Illustrations by Jeremy Eaton

It's a generally accepted fact that "science" becomes less tedious with the addition of terms like "vibrator," "handjobs," and "vaginal tightness." Hello, I'm Wm. Steven Humphrey, director of the Mercury Institute of Advanced Studies of Sexuality. And while other newspapers devote science columns to subjects that could only appeal to the nerdiest of nerds, the Mercury only gives a shit about one thing: SEX. That's why for the fourth year in a row, the Mercury Sex Survey shows you how other people do it; so YOU can do it better.

Who You Are

This year, over 1700 bored, horny souls submitted their opinions to the Mercury Sex Survey--which means the Willamette Week is currently thinking, "WhaÉ WhaÉ Whaaaa? Something popular that the kids like? We should steal their idea!" Unfortunately, anyone who reads the WW is barren and infertile, and their dwindling race of readers will be dead within two years. So if it's an idea they want, they're welcome to it. (By the way, all the following percentages have been rounded off, so if the stats don't add up to 100%, that means some people cheated and checked more than one answer, or didn't answer the question at all. In other words, if you write in to correct us, we'll put your name on our big list of "People We Laugh at and Ultimately Ignore.")

52% of our respondents were MALE, 47% FEMALE, 1% couldn't decide.

75% identify as STRAIGHT.

15% say they are BISEXUAL.

6% scream GAY.

And a couple of lesbians filled it out, too.


(Blush!) I'm Going Steady! = 26%

(Beam!) I'm Married and Content! = 25%

(Fume!) I'm Married and Miserable! = 5%

(Shrug.) I'm Single and Content. = 27%

(Sob!) I'm Single and Miserable! = 16%

My Sexual History (or Herstory)

First, let's address the most controversial of all sexual subjects: HANDJOBS. Are they sex, or ain't they? This question has boggled sensual scientists for centuries. Even the Mercury staff can't decide. The guys want them to count, because it raises the numerical value of their sexual conquests. But the girls want them disallowed; since they give an inordinate number of handjobs, they don't want their mothers to know they're sluts. Mercury readers are also in the dark; in the 2002 Sex Survey, 50% of you said handjobs are definitely sex. In 2003, however, that number dropped to 43%, taking handjobs out of the running. BUT THEN! In 2004, you have flipped the script again, awarding handjobs with 56% of the vote!

SO THAT'S IT! NO MORE DEBATE! Handjobs are now officially SEX--and that's FINAL! (You may now go back to cramming your hand down each other's pants.)

Speaking of flipping the script, you people have been very busy in the sack this year! In 2003, you reported that you had slept with an average of 8-10 people in your lifetime. In 2004, that number inflated to 12-17 sex partners! Holy Christ... what did you slip in our drink?

Interestingly, most respondents claim to have lost their virginity somewhere between 17-19 years of age, followed closely by those horny young'uns between the ages of 14-16. (However, since Michael Jackson may be going to prison, expect that number to drop next year.)

But here's the meat and potatoes of all sex surveys: HOW OFTEN DO YOU... YOU KNOW... "DO IT"?

I "get it on" two-three times a week! = 26%

I play "plug the porkhole" once a week! = 16%

I "rub my baby raw" four-eight times a week! = 15%

I "get around to it" once every two-three months. = 10%

(The rest of these results are too depressing, so let's move on, shall we?)

Startling Sexual Statistics

How many dates before you're sleeping with a new partner?

35% claimed you were banging away on--or sometimes before--the first date. 33% are rutting by the third date. 27% choose to honor Jesus' wishes by waiting anywhere from two weeks to a month, and 3% of you are waiting until marriage... because you're like a Mormon or something.

When it comes to porn, I prefer...

Now here are some interesting results you can use around the bedroom. When it comes to pornography, most ladies (30%) prefer their own filthy imaginations, followed by "erotic literature" (25%). So fellas, drag out that old copy of Penthouse Forum, cause the ladies LOVE IT. On the other hand, guys are turned on by (duh) dirty videos/DVDs (27%), but actually prefer the filthy, sexy Internet (by a whopping 40%). So gals, dust off that old Commodore 64, and let's dial up some Anna Kournikova pictures.

The drug that gets me a-rarin' to go is...

Rophynol = .12% Nyquil = 1%

Ecstasy = 3% Cocaine = 4%

Marijuana = 13% "Love" = 27.8

But nothing makes the juices flow like good old...


Choose one activity that your partner could perform more often.

Basically, nobody gives a shit whether you should be doing more anal sex (10%), role playing (5%), giving handjobs (4%), talkin' dirty talk (10%), or washing the dishes (12%). Here's the bottom line: Girls want more foreplay (22%), and guys overwhelmingly want blowjobs (31%). So come on, people! Work with each other, here!

Some Troubling News

I don't quite know how to say this. Okay. Let's start with the facts: A whopping 61% of you admit that you keep fantasies secret from your partner. No big surprise there, right? HOWEVER! 62% of you say you're not too embarrassed to ask your lover to act out your fantasies. HUH?? That just don't jibe! Therefore, we can only come to one conclusion: If you're not acting out your lover's fantasies... then your lover's LOVER is! Why, that no good cheatin' bastard/bitch! I never did trust him/her! If I were you, I'd empty out his/her drawers right now, and throw all his/her shit on the lawn! Nobody makes YOU out to be a fool! NOBODY!!

What A Girl Wants

The purpose of this year's Sex Survey is to shed light on what women and men really want in the sack--so, ladies, if you're too embarrassed to talk to your lover, drop them a hint in the form of the following sexy statistics!

Good to Know!

An overwhelmingly whopping 98.9% of all women "sometimes wish the lover of their choice would just grab them, throw them down and fuck the holy hell out of them."

