We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship . But how often do we actually hear the nitty-gritty details of how we might actually achieve those things? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex psychotherapist based in San Francisco, to help us out with the specifics. This week’s topic: the best places to have sex in public (or just trick yourself into thinking you are).
Q: My boyfriend has always wanted to have sex in public. I’d like to indulge this fantasy of his. Problem is, I’d actually be horribly embarrassed if anyone saw us! How can I give him that thrill without risking getting caught with our pants down?
A: Having sex in public places is one of those things that sounds delightfully naughty in theory, but doesn’t usually wind up being so hot in real life. Airplane sex is a great example. People get so worked up about joining the mile high club, but if you’ve been in an airplane bathroom anytime recently, you’ll realize that it’s one of the least sexy environments for living out a sex in public fantasy.
That being said, there is a thrill to the idea that you could get interrupted at any moment. If you’re interested in trying to add a little element of risk to your sex life by experimenting with public sex and without winding up with a public indecency charge on your permanent record — it's a good idea to try mimicking the feeling of having sex in public by finding places to have sex that are not technically out in the open. This way, you can see if it's something you're both genuinely interested, and you can take it from there.
Ease Your Way Into It
You don’t have to go whole-hog right away. If you’re not sure you will like having sex in public, try dipping your toes into the exhibitionist waters with a hot make-out session. Sit in your car in a crowded parking lot, sneak your partner into a department store fitting room, or push your partner against the wall in an elevator. Kiss them passionately, fondle them over their clothes, and see if the prospect of getting caught turns you on. If not, then no big deal, but this is a good way to experiment.
Create Other Restrictions
Part of what makes public sex alluring is that you have to be fast, quiet, and sneaky. You can replicate these dynamics without having to risk strangers seeing your genitals. Try having sex when you’re traveling over the holidays; having to go extra slow to avoid making the bed springs creak can be thrilling. Or initiate sex 10 minutes before dinner party guests are due to arrive.
Make Your Home A Little Less Private
Open the doors, windows, or blinds in your apartment to get a taste of public sex without the risk. If you have top-down blinds, you can peek your heads out into the world while keeping your bodies covered. Or you can do it up against the wall next to an open door leading out to your balcony or back porch. If your next door neighbors are outside or within earshot, keep the windows open and try getting it on without making a peep.
Watch Your Partner
If your partner is turned on by the idea of other people watching them, tell him to masturbate in front of you. You can even role-play a little and “accidentally” catch your partner enjoying some private time with themself. Or watch your partner over video chat from the other room. It’s exhibitionism without the strangers!
Put A Mirror Near The Bed
OK, so this isn’t quite the same as public sex, but you can pretend that your reflections are actually other people watching and imitating you. Plus, the thrill of watching yourselves can be just as alluring as having strangers watch you.
"Make sure the mirror is sturdy where it is," Dr. Carol Queen, Good Vibrations staff sexologist and author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone, tells Bustle. "Try to talk to each other. Comment on how hot you look in the mirror, and what if somebody was sitting over there watching us."
This way, you get the same feeling as being in public, without actually going out into the real world.
When You're Ready To Try Public Sex, Remember To Be Safe
If you and your partner decided that you both like the thrill of not-so-public public sex, and are ready to go for the real thing, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember to be safe, and be cautious about the very real possibility of getting caught.
"The safest way to have sex in public, first, is to scope out your possibilities beforehand," Queen says. "Keep an eye out for sight lines, keep an eye out for exits, that kind of thing."
While going for it in the moment may be tempting, planning certain things out can be extremely helpful.
The Best Places To Actually Have Sex In Public
If these tips aren’t enough to satiate you or your partner, here are some of the safest places to have public sex. An important note, though: Please remember to respect the people around you! The idea of getting caught might be sexy, but it’s not worth traumatizing some poor, unsuspecting soul just so you can get your rocks off. Don’t be these people.
If you have tinted windows, the world is your oyster! Jump into the backseat and grab a blanket for extra precaution. If your windows aren't tinted, limit your escapades to the evening hours. Try parking in an empty parking garage or near a quiet construction site. If you sit on your partner's lap, you’ll be able to make a faster emergency get-away if you see someone approaching.
Deserted Parks Or Beaches
The risk of getting caught won’t be very high, but you’ll get the excitement of being fully out in the open. This is probably best to do at night, just to reduce the risk of anyone actually seeing you.
"It’s often easier to have your outdoor sex unseen late at night rather than earlier in the evening or in the daytime," Queen says. "It’s always a good idea to think about the degree of visibility."
Just watch out for sand and poison oak! Bringing a blanket or another form of coverage could be a good idea just in case someone does happen to wander into the area.
The next time you’re away on vacation, look at the windows of your hotel from the outside. If they’re tinted, you and your partner can have flagrantly exhibitionistic sex without risking being seen. If they're not, have sex on the ground in missionary position or doggy-style. The angle should keep anyone from spotting you.
"It's not as [risky] if you are staying in a hotel room where somebody could look through the window or on a hotel balcony where the people who might see what's going on up there are fairly far away," Queen says.
You can also look into resorts that are comfortable with guest nudity. This can help up the exhibitionist factor, without any risk of you possibly getting in trouble.
With holiday party season in full effect, you may soon find yourselves with the opportunity to duck into a single-stall bathroom for a few hot minutes. Lock the door, bend over the sink, and go to town as quickly as you can! If there are people milling around the entrance, pretend that one of you is sick or needs assistance getting into the restroom. Just don’t do it in a friend’s home, in a handicapped restroom, or if there’s a line waiting.
A Movie Theater
The armrest situation can make intercourse a little tricky, but you can give each other hand jobs in the darkness of the back rows. Just be careful with this one — you could very well get caught and/or traumatize a witness.
Empty College Classrooms Or Libraries
Check the class schedule or post up far away from the elevator to make sure you won’t get interrupted. Wear a skirt or dress with no underwear on underneath to make things even easier.
A Private Roof Deck
Duck behind the wall or ledge, so you can hide everything going on below the waist while still looking out on the world.
Good luck, and stay safe!
Dr. Carol Queen, Good Vibrations staff sexologist
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