Our Lost Connection With Nature
I imagine most of us have had the experience. Out walking or picnicking with a partner, we feel a sudden overwhelming urge to make love in the open air.
I have come across some surprisingly conservative grown-ups, some even quite elderly, who have been taken in this way. They describe it in a way as if they might have been possessed while out minding their own business.
"There we were, Marjorie and I, marvelling at the workmanship of a gate as we made our way casually along the South Downs Way, when suddenly she turned to me and said, Lionel, I want you to do me. Now in the long grass over here. I was taken aback. What right here? Yes, she said. I confess I was somewhat afraid. It wasn't like her. She couldn't get my trousers down fast enough! A wonderful experience, though. We do it regularly now. Never discussed, but I know when it's going to happen. Walking boots with a skirt and wooly stockings were never Marjorie's kind of thing in the past."
I have wondered a lot about this. Once I became aware of the phenomenon, I became more aware of what was going on around me when out and about on my daily walks. I don't wish to sensationalise. Obviously not all walking couples are up to it, but if one becomes attuned to it there is little difficulty identifying those with outdoor carnal intent. There is a furtiveness in their body language. Exaggerated eye-contact. Pressing closer than needs be as they pass through a gate. A hand used unnecessarily to steady a woman's thigh or buttock as she crosses a stile. Look more closely, there's a lot of it about.
So why all of a sudden the passion for outdoor carnal activities?
Well, of course it has been going on for rather a long time – long before human beings ever had any notion of “indoors” in fact. It is our natural carnal playground. But I do believe there is a bit of a resurgence, and I think I know why.
Look at our lives now – especially in the developed world. We spend more and more time indoors. Even when we get exercise it increasingly tends to be indoors or at least removed from nature. Even pastimes with their roots in our primeval past, like hunting and fishing, have become steadily more sanitised and high-tech. We have become shy or even afraid of nature. It is dirty and uncomfortable. I surf because it brings me close to the forces of nature – one with its tremendous power – but even there, young surfers seem to spend more time on-line or in shops perving over equipment, or posing at beach-front bars and cafes than they do actually in the water, standing up.
So what is the future for our children? Call me extreme, but personally I think sport involving full contact with nature, some survival training and some wilderness adventures should be compulsory. Without it, I believe, we are doomed as a race. We will live comfortably with all our luxury, our digital virtual world gaming and our labour saving technology, but when the tipping point comes and nature gets angry, a revolution or a war begins, then 90% of those in the developed world will be wiped out. They will lack the wherewithal to survive. It’s not such a sad prospect, I don’t think. Yes if I think about individual people I like and love being washed down nature’s drain for losers, it does make me sad. But in the wider depersonalised scheme of things, the planet and the human race will be better off. Those who survive will be the more resourceful. It is survival of the fittest at its most painfully extreme, folks.
And what does this have to do with people – often very conservative people – suddenly being overwhelmed by the desire to fornicate out in the woods and fields? Well quite simply, they are responding subliminally (primitively) to the call of the wild. Nature is constantly reminding us that we are animals first and foremost and that our survival depends upon our ability to function as such. Many of us try to fight off these messages. Most of us have ceased to trust our primitive instincts. We are afraid of them. We are ashamed. We even make laws against them for goodness sake! The naked and the passionately unrestrained have been criminalised. But nature is fighting back in the form of our genetic memories. Nature is encouraging us to behave badly (“badly” in our society's ridiculous moral terms anyway), and when nature is the stimulus, many of us (the lucky ones) find it hard to resist. But calm yourself – this should not be seen as a problem. It is just our survival instinct kicking-in, and we should be thankful. One day it may save our lives.
So the next time you are out walking your dog and you see a local councillor or a couple of respectable members of a local rambling or bird watching society in-flagrante amongst the buttercups, console yourself with the knowledge that this is positive sign of human preparedness for survival. You might even try it yourself… Vicar.
