Lately I was talking to some friends of mine who had just gone to Rio. Both of them live in Boston. Both are handsome, well-to-do, educated and witty gentlemen, and do reasonably well with the ladies.

In a town like Boston, which is more or less representative of the rest of the US, that means that they date one or two new women a month, and maybe end up sleeping with half as many. Considering how, according to the US Census, an average male has 1.3 sexual partners per year, this is significantly above average.

However, when they went down to Rio de Janeiro, for some reason the situation changed dramatically. In their words, they "could not help but get laid every night." And this all transpired with a fraction of the effort they normally put into charming the ladies. It was almost as if the whole order of the world were turned topsy-turvy.

Or was it?

The fact is that attitudes towards sexuality are regional. In Brazil, sexual attitudes are much more relaxed, and the culture values women's sexuality as a positive force, especially for the nurturing of men's morale and masculinity. This attitude is so pervasive that the government refuses to regulate prostitution.

On the other hand, 400 years after the landing of the Mayflower, vestiges of America's Puritanical past remain, and sexual activity is still bound up in all manner of guilt, furtiveness and shame.

However, even in the US, there have been fluctuations in promiscuity and sexual mores. Recall the artistic and erotic freedom of the 'flappers' of the 1920s, followed by the post-war sexual clampdown of the 1950s. The pendulum swung back in the late 1960s and 1970s when 'free love' was in vogue and people were having all kinds of naughty (that word again!) fun.

The question is, why did these shifts occur? And is there a clue, an indicator, to when or where such things might happen? As a single guy, wouldn't that be useful to you?

Well, do I have good news for you. That indicator *does* exist, because smart people have been studying these trends in human sexual behavior and finding out that there is one number that tracks (and predicts) them shockingly well.

Let me introduce you to your new friend: it's called the sex ratio, and it's the number of men per 100 women in a given population.

When the ratio is high, there are more men than women. When the ratio is low, there are more women than men. Simple enough.

Now all of you are familiar with this concept already. In fact, it's one of the first things you notice when you walk into a social situation: the ratio of guys to girls.

What you may not know is that the overall sex ratio of a population has dramatic effects upon the sexual behavior of the entire population. Cultures with high ratios (where there aren't enough women) tend to support traditional, old-fashioned gender roles and be sexually conservative.

Cultures with low ratios (where there aren't enough men) are more permissive and have more liberal attitudes towards women, encouraging them to work and support themselves and allowing them to have sexual relations outside of marriage.

Now let's see how this concept applies to various historical periods. Ancient Rome, famous for its bacchanals and outrageous hedonism, had a low ratio (i.e. excess of females). Prim and proper Victorian England had a high ratio. The Roaring 20s had a low ratio, while post-war US had a high ratio. Then the ratio went down dramatically (to about 80 men/100 women) during the 'sexual revolution' of the 1960s.

And for those of you who are wondering about our current times: it's pretty high, around 101.3 men/100 women as of 2003, but have faith -- it's trending downwards.

This may seem strange, because if you consult the latest US Census, it will tell you that the ratio of *single* men to women is 83 to 100, which would qualify as utterly phenomenal (as you're about to see). The problem with this number is that women live longer than men and don't remarry as often after divorce, thus skewing the numbers.

The actual ratios for single men are: 111 for men 18-24 (bad); 117 for men 25-34 (abysmal); 98 for men 35-44 (beginning to see the light); and a whopping 73 for men 45-64 (bonanza).

Take a second to place yourself in these various age categories, and notice how well they correspond to your general success (or lack thereof) with women. Pretty fascinating stuff.

Now The Tao of Dating is all about describing the world as it is, then giving you the map to maximize your fulfillment now that you know the terrain. The three books and 14 bonuses are about giving you methodical, foolproof, tested ways of getting more of what you want out of life -- especially when it comes to dating. You may want to re-read it if you already have it, and now's a great time to get it if you don't already have it.

So the question is, how can I use this information to have more fun and success dating?

Well, the numbers I just described are overall population numbers. There are regional variations. Stark County, Ohio has a ratio of about 78, while a county in Alaska has one over 125. As a single straight male, I'll let you decide where you'd rather be.

So it stands to reason that counties with low ratios are going to give you the better dating odds (and attitudes) than the ones with low ratios. To find out where these are, I refer you to this interesting resource which has listed the ratios of single men to single women in every county in every state in the US:

But be forewarned: there are 6 million more widows than widowers in this country (women live longer than men), so you may want to think twice before you make the move to Shady Acres Retirement Resort in Boca Raton, Florida.

Now this information gets really interesting when you start applying it to whole *countries*. Could it be that, based on the sex ratio, you could pick a vacation spot to improve your chances with the local ladies?

The answer: absolutely. Just today I received my 'Pocket World in Figures, 2007 Edition' by those fantastic people at The Economist. In it, they've compiled vital statistics on every country, and they're fascinating to read.

Amongst them, the sex ratio of every country is listed. And the results are in.

At the absolute top of the list are Lithuania and Russia (both at 87), Estonia (85), and the champion Latvia, at an unreal 84 men per 100 women. Anecdotal reports from friends confirm that these destinations indeed make for wild vacations.

You know you've got a good predictor in your hands when it not only works for positive results but for negative ones as well. As it turns out, the bottom of scale is rounded out by Pakistan (106), Saudi Arabia (117) and the United Arab Emirates (217!). And yes, it turns out that attitudes tend to be less permissive in these spots. It all seems to make a certain amount of sense.

There you have it gentlemen -- a tool to explain the world around you and to help you get more of what you want out of life.

The power is within you,
Dr Alex

Author's Bio: 

Dr Alex Benzer is the author of 'The Tao of Dating: The Thinking Man's Guide to Success With Women', 'The Tao of Persuasion' home study course and the booklets 'The Tao of Social Networking' and 'The Tao of Sexual Mastery'. His approach combines principles of Eastern wisdom and Western science to bring greater fulfillment to your life. He has a B.A. from Harvard, an M.D. from UC San Diego Medical School, and an MPhil from Cambridge University. He is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and conducts seminars on dating, persuasion and networking. Visit
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