Sex in Public Places: An Expert Guide

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

You can pretty much count on two things when it comes to sex in public places: anyone who says they’ve never thought about it is lying, and anyone who says they do it all the time and have never been caught is lying. 

We’re here to help with the not-getting-caught part by pulling a list of some of the most popular places for a public tryst, and seeking out experts to share the best ways to actually pull said trysts off. Oh, and by experts, we mean anyone from former box-office workers and lifeguards to high school kids -- you know that people who typically can't have sex at their own home are among the best sources for this subject.

Obviously, partake in any of these at your own risk.

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

In a movie theater, according to a ticket-counter worker

Step 1: See a shitty movie. According to a dude who worked in a small-town movie theater, this could potentially give you away. BUT it’s also pretty hard to pull off public sex during opening night of, say, Star Wars. “We had two teenagers come in and buy a ticket to one of the worst box-office movies ever," our source said. "It was so obvious, like they should have been in school, but I sold them the ticket.”

Step 2: Opt for a matinee, the earlier the better. 

Step 3: Head toward the front. “You can see in the monitors who is seated where," our source told us. "These two were in the back-left corner. If there’s no one in the theater, you should go in the front -- even on the floor. I never would have seen them up there.”

Step 4: [Parental discretion advised]
Step 5: If you’re a teenager, do none of this. “When I told my manager two kids bought a ticket to this film in the middle of the day, he told me ‘you need to go check in on them right now.’ Then he handed me a broom.”

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

At a crowded music festival, according to a seasoned festival-goer 

Step 1: Wait for the headliner to take the stage. Frequent Bonnaroo and Outside Lands attendees (let’s be honest, you don’t have to hide anything at Burning Man), claimed this is the best way to achieve any small resemblance of privacy. “There’s always one time slot when there’s only one show playing, the headline band," one source said. "That’s when you make your move.”

Step 2: Tell your posse you’re dipping. When it comes to tracking location, festival-goers are not unlike park rangers. They travel in packs, maintain a well-marked HQ (read: balloon), and when one of their own goes missing, a manhunt will almost always ensue -- especially should certain festival antics come into play (we mean hula hooping, of course). 

Step 3 (if there’s a camping area): Go there. If you can’t find your tent (because of all the hula hooping), or don’t have one, hide between the sea of others and pitch your own. 

Step 3 (if there’s not a camping area): At OSL (Outside Lands), there’s no camping allowed, but what it lacks in tents, it makes up for in woodsy paths that lead to smaller, secluded stages. Go to one of said empty stages armed with a giant sheet or blanket. 

Step 4: Wrap yourself up like a burrito and have sex in the dirt while you fist pump to “Ain’t Life Grand” playing on the main stage.

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

In a parking lot, according to a teenage boy

Step 1: Pick a busy lot. “People automatically assume empty parking lots, but that's actually worse," our source reported. "It’s more likely they’re patrolled because the place is closed. You're better off in like, one of those massive mall parking lots or Super Target.”  

Step 2: Go to a somewhat abandoned part of it. The top floor of a parking garage, or far corner out of the way. 

Step 3: Crack the windows so the Titanic-like steam handprint doesn’t bust you. 

Step 4: Assume the (missionary) position. Not that riding someone in the front seat isn’t encouraged, or perhaps even preferable, but it’s more conspicuous. You’ll more likely be out of sight by keeping it low, with one person on top holding on to the side door and grinding away. 

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

At the beach, according to a lifeguard

Step 1: Wait until dusk. If you want to actually do it on the sand with waves brushing up against you like those black-and-white movies, either get a life, or don’t opt for the afternoon delight. Remember: suns out, guns out. And by guns, we mean so many lifeguards and beach-goers not even a sand dune will keep you under wraps. 

Step 2: Do it in the ocean. This tactic is even lifeguard-approved. “Honestly it’s pretty much the only way to guarantee you don’t get caught. Doesn’t mean we don’t know, just means we can’t really prove it.”

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

In a bar bathroom, according to a bartender

Step 1: Don’t go too divey... you actually want a place with a decent-sized bathroom situation -- not one with a single stall. Bartenders are more likely to get complaints if you bogart the sole john in the joint. 

Step 2: Have one person take a fake phone call and walk toward the bathroom. The reason for the fake conversation is just distraction, and because it’s fun. 

Step 3: Go for the guys' bathroom. This may sound gross, and might be (depending on how divey the bar is), but according to bartenders, hitting the men's room head tends to be less, um, frowned upon. “Guys rarely complain if a girl wanders in the men’s room.”

Step 4: Pick the handicapped stall. It’s probably bigger than your studio apartment. 

Step 5: Make sure there’s only one pair of feet that can be seen from underneath -- meaning one lucky person gets to mount the toilet.

Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

In a cab, according to someone who has successfully pulled it off

Step 1: Dress appropriately. Not that you necessarily plan impromptu sex, but if you’re going in with a game plan, our source stresses this works best if the female counterpart is wearing a dress or skirt. “Removing clothes is obviously a bit more blatant.”

Step 2: Have the girl sit on your lap facing the front. “This isn’t really out of the ordinary when you’re riding in cabs half the time anyway, and it’s pretty much the most discreet positioning you can do.”

Step 3: Hold on to her hips tight, and pretend you’re going over a lot of potholes in the road.

(Writer’s Note: We have it on pretty good authority that cab drivers don’t always give a shit if you’re banging in their cab anyway.)

On an airplane

We already told you, and even included fantastic stick-figure drawings... remember?

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Liz Newman is a freelance writer for Thrillist and will never tell which of these she’s actually pulled off, unless you tweet to her at @lizn813, then she probably will.