Virgin, –noun

We all start somewhere and virginity is not just for sex anymore. A Burn Virgin faces the unique challenge of not just a single unfamiliar event, but days of new, often confusing experiences.

Virgins arrive on the playa from many sources — many are brought by their more experienced friends, but others stumble upon a Burning Man event with much less foreknowledge. Regardless of how much they read or are told, nothing but living through an event can fully prepare one for what is to come.

Despite this, there are some virgins who have studied so much about the culture, and participate so much even their first time, that they fool others into thinking they have been attending for years — such a person is called a Stealth Virgin.

A virgin’s burn begins at the Greeters’ Station, where they face various initiations from ringing a Virgin Bell to creating ‘dust angels.’ From there they are thrown headfirst into the wild, chaotic world of the Burn. Even if they are camping alone, they will often end up guided by others who know their way around. A Burner who helps virgins is called a Sherpa, after the mountain guides who help Westerners climb Mt. Everest.

There is some debate over when a virgin ceases to be and becomes a full-fledged Burner, but it is the opinion of the lexicographer and others that this happens when a virgin witnesses his or her first effigy burn.

From Kit O’Connell’s amazing Burner Lexicon!

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