When the Universe wants you to experience something, rarely does it let anything stand in its way, and such was the case for me when I attended my second Burning Man. It was beginning of September 2009, Labor Day in fact, three days before I left for the Playa (informal name for Burning Man). And to those of you reading this that don’t know what Burning Man in, I’d say Google it, and then come back and read this because I’m sure my definition or experience I’m describing here doesn’t hold a flame to seasoned Burners.
It takes a lot to get to Burning Man, both physically and emotionally and I’d gone with a friend and a friend of a friend the year before, and we built our own yurt to sleep in and kept our stuff in a separate tent. The rules there are quite intense; you must carry out what you carry in, and there are no trash cans around. That’s a lot to get used to for first time Burners. It was a bit of a shit show our first time around, but still unforgettably fun, because I got to explore sides of myself I normally would not have, and I got to feel what it was like to walk around topless among a ton of people and not have it be a big deal.
My second year at Burning Man I decided to camp with a group of strangers at a communal camp. On Burning Man’s website you can view existing camps who have openings and what the cost is, so that’s the route I took. There was just so much emotion the year before going with people I knew, so having space to process my experience was important to me. And having solitude was essential.
The communal camp provided me a place to have my truck & tent, a shower, food, water and shelter from the dust storms. It was my last day working at my spa before I left for Burning Man and I’d scheduled an interview massage with a therapist named Brittany, who was fresh out of massage school and wanted a job. I liked Brittney instantly. But what I think I liked most was our very first conversation, because we talked about road trips, spontaneity and burning man.
When we were scheduling Brittney’s time to come in for her interview, I told her that it needed to be right away because I was headed to burning man, she then replied, “my sister Beverly is going to Burning Man.”
“Oh really, where is she staying?”
“She doesn’t know yet, she doesn’t have a ticket, she’s just going to go and figure it out when she gets there.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Brittney’s sister obviously had never read a thing about the rules and regulation of Burning Man, and while her approach sounded innocent and cute, it’s not a place to go and see what happens, because you’re in the middle of the desert, often with people who are high on who knows what, so you need to know your shit. I knew I could help her sister.
“Ummmm, can I have your sister’s number please?” I said.
Brittney gave it to me, and I called her sister Beverly. Within 10 minutes of talking we decided Beverly was going to go with me and she was on her way over to the spa to meet me.
After that, Brittney and I scheduled our interview massage.
Beverly was early twenties and I was early thirties, yet we connected instantly regardless of the decade between us. When we met we talked about packing lists and costumes and arranged a meeting time the following day to hit the road for our 8 hour drive from Park City, Utah to Black Rock City, Nevada. The town that only exists on a map once a year. It had been a long time since I’d road tripped with another person, let alone a girl, so I had plenty of time to get to know Beverly. I don’t remember if we had music playing or not, because we talked the entire time.
Beverly was intriguing to me, in a way I couldn't really understand clearly. She was kind of like a mixture of a gypsy and iron maiden, in that she was both a tarot card reader, a reiki healer, an artist & a welder who could rock her leather. And she was quite beautiful.
When we reached Black Rock City, we still had a few hours to wait in the entrance line, and that’s when things began to heat up in Beverly and my adventure to Burning Man.
Everyone was at a standstill, so I remember Beverly getting out of the car, taking her shirt off, tying her hair up and walking slowly up ahead and then slowly back. It was baffling and she was exquisite. Beverly had shared with me that she was a lesbian around hour 6 of our road trip together, which felt akin to her telling me what her favorite kind of food was.
When she shared the news it was almost almost like she could hear my own internal dialogue and she looked right at me with her deep hazel eyes and smiled. Was she hitting on me?! I didn’t know if I was flattered, embarrassed, intrigued or disgusted by that idea, maybe a cocktail of all of it. But eventually, I felt myself soften, almost like I began to enjoy her looking at me with adoration and I enjoyed her staring at me just a little longer than people usually stare at each other.
We arrived at camp and set up the tent. It was quite large and had a middle compartment and a wing off each side. We set it up so that her blow up mattress was on one side, and mine was on the other, and our costume and staging area was right in the middle.
We were within a size of each other, both being size 2-4 or so, so we could share our sparkly costume attire, it really couldn’t have been more perfect.
At Burning Man it feels like anything is possible, and you can express yourself in whatever desire you want, whether that’s with or without clothes. So it seemed to me that I was being gifted an opportunity to explore a side of myself and go through a doorway I didn’t even know was in my personal house.
