Have you ever fantasised about getting it on in broad daylight, in the great outdoors? Sun shining on your vulnerabilities? Crunchy leaves tangled in your hair, laughing nervously about getting caught out?
You’re lying in the dunes of an isolated beach with a new fling. It’s a late afternoon with the sun low in the sky, the sand warm from the heat of the day. You’re content and happily exhausted after hiking to this secluded spot… you’ve talked for hours, winding through heart-explodey D&Ms, realising your similar taste in books, politics and, clearly, adventure. Over cheese and a slightly crushed packet of crackers, your hands occasionally touch, sparking rushes of fire through your soul…
So yeah, you get our drift, we might have a beach romp fantasy ready to be fulfilled. Nature check, libido – activated.
We’ll admit, our sanity (not just our fantasies) are often found in bodies of water: oceans, creeks, rivers, and waterfalls. The spaciousness, the sounds, and the energy all help clear the head and balance our mood, but there’s science to back up our personal anecdotes.
Scientists have established that being in nature helps reduce anxiety, stress, and increases our attention capacity, creativity, and our ability to connect with other people.
Here’s the thing, we may have indulged in a couple of twigs in hair, off the beaten track encounters, but they’ve been few and far between. There is definitely a healthy amount of fear and trepidation when it comes to putting all our worries aside and getting it on in public.
According to our Insta-poll not too long ago, a delightful 81% of you reported that your desire for pleasure is affected by the environment you’re in. So with all of this time we are spending indoors and online, particularly of late it got us thinking about the connection between nature and libido.
And yes, maybe you were voting for a clean bedroom, fresh sheets, and scented candles. But our minds went to the outdoors, particularly after we received a rather delicious DM.
AN INCIDENTAL SEXSCAPADE
A community member shared her saucy experience driving out to the hills with her partner of three years. They spent the day sweating it out climbing boulders, followed by a spontaneous, cliff’s edge session of sensation play.
“This was never part of the plan. We were in the hills for rock climbing. But, somehow we got off course. We were resting ahead of a huge vertical rock face. We had packed ice cold water in our day packs, which were surprisingly well insulated. Instead of climbing the wall, we spent an hour taking gulps of the cool water and running our tongues between each other’s thighs. She was salty, nervous, and horny AF. It was electric being at one with nature, with the added bonus of adrenalin being on a rocky outcrop, it was a moment I’ll never forget”.
We decided to ask sexologist Kassandra Mourikis, founder of Pleasure Centred Sexology, who holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Sexology, why we respond so well to being in nature, and why for some it makes us straight up horny.
De-stress and dial up the libido
“When humans are stressed, holding tension, or feeling unsafe connecting to the environment and nature is a useful grounding strategy that helps to regulate stress and re-engage the mind-body connection. Essentially, it allows people to shift from sympathetic nervous system activation towards parasympathetic activation. This is necessary for bodies to rest, digest, and have sex.”
Mourikis explained that when we’re stressed or having a trauma response our bodies often shut down our sexual responses. “When the nervous system detects danger (sympathetic activation) the body doesn’t have the resources to allocate to the systems responsible for sex, and blood flow is shifted away from the genitals towards heart/lungs/arms/legs.”
From a survival perspective this makes total sense but it kinda runs counter-intuitive if we are feeling a little nervous about stripping off with our lover. Mourikis says, “Being nude in nature is not for everyone. If your partner wants to get nude, it doesn’t mean you have to strip down with them in order to help fulfil their need.”
It’s not on
Leila, 18, told us about a not-so-hot adventure that her boyfriend planned in a national park. It all started out delightfully, a hike and picnic, with a side serving of cuddles, but Leila says she couldn’t relax when it came to the crunch. Despite all of their excited planning in the weeks leading up to the day, Leila shared that she, “just couldn’t let my guard down, one part of my mind was wondering if a snake/spider/ant was going to bite my butt, and the other part of my mind kept imagining I could hear footsteps approaching.”
If you’re encouraging a partner to indulge in your fantasy, be mindful of where they’re at – even if you think they’re a god/goddess and the answer to all of your dreams, that might not be how they’re feeling. When it comes to nudity and sex, some of us have a suitcase or two of baggage, and when it’s outdoors, those bags can burst open.
Mourikis says to go gently, “there are so many cultural messages and myths that we learn. Some types of bodies are encouraged to strip down and bare it all. Others are shamed for having these interests. Some people learn that their bodies are disgusting or hated, or that their bodies shouldn’t be exposed or don’t deserve to see any sunshine.”
Plan for a good time
Spontaneity can be the secret sauce to some of life’s wild adventures but when it comes to fulfilling a sexual fantasy of this kind, Mourikis recommends planning your adventure and taking a few precautions:
Respect the environment. Don’t leave anything behind like condoms, wrappers, or lube bottles or clothing.
While the idea of being caught is fun. In reality, it can be very different. Other people may stumble upon you getting it on and this could be triggering for them. It could be potentially traumatic or uncomfortable. They could possibly even interpret it as an assault.
You’re also at risk of being reported, photographed, or filmed without your consent and there’s a chance that those images could be shared.
Remember the risks – it’s not possible to have the safest experience while having sex in the great outdoors. Instead, it’s about being safe enough. Find a private, isolated or secluded space, find some coverage, be aware of the noise you’re making, keep some clothes or shoes on for a quick escape if
necessary, be mindful of how it could impact others who might discover you.
With so many of us glued to our screens, particularly post-lockdown, we need every excuse for a tech-holiday. Many describe sex in nature like the ultimate experience of connectedness – being connected to the earth and a partner simultaneously. And when we’re surrounded by trees and not a bar of reception in sight, we’re less likely to be distracted by phones and technology, which can result in more intense orgasms. “(Being disconnected from technology) is important for feeling desire and arousal, if you’re able to shift your attention from external distractions to noticing sensations in your body then arousal, pleasure, and desire can grow,” says Mourikis.
As Marilyn Monroe famously said, ‘sex is a part of nature, I go along with nature’.