Sexual Etiquette for Hooking Up at Pagan Events

Being Part of a Fertility Religion Doesn't Mean We Can Behave Irresponsibly

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During the Pagan festival season - which typically begins around Beltane and ends after the harvest—there are a lot of opportunities to meet new people. Some of those people are folks we form lasting bonds and friendships with. Others… not so much. Let's face it, many modern Pagan paths are rooted in fertility religions, so most Pagans are pretty open about sexuality. Because of that openness, it does occasionally come to pass that we meet someone at an event (or elsewhere) that we find ourselves attracted to. However, being part of a fertility religion does not give us license to practice irresponsible behavior. Try to keep a few things in mind when interacting with potential hookup partners, particularly those you may not ever see again.

Exercise Etiquette 

  • Understand that just because someone is open about their sexuality doesn't mean they want you, specifically, to be their sex partner. No means no, even if your potential target is walking completely naked on his or her way to the drum circle. Anything other than an enthusiastic YES is not consent.
  • Don't try to use religion as a sexual opening line. I once overheard a young man say to a lovely girl at a festival, "Well, the goddess wants people to love each other, so we should really get together." She politely declined, and I'm pretty sure there was some eye-rolling involved as she and her friends called him a creep. Don't ever try to invoke sex as a requirement for spiritual connection. It's a bad idea, and in addition to making you look pervy, it's a dangerous game to play with people who may be new to Paganism and thus a bit naive.
  • This should be a no-brainer, but avoid having sex with anyone whose judgment is impaired. If someone is drunk or high, don't sleep with them. If they really find you attractive, they can let you know when they sober up. In a similar vein, if you're not sure how old the person is, hold off until you can verify that they're of legal age to consent, or you could find yourself in some serious legal trouble.
  • There's nothing wrong with flirting, but be sure to respect boundaries. If the person you're flirting with makes it clear they are with someone else, or just plain not interested, watch your step. No one wants to get a reputation as a creeper who's putting the moves on everything with a pulse. No doesn't mean try harder.
  • Much like nudity, touching isn't necessarily a sexual invitation. Many Pagans are comfortable with hugging, massage, holding hands, and lap-sitting. That doesn't mean they want to have sex with you, or with anyone else, it just means they're comfortable with these things. If you're not sure what someone's boundaries are, ask them.
  • There's nothing wrong with recreational sex, as long as all parties involved understand that it's recreational. Also, make sure any sex you have at all is safe sex. Use condoms. If you don't have one, ask around - someone will have a spare.
  • Be considerate of the people you're not having sex with. No one wants to walk past your tent and hear you howling in the throes of passion. Make noise if you like, but try to keep it discreet. Everyone who's not getting any will appreciate it.

The bottom line? Have all the fun you want, with other people who are interested in the same kind of fun - but do it with consent and an understanding of responsibility.

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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Sexual Etiquette for Hooking Up at Pagan Events." Learn Religions, Aug. 26, 2020, Wigington, Patti. (2020, August 26). Sexual Etiquette for Hooking Up at Pagan Events. Retrieved from Wigington, Patti. "Sexual Etiquette for Hooking Up at Pagan Events." Learn Religions. (accessed January 28, 2021).