Enjoy the Great Outdoors—End Up Behind Bars?

What is public and what is private is a long and contentious debate, particularly if you are considering sex. The legalizing of sex clubs and the potential revisions to sex work laws are a couple examples of where sex straddles public and private life. But what of actually having sex in a public space?

Outdoor sexual activity is one of the most common steps away from vanilla that people take. Whether that be a blowjob in a car or a romp in the woods, people have been escaping the confines of the bedroom for some fresh-air fun forever. Does that make it right?

Recently, seven men were arrested in Whitby, Ontario for exposing themselves or engaging in sexual acts in the Lynde Shores Conservation area. Gay men have long been targeted for park sex, with numerous significant busts happening over the years across the country. This has lead to much public shaming, family difficulties and, in some cases, suicide. Many gay men are deeply closeted and the only way they can find an outlet for their sexual needs is by cruising the parks and bathrooms.

On one hand, I’ve been a big fan of outdoor action for as long as I can remember. Whenever I get the chance, I’ll gladly get sexy under the sun, moon or the eyes of owls. I, however, don’t have to do this. I’ve got a place I can go and I can get it on with whomever is rocking my world at that time. Even with the many social advances that have been made, many queer folks cannot make that claim.

At the same time, I understand that people do not necessarily want to see me getting hot and bothered by anything more than lack of sunscreen or mosquitoes. While I think we’ve all got the right to fuck, I moreso think we’ve all got the right to fuck where it is appropriate. Maybe the middle of the afternoon while other people are enjoying the park isn’t the right time to get a blowjob—and I mean from a person of any gender. Maybe it would be best to wait until dark.

At the same time, if you’re out for a walk in the woods and a frisky couple are engaged in some vertical va-va-va-voom up against a tree, maybe you should just turn your head and walk away. Don’t look. Don’t watch. Take a few steps and keep on moving. Chances are none of the most recently arrested men weren’t banging right out on the bike path. My guess is they were, at least, somewhat hidden. So the likelihood is that anyone spotting their shenanigans should just turn away.

At the heart of what I am preaching is consideration. Don’t go fuck in public where you’re going to be found by a soccer team. And don’t get all up in arms if you see some flying flesh. Because really, if a load flies in the woods and there’s nobody there for it to land on…