‘Circle jerking and d**k pimping’: All the wildest stories from Burning Man festival
This is very different to Coachella
Chaos at Burning Man 2023 has reached apocalyptic levels: Relentless rainstorms, glue-like mud stopping attendees fleeing the festival site in their Jeeps— Reno Nevada’s Black Rock City desert is giving Fyre Festival a run for its money. But – even without intense weather warnings – Burning Man has never been a mellow Labor Day week excursion. No. There’s always been nudity, orgies and endless drug taking. So, as you might expect, the stories are wild.
There’s a long list of activities the festival is famous for. Closing is optional and guys can start their day with Circle Jerking (“Morning has c*m – So can you!”) – where they essentially wank off in a crowd of other men. There are daily whippings, happy ending massages and spankings in the Naughty Naked Village. There’s “respectfully weird” dildo fencing in the Comfy Cozy Voodoo Lounge, naked oil wrestling competitions in the Gymnasium camp and Pimp Your Dick workshops— where you can make your own leather cock ring between DJ sets.
And then, perhaps most famously, there’s the Orgy Dome. One of the only places with aircon in the entire festival, where “couples and moresomes” partner swap, experiment, or just watch the chaos unfold: “I was being fingered by one of the guys, while his wife was going down on Luke,” one participant told Cosmo of her foursome in the Orgy Dome in 2016. “Luke and I were just looking at each other the whole time, like, ‘OMG, this is rad.'”
So, as details continue to emerge about exactly what went down at Burning Man 2023 after the heavens opened, here’s a look back at the wildest stories to emerge from the festival and onto the internet over the past 37 years:
‘I traded 25 glow sticks for a plane ride with a guy who stabbed a nail through his penis’
Some of the best stories from Burning Man to come out online have been posted to numerous Reddit threads where people anonymously reveal what they saw in the Black Rock City desert. “I once traded 25 glow sticks for a ride on a small airplane that was nearly out of gas,” wrote one person. “[It was] flown by a crazy guy who I later saw drive a 16 penny nail through his d*ck, in to a 2*4, on stage in front of a couple hundred people.” Normal!
‘I was riding around the desert on acid inside a firetruck which could shoot out flames’
Another Reddit poster relayed a story their brother had told them: “My favourite story from his is ridiing around the desert on acid in a firetruck,” they said. “[It] was modified to shoot flames.” So glam. So safe x
‘I heard seven guys in a day broken their penises in the Orgy Dome’
The more you read into Burning Man anecdotes the more you realise the majority of them involve men breaking their dicks. Am I shocked? Unsure. Anyway. One Burning Man regular Sammy told The Sun: “I met a gentleman who had been at the Orgy Dome — the only camp with air conditioning, where you go and have sex.
“He was having sex with the seventh guy that day and broke his penis. He had to go to the nearest town and get stitches and was back at the playa the next day.” Not the admin you want at a ten day festival x
‘I got hosed off with 50 people in a Magic Foam shower to get clean from the desert’
Obv, one of the hazards of going to Burning Man is just how dusty (or in the case of this year, boggy) the Nevada desert’s conditions are. But organisers have thought of everything, including something called Dr Bronner’s Magic Foam Shower:
“You basically take a shower with 50 people,” Sammy explained. “You walk into this clear container and everyone’s naked, people spray you with Dr Bronner’s soap and then hose you down with water.Then you just hang and dance nude with a bunch of squeaky clean happy people. It’s a vibe.”
‘I heard one guy had his penis fully ripped off and doctors told him he’d never have normal genitals again’
And, of course, a health and safety hazard of riding around on quads, bikes and whatever other contraption you can find totally naked – often with penis piercing trailing alongside you, is serious injury. And one Burning Man attendee who’d gone to hospital for kidney stones wrote on Reddit she’d overheard an especially wince-inducing story:
“I could hear the surgeons talking with each other outside my room. One was explaining to the other that he had to tell a guy ‘his penis is entirely gone, fully degloved, totally ripped off. He’ll never have a normal penis again,'” she wrote. “The doctor sounded so worn out and done with Burners, I felt bad for him (the ER even had a Burning Man tally board, by the time I got there they had over 40 hash marks).
“I did spend the rest of the weekend SO CONCERNED at every person with a penis riding around naked on bikes or with chains/jewellery attached to their d**k piercings,” she added. Ouch.
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Featured image credits via Abir Sultan/EPA/Tim Coleman/Neale Haynes/Shutterstock