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Is It Illegal to Have Sex in a Car?

Porn stars might film back-seat action, but mortals like you might not be able to fuck your way out of a lewd conduct conviction

Porn sites are plastered with horny couples fucking in their cars, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether it’s on a beach, in a bathroom or straddling the back seat of a banged-up Miata, the illicit thrill of being fucked in public never quite wears off. It might be tempting to recreate these XXX fantasies, but unlike porn, you likely won’t be able to seduce your way out of a conviction if you’re caught. In fact, in many states, you could even up on a sex offenders’ list.

Although there are no U.S. states that specifically classify car sex as a felony, there are plenty of circumstances that could see you charged with lewd or disorderly conduct, public indecency or indecent exposure. Every state defines and prosecutes these charges slightly differently, though, so if you’re biting your nails about getting road head in say, Wisconsin, you’ll have to look up its particular rules. 

That said, specifics are important here. Fucking in a car is only a crime if you’re deemed to be “in public,” and the definition of “public” can be pretty tenuous. Theoretically, getting down and dirty in your own driveway could land you a conviction if the neighbors are in full view, and so could doin’ it in your truck on a deserted dirt road. If a nice, particularly litigious Christian family just so happens to roll by and report you, it doesn’t  matter how well-hidden you thought you were — the fact that someone saw you makes it “public.”

Busy highways aren’t an exemption, either. If your logic is that cars are speeding past too quickly to see you sucking dick, the law doesn’t agree. Late last year, a Florida couple was arrested on the side of a busy road when drivers saw the guy straddling his girlfriend and eating her out, presumably a pit-stop on a road trip. The year before that, a different Florida couple entered full “fuck-it” mode after being arrested on DUI charges. They decided to go down with a bang, quite literally — they fucked in the back seat of the cop car that was transporting them to the precinct, adding yet more charges to their list.

Kink communities have long mastered the art of artfully unperceived car sex, though. In the U.K., there’s a whole fetish subculture called “dogging” — basically cruising, but with headlights. There are entire databases of “dogging” hot spots, secluded areas that lure in horny couples keen to fuck in their cars without being seen. These clandestine shrines of filth are shared extensively within dogging communities, which means that those in the know can drive to these fabled locations, start fucking and then wait to see if another dogging enthusiast is waiting in the wings to join in.

Perhaps surprisingly, there are no high-profile cases of porn stars being busted for back-seat fun — presumably, performers and production teams are well-versed in public indecency laws and manage to avoid arrest by stationing their horny encounters far, far off the grid. This is pretty impressive given that there’s an entire universe of porn dedicated to fucking in, on and around cars. 

At this point, I know what you’re thinking. Jake, what about masturbation? Sorry, my bud, that’s also potentially illegal, too. In 2014, a boned-up New Jersey resident stationed himself in a restaurant car park and used its Wi-Fi to stream hours of porn on his iPad. An onlooker ratted him out to the cops, and after years of appeal, he was charged with public communication of obscenity, disorderly conduct and obstructing a police investigation — all because when he was (literally caught) with his pants down, he refused to leave the car.

Let this poor guy’s ordeal act as a teaching moment for us all: If you really need to beat your meat mid-drive, at least get some tinted windows.