Being surrounded by prime quality material certainly helps.The exception is if you are a student well into your 30s. This is what helped me. You are basically around college aged women for over a decade. So I did not have to drop my standards too much. Plus I was in my late 20s living in college student housing in a very liberal city.
But you are right. Outside of college campuses you have to drop your standards ALOT.
I knew a guy in Costa Rica that had 5 girlfriends. I met 3 of them. One was hot, the other 2 were not my cup of tea at all. Personally I'd have just taken the hot one.
Another factor is LTRs can take you out of the game for years. If you never have a long term relationship then you'll have a high lay count but that could be a sign of some kind of problem rather than skill. Case in point: Rooshv.