Day 30+ Sex on the Camino

You've got a lot of people in close proximity, sharing extraordinary and difficult experiences in an exotic and romantic country. At the end of the day's walking you're often eating and drinking together, then sharing sleeping quarters. A lot of people are between relationships, and unattached. They might be open to someone new entering their life.

You'd think this would provide the incendiary ingredients for sex on the Camino.

It doesn't. Or at least, it's not the hot bed of sexual trysts you think it might be. The Camino is strangely chaste.

Now, that's not to say that there aren't hook-ups, and romantic liaisons don't blossom. They do. But I have a theory that the Camino is asexual. I think the energy coming up from The Way, from the soul imprints of all those pilgrims who've been before, is such that it almost negates the sexual impulse.

This is a pilgrimage. And many people take it seriously as a spiritual journey. They're walking the Camino to work stuff out. They are self absorbed in their internal musings. They don't give out. They are turned inwards.

They are not open to the advances of others. It doesn't interest them. They are employed in higher pursuits. They might feel that a sexual union might somehow tarnish their special and very personal experience of the Camino.

In the summer time you get more younger pilgrims, and possibly more of a holiday festive kind of energy infuses The Way, and perhaps then more hook-ups occur.

But what I've found is that there is an enormous respect for the other's “space.” This is not a walk where you hit on someone.

I met a couple, in their middle years, who met on the Camino several years ago. They fell in love and later married. And now they're walking the Camino again, at exactly the same time of the year when they first met, to remember the love they discovered together.

I met a couple, boyfriend and girlfriend for several years, who split up acrimoniously a week into their walk.

Someone said to me: You see people at their physical worst on the Camino. Unattractive clothing, dirty hair, no make-up on the women, men unshaven and scruffy, smelly, sweaty.

Did I say smelly?

If you find someone attractive under those circumstances, chances are it will last. But, I don't think the Camino exudes a sexual energy. It exudes a spiritual energy. A sacred energy.

It is, after all, a pilgrimage. It's not a nightclub.


16 thoughts on “Day 30+ Sex on the Camino

  1. Reminds me of an old joke. A former Benadictine monk actually said this to me. “I stopped being chaste, so I could be chased!”
    Thank you for your wonderful journey/blog! Lots of good stuff, (info), here. I will be hiking the same hike starting late August. I really appreciate your photograghy… I kept thinking… These are the same as mine… The old doors and odd placings… The snail and the two old Germans. Take care of your foot… So close you are!


  2. “Antes muerta que sencilla” a Spanish popular song that means ” Rather be dead than plain” the BB spf 30, make up bag, solid perfume and my color coordinated clothes are already packed. Am I up for a rude awakening? I will let you know. Class Spring 2014.


  3. Thank goodness you got the sex talk out of the way! Love it!

    Your suffering is immense, take good care of your raw toe, you are almost there.



  4. Just discovered yer blog Bill,have read it from the start to now,brilliant,enjoy the rest of The Way.


  5. Bill,

    Making last minute plans and details as leave in 3 days. Have you encountered any bed bug issues? I assume not since you have not mentioned it. Has it been a concern for pilgrims you have encountered? Do you recommend extra sheets or sleeping bag liners? Have you seen a need for sleeping pads? Hate to trouble you, but you have the most current information around. Thanks, and good luck with your final days. Really enjoy your posts and read every one and every comment. Great primer for Jill and me. Steve


    • Hi Steve, I refuse to do this walk in fear. Period.

      I did a lot of research into bed bugs before I left, but decided that I would just ignore the issue, or at least not worry about it, because otherwise you could become quite paranoid.

      I’ve not heard of anyone having probs with BBs, although I have a couple of bites on me that are unexplained. I am dealing with them the same way I’m dealing with my toe, my blisters, my tendinitis, and my knee – I just keep walking!

      Good luck mate!


    • The bed bugs multiply through the season – not many in the spring, but I helped a few people deal with them last fall when I volunteered. I think it is just luck whether they find you or not.


  6. Just wanted you to know we are still enjoying every observation, your words of wisdom, and each enchanting photograph. Gracias, Bill.


  7. Congratulations Bill – the end is in sight. For me it was good to get a Compostela. Not vital I agree, but good. I remember this as being one of the points where my emotions took me by surprise. At the Pilgrims Office, I once again handed over my credential, and there was yet another another person who stamped it, and then he said “Congratulaitons – your jouney has ended”. All those ups and downs, all the beauty, all the aching joints and blisters came flooding back. I nearly cried on the spot.

    I remember being concerned about bbs – in our normal lives, the thought is quite horrific. But on the camino, all this doesnt seem so bad! I too did get some mysterious bites (10-15 or so) but fortunately it didn’t bother me. I had had them before, many years ago, so knew I would survive any – they are not fatal. Having said that, I know some people do react quite badly with them. Kay


  8. That was a brilliant post.
    Thank you!!!

    Really going to miss you when you aren’t blogging daily.


  9. Bill thank you for the blog i follow you every day, it is a blessing as I prepare for my own next April. I wonder if you realize the positive impact this has on the rest of us? God Bless you.


  10. Pingback: PC#60 – Is the Camino an 800km pick-up joint? | PGS – The Way

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