As a rule, nobody likes to have sex with scientists. That's because most scientists are boring brainiacs who might know why a clitoris works, but have NO IDEA how to make one go crazy like a Mexican jumping bean. You see, I'm a different kind of scientist. I'm the kind of scientist that combines hard statistical data with juicy, real-world sexual experience. How do I do it? With the Mercury's yearly SEX SURVEY, of course! For the sixth year in a row, the Mercury asked YOU a series of highly personal and extremely erotic questions. Then we take your responses, enter them into the Mercury Sexometer 2.0, and... sploosh! It spits out a veritable facial of knowledge. Knowledge that YOU can use to trick people into thinking you're really good in the sack!

Would YOU like that same facial of knowledge? OF COURSE YOU WOULD. So grab some lotion, a tissue, a jar of strawberry marmalade, last June's issue of Popular Mechanics, and let's... get... learning!


You are a good person who loves their mother, thinks candy corn is "gross," and votes in all "the important" elections. Plus, if you filled out this year's sex survey, you are one of 2,300 others who didn't mind sharing some of their darkest, dirtiest sex secrets! (By the way, since some of you didn't fill out every single question on the survey, some of the percentages don't add up to 100%. DON'T PANIC. This survey is for fun and informational purposes as well as forwarding scientific knowledge!)

It was a great year for WOMEN respondents who filled out this survey in droves (52%) and a respectable year for MEN (46%)—this is good news because women generally know more about sex since they're always reading Cosmo. The lion's share of these respondents are between the sexy ages of 22-30 (53%), and classify themselves as STRAIGHT (girls = 34%, boys = 37%), except for those who like to diddle with the genitalia of their own gender (gays & lesbians = 9%, bisexuals = 17%).

Now here's some more good news! A whopping 40% of respondents claim to be SINGLE (girls = 21%, boys = 19%), which means that a little less than half the people in Portland are available and ready to have sex with me! (Oh... I guess that's just good news for yours truly.) Bad news for me? 70% of couples in a relationship have already unfairly decided they are MONAGAMOUS. (BOOOO!!)


People are always complaining about how television isn't "realistic," yet whenever the networks show teenagers getting it on, these same complainers flip out! Well, facts are facts, granny, and the fact is that most of you started having sex in your mid to late teens (Ages 14-16 = 34%, ages 17-19 = 41%). But rest easy, parents! Because they're not having very much of it. According to our survey, our respondents are enjoying fewer sex partners than ever. This year, when it comes to the subject of sex with penetration, 20% say they've only had 6-10 sex partners, 14% say they've had 11-15 partners, and a meager 9% boast 16-20 partners!


Last year, the majority of you claimed upward of 20 partners—but that's when we allowed you to include handjobs in your calculations. SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON'T INCLUDE HANDJOBS? It throws everyone's numbers off, and we get depressed. Answer me this: "If handjobs aren't sex... then will you give your mother one?" I THOUGHT SO.

Unfortunately, this "anti-handjob" hysteria is having serious ramifications on the mindsets of those who should be administering handjobs on a regular basis. According to our statistics, a shocking number of you (28%) have only given two handjobs IN YOUR LIFE (most of these slackers are boys!). Listen up, guys. We all realize that girls give us handjobs for one reason, and one reason only: TO SHUT US UP. However! Handjobs can shut up a woman just as easily. "I thought I told you to do the dishes!" "I'm going to, honey... as soon as I give you this HANDJOB." Trust me, fellers—IT WORKS.

So even though you've had an embarrassing number of partners, and have no earthly idea how to give a decent handjob, your actual number of sexual experiences are quite lengthy and frequent! The majority of you (45%) report that you have sex on a weekly basis (probably when the Mercury comes out), and 15% boast doing it daily (there would be more, but that's when the Oregonian comes out). And you're even more enthusiastic when it comes to America's favorite pastime (sorry, baseball!), MASTURBATION. An impressive 34% of you masturbate on a daily basis (girls = 12%, boys = 22%), while 39% of you diddle your fiddle every week (girls = 23%, boys = 16%). And with that much digital manipulation going on, you must be thinking of something very sexy indeed. So let's find out what types of stuff is turning you on!












Hmmmmm... that's interesting. However, there's a big difference—as we all know—between what you want and what you get. Bearing that in mind, let's check out the types of things you'd like to get more of while "doin' it"... in "the sack!" (Know what I mean?)



ORAL SEX—73% (YEAH!! Ooops... sorry.)









