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FOR years cars have been an alternative place for sexual congress for many a hot-blooded couple.
Though not the ideal place for getting frisky, it can be a welcome change from the usual bedroom.
For some people, warming the knees with your pants in a car is a no-no since they believe the car will be surrounded by bad luck and attracting accidents and theft. But there is no scientific proof for this.
According to police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo, parked cars are arguably the most popular place for couples to engage in public sex.
Naidoo says, though, that there are not that many cases of sex in public places because South African law prohibits public displays of indecency like having sex in a car if it is exposed to the public, even if it is in your yard.
He says you don't have to have it with a partner to be arrested.
"You can be arrested and be fined for masturbating, flashing, streaking, solitary or mutual masturbation, fellatio and vaginal or anal intercourse in places where other people could potentially see the sex acts in public and you can be very, very embarrassed."
Asiphe Ndlela, a psychologist in Illovo, Johannesburg, says cars are technically in the public sphere, but are familiar to the couple.
She says parked cars also provide some protection from getting caught or being seen, depending on where the car is parked.
"Some people are taught as children and teenagers that sex is dirty or naughty, and associate sex with being naughty.
"Having sex in a forbidden place might add to the overall excitement of doing a little naughty sex."
Why do people have sex in public spaces?
Ndlela says many people who have sex in public spaces find it a turn-on to think that they could be discovered in a compromising position.
"Part of the excitement of thinking about or doing public sex derives from the fear of being caught," Ndlela explains,
"You still hear about sex in a car. Often public sex becomes an option when there is simply nowhere else to go. Anxious cheats might choose the back seat of a car or the bush instead of their houses."
Ndlela adds that another motivation is lust.
"There are times in sexual relationships when both partners feel especially lusty and feel that sex must take place as soon as possible. In other instances people, more especially men, get a chance to brag about it afterwards."
She says some people love to have sex in certain places because they have a reputation as fun places to have sex.
"For example the beach is a very romanticised spot to have sex though it might be very uncomfortable because of the sand.
"For some couples doing new things is important. For the sake of variety some people have sex in lifts, empty halls, toilets, undercover parking lots, mall toilets, buses, churches, offices, movie theatres, parks and balconies."
Ndlela adds that there are cases of straight men who have oral sex in male toilets for the fun of it.
As exciting as it might sound, public sex can be dangerous, she says.
"It is important to be careful simply because while you are so distracted you can't keep your eye on other things.
"The key here is getting sorted before you start. Make sure it is a safe place where you cannot be robbed or injured.
"Be careful of using private property because you can be caught in the act and embarrassed. Worse still, you can be shot by some sadist."