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What You Need To Know About Having Sex At Burning Man

Shaun Galanos

August 23, 2022

And five myths that you need to get out of your head

What You Need To Know About Having Sex At Burning Man

Having sex at Burning Man is like having sex in real life; it’s not so easy to come by if you don’t know the secret handshake.

If you want to learn what I do to have Burning Man sex, you’ve come to the right place.

Every year at Burning Man, over 100,000 people make the pilgrimage to a little patch of the dusty Black Rock Desert to build a small self-sustaining town from scratch.

People come together to create a week-long community for artists, circus clowns, misfits, and squares to come together to party like rock stars, make art, and set a bunch of shit on fire.

And then clean it all up to disappear without a trace.

It’s quite a sight to behold.

And while partying, building art, and setting shit on fire is terrific, there’s more to it.

For many, Burning Man is a playground that allows for near-infinite connection. And for an extroverted, gregarious flirt like me, it’s heaven on Earth.

And for many people, it’s an opportunity to explore their sexuality and connect in sexy ways with scantily-clad, playful souls, and I don’t blame them.

Almost every first-time participant I know has the goal of having sex at Burning Man. But having sex at Burning Man is a lot like having sex in real life; it’s not so easy to come by if you don’t know the secret handshake.

Oh, you didn’t know there was a secret handshake? Well, read on my dusty little love muffin.

Wanna have sex at Burning Man?

Join the club. Having sex at Burning Man is like trying to find the holy grail for some folks. And I get it; I’ve been there too. We’ve all been there at some point. And some are still there, looking for that playa miracle.

If you’re reading this, you probably fall into one of three (theme) camps.

  1. You have sex at Burning Man.
  2. You don’t have sex at Burning Man.
  3. You wish you could have more sex at Burning Man.

People belonging to the first camp, I get you.

What can I say? I love sex; It’s a beautiful way of connecting with someone, and I’m a sucker for building intimacy.

And having sex at Burning Man can be fun, spontaneous, adventurous, and exciting. What’s not to love?

Something about the desert, the heat, the scantily clad humans, the sleep deprivation, and the sensory overload makes having sex at Burning Man even more exciting.

Not to mention, Burning Man is the sexiest place I know, and the playa (what “burners” call the desert surface where the event takes place) has a way of making everyone look extra delicious.

Despite all the benefits and the seemingly-endless amount of people to play with, some people aren’t into having sex at Burning Man.

Some people just don’t have sex at Burning Man

Having sex at Burning Man is not without its challenges, and some people just aren’t up to the task. No big deal. It’s not for everyone.

Maybe it’s not a priority because you’re in it for the art, dancing all day and night, and riding your bike all over town. Great.

Or perhaps you’re committed to your theme camp (I’m sure it’s an excellent theme camp, by the way), and you’re there to blow people (not like that) away with your circus performances.

Or you’re all about running the Burning Man Ultra Marathon and then recovering from it.

Or maybe you don’t do casual sex, and just because you’re at Burning Man, it doesn’t mean you’re going to start.

Having sex at Burning Man is certainly not for everyone, and if that’s you, no judgment here. You do, you boo-boo.

Some just want a playa miracle

The rest of you probably fall into the camp of wishing you could be having sex at Burning Man but not sure how to go about it. I get you because that was me.

Maybe you’ve gotten lucky once but haven’t been able to reproduce those results. Perhaps you see people hooking up left and right, and you wonder what those folks are doing that you’re not.

Or maybe no matter what you do or how hard to try, you still walk back to your dusty little tent at the end of a disappointing night.

And since you most likely didn’t have sex at Burning Man in 2020 and 2021 because of a little thing called a global pandemic, you can still learn a few tricks and prepare for 2022.

And guess what? Some of these tips translate very well to the ‘default’ world.

So, let’s get to work then, shall we?

5 myths about having sex at Burning Man

1. Burning Man is just one big ol’ orgy


I know of one camp offering a safe and private play space where it’s appropriate for you to experience group sex: The Orgy Dome. There are certainly a few more underground ones, but the orgies are far and few for the most part.

You might want to reconsider if you’re hoping to visit an orgy to get your rocks off. Most organized play spaces require you to show up with a partner and adhere to a strict code of conduct to make sure everyone has a pleasant experience.

And most sex parties/sex workshops at Burning Man often forbid single men to attend. One common strategy is to find a single woman to accompany you, and if you can pull that off without coming off creepy, chapeau my friend.

However, if you’re a man looking for a gay party, the more, the merrier (in most cases).

2. Everyone is naked at Burning Man


99% of folks at Burning Man are wearing enough clothing 99% of the time to conceal their genitals fully.

Some notable exceptions are topless bike rides and shirtcocking parties, but for the most part, most people aren’t naked.

Sure, folks aren’t wearing much during the day because it’s often a sweltering 46°C (115°F), and wearing booty shorts and a tiny top is all you can do to not pass out from heat exhaustion.

3. It’s easy to have sex at Burning Man


It’ll be about as easy to have sex at Burning Man as it is for you to have sex outside of Burning Man.

If you’re not used to having casual sex in your daily life, your chances won’t magically increase because you’re at Burning Man.

The usual rules of attraction, courtship, and consent apply, but on an accelerated schedule.

The ‘vacation-effect’ positively impacts your chances because many people running around the playa will be more receptive to your playfulness. It is one big ass party, after all.

4. Everyone is filthy


Dirty little dust muffins are filthy, but even they clean up after a birdbath and some baby wipes.

People have access to ‘showers’ (I’m using it in the loosest way possible here). From RVs to portable sun showers, large-scale camp showers, to washing in a soapy bucket, people bathe. Maybe not as much as they should, but most do.

