Summer Festival Sex: The Do's and Don'ts of Festie Hookups
Have Fun, Be Weird, Stay Safe.
Recently, someone told me he “only” does butt stuff on mushrooms at festivals, and hey, the festival environment can certainly turn us on and create a space for experimentation. As a decades long festival veteran and sex psychologist, here are some of my tips for those of you looking meet someone for festie sex this summer (cuz hippie sex… it’s in tents...)
Do: Communicate About Relationship Status.
If you’re a lone warlock looking to get it on with a forest nymph you met frolicking at the Oasis, please be honest with each other if you already have monogamous or poly partners – either at the event OR at home. And if you’re rolling solo while your partner stays home with the kids, just remember that lying and cheating is still a trash thing to do. It’s not worth letting momentary pleasures in make-believe land ruin your actual life (your partner(s) WILL find out).
Don’t: Bang Someone You Just Met If Either of You Is Intoxicated.
Festival goers often experiment with a cocktail of psychedelics. Sure the temptation is real when you’re high and horny, but this also applies to real life: People who are intoxicated cannot give affirmative consent. You might be peaking on molly, but since you just met, it would be much safer and smarter to wait until you’re both sober the next morning to see if you are still attracted to each other. That e-crush can lead anyone astray just as much as beer goggles at the club.
Do: Practice Cleanliness and Safe Sex.
Fun fact: Festie wook fingers will probably not be clean enough to be put inside you. I can’t stress enough the importance of everyone bringing sexual PPE: Hand sanitizer for the germs, baby wipes for the dirt, lube for the dust, condoms for STIs, Plan-B just in case…and don’t forget to check your tent or celestial hilltop to make sure a spider doesn’t roll up and bite your sensitive bits. If the festival infrastructure is less than hygienic (such as shitters overflowing and no showers) then perhaps it’s best to wait until you get home or play with your toys instead, just clean them thoroughly. The funk of festival junk can be undeniable and gross without proper sanitation.
Don’t: Equate Nudity with Consent.
Someone getting their tits out or wearing next to nothing is NOT inviting you to grab them or signaling interest in you. While most experienced OG’s know this, (hi, PLUR), noobs may misinterpret nudity as an invitation. Please be your weird, wonderful selves and allow people to express themselves without sexualizing or shaming them. I personally don’t mind if you want to complement me on my epic tits being out… however not all people feel the same way. Respect everyone’s autonomy and don’t make their bodies or expression about you.
Do: Manage Expectations.
As Grease taught us with “Summer Lovin,” you may never see or hear from a hookup after the event, or you may not be as into each other IRL. Festivals can create a fantasy headspace, so manage your expectations. Will this become a long-term romance? Or will you later find out that they clap when the plane lands? Only time will tell if this will lead anywhere.
Don’t: Dip Out Alone.
No matter your gender, practice a buddy system, especially at massives. If you’re cruising to a rando’s tent for some nookie, have a friend walk you there so someone knows where to come back and check in, or set up a meeting point for a few hours later. Disappearing without a trace can be not only annoying but also dangerous for both you and the friends out there looking for you.
Do: Have fun and be weird.
Howl at the moon. Get naked in the woods. Host an orgy in the RV. Make out with a tree. Shake out the all stress from this world, just be consensual, safe and responsible about it!
PSA: If you’re experimenting with psychedelics at festivals, TEST YOUR SUBSTANCES. Bring Narcan (ideally, keep it between 68-77 degrees). Hydrate. Harm reduction is extremely important, please look out for each other.