Is public sex ethical?
My initial reaction to the question I myself am posing is that public sex is at least borderline unethical. I think it creates a troubling situation where consent is concerned: you’re making other people be voyeurs in your sex life, when they haven’t consented to be. Even if you’re in a public place where you hope not to be seen but might well be, where you’re trying to be hidden but part of the excitement is the fear of getting caught… I’d say much the same thing. You’re deliberately taking the risk of getting caught — in other words, of forcing other people to be involved in your sex life. This was the essence of the piece I wrote last week about how parents should deal with their kids being sexual and masturbating: I said that you could be a sex-positive parent, and still teach your kids to keep their sexuality private, since not everyone wants to see them masturbate.
But I realize that this is a complex question. And like many complex questions, it’s complicated by one simple question: Where do you draw the line?
To find out what I think the complex ethical questions are regarding sex in public — and how I try to answer them — read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!