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Burn Men Festival

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Category: festival
Where: Black Rock City Nevada, United States
When: 29 Aug - 5 Sep 2017

The annual Burning Man Arts Festival in the scorching Nevada desert has a reputation for nudity, public sex, and random hookups. In fact, many veteran Burners come every year for that very reason. And why the bleep not? As Doctor Sigmund Freud reminds us, sex is a very powerful motivator.

Upon arrival, all first-timers are asked to ring a bell at the entrance and roll around on the ground to "make love with the dust, so you'll become one with the playa." These newcomers will also experience having their butts spanked by the welcoming crew. Get used to it they'll say, grab ass is part of the repertoire. First-time Burners are universally called "virgins," another strong sexual connotation to an event bursting with them. The sexual vibe begins before the citizens of Black Rock City even arrive. Old-timers will tell you the event has always favored a strong release of pheromones.

Before the annual event moved out to a dry lakebed in northeastern Nevada called the Black Rock Desert, it started on a nude beach in San Francisco, California. Founder Larry Harvey inadvertently started a cultural phenomenon when he lit the first match in 1986 on San Francisco's Baker Beach, the second oldest nude beach in America. It can be argued that the gift economy, clothing-optional atmosphere, and the anything goes ethos started out on Baker Beach. A nudist Burner tribe still hangs out there on sunny days. When National Park police shut down the annual solstice bonfire on the forth year, Harvey and his friends moved the event from the beach to the desert.


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