The first time I went to a Pride celebration, I was in my late teens and it was not the most enjoyable experience. I went out with high-flying notions of cutting loose, getting messed up, having some fun with like-minded people and, obviously, gettin' a little action somewhere in all the chaos.
I did cut loose. I did have fun. I did not get any action whatsoever, mostly because I got messed up, and not in the good way. In the rush to get out there and have a good time, I completely neglected to prepare myself for the surprisingly rigorous experience that is Pride.
Long story short, I ended the night sunburned and dehydrated, hooked up to an IV drip because my stupid ass didn't think to bring sunscreen, ate mostly fried, salty foods, and drank vodka almost exclusively. It wasn't pretty, but that IV did cost me a pretty penny.
Since then, I have graduated from youthful foolishness to a far more refined, adult foolishness. I still go out with the same goals as I did when I was a kid, mostly getting fucked up and laid as much as possible, but now I've learned to roll out to Pride with a much greater appreciation for preparation.
That's why I am throwing together this list of essentials for a smooth, safe, and unforgettable Pride experience, so you don't end up like 19-year old me- burnt to a crisp, dehydrated, and spending your night in a hospital bed wishing you were rolling around in some cute guy's bed instead...
One of the things I love most about Pride festivities is that they take place in the Summer. I'm that guy you see running around the Pride celebration wearing next to nothing, covered in rainbow glitter, and loving every minute of it. The downside, as I mentioned earlier, is that the sun will fuck you up if you aren't careful- Like, really bad.
Beyond the health aspects of proper self-care in the sun, there are other things to consider. An exciting game of Slap-And-Tickle is a whole lot less exciting with 2nd or 3rd-degree sunburn, and it's hard to pull guys when you look like a poached lobster that's survived a glitter factory explosion.
Bring lots of sunscreen, and don't forget to re-apply it as needed. Trust me.
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous entry. We've all seen those guys being carted off to the medical tent, passed out from heat stroke. Nobody wants to be that guy, nobody. I was that guy once and it fucking sucked.
While there will be plenty of beverages of all sorts to choose from being sold by vendors at the event, they tend to be over-priced. You can save yourself a lot of money and time spent waiting in lines by bringing a decent stash of water along when you go out to party.
I usually stock up on a flat of decent bottled water from Costco and leave it stashed in a cooler in my car or my hotel room and bring a few with me in a backpack. When I run out, I just pop back to my stash and re-supply!
I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to condoms. I have a specific type I like to use, so I tend not to go for the free ones they hand out at the festivities. Plus, I like to get down with multiple partners if I can, usually at the same time and am a real stickler about switching condoms when switching partners in a group setting. I also tend to blow through them quickly because of the toys I like to have on hand.
Just like all of the other items on this list, I usually keep some with me while I am out and about and leave the rest stashed somewhere accessible with my other essentials, in case I need more.
4. Your Favorite Lube
Much like condoms, you are bound to find people handing out samples of various lubes. This is all well and good if you're in a pinch, but the whole point of this article is to make sure you don't find yourself in a pinch to begin with!
Those free lube samples are great, but they're not enough to get you through the night if you're doing it right! Plus, if you're like me, you have a particular lube that you are partial to and there is no guarantee you'll be able to get the kind you like in sample form.
3. Your Sexiest Undies
If you, unlike me, actually wear enough clothes to the celebration to warrant wearing underwear, you're gonna want to be damn certain they're your sexiest. Even I like to squirrel away an extra jock or two in my travel bag when I strike out to party.
2. Personal Hygiene Products
We all know the importance of keeping it clean downstairs, so it's a good idea to make sure you are fully prepared to be at your best in the event of a Pride party hookup. I like to keep a few personal wipes and a portable anal douche kit in my bag of supplies.
I tend to eat a lot of greasy food when I'm out and about the grounds, and I'm sure I don't need to tell you why you might want to be ready with a quick spritz downtown under those circumstances.
I prefer the CleanStream Premium Enema Bulb because it is compact, easy to use, and has a valve to prevent backflow. It's never done me wrong in the past! Whichever anal douche you choose, just be sure to take it along with you- You never know when you'll need it!
1. Fresh Toys
I'm the kind of guy who just loves sex toys, so I always stock up on some new stuff before striking out for adventure. I usually bring along simple, compact things like a few packs of fresh cock rings, some compact anal beads, and a butt plug or two. Nothing too crazy, it all needs to fit in your travel bag!
That probably seems like a lot of stuff to be carrying around the festivities with you, but I assure you that it can all fit quite neatly into a compact backpack if packed properly.
If the idea of carting all this stuff around seems a bit much to you, you can also have this stuff stashed in your car or hotel room if you are sure they will be close to the festivities. In any event, make sure you keep that sunscreen handy. I cannot stress the sunscreen enough...seriously...sunscreen...
Now that you know what you need to bring to get you through the Pride gauntlet safely and happily, keep your eyes on this space for our next Pride survival article that will be chock full of handy tips to ensure you have a safe and, more importantly, fun Pride celebration experience!