Orgy On Up

Our post last year, The Ins And Outs of Organizing an Orgy, has been quite popular. The Orgy Dome organizers thanked us for promoting their fundraiser, they met their goal – “if you build it, they will cum”. This year they are raising money for Aphrodite’s Garden, a “couples flirt lounge”, where you can pair up before you dive in.

Nils_Bergslien-AfroditeLast year, 10% of Black Rock City’s population participated in an orgy at the dome. Presumably there are other orgies going on elsewhere too. This means that the population of orgiers, is at least twice the population of underage kids. “Burning Man is kid friendly” might be true for some, but “Burning Man is orgy friendly” is clearly true for everyone, families and grown-ups alike.

Here’s an interview with Lefty and Shade, the Orgyanizers.

Burners.Me: Burning Man says “no spectators”. What about the Orgy Dome? Can you go there if you like to watch, or does entering the dome mean you joined the orgy?
First people must understand what the definition of an “Orgy” is in sex positive culture. A gathering where two or more couples and/or groups engage in open sexual activity within the same space. This consensual, uninhibited indulgence of passions may, or may not, include group sex.  (see our web page An orgy is not synonymous with group sex. An orgy may contain group sex or it may not.  When more than one couple or moresome enters the Orgy Dome whether or not they play with others, they are participating in an orgy.
orgyWe practice enthusiastic consent.  Looking is OK, watching requires consent: It is ok and welcome to look around the room at all the sexy people in order to fuel your own sexual mojo.  If you want to intently watch another couple/moresome do their thing – to be an active viewer – then you need to ask.
This leads us into why we are creating Aphrodite’s Garden and expanding the Orgy Dome again.  For many couples this is a new experience or they just want to get out of their crowded RV or dusty tent and they don’t want to play with others. Other couples are looking for a new adventure and to explore new sexual boundaries, while others are polyamorous and actively looking for other like minded couples to play with.  But how do you tell them apart in a dark dome?  Aphrodite’s Garden creates an area for lovers to meet and flirt.  An idea for this year is to have “open to more” wrist bands for couples who are “open to more” to wear. This way effective communication can occur before people enter the dome.  Once inside, the new dome will be large enough to have separate sections for people who looking to join others and those who do not want to be approached by anyone they did not enter with.  No area is a free-for-all. You still must always ask and receive enthusiastic consent before you touch.
Burners.Me: Do you check the age of participants? Have you ever had any problems with underage people trying to sneak in?
 When people enter the reception area they are welcomed by our greeters.  We explain our rules with them and give them a small towel. We have safer sex supplies available as long as our supplies last and we are grateful for those who bring us condom or lube donations. If anyone looks underage we ask for their ID. If they are under 18 or they cannot produce identification we do not let them enter.
1995 mud orgy

before there was a dome: Mud Orgy, 1995

We cannot recall anyone under age trying to “sneak” in. Most burners are very respectful of our rules.  Even most singles who are informed that they are not allowed in without a partner are understanding.  There are a small number of singles (mostly men) who argue how un-burner we are for not letting them in. Those tend to be the same people who don’t understand why you would need to ask before you touch. If we were to let them in we would very soon have a Dome full of single men wondering where the orgy is.  Years ago we had an incident where two men slashed holes in two of our tents trying to get a look inside. They did not see anything, as our tent walls are insulated and decorated to keep the cool AC air in and dust out with felt curtains. But we chased them away too late and the damage to the tent structures was done.

