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A Metal Maiden Exclusive: How to Seek and Destroy in a Mosh Pit


These guidelines were designed for female moshers BY female moshers.  They are meant to enlighten you on how to thrive in a pit rather than survive it.  Even if you are not gung-ho for skanking or walls of death, you are going to have to know how to deal with the beasts who live to mosh.  Don’t let a pit of running, screaming bodies ruin your concert experience; it’s all meant to be fun, so you might as well learn to entertain yourself in the midst of the chaos.  Horns up, and lets get INTO THE PIT!



Before you even step one foot out of the house, take a good long look at yourself.  Ladies, are you planning on wearing your Steve Madden heels and Sephora makeup to go see Decapitated?  Last I checked, that band doesn’t play beauty pageants.  Whether you mosh or not, you will sweat, you will be exhausted, and you will be a clumsy nuisance to everyone around you.  And yes, I have seen a woman attempt to mosh in heels.  I would be willing to bet money that she broke something besides those shoes.  Also, it’s best to come in minimal jewelry, and don’t bring your goddamn purse.  Heavy metal shows are not red carpets.  Nobody is going to do anything about your clutch except accidentally knock it out of your French-manicured hands and crush it.  Come with the absolute minimum you need; it will be a refreshing change for you, and a considerate action to everyone on the general admission floor.



As the lovely Sandra Araya, wife of metal legend Tom Araya and former badass mosh queen, responded in my questionnaire: “Do not enter [the pit] with ‘I’m a woman’ mentality.”  Embodying this feminine mindset comes with associations of fragility and vulnerability, which will only come to pass if you allow it. When you step into the human vortex that is a pit, you have as much opportunity to be pushed, kicked, and punched as the guys in front of and behind you.  But you will only become roadkill if you allow yourself to be.  All are equal in the eye of the mosh pit.  Paying attention to the most cardinal of rules, such as keeping your elbows up and going with the flow of the pit, will have you speeding around the pit whether you’re 100 or 300 lbs.


Three years of moshing later, I STILL get scared gazing over the sheer sizes of the men who brutalize every limb of every stranger they touch.  But be assured that most men are generally aware of when there is a woman in a pit and, while they most definitely will not skate around you, they try hard to be aware and respectful rather than patronizing about your presence in the pit.  In a survey of fifty male moshers from ages 18-45, 90% of respondents say they slightly inhibit their behavior when they see a female in the pit.  The other 10% insisted that “if she is badass enough to be at a death metal concert and in a death metal pit, she can take a couple good hits.”  In case you were curious, 100% of the survey takers are extremely impressed at a woman who is daring enough to throw down.


Now that we have discussed that gender is NOT a limit, let’s talk about what SHOULD be your limits.  Tabby of San Francisco knows a thing or two about what scares people, as she is owner and director of ScareCo Haunted Attractions.  However, what scares her is a wall of death: “would I ever do one? HELL NO.”  And that is ok.  There will be noone at the venue’s doors waiting to laugh at you and shame you for backing out of a wall of death.  I remember holding my boyfriend’s hand before a Vektor wall of death before promptly running the opposite direction as soon as the frontman yelled, “GO!”  If your inner id—the center of all your impulsive actions—is telling you to run away, odds are you should listen to it.  You paid for a breathtaking concert experience, not for broken bones.  On the flip side, if you feel your heart racing during Morbid Angel as you fantasize about stage diving for the very first time to “Lord of All Fever And Plague,” you should just GO FOR IT. That little example was based on a recent true story of mine, and I’m so glad I did it.


There are also many fun and exciting ways to make the most out of your heavy metal concert experience.  If you are a female and reading this article while blasting Toxic Holocaust or Septic Flesh, you are already a one in a million lady. But whether you are a beer-drinking bystander or dancing the toxic waltz, there is no denying that the mosh pit is a significant part of your experience as a metalhead.  Whether your instincts tell you to flee or fight, I hope this article empowered you like the metal queen you probably are.  And if you are a male and reading this, watch out because I haven’t moshed in a long time, and this lady is ready to represent!



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