The most comfortable and easy location to have sex is in bed, in your bedroom. Why, then, do so many people prefer to have sex outdoors?
Sex and change
“In bed, sex is a given, and immediately afterwards, people fall asleep. After outdoor sex, people don’t go to sleep — they are too excited.” —Jenifer
“I love doing everything in bed. Having sex outside my bed is leaving my comfort zone.” —Grace
An awareness of change generates intense emotion. Like burglar alarms going off when an intruder appears, our emotions show us where our attention is required. When we do not need to pay attention, the signaling system can be switched off. We respond to the unusual by paying attention. A change cannot persist for an extended period; after a while, we get used to it and it no longer stimulates us.
Change also increases sexual desire: a new partner typically generates greater sexual interest than a familiar one. The atmosphere, including the location, is significant in generating intimacy. Sex in one’s own bed can be most intimate. As a divorcee said: “I bring only those I am in love with to my bed and want them to stay overnight. Casual, or emotionless sex, will never take place in my bed.”
Though having sex in bed is familiar and comfortable, in an established relationship, it becomes routine—the same positions are repeated until sex becomes dull. Indeed, one memorable movie features a married couple having routine sex in bed, when the woman falls asleep during the act. During outdoor sex, there is no danger of falling asleep, as lovers experience feelings of adventure and risk that enhance sexual desire.
Outdoor sex can be beneficial for an established couple for briefly being a “different person,” having an affair with their spouse. This increases excitement within a stable relationship. In the amusing song, Escape by Rupert Holmes, the singer claims that he is tired of his "long-beloved lady," comparing their relationship to a worn-out recording of a favorite song. When he sees a personal advertisement from a woman in a newspaper, seeking a man who enjoys Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain and making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape, he agrees to meet her. Yet who should meet him that night but his very own partner, seeking just what he desires—to make love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
What was your most exciting sexual experience outdoors?
Here are few answers to the above question:
“On the beach and inside the sea.”
“On a flight from New York to Paris.”
“While driving 70 mph down the I-95.”
“In the car during an automatic car wash.”
“The sexual experiences I had on the train, beach, a restaurant restroom, a colleague’s office and under the table in a pub, were amazing.”
“In a back seat of a bus going south.”
“At the parking lot of the Museum of Art.”
“I had casual sex on the beach, a movie theater and a car. There was no love involved.”
“Sex on a wobbly hammock is the most exciting.” —Jane
Having sex outdoors is often accompanied by an uplifting feeling of victory and defiance. Thus, having sex on the top of the Empire State Building or Eiffel Tower generates the feeling of “being on the top of the world.” Having sex in the bed of your lover and their spouse can evoke similar feelings of excitement. In addition to the risk of being outside, one may feel rebellious adrenaline as well as pleasure in another’s misfortune.
When surveying 2,000 Americans, 76% said they've had sex outside. The most popular locations are cars, backyards, beaches, hiking trails and highway rest stops. 58% of participants said having outdoors sex made them happier in their relationship. 69% indicated that they have had sex in a risky place where they could be caught and about 23% said they were actually caught in the act; most of them indicated that this adventurous experience made them closer to their partner. For Brits, their preferred location is a car, followed by a hotel room next to the window, public toilets, and a park or wooded area.
Outdoor sex includes exciting adventure, urgency and risk, in the Biblical spirit of “Stolen waters are sweet.” When people have sex in the public domain, the risk is higher as it is a criminal offense. People should be careful not to offend others who may see them as it may evoke anger, disgust, and discomfort. Causing distress to the other is an essential moral and legal consideration and people should avoid it.
Strangers on the train: Intense desire and profound intimacy
“I lived in Siberia, and often took the night train to Moscow. At night on the train, I met various people and sometimes had sex with them.” —Victoria
Casual sex is often considered a superficial experience, focusing on sexual release. Meeting strangers on a train (or plane) may create not only intense desire but also profound intimacy. How is this possible?
Closeness and security are central to intimacy. Strangers on a train are unknown to each other and will be so again after their brief encounter. In new places where you are unknown, it is easier to be yourself. Both partners know that soon they will go their own way and will not see each other anymore. This makes the risk of getting hurt lower and enables emotional self-disclosure, which establishes intimacy and gives the illusion of security, closeness, and trust. These are rare circumstances creating profound intimacy in a brief time. It is a sexual encounter specific to travelling, where the human mind experiences a "trip" of physical and emotional exhilaration.
Sex in the car: Privacy in the public domain
“My lover and me were naked while making love in my car. A policeman saw us; he smiled and asked us not to do it again.” —Lydia
Sex in a car is immensely popular; not only is it accessible but it mixes privacy (inside the car) in a public setting. Indeed, many people indicate that their first, and most exciting sexual experience was in a car. Contrary to sex in a park, when a car is parked in a deserted location, it has less danger of exposure. Despite the risk of such sex, it is somewhat safer. After sex in. a car, lovers can even enjoy time together, convenient and risk free, sometimes eating and drinking together.
There are different levels of privacy in the public domain—the more limited the privacy, the more problematic the sex is, both legally and morally. Compared to the privacy of a car, sex under the table of the pub is a clearly public setting.
Sex in the woods
“My most exciting sex was during a jog on a trail. My partner and me were used to running together, and we always found a hiding place by a rock or under a tree. It was fast, exciting and daring.” —Maya
Woods and beaches are accessible locations for casual, spontaneous sex, where people can do whatever they want. Compared with a crowded house, natural settings enable greater freedom. It has been said that in ancient times, only the rich had sex indoors because they were the only ones who had private rooms; everyone else had sex in the local forest. Sex in nature stimulates our most primeval impulses. In the modern era, it is more exciting to be the “servants” who escape to the woods to have sex than the dukes who do so indoors.
Although sex outdoors takes place within the environment, it involves ignoring our social environment. During outdoor sex, lovers are similar to children—they do not care about others, but rather focus on themselves, while breaking social conventions.
Outdoor sex does not eliminate the value of sex in bed at home, but it merely adds an exciting flavor that, when performed in suitable locations and doses, enhances romantic intimacy.
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