This July, we’re heating things up with Sex-Rated: The VICE Guide to Sex in India. Come with us as we dive deep into Indian sexuality, as well as cherry-pick some of the best videos and stories about sex from VICE around the world. Read more here.
When it comes to sex, stepping away from a safe zone may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it comes with its share of adventure sport-like adrenaline highs. Advait Mehta* is a tech entrepreneur by day, sexperimentalist by night, and a self-proclaimed sex positivity advocate who opened up to us about why some Indians prefer to get down and dirty on the streets than in the sheets. **Despite fear of the law and log kya kahenge.
** Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code states that whoever to the annoyance of others does any obscene act in any public place shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months or with fine or with both.
VICE: When was your first time having sex in a public place?
Advait Mehta: With my wife before we got married. We actually had an arranged marriage, but went on a few dates to get to know each other properly before the wedding. We were driving along on the Western Highway [Mumbai]: There was music playing, we were in good spirits, and there was a lot of sexual tension. It began with her giving me a blowjob, which aroused me so much that I parked the car and we went for it. I went in with no expectations, but it was a mind-blowing experience.
It’s totally different from anything you try in the bedroom. Without the safety of locked doors and four walls, there’s a sense of vulnerability and danger you feel which can be extremely exciting. Just the fear of knowing you can get caught at any moment acts as an aphrodisiac and makes the whole thing even more of a turn on, especially when you manage to get away with it!
What do you think is a major driving factor for wanting to have sex in public?
It’s mostly about wanting to try something new. When you’re in a long-term relationship for many years, sex starts feeling like a routine. It gets monotonous and that’s when I think you first open up to the idea of experimenting with new ways of doing it. Having sex in a public place is more about wanting to try something adventurous to spice up your sex life than anything else.
While younger people are more open to experimenting with different forms of sex, an older, more experienced person is more likely to grow fed-up with conventional sex and seek ways to make their sex life more exciting. So it's a very personal thing.
Have you ever been caught in the act?
Twice actually. But fortunately, in India especially, it’s quite easy to get away with it. In fact, I once managed to talk my way out of trouble with a local cop in Mumbai just by speaking in Marathi! The cop only spoke this language and despite me not knowing it very well, I tried to piece together apologetic words in whatever way I could and I guess he appreciated my effort.
I also think people are more understanding in an overcrowded city like Mumbai because there’s a lack of private space. In a way people sort of expect this kind of shit to happen, especially in spots like Marine Drive or Bandstand [in Mumbai] which are the most popular places for couples to get frisky outside their homes.
So how do you approach someone when you want to do it in a public place?
For me, I make sure I know the person well and that they are totally comfortable with it. Consent is the most important part of the process. I would never proposition a girl I meet at a bar or something for the first time to do it immediately. It’s not usually planned in advance, it just happens in the moment: We’re both in a good mood after a date, we’re touching each other, there’s excitement in the air, and we just want to enjoy each other right there and then, because everything kind of lines up.
What are your favourite places to do it?
I’ve done it at least 50-60 times by now and in so many different places: Cars, malls, parking lots, beaches, seaside promenades, my office and then some. I’ve secretly gone to third base in trains and in a dorm room while other people have been present. I’ve even had sex on the side of a highway in broad daylight without a car, which has to be my most adventurous experience yet!
Has having sex in public had any effect on you as a person?
It hasn’t really had a specific effect on my personality, besides maybe making my sex life more fun. I would in fact say that your personality is an important factor in whether or not you indulge in public sex. If you are confident and open to trying new things, you are more likely to do it, whereas I feel a shy or risk-averse personality would probably never have public sex. Because I am a daring and adventurous person by nature, I think that tends to play out in my sex life as well.
What other adventurous sexual activities have you tried out?
Although we have an arranged marriage, which a lot of people might assume makes our sex lives less adventurous, my wife and I have always wanted to try new things to break away from the routine. We have experimented with swinging, threesomes and even a bit of voyeurism (though this was more from a safety and security point of view). We don’t want to live a boring, simple life. We communicate well with each other and are on a similar sexual wavelength so we never have an issue trying unconventional things.
Do you think the way you were brought up has anything to do with your openness to sex?
I was brought up in a liberal, non-religious family, where I didn’t discuss topics of sex with my parents, but learnt about it through them in very small, subtle ways. I indirectly discovered sex as a concept because of my father by reading his copy of the Kamasutra, although I never really told him.
In fact, my wife and I have always been very open about sex with our daughter. We hope to create a communication space for her where she can come to us with whatever is bothering her, even if it is sexual in nature. I believe that because we are bringing her up this way, she will be more open and positive about sex.
What advice would you give someone wanting to try sex in public place for the first time?
You shouldn’t simply do it because of other people’s stories or to see what it feels like. You have to be absolutely certain that you are excited about trying it and make sure that your partner is as well.
Also, while the prospect of getting caught can be a turn-on, it’s important to take calculated risks if you want to have sex in a public place. If you try to get down to it in the middle of crowded areas then you’re asking for it. There has to be a balance. It’s like going bungee jumping: The experience is exhilarating but if you don’t have the proper harness you’re going to get hurt. Badly. As with any adventure sport, you have to take precautions when it comes to public sex, especially with a rise in cases of lynching and mob violence in India. I would always recommend starting with small moves like oral sex or a quickie somewhere you are sure people won’t show up. You can then build up your confidence and sexual experiences with time.
*Names changed to protect identities.