I ask you to close your eyes and reminisce on a purer time, when the world was yours so long as you grasped it from the backseat of your mom’s Honda CRV (or her Audi R8, I don’t really care what your mom’s prerogative was). Focus on the universal memory, exclusive to summertime, of peeling your legs from a hot car seat. Ouch. Alternatively, recall the first 10 minutes of every winter drive spent in subzero conditions, waiting for heat to spread to the back seat. Now, imagine peeling your whole ass off of the same sticky car seat, or trying to focus on climax when every atom in your body is shivering. No thank you.
Before we dive into the pros and cons of car sex, its only fair that I expose my own bias, which is that car sex is inarguably not worth it. However, as someone who was once 16 years old and actively ignored the shortcomings of vehicular procreation in favor of the micro-list of pros, I feel confident in my ability to to tap into my former self and provide an impartial analysis of backseat lovemaking.
The obvious appeal of getting it on in your car is that it minimizes opportunity for parent/sibling walk-ins. The flipside of this pro is that you dramatically increase the chance of a police officer getting a full show. For the sake of the argument, let’s assume that car sex predominently occurs in post-sunset hours. In general, if an officer sees a car parked and running, alone, in a parking lot at night, your chance of being approached is high, whether its to ticket you for public sex, tow your car or just to make sure everything is okay. As a result, the anxiety that exists while getting spicy in your parents house doesn’t diminish with car sex, it is simply rebranded.
The other automobile fornication pros that I remember focusing on as a minor were as follows: (1) unlimited time, depending on your creativity, and (2) no sound restraints. The former has no real counter argument. When it comes to time limits and convertible-copulation, the quality of effort you put in determines the quality of the result. If you want to pour creative energy into elaborate stories of why your 20 minute drive took an hour, that’s your prerogative. No judgment, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t mine at one point.
The “no sound restraints” point also lacks a powerful counter argument since fake-moaning your high school partner’s name inarguably carries less risk in the backseat as opposed to your bedroom down the hall from the kitchen. However, before you start fabricating screams for your counterfeit orgasam, think of all the times you’ve overheard bass thumping through car windows at a stoplight and ask yourself, do I really want to risk a nearby human hearing my fake sex sounds? … I’m not sure the freedom of noisemaking will seem so appealing after that consideration.
While my list of car sex pros ends there, the cons continue:
Parking lot lovemaking lacks climate control. This brings me back to my opening refrain: is a few minutes of bad sex really worth having to end your romantic, 90° June evening peeling your body off leather carseats? Or worse, a December night lowering your core temperature to the cusp of the survivable limit, only to be edged? I don’t think so. If you really don’t care about carbon emissions, I suppose you could leave your car running, but a turned off car in a parking lot eliminates some situational red flags … leaving your car running in the dark corner of a Walmart lot? Forget it.
In addition to the dramatic range of temperatures one could encounter in the backseat, the overall experience of car sex features multiple layers of discomfort. First, there is the issue of finding a suitable location. You can’t tell me that the 10 minutes prior to parking doesn’t include palpably awkward silence. Is this parking spot good, babe? No, maybe drive around a bit more first. I cringed imagining that exchange. Once you’ve parked, it’s time to decide whether to ninja into the backseat or open your door, exit the vehicle and re-enter the back … there’s no way to win. Finally, most back seats aren’t made for two bodies to fornicate comfortably, so the entire experience is topped off by readjusting limbs and squashed body parts. No way both parties climax under those circumstances, I simply refuse to believe it.
The final point I’ll leave you with is this: car sex is never as subtle as it feels. That’s right, even when you think you aren’t shaking the car, steaming up the windows, or making noises that escape into the outside world, you are. As someone who once felt sneaky in the backseat, I promise that every time I drive past a suspiciously parked car I can immediately determine: teen sex or no teen sex. You may be avoiding your guardians, but the rest of the world knows what’s going on behind the driver’s seat of your Chevy Malibu.
I’m not one for absolute statements, and I don’t mean to suggest that there aren’t exceptions to the undesirable image of interstate intercourse that I’ve painted, but if I can save one curious mind from subjecting themselves to the disappointment that is car sex, I will have done a good deed. Plus, what on earth are you supposed to do with the condom after that?
Annie Position is a student at Cornell University. Comments can be sent to [email protected] The Sin Series runs during alternate Sex on Thursdays this semester.