As if you needed more evidence that the typical American male (malus Americanus) is a lying piece of dirt, I offer you the "The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior."
The recently released book is a serious study (sorry, no pictures) based on 8,000 interviews conducted over a nine-year period, with respondents ranging from ages 18 to 80.
That's a lot of sex talk, and all of it apparently without benefit of a 900 number.
The headline from the book is that Americans like sex. They like sex a lot. In fact, according to the Janus report, Americans like sex nearly as much as they like cable TV.
This much I might believe.
If you're like the authors -- Mr. and Mrs. Janus, a husband-and-wife research team -- you probably figured people were too afraid to have much sex these days. Many people find themselves scrubbing up after just shaking somebody's hand.
And yet, despite the perceived dangers, the age of fear in the bedroom seems to have ended. The study says heterosexual activity is booming, way up from three years ago.
According to the authors, we are now in the throes of a second sexual revolution. The first, in case you missed it, was a beaut. I'd rank it as my favorite revolution not involving a guillotine.
"Sex is good," one survey participant said. And if you're thinking, what can you add to that? The answer is, plenty.
Try this: According to the study, ultraconservatives are three times as likely to tolerate sadomasochistic sex as ultraliberals. This does not -- let me repeat, DOES NOT -- mean that Rush Limbaugh likes to be gagged and tied to a bed post or that Pat Buchanan dresses up in leather. But, you have to admit, it is fun to think that they might.
Another factoid: Thirty-one percent of people who describe themselves as very religious say they have cheated on their spouses. Which explains the popularity of Jim Bakker.
But here's the one that gets me, and, to tell the truth, casts doubt on everything else in the book. According to the study, 10 percent of men say they have had sex with at least 100 partners.
And pigs fly.
What are we talking -- 100 million men in the country? If the book is right, that means 10 million men have had at least 100 sexual partners.
Does this sound like wishful thinking to you? Look around. How many guys do you see who can even get a date?
A friend of mine asked, "Do they mean 100 different people or 100 different times?"
At least 90 percent of the men I know have spent the last four days glued to their couches while watching an endless series of basketball games. The only time many of them got up was to pry the pizza out of the microwave. Their most exotic relationship is with the remote control.
But give one of these same men a survey to fill out and you know what happens.
Survey says: How many different sexual partners have you had?
B. One to five.
C. Six to 99.
D. One hundred or more.
And your typical male demands, "What, they don't have 1,000 and up?"
He can't help it, any more than a lion can help eating red meat. Men were raised to believe their manliness was tied into numbers. That's why they lie. Lying is handed down from father to son, generation to generation. Adam used to say he slept with every woman he knew.
Men lie about sex, fishing and the charitable contributions on their income tax.
OK, let's count up the people we believe actually fit the profile. Warren Beatty, of course. Wilt Chamberlin. Geraldo (did you catch his show the other day: Women who have sex with their pets' vets, but who won't take their shots). Every rock star except Michael Jackson. My old college roommate, Jim.
Jim came from a rich family. He was great looking. And, most important, he had no scruples. His idea of commitment was to keep the same phone number for a semester.
We saw him with lots of women, and he always reported to us the details of his nights out. If he'd been born later, he might have appeared on "Studs."
Needless to say, he was our hero.
Of course, we've all grown up since then, matured greatly, read "The Feminine Mystique" and no longer objectify women, etc., etc. All we do now is fill out surveys. During commercials.