I don’t drink, but in the days when I did and a cocktail was on my mind I would immediately ask for ‘Sex On The Beach’ (well that or a Blowjob, but that’s more of a shot really).
At the time it seemed like a fantastic rush. I was young, faux rebellious (read: a total dork who got a thrill from even uttering the word ‘sex’ to a stranger), and really loved the idea of being bold through my words and, by extension, my actions.
In my mind ‘Sex On The Beach’ was the most compelling prospect in the entire roster of fuck goals.
But I also live in a coastal town, and reality was never far to remind me of just how horrible that prospect was.
I’m going to be completely frank here when I say that the beach friggin sucks. I’m not one to side with the Star Wars prequels often but Anakin had it right when he asserted that sand was grainy and gets everywhere.
And sand doesn’t gently tickle the skin. Oh no—It chafes. Bring it close to the skin and introduce even the slightest bit of moisture and suddenly it becomes sandpaper and your body is its bitch.
Now imagine trying to do any form of groping, grinding, or *shudder* thrusting in a sandy environment.
Sex On The Beach can go fuck itself, literally, because I’m not in for that particular outside excursion.
That being said I’m not entirely opposed to some outside action. One of my fondest memories of my teen years with Mr Peaches is when we went to our local woods, treading usual paths, before finding a detour away from prying eyes and engaging in activities together that are for our knowledge only.
The bushes and trees protected us from anyone else sharing in the occasion (although a dog very nearly blew our cover when it decided to approach and see what was occurring).
‘Public Sex Environments’ as they’re termed, are a tricky situation when the law is involved. A lot of different places can be termed as PSEs, and there are a lot of different issues involved concerning the location, the intent, and (of course) visibility.
It’s often asked ‘If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?’ but equally if wood occurs behind trees can anyone get offended?
PSEs can also be linked to acts of sexual violence and even homophobic discrimination. After all, laws regulating sex in public spaces used to be prevalently concerned with policing gay relations and their public engagement.
For someone who has been raped sex in a public space may always be problematic. That particular setting alone may be too much.
Plus even if some of us enjoy sex in public is it really our place to potentially expose others to a sight that they may find potentially traumatising. Undesired exposure is a huge issue online, but in person it can be even more jarring. Can we ever really fully take responsibility for all of those who might encounter us? Can we ever fully comprehend the impact we might have to even begin taking that on? It’s tricky.
But, equally, sex outside can be empowering. It taps in to particular fetishes and fantasies, it allows us to feel liberated, and it can even provide an emotional release or sense of sexual healing for some.
When I was in school one of my close friends happily told others how she had lost her virginity in the woods while fucking on a Dominoes pizza box. At the time she got ridiculed by many but she didn’t care—she had lived boldly, recklessly, and consented with full knowledge of what was about to occur (and, yes, she was legal at the time).
At the time I really didn’t know how to feel about the whole affair. The idea of finding your first fuck on the cardboard surface of a second-hand food container was so different to the ‘ideal’ of a tender missionary exchange in the confines of your bedroom that I really couldn’t reconcile it in my mind. But it was never really my place to do so anyway.
Besides, the more I thought about it the more I found the appeal. There was something about its disparity to the norm, and its spontaneous, carnal elements that felt so right. My friend took all the jokes with grace because she knew that what she had done was daring. Uncomplicated. It was simply what she wanted and she wasn’t afraid to seize it right there and then, and the pizza box was a practical way to cover her exposed back from the harsher aspects of sex outside.
I don’t have sex outside often because of these harsher aspects. I have sensitive skin and I get cold so easily that it’s almost unbelievable (‘cold hands, warm heart’, as my mother would reassure me). It’s for these reasons that PSEs really don’t appeal to me in practice as much as they do in theory.
I’ve come to terms with this particular aspect of my sexuality but sometimes it does leave me with a certain longing that I am occasionally reminded of. As it happens moving in to a new place has been the recent trigger for me. It’s allowed me to explore new places and to have sex in an area that isn’t necessarily ‘mine’ in terms of familiarity, while still allowing all of the security that a private space and central heating can bring.
Sex in a hotel is similarly thrilling to me, and I feel like these are where my safe compromise exists.
But, for some, I understand that there will always be that deep longing for the iconic, explicit ‘Sex On The Beach’, sand and all. To those people I say bravo, and pursue your sexual preferences your way. But I hope this article has been provocative and would love to hear how you reconcile sex and ‘public exposure’ with your own agency and personal identity.
Until the next review!
P.S. Lemon Fresh very nearly got me to name this ‘Sex On The Peach’. No dice, but it at least deserved a nod of the head.