By AMY O.
I guess it all started when I was 17 and my now ex-boyfriend (though he wasn’t even really my boyfriend at the time) pulled me into Riverside Park because he needed to have me right then and there. My heart raced as he took my hand, pulled me towards the stone wall that partitions Riverside Drive from Riverside Park and told me, “I need to be inside of you now.” There was something so primal about the thought of being fucked in the bushes. I just couldn’t let my innocent 17-year-old self say no.
Fast forward to the last weekend of this past summer when I went on a mini-vacation with the guy I was dating. (Side note: Will thinking about the summer vicariously improve my tan? This 50° weather is so not my style). Since my guy used to be a sailing instructor (casual) and we were staying at his family’s beach house, we took the motorboat out. It was a beautiful afternoon and we were curled up in the front of the boat, sunning ourselves and drinking beer as his parents navigated the waters. After a short swim, we somehow convinced his parents that we would moor the boat (Moor! A sailing term! I’m so cultured!), while we really intended to get naked and have wild sex on board.
Let’s pause here and just talk about the nature of public sex. It’s wild! People might see you naked! You could get in trouble! All of these factors play a part in the thrill of public sex. Ever since my first public sex romp in the park, I’ve had sex in a dressing room, on a balcony, in the ocean, in a pool … you catch my drift — lots of public sex. However, in all of these instances, I was usually shrouded by the darkness of night so I never really had to worry about witnesses. This time around, we’re talking about fucking on a motorboat while families are out enjoying their Saturday afternoons at the yacht club. I would say on a scale of one to risky, it was very risky.
That particular Saturday, we were a little tipsy. We were being sneaky and defiant (who am I kidding, his parents totally knew what would happen). We were a little damp from our afternoon swim, with our bathing suits sticking to our skin. The day (well, the mood, too) was hot and we had gone hours without having sex (a feat for us … not kidding), so it seemed inevitable that (the already minimal) clothing on our bodies would soon have to come off.
As soon as his parents left and we moored the boat, he ripped off my bathing suit bottom and went down on me, hitting all the right spots at all the right times. Perfect. We decided to try missionary in the narrow part of the boat. (Disclaimer: My sex positions are not ever this boring so I’m not sure why we chose missionary, but we did so whatever).
Okay, now try doing the butterfly stretch in really restrictive skinny jeans. This was worse. Like, a lot worse. He could tell I wasn’t feeling it and suggested I flip over onto my stomach. I jumped at the idea (it’s my favorite position, what do you expect?!) and quickly flipped over. When he asked me, “how does this feel?” a minute or so later, I had to respond: “Um, like your dick is in my stomach.” What an answer, right? I truly have a gift with words.
To make matters worse, I picked my head up and looked around. To my right: Children playing with a ball. To my left: An older couple kayaking. Behind me: The radio dispatcher picking people up from docked boats. I shrunk down a couple of inches. Shit. Fuck. There were people everywhere. Children, the elderly, yacht club staff. Everywhere. And they could see my summer fling, a former sailing instructor at the club, fucking me. He came and we quickly scrambled to clothe ourselves before we got reported for indecent exposure and his parents received a letter explaining why they had gotten kicked out of the club (this didn’t actually happen but I was relatively nervous it would).
Later, I started thinking about why the sex wasn’t any good. We’ve done missionary before (it’s usually pretty decent actually) and the thrill of public sex on a gorgeous day with my talented, summer screw had me riled up and ready to go. Why then, all of a sudden, was it probably the worst sex he and I have ever had? Really though, what the fuck?
When I think back on my first experience with public sex — that night in the park when I was 17 — I realize it was passionate because though we knew we were doing something bad, we knew we wouldn’t get caught. The difference here was that somewhere in between the fear of corrupting children and my hips being slightly too wide to comfortably fit, thrill turned to nerves and I got nervous about getting caught.
Moral of the story: Adventurous sex doesn’t always have to be good.
This doesn’t mean that public sex is bad. Sometimes, it’s actually very good (hey, the cover of night definitely helps). But sex in public is exactly that: Sex in public. I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m saying sometimes, it just doesn’t rock your world. Be adventurous, try new things, laugh about how awful it was afterwards. In the words of Hannah Horvath, my naked arch nemesis and horrible alter ego: Sometimes you just have to do it for the story.
Amy O. is a senior in the College of Human Ecology. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some Like it Rough alternate Thursdays this semester.