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As we gear up for festival season and people prepare to serve main-character energy with their festie besties, it’s important to plan ahead to achieve the perfect weekend to remember. This includes more than picking out the perfect festival outfit and mapping out which artists you want to see. Making sure you’re prepared for a potential festival fling is definitely something to consider as well. 

Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties believes everyone should have access to the knowledge and services to thrive, so in honor of STI Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide so you can stress less  while exploring the festival scene. 

Navigating Hook-Up Culture

"Hook-up culture" refers to casual sexual encounters. People may engage in hookups for various reasons, such as physical pleasure or to fulfill a desire for intimacy without commitment. If you think that hooking up is something you want to try, be sure to check in with yourself and decide if it’s really something you want to explore.

Prioritizing boundaries with a hook-up partner is essential to having a good time and respecting yourself and others. Be sure you communicate exactly what you’re looking for, and be open to hearing what your partner’s boundaries are too. Remember, you can always change your mind and decide not to hook up at any point. “No” is a complete sentence.

STI & Unplanned Pregnancy Prevention Tips

Whether you’re engaging in a weekend fling, or getting intimate with your long-time partner, being prepared with protection such as condoms or birth control can help you have a worry-free weekend and lower the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Here are some things to remember to keep you and your partner safe (on and off the festival grounds):

  1. Practice safe sex by using condoms or dental dams during sexual activity.
  2. Get regular STI screenings and encourage your sexual partners to do the same.
  3. Avoid sharing sex toys, and make sure to clean them thoroughly.
  4. Avoid sexual contact if you or your partner has any symptoms of an STI.
  5. Talk openly and honestly with your sexual partners about your sexual health and history.

Getting Consent

Consent refers to giving permission or agreement to something, often about a specific action or situation. In certain contexts, such as sexual encounters, obtaining clear and enthusiastic consent from all parties is essential.

Consent is particularly important when having a sexual encounter with someone you are not as familiar with. When asking for consent, clear and concise communication is key. 

This might feel awkward if you’re hooking up with someone you just met, but asking a sexual partner for direct consent and checking in during sexual acts can heighten the experience. You can even use phrases like, “do you like that?” or “do you want me to keep going?” Nothing is more attractive than a baddie with confidence and respect for boundaries.

At Planned Parenthood, we are proud to provide high-quality, compassionate, and accessible health care without judgment. Check one thing off your festival season to-do list and  schedule an appointment to get tested at your local Planned Parenthood. Call (714) 922-4100 to make an appointment today.