Why Take the Risk of Public Sex?

Confessionals, beaches, bathrooms: 22% of Americans are oddly willing

By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 20, 2008 5:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – The story of a quickie in an office bathroom got one scribe wondering: Why risk job, humiliation, and even prison to do it in a public place? Diane Mapes admits in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to fooling around by a river, but never on a beach or a church during Mass—the sites of two recent scenes that sparked police action. And 22% of Americans have admitted to having public sex. So why do it?

“It's about heightening the thrill, about doing what's considered naughty,” a sex therapist says. “It’s deliberately thumbing your nose at the rules.” Still, writes Mapes, some common sense will help keep the cops at bay: Don't hog the ladies' room, lock bathroom doors, and—for God’s sake—skip the church confessional.

A statue that could spark notions of public love.
A statue that could spark notions of public love.   (Shutterstock)
If only this sign could be hung on the bathroom door.
If only this sign could be hung on the bathroom door.   (Shutterstock)
The thrill of getting caught is part of the allure of public sex, says one therapist.
The thrill of getting caught is part of the allure of public sex, says one therapist.   (Index Stock)
Sex in bed? What a snooze, say couples who prefer to get frisky in public.
Sex in bed? What a snooze, say couples who prefer to get frisky in public.   (Index Stock)
Does the feel of sand get you steamy? One British couple was arrested in Dubai for public indecency, and now faces up to six years in prison.
Does the feel of sand get you steamy? One British couple was arrested in Dubai for public indecency, and now faces up to six years in prison.   (Getty Images)
Hopefully they locked the door.
Hopefully they locked the door.   (Shutterstock)
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