The Fuzzy Line Between Festival Sex and Festival Rape
You are tripping balls at the main stage on Saturday night at Lightning in a Bottle. In the chaos of the hippie mosh pit you lose your pod of friends and are left alone in your post dubstep bass break bliss when all of a sudden you see her… the Burner Bunny Goddess of your dreams!
She catches your eye and invites you into her space to dance and swirl without exchanging words. You can’t tell if that is a bindi sticker on her forehead or if her third eye is really sparkling that bright. Now you are grinding and dry humping on the dance floor and you can no longer hide that rise in your pants. Seductively she whispers into your ear, “Let’s go back to my camp?” And you are thinking… SCORE!
One thing leads to another and you are naked in her tent about to have sex, yet after all that play she turns cold when you pull out a condom and she tells you to stop, no, she isn’t that kind of girl. What should you do next?
There is a fuzzy line between mutually consensual festival sex with a stranger where both parties are 100% on board with the hook up, and the awkward situation where you are both so fucked up on drugs and pseudo-pleasure that boundaries get pushed and your intimate situation unknowingly amps up into sexual assault.
Reports are coming out of the closet in the so called “Transformational Festival Community” around inappropriate activity happening in snuggle puddles and late night tent romps. Young women take up an offer for a relaxing private massage from a Shaman Hipster Dude, when all of a sudden the guys dick is inside of her. Or a girl’s party drink gets ruffied and she wakes up finding herself being fucked behind the porta potties. Most women don’t report it in the moment, but they are no longer remaining silent as stories of festival rape are popping up on social media.
This is a community issue that must be addressed before this tricky situation gets out of hand. When you are fucked up on drugs it becomes much more difficult to discuss consent and boundaries before you get sexual with your festival crush. It is our responsibility as a community to open up conversation around the difference between festival sex and festival rape, and what we can do to prevent the later.
Note: I pose this article based on a heterosexual scenario where the perpetrator is a male and the victim is a female, primarily because this is the most common combination reported, and it fits my own personal experiences. But this dynamic can also occur with same sex couples, often between two men where one sexually violates the other, and in rare cases where women have sexually violated men, so take everything into consideration regarding gender in this conversation.
Couples, Tips on How to Create Consensual Festival Sex:
“Festival Sex… It’s In Tents!”: Bassnectar just finished his epic set and that stellar brother you were dancing with all night is obviously your soulmate. Maybe it’s the Molly mixed with that mushroom chocolate, but when you look into his eyes you know you have found your Festival Hipster King and ultimate fire dancing duo partner for your performance troupe. The vibes are high, the chemistry off the hook, and the love mutual… so you go back to your tent to fuck and fall in love. Festival sex is intense, but keep your head on straight because once you both sober up and go back to your day jobs in different cities you may not feel the same vibe as when you first met on the dance floor with sparkle ponies in your eyes.
Practice Radical Honesty and Disclosure: Sometimes Festival Sex is simply meant to be a delicious one night stand, but only if both parties are on the same page. If you are a polyamorous DJ rockstar on tour with your wife and baby back at home, disclose this information from the get go before the two of you get hot and heavy. She may be seeking her true love partner for life and is falling in love with you, only to find out after you take the condom off that you are already spoken for. Remember, you are both most likely high as fuck, so take care to communicate clearly before your clothes come off or your message may get lost in translation as you eat her out.
Remember that a Yes can always turn into a No a moment later: You had the consent talk and now you are both plowing away in a naked Tantric Twister Party in your tent. She is completely on board with the festival hook up, considering she was the one that initiated it in the first place, but when you reach for the condom after the killer blow job you just received she suddenly changes course and tells you to stop. Or maybe you are the dude in this scenario and those ten Pabst Blue Ribbons you drank earlier is coming up your esophagus for an untimely visit and you are the one who needs to stop the action full halt, but your horny festival Goddess wants you to finish the deed. Remember that NO means NO, even if it was a YES just a moment ago. You can always try again on Sunday afternoon when you are both sober.
Ladies, Tips on How to Avoid Potential Festival Rape Situations:
If you are going to run around in a G-string and pasties, be confident in setting strong boundaries: Festival culture sets the stage for radical self expression, which often for women means putting on the sacred sexy-sexy burner chick vibe. There is no shame in flaunting the festival sex pot Goddess that you are, but be aware that this will bring on unwanted sexual advances from horny guys peaking on ecstasy. Be confident in setting strong boundaries on the dance floor or in cuddle puddles if someone violates your personal space without permission. Be FIRM in your “no thank you” and walk the fuck away to a safe space in public before things get heated and fuzzy lines of consent get crossed. Remember, most of these guys are tripping balls so you may need to make things crystal clear with your NO’s and remove yourself quickly.
