Sex Ed

Why Cars Are One Of The Most Popular Places To Have Sex

April 4, 2018 by Justin Lehmiller

People fantasize about having sex in a wide range of settings, but cars are one of the most popular. As some evidence of this, I surveyed more than four thousand Americans about their sexual fantasies for my forthcoming book Tell Me What You Want and found that the vast majority (77%) said they’d fantasized about sex in motor vehicles. Moreover, about 1 in 5 people who took the survey said they had fantasies about this often.

Clearly, cars represent an appealing place to have sex. A lot of people seem to be acting on their car sex fantasies, too. So what exactly are people doing when they have sex in cars and what makes this setting so appealing? A recent study published in The Journal of Sex Research offers some insight, at least when it comes to young adults’ experiences with sex in parked cars (on a side note, if you’re looking for a research idea, I’d be curious to see a parallel study on sex in moving cars and other types of motor vehicles).

Check out the infographic below for a closer look at some of the key findings from this study, including how many college students have ever had sex in a parked car, their motivations behind it, and what they did during their most recent experience.

Beyond what this study found, one other thing worth mentioning is that part of the appeal of having sex in cars is likely due to the novelty of the setting. As I discuss in Tell Me What You Want, having sex outside of your bedroom (whether it’s in a car or someplace else) can be arousing simply because it’s fresh and different, but also because it adds an element of risk. It’s not just the newness of this setting, but also the potential that you could be caught or observed in the act (even if parked in a relatively remote location). In other words, there’s a sense of newness and an element of the taboo that might also play a role in why car sex is so popular in both fantasy and reality.


For other infographics about sex, click here.

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Image Source: 123RF/Antonio Guillem

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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