By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
We thought very long and very hard about these questions as they relate to every incorporated city in Orange County and our next-door-neighbor-with-benefits, Long Beach.
But a funny thing happened on the way to presenting this utterly unscientific but eminently doable ranking by relative hawtness: The popular Daily Beast website on Feb. 8 posted the best places for singles to hook up in America’s 101 largest cities. The top three on that list (Long Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana) also made our top 10. Maybe we paid more attention during science than we thought.
So, behold the climax of our fevered fantasies—and sorry, Midway City and Sunset Beach: You’re still not gettin’ any.
10 ON TOP
1] Costa Mesa
Oh, Costa Mesa, you are one hot, hot mess. As sexy as suburbia will ever get, we don’t know whether to kiss you or snort a line of coke off your sweet, sweet ass. The town is teeming with legions of the wanton, fabulous and broke. Any free time left over from trying to pour yourself into your sinfully tight jeans is spent trying to get into someone else’s. We’ve seen you, you little tarts! In the corner of some dingy dive, making out with the drummer of a band who are so hip even they haven’t heard of themselves. Where else can you can brown-bag it to the blues of Brother Cecil at Avalon one night and catch the bad boys of the Black Lips whip their wieners out on Detroit Bar’s stage the next? Quote in the act: “Not the HAIR!”
Despite being home to the highest number of registered sex offenders in Orange County (262, to be exact), Anaheim ranks as sexiest city No. 2. The presence of the Angels and Ducks alone gives us a fair amount of beefy brawn to fawn over, but the real magic happens once a year, when the “happiest place on Earth” plays host to the fabulously unofficial Disneyland Gay Days. For three days, thousands of LGBTs and their allies don the color red and come out (so to speak) to show their support for hot gender-bending girl-on-girl, man-on-man, and girl-who-used-to-be-a-man-on-man action! And if that doesn’t spin your cup of tea, Mickey and Minnie will be there, too. Or Mickey and Donald. But if Pluto’s your game, count us out. Quote in the act: “Faster, baby! Spin me faster!”
3] Laguna Beach
Like more than a handful of its current residents, Laguna Beach has had a little work done over the years. Once a charming stomping ground for roustabout artists and the peace-loving, ganja-smoking members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love (à la Timothy Leary), this seaside city has undergone a demographic face-lift. These days, you’re more likely to catch a bling-slinging CEO strolling down South Coast Highway with a hand up his trophy wife’s skirt than naked hippies commingling on the sand, but this doesn’t mean the city itself is any less sexy. Laguna Beach is the site of some of the most pristine beaches in California. You’ve got to admit there’s something about secluded, craggy Moss Cove that makes you want to stop, drop and do the deed right there on the shore (even if it means getting sand in your junk). Quote in the act: “Are you done yet? I have to put another quarter in the parking meter.”
4] Garden Grove
More popularly known as the home, sweet homestead of silver-haired Steve Martin (me-ow!), Crystal Cathedral and the annual Strawberry Festival, Garden Grove is (to the untrained eye) as straight-laced as a Catholic schoolgirl on Sunday. But those of us in the know recognize that this particular schoolgirl hems her skirt 3 inches above protocol and chain-smokes in the bathroom between classes. Exhibit A: the Vietnamese bikini cafés, where the drinks are hot and the service is steaming. Despite their infamous reputation, these establishments serve only non-alcoholic beverages. The bright side is that your coffee is brought to you by a buxom, bikini-clad bombshell teetering on 6-inch stilettos. Finally! A family-friendly place where you can enjoy a nice game of checkers and ogle the waitresses without feeling like a complete creep. Quote in the act: “Come on, baby, you can tell me if they’re real. . . . Hey, I meant your eyelashes!”
5] Long Beach
The Margot Tenenbaum of the Orange County family, our adopted and footloose darling, this city has all the glamour of urban LA, but with less sleaze (or perhaps the massive amounts of cheap booze flowing through the city cause us to not notice). There’s plenty of nightlife downtown, but nothing represents the tastefully understated sex appeal emanating from this town quite as well as Alex’s Bar. Located off the beaten path of the hip Fourth Street cafés and vintage boutiques, this discreet watering hole’s entrance through a back door (just the way we like it!) leads into a dim red room haunted by hanging portraits and gorgeous locals. Alex’s ruddy walls and edgy ambiance create the perfect atmosphere for its alter ego as a vampire bar in HBO’s True Blood series. Fang-bangers still prowl the alleys surrounding this rock & roll venue (a great spot for private make-out sessions), so if you want to score big-time, just say you’re on Team Eric. Quote in the act: “Bite me! No, really, bite me!”