Watch your drug and alcohol intake: Music festivals are a great place to trip out and party with your friends for the weekend, but it is your responsibility to watch your own sobriety. Have a designated festival buddy when you go out at night who has your back and will take care of you if you get too fucked up. If you find yourself in a tent with a potential snuggle buddy you just met and you feel the spins coming on, ask him to walk you home. If he refuses and keeps making a move on you, remember that there are dozens of people in the tents surrounding you who would jump at the opportunity to escort you safely back to camp. Scream “HELP” if you must, they will hear you! And no matter how alluring the offer may be, don’t take drugs from strangers.
If you are festival raped, get support: Even if you are unsure if it was rape, enroll others in the situation and address it right away. Gather as much evidence as you can, play by play, and take a photo of the guy and the tent/camp (he’s probably going by a playa name so the authorities may not be able to track him down based on your descriptions). Go back to your camp, find your peeps, explain the situation and ask for help. Find a festival staff member and submit a report on site if you feel this is the best action to take. Allow the community to support you so you can heal quickly and regain your power. Don’t hesitate to get support as soon as possible, or it will eat you up for the rest of your life while that douchebag will continue to run off drugging and raping young hippie chicks in his tent.
Men, Tips on How to Avoid Potential Festival Rape Situations:
Always ask permission before you touch: This should be a no brainer, but when was the last time you asked a girl if you can kiss her? Permission to proceed with an intimate encounter not only builds trust, but opens up the conversation for a polite yes or no to follow. Can I dance closer to you? May I take off your shirt? How do you feel about us having sex tonight? What are your expectations afterwards? Even if it is an obvious HELLS YES, ask anyways and see where that may lead your sunrise romp in the chill tent as the drugs wear off. And as I mentioned before, be prepared that a “yes” a moment ago may suddenly turn into a “not right now”. Respect boundaries and practice consent!
Watch your drug and alcohol intake: Do you notice a pattern here? If you are drunk as a skunk or fucked up on drugs your inhibitions and ability to communicate clearly are altered. This is a good time to keep your dick in your pants, brothers, or you may find yourself confronted the next day by a gang of rent-a-cops accusing you of rape. You may not have known that your festival Goddess was totally whacked out of her mind on Ketamine last night and may not remember the incident clearly when she said “yes” to you because really she was talking to a vision of a Unicorn offering her a popsicle. Protect yourself and do not have sex with drugged out chicks. And be careful offering her your own party favors, because if she has been drinking a bump of K may send her into a coma. Shag and party safely, my festival bros, and protect your sisters.
Spend more time in men’s empowerment workshops: A wonderful co-creation of the Transformational Festival Community is the workshop tents. Instead of day tripping or sleeping off your hangover, invest your time in taking workshops and educate yourself on male sexual empowerment. Build community with your conscious brotherhood of spiritual warriors. Have powerful conversations with festival brothers you witness taking advantage of women, step the fuck up, and call them out. If you or one of your brothers is accused of festival rape, humble yourself and sit in council and take responsibility for your actions. Many brothers have no idea they crossed a line of consent, especially if they were fucked up on drugs, so they need support and education more than ever. Be a part of the solution!
My theory is this: I highly doubt most Hipster Dudes run around festivals with the intent to rape, or that Sexy Burner Chicks are prancing around in their underwear and feather headdresses with the intent to get raped. Yet when you mix drugs with a highly sexed free spirited situation, like at a weekend music festival, the lines can easily get blurred.
If a woman comes out of the closet with her festival rape story, hold space, listen compassionately, and trust in her. Sexual violation sucks, even if she was the one that initiated it with her flirtatious invitation into her tent. There is NO reason any person should push past sexual boundaries for their own erotic jollies. Rape is rape.
If a brother gets ousted for festival rape, hold space, listen compassionately, and guide him with fierce love. Sending someone to jail may not solve their core issue. What is needed is community education on sexual consent so that we all can consciously play by a set of basic festival sex rules where all parties can feel safe… and get laid appropriately!
Men need mentoring and support from their brothers more than ever, especially for the guys that may be unknowingly pushing themselves onto sexy festival chicks that do not know how to say no because the Molly feels so good in the moment. Be our warriors, brothers, and hold the line!