It’s all fun and games until the cops show up.
There’s a new study out that affirms something I’ve suspected for a long time — people enjoy having sex in cars. (That suspicion stems from a million whispered sex stories that normally start with “Dude, you will not believe…”)
Well, maybe enjoy is too strong of a word, but, parked cars can provide semi-secure, semi-private places for people to hook-up when they have no other options available.
The study was compiled by psychologist Dr. Cindy Struckman-Johnson, under the AMAZING title “Sexual Behavior in Parked Cars Reported By Midwestern College Men and Women,” and it argues that sex in cars is still a “fundamental coming-of-age phenomenon” for young people.
61% of men and 59.5% of women surveyed said that they’d engaged in sex in an automobile and, according to the research study’s abstract, “despite discomfort, body bumps, and risk of being caught, sex while parked was primarily a positive sexual and romantic experience for both men and women.”
So, yes, even though having sex is such a small place can be cramped and uncomfortable, most people consider it to be a kind of awesome way to spend an evening. It’s spontaneous, exciting, and makes for a great sex story.
Unless, of course, you get caught doing it.
Like, for example, by the police, who pull you out of the car with your pants still down around your ankles.
Because that ISN’T fun, and I’m speaking from experience here.
Dr. Struckman-Johnson’s study alleges that less than 10% of their respondents had been caught while having sex in a car, but, as part of that sad 10%, let me tell you — you learn a LOT when you are very, very publicly caught getting it on in a car.
Here’s what I learned from my experience of getting caught having sex in a parked car:
1. Location Is Important
Most stories about sex in a car seem to involve driving out to some rural “Make-Out Point,” where you can open up the sunroof and watch the stars while you canoodle in the backseat. But what happens if you don’t live in the country? The short answer is — you try to find a secluded, dark place where no one will notice you. And, let me tell you, in retrospect, a parking lot behind a popular family restaurant is a TERRIBLE choice, even if the parking lot is super dark and you parked under a broken streetlight.
2. You Need To Imagine What Other People Are Seeing
Remember that scene in Titanic where the windows are all fogged up and Rose’s hand smacks onto the glass? It’s erotic in context, but if you didn’t know what was happening in that moment and you walked past, there’s a 50/50 chance you might think someone was being murdered in that car, rather than getting sexed up by DiCaprio.
So, yeah, given all of the awkward moving and obscured windows, I can’t really blame the police for making sure that no one was getting murdered in the back of my Chevy Impala.
3. There Are Few Things Scarier Than Being Naked in Public
One thing you forget when having sex in a car is that a car is basically 50% windows. So, when the cop pounds on the car door and tells you to get out and you quickly turn around in terror, if you’re a dude, you’re totally going to flash your peen to the world. Which, technically, is indecent exposure, but, fortunately in my case, the cop took pity on me.
4. People Don't Always Assume That Sex In a Car Is Romantic (With Good Reason)
In her study, Dr. Struckman-Johnson noted that 2.5% of men and 4.3% of women has been forcefully coerced into having sex in a car, so, if caught, you can’t expect that it’s going to look romantic to the people who caught you. One of the first things the police officer did, after I exited the car, was ask my girlfriend if she was OK and if she was there under her own free will.
At the time, I was super-offended, but, in retrospect, I love that the officer did that. He wanted to make sure everything was consensual, first and foremost, before he did anything else.
5. You Deserve To Be A Little Embarrassed About It
There’s always an element of risk when you have sex in a public place and part of that risk is, if you get caught, it’s going to be really friggin’ embarrassing. And it was. It was terrible. The cops saw my junk. They threatened to call our parents. They found out what school we went to and said “I thought the kids there were supposed to be smart” and suggested that they might call up our principal to check us out.
It was mortifying. But, yeah, we deserved that. Fortunately, the police officers didn’t actually bust us, report us, or charge us with anything (which was very nice of them). But did they shame us? Hell yeah they did. And we kind of deserved it.
6. Sex In A Car Is Usually About A Lack Of Options
There may be stories about young country couples driving up to a bluff and having sex in an El Camino while 4th of July fireworks explode in the sky above them, but I haven’t experienced them myself. The vast majority of people I know who’ve had sex in a car (myself included) did it because they literally had nowhere else to go. When you’re young and living at home, sometimes, you simply have no place where you can go to be intimate and alone. Which is why people turn to their cars as an option.
Maybe that’s why so many people have such positive feelings towards their sexual experiences in cars. Ultimately, they were just grateful — grateful to have somewhere, anywhere, to finally be alone. And, according to the research, it’s a pretty safe gamble. 90% of couples get away with having sex in their car with no problems (aside from some light gear-shift chafing), so what’s to worry about?
But, speaking as part of the unfortunate 10%, I can tell you — sex in a car can be really fun, IF you really consider what you’re doing.
Keep in mind what it looks like, think about what it will look like if you get caught. If it still looks like an attractive proposition after that, go for it. However, if the potential consequences fill you with panic, maybe try to find somewhere a little less public (with a lot less windows) for your next private rendezvous.