How To Have Sex On The Beach (Without Going To The Beach)

Photographed by Caroline Tompkins.
Having sex on the beach seems like the epitome of romance. I mean, who hasn't watched and then re-watched that super hot beach make out scene in From Here To Eternity? Movies like that make beach sex feel like a highly romantic and thrilling thing that should be at the top of everyone's sex bucket list. Hell, there's even a (sexy) drink named after the act.
But, the reality of sex on the beach is a little less glamourous. For one, sand is dirty. It's literally made up of thousands of tiny rocks, seashells, dead fish, and other particles that you don't want all up in your genitals. And secondly, having sex in public (as thrilling as it sounds) is illegal pretty much everywhere.
So, sorry to rain on your beach-sex parade, but actually having sex on the beach might not be the best idea. Still, there are plenty of ways to capture that thrilling sex-on-the-beach feeling without risking vaginal and/or other genital infections or violating public indecency laws. So, we reached out to sex experts to learn how to have beach sex at home. Because yes, it can be done. Read on for their tips.
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Get out your sexy swimsuit.

Just as you use sexy lingerie to arouse your partner and costumes and props to set the scene in a role play, the slinky swimsuit you bought this summer can get your beach play rolling. Pulling your suit off might even help your partner feel more like they're laying on beachy sands.
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Use your nose.

Your sense of smell is pretty damn powerful, and can bring back all kinds of memories or make you feel like you're in a certain place (like the beach), says Rose Hartzell, PhD, a sex therapist at San Diego Sexual Medicine. She suggests getting out some sunscreen or a beachy-smelling candle like coconut or sea salt. "Put a little sunscreen on your body and let your partner get a little whiff of that," she says.

It might sound like a really weak way to make sex at home feel like sex on the beach, but your nose has a lot of power over your brain and ~other~ parts of your body. Hartzell once heard from a patient that he got an erection simply from sitting in front of an open window and smelling his partner's sunscreen waft in with the wind. "It was just so arousing to this man to have all of these memories of spring and summer rush to his mind," she says. So, don't underestimate the influence of a little sunscreen.
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Get some fresh air.

Even if you can't have sex outdoors, you can make it feel like you are. All it takes is an open window, Dr. Hartzell says. Leave the shades down if you're worried about people seeing you, but if it's the could-get-caught feeling that makes beach sex thrilling for you, you can capture that feeling while still knowing that you're safe behind closed doors. Just keep the window open so you can hear sounds coming in from outdoors and smell the fresh air. "Then, you're aware that no one can see you, but you can pretend that people can see you," she says.
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Make use of your linens.

You know that thick, soft, gigantic towel you got for the beach. It's time to take it out of the linen cupboard and put it to use. Dr. Hartzell suggests laying that towel down on your living room floor, your enclosed deck, or any other private space you want and having sex on that. After all, anything that sets the beachy scene will help you feel like you're having sex on the beach. Bonus: there's no sand to get all up in your private parts.

Just keep in mind that a hard surface still might not be all that comfortable. "Traction and comfort definitely becomes an issue when you're getting it on anywhere with a hard or textured surface," says Anne Hodder, ACS, a multi-certified sex and relationships educator based in Los Angeles.
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Mix up something beachy.

The other great part about having beach sex that's not actually beach sex? You get to drink. And not just beer that you've snuck in at the bottom of your cooler. While some beaches allow you to bring alcohol, many don't. So take advantage of your home beach by mixing up something that makes you feel like you're on a tropical vacation. Dr. Hartzell suggests piña coladas, mojitos, or (ironically) some sex on the beach.

If you want the tropical taste without the alcohol or just an added layer of beach for your taste buds, Hodder suggests using coconut oil-based massage products or edible massage oils that have fun beachy cocktail flavors (like sex on the beach).
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Set the scene (literally).

Whether you're planning to have sex on that beach towel on the living room floor or on your bed, you can make use of your computer or TV screen to make the atmosphere feel a little more like the beach. Just set your screensaver to a photo of your favorite beach, Dr. Hartzell suggests. Then, every time you look up during sex, it'll almost feel like you're looking out at the sea.
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Switch out your light bulbs.

If you have the luxury of thinking ahead, Hodder suggests buying a few sunlight light bulbs to add to the beachy feel of your home. "For me, the first thing that comes to mind with the beach is the warm sun against bare skin," she says. So swap out the bulbs in your lamps, overhead lighting, or even a lamp with a bendable neck so you can make sure it hits a specific part of your body. Anything called a "full spectrum" light bulb should boost vitamin D and make you happier, just like sunshine, she says.
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Trick your ears.

You know those sleep sound apps you can set on Amazon Echo or Google Home or your iPhone? They're good for a lot more than just lulling you (or your kids) to bed. "Those apps have a ton of different sounds like water, waterfalls, and the ocean," Dr. Hartzell says. "Set it to one of those, and it'll help create the mood."
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Create your own beach.

If you have a private pool or hot tub in an enclosed backyard, you should 100% use that to your advantage. Just, maybe don't have sex in the water. "The thing about pools and water, is that there's lots of bacteria," Dr. Hartzell says. But that doesn't mean you can't make use of the pool. Just have sex near it instead of in it. If you bring out your beachy drinks and beachy music and slather on some sunscreen, it'll almost be like you've created your own little beach at home.

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