SXSW Provides Amorous Vibes
Each year South by Southwest brings thousands of people, hundreds of bands, dozens of movies, and lots and lots of, shall we say, short-term relationships. But all the partying does have its drawbacks. Note: this story does acknowledge the existence of “adult amorous activity.”
OK, right up front: there’s no official data in this story. But you know; it happens all the time. There’s plenty of beer, there’s plenty of music, people are partying. Eyes meet. One thing leads to another: “Hooking up,” the kids call it. During South by Southwest, anecdotally anyway, it happens a lot more. Right?
“Do people actually have more sex during South by Southwest, is that your question? I mean, I think so. Absolutely,” said Sarah Malika, who along with Melissa McWilliams, is organizing a South by day party on Congress.
McWilliams said, “There’s more people to hook up with, I guess. I don’t know, it’s the vibe. More people, more possible combinations? Maybe?”
“Absolutely,” came a reply from a man who introduced himself as Fantasy.
He is wearing a yellow cape, some rainbow colored tights and a George Washington wig. He says all the people and the energy just create a heightened sensual atmosphere. As for whether he has more, well, you know, during South by Southwest?
“Ah, that’s none of your business,” he said.
Walking down Sixth Street, you can feel the vibe he’s talking about. Hear the loud music, smell all that beer.
“Well, it has kind of an element of Mardi Gras to it, where people, they just want to have a good time and let loose,” said Robert Belt, lounging on his pedicab between fares on Sixth Street.
He says in the last week, the number of amorous encounters he has witnessed in his cab has definitely increased.
“You know, they come from all over the place and they’re kind of miserable in their lives, so they get here and they let loose. And just leave it all here, like Vegas kind of,” he said.
But like anything fun, it can be dangerous without proper precautions.
“We don’t have any data that would support that events such as South by Southwest increase STDs in our area,” said Rosalina Casteneda, the communicable disease manager at Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services.
Just because that data would be almost impossible to collect, given the number of out of town festival-goers, doesn’t mean there’s not a risk.
”Engaging in any kind of sexual behavior, such as having sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs or having sex with people who you don’t know what their status is or what their sexual risks are, would be considered high-risk sexual behavior,” she said.
So, as always, be careful out there. Avoid risky situations. But you know, have fun.