Identity: Polyamorous/Kinkster

While Black Rock City attracts many people living “alternative” lifestyles, this post focuses on Burners who identify as polyamorous (having more than one lover) or “kinksters” (often thought of as those who enjoy bondage, domination, and sado-masochism).


Seventy-five percent of the Playa’s population answered “no” to whether they identified with these categories; the other twenty-five percent reported as follows:


Given the radical acceptance at Burning Man, and the general public assumption regarding the nature of sexuality of the attendees, these numbers might surprise some. It’s interesting to note that while Burners accept each other for who we are and how we choose to live our lives, a surprisingly small (in comparison) number among us walk on this more adventurous side of sexuality.

Written by: Tabicat

Edited by: Wendi Corbin Goulette

5 responses

  1. My wife and I have been poly for quite a while now and it has it’s own set of challenges. With appropriate rules and boundaries it works out for us! The initial few months were difficult, but after that things were much easier.

  2. My girlfriend and I are active in the swinging lifestyle which is very different that the poly crowd even though we share our sexuality with others on occasion. As such, for this survey I identified with kinkster, but it might be advantageous to include a few other choices to help break down the sexuality choices in future census. Overall, for all of the hyperbole one hears about the orgy tent and open sexuality on the playa, the numbers just don’t bear it out; and the event as a whole certainly doesn’t feel as sexually charged as any of the lifestyle events that we attend more regularly.

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