Why aren't people having sex in public?

Is there any good reason the prevailing customs restrict sexual activities to private or secluded places?

Why not have sex in public at the park, say, or on a street bench, or on the beach (ok, sand might be a factor here), or any of a number of places where other people might watch as they can watch now when people are kissing or showing other lesser gestures of intimacy?

I think we would all be much better off. Especially children who could learn what sex is and how to do it properly from real people instead of porn movies or worse. If that wouldn’t be fighting ignorance, then I don’t know what is.

Is there any good reason I missed? I can see how it might make the spectators horny or disgusted but then many straight people are disgusted when two men kiss and horny when two women do.

Any theories?

It’s uncomfortable. At least, it can be. I mean, not just physically, but it feels weird to be watched. For a lot of people, sex is a time of extreme vulnerability. It can be hard enough to be seen naked by one person, but by a (possibly unforgiving) crowd of people who don’t really know you, that’s even harder.

It’s illegal. And you’ll be put on a Sex Offender list likely. So, being arrested, put in jail, a huge legal bill, maybe some small jail time, then haveing the rest of your life ruined… no, can’t think of a single reason not to have sex in public.:rolleyes:

Yes yes, but why is it illegal? I’m asking a broad anthropological question here. Your answer is too shortsighted to be useful.

Because then it wouldn’t be a thrill when you get away with it. duh…

I’ve had sex in public several times. :wink:

Anthropologically, you’re fairly defenseless while having sex. In the old days, the alpha male that was having sex in public might well get his brains bashed in. Best to haul your booty back to the cave and sneak a quickie while the competition is dozing.

Some people might not want their children to see you having sex.

Yeah, yeah. I know. This is the kind of answer that often prompts derisive comments like “Don’t be such a prude!” and “Oh, boo hoo! Who will think of the children?” here at the SDMB. Given the touchy nature of sexuality though, I think it’s entirely reasonable for parents not to want their children to be needlessly and unexpectedly exposed to such matters in public.

dingdingdingdingding we have a winna!

The things you mention are artificially uncomfortable. We were raised that way. I would have an exceedingly hard time peeing in my pants (even with a diaper on) for the same reason.

But they don’t need to be uncomfortable. Just because we were raised that way doesn’t mean we shouldn’t challenge the validity of the taboos and forbidden behaviors.

There’s also the fact that historically only about 40% of men have had the opportunity to breed. It is a courtesy to those who cannot get any, not to shove it in their faces. It helps keep jealousy in due bounds. If I wanted sex and couldn’t get it and I saw people fucking in the streets all around me, I imagine I’d go mad.

What, really? Seems rather a dubious “just-so” story to me.

Whoa, really?

I don’t buy it. If the alpha male is having sex in public, there are plenty of people around who can warn him or defend him if someone is sneaking towards him with a big stick in hand.

And if they don’t care if he lives, then the agressor can just kill the alpha male in his sleep or while he’s distracted with other things.

Well it may be a “just-so” story, but it also happens to be correct. Mammals kill over sex all the time. Civilization is the story of trying to draw boundaries around our Mammalian instincts. You don’t expose yourself to attack by getting sexual surrounded by a bunch of resentful beta males.

Yes, I can’t recall the study where I read that offhand. I’ll see if I can come up with a cite for it. It said that about 40% of men historically have bread while about 80% of women have. They studied it by looking at the increased diversity in Mitochondrial DNA IIRC.
Gozu** You do realize that male mammals are more likely to be violent when sexually aroused right? That killing someone at bed time is less likely because the agitation level is not the same. And likely, Alpha males got killed in their sleep all the time.

Do you have a better theory? That one was plausible and reasonable (unlike the average just so story) and unlike ones like “to hide it from the kids”, it actually proposes an answer to why the social stigma might have started, not just why it’s been perpetuated.

Don’t get too excited - I’d guess that includes those that die too early.

But are we uncomfortable with it because we were raised that way or are we raised that way because it naturally makes us uncomfortable?

Even tribes in the Amazon (the Siriono, for example) have sex in private even though they go naked all their lives. (I couldn’t find a cite for this but I read it in a book about the Siriono and the author remarked that this was a behavior seen in other remote tribes)

Because my arse is dimply and I don’t want anyone to see it. It’s hard enough hiding it from my husband. I wouldn’t want to be exposed to the teeming masses who would obviously show up for such an event.

Hmm, 40% eh?

scratches head

Well, maybe you wouldn’t be jealous if you were used to seeing it since childhood. You have to factor that in, you know?

Also, just because they can’t breed doesn’t mean they can’t have sex. The two things sure as heck don’t go hand in hand.

How come animals do it wherever, then?

ETA: And if it comes from arousing jealousy, how come we don’t masturbate in public?

No, I do not, but I still would need some more evidence to find this one compelling.

(cf. Freudian Slit, above)