This article originally appeared on VICE Spain
In Spain, a "picadero" is any public place a couple goes to have sex, either because they can't get the privacy they need at home, or because they're looking for a change of scenery to liven up their sex lives. Thanks to a Spanish web designer, the search for a nice place fornicate in peace has never been easier.
In 2009, Josean, 43, launched the website Mispicaderos to help Spanish couples find picaderos by encouraging people to share their favourite spots and rate them. Since then, he has collated around 12,000 picaderos across Spain – allowing users to search by location, sexual orientation, privacy, mode of transport to the area and whether the spot can accommodate up to 20 people.
The site offers all kinds of options – from picturesque, secluded car parks and roadside B&Bs to shopping centre toilets and cheap hotels that organise sex parties. After requesting we use a pseudonym, Josean told me all about his mission for the site, why his friends confuse him for a sex expert and his plans to take his website global.
VICE: Hey Josean. How did you come up with the idea?
Josean: It came to me back in 2009. I noticed there were no websites that offered couples new and exciting places to have sex. So being a web designer, I got to work. At first it was just my mates who were suggesting spots and leaving reviews, but the website spread quickly and soon I had lots of users submitting their favourite places. The first picadero on the map was an already famous spot on a road leading to Bilbao's Artxanda mountain range. If you drive up it at certain times, you will see rows of cars parked to the side with couples inside doing their thing.
What's your overall mission?
To create a tool for people to share their favourite spots to be intimate for others to use, too. Before my website started in 2009, all Spanish couples had to rely on was word of mouth.
There are picaderos marked in airports, shopping centres and pretty much anywhere you can find some privacy.
I'm no longer shocked by the places people suggest. I've learned that if a building has a toilet or a changing room, someone has had sex in it.
Outside of teenagers sneaking out to have sex, who do you think mainly uses your website?
I think there are three main reasons anyone would go to a picadero – you don’t have a place of your own to do it, you’re having an affair, or you're looking for a bit of excitement.
What's the strangest place a user has suggested?
The vast majority are in places you'd expect, such as museums, bathrooms and cemeteries. But when I know it's fake – like when people add the home of a famous politician – I always take it down. I once received a threatening note from a monastery asking me to remove their listing or they'd sue me. I obviously removed it because I'm not doing this to piss people off. But I can't help but wonder who at the monastery found it and what they were doing on a picaderos website.
My girlfriend and I actually found a great place the other day. It was inside this sex shop which had a room specifically designed for couples. Minutes after we had started fucking, a bunch of other couples came in and started having sex right next to us.
What do your friends think about all of this?
Although I prefer keeping it a bit of a secret, all my friends know about it and now they think I'm some kind of sex expert. I get people complaining to me that there are no good places to go in their area, as if I'm responsible. When that happens, I just encourage them to find their own spots and share it on the website.
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I noticed you've recently started expanding into other countries.
The response I've received in Spain has been phenomenal – on average we get three to four new suggestions a day, which are often submitted with a lot of care and thought. So I just figured it would be easy to take it abroad because people fuck everywhere, right? But it has only really worked in Portugal and South America. I think it works in South America because it's a lot more normal over there for hotels to let you pay by the hour.
So you may not be a sex expert, but do you see yourself as Spain's biggest picaderos expert?
I'm really not. Before I can call myself an expert I'd have to be able to say that I've personally tried most of the spots on the site. And considering we have around 12,000, that would be quite a challenge.