Public Sex Environment


Some people like to have sex outdoors or in public places. These are sometimes known as public sex environments and include woods, public toilets, parks or car parks.

People have sex in these places for various reasons. They may enjoy the risk of being caught, for example, or like being watched by others. Perhaps they prefer the anonymity of sex where there's little risk of being identified and they don't need to talk (about having HIV, for example). Whether you are in a relationship or single, there are a few things to remember if you have sex in public.
The most important thing is to look after your health and safety. If you decide to have sex in public this may be with strangers, people you know or your partner. It is important to use condoms whoever you are having sex with, as it is easy to pick up sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea which can affect your HIV.

Using condoms can stop HIV from being transmitted to the other person and can also prevent an unwanted pregnancy. If you have sex with more than one person it is important to use a different condom with each partner.
If you have sex in a public place you also need to look after your personal safety. For example gay men have sometimes been the victims of homophobic attacks when they have been 'cruising' or having sex in public places.

If you are robbed or attacked in a public sex environment you should report it to the police to protect others.

If you don't know the person or people you are having sex with, it is advisable to be careful about where you meet them and where you go to have sex. Avoid public sex environments if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs as this will make you vulnerable to attack, robbery or making poor decisions about sex and safety.

You may find sex in public exciting, but it also has risks to your health and personal safety. If you want to talk to someone about your sex life you may like to see one of our HIV counsellors.
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