Public sex in Toronto: In defense of in flagrante delicto


In flagrante delicto. Or as I like to call it, “boning without borders.”

For those not well-versed in Latin, the term refers to that fun outdoor activity where only fools dare to tread: Sex in public. 

Sure it’s risky, somewhat undignified, and if you get caught, the penalties are steep. But my partner and I have developed a taste for it regardless.

That’s mostly because I like my men the way I like my coffee – all over me in 30 seconds flat (I’m a klutz) – so when nature calls, it’s simply too painful to keep it in my pants until I’m in the privacy of my own home.

It all began without warning. We were enjoying Doors Open TO and found our way into the many quiet, dark corners of the Masonic Temple. Making out wasn’t enough, and suddenly my fingers were unbuttoning his jeans as if they had a mind of their own.

Luckily, as a modern woman, condoms are always in my purse (oh, the wonders of a woman’s purse – mine carries everything from Chapstick to chopsticks). Before you could say “Bob’s your uncle,” we were both begging for mercy.

Since then, our proclivity for publicly pumping pelvises has struck in a mechanical closet at Harbourfront Centre, the bathrooms at the Drake Hotel, the rooftop of an abandoned building on Carlaw, his balcony (while his neighbours were present on theirs), an alleyway behind the abattoir on Niagara Street, and – everybody shit yourselves – City Hall.

Toronto is a goldmine for potential boning locations, and because Torontonians never seem to notice what’s right in front of them, we have made out like bandits. But that’s not to say that public sex doesn’t come with a host of its own problems.

First, there’s the sounds. In private, you can scream ‘til your scare the mice out of the walls, but in public, silence is key. And when my partner gives me a hot beef injection, I tend to sound like a banshee drowning in a bagpipe.

Even if I bite my lip, there are general sex noises (friction, skin colliding) that could give us away – our two bodies tend to sound like someone is stapling two sausage rolls together.

Plus, there are a host of other logistical problems. Inside the Drake’s bathrooms, we discovered mid-coitus that the toilet, the faucet, and the hand-dryers were all automatic – and, naturally, all going off at once. 

Then there’s the awkward mood-killer of hopping around with my jeans about my ankles as my O-face is wedged into a chain-link fence.

Despite all that, going in flagrante has given my partner and me that little extra joie de vivre. The first 40 years of childhood are the hardest, and at 38, I’ve only got one good egg left, so I can’t fuck this up. Man’s eternal dating struggle is, “Will I ever be an adult?” And woman’s eternal dating dilemma is, “What the fuck, man?” So, at this age, I’d rather cheese-grate my nipples than settle for a simple sex life.

Because of this, our relationship has never been stronger. We have our own secret language. All I have to do is give him a look, and he knows what’s on my mind. After every public indecency, we fist-bump and high-five like a winning sports team. We snicker as thick as thieves, and this reinforces our bond. We always have new goals to strive for, and new adrenaline highs to surpass.

I know what you’re thinking, but it cannot merely be reduced to insatiable “horniness,” because that trivializes it. We just can’t keep ourselves from transforming, werewolf-style, into what Shakespeare called “the beast with two backs” (no full moon required).

They say love is the answer, but when it comes to keeping a relationship fresh, in flagrante delicto raises a lot of interesting questions.

Look, life is short, dull, and loaded with sadness and disappointment. Soon, we will all be priced out of living in Toronto, or hit by one of those cars ignoring the King Street pilot project. You might as well break all the rules and bone with reckless abandon.

And if you and your children ever stumble upon us in flagrante, avert their eyes and tell them we’re just playing leapfrog.

Baroness Von Stretch is the pseudonym of a Toronto-based writer.