Its day 2.5 of a 5 day regional Burn in Australia. I knew from my experience at Burning Man a year ago that it takes a few days to really drop into such an environment and atmosphere.

I’d had a very social time so far, gifting a daily yoga class and hanging with many gorgeous souls – and I was feeling open to a connection a little more intimate with a man. Nothing too crazy, like much of the overt sexuality on display at a Burn, just some cuddles really, perhaps someone to hold me through the chilly night and complement my 11-month celibacy regime.

I sat around the fire, feeling the earth holding me. The flames before me warmed the skin on my face. Sitting in meditation, emotional patterns that I wanted to release came into my awareness; my old narratives, departed friends, physical traumas. With every breath I deepened my intention to release anything that was no longer serving me.

I was ready. I opened my eyes and smiled, feeling lighter. My eyes gently moved to the ground where I sat. And there on my right, to my surprise, was a bag of dicks.

“Is that a bag of dicks?” I asked the girl wearing a cat woman mask sitting next to me.

“Yes it is” she said. “Would you like to play with them?”

Now, when a woman decides to reach into a bag of dicks, there are some things to take into consideration:

  • Dicks are usually attached to balls.
  • Lots of testosterone comes from the balls.
  • Testosterone is in a rush to make things happen.
  • Testosterone makes one more inclined to stand up to other people and compete for things, including sex.
  • If a dick is just connected to the balls and not at all to the heart then it may well fuck you over.

It was at this moment that I looked to my other side, and found a delicious hunk of man. He was hot – and completely forgetting the above considerations, I decided to reach into the bag of dicks. 

Over the next 24 hours we had some fun (and yes – I’m still celibate!) We had some good chats and a playful dynamic for a while – until we didn’t.

How quickly we fall into old patterns. I ignored multiple red flags as we hung out. I should have left his company several times, and I let him too close too soon. 

He stormed off the next day, after dropping me in Acro Yoga. Twice. I actually wouldn’t have minded so much about the scabs on my knees – except for his response. Instead of checking on me, he got angry with me.

I later asked for some empathy. Suddenly our warm connection disappeared, he raised a cold barrier and said “we can’t talk about this anymore,” marching away from me. 

WHAT!?! Is it too much to ask that someone who drops you in Acro Yoga (twice) at least asks if you’re okay? I understand he was perhaps angry at himself, but I was not gonna stand by with him being angry at ME for our rushed crashes. I mean, we were supposed to be having FUN together! Checking if I’m alright and keeping the vibe positive is all he had to do!

And it’s not like I’m asking for too much, either – just good love! What women want is easy! A man who enjoys the following:

  • Fun
  • Cuddles
  • Quality chats
  • Collaboration
  • Generosity
  • Sensitivity
  • A spark
  • Friendship

When I reached into the bag of dicks, I was hoping to find a dick attached to a man of substance. A dick attached to the heart and the balls – with a sprinkling of brains too. 

Instead I was disappointed with what I grabbed from the bag of dicks – again. 

Luckily 15 minutes after the guy marched off I ran into my friend, Joe, who platonically held me while I released a considerable amount of emotion. We went to sit under the gum trees and tried to understand what had just happened. To have a man hold me and hear me at that moment was exactly what I needed – the exact counterpart of the experience I’d just had with a man, who had told me I’m “too rigid,” and that I “need to lighten up.”

And suddenly I saw what had happened. I’d been blinded by attraction. I’d been driven by my desire to connect. I’d allowed a man too close to my vulnerability before checking whether he was really safe enough.

And he’d been a dodgy dick. 

You know what dodgy means? Dishonest or unreliable. Potentially dangerous.

As a result, my friend Joe and I (while chatting on the car ride home) compiled this list for your benefit. Ladies, everywhere, heed this warning when you are reaching into a bag of dicks! This has been such an important lesson for me and I intend to embody this knowledge when next I’m considering getting close with a guy.

