Outdoor sex is a common erotic fantasy that often gets acted out, with surveys suggesting that as many as one in three people have indulged, despite the risk of legal redress if caught.

There can be a number of reasons why getting down and dirty outside is such a turn on. The possibility of being discovered or exposed is thrilling and erotic if you enjoy the adrenalin rush of doing something edgy, risky or forbidden. This is partly why hidden spots in city centres, car parks or lay-bys are a popular venue for some.

It can be just as exciting to find yourself alone with a lover in a silent, secluded place where you can strip off and take your time to enjoy a little al fresco passion.

Bringing sex out of the bedroom adds variety – any change of situation can get your juices flowing just because you’re trying out somewhere new.

Neurochemistry suggests that ‘sensation-seeking’ correlates with higher levels of dopamine, a hormone that promotes desire and the pursuit of pleasure. If you crave intense feeling, sensations like the warm sun pulsating on your naked body, the soft grass teasing your toes or the freshness of a cool breeze entering your lungs is only going to fuel the fire. You’ll be inclined to drop your inhibitions and immerse yourself in the salaciousness of truly being in the moment. What’s not to love about feeling deeply energised by nature?

Here in the UK having sex outdoors is not strictly illegal but if there’s a risk you’ll cause alarm or distress to members of the public and you happen to be caught in the act it’s possible you’ll have a problem on your hands.

But as I advocate outdoor sex for its potential benefits to sexual well being, the quality of the erotic experience and the deep intimacy that comes from sharing something unique with your sex partner/s my motto is ‘if you can’t be good – be careful’.

While spontaneity has its place with outdoor sex, there’s something to be said for advance planning. This establishes a level of emotional safety and consent from the outset which means that you’ll feel freer when you reach your chosen location. Knowing whether your partner wants to be fully naked or partially clothed, whether there are positions they’d feel more comfortable with or if they’d rather not engage in penetration might be important. Would you rather lie on a blanket or do your prefer the feeling of the ground beneath your body? Talk it through – there’s no need to push each other’s boundaries too far in what could be a vulnerable situation.

If you’re an al fresco virgin and worry about being seen, a secluded outdoor space that’s not overlooked might be the place to start. If you have a private garden or balcony at home this would be ideal. Alternatively you could pitch a tent, venture into your summer house or sneak into a quiet barn or outbuilding to test the waters. To feel really united with nature you can’t beat a spot in the forest surrounded by trees, a deserted beach protected by large rocks or even the sea itself.

As you become more confident and used to experimenting with different outdoor sex locations, you may find yourself compelled to seek a greater thrill. You’ll be challenged to find more daring, creative ways of getting your kicks once you know which aspects of the outdoor experience turn you on and you’ll learn what works for your partner/s too.

There can be something really awake and alive about outdoor sex – finding a free, primal side of yourself and expressing it with the real world right there around you can feel powerful and liberating. The more you access authentic sexual expression, the easier it will be to fuse with sex partner/s. So if sensation-seeking’s for you, outdoor sex should be close to the top of your erotic bucket list.