Outdoor Sex Etiquette

A Humorous Look at a Common Camping Skill
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Sex in the outdoors can potentially have a severe impact on an otherwise pristine wilderness area. First consider the visual impact. Imagine the consternation of someone who comes walking over a ridge and sees the natural wonder of a magnificent vista blotted by a couple of people having sex in a high alpine meadow. Yuck! Instead, move into some bushes or into a stand of thick timber, out of the open and well away from trails. Above treeline, hiding among boulders should do. In the sandstone country of the desert Southwest, there are neat little overhangs hiding shady hidey-holes everywhere.

Lots of thrashing around in the same spot is bound to have a noticeable impact on the ground cover-crushed grass, compacted soil, etc.-and is easy to avoid. Among trees the ground is covered with duff, a dense layer of decayed matter such as leaves and pine needles, and duff is soft and comfortable and easy to restore after being thrashed around on. In the woods of the deep South, it is clearly understood that"moss be mo' bettah" . . . but watch out for the chiggers. Beaches and other sandy spots work well, too. Sometimes, even in summer, patches of snow can be found in the high country, and, if enough insulation is available, that makes a good place to use without much impact on the environment.

Sound, too, can have a negative impact in an outdoor setting. Yells and moans will carry long distances over open water and across lush, wide meadows. Those same noises will disperse quickly among trees. Boom-boxes are simply unacceptable in wilderness areas. If music is essential to your sexual experience, hum.

Natural water sources need to be protected. If you need to wash up-before or after-you can get by jumping into a lake or wading into a stream or river. Soap, however, can be fun, but it should only be used well away from water sources. Here is the way to use soap for minimum impact. Everyone takes off all their clothes and gets wet in the lake or stream and fills all the available empty containers with water. Move about 200 feet away from the water source. Everybody lathers everybody else up real good, being careful to get the hard-to-reach places, and pours the water from the containers over each other. This is usually pretty noisy so it would be best if you're in a stand of timber . . . where there's duff . . . and other people can't see you. Opening Line to Remember:"Let me scrub your back for you, Helen.

Trash is ugly and should be collected before leaving the sex site. Check carefully for anything that could have been carelessly thrown aside in a moment of passion. Condoms can kill! A pelagic seabird washed up on the beach after becoming fatally entangled in a carelessly discarded sport-bra is a sad sight indeed! If you packed it in, pack it out. Fluff up the duff, smooth out the sand, etc. The key to minimum impact is this: Make it look as though you never came.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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