Sure, some folks are deep into their mystical journey. They’ll leave camp and return several days later covered in multiple layers of playa, sunscreen, sweat, tears, unicorn juice, and glitter.

But even the most dedicated power hippie will be as good as new after a quick power wash.

burning man sex

OK. They’re going to need a deep clean. Photo by the incredibly talented: Sidney Erthal Photography

5. It’s too hot to have Burning Man sex


Well. That’s not entirely wrong. It IS hot as balls.

But it does cool down in the evening and can even dip into the single digits at night. Sure, having sex when it’s a sweltering 115°F can be a bit brutal, but what else would you rather be doing?

You’re already a big sweaty mess; you might as well get even more sweaty with another person, right?

Now that we’ve gotten some myths out of the way, let’s get to why you’re here.

5 tips to help you have sex at Burning Man

1. Talk to people

Step one of meeting someone to have sex with is meeting someone to have sex with. And you can’t do that unless you meet people.

So put on your fanciest dress, get on your bike, and go on an adventure.

Talk to people with no expectation that you’ll have sex with them.

Ask them what they love about Burning Man. Ask them if they can recommend a theme camp you should visit. Ask them what scary and exciting things they’ve done that day.

Most folks at Burning Man are open to being approached and will gladly engage with you, as long as you don’t give them a creepy-crawly vibe.

Here’s my favorite opening line:

“Wanna thumb-wrestle?”

Hey, I get that going up to people can be a nerve-wracking experience and much easier said than done. If you’re shy, nervous, introverted, or simply don’t have much experience going up to strangers, remember this:

No one knows you at Burning Man, and you have nothing to lose. Use it as one big crazy experiment. You can do this. If things get awkward, simply say, “OK, thanks!” and walk away.

They’ll think you were part of some weird performance art they didn’t understand.

2. Use your words

So you met a cutie, and you two are hitting off? Great!

Don’t be afraid to tell them that you find them charming. If they respond favorably, don’t be scared to invite them on a playa date!

Can it be that easy? It can 100% be that easy!

Can you ask someone if they’d like to get naked with you?

Yes. Totally!

But you know, you just have to do it. Use your words. Trust me; most people don’t do this. You’ll stand out and get a better chance of getting what you want (sex, remember?!).

Here are a few things you can ask after you’ve made sure that your potential playa squeeze is single or available to play (if they happen to be in an open relationship):

I think you’re great and I’m attracted to you. I’d love to get naked with you. Are you up for it?

I’m having a great time with you. If you’re interested, I’d love to have a sleepover with you.

Would you like to ride bikes and make out?

Would you like to come back to my camp and we can wash all this dust off? I have a shower/bucket/baby wipes.

Would you like to take each other’s clothes off and roll around in the dust?

If they say no, just reply with:

“OK, My loss!”

And walk away.

Or continue hanging out if you enjoy their company and are OK with not getting naked. You can have a blast with people and still keep your clothing on. It’s completely 100% possible.

If they say yes, then good job, you’re about to (hopefully) have sex at Burning Man.

You won Burning Man!

3. Stop trying so damn hard

Expect not to get laid, and you won’t be disappointed when you return to your camp all alone.

Going out with the expectation of getting laid is a surefire way of not getting laid. It’s like going out looking for a $100 bill on the ground.

Odds are you’ll spend all day looking at the ground and still come home empty-handed. People can spot desperate folks on the prowl from a mile away and do just about anything to avoid you.

Instead, go out to meet people you can connect with playfully. If you happen to make a connection with someone you’re attracted to, great. You’re one step closer to maybe having sex at Burning Man.

Fantastic if you end up making a whole bunch of connections with awesome people you don’t want to sleep with (or don’t want to sleep with you). You just made a ton of incredible friends. Great work.

4. Clean your room

Make your home swanky and inviting. There’s nothing sexy about a hot, dusty, stinky little tent with a half-inflated air mattress.

Transform your regular tent into a cozy little love nest by making some small upgrades.

Solar-powered Christmas lights (on a dimmer), a double bed (at the very least), a solar-powered fan, some tapestries, and some cozy bedding can make your home more appealing to a potential visitor.

Even better, build a yurt or get your hands on a dome to upgrade your home.

5. Wash your ass

Seriously. Wash your ass. Often. And then wash the rest of your body (including your genitals).

Don’t have a shower at your camp? Use a bucket with peppermint Bronner’s (it’ll make your butthole tingle) and wash with a washcloth. Easy peasy. Or make friends with your neighbor and ask to use their fancy shower setup. Bring water and whiskey to share.

In between showers, use unscented baby wipes to get rid of the sunscreen/lotion/sweat/playa combo. Baby wipe yourself before going to bed. Don’t forget your feet, bro; those things are looking hella dry!

It’s just like real life, accelerated

Having sex at Burning Man is a lot like having sex in real life. Because at the end of the day, Burning Man is real life.

Sure, it’s full of young(ish), sexy (ish), open(ish) people looking to have a good time. But the laws of attraction, common sense, and decency still apply at Burning Man.

You still need to approach people, introduce yourself, have a conversation, generate interest and spark, be open and available for connection., and then ask for what you want.

But once you’ve met someone interested in you and feel a genuine connection, you can be much more forward than in ‘real-life.’

Try it. You have nothing to lose, and if you get rejected, you’ll have a charming camp to return to, and you can make sweet love to yourself all night long.

So, what now?

Here are a few blog posts you might enjoy if having great, connected, and playful sex is important to you:

Are You Ready For Rebound Sex?

How (And Why) You Need to Talk About Sex

How To Be Great About Eating Pussy



Shaun Galanos

Shaun Galanos is a love coach and course creator. He teaches communication and intimacy tools for better relationships and more love.


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