The joy of travel sex


by Rachel Kramer Bussel

If you ask me, travel sex is some of the hottest sex in the world. Why? Because travel puts us in a different headspace, where anything can happen. For me, there’s a mix of anticipation, uncertainty and adventure that, when combined as I step onto a plane, check into a hotel or set foot in a new to me city, make me feel far more uninhibited than I do at home.

One of the most outrageous travel sex adventures I’ve ever had happened during an unexpected overnight layover. My flight had been cancelled and I decided to stay at the airport overnight. This was long ago enough that I don’t actually remember what airport it was, which doesn’t really matter save for the fact that the place cleared out as people scrambled to find hotel rooms. Except for me…and a guy who was also stranded. I believe he was from somewhere in South America. He was incredibly sweet and as we waited next to each other, we talked…and then did much more.

It’s hard to put into words without it sounding sordid but what we shared in that airport is actually one of my favorite sexual memories. Why? Because it was completely unexpected. Because we likely never would have met had fate not brought us together that night. Because I would have been scared as hell to spend a whole night in an airport entirely alone. So yes, it was much more than stolen hand jobs. It was a chance to connect with a total stranger and get through a frustrating situation and release some sexual tension. It was an opportunity to be exhibitionists hidden in plain sight.

I also have a huge fondness for hotel sex, whether during a staycation or a full on trip, because hotels are such gorgeous blank slates, with their freshly made beds and amenities, with the chance to shed all my mental baggage for a few nights and bring out my most erotically adventurous side.

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So it’s no surprise that travel lust made its way into my brand new anthology, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2, released this week. I didn’t set out with that plan in mind, but as I read the submissions that landed in my inbox, over and over I found a trip to be the key to starting a fling or relationship. This made perfect sense within the context of each story, and as I crafted the table of contents, I realized how perfectly each travel erotica tale fit within the greater whole. Each of these women are on an adventure, whether they know it when they start out or not, that takes them somewhere they didn’t expect to go. They don’t just “make the best of things” and muddle through, but truly use travel to learn more about themselves and avail themselves of the erotic opportunities awaiting them.

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One of the travel stories in the book is “Like Lights in the Northern Sky” by Dorianne. Here’s how she describes the title phenomenon:

Green and blue waves of light pirouetted across the sky. The stars were dazzling here every night, but now they played peekaboo, constantly disappearing behind a vibrant wash of color only to reappear a second later as the real color (teal, royal blue, emerald and chartreuse green) pulsed in a different direction. Valentina stopped breathing, her entire awareness focused on the light show playing against a rich, black backdrop.

“Aurora borealis,” said one of the tourists.

Wawasayg,” Johnny whispered in her ear.

Dorianne paints an intriguing and intimate portrait not just of this natural phenomenon, but also about the lodge owner and his wife, who are in an open relationship, and how tourist Valentina gets an unexpected but very welcome erotic introduction to the land she’s visiting.

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In “Brick Dust” by Kay Jaybee, protagonist Liza, who lives in England, takes a job at a South African sandstone brick quarry, which leads to some very sexy on-the-job training. We find out she’s taken this assignment in part to escape her ex, Ryan, and his kinky requests, but in this isolated location, with hunky boss Mick, they just may be right up her alley:

Liza could picture the words her ex had written clearly despite her blindfold, she had read them so often. “He…he wanted to tease my body until I begged.”

“That’s the bit that I’ve waned about the most.” Dropping to his knees, Mick sent a shower of particles spraying across Liza’s legs. “It’s not the fact you are bound at at my mercy, but that you’er going to have to plead for me to fuck you that’s working the magic.”

The blanket of ground brick beneath Liza’s body that had initially felt like a soft mattress morphed into unyielding grime-covered earth as Mick spoke. The top layer was sticking to her back, making Liza feel as though she were a living piece of sandpaper. Each time she wriggled her back was scratched, but rather than feeling uncomfortable, it sent ripples of confused desire tripping through her veins.

Jaybee does an excellent job of making sure we get up close and personal with how aroused Liza gets by their public sex, precisely because she’s in a new environment with someone she trusts completely.

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In “Volcano Nights” by Josie Jordan, strangers are thrust together when they have to share the only available room in a hotel. When I interviewed the author about the story’s origins, she told me, “There’s something inherently sexy about long-haul travel. All these strangers briefly thrown together, never to meet again.”

Indeed, the surprise layover, combined with her feelings after catching her boyfriend in bed with someone else, make Monica prone to flirting in ways she like wouldn’t be back home:

“What are you thinking?” he asked.

“That I’m going to bed with you in a minute,” I blurted before I could help myself. To hide my embarrassment, I drained my wine.

His smile widened. “I keep thinking about that too.” His eyes sparkled.

My stomach fluttered again and I toyed with my empty glass.

For me, whenever I roll my suitcase away from home and set forth on a voyage, a part of me does step into that anything-can-happen mindset. It’s part of what, in my opinion, makes joining the mile high club so much fun. These days, I’m in a monogamous relationship, but were I to find myself on a crashing plane taking my last breaths, I have a feeling I wouldn’t be worried about propriety. While I am not too fearful about air travel, that frisson of concern and the fact that there are so many factors out of my control, have in the past helped me blurt out similar sentiments to Monica’s. It’s almost as if when we travel, we are adding a layer of sexual bravado that allows us to go where we’ve never gone before, in more than the geographic sense.

Reading itself offers a similar feeling from home, letting us virtually travel to other lands, other worlds and other people’s beds and, perhaps, letting us absorb some of the characters’ coveted bravado. If you’re curious about just what kinds of naughty adventures traveling can lead to, I hope you’ll check out Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2, out now in print and ebook and available at your favorite local bookstore.

Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 and Volume 2, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com.

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