To a lot of people, sex is the ultimate form of self-expression. And it may not come as a surprise to know that here at Sofia Gray, we think that sex should absolutely be celebrated - and without shame or judgment.
As long as it is between consenting adults and does not cause harm or damage to any person (either involved or not directly involved) then we think sex should be as wild and free as can be. After all, it’s a pursuit of joy and pleasure, gratification and satisfaction - and what could be more wholesome than that, right?
It turns out that we’re not alone in our thinking. While it will always be controversial - sex will always be something to celebrate. So, it should also come as no surprise to learn that there are festivals all over the world that are dedicated to celebrating love and sex.
Some of these sex festivals have been around for a long time, while others are only a few years old. However, the one common thing about them is that they are becoming more and more popular every year (whether this is because we are in the middle of a sexual revolution, or simply because the internet has helped to publicize the events more widely - who knows!)
But one thing is for sure: they definitely deserve some of your attention!
If you have been thinking about straying from the beaten path a little bit and walking on the wild side of sex, perhaps you should consider attending one of these festivals sometime soon. Have no idea where to start?
We’ve taken the hard work out of figuring out where your next sexual adventure should take place! If you’re interested in attending a real-world sex festival, or even if you’re just curious to learn more about such events, here is a list of some of the most interesting festivals celebrating sex from around the world:
Focus: Kinks of all types
We had to open up this article with this particular festival featuring first on our list because of how inclusive and all-encompassing it is. As the name suggests, the Kinky Copenhagen festival is dedicated to just that: kinks. This is the home of all types of kinks and non-conformities. If you can think it, it is probably being exhibited here: everything from whips, piercings, chains, latex, leather, various genres of live sex, and even strippers and exotic dancers. It is no wonder that this festival has earned the nickname of the ‘hedonist’s wet dream.’
If you’re wondering what exactly has made such a wild and wonderful festival possible - then you only have to look to the brothels for your answer. It’s all down to the legislative system in Denmark. Prostitution is legal in the country, so weird sex is quite commonplace. All this works together really well to create the perfect environment for one of the kinkiest sex festivals in the world.
The Kinky Copenhagen festival almost makes sex taboo again (which is a titillating tagline in and of itself) with every imaginable kink, fetish, and fantasy having an event or expo at the festival. And it is this huge variety that keeps attracting guests from all over the world year after year.
In the end, Kinky Copenhagen has truly earned its reputation as the one true representative of the darker, more sinful underbelly of supposedly ‘deviant’ sexuality. So, if you have a midget amputee bondage fetish or something just as crazy that you would like to see in action and possibly explore, this is the place to be.
Location: South Africa and Sydney, Australia and the UK (predominantly)
Focus: Adult entertainment
The Sexuality and Lifestyle Expo, or Sexpo for short, is a festival that, according to the official website, is dedicated to broadening sexual horizons. It features a wide array of erotica and adult entertainment.
This festival is extremely popular in South Africa and Australia, and it has been steadily making headway in the rest of the world. Among the things that make it stand out are its jaw-dropping exhibitions, which somehow always supersede the previous ones, year after year.
Sexpo is often filled with adult entertainers and their fans. You will also find burlesque, male and female strippers, exotic dancers, naughty hypnotists, and lots of porn. There are also often some creative and interesting cosplayers in attendance.
The festival started in South Africa and is still held every year in Capetown, Johannesburg, and Durban. It has, however, spawned a sister event in Sydney, Australia - and also in the UK.
Additionally, since it has become so popular, companies from several mainstream non-sexual industries now also take part in the festivities. You will find a wide variety of such exhibitions, covering wine tasting, spas, physical fitness, and even aviation.
Location: London, UK
For 11 years now, Messtival has been one of Canada’s hidden gems when it comes to fun festivals. It seems like Messtival is at once underappreciated and at the same time extremely popular - because while it is well-loved by its fans, it does not get the same kind of media coverage as, say, Kinky Copenhagen or Sexpo might. Featuring a massive collection of silly, wet, and messy games, it has the participants completely hooked and coming back for more year after year.
