One For The Ladies

When asked about gender, 39% of Burners identify as “women” and 1% as “fluid”.

Burner Valkyrie from Camp Rockstar (2 & C) has shared some useful information for the fairer sex.


I’m bringing a new theme camp this year with quite a few virgins. One of the ladies contacted me seeking info about having your period on the playa. she stated that there was little info out there on the subject and she was embarrassed to ask. So I wrote this and I hope could share it with their lady audience.

women of burning-man11Dearest  Ladies,
I’d like to open the conversation and share some helpful information about a Burning Man inevitable….. Getting your period on the Playa.

I had my period my first year at Burning Man and what I can offer from that week is that full body glitter is a bad call when you are on your period and are cleaning yourself in a bucket with a spray bottle.
It’s going to be gross and a pain in the ass (you are on your period in a Porta Potty…) but here are some tips to ease the pain and take great care of yourself:

1.  Baby Wipes – you will use more than one package of baby wipes to clean yourself throughout the week. Feet, nails, ears, nose… and your nether regions. Remember wipe front to back and take special care of your butt if you are resting your bare booty on a bicycle seat.  Butt rash is a thing and thank goddess for the Hiney Hygiene Station. (Seriously)

2.   Waste Management – at Burning Man you have to take everything with you and this includes your trash. The Porta Potties are 2 1 ply only.  So what do you do with your used baby wipes, tampons and pads?
Ziplock lock bags.  Bring a gallon sized Ziplock bag (decorate with colored duct tape to red flag as your personal item) and deposit your waste there.  This is an important aspect of having a MOOP bag, backpack, etc. If you are using a utility belt I would recommend a smaller sized Ziplock bag.  When you return to your camp you may deposit your baby wipes and tampons in your camps burnable trash (paper) receptacle.  Pads (because of the plastic) go in the regular trash.
MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) maintenance is a very important aspect of the Burning Man experience.  My first year I was gifted a great little MOOP bag to keep me accountable for my trash.  A simple cloth drawstring bag works great.  You can hook it on to your backpack or belt loop with a Carabeener.  Your MOOP bag is a great place to keep your Ziplock Period Bag.
A small toiletries bag would also work well to hold your Ziplock Period Bag.

Some find this essential

Some find this essential

3.  Tampon, Pad or Diva Cup? – Whatever works for you! I’ve used all three at some point on the Playa.
I will say this –
the Diva Cup is the most environmentally friendly and cheapest option and dramatically cuts down on the waste that YOU have to carry. Always make sure your hands are clean (baby wipes) before you remove or deposit the cup and always bring water with you when you empty the contents in the cup in the porta potty so you may clean your cup.  Aaaaand baby wipes…
Tampons are the easiest to put in and remove however you still need those baby wipes and you have to carry all the dirty pon pons with you.  ( I hope somebody appreciates that I just said pon pon).
Pads are great if you want to air yourself out at night.  Still a lot of trash.  If you are a heavy night bleeder like me then you might want to prepare yourself with some special period pants (black) in case of inevitable accidents.

4.     Sex on your Period on the Playa – Do it if the moment strikes you and if you have baby wipes, a towel and an indifference to pulling out your tampon in front your partner.

5.    Gifting – gifting feminine hygiene products is an awesome and very much appreciated way to participate at Burning Man. I had a great time “decorating” a Porta Potty at last years Burn with an assortment of lady products and incense and took special pride when my camp mates preferred my Potty over the others.

jug aiming6.   Yeast Infections – if you know you are prone to this awful inconvenience prepare ahead and bring the necessary meds and vitamins with you.

7.   Get a massage! Take advantage of the rad shower camps at Burning Man and pamper yourself on your period!  Take a class related to femininity!  Dive into your hippy side and connect with your goddess energy and take a moment to reflect with the Moon.  Take this opportunity to make your period a positive experience by giving special attention to your sacred femininity.  Burning Man is a sacred place and a home for women especially to feel safe and expressive.

