Burning Man Erection Contests Are Really Hard
Cosmopolitan reports, “”The first boner to rise gets the prize,” says Brad McCray at the start of the event.
McCray is a beast of a man who leads the Burning Man theme camp Slut Garden with his wife of 10 years, Tammy. In front of him, five men stand exposed from the waist down with their scantily clad female partners dancing around them, encircled by a cheering, dust-covered crowd of hundreds. Every man is trying to produce an erection as fast as he can without touching himself. Their partners can encourage the sexletes but not by using their hands.
This is the Speed Boner challenge, the finale to McCray’s fourth annual Slut Olympics. Other events include Deep Throat (a pretty self-explanatory contest that involves a 13-inch dildo), Guess-A-Willy (a blindfolded woman has to identify her partner’s penis out of a lineup of naked men), and a Best Balls beauty contest. Speed Boner is still the biggest draw.
(Image: Mike Sweeten)
For seven days, a patch of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada becomes the most sexually accepting place in the U.S., if not the world. Black Rock City will hold an estimated 70,000 people at its peak this year, temporarily making it the third largest city in the state. Nudity is everywhere and freely accepted. Actually, not walking around in the buff makes you the freak here.
Slut Gardeners are strictly swingers, married couples who range from their late twenties to early forties and want to experiment. Of the 54 campers staying at the garden, women slightly outnumber men. “There is a lot of cross pollination,” McCray says, but to be clear, they are not polyamorous. “Swingers are looking for sex, and the polyamorous are looking for a relationship.” One year, Burning Man organizers put Slut Garden next to a polyamorous camp. They did not get along. Slut Garden campers were looking to hook up while the polys were working out the complicated geometry of triads, quads, and other romantic shapes.
Since its inception, the Speed Boner competition has been plagued with difficulties. The first year, no sexlete got an erection. So the second year, McCray decided to let the contestants use their hands. The competition quickly turned into an ejaculation blast, which McCray describes as “grotesque.” Last year, a man came to Speed Boner packing wood. McCray made a new rule that contestants “cannot come to Speed Boner with a boner.”
Despite the changes, there are more setbacks this year. Only five couples compete for a medal, three of whom are Slut Garden campers. The other two are volunteers from the audience.
Mike Graham, a lawyer from Seattle, does color commentary for the Slut Olympics. His measure of an erection is that “it ain’t a bone if it doesn’t stand on its own.” McCray explains the rules to the contestants from Slut Garden’s DJ sound booth: No touching your penis with your hands. Partners can rub on each other but no touching with the hands. And no “insertion,” he adds.
Three minutes go by quickly, and all the contestants look limp. The dancing turns to grinding as the crowd grows impatient.
The women rub their breasts on their partners’ penises to move things along. Perhaps out of frustration, perhaps misunderstanding of what McCray meant by “insertion,” or maybe because they were carried away in the heat of the moment, four of the five women start fellating their partners. A referee disqualifies all of them as Graham taunts them for breaking the rules. The last man standing by default is “Shylar,” a porn producer from Los Angeles. He gets a gold medal for his partial stiffy.
(Image: Mike Sweeten)
Shylar doesn’t think most men can win an erection competition without chemical assistance. He participated for the fun of it but knew it was likely a lost cause. “There are only five guys in the porn business who can get an erection every time without help,” he tells me. The rest, he says, use performance-enhancing drugs like Cialis and Viagra. “Julian,” another Speed Boner contestant, is a porn star from Florida and says that conjuring a boner quickly is all mental. Then again, he was disqualified for getting a blow job from his partner, “Leanne.”
McCray has big plans for next year’s Speed Boner competition and the rest of the Slut Olympics. He’s launching a Kickstarter campaign to build a big Slut Garden stage next year. “I want the stage to have eight legs and look like a spider,” he says.
But machismo aside, the pressure of a large stage may make the difficult task even harder, and fewer boners is the last thing Slut Garden needs in 2015.”