A big sunny hello to my minxes, and a special shout out to anyone who has been to or is hitting a festival this summer!
Last October, after a frenzied morning of tapping at laptops and liaising with ticket syndicate HQ, I was lucky enough to be one of the happy festival punters to get a ticket to Glastonbury. 2 weeks ago, I along with just over 125,000 other people headed down to Worthy Farm to check out the bands, chill in the sun (and rain, and thunder and lightning) and generally get my hippy groove on.
Apart from the music, one of the obvious draws of a music festival is the free love vibe that goes with it. That many sweaty, half naked young bodies combined with various legal and illegal stimulants, (occasional)sunshine, and a 5 day party atmosphere mean that festivals are a prime location for people to hook up.
First things first…I did not hook up at Glastonbury. I was there with friends, for the music and the booze, so my opinions are based on research, interviews, drunken conversations, and the stuff that I saw.
Cosmo magazine is of the opinion that festival sex is not only possible, and a good idea, but also gives a list of things you can buy to make it “just like sex at home”. The Huffington Post gave a more balanced view, sitting on the fence (NOT a minx festival sex tip). Vice magazine’s article was entitled “Having Sex at Festivals Isn’t Just Disgusting, It’s Shit”. I think the clue’s in the title.
So what is it really like? From what I saw, I’m inclined to go with Vice magazine. Here are the problems:
The tent. Tents have to be one of the worst places IN THE WORLD to have sex in. They’re flimsy, fabric caves with little to no space to move around in. If the weather is shit (as it inevitably will be and was for half of Glastonbury) then there are the additional thrills of leaks, puddles, and internal ice drips of condensation to deal with, as well as the fact you are INCHES away from at least 6 other tents, with thousands of people creeping past and tripping up over your guy ropes every 5 mins, all day and all night. This might not be a problem if you’re into extreme sports / exhibitionism. Cosmo recommends a bigger tent, with an Ipod dock and portable speakers to cover the noise if you’re shy. But seeing as lots of people ditch their tents after a festival, and you’re unlikely to be fucking in a tent if you’re shy in the first place, this is an expensive and unnecessarily heavy way of guaranteeing enough room and comfort for a shag. I would not recommend it.
Sleeping bags. Sleeping bags are essential kit for festivals, but they are not the best place to get down and dirty. They’re slippery, not overly comfortable, and even if you buy a double, they’re not really big enough for 2. I found myself in an interesting game of throwing the sleeping bag on and off as temperatures wavered between too-bloody-hot and fuck-me-I’m freezing, and that was just to get some kip. I’m like a mini radiator at the best of times, and find it very hard to sleep in the spooning position due to arms under neck, leg thrown over me, being quite uncomfortable. I love a cwtch, but need my space to sleep. I have been told by more than one ex that they’ve watched me scoot away from them, inch by inch, with them trying to follow me across the bed, only to wake up dangling precariously from their side, propped up by a leg or arm on the floor, as my unconscious self has manhandled them as far away as possible. Cosmo can keep their double sleeping bags with handy condom pocket. It would be my version of hell.
The personal hygiene. If you’re desperate to bang someone at a festival, do it on the first day. Cosmo says that babywipes will do the trick. This is complete and utter bollocks. Because after a few days of dancing, sunshine, rain, mud, booze, basic toilet and shower facilities, and lack of sleep, you are going to look and smell really really bad. I managed to get off my arse early enough to shower 3 days out of the 5 at Glastonbury, thanks to the AMAZING people at the Greenpeace field. These were lukewarm and we couldn’t use our own products or razors. I didn’t get to wash or condition my hair for 5 days. De-fuzzing was restricted to razors, gel and babywipes and a complete de-fuzz took bloody AGES. I still felt disgusting, and that was considered good grooming by festival standards. Lots of people just use wipes and spray can showers, or even NOTHING for the full five days.
The majority of the toilets were long drops…..open air metal cubicles over a pit where you do your business and then if you’re lucky there’s hand sanitizer to spritz. After using those a few times, the last thing on my mind was touching someone in an intimate manner. Combine that with various hangovers (and worse), dodgy festival make-up and glitter, and endless mud. Halfway though, everyone’s pretty minging….but everyone’s in exactly the same state. If going au natural doesn’t put you off, the combination of alcohol etc, excessive skin on show and high spirits is a natural aphrodisiac, so (sweaty bum) crack on.
Festival breath. Remember your toothbrush, and to use it, because otherwise you’ll smell and taste of beer, hog roast, bacon rolls, Lucozade, cheesey chips, or whatever other foul crap you’ve been eating and drinking. Bleaugh.
Foreplay. It’ll be noisy, hot sweaty, and unless you fancy becoming a human shadow puppet show and having your antics end up on Youtube, entirely in the dark. Foreplay will be non-existent. Summer of love my arse. Accept it for the dirty nasty quickie it’s likely to be.
Health and Safety. If all these factors don’t put you off, just remember the basic health and safety rules. Being pissed, or off your face will mean your inhibitions will drop, and you’ll be far more open to risky sexual behaviour….whether it’s going off with someone you just met whilst raving your tits off in the Shangri La, trying to turn into a groupie for Rudimental and settling for a quick fuck from a security guard, or ending up “putting on 25 pairs of sunglasses and banging some munter up the arse” – this was a direct quote. Think about what you’re doing and who with, keep an eye on your mates, and just remember, this is one of the worst places EVER for something to go wrong, so wrap it up. Aside from the fact that whilst a jizz filled sleeping bag is HORRENDOUS, I can’t think of anything worse than having to slink into a medical tent to ask for the morning after pill, other than finding out that along with the dream-catcher and day-glo face paints, you’d also picked up a nasty STD. Use condoms kids!!
Cosmo and the Huffington post suggest a variety of positions (missionary and spooning) and sex toys and aides (mostly lube and cock rings) to spice things up. But all of this crap will just add to the weight of everything you have to lug miles and miles from your car/bus to your camp-site, and to my mind, if sex while you’re probably coming down or drunk, covered in mud and sparkles, potentially with a complete stranger, separated from hundreds of other people by millimetres of “waterproof” fabric wasn’t spicy enough, I doubt a cock ring is going to help.
After coming back exhilarated, exhausted and slightly dazed, I have to say that Glastonbury itself was amazing enough, and I’m inclined to agree with Vice magazine. My future al fresco activities will not include festival sex. As much as Cosmo and various others want to sell festival sex as both feasible, fun and exciting, it’s a load of bollocks.
Go for the music, the dancing, the atmosphere, and the vibe. Sex is supposed to be a beautiful thing….so wait until you’ve had a wash.