It's that time of year when thousands from all over the globe will convene in the middle of the desert to lose themselves in debauchery, fornication, intoxication, and rock 'n' roll. Yes, it is the time for Burning Man, which takes place during the last week of August in Black Rock City, 120 miles north of Reno. If you are around the area and wish to immerse yourself into the untamed culture of the Wild West, be open-minded and come prepared. Here's what you need to know.
1. There is No Commerce at Burning Man
There are no stores, restaurants, gas stations, parking lots, hotels, motels, rest areas — no nothing. While there are a few portable toilets dispersed throughout, it might become more suitable to splurge and rent an RV with friends, basking in the luxury of your private bathroom, complete with AC and a shower. Remember, Nevada is one of most barren of all states, especially this region, which is close towards the salt flats in neighboring Utah. You will be in the middle of nowhere. Make sure to bring an adequate supply of toilet paper, food and beverages.
2.You Will be Judged If You Don't Wear a Costume
People at this party take their outfits seriously. Instead of wearing jeans and a T-shirt, be certain to wear a mask, a hat, and/or some form of makeup, and above else, comfortable footwear. Something, anything, just as long as it stands out, where it won't warrant criticism from fellow participants.
3. Public Nudity and Sex Abound
The scorching sun, with temps usually reaching past 100 at noon with winds exceeding 75 mph, has its own way of bringing out the beast in many. If you are a virgin to the experience, you will be asked to "make love with the dust" (roll around on the ground) by the welcoming crew, after which you will receive a spanking. As you find a place for your tent or RV, or even the respective camp to which you belong, expect to see droves of adult females and males, of all ages and shapes, roaming with enthusiasm and pride in their birthday suits with drinks in hand. You might want to invest in some sunblock.
4.Burning Man Originated on a Nude Beach in San Francisco
Before the infamous event took place in the Black Rock desert in northeastern Nevada, it began in the Bay Area. Larry Harvey, the brainchild behind the event, produced the sensational revolution in 1986 on the clothing-optional Baker Beach. Eventually, when the National Park police closed down the event in 1990, it shifted to the desert with all of its glory and nudity following. This cultural movement is considered the "Woodstock" of the west. Anything can and will happen.
5.Burning Man Random Hookups Are Variously Known as "Tent Trysts," "Playa Sex," "Dust Love" or "Burner Affairs"
"What happens on the playa, stays on the playa" was utilized way before the logo for tourism in Las Vegas was stolen for their marketing campaign. It is a known fact that whatever goes down in this expansive wasteland, with whomever, whenever, are treasured as secret acts that never took place. Regardless of your preferences, bring plenty of water, towels and condoms.
6. There are Private, Sex-Themed Parties with Wet Bars Galore
There is a place known as "The Libido Lounge" where the annual "Fig Leaf Party" and "Triple X Prom Night" take shape. This is known to many as the swinger party, where the punch is always spiked and the option of random partners is there for the taking. Last but not least, the most famous club for the most randy is the "Canadian Beaver Licking Contest." Aside from being in long lines for hours, you must prove that you are a part of heterosexual couple who won't engage in sexual penetration. Good luck!
7.The Quirkier, the Better
Those who flock here are encouraged to bring any weird or unique artsy invention or construction — something that one wouldn't find in the land of normal. Cred is handed to those who dazzle others with originality and creativity. In many cases, the most outlandish pieces will become part of the many surrounding installations and dress masquerades. It has also been said that many receive a smooch or a joint from judges for their artistic contribution.
8. There is More Than Just Sex and Drinks
For those who are physically active, there are plentiful activities to remain fit and alert, presumably apart from your most drunken counterparts. Some of these include disco roller skating, pole-dancing sessions, meditation classes, dancing parties, and the distinctive phone booths where you can supposedly reach out to God. Something for everyone.
9. You Are Not Alone: Volunteers Are Plentiful
The Burning Man festival is facilitated by more than 2,000 volunteers who are willing to help visitors find their way amidst the chaos. Volunteers actively participate through the Camp Hook Up Service in assisting fellow participants and gawkers. Volunteers are known to carry portable brief cases with chap stick, bike repair kits, glow toys, band aids, condoms, aloe vera gel, Gatorade, and aspirin. If you are lost or need a last minute supply of something, they are the people to approach. Have no fear.
10. Burning Man Takes its Name and Rules Seriously
Burning Man, branded as half arts festival and half social experiment, attracts more than 45,000 participants yearly. The event takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on a Saturday evening way back when. "Leave no trace behind" is the ubiquitous saying of this event. Willing participants must be at least 18 years of age, no exceptions. Given the amount of nudity and alcohol and mind-bending drugs, no minors will be allowed to engage in or spectate the insanity of it all. Pace yourself and enjoy!