How to spot a dodgy dick:

  • He’s afraid of ‘commitment, ‘love’, and fears losing his ‘freedom’.
  • Gently pressures you into intoxication and sex.
  • When you give him gentle feedback about his physical touch he gets defensive and stonewalls you, exterminating the emotional intimacy that was there a second ago.
  • Not tuning in and going for the finish line sexually so that he can ‘make you orgasm’ for the sake of doing so and feeling accomplished.
  • When interacting with past lovers he’s over-eager and the ex seems uncomfortable in his presence.
  • He thinks its a ‘red flag’ when you talk about love and tries to convince you that he can give you ‘sacred sexuality’ without love, or if he otherwise tries to convince you that your feelings about your sexuality/preferences/standards are wrong (i.e if you are celibate and he tries to tell you that you’re being rigid and you need to go with the flow).
  • Sudden coldness.
  • Storming off/throwing tantrums.
  • Determines that conversation is useless, attempts to quote Eckart Tolle and demands that you meditate together or leave. I wish this was a joke but it isn’t.

Now, in case you’re wondering, I don’t hate dodgy dicks, even though I’ve been hurt pretty badly in recent years. I actually pity them. In a lot of cases the dodgy dick doesn’t grow up with an example of romantic love, or they don’t know how to be vulnerable and have bought into a patriarchal fantasy. 

The truth is, these dodgy dicks want so badly to be held by a Goddess, but they can’t let themselves be held because they don’t know how to hold themselves. That is why the toughest men are often attracted to the softest woman, because they desperately want to be held, validated, nourished, and loved.

Often, the women they seek ask much of them. A Goddess knows her worth, and her love is conditional. What marks a dodgy dick is his lack of empathy and willingness to work on himself, whilst demanding that a woman submit to his will. 

When a powerful Shakti tests for a certain standard of behaviour in a man, the tests are not personal attacks to the man who is lacking in them. The dodgy dick takes it as insulting, and feels injured. Goddesses, know that this is their shit, not yours – you are right to ask that you be heard, respected and loved.

Photos captured at the Burn by Tamar Shemesh modeling That New Label

A dick connected to the heart is a supreme type of masculine who can hold space with a woman in her feminine aspect. Men and women both have to be in touch with their sensitivity and their sexuality to create sacred union.

So ladies, here’s some personal guidelines I’m laying out for when you contemplate a bag of dicks:

  • The odds are against you. There’s a high chance the dick will not be good at pleasing a woman, taking feedback, or holding space.
  • If the dick is not connected to the heart he’s probably gonna fuck you over.
  • Look but don’t touch. Withhold sexual intimacy. It increases the value and scares off the dodgy dicks insuring you’ll find a better dick.
  • Be careful of opening too willingly or investing too much before you know that he is willing to go deep space with you (Deep space was this Burn’s theme ironically).
  • The good dicks will stick around and won’t disappear when things get hard.
  • The good dicks will not make you feel bad for expressing your feelings and your truth.
  • Optional: Tell the dodgy dick why you’re upset or angry. It might help him focus his growth if he can receive the feedback. It might not, but you owe it to yourself and all women to let a dick know he’s being dodgy.

I now know that unless I have learned these lessons I’m bound to repeat them until I learn how to avoid the dodgy dicks from fucking me over and breaking my heart.

Also, watch out for “Tree Wizards”. This is an Australian term for men who use spiritual ideas to quickly seduce a woman. I like trees and wizards so I’m not a huge fan of this term. But being that I’m spiritual AF I meet a lot of these guys. Theres a lot of them preying on yoginis at festivals and beyond. Beware, they meditate, they’re vegan, and they’re still dodgy dicks.

