Probably the most important unanswered question of the Bible is who had the most sex.
A few weeks ago I searched for an answer and realized that no definitive thinkpiece on the topic had been written. Immediately I reached out to a number of writers, pastors, theologians, and math experts. While a lot of folks offered helpful advice, none of them will be credited in this article. Turns out, very few people want their name attached to a study of Bible figures’ sex lives.
While there is not sufficient space here to evaluate every single Bible figure, we handicapped the field and examined the top players. Those who were impressive, but did not quite make the top tier:
- Methuselah: lived the longest of any man, thereby giving him an advantage. But listen, this dude’s nickname was “Meth.”
- Jacob: Had that sweet mandrake-pimping wife rivalry between Rachel and Leah, but he also spent 7 years of his sexual prime in voluntary virginity while serving Laban to get (who he thought was) Rachel. 7 years is enough to drop him off the top tier.
- David: We know he was an impulsive horndog who wasn’t above killing someone for sex. Working against him: short lifespan (70 years), extended stretches on the run and away from the palace, and later-life impotence.
- Rahab: Look, did Jericho fall because Rahab did every dude in the city? Did the Israelite spies agree to save her extended family because “hiding them under the flax stalks” was a Biblical metaphor? I’m just asking questions here.
On to the finalists:
Adam (and Eve)
[note: we don’t know how long Eve lived, so we will run the analysis based on Adam’s life]
Known Partners: Eve. It seems unlikely, even in the pre-law era, that Adam would have taken a descendant as a second wife.
Plausible Freaky Period: Adam lived for 930 years on the earth, and he (presumably) entered the earth as an adult male, already partnered with Eve. His entire lifespan is in play.
Rate and Base Count: Let’s start with the universally accepted Once A Week Evangelical Average. This gives Adam and Eve a baseline number of 48,360. This is not a final count; this is the number we will bump up or down based on numerous factors, such as:
Initial Christian Newlywed We Have to Catch Up Phase: Any Christian couple who has postponed sex until after the wedding understands this. Come on, Steve, our high school friends were doing it in the Walgreens parking lot on prom night and that was 6 years ago. Are we going to let them win, Steve? COME ON STEVE.
Poor Steve. He’s not a machine, Amy. 300% increase for first 6 months. (+72) = 48,432
(A counter-argument would be that Adam and Eve had no one to compare themselves to. Untrue: Adam compared their marriage against the animals, specifically the rabbits.)
Pregnancies: This is tricky. We know that Adam and Eve had Seth (their third son) when Adam had been on earth for 130 years. Why it took this long is a mystery. Perhaps in the years between Abel and Seth many unnamed daughters were born. It is unclear.
In any sense, human bodies were clearly more resilient in Genesis than they are now. It is not unreasonable to suggest that Eve could have had dozens of children. In any case, any pregnancy represents a dry spell. Given the apparent resiliency of the Genesis humans, we will cap the dry spell at 5 weeks for each pregnancy. As for the number of pregnancies, we will go with a relatively conservative model of 24 children, which is based on the assumption that Eve will stop ovulating at some point, regardless of how long she lives. Exactly when Eve moves into cougar territory is unclear, but 24 children seems a reasonable guess based on other models ranging anywhere from 8 to 100+ children.
24 dry spells of 5 weeks. (-120) = 48,312
Widower Factor: We don’t know how long Eve lived, but it seems reasonable to assume that, at worst, her lifespan fell within one standard deviation of Adam’s. This gives her a theoretical minimum age of 632. If we split the difference between Eve’s minimum death age and Adam’s actual death age (930) we have 781. This is, of course, weighted against the possibility that Eve lived longer, but that seems at least slightly unlikely, because Methuselah (969) was named the oldest person in the Bible, so she would have had to live between 930 and 969 years, and that’s a relatively small window.
149 widower years (-7,748) = 40,564
Analysis: Shouldn’t the final shot for the Salt County Sheep have counted as 3 points?
Known Partners. About 1,000, including your mom.