Let's explore this a bit further: Breaking it down, boys tend to want more oral sex (38% vs. 34%), handjobs (23% vs. 19%), and partners (19% vs. 15%). SURPRISE! Meanwhile, girls lean more to wanting "plain ol' sex" (39% vs. 35%), kissin' and cuddlin' (39% vs. 29%), and rough sex (29% vs. 19%). You hear that, guys? Start off with the kissin' and cuddlin', but keep those handcuffs close by. And speaking of toys of a sexual nature, we also asked what kind of accoutrements we might find in the drawer of your bedside table. And since this survey is supposed to represent EVERYONE in Portland, we thought we'd title this next section...












Just kidding about your mom. I'm sure she's never had sex in her life. (Although there is a one in two chance of her owning a tube of lube. EWW!) Speaking of your mom, let's talk about orgasms.

This is—for my money—the most controversial question in our sex survey: How long does it take, on average and with a partner, to reach orgasm? It's controversial, because the guys have been taught at a very early age to automatically lie. And you girls have been very sweet in your pretense of believing their ridiculous self-deception. Here's how it all breaks down.

8% of you claim to reach orgasm in under five minutes (girls = 5%, boys = 3%). These people are telling the truth. Meanwhile, 49% of you say you orgasm anywhere from six to 15 minutes (girls = 26%, boys = 22%). The girls are telling the truth, while a large cross-section—let's assume 12%—of the boys are lying. Then there's the last group (32%) who claim it takes them up to half an hour to orgasm (girls = 13%, boys = 19%). In this case, the girls could be lying—unknowingly. They may be stuck with some meathead ignoramus who couldn't find the clitoris with a flashlight and a roadmap. And as for the boys? They're not lying—especially if they start their "30-minute" clock as soon as they leave work.


CHEATING: It's way fun. Another thing about cheating? Everybody's either done it, or they're doing it now, and if they aren't? They're some kind of FREAK. You see, "cheating" is the great equalizer—all God's children cheat: black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics. Dick Cheney cheats, as well as those stinking hippies who are always yelling outside the fur shops (if they can find someone who doesn't mind their stink). And even better? EVERYBODY DENIES IT. That makes it especially important to never, ever get caught. Because if you DO get caught, then you were too stupid to start cheating in the first place. That's why when we asked the sex survey question: HAVE YOU CHEATED ON YOUR CURRENT PARTNER? The answer was a smart, and resounding "NO" (76%). And you still said "NO," even though this survey was completely anonymous and confidential, because you know that constant denial is the only way to keep your dirty little secret safe.

How do I know most of you are lying? Because of our next question: HAVE YOU CHEATED ON FORMER PARTNERS? In this answer, the number of these upstanding and chaste partners sharply and suddenly drop, with a whopping 50% admitting that you had indeed cheated on your lovers in the past. (Why not tell the truth, right? After all, you can't get into trouble for it now.) HEY! I'M NOT JUDGING YOU. In fact, I'm right there with ya. As god as my witness, I've never cheated on any of my partners, and I swear, baby, I never would.


Footnote: And I would especially never cheat, knowing that a majority of Portland cheaters (63%) never got caught.


We ask the embarrassing sex questions, you answer them. For example...

• Ever had sex in public?

WHO HASN'T? = 76% EWW, GROSS! = 18%

Now, if this is true, I should be seeing you get it on in the great outdoors a lot more often. Need suggestions? See "Best Places to Have Public Sex," pg. 19!

• I've walked in on my parents having sex.

YES = 32% NO = 65%

There would've been more "yes" responses, if these people hadn't already killed themselves or jabbed out their eyes with a pencil.

• I've walked in on my roommate having sex.

YES = 41% NO = 54%

And you didn't join them? CHICKEN. Bawk! Buh-KAWK!

• I've walked in on my friend having sex.

YES = 50% NO = 46%

Oh, right. You've successfully avoided walking in on your parents, but when it comes to your sexy friends, you suddenly forget how to knock?

• I've walked in on my partner having sex—WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

YES = 9% NO = 86%

That sort of thing ALWAYS happens on TV and in the movies, but apparently not in real life. Why? See the "Cheaters Sometimes Win" section.

• I've seen strangers doing it in public.

YES = 49% NO = 48%

Are half of you blind?!? I saw somebody doing it just two minutes ago, when I was walking past the copier!


One of the great myths of love is that we find that perfect someone in a storybook fashion—but that's bullpoop. We usually find them by screwing around with someone you're not supposed to be screwing around with. For example, here are the types of people you've "done it" with...

Coworker: NO = 40%, YES = 55%

Best Friend: NO = 52%, YES = 43%

Unnamed Stranger: NO = 55%, YES = 40%

Roommate: NO = 65%, YES = 29%

Boss/Employee: NO = 67%, YES = 27%

Teacher/Student: NO = 78%, YES = 15%

Relative: NO = 88%, YES = 5%

A Cop Who Pulled Me Over: NO = 91%, YES = 2%

So as you can clearly see, your coworkers and best friends are the most likely prospects when you need some sex. Although I bet most cops wouldn't turn you down.

