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Outdoor sex 101

By Maya Khamala

If you live with your parents, a bunch of roommates, or a large extended family, outdoor sex may present a more private alternative. But for others, getting it on in the great outdoors is an act worthy of inclusion on one’s big, bad sexual taboo bucket list. Plus, who doesn't love the prospect of having sex under the stars? It’s dang romantic, that’s what.

Of course, while there’s something to be said for hot, spur-of-the-moment sex, getting your groove on outdoors is something you should plan for, because in addition to checking the weather forecast, you want to be extra careful not to get caught and/or arrested, among other possible outcomes.

If you’re already decided that outdoor sex is in your plans—or you’ve already gone there but want to improve your game—consider the following tips to make the most of your outing. While, you know, keeping it safe, hygienic, and overall, fun, since that's the whole point. 

Choose your location wisely

Most people who explore outdoor sex do so because it’s an exciting prospect—a way to try something new, adventurous, and freeing with a partner. 

If you’re an outdoor sex newbie, you might start close to home, i.e., on your balcony or rooftop, or in your backyard under the night sky. Plus, props (like your patio furniture) might be more conducive to good times than getting your back or your stomach scraped repeatedly up against the bark of a tree. 

If you want to be outside but also in your car, abandoned dirt roads and empty parking lots at night tend to be suitable. Just try to avoid more residential areas and the security cameras that accompany them. 

If you opt for a spot away from home, empty campsites, deserted beaches, and forested areas at night are all contenders, as long as there aren't people walking on by. 

Ultimately, you'll want to choose a spot that sparks your inner thrill, but with enough cover to actually spend that adrenaline coursing through your veins.

Consider privacy and consent

Be mindful of who might be able to see you. Whether the prospect of being watched turns you on or not, you’ll want to avoid involving non-consenting individuals. If you’re on a balcony where your neighbors or their kids will have a perfect view of your naked butts (or worse), you might want to think twice (nay, thrice). While keeping your illicit activities to the cover of nighttime does help to cloak them, it may not be enough. The last thing you want to do is offend or shock someone who happens to look your way—or worse still, (re)traumatize someone already walking around with sexual ghosts. 

Not to mention, giving yourself some level of privacy (i.e., a hedge or trees between you and the outside world) can help reduce your risk of being caught/charged by authorities—no one wants that. Being on your own property makes this less likely, but if you live in close proximity to others, this is still a consideration you can't afford not to make.

Don’t get caught

FYI, there's a difference between steamy outdoor sex and creepy public sex—though there can be some overlap. Some states have laws about sex in public areas, so unless being arrested for lewd conduct is on your sexual bucket list, it's worth finding out what those laws are. And, of course, if you’re on someone else’s property, there could be consequences for trespassing. 

Real talk, being arrested and/or having your intimate exchange end up on the internet for all to see are both potential outcomes here. Perhaps worse, you could be spotted by a child (and their angry parents). All in all, just…be smart about it. Lessen your risk level by avoiding high-traffic areas, and anywhere kids tend to hang out. 

Hot tip: consider going commando and/or wearing clothes that make it easy to get your quickie on (and cover up quickly as needed), like a skirt you can lift up, or loose shorts you can push to the side.

Keep it safe ‘n clean

If you're going to have sex outside, it’s important to take certain precautions to avoid infection and injury. Consider the beach-time romp—a popular go-to. Remember that getting sand everywhere (or dirt, or gravel, or hay, depending where you are) does not make for comfortable sex. While this applies in some way to all outdoor areas, sand specifically happens to be the dwelling place of diverse bacteria, not to mention garbage, urine, cigarette butts, and bird shit. 

I’m not trying to poop on the romance here, but the reality is that UTIs, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections are all potential outcomes of exposure to beach/park/forest detritus. To avoid this, bring a large blanket to help keep organic matter at bay. And, because insects, jagged rocks, and poison ivy should by no means be a distraction from the throes of primal heat, consider setting up multiple blankets, towels and/or yoga mats, as well as packing a spare sheet to duck under should an unexpected night-stroller appear. 

Better yet, erecting a tent will keep out both bacteria-infested debris and prying eyes. In other words, consider the possibilities of having sex while camping. Add a campfire to the equation for extra enchantment, baby.

Should you be in close proximity to a pool, or a natural body of water, you might consider water sex (it affords you extra privacy, after all) but since there’s no way of knowing if the water is going to be clean, or if it has parasites, find out as much as you can about the quality of the water beforehand, and take precautions

Bring the goods

Planning ahead for outdoor sex means coming prepared! This means carrying anything you may need to make the experience feel safe, comfy and pleasurable. You might bring condoms, lube, sex toys, bug spray, drinking water, and snacks—to name a few. 

You might also bring along a few body and vulva-friendly wipes to clean off dirt or sand from those intimate nooks and crannies, and a first aid kit, just in case you get cut on a branch, a rock, or a discarded bottle. Basically, treat it like the adventure it is—and pack accordingly!

Bottom line: while outdoor sex can be truly exhilarating, always remember that it requires a willingness to plan ahead, and a partner reliable enough to be on the same page as you—just in case you need to think fast! 

Everyone deserves a thrill. Get yours. <3

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