Most of all, look out for yourself my sisters. Know your worth. At a festival remember there’s lots of good looking dicks in the bag. It’s a gamble, so choose carefully. Pick a dick connected to heart, balls, and brains. If you realize you’ve picked a dodgy dick, take your hand out of the bag and go elsewhere to have fun with some friendly people. Don’t feel bad – pity the dodgy dick and have gratitude that they won’t continue to poison your life.

Men who may be reading this… I’m interested in how you feel? Be honest with yourself. Have you been a dodgy dick? Do you feel like I sound like a angry, bitter feminist? 

Well, let me ask everyone reading this. Is there a crisis between men and women? This article was written from the point of view of a woman who identifies as a woman, writing about experiences interacting with men who identify as men. I understand there are those who do not identify as either gender or as both, and I’m also interested to hear feedback from them on the subject of the crisis between genders.

This article was inspired by not only my experiences at Burning Man festivals, but over the last 15 years of dating men. Many other women I’ve spoken to report experiences which are eerily similar. In addition, my sexual experience with women has shown me the vast difference in how men and women relate. Our differences are to be expected, but how do we dance together in harmony to co-create? 

Men, I’m sorry, but you need us. The feminine is here to help you, to hold you, to empower you. When you say love scares you because you don’t want to lose your freedom your dick is not attached to your heart or your brain. For if it was, your dick would erect to the presence of the Goddess, and heed her words – don’t run and hide, denying you the love you want and need.


Elena Rose with contributions by my friend Joe Oppenheimer



Travers · October 7, 2017 at 12:53 am

Well articulated sweet soul
I resonate strongly wit many aspects you have presented here
I like the fact that all though you may have felt fucked over by men you are still able to have compassion.
Essentially it is a wounded element of the masculine consciousness that you refer to
&,although it is most likely more prevalent in men is by no means isolated by gender. The wounding is in the consciousness of the masculine as a universal expression.
I agree wit u that it is important for men to allow their vulnerability to be held by the loving presence of the feminine, however this is not only external the true source of this begins at an internal level of personal integration.
In my experience the process of allowing the depths of vulnerability to be expressed requires a safe space of complete acceptance & non judgement. While it is a wonderful ideal that a woman can hold the depths of the wounded masculine I have found that this is very rarely the case . The truth is that this wounding is so deeply intertwined into the fabric of our psyche that it effects woman just as much as men. The result of this is that often women do not have the clarity ,wisdom or detached perspective to effectively see that the perception of the masculine consciousness is fundamentally polluted & has been for a long time. An aspect of being able to hold this space for a man involves being able to undrstand the lineage of burden& oppression that is being inherited . The imperative to be a soldier ,protector provider, porn star etc, to be removed from emotion, always ready to fuck or fight on command. Often disconnected from the heart of the living earth within his own body.
Disconnected from the voice of the inner guidance that orients the heart & informs the mind through the emotional intelligence. Pitted against his fellow men in competition & rivalry creating division , mistrust of self & other. The truth is that women are just as influenced by these paradigms in their inner masculine , just as much feeling they have to be a soldier , porn star, super mum etc . to be accepted or validated . This reality makes it very challenging for a women who has been bred into these conditionings to have compassion for a man who is encumbered by these patterns as it has become normalized & how are they going to support the release of something in another that they are actively holding onto in themselves?
I am grateful to witness many beautiful brothers & sisters going within to be present to these conditionings & to enter into the deep inner work necessary to be a conduit for a new configuration of consciousness to release these old patterns that do not serve our growth towards a new humanity . We create a new culture through our choices to free ourselves of limiting consciousness frameworks that do not allow for the fullness of our being to fully emerge. I think it’s beneficial to start to see beyond the flawed elements of the individual & recognise the stream that the stream that irrigates the field of the psyche has been polluted & only returning to drink from the clear waters of the source can we come to know our true essence.

Ursula · October 24, 2017 at 4:57 am

Well written piece. It is actually excellent. Wishing you safe travel and a bag full of not so dodgy dicks. Of note, I apologize for accidentally creating one very dodgy dick

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