Did you know that 1 in 3 festival goers like to have sex while at a festival?
So given that this is the norm for so many, Pippa Murphy, the sex & relationship expert at condoms.uk has shared her seven essentials you must take to a festival if you plan on having sex, as each of them help prevent STIs, bacterial vaginosis, UTIs and more.
But given that festival sex should be fun as well as safe, she’s also shared her top five tips for having the most memorable sex at a festival, including the best positions for tight spaces.
7 essentials to prevent STIs, UTIs and more
1. Before you go to the festival, take an STI test
Whilst buying a tent and shopping for booze are no doubt at the top of your pre-festival to-do list, you should add ‘take an STI test’ to the top if you plan on having sex with a new partner. Not only will this protect your future sexual partner or partners but it’ll keep your mind at peace before you go, and allow you to be in the moment while having sex.
2. Always take condoms with you even if you have a regular sex partner
Whilst some festivals, such as Glastonbury, hand out condoms for free, you should definitely buy them before you go just to be on the safe side. This is even more important if you have a latex allergy and require a latex-free version. Or if you have a regular sex partner and you or they are on a form of contraception, I’d still recommend taking a condom as having sex in a tent can be quite tight and, therefore, messy.
3. Remember to pack lube as common substitutes can break your condoms, cause bacterial vaginosis and more
Many people realise that they need but have forgotten lube so they decide to use a substitute such as Vaseline, body lotion or a moisturiser. However, these oil-based products can weaken latex condoms, increasing the risk of breakage and reducing their effectiveness in preventing STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
Similarly, body lotions and moisturisers may contain chemicals, fragrances, or preservatives that can irritate the genitals or cause allergic reactions. These products can also disrupt the natural pH balance of your vagina, increasing the risk of infections such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections.
Finally, lube substitutes may not provide the same level of lubrication as water-based or silicone-based lubricants, which are specifically designed for sexual activities. Inadequate lubrication can lead to discomfort, chafing, or even injury during sex. And no one wants to spend their time in the medical tent at a festival.
4. Use wet wipes every time you wee, and never do the shaking method for this reason
If you’re a woman, you should also take toilet paper and vagina-safe wet wipes with you to the toilet when you need to wee. Women are more vulnerable to UTIs at festivals due to the ‘shaking clean method’ that so many have to do when they realise that there’s no toilet paper left. However, using vagina-safe wet wipes and toilet paper is the best way to prevent this as both prevent a more thorough cleaning, reducing the risk of infections and maintaining overall genital hygiene.
5. Make sure to pack these other must-haves for optimum hygiene
As there’s often limited access to showers at a festival, it’s still important to practice hygienic sex to prevent an infection. If you’re camping, you should take anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitiser to keep your hands and fingernails clean for foreplay, and general skin-to-skin contact. In addition, fragrance-free wet wipes are ideal for cleaning yourself pre- and post-sex. You should also bring a breath spray or mouthwash.
6. Take and drink lots of water to prevent thrush
You should also drink a lot of water pre- and post-sex so you can help flush out any bacteria that can cause common infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) or thrush.
Plus, whilst festivals can be fun, they can also be physically draining, so make sure you’re taking care of your body by staying hydrated and eating well. This will help maintain your energy levels and make your sexual experience more enjoyable.
7. Don’t forget to take your contraception and remember to set an alarm to take it
Whilst the fun and excitement of a festival can result in you forgetting to take your contraceptive pill, it’s important to try and remember for obvious reasons. If you feel like you’re likely to forget, set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to take it.
If you’re on the pill and forget to take it one day, you should take it as soon as you remember. If two days go by, you should check the instructions included in your pill packet and follow their suggestion. However, if you somehow lose your pill packet or are worried, Glastonbury Festival has a tent dedicated to these concerns. A doctor will be able to advise you properly. Alternatively, you can visit this tent for the morning-after pill, too.
Top 6 tips for practising safe but fun sex at a festival
1. Remember that consent is crucial
Always obtain clear and enthusiastic consent from your partner. Make sure both of you are comfortable and on the same page before engaging in any sexual activity. Remember that consent can be withdrawn at any time.
It’s also important to be mindful of whether your sexual partner is drunk or high. While it’s common for people to consume alcohol or other substances at festivals, be aware of how these substances may affect your or their ability to consent, communicate, and perform sexually. It’s essential to prioritise safety and consent above all else.
2. Have sex as early as possible in the festival
Ideally, you should try and have sex as early as possible during the festival as you and your partner feel comfortable enough to. The reason for this is that your tent will only get dirtier over time, and you’ll also lose your energy the longer that the festival goes on. While they’re fun, festivals can really take it out of you.
3. Never carry your condoms around in your pocket or wallet
Not many people know that condoms can overheat in pockets and wallets causing the quality of the condom to degrade, therefore, giving them a higher chance of breaking during intercourse. Similarly, them being left in the direct sunlight of a tent can cause them to overheat so make sure to store them in a dry, cool place.
4. Always wash your hands before having sex
Use hand sanitiser or wash your hands with soap and water before engaging in sexual activities at a festival. Naturally, festivals can be quite dirty but doing this can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
5. Choose a comfortable but private location where you can let loose
The best place to have sex at a festival is somewhere that offers privacy, comfort and safety. Naturally, your tent is likely to be the most private and comfortable option available at a festival. However, make sure it’s well-ventilated and keep noise levels down to respect your neighbours – or you could play music on a speaker to drown out any noises.
Alternatively, some festivals provide designated areas for relaxation and intimacy otherwise known as a designated “chill-out” zone. These spaces are typically more secluded and can offer a more comfortable environment for sex. Always adhere to the rules and guidelines of the festival and the specific area.
Wherever you choose, be considerate of the people around you at the festival. Keep noise levels down and avoid engaging in sexual activities in public spaces where others may be uncomfortable or disturbed.
6. Be aware of the best sex positions for tight spaces
If you decide to have sex in a tent, you’ll soon be aware that the tight space can make it hard to spread yourself out. However, these are my top four positions for tight spaces:
- Spooning. In this position, both partners lie on their sides, with one partner behind the other. This position is comfortable, requires minimal space, and allows for intimacy and closeness.
- Cowboy or cowgirl. One partner sits or lies down while the other partner straddles them, facing towards or away from them. This position allows the partner on top to control the pace and depth, and it doesn’t require much headroom.
- Seated. Both partners sit facing each other with their legs intertwined, allowing for close contact and eye contact. This position can be comfortable in a tent, as it doesn’t require much space or headroom.
- Doggy style. One partner kneels on all fours while the other partner kneels behind them. This position can work well in a tent if there’s enough room for both partners to comfortably kneel.
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