Good to Know!

42% of all ladies would happily dig around for a boy's prostate if asked, and an additional 18% would do so grudgingly. (Remember: Before digging in an unknown area, first contact your local utility company.)

Good to Know!

In the handjobs vs. blowjobs debate, a majority of women (60%) prefer giving blowjobs claiming, "I'm a girl who likes to suck it; I'm dirty and people like me."

Good to Know!

49% of all women NEVER fake an orgasm. On the other hand, 42% fake an orgasm once in awhile. So... you have roughly a 50/50 chance that's she's faking it. Have a nice day!

Good to Know!

An earth-shaking 72% of girls say they occasionally use a dildo or vibrator. Just something to think about... while I'm masturbating.

What A Guy Needs

Men are often sensitive, misjudged creatures who need a lot of TLC and guidance in order to express themselves romantically. HAW! Just kiddin'. We want blowjobs, and that's pretty much it. However, we do have our own special needs and concerns, which can be gleaned by the vital statistics below.

Good to Know!

During the act of intercourse, a majority of men (65%) climax within five to 10 minutes. Unfortunately, most women (32%) want their men to last at least 15 minutes--and some (26%) think they should go at least 20 minutes. In order to avoid unreasonable expectations on both sides, the Mercury would like to request that women drop their expectation time to 12 minutes, and for men to buy a cock ring.

Good to Know!

The majority of Portland men (68%) have an erect penis between five and seven inches long--which luckily, the women of Portland prefer (39%). (Whew!)

Good to Know!

None of the men surveyed has ever given their cousin a blowjob.

Good to Know!

While most guys (40%) think their pickup lines come out sounding "shy and reserved," most women (37%) think guys sound "weird and retarded." (For help, see "Prescription: Pickup," this page).

Good to Know!

Guys love vagina juice (73%). Who knew?

A Short Treatise on "Vaginal Tightness"

While the length and girth of a man's penis is often a topic of conversation between the sexes, little has been written or said about "vaginal tightness." Here's what men prefer:

28% like it as "tight as a bear trap."

2% like it as loose as "throwing a hotdog down a hallway."

And 69% prefer their vaginas to fit like "a pig in a blanket."

But women often wonder, "How am I to know whether my vagina is a pig in a blanket or a hallway?" With that answer, here is the Mercury's Senior Vaginal Tightness Correspondent, Aaron Beam, who has performed extensive research on the subject. Aaron?

"Thank you, Steve. Ladies, for a scientific measure of vaginal tightness, insert a pneumatic squeeze dynamometer into your vagina, and use a mirror to read the PSI (pounds per square inch). Normal readings fall between 1 and 3 PSI, although the perceived tightness will vary depending on penile girth. A PSI of 5 or higher is extremely tight ("bear trap")--to remedy, stretch the vagina daily by inserting a tapered object until you feel slight discomfort. Hold for 20 minutes. For extremely loose vaginas (PSI of 0.2 or below), daily performance of the Kegel exercise, or PC clamp, will strengthen the muscle at the 'mouth' of the vagina, constricting the opening. Good luck!"

Celebrity Cavalcade

When it comes to boning and blowjobs, which local news channel celebrity do you fantasize about the most? The Mercury asked, and you answered!

Of the following local weathermen, I would most likely give a blowjob toÉ

Dave Sweeney (KOIN-CBS) = 11%

Rod Hill (KATU-ABC) = 13%

Mark Nelson (KPTV-Fox) = 19%

Matt Zaffino (KGW-NBC) = 28%

(Note to Matt: If you're reading this, and agree you would like a blowjob from one of our readers, please give us a "wink" at the end of your Friday, 6 pm forecast on Feb 13, and say, "Have a Happy Valentines Day." We'll be watching.)

Of the following local TV newswomen, I would most like to pork...

Tracy Barry (KGW-NBC) = 10%

Julie Emry (KOIN-CBS) = 12%

Natali Marmion (KATU-ABC) = 23%

Shauna Parsons (KPTV-Fox) = 30%

(Note to Shauna: If you're reading this, and agree that Matt Zaffino should get a blowjob from one of our readers, please give us a wink at the end of your Friday, 10 pm report on Feb 13, and say "Good luck, Matt. You'll need it." We'll be watching.)


According to our survey, if given a choice between a number of amateur porn actors, you'd most like to co-star with Paris Hilton (by a landslide 33%). And speaking of landslides, 88% of you think Michael Jackson "did it." (Hey, life's unfair.)

In conclusion, we're happy to say the results from this year's sex survey conclusively prove that Portlanders are sexier, and more well adjusted than ever. BUT! That doesn't mean we can't improve! Here are a few things to work on in 2004:

- Oral Sex. Guys want it (75%) and like to give it (73%). Meanwhile, girls like it (62%) and like to give it (60%). So what are we waiting for? Let's get lickin'!

- Ejaculation. Ladies, be patient when it comes to guys and "climax control." Delaying ejaculation from seven to 12 minutes? That's a big mountain to climb.

- Reveal your Fantasy to your Partner. 60% of you are keeping secrets from your lover. Therefore, 2004 is the year you admit, "Yes, honey, I want you to pee-pee on me."

- The Pickup. Guys! For the love of god, improve your game! (See "Prescription: Pickup," page 31).

- Unrealistic Orgasms. Girls! Stop faking it. You're only hurting yourself, and slowing down the production of actual orgasms.

- Like Mechanical Bulls More. (see below)

- Improve Sex Quota. If you're single, increase your sexual conquest quotient by engaging in homosexual experiences. (Remember! As of this year, handjobs count!)

- Most Importantly: 98% of your lovers want you to throw them down and fuck the holy hell out of them. And as we've all learned, you shouldn't argue with statistics.