Yesterday in the city of San Francisco was the day of Folsom Street Fair. For those who don’t know, this is a street festival in downtown San Francisco where they close off a big chunk of Folsom and several side streets and some 30,000 to 40,000 come to let their freak flags fly.
This includes those who are straight, gay, bi, trans, lesbian, questioning, etc. It’s an opportunity to celebrate all things kinky and fetish, from simple leather fetishes to full on BDSM.
You know you’ve arrived when you get to the gates where the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are collecting donations, which go to support a number of community organizations. A few steps in the gates you might find yourself to be in a different world.
Great people watching, I gotta say, especially for someone like me, who writes gay erotica. Men and women in all manner of dress, or undress as the case may be. Full on costuming to absolutely naked, and everything in between.
Now, this was not my first Folsom Street Fair. I’ve been to a few. I was, however, escorting a Folsom virgin. It’s always interesting to experience something through the eyes of someone who has never done it.
As you move through the streets, you come upon booths selling all manner of trinkets, from corsets and other clothing items to floggers and restraints, and booths with porn stars from porn websites.
It certainly isn’t the street fair you want to take your mother to…well, I guess that depends on your mother. But certainly not mine.
Now, I saw a lot of very pretty people and some amazing costuming. A lot of normally private bits too. The sheer number of men who take Folsom as an excuse to walk around naked always amuses me. Fair number of women topless as well.
Because of my position in the world as a Bisexual Polyamorous Pagan with kinky leanings, I have a pretty broad cross section of friends that one might run into in places such as Folsom, and that I did, but because that little pinnacle isn’t all that I am, I have friends who have only cursory knowledge of anything that might go on at such a place…and it’s easy to forget that.
But there’s a nice thing about being the “wise one” on a topic among friends who are inexperienced, and also being a writer and fairly open about talking about it. When the crowds got a bit overwhelming, we found ourselves a quiet spot in the women’s section and after watching a bit of play in the play area, we talked.
She asked questions about things that I sometimes don’t think about. We talked. It was interesting to see what she took away from seeing the same things I had seen.
It is also refreshing for a fat chick like me to be among people who see beauty in all body types. I sometimes forget what that is like too.
It was a fun day, even if my feet hurt and my anxiety is demanding a week of hermiting as a result. And yes, I imagine some of the mental notes I took yesterday will end up as characters and scenarios in a novel to come.
And yes…after a while my awareness of the nakedness of those around me does fade…it kind of becomes mundane after a while…and then it’s all about the costumes. Or the body paint. Or the great corset…I do love me a woman in a corset.