The Mile High Club (sometimes shortened to MHC) is the name of a fictional club whose members have all had sex (usually in the lavatory) while onboard aircraft of some kind. Although fictional, the term has been used since the advent of aviation, and has earned it’s place in popular culture enjoying something of a ‘cult-like’ status.
There is no formal admission process, but anyone who has engaged in sexual intercourse during a flight may consider themselves an honorary member. While the phrase ‘mile high’ would indicate that the act must be performed at an altitude greater than 5280 feet, it is not an actual requirement, and sex on a flight of any sort may now be considered as sufficient to meet entry criteria.
It is a commonly held view that the phrase ‘mile high club’ was first used in 1916 in connection with a flight made by Lawrence Sperry, a pilot and flight engineer, widely regarded as the club’s ‘founder’. He was joined on his journey by wealthy socialite Mrs. Waldo Pork, and the pair became amorous in the skies over New York while their plane (a Curtiss Flying Boat) was on ‘autopilot’.
Sources of Stimulation
There are many views on what makes The Mile High Club so appealing. Some suggest it is the vibrations of the plane, indulging fantasies about planes or flight attendants, or even having sex while being ‘closer to god’, but the most popular reasons for wanting to join seem to be the thrill experienced from doing something taboo (see sex in public/dogging/cottaging) or the risk of getting ‘caught in the act’ and the ‘bucketlist effect’.
Entrepreneurs have been quick to cash in on the perceived popularity of the club, and a range of unofficial merchandise is available to purchase, including T shirts and certificates, while some have even gone as far as to offer ‘experiences’ where couples or like minded individuals could book chartered flights with the sole intention of having intercourse and joining the club, although these enterprises are subject to rigorous legal scrutiny.
Noted Instances / Well-Known Proponents
Lisa Robertson, a flight attendant for Australia’s Qantas Airlines, was sacked following a sexual encounter with Hollywood star Ralph Fiennes while working on a flight from Darwin to Mumbai in 2007. In an interview with UK tabloid ‘The Daily Mail’ she admitted having sex with the actor in the plane’s lavatory, and stated that their affair had continued in Fiennes’ hotel room. This incident led to the acronym ‘QANTAS - Quickies Available Now in Toilet, Ask Staff’, being used by Australian maintenance crews.
In 1999, arrests were made in Manchester, UK following reports that a couple had engaged in ‘sexual acts’ in full view of other passengers on an American Airlines flight from Dallas.
Actors John Barrowman and Colton Haynes used an Instagram account to post images of their ‘tryst’ on board a flight, leading to speculation that they were now ‘members’.
The founder of Virgin Airways Richard Branson (a British billionaire businessman and owner of Virgin) claims to have joined the Mile High Club at the age of 19, after having sex with a married female partner in the lavatory on board a flight. Branson’s autobiography was entitled ‘Losing My Virginity’, although it is unclear whether the title was inspired by this act.
A couple, who apparently ‘refused to stop’ their sexual activity on board a flight were arrested sparking widespread media interest in 2006. A spokesman for the pair claims that their behaviour was ‘completely innocent’, and that the man was feeling sick so rested his head in his partners lap for ‘comfort’.
Car Meets, Cottaging, Dogging, Outdoor Sex, Sex In Public.
- Hestor, Eliot Neal (21 September 1999). "Welcome to the Mile High Club". Salon.
- Rob Woodburn (24 May 2006). "Sex at high altitude". The Sydney Morning Herald.
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- "Sex: caught at it". TheSite.org.
- Sperry Inc. History. Sperryinc.com.
- About MHC: Founding Member. Milehighclub.com (1997-10-13).
- Check-Six.com – The First at a "Mile High"
- John Baxter (10 February 2009). Carnal Knowledge: Baxter's Concise Encyclopedia of Modern Sex. HarperCollins. .
- Cullen, Drew. (1999-10-05) Sex shame at 30,000 ft exec puts Nortel tagline into practice. Theregister.co.uk.
- Flight attendant report, B767-300, dfw-Manchester, England, couple engaged in sex acts would not stop when ordered to by crew. Arrested by Manchester police. 37000feet.com.
- Fine for drunken plane couple. BBC News (2000-04-05).
- Agence France-Presse, "Branson: I'm no mile-high club virgin", AFP, 29 July 2007.
- Air stewardess: secrets of my five-mile high sex romp with Ralph Fiennes. the Mail on Sunday (2007-02-17).
- "Sex Flights Gets Grounded By The Civil Aviation Authority". AvStop.com.
- MileHighClub.com, Mile High Flight Referrals page.
- Kitty Bean Yancy (8 September 2006). "A flight that goes all the way".USA Today.