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ISSUE 117 VOL 1 PUBLISHED 9/19/2003

Pitch your tent: Summer Camp Sex

By Jennifer Hancock
Online Editor


Friday, September 19, 2003

I live for summer. The freedom, the adventure, the feeling of an entire season expanding before me like a barbecue spread. Hot nights spent stargazing with a new love interest, sharing Slushies and skinny-dipping. Home runs. Drive-ins. Halter tops. And the SEX. Like I said, I live for summer.

In approaching the tricky subject of seasonal sex, I turned to health professionals to assure me it wasn’t just MY sex drive skyrocketing in sync with the rising temperatures. According to Reuters Health, recent research reveals that warm temperatures may result in higher levels of male sex hormones in some men. Levels of testosterone were found to crest in the summer months, and drop during winter and early spring. Researchers believe season-specific mating stems from every species’ instinct to reproduce effectively.

Encyclopedia Brittanica refers to the marine fireworm of the West Indies, that lives in crevices on the bottom of the sea, and only comes out to breed where their fertilized eggs can develop in the water. No doubt it gets pretty chilly down there.

But I don’t think of the marine fireworm when I think of seasonal sex. In fact, I prefer not to. Instead, I think of eating watermelon with my hands, outdoor showers and sleeping naked. Beyond that, I think of summer camp. And then things get very, very hot.

There is inherent sex appeal in the summer camp experience. As a pre-teen, I remember fantasizing about my camp counselors’ sexual escapades. There were always two gorgeous counselors – one male, one female. The girls in my cabin wanted them to “get together,” and we would often spy on them. Other than a rare masturbation sighting in the outhouse, it was a dry summer for voyeurs at Camp Maple. We were old enough to read “Choose Your Own Adventure,” but too young to actually do so. That would come later.

A little Internet research revealed that there are adult summer camps specifically FOR sexual purposes. I found websites for leather camps, sado-masochism camps, swingers’ camps and “rekindle your marriage” camps. Many sites featured photographs of the campers, sunburned and satisfied.

A number of people foolish enough to share their sexual histories with the sex columnist told me that, by far, the hottest sex they had ever experienced occurred during summer camp. My question is: why?

1. Summer camp is primarily held outdoors. Some research suggests we respond sexually to living in a natural environment. More importantly, summer camp sex is often outdoor sex. Outdoor sex is hot. Think about the pool. Think about the beach. Think about the soft earth beneath you. Think about the thrill of running from your counselors.

2. Summer camp is separate from the rest of your life. You get away from parents, college friends, and, sometimes most importantly, your significant other. I’m not advocating infidelity; I’m just saying it’s been known to turn people on. At summer camp, the laws of romantic loyalty are suspended. I have received many a letter from friends asking me what exactly constitutes cheating during the summer – as if the season alone gives us free reign on the lifeguard. Also, being away from the rest of your life sometimes means you open up a new part of yourself. We’re more adventurous at summer camp, more willing to explore…in every sense of the word.

3. Summer camp does not always have showers. After a few days without a bath, we are bound to get a little dirty. Research proposes that we release more pheromones when exuding bodily funk, but other research suggests pheromones are always present, regardless of your cleanliness. For me, a primitive sweat is the right thing to get the juices flowing.

4. Summer camp works under an illusion of purity. The seemingly innocent pretense of summer camp is precisely what makes it so hot. Most parents send their children to summer camp for chaste reasons: Bible study, the Boy Scouts or kayaking. They are oblivious as to what the camp counselors do after dark, let alone the campers. I’m sure there are people who attend summer camp year after year without ever accruing a single sexual experience. I guess just don’t happen to know them.

“Dear Mom and Dad, camp is great. Yesterday we played Marco Polo. I met a boy who showed me a private swimming hole.”

– To find out where the sex columnist spends her summers, email sexcolumnist@stolaf.edu. She is available for advice, questions, and comments.





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