This summer, go ahead and have a (literal) romp in the hay. Just try not to get arrested.

sex outdoors

Having great outdoor sex is more than the willingness to get leaves in your hair or sand where sand doesn’t belong. If you’re set on the idea, having the right attitude and thinking things through will ensure your pleasure is fun, exciting, and disaster-free.

What are the do’s and don’ts of great outdoor sex? We’ve polled the hive mind of my social media to find out the joys, practicalities, and downright dangers of having sex in the great outdoors — all learned the hard way.

Let other people’s experiences be your guide to nature.

1. Don’t get caught

Part of the excitement of having sex outside is the danger of getting caught or being seen. It feels naughty and brazen. But the reality of getting caught is the opposite of sexy, especially if it’s by a child who happens upon you and yells, “Mommy! What are they doing?!” while pointing at you from five feet away. Don’t be that couple. Gross.

Speaking of getting busted, don’t get busted. Unless being arrested for lewd conduct is on your sexual bucket list, know the laws in your city, state, and even the whole country. In general, stay away from public schools, pools, parks, and any place a cop can pull up on you faster than you can pull up your pants.

Even if no one calls the cops, your activities could end up on the internet, which might be worse than getting arrested, depending who you ask.

“Outdoor sex is all about the adventure and the urgency. Home is full of laundry and unwashed dishes, whereas your local forest is full of dappled sunlight and sturdy trees to hold onto.”

2. Location, location, location

Now that we’ve established the difference between natural, outdoor sex and creepy public sex, here are some great places to commune with nature.

The woods: According to my friend: “In the olden days only the rich had sex inside because they were the only ones who had private rooms. Everyone else did it in the local forest.”

Your local forest is, in fact, a great place to have sex. You’re alone, relatively hidden, and no one can hear you through thin walls because there are no walls! It’s the perfect place to let your wild side go. Actually, the forest is so rich with life, some people are “bathing” in it.

The beach: Warm, soft sand lies splayed in undulating curves under an open sky. Salty, primordial scents waft through the air. Waves relentlessly rush in and pull out, over and over … are you getting the picture? The beach practically screams sex. Pick a deserted spot away from the crowd, get under that beach towel, and go for it. You’re nearly naked anyway, right? Don’t waste this opportunity.

Under the stars: What’s more romantic than being alone with your boo under a canopy of stars against a night sky? Nothing, that’s what. If you have a nice fire going, even better. Camping is a great time to have sex because you probably have a cozy tent, a padded sleeping bag, and if you’re “glamping,” an air mattress and pillows.

In the water: If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool, look no further than your own backyard for some submerged fun. At the beach or a lake, go far enough out where you can still stand but people on shore can’t tell what’s going on under the waterline. (Not recommended for people freaked out after seeing “Jaws,” though.)

“Don’t think about the kids, the neighbors, or the twigs you’ll be picking out of your undies afterward. It’ll all be worth it, you woodland goddess, you.”

3. Be prepared

If you know you’re going to have alfresco sex-o, have a blanket or thick towel with you. It’ll save your back and knees from rocks, pebbles, tree roots, seashells, and all manners of road rash, even where there are no roads.

Camping is one of the best opportunities to have great sex outdoors. You’ve already packed everything you need and plan to sleep there anyway. Bring lube, condoms, and baby wipes if you want. But PSA: Remember, if you pack it in, pack it out. No one wants to find your used condoms under a pine tree.

If you’re in the woods for the afternoon, one friend also suggests bug spray: “Spraying a circle around your general area will help and be less gross, but not terrific for the environment. Dryer sheets also work.” Who knew?

4. Lose yourself in the moment — you own it

You had the foresight to bring a blanket and bug spray. Now it’s time to say bye to everything else that feels structured, scheduled, reasonable, and responsible. Outdoor sex is all about the adventure and the urgency. Yeah, you could wait until you get home, but why? Home is full of laundry and unwashed dishes, whereas your local forest is full of dappled sunlight and sturdy trees to hold onto.

Don’t think about the kids, the neighbors, or the twigs you’ll be picking out of your undies afterward. It’ll all be worth it, you woodland goddess, you.

5. Assume the position

Sex in the great outdoors means finding yourself in some unusual positions because you’re working with what’s available. Spooning under a blanket is popular among exhibitionists because it looks like cuddling to the casual passerby.

Tree hugging isn’t just for environmentalists. According to a conversation I overheard once, sex while pressed up against a tree “gets all that stuff up in there.”

Wrapping yourself around your partner like a koala may be the only thing that saves you from being swept out to sea. Limb contortions are common to work around rowboat oars, steering wheels, and don’t get me started on backs.

One friend shared, “I had sex on a hammock recently. Kind of awkward, but fun. It got the job done.”

Considering how hard it is to just get in and out of a hammock, that’s pretty impressive.

6. Random advice is still good advice

Here’s some good advice from a Facebook friend: “If you’re on a cliff, next to a body of water, don’t kick your wallet off of the cliff. If you are on the roof of a castle tower, do not underestimate the speed of a bus full of 10-year-olds in ascending the tower steps. If you are not fully dressed when you hear them approaching, quickly turn your back as if you are admiring the scenery, and finish buttoning.”

I think that pretty much covers it.


Dara Nai is a Los Angeles-based humor writer whose credits include scripted television, entertainment and pop culture journalism, celebrity interviews, and cultural commentary. She’s also appeared in her own show for LOGO TV, written two independent sitcoms, and, inexplicably, served as a judge at an international film festival.