If you have a WAM, (which is an abbreviation for a ‘wet and messy’ fetish), and you find sploshing completely irresistible, there is no better place to get copious amounts of fluids and foods poured and thrown, sploshed and splashed and otherwise applied all over you. Designed to be as over the top as possible, the games and events at the festival have been gradually adapted from the ideas and feedback of the participants over the years, and the result speaks for itself.
Entirely dedicated to splosh, the festival brings together participants from all walks of life to cover each other up in gunge, slime, and wet paint. Literally everyone gets extremely messy and there is no chance of escape, which explains why you need to come dressed in a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals, or in swimming clothes.
It should be noted, though, that this festival should not be confused with Messtival in New Brunswick, Canada which was hit by a storm of scandals over mismanagement and corruption by its organizers. The festival organizers have been accused of bad bookkeeping and taking a lot of bad loans. In January this year, the companies they owe money to came to collect.
It was determined that the festival organizers had been attempting to diversify their portfolio by investing in cryptocurrency, duck races, the Fyre Festival, and pledging the festival to the church of Scientology. Sadly, all these investments failed, and a lot of money was lost.
The festival organizers were therefore left with no choice but to set up several fundraisers across New Brunswick to try and stay afloat.
Yikes! One can’t help but think that sploshing would have yielded a far better return on investment than, say, duck races!.
Location: Beachbind, Jamaica
Shibari is the Japanese style of rope bondage. Ropetopia is a festival dedicated to that art.
The festival features several rope bondage exhibitions, performances by rock bondage artists, and shibari classes taught by Dave Rickman, a world-renkown shibari bondage specialist.
The classes vary in the subject matter. For example, a suspension transition class will have you learning how to manage relative weight and strength in a female-top male-bottom suspension scenario.
The best part about Ropetopia is that the event organizers go above and beyond to take care of everyone participating, making it one of the most welcoming festivals you will ever attend. In some ways, it is less about sex and more about art - but the sexual bondage undertones are simply unavoidable.
Additionally, the event itself has a really great atmosphere and, at least according to the die-hard fans who have attended and then blogged about it over the years, never feels too crowded. The setting is always intimate and you will always have a place in any of the classes you wish to attend.
While this could be taken as code for it simply being a small festival with few attendees (as far as festivals go, at least), the fact that Shibari is such a niche activity speaks volumes in and of itself. While the fans may be few, they are certainly dedicated.
A common stereotype with rope bondage enthusiasts is that they are sadistic and mean. If you hold this stereotype, you would be pleasantly surprised to find out how nice and accommodating everyone is when you get there.
Location: London, UK
Focus: Erotica and general sex
Erotica festival is one of the largest sex festivals in the world. Up to 100,000 people show up every year, including popular celebrities. First held in 1997 at Olympia, London, it has become a highly anticipated event that consistently attracts massive crowds.
It is a more “mainstream” sex festival that is actually classified as a “trade show”. The sexuality and miscellany presented here is very relaxed and casual, which is probably why it appeals to a much wider audience.
Exhibitors include everyone from sole traders to small, mid-sized, and large companies. They offer fashion, corsetry, shoes, lingerie, jewelry, art, sculpture, photography, adult toys, adult games, erotic literature, furniture, and romantic gifts. You’ll also find the famous erotic jewelry boutique here.
There are also several free entertainment stations, including stage shows that run several times a day produced by London’s Torture Garden, the Fantasy Boys’ striptease, crowd entertainers, and various workshops and demonstrations. Always on site is a team of NHS sexual health advisors who offer free advice, condoms, and testing for chlamydia and HIV.
The festival is keen to promote safe, respectful, and responsible sex. Visitors are encouraged to celebrate their sexuality and asked to rekindle the fire in their relationships with the various exhibited goods and services aimed at upgrading their love lives. According to the website, “all freethinking adults who are comfortable with their sexuality are welcome, including straight, gay, bi, and transgender people.”
During this centuries-old ritual, couples meet to have sex next to a shrine on Mount Kenikus, located near the village of Solo in Java. But that is not the most fascinating aspect of this rite.
The sex has to be between strangers, even if both parties are married. Plus, afterward, the couple has to exchange contact information with each other and have sex once every 35 days for a total of seven times for the ritual to be complete. It is believed that this will bring them good luck and fortune.
