The 2009 Folsom Street Fair has come and gone for San Francisco. As soon as the glitter, feathers, and stray cock rings have been swept up from the streets, the planning committee goes right back to work thinking of the future – with leather harness tan-lines burned into their chests by the bright Folsom sun.
While they put their efforts into the future, the rest of us have been collecting photos of our antics and sharing stories about how we spent this High Holy Day of Kink. With thousands of people in attendance, the Folsom Street Fair is the world’s largest fetish event. Here are just a few favourite memories of the day, from San Francisco locals:
Marlo Davis: “My favourite memory was from 2000. I was working for Stormy Leather, and I was in their fashion show for that Folsom. My co-worker dressed as a latex nun with a strap-on. Our act involved me smacking her on the ass as she walked by. She then turned and smacked me in the face knocking me down. She then pulled me up to my knees, and made me suck her cock. The audience roared.”
“J”: “My favourite Folsom memory happened this year! Wicked Grounds had finally gotten its permits to open but it still needed a lot of work. In the months and weeks prior to the fair many people donated their time and effort, myself included, doing everything possible to make sure that things would be operational by Folsom. It was amazing to see how many people already thought of it as a home and on the big day and it was incredible to stop by to get out of the sun and away from the mundane tourists in a place that was our own. It was also nice to have an escape from the port-o-potties.”
Lori Selke: “My favourite Folsom memory is from the year when my sweetie dislocated his toe about a week before the fair. He was going to have to be on crutches, which sort of limits the usual fetish possibilities and just isn’t very sexy unless you have a hardcore medical fetish, which we don’t. About three days before the fair, I had an inspiration. I asked him to wear bunny ears for me. I dressed as a nurse, put gauze tape on some plushie bunnies that I stuffed in a backpack, and I was the Bunny Nurse all afternoon long. I had so much fun tending to my charges that day, escorting my sweetie and making sure the crowds cleared his way, fussing and cooing over him, and of course occasionally getting a little *too* attentive and invasive, like a nurse does. I told curious observers my story and asked if they had any bunnies that needed to be taken to the bunny hospital. It was the exactly correct mix of silly and sexy and I think it helped him feel better about hobbling around, too.”
Michelle: “I’m always volunteering at Folsom, so the best part of my day is when I finally get home and out of my shoes and shower! I must enjoy it because I keep signing up to help. My favourite memories are the little things that make me forget that I’m tired and that I smell like beer from serving drinks all day in a booth. Watching a group of human puppies all gather around as a small pack to howl was one of my favourites.”
Gonzo: “Some of my very close friends happen to live right where the Folsom Street Fair happens so naturally they threw a party. We sat in the shade of their garage and enjoyed watching people walk by and invited people to come join us. I was dressed up and another friend of mine stopped by exquisitely dressed as well. We started up a conversation about literature and I mentioned that I had been reading a lot of Faulkner which must have been a specialty of hers because she pulled out a cane and had me give an on the spot dissertation on his work while she methodically attacked my body and my words. When I finally came down I really grasped how unique something like that was to the San Francisco Folsom Street Fair.”
Malcolm SleekImager: “Almost every year, the Folsom weekend is bright and sunny – not always the best thing, if you consider people running around at high noon in latex, drinking intoxicating beverages, and doing scenes! Sun burns and dehydration are not uncommon. But one year, it was gray and drizzling for Folsom Sunday – people were complaining, but I loved it! Not only was it much cooler and generally a better climate for wearing latex or leather, but it cleared out a lot of the vanilla tourists – perv peepers, if you will – so it was less crowded, with more room to chat with your friends and acquaintances in the kink community. More room to swing a cane!”
Marc: “For context, I am Outreach Director for Society of Janus. We have a large presence at the Fair with six to eight spaces devoted to “Charity Spanking and Flogging.” Basically, we have some well known tops on hand to “introduce” various aspects of BDSM to those who are curious. Spankings and the like start at just $5 and we normally collect between $2000 and $2500 during the day (putting 300 – 400 bottoms through the booth). In doing so, we’ve had some fun times, some surprises and some memorable scenes. Here are some fun stories…”
A yearly attendee. Jay (name has been changed) is a very good looking gay man who comes once a year to be flogged and caned by one of our Mistresses. This past year, while getting his lashings, he screamed out loud to the mistress “If I wasn’t gay, I’d ask you to marry me.”
Two years ago, one of the requests was unusual, and very profitable. A decent looking guy of Asian decent came into the booth and offered $100 to one of the Mistresses to squarely kick him in the nuts. Being the obliging person she is, the Mistress took the money, administered the kick, and said “Thank you” after he had promptly dropped to his knees. Amazingly, he came back later for another, but did not have the full $100. We still served him.
Miss Maggie Mayhem: “My favourite Folsom memory happened when I was on hiatus from the kink community at large. Although I had been active in the community for years, for a number of reasons I had stopped playing and going to events. That year I was in standard street clothing visiting the fair with vanilla friends who never shared the same proclivities as I did. I separated from them briefly to enjoy the day more freely and before long I was running into old friends and playmates who embraced me as fully as they had in the past without bearing any signs of a grudge for my absence in their lives. When I met back up with my friends and listened to their snickering I made a solid commitment to myself not to ignore who I was any more. I have certainly enjoyed performing at Folsom and openly celebrating Leather Week but nothing stands out to me as much as how overwhelmed I was by reconnecting with myself and the people I love.”
Zille Defeu: “One of my favourite Folsom memories is actually from working at Dark Garden’s annual corset-fitting booth. They are always jam-packed from the minute the fair starts until the last straggler is kicked out by the tired and hungry staff at the end of the day. The first year I worked for them, I actually ended up with blistered and bleeding fingers from lacing so many corsets – is that a cool injury, or what?! How many breasts did I get to admire on the way to that injury? Um, lots. My Master and I have been to every Folsom Street Fair since our first one together, four years ago, and it’s become an anniversary of sorts for us!”
Folsom Street Fair Website: http://folsomstreetfair.org
By Miss Maggie Mayhem http://www.missmaggiemayhem.com/