Sex is complicated. Even more so in the great outdoors. But that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel and just stick to the bedroom. Follow our guide to having sex in the bush – nature never felt so good.
It’s 30 degrees. You’re 12km into a hike with your lover and you’ve settled into a comfortable silence. You’re feeling strong and capable. You can smell eucalypt and sea. You’re happy.
And then your mind wanders.
You look over your shoulder and catch their eye as they trail behind you. You offer a smirk with a hint of suggestion – just enough to let them know what you’re thinking, but not enough to overtly request it. They raise their eyebrows, feigning surprise, before a short, sharp nod.
Suddenly the objective of the hike is different. It’s no longer: let’s get to that cliff for lunch time, it’s now: let’s find somewhere private to dump our packs, peel out of our not-so-sexy khakis and make each other feel incredible.
For those of us who love the adventure of sex, who love the story as much as the biological act of it, having sex on a hiking trip, in the back of a van, or curled up in your tent without the fly on sounds romantic. Your hair is matted with campfire ash, your skin smells like earth and sweat, and your feet are dry and rough from clambering barefoot over sandstone. It’s gritty and it’s messy and it’s human.
When We Are Explorers asked me to write this piece, I didn’t know whether to be ashamed or proud (is this what I’m known for?!). It’s true, I love having sex outside.
I love walking back to the track, back to the hoards of unknowing people with a grin on my face and a warmth in my chest. I love crawling out of a tent, tip-toeing over to the bush to squat and pee. I love running into the ocean, while the doona in the back of the van sits in a ruffled pile. But there are some things you should know, or consider, before you run off and get it on out there.
1. Your Mattress Isn’t The First Thing You Should Blow
You’re in a busy campground and your mate’s tent is cushioned up next to yours. You and your lover are getting handsy. It’s raining, so you can’t escape to a soft patch of grass under the moon. But you also can’t not do anything. The need is too great.
If you can’t help yourselves, make sure you hold off on blowing up that mattress, especially if you have one of those ultra light hiking ones. Those things are loud. You need to mitigate every single sound, even breathing. It’s easy to forget that tent walls are thin pieces of fabric, and you’re essentially sharing a room with the bodies lying in the field of tents around you.
If you’re car camping, pack a doona and put it beneath you. Bring a pillow, for maximum muffling.
2. Comfort is Everything
Yeah, pushing someone up against a tree, naked under the warmth of the spring sun sounds romantic, but so does shower sex while the potatoes are boiling on the stove, and when did that ever feel as good as you expected? If you’re outside, use the energy of your desire to find something soft. A meadow of luscious clover perhaps? At least try to avoid anything scratchy or sharp.
Physical comfort isn’t the only thing you need to check in on. Is your partner comfortable too? Public sex isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. If you’ve been camping for three days, and you’ve gone without a shower, some places might be off limits. Consent and communication reigns above all. Even if you’re with a long-term partner, it’s still worth checking in.
In fact, if you and your partner haven’t done it outdoors before, bring it up before the opportunity arises. Yeah, it might take some of the surprise, or urgency out of it, but there’s plenty of time to bring that back in later down the track, if you’re both into it.
3. A Dense Bush is a Good Bush
Listen, if you’re on a public track, the rest of the world only want to see humpbacks in the ocean. If you’re into an audience, there are plenty of places you can go to source one. But outside, there needs to be respect for other people, and children, too.
Make sure you’re hidden from the public eye, and have a code word should someone notice a face peeping through the trees. Indecent exposure is punishable by law for good reason.
4. Protect Yourself And The Environment
If you’re not trying for little adventure babies, make sure you think about what protection looks like when you’re out and about. If you’re condom wearers, make sure you keep a little stash on you.
But please, for god’s sake, never, ever, leave your used condom lying around. No one really knows how long it takes for a condom to biodegrade, but let’s not leave it under that perfectly happy tree to find out. And just because you’re fine with your own used condom, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a stranger who is.
Want to go natural and keep the environmental impact of your condoms to the bare minimum? The legends at Jonny condoms have what you need.
5. Write a Fuckit List
Often, people shake up their sex routine by changing location. But even this can become stale. There are only so many times you can hit your head on the roof of a van before it loses its sex appeal. Why not write a Fuckit list – it’s like a bucket list, but ya know, for fucking.
Sit down with your partner/friend with benefits/or even your pals and make a list of all the wild places you want to get down and dirty one day. From the dunes of a secluded beach, to a specific mountaintop. Make sure it’s a safe space: no kink shaming, just an open mind and a willingness to hear what each other desires.
Sex can be beautiful. It can be sticky and smelly and thrilling and awkward. When you’re in the bush, it can be urgent and muddy and uncomfortable too. As long as you’re both into it, and you haven’t got an unconsenting audience, enjoy the damn ride.
Photos thanks to @thetantrap