Plausible Freaky Period. Solomon had a relatively short lifespan of 80 years. The more important number, though, is his actual reign (read: harem access) of approximately 40 years. Do we then assume that Solomon was a virgin before becoming king? We know that David was a horrible father, so is it reasonable to say that Solomon was fooling around in the palace before he assumed the throne? There is no way to know, but to assume Solomon was a virgin at 40 is likely unrealistic.
Rate and Base Count. During his 40 year reign, Solomon could conceivably have as much action as he desired. We will put his yearly activity, conservatively, at 250. Several factors keep this count low, given the apparent endless potential to advance his count:
- Solomon is wise. He likely holds himself to one wife per night, as to not cause dissent among his partners
- Solomon will touch all the bases. He will be faithful to the cycle and diligently attempt to give every one of his wives a child. At best this is ethical; a child ensured social protection for many women of that time period. At worst this is pragmatic; a pregnant wife helps him remember who he has recently been with, avoiding the dreaded Leah-Rachel espionage.
- No man goes every night. Look, no matter what they say, no man is going to go every single night.
Base yearly rate of 250, for 40 years = 10,000.
We will also give him 15 years of pre-reign palace tomfoolery at 50 per year = 750
Total = 10,750
Pregnancies. Wholly unaffected by pregnancies. If one of his wives became pregnant, Solomon simply moved on to the next one. He was probably going to move on to the next one anyway. The one partner per night cycle would take him 3 years to get through his wives, which isn’t particularly relevant, but still.
Double Backs. It seems unreasonable to assume that Solomon would not frequently double back to wives he fancied. However, given his presumed dedication to the cycle, and not wanting to cause dissension, he would approach these double backs discreetly, probably in the afternoon, and this is why he wrote the song “Afternoon Delight,” which he intended as a Psalm, but it didn’t make canon so he just released it on the radio.
30 double backs per reign year. (+1200) = 11,950
Analysis: Yeah but did the Newsboys try to evangelize the alien lady, because if not, why did they even go to that planet to sing about evangelism?
Seth (and Anna)
[note: we don’t know how long Seth’s wife lived, so we will run the analysis based on Seth’s life]
Known Partners: One unnamed wife, who was also apparently his sister. Possibly more partners, but let’s not kid ourselves: Seth wasn’t playing the field. His name was Seth; this dude was a homeschooler. And because he was homeschooled, we can reasonably assume that his wife’s name was Anna.
Plausible Freaky Period: Seth lived a total of 912 years. We know that homeschoolers marry young, so at worst, Seth’s freakiness span was 892 years.
Rate and Base Count: As with Adam and Eve, we must use the Once a Week Evangelical Average. This gives us a base count of 46,384.
Initial Christian Newlywed We Have to Catch Up Phase:
300% increase for first 6 months. (+72) = 46,456
Pregnancies: According to Jewish tradition, Seth and Anna had 56 children. This number is significantly higher than Adam & Eve’s projection, but Seth was likely also feeling the pressure of out-breeding his banished brother Cain. We will adjust the 56 model downward to account for incremental exaggeration of oral traditions, and project Seth & Anna to have 42 children.
42 dry spells of 5 weeks (-210) = 46,246
Widower Factor: Using the same method as we did for Adam & Eve, we take Seth’s lifespan of 912 years, and one standard deviation gives us a minimum death age of 620 for Anna. If we take the mean of this and Seth’s actual death age we have a projected death age of 766 for Anna (again, weighted against the possibility that she outlives Seth)
146 widower years (-7,592) = 38,654
Commemorative Sex: an advantage Seth & Anna have over their parents (ugh, that family tree) is that they can have birthday and anniversary sex, whereas Adam & Eve had neither birthdays nor an anniversary to commemorate. And sure, they didn’t have calendars around back then, but HELLO, they checked their smart phones, DUH.
Average of 2.5 birthday/anniversary sex encounters per year, with 766 projected years of marriage (+1915) = 40,569
Analysis: Someone needs to check on the drummer. No, seriously, he doesn’t look well.
Adam & Eve = 40,564
Solomon = 11,950
Seth & Anna = 40,569 [WINNER]
Despite anecdotal belief that Solomon had more sex than anyone in the Bible, Seth & Anna are the projected winners in our analysis. It is a victory for monogamy, but also for marrying your sister, so I guess it’s kind of a mixed bag.