Burners.Me: Do you get visited by the Health officials? Cops?
 We have not been visited by health officials. All we provide are big tents, no food or drinks, We just provide the space – the people who cum create the orgy.  I guess if you build it, they will cum. While cops walk by often, in our memory we were only visited by cops once when our founder Jennifer Steele was giving a class on “Getting to Know Your Asshole.” The Dome was packed and overflowing into the street.  So they stopped by to make sure everything was in order nothing was in public view.  She was just talking but no one could see inside past the crowd anyway.
Burners.Me: What do you do with people who seem intoxicated? 
With intoxication, if both or one look too intoxicated to make an informed consenting decision we do not let them in the dome and ask them to stay in our large reception area so we can monitor them to make sure they safely sober up.
Burners.Me: What do you say to people who say “Burning Man is just a big orgy in the desert?
There are 60,000 people at BRC and with a little over 7,000 people using the Orgy Dome we have a long way to go for a desert wide Orgy. But as we have always said to people in the default world – Burning Man it is what you think it is… and a hundred things more, you just need to open your eyes and look.  Bring supplies and leave expectations.
We hope these answers help you.  We greatly appreciate all the work you do for the BRC community.  Below is some info about our camp and the Indiegogo campaign. ( )
With Love & Fire,
Shade & Lefty
…and then there’s only LOVE is a place of fire, fun, and passion on the playa since 2003.
We are known for our 24 hour air conditioned Orgy Dome where all couples and moresomes can escape the dust and heat of Black Rock City. We are a part of the Black Rock Power Co-Op Village and are traditionally located on the corner of 4:00 and A.
We pride ourselves in creating a sex-positive, consensual space for couples and moresomes to play during their stay at Black Rock City.  The Dome is a safe, inclusionary, and exploratory environment.  All couples and moresomes who are adults, are welcome in the Dome – straight, lesbian, gay, bi, polyamorous and monogamous. We welcome the combination of love in all forms.
We estimate that around 7,000 people used our dome during Burning Man last year and we once again had lines to get inside, with couples waiting for others to leave the dome so they could fit inside.
The Playa is a wonderful place where people have life changing experiences.  For many people our Dome is one of them.  Many couples leave the Orgy Dome asking us where they can go to experience something similar.  We are proud of what we offer the residents of Black Rock City.
Due to increased popularity, we have been slowly growing and improving our dome over the last three years.  Thanks to generous contributors we expanded our dome in 2013. Good thing, as we had record numbers and we estimate that we will continue to grow.
Planning is underway for 2014 and we want to increase the size of the Dome again – sometimes bigger is better.  We are also looking at incorporating a meeting area for people who are open to more. We want to call this space Aphrodite’s Garden.  A place where couples can get in the mood or meet other like mined couples. Aphrodite’s Garden is a place where love can grow.
Every dollar donated counts!  Every penny we receive will go into making the Dome better for 2014 and years to come. Our ever growing popularity and the smiles and thank you’s we get is the fuel that keep us at ATTOL coming back year after year.

The Ins and Outs of Organizing an Orgy

by Whatsblem the Pro

You goddamn kids think you invented sex. Now get off my lawn!

You goddamn kids think you invented sex. Now get off my lawn!

And Then There’s Only LOVE (ATTOL) is a Burning Man theme camp that has been hosting the Orgy Dome, a 24-hour erotic playground, for the past decade. Last year the Dome hit maximum capacity most nights, serving an estimated 5,000 horned-up burners with clean towels, condoms, and more in a safe, comfortable, air-conditioned, fully-equipped, sex-positive space in which to roam and rut freely. It’s no wonder they made #5 on our list of Ten Ways to Get Laid at Burning Man back in April.

With the burgeoning demand in mind, ATTOL made plans to expand the size of the Orgy Dome for Burning Man 2013. They put together a budget to cover everything they would need to add an additional 20x20 structure, more air conditioning, better insulation, carpeting, couches, mattresses, curtains, and other hedonistic necessaries and accessories. . . but after digging deep down into their own pockets and pooling camp resources, they were still $2,500 short.

Camp organizers Lefty and Shade, with the help of camp founder Jennifer Steele, decided to crowdfund the Orgy Dome’s expansion. To this end, they began working on a Kickstarter campaign; they recorded original music and produced a video, designed rewards and placed orders for the production of their custom swag.

Shade and Lefty looking glum and despondent over Kickstarter's assholery

Shade and Lefty looking glum and despondent over Kickstarter’s assholery

When they submitted their project to Kickstarter, though, they got a generic rejection letter in response, saying that “adult content is prohibited.”