Beverly and I were attached at the hip at the festival and we would wander through the streets of Black Rock City, arm in arm, walking purposely, but without a clear mission other than to thoroughly enjoy the now that was unfolding in front of us.
At one point, I think we walked all the way to the outskirts of town, and just as we realized that we’d reached a boundary and had to walk the entire way back to center camp, I said,
“wouldn’t it be cool if we could find a cozy ride back into town?”
And 1 minute later, literally out of the darkness, we hear a sound and a small tractor emerges, and it’s carrying a cozy loveseat on the front. The driver honked at us and said, “you ladies want a ride?”
We looked at each other, utterly amazed at what had just unfolded, and we sunk into each other deeply while sitting on this couch on the front of a tractor, being transported back to central Black Rock City.
I felt like I was in another world and I wasn’t sure if it was because of her or because of being at Burning Man. Possibly both. What was different with Beverly is that ALL her focus was on me when we were together, I could do no wrong, and all she wanted to do was make me happy and smile.
The week went on and she would kiss my cheeks lightly, she’d linger next to me a little longer, I’d catch her smelling my hair, and she’d make jokes that she was going to kiss me in dreamspace before we went to sleep.
We’d walk for hours each day in the sun, enjoying the different stimulation around us, that was different each moment and every day.
By day six I had cracked the door to Beverly, and said yes when she asked me if she could give me a massage. She directed me to my air mattress, draped me with a towel, and with each soft stroke over my body I felt my towel slip off me just a little bit more.
Beverly was burning incense and playing music on her ipod during this display of alluring magic, and by the time the towel slipped off of me, I hardly noticed.
What I did notice was that she was taking full strokes from the top of my body, over my breasts, grazing my public bone, and sweeping slowly down the inside of my leg, down around my feet and back up the outside of my legs, and back up to my head, by way of my breasts again. She was taking in every square inch of me and enjoying every moment of it.
I felt treasured and that no part of me was going to be left unattended to, because I’d given her the green light through my audible sighs and moans.
She’d circle around each of my nipples with her tongue and she kept kissing my stomach slowly as she made her way down between my legs.
Then with a quick movement she’d sweep back up to my face, take it both hands, giggle and kiss me like it was the first and last kiss we were ever going to exchange.
I was excited and scared at the same time about what was happening. It was all so unfamiliar, yet completely tantalizing. My senses were all alert at this point, so any touch from her sent a rush of blood flow to my extremities.
I think she knew by my racing heart that I was nervous, so she moved away from my lips, and slowly kissed her way down between my legs.
I felt a brush of her tongue along the lip of my vagina and I felt a warmth throughout my entire body, and I think she felt it too, because before I knew it, she had swept both of her hands underneath my glutes, as though she were serving herself an appetizer she couldn't wait to get her hands on.
She’d look up at me and smile in pure joy and I found myself dipped my head back in pleasure at what was unfolding.
Was this love?
No. Definitely not.
But it certainly was something that felt amazing, and was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before, but nothing I wanted to admit to having done, because part of me felt like this was wrong, while the other part of me was enjoying every moment of it and didn’t want it to stop.
But I’d catch myself enter my head during it all and say to myself, “I’m totally not a lesbian, so what is this?” I was demanding an answer from myself, but I didn’t have one.
This woman felt like she could see inside my head, heart & soul and feel what I needed, unlike anything any man had ever done with me, so perhaps it was just a way for me to see that this sort of connection could exist.
It was a quiet drive home, but not an awkward quiet.
It was a time of peaceful integration, and I dropped Beverly back at her sister’s house, so happy that I'd delivered her back safely and I'd escorted her through her first Burning Man. And then I remembered that her sister was one of the new team members at my business. Oh shit. I messaged Beverly to please not say anything, and to this day, I have no idea if she did. But Brittany still works with me, but has never brought it up, so either it never needed to be a thing or we’ve had the most hilarious elephant in the room of our relationship for almost 10 years.
Say yes to opportunities for joy, exploration and pleasure whenever they arise, because the world needs more people feeling pleasure and joy together.
The world works in mysterious ways to show us what we need to see, in the way we need to receive it. I needed to explore pleasure in a non threatening way, and be shown that I can be loved in a big way, and magic can unfold from that. But it would be another 4 years until I would meet the man that Beverly was preparing me for, but I still think of her, smile and feel grateful for showing me something I’d never experienced before. Because that's when heart healing & opening happens.
I did see Beverly again a few months later when I invited her to spend New Years Eve with me, but that’s another story.