Relationship Survival at Burning Man: What You Need to Know

Burning Man can be a great test for relationships. You are exposed to more stimulus, temptation, and “put my needs first” pressure than almost anywhere else in human civilization. If your relationship can survive and flourish at Burning Man, it probably has a lot of strength off Playa as well.

Burner Marcia has written these tips for surviving Burning Man in a committed relationship.

From askingforwhatyouwant:


Burning Man is a weird and wonderful place where all sorts of mind-blowing stuff can happen. However, some things are predictable. Here’s what to know ahead of time.

You will fight and it will probably be because you’re dehydrated. If you catch yourselves fighting doesn’t assume it mean the end of the world, and instead check your self-care. My camp has a rule that if you saw two people getting snippy with each other, separate them and make them drink water and sit in the shade for a bit. This rule saved several relationships that I know of. Make it your own. 

Time works differently on the playa. When you’re making dates with your sweetie, try to schedule them according to the sun, rather than the clock. It’s much easier to meet up back at camp “around sunset” than to try to do something at 4pm. Clocks have little meaning in an environment of immediacy, and you’ll only cause yourself frustration if you try to keep both of you on some sort of schedule. 

Expectations will fuck you up. If you think something is going to be a certain way, or your sweetie is going to do a certain thing, you will almost always be disappointed. It is far better to set some intentions, do the best you can, assume others are doing the best they can, take responsibility for getting your own needs met, and then roll with whatever shows up.

Mushroom People at Burning Man 2010There will be eye-candy. Lots of it. Sweaty, scantily-clad eye candy. Get clear ahead of time what is and isn’t okay, and what your intentions are in regards to this eye candy. Do you want to make out with strangers together on Threesome Thursday? Look but don’t touch? Plan one day where you go your separate ways and whatever happens happens? Talk ahead of time about what you each want, but don’t push each other’s boundaries. Burning Man is a strange, magical place, but you want to be on speaking terms when you leave. Respect your boundaries and agreements. 

You will need lube. It’s the desert. When it’s time for the two of you to make sweet, sweet love, make sure you have lube, water, condoms and baby wipes ready to go. 

For more handy tips, check out the Burning Man Relationship Survival Guide.

Talk things through ahead of time, but stay flexible and spontaneous. Be nice to each other and enjoy the ride! 

Love, Marcia


5 comments on “Relationship Survival at Burning Man: What You Need to Know

  1. Pingback: There’s A New Sheriff In Town | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  2. Most of all it should be remembered that a person of means should be able to tup the help without recourse and that the code of conduct for servants is that this is a masters right and privilege. Also the local constabulary should wink and look the other way men of privilege are involved. Of course it may be necessary to grease the wheel in this case but, all in all, that’s how the real world works anyway.

  3. Bringing your girlfriend out there is about the worst thing a guy can do. Generally you’ll be doing all the work, including making sure you buy a full-length mirror from Walmart in Reno. Don’t forget this mirror, not because she’ll blame you for not getting it, but because it’ll be useful as a magnet for everyone in your camp who has cocaine.

    She’ll blame you for just about everything anyway. When she comes back to camp after an afternoon of partying out on the playa, she’ll usually have 1 or 2 guys in tow. These guys will seem cool at first, but are actively looking to bump you out of the picture to assure they get laid on Saturday night. You’re in their way.

    When Saturday night does roll around, so will the guys she has put on her hook. But here’s the catch – she NEEDS a ride home on Sunday, and you are it. She won’t blow this, and in most cases – wont blow them when you’re around. She doesn’t want to get mooped on the playa, but she does want to fuck the guys she’s attracted all week. And you’re in the way.

    So in the interest of getting home safely on Monday morning (back to work), she will hang out with you on Saturday night, maybe even Sunday. But while you’re checking into your suite at the CalNeva thinking everything has been more or less okay at the event, that’s when she will choose to unleash all her frustrations on you. How you kept her down the whole week. How you never really truly honestly understood her.

    So you sit there, looking out over Lake Tahoe, after a long shower and a 30 minute dump in the clean toilet of your hotel room and think… how the fuck did this all go so wrong?

    You might want to ask the CalNeva concierge, because he’s already fucked her twice.

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