Published: Verve Magazine, Nerve, April 2010

Ever heard of the ‘Mile High Club’ and ‘zero-gravity sex’? It’s really something else when you explore the boundaries of air suction through physical means, suggests Sitanshi Talati-Parikh, carefully ensuring that she never uses the three-letter word that can turn a moment of aerial pleasure into a sheer meaningless and loveless act

When you’re flying, high, high in the sky (and not like Lucy in the sky with diamonds) you tend to get a little lonely. I don’t know if it’s just an itch that arises from being generally unwashed (I have a particular predilection towards personal hygiene) or a desire to be dealt with warm affection (the flight attendants nowadays are generally remiss in that area) or the very fact that being a million (hyperbole) miles above sea-level makes a lot of laws impenetrable, if you get my drift.

But there are those who find the gentle aeronautic vibrations rather conducive to physical exclamations, added to which is the undue excitement of role-playing with a real pilot, flight-attendant or fellow flier. Not to forget, any object which has a long snout and wings to take you higher, promises to fulfil fetishes galore. The thrill of discovery in a public place, you’ve got to admit, even if it is as improbable as a flight loo (where most acts of such colourful intent occur) definitely gets the juices rolling for some, where the risk of being infected with scatological diseases is as rampant as that of physically-transmitted ones. Of course, if you have the luxury of flying first class, with the space provided to enjoy sleeping well and with someone, then you are more than likely to be comfortable in your act of changing transmission.

And it’s really not like you won’t get caught – in fact, sometimes it seems quite worthless if you can’t boast about your bravery and good intention to add a bit of joy to someone’s travelsome life. In 2006 a couple was caught in a deeply compromising position, with an unexpectedly plausible answer provided by their lawyer (see how it sounds like liar): ‘The man was feeling ill and was merely resting his head on the woman’s lap’. The British (more accurately the BBC), always the ‘propah’ sort, ran a discussion on whether this act constituted as illegal or not. It was determined that it entirely depended upon whether it took place in public; and of course there is great confusion as it depends over which country one chooses to explore one’s inner potential.

And if the thrill of being up in the open is not your thing and it’s just being up in the air that counts, then you can book a personal charter flight to ensure yourself privacy and sufficient time to explore the myriad prospects of aerial pleasures. But what really moves right up on the list is doing it in space. Think about it: the sheer weightlessness and the extreme environments of intergalactic territories create a bond of human intimacy far beyond anything that earth can offer while exploring new boundaries and rocketing into a spiralling new world of desire. So very new-age Mills & Boon. Besides, you would have to be extremely fit to qualify for a space flight, which automatically takes care of quality control.

There are several other enormously valid reasons that would leave two people in a mile-high situation. (If more join in, it’s just sickly uncomfortable in those loos, and really plain wrong.) While I was on a flight back from Hong Kong recently I discovered that Sandra Brown’s latest thriller Smash Cut used the airplane encounter as a ploy to avoid client-lawyer complications. So, this unsuspecting dashing criminal lawyer was seduced into a quick and pleasurably dirty scene, which ended up making him ineligible to fight the case that the smart, attractive, seducing stranger had wanted him to steer clear of. Wow. To think that a heady act can mean so much to so many. As for me, alas, it is a mere flight of fantasy, as I do believe in old-fashioned comfort, hygiene and close proximity to the earth’s gravitational pull over the inescapable thrill of an airborne straddle. Until the next flight, that is.

(If you think I suffer from Freudian delusions, feel free to Google it, or check out www.milehighclub.com, where you can view a demonstration video and tips on how to get it right when up high.)