Let's be honest - for most people, wanting to have sex on the beach is more about crossing an item off of your sexual bucket list than having a genuinely pleasurable experience. If you're hell bent on doing it anyway, we can help.
Illustration by Jim Cooke.
There are a lot of risks that come along with beach sex (getting caught, getting sand in your junk, getting attacked by ocean creatures), and not a lot of payoff (being able to proudly keep a finger raised during your next round of "Never Have I Ever"). That being said, there are some strategies for making the most out of the experience.
Do Your Research
Sex on the beach is usually not something you do spontaneously. It requires a bit of recon work beforehand. The first thing you'll want to do is scope out potential locations to do the deed. Look for private little coves or large rocks. If you're at that particular beach during the day, you can walk around looking for areas that are less populated than others. You can even use Google Maps to find nooks you might not otherwise have noticed.
You may also want to check the timing of high and low tides so you don't get caught off guard by the encroaching ocean. It's also worth looking into the sanitation status of your beach of choice. Some beaches are filthy and just not worth the risk. And I know this one is going to make me sound like a real party pooper, but you should at least be aware of the potential legal implications of your beach tryst, especially if you're in a foreign country. Getting slapped with a fine for public indecency is one thing; getting arrested is another.
You'll need a couple of items to do this right. The most important is a big blanket, which you can use to protect yourselves from sand and to cover up quickly if someone walks by. The bigger the blanket the better. Blankets can be a smarter choice than towels, as towels always seem to let sand through, and you're more likely to have a large blanket lying around than a large towel. Another good item is a big sun-blocking umbrella, which can be used to shield your bodies from the eyes of passersby. A beach chair with a seat that is a few inches off the sand will give you a few more options for positions. If you really want privacy, look into a portable shade structure. Bring a packet of tissues for clean-up afterwards. If you use condoms, bring a small plastic bag for condom disposal (if you leave used condoms at the beach you deserve to forever have your genitals infested with sand fleas).
Pick out an easy-access outfit beforehand too. It's best to try keeping as many clothes on as you can for a quick getaway if you get spotted. Women can wear a beachy sundress or a flowy skirt. Guys should wear shorts or a bathing suit that allows you to pull your junk out easily.
How to not Get Caught
OK, you've found a somewhat secluded zone, you've got your condom baggie, now how the hell do you pull this off without getting caught? The most important piece of advice I can give you is to not be an idiot about it. Don't be these guys. ("Dancing" and "trying to wake him up"? Really?) In fact, read that article, then do the complete opposite of what those two did. Don't do it in the middle of the day. Don't do it with people - especially kids - nearby. Don't take your sweet arse time. Don't ignore the elderly lady cleary filming you. Don't do it twice, you greedy bastards!
Wait until dusk at the very least. The beach should be deserted. Enjoy yourselves, but keep an eye and an ear out for passersby. Keep your voices down, and try not to moan audibly. If you see or hear someone in the distance, stop what you're doing, and wait to resume until they're long gone (the stop-and-go aspect of trying to not get caught can be part of the fun!).
If you're paranoid about getting caught but still want the experience of beach sex, you can make an investment in more privacy. Maybe go on a romantic weekend getaway and rent an AirBnB that has a private strip of beach. Or get a waterside hotel that has a private balcony overlooking the ocean and enjoy your view. If you're near a beach that people frequently camp at, another option is to bring a tent with you. You'll get the beach-sex experience without many of the risks.
Avoid Sand in Your Nether Regions
Most people overly romanticize beach sex, picturing themselves entwined in their partner's arms, rolling around in the sand as the waves gently lap at their feet. In reality, having your exposed genitals anywhere near the sand is a recipe for disaster. Sand might seem like a fairly harmless annoyance when it's stuck to your feet, but it's an entirely different story when it's all up in your most sensitive bits.
The only successful beach sex occurs is in positions where your crotches are up in the air. Arguably the best beach sex positions is Doggystyle. This works for straight couples, gay couples, and anyone adventurous enough to bring a strap-on to the beach. If you're near big rocks, you can try bending the receiving partner over in a more upright version of doggy. If you're confident in your blanket's sand-blocking abilities, receiving partner on top is a possibility. If you brought a beach chair, receiving partner on top works even better, and you can try facing each other or facing the same direction. If your configuration includes two women, your best bet is to have one woman sit on the other's face.
Consider Alternate Options
By now, you may be thinking, "well, screw the sand… maybe we should just do it in the ocean instead?" Ocean sex has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, you can get away with a lot more having sex in the ocean rather than on the sand. Again, I don't recommend having sex when there are people around, but the ocean will conceal what's going on beneath the surface. Plus, the buoyancy being in water gives you makes standing sex a lot easier (which is great, since it's really the only position you can do).
On the other hand, salt water can dry up natural lubrication, so some women may feel pain or discomfort trying to attempt intercourse. Anal is going to be a no-go. It's also not advisable to use condoms underwater, so your STI risk is higher. And you have to be wary of tripping on rocks, getting bitten by sea creatures, and bacteria that may be in the water. You also won't have any of leverage for thrusting, so sex will be pretty tame.
Keep in mind that having beach sex doesn't need to mean having beach intercourse. For my money, oral sex and hand jobs can be a lot more fun than intercourse, and a whole hell of a lot easier to pull off. You can easily give each other handies in the water. If you've got a good poker face, you don't even have to feel that guilty if other people are around (but again, try to be respectful!). Oral sex can be concealed with a blanket or under an umbrella. If someone sneaks up on you, it's easy to pretend you were just cuddling with your head in your partner's lap.
Just remember kids, keep an eye out for those grandmas with cell phones!