Is It OK To Have Sex In Public? Here's Why Sexperts Say You Can Never Be Too Careful

If your hometown is anything like mine, there was a small parking lot in front of a lighthouse, upon a rocky lookout over the ocean, where everyone went to get it on. At the risk of literally sounding like I grew up in '60s sitcom or the '90s iconic series, Dawson's Creek (I wish), let me preface with: I never really thought about whether or not it's OK to have sex in public. In my town, if you were lucky enough to have a car (read: borrow your parents' ride for the night), going to "The Neck" to make out or do whatever else with your boo was pretty typical. Of course, ( thankfully) the rest of the world doesn't work like small town New England, and outside of my town, getting caught getting it on in public can be pretty difficult to maneuver.

"In most states in the U.S., having sex in public is a misdemeanor, infamously known as public fornication," Dominnique Karetsos, resident sex expert for MysteryVibe, tells Elite Daily. "There are definitely creative ways to channel the rush of sex in public without jeopardizing your legal status or the comfort of others." According to Karetsos, "public sex" means something different to everyone, and the legal ramifications can vary from location to location. "From having sex on an open balcony to a public space like a movie theater, it depends on the state and/or country, Karetsos says. "If this is one of your fantasies, I would always recommend doing a bit of research first."

While it varies across the country, in most states, getting caught having sex in public is considered a misdemeanor which can sometimes be classified as a Lewd or Indecent Behavior or even Indecent Exposure. "In the case of a misdemeanor, you would likely be written up or given a fine, much like a traffic offense," Karetsos says. "In more serious cases, you can face jail time if your public exposure is considered to have a 'lewd' intent, like flashing someone who did not consent."

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Of course, there is nothing sexy (or legal) about anything that's not consensual. If you and your partner(s) think it would be totally hot to have sex in public, and you're in a state that allows for such activity, Karetsos emphasizes that it's important to make sure you won't be in sight of children or that you won't be flashing someone. "If you want to escalate to the next level, make sure you are considerate of any unsuspecting humans and families. If you are really eager to try areas like a park or beach, be sure that no one is around. More discreet locations include hotels, a rooftop, or even a bedroom that just has big windows," Karetsos says.

Stumbling upon people having sex can be triggering or pretty alarming for someone who is just trying to walk their dog on a Tuesday night. Responsible sex means communication and consent with the people you sleep with, but it also means being considerate to those around you — especially if you're looking to get it on in public.

If the idea of public sex totally turns you on, Karetsos suggests joint-writing your fantasies with your partner(s) or incorporating fantasy or role playing between the sheets. "Start by describing your ideal scene in detail in a sext message — only you two will know how steamy things are getting," Karetsos says. "Role play is also powerful; you can have sex in a less public place and create a fantasy about being somewhere else. Often the adrenaline leading to up to sex is more than half the thrill, so let the fantasy take hold!" According to Karetsos, you and your partners can create the thrill of public sex without risking your legal standing. If the anticipation seems sexy, or the risk of getting caught is turn on, try stimulating a scene with your boo.

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When it comes to any part of sex and sexuality, there's no need to feel pressure or even encouragement to do anything out of your comfort zone, or especially since it is literally illegal. But if you're dead set on the doing the dirty outside, and willing to risk the consequences, Karetsos relays that you and your boo better be prompt. "The success to public sex is it has to be fast, quiet and sneaky," Karetsos says. Though going commando and expecting the sex to be on the shorter side can help when doing the dirty outside, if you're trying to have sex in public, you and your boo may postpone your day-long sex session to an indoor day.

Of course, when public sex is (literally) on the table, Karetsos suggests not taking it too seriously. "Public sex can be clumsy and awkward, so having a sense of humor is as important as being adventurous," Karetsos says. "Start off slow, go to dinner without underwear and drive your partner wild with messages across the table. Or invest in vibrating underwear and pass the remote to use in a cab ride home." A healthy dose of humor can be important in all types of sex. Feeling comfortable during sex often means being able to laugh off when your body makes a silly sound or when you and your boo bunk heads by mistake. Going commando on a sexy date night or starting the foreplay on the ride home can turn up the sexy while saving space for some inevitable giggles.

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Of course, unpacking why you think you want to have sex in public could turn up the heat as well. If the idea of people watching you get it on or if you think you'd enjoy watching others get it on, Karetsos suggests looking into play parties or joint group sex events. "There are many sexy, safe parties that allow you and your partner to either watch others or play 'in public,'" Karetsos says. "Check out special resorts for a vacation, or see if there’s a local play party scene near you." Having an intentional space for public sex can ensure the comfort and consent of all parties directly involved and everyone observing.

Finding public places to get it on means ensuring the comfort and wellbeing of you, your boo, and anyone else that may be around. Sexy texting or fantasy can be a fun way to turn up the heat without risking legal troubles, as well as finding play parties or spaces where everyone consents to get their sexy on, by doing or seeing. When it comes down to getting down, having sex in public may take some sexy research and preplanning.