Motivated by this subject, here follows part of a short story by the author, A.K. Anders:
Call Of The Wild
Sunday morning often finds me out foraging. Mushrooms are my main target. I have a penchant for wild mushrooms. I am in the habit of taking a small camp stove on a Sunday morning, along with some chorizo, eggs and ciabatta so that I can create a hearty breakfast somewhere impromtu. Last Sunday I took a lady I am acquainted with. She had requested it. Involved in a polite group conversation at the church fete, she professed to share my love for wild mushrooms and was taken with my description of these early morning open-air feasts. I took my time inviting her. I waited until later as I was leaving. I was being careful not to seem too forward, but it would have seemed impolite not to invite her at all.
So this lady is a rather well-to-do woman who's land I like to walk on now and again. She has seen me there a few times and not objected, at least not openly. Her husband shoots, although he's limited by arthritic knees these days. We were on last year’s church fund raising committee together. He seemed rather to be living in cloud cuckoo land, to be honest. Thought the new roof could easily be paid for with a “Sunday morning whip-round.” She, on the other hand, is much younger and in possession of all her marbles. So anyway, out of politeness I invited her. We walked quite a way before we felt we had collected enough fungi for our feast. She's a tall, strong woman and takes mammoth strides, even for a country lady. A successful three-day-eventer in the past, apparently and still an impressive horsewoman, or so I’m told. Eventually my foraging bag was full and we stopped at a small forest clearing by a fast flowing stream. There’s been a lot of rain recently and the power of the stream reflected it.
Sylvana had brought one of those waterproof picnic blankets, which, she said, would make everything more civilised. I was not sure I liked it. Getting muddy is part of the pleasure for me, but I didn't object. Anyway, though I say so myself, I had made a decent job of cooking the fare and Sylvana was just pouring some coffee when we heard giggling from nearby. We were very much out in the sticks so it was a surprise. She looked at me to see if I too had heard, then put her finger to her lips. Carefully Sylvana got to her feet and began heading in the direction from whence the sounds had arrived. Turning, she waved to me to follow her. All of a sudden this rather serious, mature lady had taken on the behaviour of a schoolgirl. Her face seemed filled with intrigue and delight. Down between silver birch saplings she tiptoed, beckoning me to follow. I duly obeyed. The giggling sounded close-by now, but we still saw no sign of its source. There seemed to be a line of large chestnuts with dense bushes grown up between then and it was in this direction Sylvana was drawn.
"Be careful," she mouthed to me, "there's a sudden drop."
Carefully I followed her into the thicket, noticing how the ground beyond the thicket was at a starkly lower level. I heard a sudden intake of breath from Sylvana and saw her raise her hand to her mouth, but she was blocking my view. Placing a hand on her shoulder I moved in close behind her to see over. I could feel Sylvana's heart beating and it made me a little concerned about what I might see. Still the source of the sounds was not apparent to me. Frustrated slightly, I followed her gaze and caught my own breath as I focussed upon the brook. It was larger at this point – a river in fact.
What caught my eye first was the shoulder bag and the clothes laid out on a rock. Then the splashing of water and a restrained screech as something emerged from the water. Now I could see them. A woman was sitting in the water with her back against the bank and hanging onto a tree root so as not to be washed downstream. Something about the way her chest was rising and falling so quickly and the short gasps we could hear every now and then, told me the water was very cold. I was just considering this, when out from under the rushing white water something surfaced – a man. Clearly the woman knew him as he was now making amusing growling sounds and had begun biting her. It was entertaining to watch. However, very soon her girlish excitement gave way to squeals of shock as he began biting her and it was obvious that she was finding the attack deeply pleasurable. Laying her head back on the bank, the woman laughed brazenly and allowed her pale legs to float to the surface of the water. The man responded, moving in closer, preparing to pounce.
For those who feel the need to know how this story progresses, the complete story "Call Of The Wild" (and others like it) will soon be available on
Just click the relevant link, or enter the title and author into the search-box of your local amazon website.