Researchers have suggested that British tourists should stop having sexual relations with foreigners on Gran Canaria’s famous sand dunes. 

According to research, so many people travel to Canary Island to enjoy open-air illicit sex in the dunes. Rare plants and bushes are also being destroyed.

Nearly 300 of these locations were identified in the study, which was conducted on the southern side of the island. 

Scientists have said British holidaymakers must stop having sex with strangers on Gran Canaria's famous sand dunes (pictured, file photo)

Scientists say British tourists must cease having sexual relations with foreigners on Gran Canaria’s famous Sand Dunes. (Photo, pictured)

These dunes, which cover around 1000 acres of an island located off Africa’s coast, have been declared a nature reserve in 1987.

Researchers have conducted a thorough study on the impacts of ‘cruising,’ anonymous sexual encounters between people in public places.

They concluded that activities had a direct effect on dunes as well as on 8 native species of plants, 3 of which are endangered.

This study was conducted by the Group of Physical Geography and Environment (IOCAG/ULPGC), and the Beach and Dune Systems Laboratory (BEADS), both at Flinders University.

The report titled “Sand, Sun and Sea: Sex with Strangers, Five S’s” contains their conclusions.

Researchers point out the coastal beaches and dunes are two examples of public open spaces for these practices. They have been described by the bibliography to be the “Four S” (sand sun sea sex, sex, and in English).

A spokesperson said that although there have been many studies on the topic of tourism and sexual tourism (sex tourism), few analyses have looked at the effects of such practices on nature, particularly when protected spaces are involved.

All the places where there were sexual encounters or sex spots were recorded by experts. 

The researchers then collected data about the space’s dimensions and internal distribution, type of sexual activity, geographic position and types of vegetation, and any environmental effects or lack thereof.

They were then examined and collated, and then analysed spatially as well as statistically by geographic information system (GIS).

Pictured: A map showing the location of the Maspalomas, where the sand dunes are found on the south of Gran Canaria island

Pictured: The location of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria Island, showing where the sand dunes can be found.

Results show that 5763.85 m2 has been occupied by all 298 of the sexual meeting locations. 

The distance from the trails within the protected area and the density of vegetation are the main factors in these sex spots. 

You will see more people using the spot if it’s larger. 

Activities at these points can have a direct effect on the dunes, as well on eight native species. Of those eight species, three are endemic.

Researchers point out that Maspalomas does not represent the only coast dune field to register this activity. Similar locations are also known in Australia and France, as well as Portugal.

But, because of the complex nature of this study, and how difficult it is to perform socio-ecological analyses on these processes, the event was not well studied. 

The spokesman stated that the report’s topic was of international importance because of its ability to analyse and characterize the effects of any activity on an area protected.

An aerial photograph of the Maspalomas dunes on the Spanish Canary island of Gran Canaria

 An aerial photograph of the Maspalomas dunes on the Spanish Canary island of Gran Canaria

“On a practical basis, between September 2018 to July 2019, 159 points were removed and 1,244.49m3 dry vegetation were uprooted, killed, and replaced by people who do this activity within the Reserve.

According to the authors, they were not trying to offend LGBTI people. They also noted that Gran Canaria was gay-friendly over many years. Gran Canaria welcomes gay tourists from the UK and Germany.

The report will help them to better understand how they can manage cruising on the dunes and protect the environment when it comes to green issues.

Some branches were cut off or uprooted in order to create more privacy. Also, rubbish such as cigarette butts and torn/cut plants, condoms and fruit peel, cans and toilet paper was left behind.

According to the report, these direct effects can be seen in a variety of ways. They include the impact on vegetation and the abandonment or presence of waste. The report states that data from fieldwork allows us to determine the aforementioned.

The 298 identified sex spots were built on a total of 58 ha. Human-induced processes dominate, such as walking on or removing plants from the soil, making nests, and stepping on them.

Authorities have been working since 2018 on a large project to save the dunes.

The study discovered nearly 300 favourite locations on the vast area of sand located on the south side of the island (pictured in an aerial photograph)

A study revealed that nearly 300 locations in the large area of sand on the south-side of the island were favorites. 

According to a spokesperson from the government, the goal is “to conserve and preserve the natural Dune area,” which is one our most significant environmental resources. It also provides a protected natural environment with uncalculable ecological value.

“The dune system has been in decline for many decades. The main reason is urbanization and human impacts, which have altered the dynamic of wind and dunes. 

An estimated 45,000 cubic meters of sand end up in the ocean each year.

“This has led to an uncontrolled growth in vegetation in inner zones, decreasing the area occupied dunes and increasing erosion. It also affects biodiversity, which can have a devastating impact on animals and plants that live in this zone. This situation could lead to the disappearance of the dunes reserve in less than one generation.