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The Narcissist’s Secret Playground – Burning Man

*Warning* – Do not read this article if you are faint of heart regarding topics of a sexual nature

I almost didn’t write this article…mainly because I didn’t want to give any ideas to the followers I have who are themselves narcissists…who follow my blog because they discovered their partner does, and so they monitor my site in an attempt to stay ahead of the game.

But, I decided I’d be doing more good than harm by informing all of my followers about the latest narcissistic craze.

Burning Man.

Now, I’m not saying that every person who attends this event is a narcissist, because there is a cultural and spiritual element to it…many lives have been changed because of Burning Man.  I’ve communicated with people directly who told me how Burning Man was a turning point for them.  Indeed, for the truly spiritual person, Burning Man is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  People even take their children there.

But, culture and spirituality are not what the narcissist is seeking when he or she buys their ticket. This may be difficult to discern, especially if you’re involved with a pseudo-spiritual narcissist.  (Yes, they have infiltrated affinity groups quite intricately).

Unless you are into open relationships and the likelihood of your narcissistic partner having sex with multiple people while attending this event, you may be scarred for life.  It’s definitely not something Empathic, Introverted HSPs can take lightly.

Seriously, if you’re at all sensitive or have high standards around monogamy and the narcissist in your life has mentioned this event to you – even casually – you should seriously consider that there may be a critical compatibility issue in the relationship which will result in your being traumatized for months.

The Good

Burning Man promotes academics and being green.  Their mission statement is:

A temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome.

And that’s precisely what the festival represents for most people who attend.  Indeed, it’s a beautiful platform for self-connectedness – for the right people.

But, there’s a different element to the event that’s not fully described on the site.  While there is mention of sexual “adventure”, what they don’t really reveal is just how shocking the sexual aspect of the event can be.  

Burning Man doesn’t coordinate the sexual activities available there, but allows shop owners to establish various “sex tents” on-site.

So, what ‘s the great attraction to Burning Man as it pertains to the narcissist?  I did some research on the subject since it’s become a recurring struggle among many of my coaching clients whose partners have been there or are making plans to attend.

I’ll give it to you straight–so you can compare notes in the event your partner may be planning to reserve their spot (or you discover their intentions without their telling you) – and it’s not because they want to check out the creative art.

The Low-Down

The media images available on the internet make Burning Man appear as a modern-day Woodstock.  Many describe it as the ultimate self-image healing experience–which makes it unfortunate that so many of my clients have been traumatized by the event based on the reasons their toxic partners have gone there.

Following is a sampling of why the narcissist wants to go to Burning Man, which is held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada:

  • Threesomes
  • Partner Swapping
  • Prostitutes (who are willing to do ANYTHING)
  • Orgies of all flavors (such as this one here)
  • Classes on sadomasochism
  • Tantric sex workshops
  • Oral sex contests
  • Women and men walking around naked or in lingerie

Beautiful sexy woman walking in lace lingerie through desert

…and these activities are vanilla in nature compared to other things I discovered that I can’t write about here.

This year’s festival will be held Aug 26, 2018 – Sep 3, 2018, you know…in case your partner suddenly wants to go on a trip and “bond with the guys” or go “camping” with her girlfriends.  Keep in mind that this aspect of the festival is not openly promoted.  In fact, from what I’ve been told, you have to actively look for it.  

This particular element of the event might be kosher for individuals of an adventurous spirit, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Many eager folks who considered themselves as being in open relationships – believing they’d be accepting of the whole Burning Man experience – ended up parting ways after attending.

I can definitely say after having worked with clients whose partners attended the festival, it was one of the most traumatic experiences for them in regards to the betrayal they endured in their relationships.

For those of you who are in this predicament and are afraid that disagreeing with your partner’s going to Burning Man makes you an old-fashioned, close-minded prude, that’s simply not the case.  All parties in relationships are entitled to deal-breakers.

It’s one thing to agree with your partner going on a week-long fishing trip with the bros, but another entirely to give them the green-light to attend Burning Man.

