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Ask the Sexpert: PDA PSA

“Ask the Sexpert” written on a light blue background. In the bottom left corner sits the yellow, red, and blue Peer Health Advisors logo. “The Prospect” is written on the bottom right.
The Design Team / The Daily Princetonian

Dear Sexpert, 

My partner and I have been looking to spice up our sex life recently. With the weather starting to warm up, we’re interested in trying somewhere outdoors to add a bit of excitement. I’ve heard rumors of students having sex in public spots on campus, and I think it could be a cool story to tell. Any advice on how to pull it off?


~ Thoughtful Thrill-Seeker

Dear Thrill-Seeker,

The desire to add some sexual excitement to a relationship is completely normal and understandable, especially if it’s a long-term relationship. It is important to make sure that you and your partner are openly communicating and moving forward on the same page. Although there are countless ways to experiment, venturing out to a new setting is often an enticing idea for college students. Stories of students having sex in Firestone, on sprawling greens, or at other “bucket-list” spots on campus have even turned this type of risk-taking into a contest for some. As such, it’s important to determine whether your thrill-seeking is for your own sexual desire, a mutual benefit for your relationship, or just to have a cool story to tell. You should never feel pressured to engage in any type of sexual activity — especially risky ones — to impress others or to fit in. Bragging about sexual feats isn’t cool either, particularly if you’re sharing intimate details that your partner doesn’t want aired out.

If your desire for a risky sexual stunt truly stems from within, then the first thing to consider is legality. In New Jersey, it is illegal to engage in sexual activity where one “knows or reasonably expects [that they are] likely to be observed by other nonconsenting persons who would be affronted or alarmed” (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4). Such an act is considered “lewdness” and is treated as a disorderly persons offense, carrying a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine — along with a mark on your permanent record. It’s important to note that the law doesn’t distinguish between public and private spaces; instead, it’s based on the expectation of being seen by others. Beyond the legal consequences, Princeton’s Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities also prohibits sexual activity in public places on campus, meaning you could face additional penalties from the University (RRR 1.3.3 “Sexual Misconduct”).

While the Sexpert does not condone any illegal conduct, it’s important to be aware of the risks and repercussions if you do choose to go through with a public pursuit of pleasure. Although the adrenaline rush that may come from a daring sexual act may add to you and your partner’s arousal, you must keep in mind those who are sharing the space. Students, employees, or passersby who might encounter you will likely be made very uncomfortable. As members of a shared living community, we must remain conscious of others’ boundaries; nobody should have to feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or unwelcome in the places that they live and learn.

With that in mind, any attempt at public sexual promiscuity should use precautions that minimize the risk of offending others and placing yourself in legal jeopardy. Consider a space where you can lock the door or shield yourself from public view to reduce the likelihood of unintentional encounters. Moreover, try to opt for uncrowded locations at off-hour times — such as late night or early morning. You can even try experimenting with foreplay in public, and then transitioning to a private spot before getting physically intimate. Lastly, if you’re just looking to spice things up, consider the myriad other ways that you can sexually experiment with your partner. Incorporating different types of sex, new positions, sex toys, or roleplay could all add some excitement to your sex life while remaining considerate of others and avoiding legal risks. 


Hope these tips help you and your partner as you find new ways of getting frisky.

~The Sexpert

Information for this article is provided by The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, Princeton University’s Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, and Rosenblum Law Firm.

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