In closing, I can’t stress enough diligence in regards to cleaning your body parts when you are caring for your cycle.  Be efficient and plan ahead.  Be smart and find ways to pack small.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, comments or “howdy’s”.


Camp Rockstar
2:00 and Cinnamon

Marco’s R-Evolution

truth-and-beauty-2013Marco Cochrane‘s amazing sculptures are built by hand, a combination of clay molding and spot welding. Bliss Dance is so strong that you could walk on her torso, and yet all the weight is concentrated on a single foot. Last year, Truth is Beauty debuted in all her glory, and was surely one of the most memorable art pieces of the year. If you went to Burning Man and took photos, but didn’t get one of this, I’d be amazed. The first time I went to check it out they gave me a bracelet to show supports for the sisters on the Playa – which was pretty special to me personally because my sister was flying in later that day for her first Burn.

Now Marco is creating the third installment in his Bliss Project series, R-Evolution. Support the project here. He has used the same model throughout the series, 6-foot tall Deja Solis. “Truth is beauty represents the moment of her accepting her truth: that she’s tall”, says Marco.

The Monterey County Weekly shares the back story to the series:

He found his model in the now-shuttered Blockbuster Video next to the Pacific Grove Trader Joe’s. And he let her, Monterey native Jamie Deja Solis, pick the poses for his pieces.

For “Truth Is Beauty,” she chose a stretching moment she remembered in front of the mirror, finally embracing the atypical height that had always made her self-conscious. “He asked me, ‘When did you truly feel beautiful?’” Solis says. “I was learning to self-love.”

At the base of the statue in Black Rock Desert, a single question written in hundreds of languages asked onlookers to consider a world where that kind of comfort, freedom and security were realized: “What would the world be like if all women were safe?” Safe to be themselves, to be open and affirming, to be beautiful.

“Women always tell me, ‘I’m safe,’” says Cochrane, now based in Mill Valley. “But can you walk down street and look a man in eye and smile?’ ‘No way,’ they say.”

They held talks and distributed 10,000 wristbands with a picture of the sculpture and the words, “We stand with you,” starting right there at Burning Man. There are no available stats on sexual assault on the playa, but anecdotes are all too easy to come by. And the reporting is complicated by the lack of rape kits to collect forensic evidence in Black Rock City.

“It was weirdly magical to meet so many folks,” Solis says. “Sometimes it was making a woman know she can be beautiful, that she didn’t need to force it. Other times it was telling her partner to stay present when she’s feeling open. Men often don’t allow the vulnerability to be open and truly share. They should be able to feel that and express it.”

Now an international tour is in the offing, with which Cochrane will continue asking people to look at body language more than body parts. “If you’re a man and you’re straight, you’ve been stunned by a woman before,” Cochrane says. “But there is a real person living in that body. Deja is a regular person. The statute is intended to be stunningly beautiful, to knock your socks off, but remind you there’s a real person there, and she’s safe.”

Maybe most stunning of all: That we need to be reminded one in three women has been sexually assaulted. But “Truth Is Beauty” also reminds us, even ugly truths can be stunningly beautiful.

There’s certainly a noble message behind Marco’s art, which is something you won’t find everywhere at the world’s biggest mutant art festival. For example, I’m thinking, the Arctic Boob Cooler I remember from 2004 was maybe towards the other end of the spectrum of nobility – yet also very popular and memorable.

For R-Evolution, Marco has created a 15-foot high clay sculpture of the piece from her lithe form.

If you like the art, support the project. Here’s some details from Marco:

How was Cargo Cult for you? 

Wow what a year we had!  With all of your help, we were able to raise enough money to complete Truth is Beauty and bring her to Burning Man in 2013.  We are so gratified by the response she received on the Playa – even we were amazed at how she looked from different angles, at different times a day, and OH! the light shows – 6 different shows thanks to Ka-Ping Yee, our uber-talented lighting engineer!!

