I should probably preface this blog with a little warning. This post is going to be about the Folsom Street Fair, one of the world's largest fetish community events. If adults having sexy times isn't your thing, you probably shouldn't read this because I am going to talk about that stuff. Well not really but still.
Folsom Street Fair has been going strong for 30 years now. It's a HUGE event that takes place across 13 blocks in San Francisco.
While many people are kind of upset over the fact that this now corporate sponsored event has become a tad tame due to said corporate involvement, you wouldn't know it by the hordes of naked people roaming around. Then again, it is San Francisco. I mean look at what activities are getting sponsored at Folsom:
Having never been to this fair, I kind of let the things that people were saying about the event almost prevent me from going. I was going alone, I was tired of walking, and I really didn't know what to expect. I just wanted to stay in bed on Sunday morning but I figured that I wasn't doing anything else so I might as well venture outside. I'm glad I did.
One of the first things that I saw was a naked daddy on the BART in just a leather cap and some boots. I knew the day was going to be awesome based on that alone. Oh and then I saw this band called Pepperspray who were a strange delight that played a lot of SPICE Girls covers and surf stuff. They were so rad. I had so much fun watching them play. Their set was frenetic and one of their songs that got everybody moving was called "Cutting Edge Queen."
There were a lot of exhibits going on all over the place. You could learn how to tie people up or you could get spanked for charity. There was a kennel for people into pup play, flogging, various restraint set ups, and lots of gear being sold.
Whenever I observe these types of things, I get really weird and introspective and wonder how I would change if I were involved in a particular fetish. Would I change? IDK.
I suppose that's the interesting thing about exploring that. You get to find out what you like in a very non-conventional way. Mind you, I am not involved in anything like this, it just fascinates me and I have a lot of questions.
I also have a neoprene harness that I need to put to use. It was a drunk purchase after a round of beers at The Eagle LA. My friend and I thought it was a good idea to wander into Rough Trade in Silverlake and buy a bunch of gear but we've only ever worn them once.
Most of my day involved me hoofing it to and fro and asking people if I could take their photo. Everyone was really nice and happy to oblige me. At first, I kind of felt like an asshole because I didn't feel like I belonged there. I also didn't know anything about the community or the social graces that one must when addressing certain people. Heaven forbid I talk to a top's bottom or not call someone "Sir" or "Ma'am" or misgender someone :(
Once I started to talk to people, that all went away, just like my morals later on at the Eagle but we'll get to that.
I ended up running into some people that I knew through a mutal friend and it was nice to have people to hang out with. They even let me leave my camera in their hotel room so I could enjoy the fair.
It wasn't until later that I actually enjoyed myself but it was in one of the weirdest ways possible. I am not even sure how it started but it probably happened because someone was giving me the eye. I tend to get very brave at times and have been known to talk to people when they oogle me.
Anyway, as I was talking to an older gentleman at The Eagle, we started chatting about things I can't remember. All I can recall was that he began "coaching" me on how to take a punch. He started off with a light pound to the chest while I stood "at ease," my hands behind my back.
It seemed really interesting in that I would be pushing myself to take increasing levels of pain, which I think I am pretty good at doing. We had a decent sized crowd watching us but it wasn't really about them. I didn't really notice that people were around us until after. For that small span of time, it was just about us and what we were doing.
The more that this went on, the harder the punches to my chest got. I even yelled out a few times but my thing was that I wasn't going to let him knock me down and I wasn't going to be the first to stop. Even though it seems really weird that I would let someone hit me, he was really nice about it. I knew he wasn't going to do anything I didn't want him to and I could make him stop if I needed to stop.
After our little session, he gave me some hugs and I just collapsed into his arms. It was like I melted and just let myself be there, which is really weird because I don't like people touching me. For me to just allow myself to be held for a while after that experience was totally relieving. It was a strange version of surrender.
If I never would've gotten out of bed, I would've never met all the amazing people that I met yesterday or pushed myself in a way that I never had before. I guess it's true that you can leave your heart in San Francisco, especially when it gets pounded on at a leather bar during Folsom Street Fair.