As for the school of thought that states, “we’re two separate entities that love and respect each other. All healthy relationships should be based on being two independent people choosing to come together and stay together out of friendship and love, not obligation.”—well, if you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, this mindset doesn’t apply given the nature of lies and concealment that narcissists engage in.  Even polyamorous people have guidelines in their relationships.  The true polyamorist makes their partners feel emotionally safe.  Therefore, if your partner claims to be polyamorous and makes you feel bad about it, they’re just a garden-variety, narcissistic cheater.

Narcissism aside, healthy relationship guidelines don’t include feeling obligated to allow your significant other to go into the middle of the desert with naked people.  Where drugs, an all-inclusive menu of sexual choices, and willing playmates are available around every corner.

If you’re not okay with it, you have the right to say so.  Allow the other person to make their decision, and if they choose to go after knowing how upsetting it would be to you, then you have the right to end the relationship. 

You wouldn’t need to present this as an ultimatum.  Simply pack your things while they’re gone and hit the road…

Copyright © 2018 Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach. All Rights Reserved

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28 comments
avesraggiana says July 2, 2018

I should have known. My ex-boyfriend narcissist was a YUUUUUGE “Burner” as they call themselves. When I met him, he had already attended on two previous occasions, and the way he made it sound, going to this yearly festival would be a pilgrimage he would make every year for the rest of his life.

I don’t know if he would have or could have gotten into the whole sex orgy thing but truthfully, I wouldn’t have cared that much if he did.

The moment my ex described to me what Burning Man was all about, I took an instant dislike to it. The very idea of bartering, cash-less trading, dressing up in costume, being at one with all humanity without your regular trappings, free from your usual everyday roles, the opportunity to discard every notion you ever had about yourself and find yourself again, blah, blah, blah…just seemed too precious and too pretentious to me.

In my life experience, you don’t need to spend one week on a dry and dusty and windy desert lake bed with 50,000 other people who are just as encrusted in dust and body odour as you are, under some contrived device to, “Discover who you really are.” I sniffed out right away the wrongness of the premise of Burning Man, it just smacked of so much pretentious bullshit. That’s why I hated the idea of Burning Man from the moment I heard about it.

This blog post brought back some old memories, Kim. Memories that don’t hurt anymore or bring back any kind of emotional reaction. What this blog post of yours has done is reminded me how supremely lucky I was to get, “the Hell out of there,” break up with that narcissist jerk, and be rid of him.

I dodged a big one.

Thanks for your eye opening, self confirming, and life affirming blog post.

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Sandy says July 2, 2018

A complete abomination unto the Lord, no doubt about that.

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Nancy says July 2, 2018

I had never heard of this event so I quickly checked their website and my eyes caught the word “radical” mentioned several times in what they call “The 10 principles”. Why radical??? Already I don’t believe in this bull****. Spirituality has nothing to do with radicality. It’s alot of pretending. Sounds more like a big party. And like someone else mentioned here, it’s much better to be alone in the desert to experience REAL spirituality.

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Mrs G D Perry says July 1, 2018

Looks like my idea of hell and wouldn’t go near the place with or without the ex-narc. I’m sure he would love it however. Sex was fortunately one of the strongest boundaries I have. I’ve seen these sex maniacs as they age, never seen such unhappy people. Gross. Everything beautiful is turned into trash with narcs

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Ring says June 24, 2017

First person who came to mind when I saw this email was Charles Manson.

No doubt these people will be showing up at the “free clinic” too.

‘Nuff said.

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MARZENA says June 21, 2017

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I got so used to people being openly promiscuous, involved in open relationships and being polyamorous, that a monogamy or the sacredness of relationship, feel like foolish relicts from a time gone by. I got so burned by narcs several times in a row (husband of 20 years, bf of 5, and two other flings), that my heart it totally shot down to the possibility of ever trusting a man again. I wouldn’t even know how to make the first step in this direction. I know that it’s probably not true, but I see all man as sleazy now, especially the good looking ones.

