By all rights, and by every metric, sex on a plane should be rubbish. There’s not enough room, you’re bending over a toilet that’s potentially been used by 40 strangers, and there’s probably a queue of increasingly uncomfortable people impatiently waiting for you to finish outside the 3 milimeter thick door. It shouldn’t be sexy, on paper. But in matters of sex, nothing is ever that straightforward, and horniness has an intoxicating effect that makes us do and say dumb shit we wouldn’t normally do or say.
There’s something sexy about flying. Maybe it’s the boredom. Maybe it’s the swaying of gentle turbulence. Maybe it’s the air pressure, or the one-too-many drinks you had before you took off. Maybe you’re like me, and you hate flying, and the only way you can take your mind off the certainty that the wings are about to fall off is to think about sex. Whatever it is, planes make us horny, and most of us will have sex on one, given half the chance.
There has to be a reason why sex on a plane makes so many bucket lists. There must be a reason why everybody knows exactly what the Mile High Club is .
Well, I put on my cleverest Sex Geek hat to find out. Please ensure your seat backs and tray tables are in the upright and lock position, shit’s about to get real.
Aches On A Plane
A lot of what we love about sex is the way it allows us to deconstruct formal social structures in ways that no other activity really permits. We might not realise it, and it might not always be deliberate, but most of our sexual fantasies and desires are wrapped up in a desire to temporarily distort and subvert social conventions in one way or another.
Take the nurse’s uniform, for example. Or any uniform, for that matter: police, fireman, schoolgirl, nun, you name it. By eroticising the uniform, we sexualise the role that it represents. A nurse’s uniform, conventionally, would be a symbol of restraint, self-control, and impersonality.
But in the right context, the same uniform can represent the ability for lust to temporarily overwhelm common sense, and that creates a sense of absolutely uncontrollable, uninhibited sexual transgression.
The same is true of the desire to have sex on a plane.
The whole process of waiting at the airport, of boarding, of waiting with a group of strangers, with none of them really noticing us or willing to be noticed, creates a stoic, business-like kind of indifference. That indifference is, subconsciously, quite painful, perhaps even humiliating. We are drawn to a desire to upend the situation, to subvert it, and by having illicit sex just centimeters away from this unknowing, unsuspecting group of people, we take back some power from them, if only for a while.
Sex on a plane is not practical and, if you’ve done it, you might be the first to admit that it’s not physically very… good. But it’s not about that. It’s not about the physical sensations of sex itself. Just as uniforms can evoke a subversive sense that you’re breaking some social code or unspoken rules, sex on a plane, surrounded by, but shielded from, so many strangers gives us a feeling of power and cultural disobedience that goes far beyond sex itself. Sex at 40,000 feet is a rebellion, a personal statement that you’ll abide by society’s rules, but only on your own terms.
What we find sexy, what turns us on the most, is usually at the point where the formal and the intimate intersect. For some of us, that intersection happens at in a tiny, damp-floored cubicle at 600 miles per hour somewhere over the Atlantic with a crowd of drowsy strangers only inches away. And if that’s not thrilling, then you may as well just walk.
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