There’s just something undeniably sexy about fresh-faced college coeds. Perhaps it’s the allure of their perky demeanor (okay, we mean tits) or scintillating intellect (. . . and ass), but between Fullerton’s five postsecondary institutions and bustling downtown district, this city is practically bursting at the seams with pretty young things eager for a side of good times to go along with their education. Whether they’re hitting the lounges on Commonwealth Avenue or running through the Cal State Fullerton campus in bras and panties, these lovely ladies truly understand the importance of maintaining a healthy set of extracurricular activities. Quote in the act: “Yes, Professor, I want an A. I want an A real bad.”
7] Santa Ana
It’s easy to get distracted these days by the hustle and bustle of the downtown Artists’ Village. With its collection of erotic photography and roofie-lethal martinis, Proof Bar alone is a veritable gold mine for one-night stands, but what really piques our interest (and puts this city on the list) are the safe-sex mavens of the Hermosa y Protegida (Miss Beautiful and Protected) pageant. Bold, busty and transgender, when these lovely Latinas aren’t strutting their hand-made curves for the Center Orange County’s beauty pageants, they’re making hipsters nervous on Fourth Street, waiting patiently in line at 3 a.m. at Taqueria de Anda, or cooing like Juan Gabriel while they’re cutting the hair of some macho. Yeah, their tits might not be real, and there’s a chance you might encounter some extra equipment, but at least it won’t burn when you pee the next morning! Quote in the act: Anything ever sung by cumbia legends La Sonora Dinamita.
8] Newport Beach
Welcome to the cougar’s den. Newport Beach is crawling with them. Sleek, svelte and maintained with the utmost excellence, these fiery felines are especially dangerous. They look killer for 40-plus and totally know it, but with the kind of money running through this city, how can they not afford to look good? Hungry for fresh meat, cougars scour the lengths of Fashion Island for the perfect plunging neckline with which to bait their prey. Their hunting grounds are coastal bars, and they can be spotted in prolific numbers on the Balboa Peninsula. If you encounter one, do not run. Newport Beach cougars are aggressive and spry from years of Pilates. Assume a submissive position, and chances are you will escape with limited mauling. Godspeed. Quote in the act: “Oh, oh, oooh—MAMA!”
Between the Holy Family Cathedral, the antiques market and the quaint, Deutschland-inspired architecture of Old Towne, you’d think the city of Orange would go rigid at the slightest molestation. You’re be right, of course, but perhaps going rigid isn’t such a bad thing. Two years ago, we ran a little piece profiling Club Amnesty, a then-thriving swinger’s club that brought “the lifestyle” and all its partner-swapping amenities to OC. Operating out of a quiet warehouse district in Orange, Amnesty managed to build its clientele to a climax of 5,000 members before, in a post-coital act of ingratitude, the squares at The Orange County Register brought the city down on them by exposing a “licensing” technicality. Even though Amnesty is no more, we’ve still got our afterglow. They were just that good. Quote in the act: “Our safe word is ‘undie run.’”
10] Huntington Beach
Massachusetts has the Massholes and Massholinas, New Jersey has the guidos and guidettes, but no other cultural phenomenon holds a candle to the bros and the bro-hos of Orange County. These beach-faring party animals span the length of our coastal communities but have an especially prolific presence in Surf City. Toned, tan and usually toasted, the bleached-blond bros divide their time between drinking, chest-bumping and cruising Main Street. Their female counterparts wear tramp stamps and chest implants like badges of honor and have a taste for anything mixed with Red Bull. So if you’re into slumming it and don’t mind the risk of catching crabs from a well-toned hottie in an Affliction T-shirt, Main Street is prime ground for hooking up. Even if you don’t find this a lick sexy, the bros and bro-hos sure do. They possess an animalistic attraction toward one another. It’s like OC’s version of the Jersey Shore—and hey, those kids get laid all the time. Quote in the act: “Hey, is this your Ed Hardy hoodie or mine?”
