As you participate in Pride month, you’ll learn about lots of parties, especially if you are in or close to a major city. They will be advertised online, by fliers, and by word of mouth. They may take place in public venues, such as hotel banquet rooms, parks, beaches, after-hours bars, or in private homes.
No matter what the venue, you need to think about what you should take with you. There may be specific gear required by the host(s), but there is also specific gear you will want to have. Let’s have a look.
For huge bashes held on beaches or in large parks, for example, there may be no hosts, other than the organizers of Pride. These parties are open to all Pride-goers, no matter what their sexual identities. Really, they are extensions of parades, and there is lots of revelry and celebration by all. Expect anything, and you won’t be disappointed or shocked.
The most important thing for you is the gear you want for your own personal needs.
Comfortable clothing if you plan to be there a long time
A fanny pack for personal items – ID, cash, condoms, lube, etc.
You may want to just wear long socks and put personal items into those socks – fanny packs can be lost or stolen, and can be a problem during sex.
Water/Booze/Pot – have enough to share with a hookup – there will be vendors with water and drinks, but they can be pricey
Remember – anything goes at these parties – bring your tolerance
These may be large or small, depending on the size of the venue. If they are large and open on a first-come-first-serve basis, they will usually be advertised online, with fliers, or by word of mouth. If there is one you really want to go to, get there plenty early.
There are two types of gear for these parties – that which may be required by the host, and that which you will want to have for your personal needs and comfort.
Dress: Many private parties will have a theme or be organized for specific gender identities. And a host may have dress requirements. For a trans party, there may be a costume requirement for a contest; for a gay party, your wildest bikini may be required.
BYOB: Bring your own booze may be advertised. Or it may be announced that there will be a cash bar at the venue. If you are bringing anything of your own (including pot), bring enough to share with someone you might hook up with. If it’s a cash bar, obviously bring cash.
Sign: One “entry fee” may be a sign that depicts gay pride or a slogan that has a Pride or political statement. Plenty of stuff to make a sign will be available, but you should think about this in advance and have a sign anyway.
Cash: If there is an entry fee (and these may be for parties in private homes too), you will need to pay in cash. Cards are not accepted, as a rule.
Your ID: If anything should happen, you will want your ID with you. This is actually a given throughout all Pride activities.
Condoms, Dental Dams, Lube, Toys, etc.: Depending on what you anticipate might happen in the way of sex, you will want to bring your personal gear to make it amazing. As the Boy Scout motto says, “Be Prepared!”
Water: Of course, you can expect to be drinking. But getting sloppy drunk will ruin your fun. Either bring your own or buy water there if it is available. Temper your drinking with periodic water, so you stay hydrated and at least a bit rational.
Pack of Antibiotic Wipes: Don’t rely on paper towels and toilet paper in the bathroom. Having your own wipes will make cleanup easy and safer after sex and/or if you change partners.
Tall Socks: This may be one of the most important items you take (wear). Why? For two reasons. One, you don’t have to take them off in order to have almost every type of sexual encounter. And two, you can place your personal items in those socks, where they are safe. This will eliminate the need for a fanny pack which you will have to take off.
A Whistle: Especially at large parties, you will want to make some noise, so bring your whistle – it’s standard gear after all.
Above all, the one big thing you need to bring to a pride party is an open mind. With all the diversity of activities that are sure to go on, anything goes, really. So, bring that great attitude of joy, tolerance, and acceptance to everyone, and have your best time ever.
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