Where does mile high club come from?
The humorous Mile High Club website claims Lawrence Sperry, inventor of autopilot in 1914, was the first member of the mile high club, but the slang term isn’t used until 1966, according to Green’s Dictionary of Slang. The term mile high club spread in the 1980s–90s, perhaps due to the great affordability and accessibility of air travel. Urban Dictionary first enters the term in 2003.
Green’s Dictionary of Slang also notes that the expression has been shorted to a mile high, or “an instance of intercourse on an airplane.” The dictionary adds that the term is joined by “mile-deep club, [or] those who have had sex while travelling through the Channel Tunnel between UK and France.”
An actual organization called the Mile High Club existed in Denver, Colorado in the early 20th century. It was a social club for men for University of Illinois alumni. This alludes to the fact that Denver is, due to its geography, nicknamed the Mile-High City. And, punning on the slang term, a men’s night club called The Mile High Club now stands in Denver as well.
Who uses mile high club?
Sometimes abbreviated as m.h.c., people informally use mile-high club to admit that they’ve had sex on an airplane or to speculate whether or not someone else has. The act of joining the mile high club is perceived among some adults as a status symbol. Many articles exist online that either detail people’s stories or tips on how to join, since it’s a risky, difficult, and, for some, a transgressive yet alluring endeavor.
The mile high club is sometimes a topic, reference, or plot point in popular media and has served as the title for several films and songs.
Many celebrities have admitted to joining the mile high club. For example, while on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow have both notably admitted to (independently) being members.
Let’s be honest: joining the mile-high club has a lot more to do with status than it does with enjoying out-of-this-world sex.
Tara Jessop, The Culture Trip, December 2017
me: wanna join the mile high club? gf: sssh we can't! hot air balloon pilot: just pretend I'm not here
@MarfSalvador, January 2018
Joining the Mile High Club is a badge of honor. It's also on most couples' sex bucket lists, probably because it's so difficult to accomplish and it has an awesome name.
FHM Editor, FHM, November 2017