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|Goa and Psytrance seem to share a fair amount of common ground with the hippie scene from the 60ies. The mystical blankets from India, long and colourful hair, the ideology of freedom, tolerance, paganism, spirituality, deep understanding between all cultures and temporary feeling of eternity – in other words ‘cosmic awareness’ experienced for a short period of time. Psytrance is commonly considered to be the official successor, next to Rainbow Gathering, of the revolutionary liberation movement which flooded the 1968 generation and affected various areas of life. Unfortunately, it is not entirely true.
First of all, the goa scene is not so much political-oriented. It is more hedonistically focused where devotion to pleasure stands in the centre of attention. Even though the political, spiritual and social connotations can still be found in a form of symbols at festivals and are often demonstrated to some extent, they are more than just the leftovers from the hippie culture, not really the main issue circulating on the dancefloors.
The second big difference between the Goa scene and hippie movement is the landscape of sexual activities at festivals. It might be connected with the fact that under the influence of more or less legal substances the sexual drive of goa-ravers wears off and stimulants containing the Viagra ingredient have never been really introduced or offered massively in the scene. Or perhaps the collective trance-awareness on the dancefloor and socially-directed focus on music does not really go hand in hand with public sexual activities? Or maybe the transcendental experience of being united with the cosmic force while listening to the almighty orgasmic beat is thousands times better than any sex?
Yet, it cannot be denied that trance festivals in fact resemble a truly erotic shower of bodies. One can find all out there: petite, fit girls with sexy skimpy tops in every corner of the party and elf-alike cute creatures that everyone yearns to cuddle to. Handsome fit boys with their torso on the display, boys with a dreambody, muscles, perfect tattoos and piercing, stunning boys with dreadlocks who look as if they have just escaped from the beaches of Goa and Ko Phangan, an impressive parade of tanned or simply chocolate-skinned girls from Universo Paralello who stand out on a pale-filled beach like divine beings, simply goddesses sent from heaven. So the questions is: why is this sexy shower of bodies, immersed in the fluorescent ocean of lights, raving together to the rhythm of our so much beloved Psytrance music, not showing more sexual interaction and open display of affection on the dancefloor?
It is a well-known fact that Psytrance parties are not meat-market parties. A Psytrance party is a place where girls do not have to fear that they will be constantly bothered and chatted up. It is a place where, regardless whether you are a boy or a girl, one respects each others space on the dancefloor (well, in most cases).
However, there is that erotic, sexual and sizzling tension in the air. It is tangible mostly on the dancefloor but also in the chillout tents, when the looks are exchanged. It is tangible when for a few magical seconds your eyes meet with someone else’s eyes and it feels as if every single atom in your body exploded with an array of sparkles. Is there anyone who hasn’t experienced in the past this exceptional sensation coming from something as small as an exchange of eye contact? And sometimes there is more coming afterwards…;-)
There are many couples that come to Psytrance festivals, even families with kids but there are also many singles. Obviously these erotic meetings on the dancefloor and cosy encounters in the sitting areas lead to new friendships, relationships, marriages and also sometimes a communal style of living in small groups who share everything and everyone like hippies.
Public sex, which could presumably be expected from the scene that resembles hippie culture so much, is not really a common phenomenon. There are sometimes people dancing naked and fooling around in the mud, or making love in the middle of the field, literally 50 meters away from the main floor.
However, sex is mostly regarded as an activity that is reserved for tents or in secluded areas, far away from the dancefloor. Free-Sex-Groups such as for instance „Fuck-for-Forests’ (fuckforforests.com), aiming to rescue forests with their public display of sexual activities, have had sex-tents on the festival site in the past years, but today it is rather rare. 1.300 free love practitioners have united their strengths since 2004 in order to support the forest-protection projects with their nakedness and sex-parties. They are not really a very welcome group of guests at festivals though. Festival organisers who often have to deal with the pressure of the authorities and critical media see public sex as a provocation that they prefer to avoid.
Sometimes there are cruising-zones like in the cornfield labyrinth at Ozora festival or in the forest area surrounding the dancefloor. These are the places where people hit on each other, have a little walk around, stay for a while in one spot and then again find each other and have spontaneous sex. It is more seldom to see actions between girls or between boys and spontaneous hetero-sex in the cornfields.
In fact there are no real meeting points at festivals, adjusted for lesbians, gays or bi-sexuals, like for example public and fully exposed ones at Burning Man. The LGBT-community somehow ignores the Goa scene – maybe because they think it only focuses on straight men and women – that’s completely wrong. Though there are no information stands, no condom dispensers, no cosy lesbian or gay chaishops/cafes, no darkrooms or lightrooms, no naked dancefloors or other areas dedicated to sexual play.
It is a standard on the gothic scene as well as on the house-music scene but the Kitkat-Club-alike meeting points do not exist as such on the Goa scene. Perhaps it’s a gap on the market that it is still waiting to be filled. We have 20 years of dull open sex activities in the scene; we will see what the next 20 years will bring