Should I Give In to My Boyfriend’s Desire to Have Sex in a Public Place? Ask Harry and Louise

Our husband-and-wife team advises a woman wondering how acquiescing to her partner’s request—or not—will affect her relationship.

Dear Harry and Louise:

I’ve been with my SO for a couple years, and I want him to be the one. But lately he’s been sort of pressuring me into having sex in a historic place in Washington where one of us works. We could probably do this after hours and not get caught, though that poses a real risk—but I’m not sure if that risk is why I keep putting my guy off. I don’t think I’m a prude or uptight, and one thing I like about him is his unorthodox side (he’s more adventurous and has a higher erotic charge, but that just might be a guy thing).

As a point of persuasion, he brought up a story about a congressman and his wife who had sex at the Capitol Building, so I Googled it and found out it was about 30 years ago, and now the wife says it never happened. He also brought up some news story about Newt Gingrich having an affair in his car, but that was also adultery, and I flat-out refuse any link to something like that.

I don’t think this public icon sex adventure is a “get it or go” issue for him, but what troubles me most about it is how our future relationship will proceed, whatever I do.

What do you think, and what should I do?

Covered Up in the Capitol

• • •


Rita Jenrette aside, you have a problem. The story that Rita had sex with her ex-husband John, then a congressman, on the Capitol steps in 1981, made them famous—or infamous, depending. No matter that she revealed last year it was a tall tale; the legend lives, which begs the question: Does your boyfriend want to do it in a public place for the fun of it? Or does he want to just so he can say he did it, and create a mythology? The first is authentic; the latter borders on that vapid, ever-so-Washington need to score the best seat, whether it’s sitting next to the First Lady during a State of the Union or sitting on your paramour in flagrante in the Senate cloakroom while the President gives his State of the Union.

I must admit, there’s a certain thrill to going at it in a public place, whether it’s kissing or more. The risk of getting caught is a turn-on. Illicit can be erotic. So I say make your guy happy, on one condition: Make sure he’s doing this because he wants to have the experience with you, not because he wants to tell everyone about it. If he wants to brag about his exploits, beg off.

As for the effect on your future relationship, making a habit of having sex in public places is exhibitionism. First the Capitol steps, then the shadow of the Washington Monument, then Abe Lincoln’s lap?

Once is enough.

• • •


Anyone who evokes the image of Newt Gingrich as an aphrodisiac needs to expand his horizons. Do more research.

Your gentleman (I use the term advisedly) may enjoy talking about these risky venues more than he would ever enjoy resting his various naughty bits on them. The talented builders of our nation’s capital did not foresee the need to install heaters beneath the cold marble floors of our monuments. Take him out for an evening stroll in February, sit on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and he will soon realize his North Face–covered bottom is ready to move inside to a cozier clime. While on this stroll, allow your guy to elaborate about the complete scenario he has in mind. Tell him to keep talking, and you will keep listening, and hopefully you will both end up laughing. That is the only positive outcome I can imagine.

All laughing aside, you should absolutely never give in to any reenactment that makes you feel uncomfortable. You don’t want to do it, none of us wants to cross your path, and you don’t want to look yourself in the mirror at the Air and Space Museum after the fact and wonder, “What have I done?” If this is not a get-it-or-go issue for your fellow, then he won’t mind your lightness of being about the whole idea of extreme public displays of affection. When it is your turn to offer a reenactment to keep things interesting, may I suggest the ball scene at Netherfield when Darcy cannot stop looking at Elizabeth. No one gets hurt, no one gets cold, and everyone leaves with their minds racing.

And Newt was certainly never invited.

• • •


Geez, Louise, loosen up and imagine rolling in the grass of the Capitol lawn, just once.

• • •


Geez, Harry, imagine rolling down the grass of the Capitol lawn, alone.

We engage readers directly in their mailboxes with topics like Health, Things to Do, Best Brunches, Design & Shopping, and Real Estate. Get the latest from our editors today.
Get The Best Of Washingtonian In Your Inbox!