We've got reality TV to thank if it is
Duvet groans on Love Island, lap dances on Ryanair, the couple on trial for devouring more than a pepperoni sausage on a Domino’s pizza counter. Anyone else feel like they’ve spent the last few months watching other people have sex? Specifically: having sex veeery publicly. And if our logical reaction is ‘eww’, why do we still click on a tabloid headline with ‘romp’ in it?
It’s kinky curiosity – believes Dr Laurie Mintz, psychology professor and author of Becoming Cliterate . “Public sex has been given more media attention lately, so this sparks curiosity. Once exposed to it, those who find it exciting are drawn to try it – similar to wanting to try other forms of ‘kinky sex’ (mild restraints, blindfolds) once being exposed to them.” Only less Christian Grey and more ‘50 shades of grey CCTV footage’.
But how does public exposure turn from something horrifying – like receiving an unsolicited groin shot taken so close that you can almost feel the pubes – into something thrilling? Research on sexual fantasies found that 82% of both men and women [when interviewed separately] classed “sex in an unusual place” as a fantasy. “It’s an extremely common fantasy – in the top three,” confirms sex therapist Kristen Lilla, summarising client experiences and academic research. “Some people really enjoy the exhibitionism. Others like a new environment and the risk of getting caught adds to the thrill.”
That said, it’s not for everyone. (Or, you know, particularly legal). If you lost your orgasm when you thought you heard the Ocado driver arrive three doors down, imagine that being a policeman – in person, above you, with a notebook. Kristen agrees that the sensation of public sex is definitely divisive. “Feeling guarded might make it more difficult to orgasm. However, if you’re thrilled by the risk, orgasm is easier. The rush is similar to riding a roller coaster: adrenaline and cortisol are released. Studies have shown a positive correlation between attraction and adrenaline – meaning that you would feel more attracted to your partner when experiencing an adrenaline rush.”
For one couple I know, their biggest incompatibility in bed (and other locations) is differing opinions on public sex. “The risk seems too high, I’m terrified of getting caught,” admits Jen, 28. But her boyfriend, 31, loves car sex. “It’s the thrill of searching for a good spot and anticipating climbing into the back seat,” he explains. “How can that not be exciting?”
With such polarised standpoints, it’s no surprise that we’re embracing the mid-way compromise of being public-sex voyeurs. That might mean lapping up the fumbles on CBB. Or something closer to home: “I recently stayed in a hotel and saw the neighbours across the street going at it in front of their window – lights on, no shame. It was great. I sat and watched and would do so again,” confesses Jake, 31.
Psychologists believe the appeal – and arousal – in watching others have sex is that we insert ourselves into the scene, triggering (hot) memories of our own sexual experiences. Observing public sex also allows you to see the facial expressions of both people enjoying it – not just your partner’s. Which probably (finally) explains the weird allure of mirrored ceilings.
Laurie believes that while the majority of us will continue to view sex as a private matter – for now – we will “also enjoy the entertainment aspect of watching others on porn and reality TV shows.” Vicarious on-screen thrills, “Because people don't really want their own sex lives to provide shock value for their families and friends,” seconds Kristen.
Which makes sense. Though what if you don’t get caught? Would you risk it? Tell us below ✅ ❌
Would you risk having sex in public?— GLAMOUR South Africa (@GLAMOUR_sa) December 3, 2018
Taken from GLAMOUR UK. Read the original here.
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