Another summer of love has officially begun – the eighth series of Love Island is underway, the weather is finally heating up, and hopefully our sex lives will do the same!
We collaborated with Ness Cooper (clinical sexologist and a sex and relationship coach at The Sex Consultant) to discuss how people can master the art of romance to have a great whirlwind summer romance in 2022, including giving advice on how to avoid overheating during summer sex, as well as the legality and safety considerations of partaking in alfresco intercourse.
Read on to find out more…
“Summer romance” – a romantic or sexual relationship between two people that begins in the summer, typically lasting no longer than the summer itself. As sunshine leads to higher serotonin levels and vitamin D – hormones which make us feel good – we may have more confidence to engage in romantic endeavours this summer.
Summer romances can, in part, be all about having someone to share activities with during the warmer days of the year. There’s nothing wrong with that at all and for some it can work out very well, but if you’re hoping to take things to the next level in your romantic engagements, making sure you’re present during those activities is key. Not focusing on just your interests is important… showing engagement and encouragement for your romantic partner’s summer activities is a good way to show you see them as an individual that you appreciate and want to be with them (and not just have as a summer friend).
Whirlwind romances often focus on the obsessive part of love, and it’s worth being prepared that it can take up a lot of your time and focus away from other things. Making sure you have the time to experience these obsessive emotions and wants is important. This obsessive part of love is a natural process of a relationship, but it can take over other things. It can lead to lots of new relationship energy and feel-good hormones that, alongside the summer sunshine, can lead to all the positive summer vibes many are after when the heat turns up. It’s worth being prepared that these whirlwind feelings may not last, and that you may have to think about what you want from the relationship and whether you want to take things further.
Setting boundaries early on can be beneficial for both involved – this is key to be aware of when it’s time to part ways or if you’re after a long-term relationship. Be aware that relationship goals can change and catch us off surprise and that if you went into a summer romance expecting it to just be during the summer season, but it turns out either or both of you want to take it long-term, then there will be some work to do to make the relationship work past the obsessive stage and into the functional loving stage.
Also understand that, when the sunshine starts to fade into darker days, it can be harder to feel positive about summer-fuelled decisions. As long as all involved in the relationship communicate and learn about each other’s intimacy needs, a summer whirlwind romance should still be able to survive when winter darkness starts residing!
Alfresco Summer Sex
When it comes to the safety considerations of partaking in alfresco intercourse this summer, take note on location and laws – particularly if you’re travelling to a new country (as some have very strict rules on erotic displays of affection and nudity and if caught you could be landed with hefty fines or even worse prison time)!
UK laws focus on outraging public decency, indecent exposure, and whether or not you’re caught – if caught you could face up to 6 months jail time – so finding somewhere others are unlikely to go is key. Part of the offence is exposing your body and exposing others to nudity, so wearing clothing that keeps you both fairly covered during sexual acts is important, as the more you remove, the more you have to take more time to put back on. While outside sex can be performed clothed, it’s worth remembering that if others do realise what you’re up to, it could still lead to police involvement (particularly as the other members of the public haven’t consented to being involved with the acts).
Ness says to avoid alfresco sex in busy locations such as tourist attractions, beaches, and more – instead, you’ll want to find a location you know is very private. Be aware that if you are having sex in nature, some plants may cause irritation to your body and lead to unwanted reactions. Avoiding locations with harmful plants is important, and if you do develop any allergy related rashes, speak to a pharmacy for advice on creams or similar.
Another consideration worth noting – condoms may overheat in pockets or wallets, so making sure they stay cool is important… The heat can degrade the quality of the material, leading to higher chance of them breaking. Also, if you are having sex outside with condoms, remember to clean-up after yourself – whilst many condoms are biodegradable, it’s not nice for nature or even other humans to stumble across when out!
As well as outraging public decency and indecent exposure, activity which can be specified as behaviour that is likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress to others, and “cottaging” – having sex in a public toilet – are also offences in the UK. As well as looking at the UK laws, we also researched the laws in other countries. On the most part, public sex is an offence – however, there were a few exceptions to this rule.
In Germany, public nudity is legal in designated areas and sex in public is legal if you are covered. Also, sex has been made legal in several parks across Europe, but there are rules and restrictions in place. At Vondelpark in The Netherlands, sex is legal, but people must restrict sexual activity to the night hours and must stay away from the playground area. They must also be sure to clean up after themselves and leave no mess behind. In Denmark’s Ørstedsparken park the rules are similar – sex is legal, but people must avoid the playground and visible places between 9am and 4pm, and must clean up after themselves. In Guadalajara in Mexico, sex in public is legal if no third-party complaints are filed.
However, some locations are not this relaxed. For example, in Dubai in the UAE, public nudity, sex in public, and other acts of indecency are all offences which can carry significant punishments, including fines and jail time.
Summer Sex at Home
As there are risks involved with alfresco sex, perhaps you’d rather have a safer alternative… Why not explore vibrating love eggs and discreet wearable vibrators which can’t be seen or heard by others when used. These can be controlled by remote by a partner and lead to some fun public teasing before you head off home where you can take things further.
Whether having sex at home or elsewhere, it is important to know how to avoid overheating during summer sex. Staying hydrated – drinking lots of water – is the best way to replenish fluid which has been lost through sweat and other body fluids.
Ness suggests using an air purifier or fan in the bedroom can be helpful in staying cool – if either of you find the noise distracting, adding in sensory deprivation play can help by using earbuds, or noise-cancelling headphones to add to your erotic play (you can even share an erotic or romantic playlist to listen to through them). You could also explore shower sex, as it can help you both cool off and also avoid becoming too clammy together.
Ness also suggests experimenting with temperature play, where you can play with cooled sex toys and even ice. Placing lubricant in the fridge can help make it cooler when applied on the body, or trick the body with cooling lubes which fool the nerve endings in thinking something cold has been place over them. You can also use breath to add different temperature sensations to your partner’s body. Experiment with blowing over their body with your lips in different formations, you’ll find that some will feel cooler, and others will feel hotter.*Expert insight shared in June 2022