Playa Sexuality

Sexuality and Burning Man… people outside of BM have often described BM as a place where people to get all fucked up and run around naked. Essentially, that wraps Burning Man up in a nice neat cloth for them.

Stiffy LubeMy arrival to Burning Man for my 2009 virgin year came with a warning from OhTony: “If you go to the playa expecting to get laid you will not”… of which I took to heart as well as working on eliminating any other expectation as noted in one of my recent blogs.

Sex, in a way, is another form of self expression. Some people express themselves badly, some awkwardly, and some rather indulgently. There are plenty of camps that will let you play out your fantasies even if it is something you (or your straight buddy) might only do during these 8 days. According to a Ranger I know he is surprised whom he sees enjoying themselves at the Downlow Club in the shadows.

People come to Burning Man playing out their fantasies and upon returning to the default world assume their Clark Kent identities. It can’t be all spandex and light wire, huh?

Orgy camps are everywhere and even in our own little communities listed right on Gay Burners there are some playful huts to engage in those indulgences.

When you think of playa sexuality:

  • I am the same on playa as I am in the default world. (50%, 5 Votes)
  • I swing other ways while on playa and get my freak on in the default world. (20%, 2 Votes)
  • I am a hedonist, so what's the point? (20%, 2 Votes)
  • I explore the fruits the playa offers, but refrain in the default world. (10%, 1 Votes)
  • I am not there for indulgence. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Sexuality is even taught! Camp Beaverton has a whole series of classes about varying sexuality and their own guru Dr. Reid ( and others teaching the delights of strap-ons and other techniques.

Comfort & Joy TentThe hedonistic part of Burning Man is an extension of people expressing themselves and with this liberation comes other unbridled behaviors that occasionally come dripping with pheromones. But, do not let that be your motivation for coming to the playa, because the magic of this desert will smack your dick right into the dirt. OhTony said it best and it is advice well taken. Go to Burning Man for the experience and leave the expectations with your dirt angels.

One camp I ventured to with a “straight” couple I met had a large white tent actually marked “orgy” and there was a beautiful young man standing outside who bid us welcome. He assessed our dynamic quickly – 2 dudes and a chick – assuming that we were seeking carnal pleasures, which was inaccurate. We were told we were all welcome irregardless of orientation to come play. It was 1pm and we were really looking for a steam bath we heard about.

The discovery of this orgy tent between 6:00 and 7:00 on A was a footnote placed in the back of our heads, but later my 2 ‘hetero’ camp-mates went back to find the same tent and said they could not find it. Was it a mirage?

Regarding our own camps, I heard a lot about “Jiffy Lube” [now called Stiffy Lube] and made that my first stop there late one night. It was a tent discreetly placed almost behind Comfort & Joy. Although I like a good play-time, the vibe and presence was dark and carnal in a way that was not my cup of tea. Yet, it looked like it could be a fun place for quick and discreet fun. Alas, I made the decision to go to Comfort & Joy for another flavor of entertainment.

Charming and energetic performers took the stage on one and of the large tent while they attracted an audience, the opposite site of this tent was lined with air-mattresses and on them people paying varying degrees of attention to the show. Between shows the action intensified. It was so comfortable in that camp and the entertainment varied enough where it was not all about sex, but almost a microcosm of the gay Burning Man experience unto itself.

It’s not all about indulgence, sex and drag performers…. no. Camp Stella is a dry and sober experience that I missed in 2009 but look forward to spending time at this year. Yes, I rolled my balls off last year, but I plan on coming a little more sober this year for my own reasons. Maybe Stella will be the people to share that with?

So, sex at Burning Man is plentiful and there is no reason to go looking for it because it will find you if it is meant to be. Breathe in the experience like playa dust and embrace anything that comes your way. There is more than sex out there, there is more than getting high, but even with all those things keep your mind and hearts open and participate in as much as you can.

Gay Male Identity@ Burning Man

Having spent my virgin year at Burning Man in 2009, I went as a blank slate. Although I had almost a year in the Burner culture in Vegas, experiencing the people there was almost culture shock. In my personal burner blog, I wrote a trip report detailing a lot of observations. I noted there was a lot of differences in the area of how women were treated and sexual identity.

Burning Man is a sexually charged place. It is as if for every ten camps there is one related specific for sex. Orgy camps abound, there is a wide use of drugs, and people dress in outlandish costumes bordering on silly. Or… is this the 70’s sexual revolution when gays were finally telling the world they were busting out of those closet.

While attending, I observed and watched as many people as possible. In spite of the “radical inclusion” principle in Burning Man and “radical self-expression” I found many straight men deeply insecure in their own sexuality. Incidentally, there was a lot of objectifying of women by men or by themselves in order to get attention.

The costumes and the unleashed behavior of the heterosexuals and repressed majority of the default world represented in the sex, drugs, and the party-hearty were the things WE queers already went through in the 70’s in mass; what many gay youth do to rebel already. We have lived this.

Frankly, I found the queers of Burning Man living closer to a default comfortable existence while the heteros acted out under the guise of being “creative” while being simply ridiculous.

Am I being too hard in my assertion? Is it fair? What matters is that the arch-type has shifted. I see gay people comfortable with their identities, selves, image while the heterosexuals are scrambling in insecurities with identity and sexuality.

This was a blanket analysis while not defining all heterosexual men. There were some major differences in the men I met out there and the expression of who they were. Preconceived notions were turned upside-down.

  • There were a lot of men with long, beautiful dreads and skinny, malnourished bodies that I find particularly sexy in my own sick world. They represented the conceptual hippie man. (Side Note: Fucking Hot!) Yet, ironically these men I expected to find liberal attitudes, but what I discovered was almost consistent inner conflicts with their own sexuality; or mine as it were if I was the one flirting with them.
  • There were strong male personalities, often easily defined as the narcissist, or egocentric male who were so indomitable in their pursuit of anything there was no concept of failure. They were handsome men strong in their sexual identity and confident without the time or need to entertain my flirtations. If they did, it was  out of kindness but were quickly excusing themselves for their pursuits of the female.
  • The average man anchored in the world was a grounded and humbled soul, yet few and far in between. He took flirtations with a smile as if entertained and charmed with them. His sexuality was not in question, but nor was it a driving force in his life.

Not to get lost in what this article is about… it is focusing on the male sexuality of Burning Man reflecting the Gay Male. While the feminine spirit is strong and a force in Burning Man that is formidable, my perception is that it was lost in the glare of the overwhelming amount of women objectifying themselves.

Through all this interaction, the gay people blurred into the background almost as the heterosexual couples blur into the background of the default world. They were not trying to make a statement with regards to their orientation or sexuality while the counterparts were screaming it from the trees (not literally).

When two young men walked through center camp holding hands I just watched them for a little while and was touched by their comfort in their world, with each other, as a unit. Meanwhile, a naked man walked by with four or five fake penises next to his own; all of them looking real and really confusing onlookers. An older man strolled through with brightly colored latex chaps and a g-string barley concealed under a thin layer of tutu.

Gays in the Burner World… well this whole thing came from San Francisco 25 or so years ago. Though I only met one of the founders of that age, I see in this a distinctly heterosexual white male celebration of self exploration. The gays did that, doing that on another vibration, but left feeling like the ones looking back waiting for them to catch up. Them.