Would You Like to See My Etchings?

P ity the poor suits—bedroom stereotypes have never credited them with much skill in the sack. Whoever heard of a stockbroker with screaming groupies? And you can forget about asking someone up to see your spreadsheets. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a recent British study found that professional creative types (whether male or female) have, on average, twice as many sexual partners as their nonartist peers. Bring on the paint-splattered overalls!

“Art is so sexy,” says Katie, a 24-year-old graphic designer—“music, painting, writing, whatever. Artists have passion and dedication for their craft, which leads me to believe that they’ll be the same in bed.” Star, 24, a business student who also works in the music industry, agrees. “A suit wouldn’t be able to give me a real hot sex adventure—a guy in Carhartts usually does.” It’s no wonder that more than half the people we polled described themselves as artists trapped in the business world—and not one claimed to be a suit trapped in an atelier.

But where does this reputation come from? Is it really possible that every creative type in this city—from the well-reviewed Park Slope author to the artist whose medium is her own menstrual blood—is preternaturally gifted in bed?

“Artists are more in touch with their emotions—and that makes for more interesting fucking,” says Chris, 31, who runs a film-and-music production company. He mentions an artsy date who embraced her double-jointedness. “She was willing to introduce her contortionist moves into the bedroom. A more conservative girl might have been afraid of looking like a circus freak.”

Tales of phenomenal art booty notwithstanding, the British survey assessed quantity, not quality. And here, the flexible schedules of artists are an advantage. “My mid-morning start time allows me to stay out late during the week with relative ease,” says Kay, a 37-year-old graphic designer in Manhattan. “And if I stay over at a man’s apartment, I can still make it home to shower after a full night’s sleep.”

But still: Even if they do get more, are artists actually better in bed? We found a few trend-buckers who argue that the buttoned-down are more fun. Maude, 49, who works with the homeless by day and on her art by night, is far more likely to woo the suit these days: “The sheer novelty, the unlikelihood of connubial bliss, the naughtiness of slumming—it’s endless!”

And she’s not the only one who’s into the reverse stereotype of getting hot and heavy with an Ann Taylor or a Brooks Brother. “I’m much more turned on now by finding a hidden hedonist beneath a suit than bringing out the same ‘one-trick pony’ that every arty girl has brought out from Mr. Overalls,” says Sarah, 31, a former starving artist who now makes her living as a social scientist. Bi-coastal commercial photographer Mark, 40, agrees. “The women who seem ordinary are the ones most likely to have handcuffs in their handbags. And the girls who play up their sexuality—often artist types—are far less experimental and often more inhibited.”

Mark may be on to something. Personal experience tells us that more than a few creative types in this city are coasting on the well-worn myth that artists are better lays. Perhaps they’re creating art because they’re uncreative in bed, or perhaps they aren’t creative in bed because they create art. A painter who spends all day working on nude sketches has less of a need to make something beautiful at night; by contrast, someone whose life is spent hunched over Excel files might have a greater need to let go.

Add to that the British study’s finding that artists are more likely to be depressed, and it’s a wonder they get laid at all.

“I used to be drawn to the creative type,” says Maude. “But I got tired of all the substance abuse and sullen behavior.” Sarah agrees: “All that experimentation and the open definitions of sexuality were very freeing, but at the same time, there were a lot of high expectations and low performance.” She argues there’s a practical side to dating the suit, too. “He can probably afford a swank hotel, and I won’t have to worry about saying hi to his roommates on the next-morning walk of shame.”

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Would You Like to See My Etchings?