We felt awe witnessing the impact on people as they read the inscription around her base: “What Would the World be Like if Women Were Safe?”  There was Playa magic when Truth is Beauty replaced the “I” in BELIEVE after it fell down in the pre-event windstorms and when she held a rainbow or the sun.  There were the hundreds of people who stopped us to tell us their own personal stories of how they were affected when they saw her, and thousands who wrote their feelings and opinions down in the books we provided.  We handed out nearly 10,000 “Together We Stand” wristbands, calling on those who wore them to take active responsibility for the safety of their sisters; each a unique opportunity for a personal connection and conversation.  It was such a success, we are working on how to bring this campaign to the wider world!

Thank you…Thank you…Thank You…for opening your hearts and minds to the messenger and the meaning!!

 What’s Next?

I have started work on R-Evolution, the third sculpture in the Bliss Project series.  I recently finished the 15 foot clay sculpture  – the first stage in the process – and plan to start the mold to cast the pieces from which the steel structure will be built in the next week or so.

Our plan is to debut her at Burning Man 2015.  Why not this year?  These sculptures take thousands of hours to build and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  It simply cannot be done in one year.  So, we embark on another two-year build, but we really need your help because we not only need time, we need funds as well!  Through a combination of this campaign, grants and generous individual donors and foundations we hope to be able to raise all of the money we need this year to get R-Evolution where she needs to be so that we can complete her in time for her planned debut.

To meet our goal, we will need to have her torso and calves complete by August.  To do this, we need to be able to purchase the steel, and all of the ancillary welding materials as well as the rust-treatment on these pieces.  Of course we will also have to cover operating costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, certified welders, engineering and labor for those who will be working full-time.

What is R-Evolution?

Another collaboration with Deja Solis , R-Evolution is different than Bliss Dance and Truth is Beauty. There is no overt action in her expression; she is not dancing in the face of danger, she is not reaching to meet herself and find her own truth.  In R-Evolution, Deja explores and expresses what she feels like when she can just be…a whole person… a woman, radiating her energy into the world.  Of course, this won’t solve everything, but we think a world where women are free to just be is an essential first step.  It’s R-Evolution it’s…

                     What the world will be like when women are safe.

What was your inspiration for the Bliss Project Series?

The story of R-Evolution and The Bliss Project began when I was 7-years old and my best friend was a 9-year old little girl.  One day I was told, in way too much detail for a little boy, that she had been raped right outside of my house.  It was incomprehensible, horrible, I never forgot, I never understood…it still haunts me.  I thought…that man couldn’t have realized my friend was a person…if he really could see her, this wouldn’t have happened.

I grew up in the Bay Area in the 60’s and 70’s, in the philosophical revolution and turbulence of those times.  I learned to deeply appreciate feminine energy, influence and strength…and realized that the objectification of women imprisoned women and also men.  I also saw first-hand that one person, or a small group of people, can start a movement that can make a difference and change the course of history.

In my 20s I discovered sculpting, and in particular, the joy of seeing and then sculpting women; of the healing energy and power that I saw when women were not afraid…when they could be present, when they could be themselves, speak their minds…and the heroism it takes to do this in the face of real danger in their daily lives.  For more than 25 years I have been sculpting women.  At first glance, they appear to be classical figurative nudes, but they are not.  They are radically modern…revolutionary.  These women are safe, present. Look at them. They have chosen their own expression, so you will see the actual woman, the person, her energy and spirit.  It is my intent that these sculptures exude this healing energy and inspire us to take action; to finally say enough is enough.

What can Burners do to help?

Art can illuminate the human condition and be a catalyst to social change …My hope is to expand human consciousness and inspire men and women to take action to end violence against women, beginning a healing process that will make room for women’s voices, thus allowing all of us to live fully and thrive! I am asking you to stand with us!

Thank you to everyone for the incredible support you have provided in the past, and to everyone who is considering supporting R-Evolution. There is just no way projects like this could happen without you!

Donate now and spread the word. We have some great perks, including pendants, mini-sculptures  – 6 inch versions – experiences., etc.  Plus, everyone get’s a Together We Stand Wristband.  Check it out!

Visit Bliss Dance now on Treasure Island, San Francisco – even little babies who can’t speak yet love it.