How to Get into the Mile-High Club

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Whether it's the dip in atmospheric pressure (said to increase orgasmic intensity), the cute flight crew uniforms or the excitement of jetting off to a strange land, air travel has been associated with romance ever since man learned to fly.

Romance, of course, often leads to trouble: In November 2007, a plane bound for Vegas from Seattle had to be diverted to Portland to eject a persistently amorous couple who refused to disengage. That same year, actor Ralph Fiennes had an infamous mid-air collision with a flight attendant in the lavatory of a Qantas flight to India, costing the latter her job and the former his dignity.

But even though (or, perhaps, because) the risk of getting caught is high, especially now that activity-shielding amenities such as blankets have gone the way of in-flight meals, the mile-high club still has many clamoring for membership. Here are a few tips to help you reach brave new heights.

Take the Red-Eye. June C.*, a recently retired flight attendant, has seen her fair share of turned-on travelers. She remembers one couple on an overnight flight to Asia who managed to commandeer three seats for themselves. The man had propped himself up against the window with his partner on his lap and a blanket pulled over them. "At first I thought they were sleeping," June says, "but their bodies were moving very discreetly up and down." Rather than interrupt, June went immediately back to the galley and announced the coach-class quickie to the other flight attendants. "Of course, [they] all did cabin walk-throughs shortly after!" June says.

Lubricate with Booze. Michael Gonzales, 45, a New York City–based writer, has fond memories of a recent flight from Brussels to Chicago. He was seated next to a chocolate dealer from Texas and the "stewardesses kept giving us champagne," he says.

The alcohol had a mutually seductive effect. "We had been flirting, so I leaned over and kissed her. The next thing I know, we're making out!" Gonzales says. Making out quickly turned into something more acrobatic — let's just say the pair made good use of the legroom between the rows. When the plane touched down in Chicago, Gonzales asked the Texan if she would accompany him to a hotel for a few hours before his connecting flight back to New York. The woman agreed on the condition that he stay the night. "I couldn't do that," Gonzales says, "because I had a girlfriend at home, waiting for me."

Don't Be Shy. Jessica DelFino, a "thirtyish" comedian in New York City, recalls her one and only airborne assignation. "A handsome stranger walked by and smiled at me on his way to the bathroom," she reports. "I jotted a quick note that said, 'I'd love to have sex with you. Another world, another time, another place ... or in the bathroom?' and passed it to him on his way back to his seat."

The bathroom it was. According to flight crews, the lavatory is, not surprisingly, where most mile-highers choose to do the deed. "The other flight attendants and I could never figure out the attraction of lavatory sex," June C. muses. "Those bathrooms are so gross, it's like having sex in a bus station bathroom."

Just Pay For It. If lav-love is not your idea of a good time but you're still intent on becoming a mile-higher, there's always Mile High Atlanta, a charter-plane company that takes couples on sex flights. For $379, you can hire a tiny Piper propeller plane outfitted with a mattress, a bottle of champagne and an extremely discreet pilot. The ride lasts an hour and, not that you'll notice, flies you over the gloriously rural west Georgia countryside.

Given the commercial airline industry's financial straits, chartering a private mile-high flight may be your best bet. "When do you ever see empty seats [anymore]?" June says, observing that the frequency of on-board trysts has recently dipped. But the mere lack of privacy (or blankets or booze) isn't likely to stop the most determined couples. Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of the upcoming collection of erotica, The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories (Cleis Press), says, "I think it depends. Anyone who's horny and creative enough can find a way to do it. The key to joining the mile-high club is having a sense of naughtiness and adventure, and if you have that you'll find a way to do it."

*not her real name