The risk of being caught having sex in public is a feeling that spurs many people on. The naughty nature of public sex – rather than the actual sex itself – is what makes it fun.

Yet having sex in public is technically illegal – you could be charged under the Crimes Act 1961 (see 125 Indecent act in a public place for more information).

Sex is public therefore isn't the smartest thing to do, but any unlawfulness isn't going to stop most people who are keen on partaking from doing their thing. So, if you're going to do it, what are the dos and don'ts?

Do exercise discretion

Maybe you have agoraphilia, which is defined as people who get aroused by sex in public. But if this is your kink, you don't have to be obnoxious about it. There's a difference between sex in a public place you could only theoretically get caught (e.g. on an empty beach) and places where you probably will get caught (e.g. on the train). Exercise some discretion and self-restraint.

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Don't forget there are grey zones

The Crimes Act stipulates a sex act conducted in a place the public has (or is permitted to) access to is against the law. However, there are also some grey zones: if you have sex within view of any such place, you might still be in the wrong. That means it might be best to avoid sex up against a hotel window within full view of the street, or in your car (even though it's private property) because the public could still see in.

Do have manners

Any public exploits must be accompanied by good manners. Public sex should be quiet – preferably silent – and respectful of the surroundings. It's a covert act. If you're into exhibitionism, there are private places (e.g. sex clubs) where you can enjoy that, but run-of-the-mill public sex really should only be about the two people having it. Be sensitive about location choices, especially in the great outdoors... sex in the bushes in a national park might be fine, but sex in a cemetery or up against a cultural or religious monument is not.

Don't forget to be quick

Sex in public should be a quickie. It's lust-fuelled and down to business. The purpose is to devour each other, then and there. Make it a good time, not a long time. Sex in public should be rushed, which is all part of the thrill.

Do remember: you'll smell

Aside from the against-the-law aspect, smelling like sex is why I don't really recommend sex in public. Yes, sex has smells. All sorts of human odours that are indistinguishable to others – don't pretend yours smell like roses. If you have sex in public then go straight back to whatever you were doing, it's likely the people around you will catch your stench. How disgusted would a waiter be if they could smell you after a quick romp in the restaurant bathroom? Keep this in mind when assessing your post-sex plans.

Don't double down on illicit activities

Do you know how the infamous gangster Al Capone was caught by police? It wasn't for murder or running an illegal crime syndicate – it was tax fraud. Herein lies a lesson core to sex in public: don't do something wrong when you're already doing something wrong. Public sex is already an indecent act. Don't do anything else that'll bother or raise attention of other people – e.g. playing music too loud or doing it an unregistered car on the side of the road.

Do watch out for cameras

Cameras are everywhere. They're on public buildings, in businesses, on people's houses, and attached to cars. It's possible in public sex acts that you'll leave video evidence that can be used against you (and this isn't even counting smartphone cameras, which are in the pockets of all passers-by).

Don't be messy

Apply a general rule of "leave no footprint behind" to sex in public. Nobody should know you were ever there. Don't leave any mess behind (including throwing used condoms on the ground – it's the ultimate in disgusting), don't break anything, and don't lose or forget any of your belongings.

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