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.
- 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.
- 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 then she and her friends had called him a pervert. 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, watch your step. No one wants to get a reputation as a creeper who's putting the moves on everything with a pulse.
- 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 Yeah baby yeah baby yeah! in the throes of passion. Keep it discreet.