It feels absolutely right that Coachella is the first music festival to properly come back in a post-COVID world. From across the pond, Coachella has always seemed like a fully sanitised version of a festival: Nobody sets tents on fire. Nobody has fallen into a portaloo full of poo to get their phone. Nobody has camping sex with a muddy stranger to the tune of other people pissing against the side of their tent. (Americans, I’m willing to be proved wrong – do your worst, Coachella weekend 2.)
For most people in the UK, shagging at a festival and having sex in a tent is a rite of passage. In my instance though, the most notable occurrence of festival sex in my life didn’t even involve myself. Picture this: Your tent collapses during a massive comedown and torrential downpour on the last day of a fezzie in Yorkshire. You climb into the nearest tent – your mate’s two-man pink pop-up – to go back to sleep. You wake up and your friend is gone, but another mate is there riding a man whose virginity she is taking.
Knowing that this is a very important time in the lad’s life, you decide to pretend to stay asleep and let them get on with it. On completion, your good friend (the virginity taker) tells her new beau to push you off the air mattress because you’re asleep and won’t feel it. You scream out “NO”. Everyone in the tent screams. This is how not to have sex at a festival.
Which happens to be the opposite of the reason I’m writing this list, so let’s jump right into the best ways to have sex at a festival and more importantly, how to have good sex at a festival.
Have sex at the festival ASAP
“The earlier on in the festival you can do the deed, the better it is for everyone involved,” Dom, a 28-year-old top shagger who lost her v plates at Reading fest, encourages. “You’re still somewhat clean, your tent hasn’t been destroyed with mud and spilled booze and you still have the energy to put in a good amount of effort.”
These wise words couldn’t be truer. Why have sex with a body drenched in third day festival sweat when you could be knee-deep in someone’s fresh, just-arrived-at-the-festival bits instead? After another pal confides she contracted cystitis from sex at Glastonbury and had to spend most of it in a portaloo, the imperative to have sex early on comes with an added health bonus of not feeling like you’re pissing razorblades for the weekend. You can get a UTI from bacteria entering your urethra and to put it simply, rubbing your unwashed privates together is a potential one-stop shop for filling your urinary tract with toxic bacteria.
Bring your own tent to have camping sex
If someone else has fair rights to walk into your tent at any moment – just in time to see you mounting another festival goer – it’s probably not the best place to bang. Out of all the places at a festival you could shag in, the tent is the only actually viable option. Take it from me and my very specific experience in this, getting eaten out in a portaloo is actually fucking disgusting, no matter how many pills you’ve taken.
By bringing your own tent, you not only ensure a bit of privacy when baby wiping your bits and trying to get a couple of hours sleep, you also have a personal space in which to bed a lover. Extra bits of advice from campers I reached out to include “don’t use a torch, because everyone will see what you’re doing” and “avoid the air bed, it ruins the rhythm – or worse, it could explode on you”. As good as any shag is, going the rest of the festival without an air bed just isn’t worth it.
Don’t do oral sex at a festival
If you personally prefer the taste of sweaty smelly cock to somewhat clean cock, then dive right in baby. But for general cleanliness sake, this one couldn’t be more important. As your mother would say: Put it down, you don’t know where it’s been.
Have sex when someone good is playing at the festival
During research for this feature, a mate told me he missed Dolly Parton at Glastonbury in order to get a good banging session in. This level of commitment to shagging makes it worth the affront to Dolly – although apparently, the queues to see her were abominable – and is the kind of commitment we all need to show towards orgasming in a tent.
By sacrificing seeing someone class (or potentially, someone you think is overrated who will draw crowds), you can almost guarantee the camp site will be much emptier than usual and give you enough privacy to do the deed. You may also get the added bonus of having an absolutely class soundtrack to accompany your shag. If you time it just right, you could even align the sounds of the crowd cheering with your big O.
Have sex but don’t be a dick at the festival
While being at a festival can turn you into a feral version of yourself who pisses in a cup to not lose your space in the crowd, it doesn’t mean all morals should suddenly be dropped. When pulling at a fezzie and when shagging at a fezzie, the same rules apply as in the real world. If your love buddy is too drunk or high to consent properly – which they’re more than likely going to be at 3AM in the drum and bass tent – don’t get with them. Have a festival wank instead (this is a whole different article).
Prepare for festival sex in advance
Just like bringing your own tent, there are other precautionary measures you can take just in case you get a chance to be a top shagger. The main one being to bring wipes. Not just one pack. More wipes than anyone could possibly need. Empty a shelf at Home Bargains and bring them all with you.
Extra essentials include condoms, hand sanitiser, a pillow, breath spray, tissues – whatever helps to add to the pretence that you are having normal sex and not grim festival campsite sex.
For a lot of us – whether dating someone or not – shagging at a fez is an inevitability in our lives. Not only that, but it’s a fun addition to a long weekend solely dedicated to pleasure. While it may make you feel like absolute filth when detailing the event to your pals, an added sexy layer to the festivities makes for a win in anybody’s book. Now you’re fully prepared, go forth and bonk like you don’t have to go back to a life of responsibilities and Slack messages on Tuesday morning.