Kickstarter came under fire recently after a campaign by Ken Hoinsky asking for a mere $2000 raked in over $16,000 toward the publication of a book called Above the Game, which offered clueless man-douches advice on how to get women to have sex with them, including a section on something called “choke-fucking.” Some of Hoinsky’s ‘A’-game tips sound like advice for aspiring sexual predators: “physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances,” is one of the many rapey strategems he advocates, along with “pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.” Basically, stuff that’s reminiscent of those episodes of DEXTER that Julia Stiles guest-starred in.

Apparently, Kickstarter can’t tell the difference between Hoinsky’s obnoxious sophomoric literary expression of his conceptual difficulty with the idea of consent, and a Burning Man theme camp that lets consenting adults live out their 100% consensual fantasies in unobtrusively supervised safety. Kickstarter, having received the message that their clients don’t appreciate overtly predatory behavior, has interpreted that message to mean that SEX = BAD. They have changed their policies in order to preserve their market share, blatantly misapplied those policies, and in the process demonstrated that they don’t really know or care what all that rape-flap was really about.

"Con-sen-su-al? What's that, bro?"                "I dunno, bro. Some kinda fag stuff, I think."

“Con-sen-su-al? What’s that, bro?”                “I dunno, bro. Some kinda fag stuff, I think.”

Naturally, ATTOL appealed Kickstarter’s decision, and asked for clarification and suggestions as to how to bring their campaign’s content into line with Kickstarter’s standards. The response? Another generic rejection letter that pointed to Kickstarter’s guidelines. I took a look at those guidelines, and found two relevant entries. . . the first was something Kickstarter added on June 25th, 2013, in response to the outcry over Above the Game:

No self-help material (books, videos, etc). This includes projects that offer (or produce materials that offer) business, emotional, financial, health, medical, sex/seduction, or other self-help advice.”

The second relevant guideline doesn’t seem terribly relevant at all, as the Orgy Dome’s campaign contained no pornography:

No offensive material (hate speech, etc.); pornographic material; or projects endorsing or opposing a political candidate.”

Someone at Kickstarter is going quite a bit beyond the actual guidelines in their zeal to avoid another scandal like the one that erupted over Above the Game, in spite of the fact that those guidelines have been modified specifically to prevent that from happening. There is some very mild and brief nudity – bared breasts – in ATTOL’s fundraiser video, but bared breasts are not ‘pornography.’ The word refers to pictures of people having sex, not pictures of people with their clothes off. . . and inasmuch as that might seem like splitting hairs, it’s worth mentioning that other Kickstarter campaigns that feature nudity (but not pornography) and other adult content are approved regularly. The Kickstarter people themselves clearly recognize that bared breasts are not ‘pornography,’ and “no pornographic material” is as close as their guidelines get to a rule that is relevant to the Orgy Dome campaign, but nonetheless they shut ATTOL down.

Kickstarter’s explanation? A bit of boilerplate citing a rule that doesn’t actually appear in their list of rules and guidelines, and that they don’t usually enforce, to the effect that “no adult content is allowed.”

Disappointed but undeterred, our consensually sensual friends at ATTOL decided to run their own campaign and give out their swag just as planned, and Kickstarter be damned.

As ATTOL organizer Shade told me, “we were less familiar with Indiegogo, and were concerned about spending time editing and resubmitting our campaign to them only to possibly be denied again after another week of waiting, so we just did it ourselves. With what we know now, we would have just started with Indiegogo.”

Wanna fuck? You can help make sure there’s a premium, fully-equipped spot for that on the playa by visiting their homebrewed donations page and tossing ATTOL a bone. You might just get a bone tossed right back at you in the Orgy Dome. . . with your consent, naturally.

A glimpse into the environmentally sealed and sanitary interior of the Dome

A glimpse into the environmentally sealed and sanitary interior of the Dome