I personally know people who went to the Burning Man. My last BF (a narc), chatted about them with a great excitement. Now I understand why…

On another note, The Burning Man is not the only place where the narcs flock looking for lightworkers. I met mine at the …. Law Of Attraction Seminar! He since infiltrated several local Law Of Attraction Meetup groups, meditation assemblies and retreats – all the while swearing to me that I was the only one…

You were right in your warning, Kim, that the article and the comments are not for the faint in heart. Call me a dinosaur, they made me sick to my stomach….

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    Cat says May 6, 2018

    Wow. I tend to stay far away from Burning Man crowds after going to many regional events and parties, but never getting to BM at all. Over the years, too many of the people have impressed me as entirely narcissistic or even sociopathic and overly into this over-sexed persona that is a bit like mass hysteria to me.

    Reply
Anonymous says June 20, 2017

I am in shock this covert NARC I met went to BM I was upset but now I know everything I needed to know…and I feel worse…

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Annie O. Rachid says May 1, 2016

With a narc, or possible sociopath there IS-or could be-a very real threat of sexual coercion. This is goes from being very unlikely in a one on one shared sexual relationship, to almost certainly likely in the event of group, or mob sexual environments. Add to that altered states of consciousness, and the odds are very high that one could be traumatized for life. I’ve never been to Burning Man, but there are other similar groups all over the world, with the same recipe for sociopath sexual abuse. They will suck your energy dry, and then your stuck with all of the twisted memories. Consent is above all else, it has to be certain, and to not have direct and complete sexual consent is either coercion or assault–even if it is not physically violent, or physically obvious, it is still forced sexual consent.

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rmdoherty says April 29, 2016

I am seriously disturbed when reading about these narcissistic jerks that think they are gods gift to humanity. I do recall my ex talking about wanting to go to Burning Man with his twin Brother and my ex sister-in-law. Of course he was always making these grandiose plans (Like he time he and his bother decided that they would be the Tupperware Twins delivering parties in only kitchen aprons). Anyway, he begged me to participate in group sex, including with my brother and sister in-law. Part of his excuse for exercising his sexual addiction was the fact that I would not cross certain lines. He forced me to cross other lines but nobody was around for me to consent to. I feel for all of you that have had a narc in your life, I want to say that everything will be OK once we leave and that time heals but the truth is that we will never be the same again. At least we now know that we are not alone and that we are indeed sane after-all.

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Kim Saeed says April 25, 2016

A truly beautiful comment, Noelle <3

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Kay says April 23, 2016

My ex started to date a new woman. He would call and tell me about how they swing and how happy he is with her. That he has never experienced such a love before etc etc

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    susanbotchie says April 25, 2016

    Dear Kay, think the love bombing will outlast the other woman’s money?

    Reply
    marzenajones@gmail.com says June 21, 2017

    Kay – just give them time. She will be missing a half of her brain soon and looking for a shrink, You just watch.

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Jamie says April 22, 2016

You are talking about a very small subset of the burning man population. I’ve been 14 times. This is a place of great healing acceptance and inclusion and love. It has healed so so many souls.

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    susanbotchie says April 24, 2016

    Dear Jamie, sounds pagan. As for the “small subset”, take a tall glass of water and mix 1/8th of a teaspoon of your neighbor’s snot…enjoy 😉

    Reply
      Erin says June 20, 2017

      susanbotchie, there isn’t anything wrong with being pagan. Are you suggesting that an activity or event is inherently suspect due to being religious in nature?

      As for swinging, tantra, and bdsm, they are personal lifestyle choices which can be safely pursued with consenting adults, and is a small part of the mainstream population as well, not at all pagan-specific. These are all arenas in which narcs can manipulate and coerce unsuspecting victims, which may or may not be pagan in nature, and in most cases in society, are not. Paganism is irrelevant to the concerns expressed by this article.

      Reply
      Marzena says June 21, 2017

      Susanbotchie – The snot drink is a brilliant idea. Couldn’t agree more. Yes, Dear Jamie, enjoy it.