Anyway, you're a freak, right? Which is why now is a good time to announce...


"A banana... she didn't have a butt plug."

"Duct tape... always a bad idea."

"1979 Han Solo action figure taken out of the original box."

"A daisy costume. I was wearing it."

"A suction pore cleaner from the Dollar Tree."

"I put the cum in cucumber."

"Pop Rocks... which isn't good... because they pop... and it hurts."

"A Nerf bat which I used to bang my lover's balls during orgasm."

"Encyclopedia of Serial Killers."

"Vicks Vapor Rub... don't do it."


Speaking of weird things you've done—and believe me, that previous list went ON and ON—let's find out some of the other naughty things you've been up to...

• How do you keep your "hedges"?

BUSHY = 25% TRIMMED = 59%

All I have to say to that is "THANK GOD." If you want me to provide oral sex, then I shouldn't also have to provide the weed whacker.

• Have you ever paid for sex/been paid for sex? (And yes, drugs count!)

YES = 18% NO = 77%

We should have said "Cleaning out the garage counts, too!"

• Have you ever done porn?

YES = 12% NO = 82%

Isn't that now a requirement for all American Idol contestants?

• Got naked pictures somewhere on the internet?

YES = 28% NO = 67%

Please send the web address to

• Have you ever webstreamed yourself having sex/masturbating?

YES = 7% NO = 87%

Whatever, technophobe. All the cool nerds are doin' it.

• Have you ever started a sexual rumor about someone?

YES = 21% NO = 71%

REALLY? You did? Give me a few!

• "I ratted out a girl who had to change schools because her nickname was 'Four Fingers.'" • "I told my friend that the guy she had a crush on was into coprophilia [abnormal interest and pleasure in feces and defecation]—so I could do him." • "Claimed a friend had cheated on her BF by fucking another guy in a hot tub." • "In the third grade, I said this girl liked to jack off her brother while her dad spanked her with a ping pong paddle." • "Humpy gave me ass warts." • "Spread the rumor that my freshman biology teacher fucked test tubes." • "The nuns at my high school masturbated with carrots." • "She used Arby's Horsey Sauce instead of lube." • "Zac E. played the flugle horn with his ass."

• I've got a sex secret I've never told anyone.

YES = 44% NO = 50%

REALLY? You do? Tell us some now!


"Now and then my naked father and brother pop into my mind while I'm masturbating." • "I had my first orgasm while riding a horse bareback as a child. I had no idea what happened, and I loved it!" • "I fantasize about little boys, animals, my father." • "I'm a straight chick, and pregnant girls get me hot." • "I fucked my current boyfriend's best friend for two months. It's been three years and he still doesn't know." • "I was underage when I had consensual sex with two men at once. They videotaped it, and it would wreck my relationship if he ever found out." • "I had group sex with off-duty soldiers." • "I slept with a hooker in Vegas. It was gross, but the worst part was that she said I was 'too freaky' for her. I also slept with a one-armed chick." • "I pretend I don't like anal, but the denial gets me off." • "I masturbated on my hot RA's doorknob in college." • "The first time I came, it was black." • "At one point I was picking up 18-year-old boys at punk rock shows, and fucking them in the park." • "When he goes to the bathroom after sex, I use the time to masturbate so I can orgasm." • "When my boyfriend isn't home, I enjoy the handles of his tools from his toolbox. I wash them off, though." • "I believe that men are the boss in bed... and nowhere else." • "I don't really like sex." • "Fell in love with my cousin... we did everything except sex." • "I gave a blowjob to the owner of [local bar] in front of 10 people, and let him come in my mouth." • "I masturbate at work regularly." • "I had sex with my best friend's sister in his bed." • "I have a fetish for gay guys." • "I have not had sex in 10 years." • "I jerked off a dude; I'm a dude." • "I let my dog go down on me when I was a teen." • "I like a woman with a strap-on." • "I like anal/oral penetration all at the same time." • "I masturbate when my parents go to church." • "I was the only female at an all-male orgy." • "I once gave a trucker a handjob for a ride." • "I really like short guys with big dicks." • "I want to see Sam Adams' SEXY toes." • "I'd like my wife to do me in the ass with a dildo." • "I'm an occasional panty-sniffer when staying at my cute friend's place." • "I've been paid for sex." • "I've had dreams where I'm doing it with my mom. GROSS." • "I'll have sex with anyone out of curiosity." • "Let an old girlfriend tie me down, fuck me in the ass with her dildo, and force me to eat my own come." • "My first handjob was from my HOT first cousin." • "I often fake it." • "I've given oral sex to my coworker." • "Sometimes I masturbate to videos of bones being broken." • "I did the manager at Wendy's."