Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Mile-High Club

About a week and a half ago, my partner Esmé and I found ourselves on a trans-Atlantic, red-eye flight. There came a moment somewhere in the wee hours -- time kind of breaks down as you fly across the time zones -- when the lights were out and everyone on the plane was asleep. There was only one thing to do: try to sneak into the airplane bathroom and have sex.

We ran the standard play. Esmé went to the bathroom. A minute later, when there was no line, I got up, knocked on the door and she let me in. The bathroom was tiny and smelled less than pleasant. I had the nervous shakes, imagining how we would try to leave one at a time only to find a line of passengers waiting outside. It was difficult to find a position, so we finally settled for me sitting on the closed toilet while Esmé sat on my lap. We fucked as quickly and quietly as we could. I left first. Thankfully, no one was waiting and no one seemed to have been awakened by any moans we had failed to stifle. I went back to my seat, Esmé joined me a moment later. We had successfully joined the Mile-High Club.

It's safe to say the main reason to engage in airplane sex is for bragging rights. The threat of discovery adds a certain thrill to it, but the setting isn't particularly romantic, nor is the sex especially good. But not many people can say they've done it, so the opportunity was too good to pass up. I wouldn't want to only have sex in airplane bathrooms but the novelty of doing it once was pretty fun.

The fantasy of having sex on an airplane is surprisingly prevalent. I went on the Internet afterward to see what I could find. Perhaps naïvely, I was only expecting to find a few humorous, probably bullshit first-person stories, maybe a How-To page on About.com, and some info about possible legal consequences. Silly, silly Pendard... I had no idea that airplane sex is some of the geekiest sex there is.

First of all, it appears that Rachel Kramer Bussel edited an entire book on erotica on the subject. I haven't read it but I have difficulty imagining enough different scenarios to fill an entire book.

I also located the official Mile-High Club website, where you can post the story of your high-altitude hook-up and even buy the tee shirt to commemorate the experience.

And if my less-than-steamy description of the airplane bathroom failed to turn you on or you're scared to risk discovery and (unlikely) prosecution, don't despair! If you're willing to spend a little money you can join the Mile-High Club in comfort and style by chartering a plane. There are a number of companies that explicitly offer the service, including Mile-High Club Chicago, Mile High Atlanta, Intimate Skies in Honolulu, and Mile High Flights in Gloucestershire, UK.

Or you can just do it the old-fashioned way. Some suggest discretely fucking in your seat on a nearly empty flight but I don't see this going so well -- for one thing, all flights are overbooked these days. Your best bet is the bathroom. To get in there, you'll need to book the latest flight you can, either cross-country or trans-Atlantic, then just wait until everyone is either sleeping or engrossed in the in-flight movie to make your move. Unless you happen to find yourself on one of the new Airbus A380s. Singapore Airlines has beds in first class but so many people have been loudly taking advantage of them the airline has added a no sex rule.

Sad news, but I'm sure people will continue to find a way.

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