UP AND COMING
11] Laguna Hills
Does the dropping of drug charges against Henry T. Nicholas mean that nobody is going to testify under oath about the alleged sex dungeon? Sad face.
12] San Juan Capistrano
Once a year, this city counts more swallows per capita than any other city in the nation . . . and they like it, too.
13] Seal Beach
Home to a Naval Weapons Station, who wouldn’t get turned on knowing you’re sitting on top of 5,256 acres of raw firepower?
14] San Clemente
Surfing-media capital of the world, bronzed, blond bombshells come here year-round to surf without wetsuit chafe. For that, they score sexy points, although we’ll have to subtract some for the creation of Rainbow sandals.
Adult film actress Eva Angelina hails from Tustin, and we hail Tustin for providing us with this multi-AVN-award-winning stunner!
As sterile as this city may be, the Orange County Great Park has recently harbored a tent-load of contortionists, which means it’s been getting some pretty freaky action.
17] Laguna Niguel
Blah 364 days of the year, during the annual mooning of Amtrak, Mugs Away Saloon (and unsuspecting train passengers) get more ass than a public toilet.
18] Fountain Valley
Aside from being the hometown of onetime American sweetheart Keri Russell, Gustavo Arellano points out that this city’s welcome sign, supposedly a fountain gushing water, looks more like a rear view of a woman bending over to touch her toes in crotchless panties. Overly Freudian? Google it.
19] Yorba Linda
Richard Nixon fucked over an entire country. That has to count for something.
20] Dana Point
Richard Henry Dana Jr. called it the only romantic spot in California. Plus, there are the Headlands.
21] Buena Park
Home to interactive dinner theater Medieval Times, this town is the closest we’ll ever come to getting lanced by a beefcake on horseback.
22] Los Alamitos
Speaking of horses, we hear tell this town is hung like one. Plus, former mayor Dean Grose apparently has an extreme fondness for melons.
The classier part of Little Saigon, this place is littered with nightclubs frequented by famous Vietnamese expatriates. Next time you’re dancing next to some hot number, think twice before shouting, “Daaang, girl, you look like a pop star!”
24] Laguna Woods
The arrival of the Baby Boomers at this retirement community has sparked a recent vibrancy and demand for more modern amenities such as preventive health care, a bigger gym and . . . a medical-marijuana dispensary. Chances are slim, but we can imagine the victory party to be quite pleasurable.
Birthplace of the recently defamed Tiger Woods . . . but we’ll leave him alone in honor of the number of holes he has conquered.
26] Rancho Santa Margarita
After much brain picking, we decided that Rancho Santa Margarita is sexy only at one intersection—where Antonio Parkway meets Avenida de las Banderas. We’ve got a thing for Spanish actors.
If Ben and Jerry were to come out with an Orange County mayoral line of ice cream, we’d want Ronny Garcia to be our flavor. His smile melts the scoops right off our cones.
Though this city suffers from one of the most unattractive potential misspellings of its name, it’s home to surf-punk band Agent Orange, whom we’re sure have made enough panties drop with their whammy bars.
29] Aliso Viejo
The Aliso Viejo Town Center has probably done a better job at getting South Countians laid than any other establishment. The recipe: Start the night with margaritas at Chili’s; follow it with a chick flick at the romantically plush, conveniently dark Edwards Theatre. Extra points for ending the date by treating them to something nice from the 24-hour Wal-Mart!
30] Lake Forest
Home of Saddleback Church, whose name Dan Savage has made sexual. He hasn’t managed to make it sexy, though. Have you seen Rick Warren?
ON THE BOTTOM
31] Mission Viejo
We imagine a lot of hate-sex happens after each bizarrely contentious City Council meeting, but we don’t like to imagine what that hate-sex looks like.
32] La Habra
La Habra’s all right if you’re into overly fertile women with tabloid nicknames.
33] La Palma
Is this seriously part of OC? Can we trade for Long Beach? Lakewood? Cerritos? Please?
34] Villa Park
Being the most Republican city in California, Villa Park is already pretty unsexy . . . but not containing a single park?! Now, that’s just outright deception. If you’re going to just make up a name, at least call yourself something awesome—like Boobiesburgh or Poontown.
With the story of Samantha Runnion still looming over this town, the already-unsexy Stanton places as least sexy of them all.
This article appeared in print as "Our Sexiest Cities: How exactly is it done in Orange County"