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A Cheeky Girls Guide to Sex…

In the Park

by Dr. Debby Herbenick – June 24, 2009

Although sex usually occurs indoors, sometimes summer encourages a wild, less inhibited side of our sexuality that favors sex in one’s natural surroundings. Even the tamest of couples has been known to find it difficult to resist the temptation to have sex rightthisverysecond – even when they are in a public place. (And for some, especially when in a public place.)

That said, there are do’s and don’ts for every situation, including sex in a public space such as a park. Follow these tips and you’ll be more likely to have fun and less likely to wind up in trouble.

1. Choose your “sex site” wisely. Not all parks – or sections of parks – were meant for sex. Wide open field? No. Playground with kids around? Definitely not. If you’re out hiking with your beloved, don’t assume that you won’t run into anyone just because you haven’t yet seen anyone on the trail. A family with two kids of a genital-curious dog may be just around the corner. Go off-trail 10 or 20 feet behind a bush or a large tree for some privacy before stripping down even the smallest of bits.

2. Timing is everything. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to do it in the park you played on as a child. Or maybe you’re too money-conscious to buy a sex swing but curious about sex on a swing. People wind up wanting to have sex in a kiddie park for any number of reasons. If you’re set on such a location, it may work out just fine – as long as you choose your timing well. Kids are not likely to be playing at the park at midnight, for example, which could be prime sex time, whereas 2 pm on a Saturday is out of the question. Same with tourist-prone parks – as much as you may want to see your naked bodies reflected in the Bean, there are few times when you can count on privacy or not getting caught by the police.

3. Fashion matters. If you’re planning ahead for sex in a park or nature area, think before you dress. Let’s say you’d like to straddle your partner in a park while on a picnic – try wearing a long dress (very much in this season) sans panties; he’ll want to wear shorts with easy access and likely no underwear. Going off trail for missionary? Tie a hoodie around your waist so that it can double as a blanket on which to lay your bare butt (note: fleece offers more cushion than cotton).

4. Be prepared. If you need condoms or lube, pack them in your picnic basket or backpack. Bring a plastic bag for any sex trash that you’ll want to discard afterwards (condom wrappers, empty lube packs). Having a full water bottle can help to clean off any stains or rinse your mouths post-oral. Allergic to poison ivy? Make sure that you can identify it before you leave home so that if you go off-trail, you don’t end up rolling around in anything that will later cause you to break out in a painful rash. Also check out local laws, policies and signage. Some parks explicitly prohibit people from hanging out after dusk whereas others are less restrictive. Also, some parks are safer than others at any time, but especially after dark. In love and in sex, try to play it safe.

5. Keep it down. Yes, park and trail sex can be fun. No, you don’t need to advertise it to every other hiker or picnic-er. Keep your sighs and moans down. If you’re engaged in pubic straddling, try to make it look more conversational than “definitely having sex”. Don’t convince yourself that your screams will be mistaken for hyenas or wild dogs; non-human animals don’t scream “harder, faster” or “yes, there!”

Summer is an ideal time for making sex memories that you can relive during the cold, winter months when your sex sites are far more limited to the great indoors. With a little thought and planning, sex au naturel can be hot, satisfying and totally rash-free – as long as you know who you’re bedding down with and how to identify those leaves of three.

Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH is a sex researcher and educator at Indiana University and the sex columnist at Time Out Chicago. Her personal blog can be found at MySexProfessor.com.

About the Author: Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Indiana University (IU) where she is a sexuality researcher and educator.