The word for the day at the Folsom Street Fair was “shade”. Not the kind you throw, but as in get out of the direct sun. It was a scorcher out there. Even with the temps hovering in the upper 80’s to low 90’s, kinksters of all types came to celebrate and hang out with friends.
Organizers said more than 300,000 leather aficionados made it to the 33rd annual leather-loving, BDSM-loud-and-proud fair. Most stripped off their street clothes as soon as they passed through the entrance gates. Folsom is the place where everyone’s free to be who they want to be. Its a celebration of all things sexual. The fair annually draws visitors from around the world, and is the third-largest street event in California, after the Tournament of Roses Parade and the San Francisco Pride parade. Each year, net proceeds from Folsom Street Fair, including gate donations and beverage sales, are given to qualified local charities (“beneficiaries”). These include charities working in public health, human services, and the arts, as well as beverage partners. The event regularly generates over $300,000 annually for charity.
Here is a link to this year’s batch of photos from Folsom. If you were there, take a look and if you missed it, take a look to see some of the sexiness and craziness that is the Folsom Street Fair. If you want to keep up with what’s happening in the leather community here a couple of great resources, The Leather Journal and if you are on Facebook, join Race’s Bar.
Rodeo, as a competitive sport, evolved from the hardworking lifestyle of the western cowboy. After driving herds of cattle to market, competitions between those working for rival ranches often developed. Some events sprang from everyday work, while others probably came from accepting a dare to do the almost impossible. The traditional rodeo events reflect this history.
However, there are several key differences in gay rodeo events. The first is that men and women compete in all events. At a gay rodeo you will see men and women bull riders and men will also compete in the barrel racing which at a straight rodeo is considered a woman’s event. The other difference is the “camp events”. These events include Goat Dressing, Steer Decorating and The Wild Drag Race.
Its always fun to explain these camp events to rodeo virgins. They often think you are pulling their leg, until they see the event. Would you believe Goat Dressing was an event?
At one end of the arena stands the adversary – a goat tethered by a 10 foot rope. Fifty feet from the tether point, stands the two person team. One team member has a pair of tighty whitey underwear and when the whistle sounds, the team runs up to the goat. One member picks up the goat’s hind legs while their team-mate puts the underwear on the goat. Both people then race back to the start line and the timer stops. To qualify, the underwear must stay on the goat, until both contestants cross the finish line. All this must be accomplished in less than two minutes. There is also a community version of this event, in which members of the audience can compete for the coveted belt buckle.
The Rodeo at the River was held at the rodeo grounds in Duncans Mills where hot cowboys and cowgirls from all over the US and Canada competed in events like, Steer Riding, Chute Dogging, Roping Events, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending and Flag Racing. Here are some photos from the Saturday events.
How to describe the Folsom Street Fair except as a sort of one day Burning Man for the BDSM crowd. It’s a chance for all types of people to come together for a day and share their kinks with no judgement (well not much). It’s not perfect because of all the tourists who just come to gawk, but the majority of attendees are wearing their colors, costumed in some interesting/weird way or showing lots of skin, tattoos and piercings.
The longer you live in San Francisco, the more you begin to accept alternative realities. There’s a reason “Westward, ho!” was a battle cry for pioneers, and not just for people leading their hooded partners around by a leash down Folsom St. People come here from more repressive parts of the nation and globe to reinvent themselves, and to be free. As a result, the fair is an adult-only event celebrating alternative sexuality. This was the 29th annual fair and it continues to attract a huge crowd. For a slide show, click on photo above.
Hot men, friends and the helpful staff at Mr S were on hand for the Grand Opening Party of their new 12,000 sq foot Locker Room space (where Madame S used to be). If you missed the party, you can see what you missed by clicking here.