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SEX TOYS AND PRODUCTS

The Kinkiest States in the U.S. and Their Favorite Sex Toys

Published: JANUARY 23, 2024
Searches for sex toys and kinks differ vastly between states.

In 2023, kink is more mainstream than ever before. Maybe we have “50 Shades of Grey” to thank for that, but I personally refuse to thank that awful representation of kink culture. I’d like to think it has a lot more to do with the sex positivity movement that began in the 1960s, continued with the third wave feminists in the 1990s, and culminated in a culture where “50 Shades of Gray” could become a blockbuster.

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Although there’s still a lot of unnecessary and ridiculous stigma surrounding sex and kink, people are more open than ever about their sex lives and the transgressive things that get them all hot and bothered. This shift is most noticeable in media and celebrity culture. Celebrities launch sex toy lines the way they used to launch fragrances. Rihanna, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and even former Disney stars like Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus weave not-so subtle lyrics about their kinky sex lives into their Billboard hits. Cara Delevigne hosted an entire docuseries about sex, during which she attended a masturbation seminar, and Gwyneth Paltrow did an entire episode devoted to the female orgasm, which showed what real women’s vulvas looked like while they were masturbating.

This level of openness, made possible by decades of work by sex positive activists, has trickled down into American homes. A comprehensive meta-analysis of research on the sexual behavior of Americans compiled by the Bedbible Research Center found that over 75% of Americans had watched porn at some point in their lives, while 25% of Americans watch porn on a monthly basis. The Big Kink Survey, one of the largest and most comprehensive independent surveys of sexual behavior compiled by sexologist Aella, found that about 59% of respondents were into bondage and about 38% of people were into sadomasochism.

But these studies and surveys can only tell us so much about America's kink preferences because the results come from people who were willing to volunteer honest information about their sexual habits. To get a real picture of how kinky Americans actually are, Kinky Cloth, an alternative clothing retailer, tapped a source of information most of us aren’t willing to share – our search histories. Kinky Cloth analyzed Google search data for more than 10,000 sexy keywords to determine just how kinky Americans are - and what they’re into. The results were ... revealing! Let's take a look.

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And the Kinkiest State In America Is ...

If someone asked you to name the kinkiest state in the country, which state would pop into your head immediately? Nevada, the only state in the nation where sex work is legal? California, the birthplace of the leather scene? New York, the state with the highest number of strip clubs?

Believe it or not, Google search data reveals that the residents of these states aren’t searching for kinky content nearly as much as the residents of … Colorado.

Kinky Cloth’s data found that Coloradans are spending their online hours looking for kinky content a lot more than the rest of us. In fact, the number of kink-related Google queries Coloradans made was 32% higher than the national average. New Hampshire, Alaska, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Massachusetts also made the top 10, so maybe it’s something about those long, cold winters that sends people looking for something to get them all hot and bothered. That said, Arizona and Nevada also made the top 10, with Arizona coming in third and Nevada 7th, so kink is clearly alive and well in the warmer climates as well!

The number of kink-related Google queries Coloradans made was 32% higher than the national average.

Although search volume tells us a lot about what people in each state are interested in, Harmony Lane, a sex expert and founder of Kinky Cloth, explained that search volume for kink-related terms doesn’t just tell us about the kinkiness of each state’s residents. This data can also reflect the state’s culture around sex.

“People may search for various reasons – from genuine interest to education or even humor. States with higher search volumes for fetish-related content might have more open attitudes toward discussing and exploring different aspects of human sexuality. Conversely, lower search volumes could be attributed to factors such as cultural conservatism or lack of awareness.”

Considering that context, it’s not really surprising that Southern states like Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi, where attitudes toward sex, sexuality and especially kink can be regressive at best and hostile at worst – were at the very bottom of the list. Mississippians searched for nearly 45% less kink-related content than Coloradans.



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Photo for Robin Zabiegalski
Robin Zabiegalski

Robin Zabiegalski (they/them) is a queer, non-binary writer and movement instructor. They are currently a Health and Wellness Features Writer for Static Media, and their writing has been published on xoJane, Heavy.com, Health Digest, Glam, Kinkly, The Establishment, Sexual Being, The Tempest, and other digital media publications.

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