/public sex" is hot, with public bathrooms being the favorite place to do the dirty (and we don't mean poop or pee)! Here's your top 10 locations in Portland where you like to get it on.

Bathrooms (name a bar in Portland… somebody's screwed in it)
Parking garages/parking lots (so that's why your windows were fogged up)
Lloyd Center Mall (elevators, dressing rooms, ice rink… somebody call security!)
Movie theaters (something to do instead of watching The 2wenty)
Mt. Tabor (People need "off-leash areas," too!)
Portland State University (extracurricular activities!)
The MAX (another good reason to use public transportation)
Forest Park (the call of the wild)
Fantasy Video (visit a location near you today)
Waterfront Park (gasp! What would Tom McCall think?)
Honorable Mentions: The Bagdad balcony, Anna Bannana's Coffee, and Tennessee Red's (and that's just the employees)!


Rose McGowan • Cat Power • Courtney Love • Courtney Taylor (from the Dandy Warhols) • Dave Mustaine (from Megadeth) • Donita Sparks (from L7) • Henry Rollins • Calvin Johnson • Jack Nicholson • James Dean • Jean-Paul Gaultier • Jewel • Johnny Knoxville • Katie Shimer • Vincent Gallo • Miss Gay Idaho • Nancy Kerrigan • Natalie Merchant • Rikki Rocket (from Poison) • Rob Zombie • Liz Phair • Steve Jones (from the Sex Pistols) • Steven Jenkin (from Third Eye Blind) • Woody Harrelson • Billie Joe Armstrong (from Green Day) • "No one, but my ex has, so I might have a famous person's disease!" • "A few Suicide Girls" • "I'm a groupie, I can't remember them all."