Adult Disney World: The Burning Man


I survived my very first Burning Man in the middle of nowhere far into the dusty Nevada desert! Sigh…what an experience! I was told to go there with an open mind and armed with endless dose of sense of humor. It turned out to be the most required prerequisite for survival in the rave/disco music and open bar drenched community of love, happiness and sharing! Yes, you read right, sharing! You see, the festival of life, uninhibited and radical inclusion also depends on participants’ unconditional desire to share all things from liquor, food, wisdom, art, erotic pleasures, knowledge, just to name a few. The number only mode of “official” mode of transportation are bicycles but of course yours truly had to pimp out a pink tricycle to make a feminine statement complete with an official Shoeholics plate license.

The 28 year old festival where the unusual is normal, is definitely not for the faint hearted for many reasons.  Acquiring tickets to attend the affair is mind blogging. You basically have an hour window in February to buy the always sold out 70,000+ tickets online! Thinking about buying them at the gate is a suicidal mission. Some participants (which always includes founders of Facebook, Google, celebrities like Will Smith, Michelle Rodriquez, P Diddy, et. al and no one takes notice of them at the Burn) save up during the entire year to acquire RVs, tents, a week supply of food and booze, while some of the aforementioned celebrities simply whisk their way in on private jets paying landing fees to the tune of $25,000 to arrive just mere minutes next to the location. Others have to endure the 6-12 hours drive from all works of life. Gotta to say the social network of people, free boozing and hard partying ahead at the Burn makes it all worth the effort. Once there, no money must change hands and one must leave no trace of existence once it’s all over. You take out all that you bring in.

10649717_10152769421616654_2157132301037595593_nGenerous burners offered free classes ranging from yoga, free body scrub, belly dancing, spanking, psychic to erotic massages. One of the days included a 50k marathon race around the playa for a cause. Like any big city where accidents can happen, a young lady (perhaps drunk) made a fatal attempt to climb into a moving mutant car and swiftly met her death. Participants are warned ahead of time (on the back of their tickets) that they basically attend the event at their own risk. So you can imagine there won’t be any lawsuit coming up about that fatal accident. So sad. RIP. 🙁

It is not uncommon to spot nudity and erotic arts at the Burning Man. To be frank, after a few hours of dealing with dusty wind and sand in all manner of places where the sun don’t shine on your body, the last thing on your mind would be to gawk at nudist at the Burn. You sort of become immune to the shock value. Mind you, this is also a family friendly affair. I not only spotted pregnant women but also kids as young as a baby. I spoke to one of the parents about their decision to bring their kids to such an event. They said it was a fast track to learning about the “birds and the bees” story and have grown used to seeing so much in their short lives that it means absolutely nothing to them anymore. Dare I say that they had a point! A naked woman walked by an 8 year old boy on a bike and he didn’t even do a double take in her direction!

I was however slightly shocked at how “vanilla” the event was. Not only was the music heavy on the rave and disco set but also the attendees lacked in diversity. Each person of color I ran into was also surprised to see me and vice versa. We were all counting each other! I spotted no more than 50 people of color, most of whom were gay men who came with their caucasian partners, and mainly from San Francisco. It felt as if the entire population of San Francisco emptied into the event with just a few international hard burners to pepper the census. As a result, my afro hair got more attention than the wearer –me! I stood out everywhere I went! No, I’m not complaining. 🙂

The height of the event was the burning of the 80 feet wooden man on the 7th day with fire performers and mutant cars blasting music giving the atmosphere the kind of energy you can never get from being high or drunk. This is the D-Day.  I was told that the “man” normally takes 20-30 min to burn and fall. As a virgin burner, you can imagine my disappointment when the unburnable man took more than 3 hours to take his fall. By the time I gave up and got up from my sandy seat, my legs were numb. I was falling as I walked back to my RV location. The next day was a more sombre affair at the burning of the temple. You see, this is were burners come to pay their respects to past loved ones or simply to meditate. It’s a more spiritual affair with complete silence while the temple burns, a huge contrast to the high charging partying energy when the man burns. I found this particular day to be the most important highlight for me because it was a soul searching moment, a time to reflect.

10518688_10152769413696654_6868874869976767509_nUnlike the blue chip CEO’s who had the luxury of flying back within seconds after the event, my team and I had to endure what would have been a smooth 9 hours ride back to Las Vegas to return the rented RV. Instead, the journey took 2 days and 3 tow trucks thanks to dead batteries, flat tire and a defective spare tire! The full detail about that ordeal will be posted at a later date. Thank goodness we all alive and well.

Overall, will I ever go back to experience the Burning Man again? Hell to the yeah! Where else would you legally see an event full of naked people, free booze/food, 24 hours partying, unique art and open heart of giving unconditionally in America!

To all of my fellow burners out there, thanks for such a lovely first year experience. See you all soon.

Please peruse the following sample of images. Hope they are to your liking. Full gallery of pictures are available on my Facebook page. Also join me on Instagram!

Next stop, OKTOBERFEST in Germany! Stay tuned for that coverage! 🙂

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