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And according to a Facebook study of its users conducted last fall, San Francisco rates highest among major American cities on the ratio of single men to single women.

Despite loads of single men, getting a date is a no-man's land. "I'd forgotten what it was like to be flirted with," says Kink and Code blogger Emma Mc Gowan, 27, who noticed it during a recent visit to New York.

"I can't get over how reflexively men flirt in New York." Forget flirting; it sometimes seems as if guys don't see gals, period. It's easy to blame smartphones for replacing the normalcy of spontaneous face-to-face interaction.

"I can't sit at a bar in Chicago or New York without a guy striking up a conversation with me, whereas in San Francisco, guys don't even look up from their laptops when I walk into a cafe," says Beth Cook, 34, a local business and life coach. "A lot of people are quick to blame tech, but that's oversimplification," counters Mc Gowan.

"I feel invisible in San Francisco and attractive whenever I leave." No surprise, then, that in that same Facebook study, San Francisco also ranked dead last in the likelihood of relationship formation, based on the number of Facebook users who changed their status from "single" to "in a relationship" during the period studied last fall. Is it possible that single, straight guys in San Francisco are just not interested in meeting women? We've all heard about Silicon Valley's epic "Peter Pan syndrome," in which thousands of young workers from around the world prolong their independence while carving out careers, heading west to strike (tech) gold.

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