It's take a new study to determine when Americans are the most sexed-up, but now we finally know thanks to the infinite record book that is our beloved Internet — Americans are most eager for sexy times in the early months of summer. Oh, and around the holidays. And once for the entire month of March back in 2008 because of Eliot Spitzer.
According to an analysis of keywords that people in the U.S. used in Google searches from 2006 through March 2011 showed a distinct uptick keywords relating to finding a date, porn, and prostitutes during June and July, and also during the holidays in December and January. "Whether it was searches for 'eHarmony,'" says study researcher Patrick Markey of Villanova University, "or for 'brothel' - there was this exact same pattern." For people seeking dates, "eHarmony" and "Match.com" were two of the big keywords; for people seeking an escort, "call girl" and "escort" were tactfully deployed; and for people browsing for porn, "porn" and "boobs" were the magic words of choice. Prostitution, mate-seeking, and porn-seeking searches jumped 2.78 percent, 5.67 percent, and 4.28, respectively.
How do researchers explain this jump? With shrugging, mostly, and then some guessing — though the data is pretty straightforward, there isn't a clear reason behind the across the board, triumviral jump in porn, prostitution and dating. Some researchers have linked the study's results back to a "natural tendency" to give birth in the late fall or early summer, but, according to Markey, this doesn't really account for the porn spike (which, I'm just realizing, is too gross-sounding to either say out loud or delete). Fluctuations in sperm quality or seasonal hormonal changes may help unravel the mystery, but it's impossible to know for sure.
Previous studies in STD diagnosis rates, births, and abortion rates have also suggested that sexual activity peaks during these two different times of year, but the most recent study of internet searches focused primarily on the activities people engaged in leading up to or in anticipation of a sexual encounter. Markey suggests that the increases in sex-related Google searches correspond to two times of year when social activity reaches its peak, and that simply being around other humans makes people really horny. That, he thinks, would best explain the link between the respective winter and summer surges.
So people aren't just seeing each other in more revealing summer clothes and deciding to do it, right there, in the lifeguard's rowboat — they're just getting to spend more time around more people, which, as we now know, leads to dirty Google searches. One phenomenon that researchers had to control for, however, was a 35 percent jump in prostitution searches in March of 2008 when the Eliot Spitzer scandal broke. Only time will tell what havoc Anthony Weiner's candid photos have wreaked on search engines everywhere.
Image via Miramiska/Shutterstock.