I just returned from my first Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada so I decided to take a slight detour for this column and write about some of my impressions and experiences out on the Playa. There is no doubt that the past week has changed me and will continue to shape not only how I present myself in the world but what I present to the world as well.
Each of the 70,000 plus burners at Burning Man left with their own unique experience and it is absolutely true that you can find whatever you are looking for on the Playa. Being a sex coach, I was interested in finding out and experiencing sex on the Burning Man Playa. Going into Burning Man, I had this impression that sex would be rampant and a central piece of the experience. Not exactly sure where I got that idea from…maybe it was the alternative life styles promoted by Burners, or the sexy clothes or lack thereof, or even some of the pre-Burn events, such as the huge fundraiser for Sacred Spaces at Cloud 9 this past spring which included a yummy sensual feast.
I did find some sex on the Playa but not the kind I expected. There were numerous sexuality and Tantra workshops daily, including two that I taught. They ranged from relationships and dating, to PUJAs, to learning how to OM. There were sexy Ecstatic Dances and Raves, and some camps, such as Chakralicious where I stayed, had their own dedicated “red tents” (e.g.) play spaces. There were some BDSM and Kink camps, but they were hardly omnipresent on the Playa. I was personally bummed that I didn’t get to experience the “orgasmitron” (a souped up Hitachi wand) because there was a four hour wait!
One thing that become clear to me is how spoiled I am living in the sex positive Bay Area. On any day of the week, I can find a sex workshop, play party, or meet up event and the best of the best (Tantra teachers, Sex Educators, Relationship Counselors) live and teach here. On the other hand my new friends from outside of California were pretty amazed at the plethora of offerings and activities and many of them were challenged by what I considered to be relatively mild exercises such as eye gazing or breathing together. In fact my Chocolate Sensual Puja was one of the mildest I ever facilitated. While I had visions of attendees licking chocolate off of each other’s body parts, it was pushing many people’s boundaries to just have them lick chocolate off of each other’s finger!
I think what surprised me the most in my search for finding sex on the Playa is that what I actually found was an interest in connecting deeply with others on a very authentic level. This was true of all the seminars I led and attended and my own Playa love affair…After all, how could a sex coach not have a Playa lover? And this was also the greatest “aha” moment for me on the Playa. I came to the realization that even when there are 70,000 sexy, near naked sweaty bodies, all crammed together in a 2 mile radius in the middle of the desert,
the desire and need for love and human connection, is still the precursor for having great sex.
How did you experience sex on the playa? Love your comments!