New Relationships

Black Rock City is, for many, a place without clocks and schedules, where you have time to stop and talk to people you might have never come into contact with otherwise. Whether you want to attribute it to social lubricants, the warm and open nature of our fellow Burners, the escape from the default world, or freedom to be whoever you want to be, there is an undeniable magical quality of the playa to make fast friends.

The Census asked Burners how many new people with whom they had fascinating discussions in 2013. Most people engaged in these conversations with 4-6 new friends; nearly a quarter of them reported more than 11! Very few people said they had these discussions with only one or no new friends at all.

The playa is a reflective place, not only because of the time we have to look inward, but also as we challenge our bodies to adapt to conditions and schedules that, for most of us, are not the norm. As we learn about ourselves and grow, we are bound to run into others as they make the same personal journeys. This makes for deeper connections than many people experience in default society, so it is not surprising that over 50% of Burners said that they forged a deep emotional bond with between 2-6 people they just met at Burning Man.

Around 75% of Burners did not have sex with a new partner at Burning Man, but of those who did, most of them with only one. These statistics change slightly when the question asked about “intimate activities” instead of “sex,” with just over 50% of Burners sticking with previous partners, while seemingly equal amounts were intimate with one or between two and three new individuals.

Like childhood friends met on vacations or summer breaks, we almost always promise to write, but how many Burners keep in touch with their new playa buddies? Most said that 2-3 of their new friends would keep in contact after Burning Man. The second largest group reported they would keep up with 4-6 of the new people they met on the playa. Together, these two groups make up more than half of respondents!

Another statistic combines elements of our first graph: Do you intend to keep contact with these persons with whom you had sex?


Almost 80% report that they would contact at least one new sexual partner, while 10.5% said no. A remaining 9.6% were not sure. Many Burners find lifelong relationships and partners on the playa as their like-minded counterparts find their ways closer through this fabulous event.


Written by: Tabicat
Edited by: Alison AKA Love,Ali


2 responses

  1. Pingback: Playa Life: Activities in Black Rock City | Black Rock City Census

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