Ask Brian: My friend can't keep it in his pants at music festivals
Our no-nonsense agony uncle gets straight to the point of your most pressing issues
Just back from Longitude and decided I'd fire you an email.
Me and my group of friends are all in our late teens/early 20s and have been going to a lot of open air gigs/festivals so far this summer, with a few more to go.
There's seven of us and we all enjoy a few drinks and a bit of mischief.
But one of my friends seems to literally be there to get the ride and little else. Don't get me wrong, happy days if he can. But he literally approaches any girl (or guy) in his orbit looking for a shift.
I don't mean to be so uptight, but I'm worried he might land himself in trouble by coming on too strong and grabbing someone inappropriately. Or he might just catch a nasty STI.
Is there any way to get him to relax a bit?
Confession time first: I was (briefly) at Longitude on Sunday. So I can speak from 90 minutes of experience of these festivals the youth go to.
As someone who is still in their 20s, I can admit it was only my second ever music festival experience. My first one also lasting around 90 minutes. It's fair to say it isn't my scene. I'm seeing Wicked this weekend and that's my gig of the Summer.
Anyway, there's a few issues here.
You're correct to be concerned about him going on too strong and maybe grabbing someone inappropriately.
I think the last year has seen people become a lot more educated on what's right and wrong when it comes to other's bodies and consent. If he's a 'handsy' drunk he could get himself into trouble. So if you see him coming on to strong to someone who is clearly uncomfortable, you're completely right to pull him away from the situation.
When it comes to him potentially getting an STI - that's always a possibility.
But I assume you're not some sort of voyeur who is creeping on him as he gets busy, silently taking down the zip of the tent to peak in and get your jollies. So unless you are having your own little viewing party, you don't know what exactly he's doing or whether he's using protection or not.
You should casually chat to him about it, and make sure he's keeping things safe. If he decides not to listen, a trip to the doctor with an awkward itch will sort him out. It should be noted of course, that many STIs have no symptoms at all.
I understand you're being a good friend and are just concerned for him; but you're limited in what you can do and where his personal responsibility comes in.
If you observe a risky situation for him or someone else, by all means try and intervene. But some people need to learn things the hard way.
Enjoy the next few weeks of mud, cheap burgers and body odour - I'll be Defying Gravity* multiple times over the same period.
*That's a Wicked reference for the straight men reading.
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