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The Thrill of Having Sex Outdoors Is Actually Better Than The Sex Itself

For Sarah Field, outdoor sex is a way to feel liberated from the body insecurities and hang ups that plague more conventional settings.
Illustration by Erin Aniker

My First Time is a column and podcast series exploring sexuality, gender, and kink with the wide-eyed curiosity of a virgin. We all know your "first time" is about a lot more than just popping your cherry. From experimenting with kink to just trying something new and wild, everyone experiences thousands of first times in the bedroom—that's how sex stays fun, right?

This week we're talking to Sarah Field about her experiences having sex in the great outdoors. You can catch My First Time on Acast, Google Play,Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.


I'm spontaneous and open-minded, so I never really rule anything out. I'll try things if the situation takes me. But before I started having sex outside, I hadn't tried anything other than standard sex with my boyfriend in the bedroom. Our sex life was healthy, but not adventurous or particularly out there.

In my head, I used to romanticize having sex outside. I thought that the weather would be perfect and the whole situation would be great, and there wouldn't be any of the shit side of it: the getting messy, and the fear of someone walking past.

The first time I had sex outside, we'd been driving around for quite a long time in the middle of nowhere, in the Yorkshire Dales. We got out of the car to look at the view and ended up having sex. The whole time, I was looking over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. I remember thinking, This is what teenagers do. This is so cheesy. I'm so immature.

The actual sex wasn't that amazing, or comfortable. We were slanted on a hill, half-upside down, clothes still on. It was like having sex on a festival site that had recently been evacuated. It was very short-lived—he was scared someone would walk past, so it only lasted about two minutes. But afterwards, I felt happy with myself. Smug even, like I'd achieved something.

This started a trend of us having sex outside. Once you've broken those boundaries once in terms of where you can have sex, it snowballs. You think, we've done it once—why not do it again? After a while, you stop caring so much if someone will walk past.


It's pretty grim, but we had sex in a graveyard once. We were looking around this church, and there was no one in the graveyard. It's not my proudest moment. I was lying on the grave, and he was on top of me. It was short and aggressive. The grave was covered in moss and super-slippy, and everything was all mucky. I always feel really guilty after having sex in public, but for some reason I keep doing it.

I get off on the thrill of not being in a conventional sex setting. Being somewhere that's completely unknown and a little bit taboo makes sex more exciting. The atmosphere is different, because of the fear of potentially being caught. But after a while, even the sense of taboo and fear starts to go away. I've never been caught having sex outside when I didn't want to be.

The one time I did get caught, it was virtually intentional. We were outside the student union, having doggy-style sex in this alleyway with hundreds of people walking past. It was not private. Someone shouted, "Are you guys having sex?" and I responded "yes!" I was hammered. I would never have done that in normal circumstances. We carried on for a bit after someone shouted at us, but not for long because it was really gravelly and I was getting covered in dirt.

One of the better times I've had sex outside, I was on holiday. I met this guy at a bar, and it was clear there was chemistry. We both wanted something to happen, but there was nowhere to go because we were staying with friends in shared hotel rooms. At the end of the night, my friend texted me—she'd had a lightbulb moment: There was a roof on top of our hotel that was private. When we got to the roof, it was really beautiful and completely open. You could see the stars. We had sex doggy-style on the balcony, looking at this amazing view. I felt like a goddess.

As a girl, it's often not that easy to come when you're having sex outside. If you can find the right place and props, it helps. Some sort of makeshift cushion is useful, to help makes things more comfortable and bedroom-like. In my experience as a heterosexual woman, the best position for outdoor sex is girl on top, or guy on top.

For me, outdoor sex is all about the spontaneity. I get off on it. When you're having sex in a regular bedroom setting, sex feels so premeditated and formulaic. Whereas when I'm outdoors, I care less about what I look like. I don't have so many body hang-ups, and I lose my inhibitions much more. I feel freer and less constrained by ideas of what I should look like or whether I've waxed, or anything like that. Even if I don't always come or have the best technical sex outside, these moments count as the highlights of my sexual experiences because I really feel like I've had fun and let go.

I'll definitely continue having sex outside for the rest of my life, but I'd prefer not to plan how I do it. Planning destroys the spontaneity and the experience. For me, it's about the thrill and fun of it in that moment, in the right place.