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outdoor sex

Can outdoor sex be good sex?

Anouszka Tate answers your sex and relationship questions, including how to make sure your al fresco sex is actually sexy.

My girlfriend wants to have sex in places that aren’t our bedroom – probably outdoors. I don’t quite know why but I feel a bit weird about it. Maybe it’s because I really don’t like breaking rules, but also I’m just not sure it’d ever actually be good sex! What do you reckon? I do want to get past it because I obviously want to do it for her.

Hi, hello, welcome along… you’ve written to the right woman. Were there some sort of pleasure council I’d be voted Advocate for Outdoor Sex in an instant. I shan’t run through the CV that got me that position.

I take this office very seriously and will thus get the dull but necessary stuff out the way first: sex in public toilets is still an offence, but sex in other public places isn’t. Caveat! Unless it’s witnessed or there’s a reasonable chance at least two members of the unsuspecting public might see you, then you could be charged with outraging public decency.

Basically it’s a bit ‘if a tree falls in this incredibly enticing forest, but no one’s here to hear it… did it really fall?’ The law isn’t there to stop you getting off, it’s there to protect those who don’t want to look on.

Start close to home. Like literally by the patio doors. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, do a reconnaissance mission and find the spot that’s not overlooked by neighbours – that low hanging tree you’ve been meaning to cut back for ages will suddenly become your best bud.

Why is most patio furniture so delightfully cushioned? Do the varying heights of tables and benches offer numerous naughty angles? Gosh, was that swing-seat I bought off eBay a good buy after all? You’re about to find out. The moment you reach your comfortability threshold, you can dart back indoors no problem.

Ready to start venturing further afield? Come prepared. Today is not the day to wear clothes with inordinately fiddly buttons and buckles. Remember the thing about not outraging public decency? Full on nakedness won’t help your cause, so go for clothes with easy access.

A warning: the great outdoors is messy. There’s mud and sand and bark and spiky things out there. That’s part of the fun – good heavens, please do not try to take yourself seriously while you’re having al fresco sex. Remember to laugh together. But also remember to bring a blanket. An oversized beach umbrella can also act as a wind / dignity shield of sorts. Lube, as bloody always, is your friend.

Water, slippy and slidey as it is, is wildly sexy. The gentle bobbing of waves helps make under water activities less obvious in the ocean and is also quite helpful for buoyancy reasons. Private swimming pools also feel like they’re going to be sexy but it would be remiss of me not to point out they’re not the most sanitary of places.

I mean look guys, I’ve done it, I’ve lived to tell the tale, but the idea is sexier than the sex itself. Because here’s the thing – you’re right that sex outdoors might not be the best physical sex you’ve ever had. The delicious thrill of having sex outdoors is likely to be more pleasurable than the mechanical sex itself.

But that’s not a mark against it.

The biggest sexual organ is the brain. It’s your brain you want to be tantalizing with novel experiences.

So much of sex isn’t (or at least I don’t think it should be) about the physical act. It’s about the intimacy, and the shared experience. You’ll likely have had sex with your fair share of people in your bed – no shade here pals – but the joy of sex anywhere other than your bed is the spontaneity. It’s the random combination of factors that have brought you and this person together in this particular place at this particular time. It’s a bonding experience as much as anything. It’s a moment so specific that only you two will ever share it. And that does mad things to your brain.

You may well find yourself feeling more sexually liberated. We all struggle to get off the heteronormative script that dictates what sex acts we are meant to like as it is, and it can be even harder to break away from our premeditated formula when the context (sex with same woman in same bedroom) remains the same.

Don’t underestimate the power of a breeze against your skin and a raised heartbeat at the thought of being caught.

You’re more likely to lose your inhibitions. You’ll care less what you look like and won’t be constrained to your normal failsafe moves. Once you free yourself from the idea that it has to be the best physical sex of your life, you’ll allow yourself to be fully present with your partner.

In summary: sex outdoors can be incredible. That’s a (secluded) hill I’m willing to die on.


What are you confused, curious, or concerned about? Ask me a question in the comments below or on my Instagram page, and I’ll do my best to answer in my next column! 

Photography by Max Budny.


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