Surfing for Sex

Article excerpt

Byline: Jessica Bennett

The largest sex study in history asks: what do a billion Web searches reveal about desire?

The first experiment in the most intensive study on sex since the days of Alfred Kinsey took place in the summer of 2009 over a bowl of spaghetti. Ogi Ogas, a Boston Ph.D. student, had run into a neighbor couple in the lobby of his apartment complex as they were picking up their mail. He didn't know them well but figured it was worth a shot: Ogas asked if they might "help" with a study he was conducting--a massive survey about sex. The couple laughed nervously. But they were intrigued. Forty-eight hours later, the three men sat sandwiched on a red vinyl couch, sharing pasta, red wine, and a marathon session of gay porn. A giant silk-screen of Sophia Loren hung in the background; the couple's pug nuzzled at the trio's feet. They would remain in this position for five hours. …