Interesting, isn’t it? But what is perhaps even more interesting is the fact that the festival takes place in a predominantly Muslim country. But, it is worth noting that, although Indonesia has a Muslim majority, Islam practiced here is influenced by other cultures and religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. So, while this festival is not entirely rooted in Islam, it is still religious and the locals believe it will have the effects they desire.
The shrine is believed to house the remains of Pangeran Samudro, a 16th century prince and son of a Javanese king. Next to him are the remains of his stepmother, Nyai Ontrowulan. According to folklore, the prince and his stepmother were in a sexual relationship. When the king found out, they were forced to flee their home. They made their way to Solo where the villagers caught and killed them while they were having sex. So they died mid-coitus.
The locals believe that couples who commit a more scandalous act than Samudro and Ontrowulan will be rewarded with good fortune, as long as they have sex on their grave.
Even though everyone knows what happens on the mountain seven times a year, the whole festival is still very controversial in Indonesia. There are pilgrims who tell their spouses that they are traveling to Gunung Kemukus, but most do not. For those not having sex, karaoke bars provide alternative entertainment.
Location: Indiana, USA
While this is not as hardcore as some of the other festivals on our list, we had to include it because of the way that it celebrates alternative lifestyles. The Nudes-A-Poppin Pageant is sponsored by the Ponderosa Sun Club, one of Indiana’s most famous nudist resorts. The resort is located in Roselawn and marketed as a “family nudist resort” (whatever that means). The festival is basically a pageant for nudists and people who enjoy letting everything hang loose.
Today, it has become so popular that it often attracts celebrities and non-nudists. Also, former pornstar Ron Jeremy is one of the contest judges. The group photo of the contestants has become an extremely anticipated souvenir from the event.
Additionally, The Nudes-A-Poppin Pageant features erotic dancing, exhibitionism, a wet t-shirt contest, a “Screaming O” competition, among other lewd acts. Oh, and there are also lots and lots of porn stars in attendance.
This festival has lead to Roselawn being ranked as one of the kinkiest cities in the USA! Also, the entire festival is clothing-optional, so if you are into that sort of thing, this is the place to be.
Location: San Francisco, USA
Focus: Gay pride, Fetish, BDSM, Everyhting
Whether you’re fully assimilated within any gay or fetish subculture, or you’re a complete novice with these sorts of things, you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy at famously liberal San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair.
The fair itself has been going since the 1980’s and was born out of a reaction to the closure of Folsom Streets many gay bars and bathhouses in the area by law enforcement during the aids epidemic of the 80s. The LGBTQ community held a street fair to come together during this harrowing time the Folsom Street Fair has been going strong since (in fact, it is reported that today over 400,000 people gather to celebrate the leather and BDSM community).
If you ever attend the fair, you’ll see attendees dressed up in fetish gear, fancy dress, character costume and everything in between. So if you have a penchant for dress-up then you’ll fit right in!
Or, if you’d rather forego clothing all together then this is cool too - as clothing is very much optional and nudity is permitted. You can submerge yourself within the BDSM subculture while you take in bondage displays, or learn some skills such as how to throw a flogger.
Over 200 visitor booths provide ample shopping opportunities, and the ‘public play areas’ and dance floors ensure that there is never a dull moment even if you run out of cash.
All in all - Folsom Street presents itself as a thoroughly enjoyable day out for the sexually open-minded, no matter their orientation or their tastes.
While we’re sure there are other festivals out there that explore the wild and wonderful world of sex, sexuality and sexual fetishes - we have picked out the ones that we think will resonate most deeply with you, our readers.
One thing remains clear, and that is the fact that there is a kinky sex festival out there for everyone, no matter what they’re into. If only there was a used panties festival to add to the list!
We love the way that these festivals take a purely shame-free approach to their subject matter, and encourage people to come and be part of an inclusive event made especially with them in mind. Having a particular kink or fetish, while fun to explore, can sometimes leave people feeling a little isolated - especially if their partner does not understand their obsession, or at worst - hates their kink altogether!
If this sounds like you, then maybe you need to take a look at what events you can attend to hook up with your ‘people’. Or, if you have been thinking about exploring your sexuality, indulging your fetish (no matter what that fetish may be), and learning about new kinks you never even knew you had, try giving a few of these festivals a shot. You never know which one will blow your mind.