Where in the World is… Intercourse
Intercourse: (population of 1,274 as of a 2010 census) is an unincorporated village and census-designated place in Leacock Township, Lancaster County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, 10 miles (16 km) east of Lancaster on Pennsylvania Route 340.
Intercourse is a popular site for tourists because of its location in “Amish country” and, obviously, its sexually suggestive name. The movie Witness was filmed in Intercourse as well as other parts of the surrounding area, and For Richer or Poorer was set there, though not filmed in Intercourse. Because of the town’s unusual name, the signposts for the town are frequently targetted by thieves.
Tourism and farming are major industries in the area. Small businesses sell Amish crafts, food and give horse and buggy rides. The town thrives on thousands of tourists who visit the region each year and most of the land surrounding the town is farmland.
Intercourse was founded in 1754. The community was originally named Cross Keys, after a local tavern. Intercourse became the name in 1814. The Old King’s highway from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh (now the Old Philadelphia Pike) ran east and west through the centre of the town. The road from Wilmington to Erie intersected in the middle. The joining of these two roads is claimed by some to be the basis for the town ‘Cross Keys’ or eventually ‘Intercourse’.
Another theory concerns the use of language during the early days of the village. The word ‘Intercourse’ was commonly used to describe the ‘fellowship’ and ‘social interaction and support’ shared in the community of faith, which was very much a part of a rural village like this one. The village’s name is often the subject of jokes relating to sexual intercourse.
Along with that of Blue Ball, Pennsylvania, the publishers of Eros Magazine sought mailing privileges from the postmasters of the town. Intercourse and Blue Ball are often named in lists of “delightfully-named towns” in Pennsylvania Dutchland, along with Gap, Fertility, Mount Joy, Lititz, Bareville, Bird-in-Hand and Paradise.
A gag on The Cleveland Show imagined the town as the location for a spin-off show centred on the libidinous Glenn Quagmire
The British motoring show, Top Gear, featured the town’s sign while passing through Pennsylvania in a race to New York City during the show’s sixteenth series.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show had a ‘What’s Wrong with These Photos?’ picture of a ‘Welcome to Intercourse’ sign for the subject
Kay Lenz’s titular character in the 1973 film Breezy reveals that she is from Intercourse. “I’ve heard all the jokes,” she tells William Holden’s character, “and you have to pass through Faithful to get there.”
It was also mentioned in The Simpsons episode “The Old Man and the ‘C’ Student” where it was revealed that Superintendent Chalmers lived there .