You can say a lot of things about Miami. It's hot. It's corrupt. It's diverse. Hell, it's so real it's frustrating. But there's one thing most locals agree upon: It's not an ideal place to find or fuel a romantic relationship.
Amazon.com, however, begs to differ. It recently ranked Miami fourth on its list "The 20 Most Romantic Cities in America." Wait, what?
Miami came in just under Knoxville, Tennessee, and just above Alexandria, Virginia, on Amazon's list this year, which would seem to indicate it ranked somewhere in the lower 30s or 40s, max. But nope. According to Amazon's criteria, which is based mainly on the "sexiness" of the products people in the area purchase from Amazon.com, Miami is really feeling the love.
The result is a list that few people would swoon over. Leading the pack is San Antonio, Texas, followed by Seattle, Washington. Other "romantic" metropolises include Dayton, Ohio; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Erie, Pennsylvania.
A brief aside: I have actually spent time in Sioux Falls. I was even there with my husband. My most memorable experience in that town was being painfully bitten by mosquitoes the size of golf balls during a cheesy, low-budget laser show detailing the town's history. I felt ill and lightheaded from the bites, and my entire body itched for weeks. This was not as romantic as you might imagine.
I hate to break it to Amazon, but this is not a list of "most romantic" cities. This is a list of cities most in need of romance. According to Time:
Amazon looked at cities with more than 100,000 residents and compiled data on the romantic products they bought, including romance novels and relationship books, romantic comedy movies, romantic music, as well as sales of sexual wellness products.
See? That explains it. The residents of these towns have turned to Amazon to supplement the romance they're lacking in their native environments. The itchy, romanceless residents of Sioux Falls (and Erie and San Antonio) could probably use a trip to Miami's sexy beaches.
This theory also explains how Miami ended up in the ranking. Miami is almost certainly not leading the nation in sales of romance novels, but "sexual wellness products"? In a city ranked "most attractive," that sounds about right.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
If you happen to be looking for love in the Magic City, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is pushing its Miami Romance Month promotion.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
Send your story tips to Cultist at email@example.com.