SAN FRANCISCO—In a finding that may surprise many, a study by BDSM entertainment giant Kink.com has named Los Angeles as the most kink-friendly city in the United States going into 2017, beating out more well-established centers like New York and San Francisco, as well as Portland, which topped the list in the company’s previous study in 2015.
Though the details of how the study was conducted have not been revealed, as it did in 2015, the Kink surveyors evaluated BDSM, fetish and polyamory data from the fifty largest cities in the United States using four metrics: the total size of the city’s kink-identified population, the size of the kink population relative to the city’s overall size, the number of resources available for kink-identified people in each city, and visits to BDSM and fetish entertainment sites; most notably Fetlife. In addition, the Kink team also looked at sales data from the company’s retail arm, as well as growth rates in the overall kink-identified population versus 2015, to determine overall trend lines for the community.
Kink-friendly cities identified in the 2015 report that are missing from the latest list include Philadelphia (previously #9) and Seattle (previously #7), while Las Vegas, #10 in 2015, rose to #6 this year, with Austin taking its place at the bottom of the Top 10.
Perhaps just as surprising, Washington, D.C. dropped from #5 to #8—but we’re guessing that the latest survey was conducted before Pr*sident Trump and his former nude model wife arrived in town.
While nearly all cities in the study showed significant growth in their kink-identified populations (averaging about 40%), Los Angeles’s kink community has more than doubled in the two years since the study was first conducted, growing an astonishing 114%. Los Angeles also now has the greatest number of resources for kink-identified people, with over 500 kink-friendly doctors, lawyers, therapists, play spaces and retailers.
“Los Angeles is quickly becoming the new center of the kink world,” said Mike Stabile, a spokesperson for Kink.com. “LA topped or nearly topped every metric we looked at, while being half the size of other kink centers like New York. And despite the rising housing market, kink-friendly spaces have not been forced out on the same scale they have in cities like San Francisco.”
Portland, which had topped the 2015 list, had the slowest kink growth of any city on the previous list, and slipped to number three this year.
New York City topped the survey with the largest total number of kink-identified people, while Atlanta, a newcomer to the list, had the greatest density of kink-identified people, with over 7% of the city represented on Fetlife. In 2015, the highest percentage of any city was Portland, at 3.99%. El Paso was again the least kinky city in the United States.
The full report can be found here: 2017 Kinkiest Cities in the United States