The Playa is not a Frat House


Burning Man is held on a dry lake bed in Northern Nevada-delicate space that requires careful care. It is an arid region of lava beds and playa, or alkali flats, situated in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, a silt playa 100 miles north of Reno that encompasses more than 300,000 acres of land and contains more than 120 miles of historic trails

This area is delicate and protected-yet this year at the Burn, it felt like the inside of a Fraternity house.

Luckily, I feel this can be fixed with attention to the following things:

Trash: The Playa is not your landfill!  Countless times, I found beer bottles scattered through Porta-Potties, underneath the stage at Distrikt, tucked into corners at art cars.  Guys:   there is no maid service on the Playa like you’ve had in your fraternity house.  No maid to follow you around and clear up your beer bottles.  Have some respect for Mother Earth.  Clean up your shit.

Photos: Yes, you will see naked boobies on the Playa.  And, you will be tempted to take loads and loads of photos to salivate over when you’re back at work at your tech consulting firm back in the default world.  PLEASE when you are tempted to do this-do one simple thing:  ASK FOR PERMISSION.

Hall Passes:  Gentlemen, I’m sure you are excited about the ‘hall pass’ from  your wife or maybe you’ve recently discovered the wonderful life of polyamory.  Just remember one thing:  Just because YOU are  convinced that every lady has been waiting on the sidelines for the moment that you become available- chances are, they aren’t.  Please don’t act like the middle-aged divorcee dad who hangs out at the frat house-hitting on the college girls and making everyone feeling icky.  Your ‘oppenness’ does not mean you are suddenly more attractive or desirable.  It just means you have permission to go out and date like any single man who needs to be a gentleman and act decent.

Misogyny-  I love my male Burners-I adore their power, strength and loving kindness.  But, sometimes,  bad decisions are made by guys who know better.  Idiot behavior like following drunk girls around and crawling into their tents to try and get laid-this is behavior that doesn’t honor the Burn, our culture, and especially the theme of Fertility.  Boys, you can do better!

All of this aside, one of the most redeeming Principles of the Burn is Radical Inclusion which means the following

Radical inclusion—”Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

This means Burning Man is open to everyone-good guys, assholes and even shirt-cockers.  But, why show your worst behavior in a gorgeous place with beautiful people?  Why not drop the attitude at the door and see what happens for once?  Burning Man is a safe place for transformation and growth-honor that.

My suggestion is- treat the Playa like the lady she is.  She is a natural resource, a gift from Nature who is to be respected and honored and revered. She is not a Frat House and demands more.

So, in your daily life, channel that energy-and honor the Divine Feminine of the Playa.  Treat your women well and embrace the Shakti (or sacred force) that builds and surrounds us.

And-most importantly, keep the Frat House out of the Playa!

3 thoughts on “The Playa is not a Frat House

  1. Nobody likes a frat boy at Burning Man, but I’m not sure why men are singled out here for bad treatment. There is plenty of heinous behavior from both genders at Burning Man, and in the world at large.

  2. Hehe, “even shirtcockers”…. Sure, there is bad behavior from women as well, but let’s face it, the incidences of a woman raping a man are few and far between. Testosterone is responsible for aggressive and territorial type of behavior, it’s an evolutional fact. It’s now time to “nut up” and separate biology from morality. You can do it guys!!

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