Right here, right now

Mother of Goo

Illustration by Gabrielle Funk

Sand coats my tangled hair, our sweat cooled by the touch of the witching hour.

Anaïs Nin read in almost-whispers in Central Park, your desire unable to hide through thin fabric.

Humans can’t always contain our desires to the bedroom. What’s hottest to me about sex in public is the burning desire: I need you now. Some people get off on the idea of being caught or seen, which has more to do with exhibitionism.

Merriam-Webster defines “exhibitionism” as “a perversion in which sexual gratification is obtained from the indecent exposure of one’s genitals (as to a stranger).”

I disagree with the narrow perspective of this definition. Exhibitionism is not necessarily a perversion, nor is it always related to indecency. The word “indecent” implies that those who are experiencing the exposure did not consent to it.

As most things, exhibitionism exists on a spectrum. Not everyone who gets titillated at the thought of possibly being caught in the act receives sexual gratification specifically from “indecent exposure of one’s genitals.” There are ways to enjoy exhibitionism and public sex that are completely consensual.

If being seen or caught is an important part of the thrill, try a sex club. In Winnipeg, we don’t have many (or any), but many larger cities do. If you can’t find a club or a consensual party to play at, consider chatting with pals who are open to creating an event like this.

Tasting him on the roof behind the air conditioner, traffic sounds below.

Against the bathroom tiles, we melt into rhythm with eager swiftness, veins running with expensive liquor.

Katy Thorn, writing for Volonte, explains that although public sex is technically illegal in Canada, 49 per cent of Canadians say they’ve engaged in it. This discrepancy also further supports the reality that folks can engage in sex or sex-related activities publicly without getting it on in the middle of the road in broad daylight.

Web MD explains that “consensual exhibitionism takes self-awareness and planning.” I would further this by saying that all consent takes self-awareness and planning. And like all forms of sexual expression, setting intention and checking in doesn’t need to take away from spontaneity.

Ways to be more prepared for spontaneous sex while out and about include wearing clothing with easy access, carrying condoms and dental dams and having a small bottle of lubricant in your bag (since there isn’t always enough time for thorough foreplay).

Here’s to dreaming of COVID-free days when we can run around like eager little bunnies in heat. This pandemic does make spontaneous public sex a bit trickier to do safely, but hey, if your sexual partner(s) are in your bubble, it could be an exciting time to explore your creativity. Have fun, be safe, mum loves you.

My back pushed hard against the brick wall, steam from my breath hits the buzzer system as you search for the pheromones on my neck with your lips. My toes curl.

Madeline Rae is a sex educator and writer living on Treaty 1 territory. She holds a BFA in performative sculpture and a BA in psychology, and she is pursuing schooling to specialize in sex therapy. Rae is trained in client-centred sex education, reproductive and sexual-health counselling and harm reduction. She works locally in both feminist healthcare and community support work.

Published in Volume 76, Number 14 of The Uniter (January 20, 2022)

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