The Essential Guide to Festival Tent Sex

Article by: Michael Mooneyham

Thu July 23, 2015 | 00:00 AM

The festival scene is a beautiful arena for self-expression. It offers us new and novel experiences, and beckons us to seek out and manifest our deepest dreams and desires. This rich tapestry often tells the story of the romances that bubble up or burst out at our seams when we let these desires out. Oh-so often it leads us back to camp, to the weird, wild and wonderful world...of Tent Sex.

Shop Wisely 

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Think it through when planning for your totally unforeseen and spontaneous festy feistiness. Make sure your mobile love dungeon is big enough for your wiles. Honestly, even for just two I would go with a 4-person tent, and four people would need an 8-12 person tent (more if your spirit guides want to join in). Another crucial consideration is if you want to be able to stand up. If you have the money or have enough people willing to pitch in to establish "Camp More-the-Merrier," perhaps it's time to go for your dream of a Kubla Khan-inspired geodesic dome?

Proper Zoning


Once you have a tent picked out and you’ve made it on site, it's time to find a perfect tree for your love nest. Trees are great for shade, for securing a bit of privacy with some lycra, and with some ingenuity, can add a leverage point for your favorite position. Be sure to clear the twigs and rocks to keep the bruises intentional. Even ground is a plus; too radical of a slope can make that special angle impossible (or ironically way easier). I would say from experience that it pays to do a little scouting around before you raise your dirty flag. It can pretty much ruin the mood to return to the tent raring to go, only to realize you're 10 feet away from The Renegade Stage.

Keep It Clean

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For many, sex is a pathway to the divine, and your tent is about to become a steamy altar to gods and goddesses (or all of one and none of the other, either way you get to fill in the blanks.) However your fantasy will play out, cleanliness comes first. Your one true or newfound lover could be a shirtcocker or a dust-storm daredevil, an ecstatic dancer on their third straight workshop, or a production pirate on their third straight shift. Perhaps the best way to start the romance is a quick jaunt to the showers. A classic solar shower setup is a inexpensive solution, and if you rig it up properly, can be a great place to get clean and dirty at the same time. For the record, chasing that water truck that clearly says "Non-Potable" for a quick rinse doesn’t count.

Setting The Mood

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Maybe this is all about carnal expression? Maybe you feel drawn together by the fates of time? Whatever the occasion, you’re going to need some light on the subject (doing it in the dark is a boring last resort). You might be tempted to try candlelight, but the passion vortex could light your fires a little too literally. Take it from me: Polyester goes up quick. Stationary lights in the corner can be cool, but you might be putting on an inadvertent backlit show for your neighbors (or purposefully for your fellow exhibitionists). My favorite solution is an adhesive strip of LEDs where the walls join at the top of the tent. 

Editor's Note: Go ahead and consider your iPhone's flashlight app in a pinch. 

Smooth Sailing

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Photo by: Chip Conley

Proper lube is part of Sex 101, but it can be even more important in the tent. You may be extra dusty, with passion spilling over you faster than you can remember this checklist. You, in all likelihood, are a bit dehydrated from packing a week of experience into three days, which may or may not cause rough waters. Some inorganic lubrications, such as what you often find on lubricated condoms, can cause allergic reactions. My tried and true favorite is coconut oil. It’s efficient, tastes great, is easy to clean off and doubles as a massage oil if you want to work it really slow and smooth. It’s also easily distinguished from peppermint oil and that random tube of aloe in your medicine bag – either of which would be an icy-hot distraction.

Cover Your Bases

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Photo by: John Daub

So, it’s the year 2015. It shouldn’t take a giant walking penis shooting glitter to remind us all to practice safe sex. It’s pretty easy to put a new box of condoms in your tent prep storage bin. Keep a few in your backpack/knapsack/utility belt in case you end up in another tent on the other end of the festival grounds. You can tap into your root and heart chakra (aka freaky tent adventures) much more fully if you know you’re covered (literally). You might not know your partner that well—or at all—and never know the sad, unwanted festy gift they might give. Stay responsible. Local, organic, artisan, hemp baby clothes and headphones aren’t cheap.

The Golden Rule

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I had hoped after all of our festival experiences, we would each have transformed into our higher authentic selves and that consent would be a given in any sexy tent time. Certainly most or all of you don’t need to hear it, but I feel compelled to say it. Take care of each other, be it a campmate or a total stranger. Watch for self proclaimed gurus who want to take you in their tent to learn the secrets of Tantra. Don’t follow along with anyone who is too generous with their liquor, or who claims to have the cleanest, new party favor “back at their camp.” Be brave enough to speak up if something isn’t right, and be strong enough to diffuse such a situation for yourself or anyone else.

I hope these tips and tricks make your festival equally safe, wild, clean, and dirty!