      Reply
    Lisa McCue says April 27, 2016

    My Narc went to Burning Man as his final blow to me during a discard. It was the single worst emotional trauma I have ever experienced, including losing both of my parents, divorce, etc. As a 55 year old, he came back with videos of a naked- blond- 20 yr old girl – stoned off her ass dancing to bohemian music… and he actually stood there for 10 mins and recorded it. He also wanted me to sign a ‘cock – sucking covenant ‘ with him when he got back. He thought “I would think it was funny? and meaningful”. I literally was on the verge of a nervous breakdown while he was there.

    With that said, can you tell me if is it possible for someone to go there and be immersed in all of it and not have any kind of sexual encounter?

    Reply
      Kim Saeed says April 27, 2016

      Hi Lisa…thank you for sharing your experience. I am sorry you had to endure that…

      Regarding your question, Burning Man offers so many different things. Some of my followers have friends that have gone to BM for years and never knew about the sexual element.

      It all depends on one’s intention when they go. I would imagine that those who go for the sexual aspect of the event would likely do so with the intent of exploring the different things available there in that regard – Narcissists being of that ilk, for sure.

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        June says July 1, 2018

        I respect the desert too much than to ever have gone to urging man. The hot springs are ruined and closed and the remnants of thousands of people? I spent many a time entirely alone in the desert, way out there, which was more of a spiritual experience than you could ever imagine. I don’t need gobs of people for that. I remember when the first burning man was to occur there and how disappointed I was that they would have such a festival out there. Not my kind of thing.

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          Kim Saeed says July 1, 2018

          Wow, that sounds perfect…being in the desert alone. I’m glad you have fond memories of that.

          Kim XoXo

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      Anonymous says May 14, 2016

      Wow. speechless. where have you been dear Kim Saeed?? My life for the past 2.5 years resonantes with nearly everything you say here and having only coming to terms and the realization I am in fact NOT crazy, as one narc (and sadly the baby daddy) continually pointed out, but literally was driven crazy and as if he hadn’t put me through enough hell to last 1000 lifetimes he was recently appointed 50/50 custody of my daughter he had zero time for until playing victim in the family court. @Lisa McCue this man I knew over 12 years who was the kindest soul and treated me like a queen until he didn’t anymore chose to attend BM not only for our daughter’s first bday, but her 2nd as well. The very bday I was finishing packing our home due to the loss of my job having been overwhelmed, stressed and distraught from our ‘final break up’ and then finding out he slept with a woman i repeatedly stated made me very uneasy. Even addressed her prior to this encounter and they still made the decision to have a little fling until he moved on to the next one that lasted over a year and even though I asked him to be truthful about his love life he would promise there was nobody and that I was “paranoid, fabricated ridiculous ideas and had mental issues”. I began to of course feel pretty crazy and Kim thank you for expressing info regarding psychic hoovering, energy vamps and cutting cords – I find it often difficult to carry on such a conversation bc very few people grasp this understanding or pretend to know while running off mid sentence haha. THANK U for this site and everyone for your comments too!

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        Kim Saeed says May 14, 2016

        Hi Someone…I’m very happy to know my article and site have given you a little boost of validation! Thank you for sharing your story and I’m happy to know you’re out of that misery!

        Kim
        XoXo

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    Lisa says April 27, 2016

    @ Jamie ….My Narc went to Burning Man as his final blow to me during a discard. It was the single worst emotional trauma I have ever experienced, including losing both of my parents, divorce, etc. As a 55 year old, he came back with videos of a naked- blond- 20 yr old girl – stoned off her ass dancing to bohemian music… and he actually stood there for 10 mins and recorded it. He also wanted me to sign a ‘cock – sucking covenant ‘ with him when he got back. He thought “I would think it was funny? and meaningful”. I literally was on the verge of a nervous breakdown while he was there.

    With that said, can you tell me if is it possible for someone to go there and be immersed in all of it and not have any kind of sexual encounter?

    Reply
      Maria says June 20, 2017

      Don’t worry about that the one that I met went for that purpose let’s face they are perturbs and that they only are trying to escape from themselves …no real lives …

      Reply
    Maria says June 20, 2017

    What’s exactly what you healed?

    Reply
yearlonguturn says April 22, 2016

Had no idea. Cool share.

Reply
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