Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Folsom frenzy


Annual street fair unleashes the kink

A smooching couple at the 2016 Folsom Street Fair. Photo: Rich Stadtmiller
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This past Sunday the annual Leather Week frenzy that leads up to the centerpiece event, Folsom Street Fair, began with the 26th annual LeatherWalk. I participated again this year and it's always amazing to see so many people coming together for this longstanding fundraising event.

A large crowd first gathered at the 440 Castro bar and then later in front of the Castro Theater to kick off the walk with a short opening ceremony.

After walking from the Castro down Market Street to South of Market with stops along the way at Oasis, Powerhouse, Mr. S Leather, The Stud, and The Lone Star Saloon, the walk concluded at the SF Eagle.

This year's walk raised $15,420, benefitting the nonprofits Positive Resource Center and Folsom Street Events.

I love it when an event can be as fun as LeatherWalk and still raise much needed funds for various organizations in our LGBTQ and kink communities. So, Leather Week is off to a great start.

But LeatherWalk was just the beginning of what continues to be an ever-growing annual set of events and happenings for all stripes of kink folk.

Let me mention a few events you should possibly add to your calendar, but make sure to check out the full calendar that accompanies this column for more ideas.

Also, this year, the official program for Folsom Street Fair was produced by the publishers of The Fight, based in Los Angeles, and it's a gorgeous issue. You can find copies of it at various San Francisco locations.

Brenden Shucart, Editor of The Fight's Folsom Street Fair Guide, expressed his gratitude and excitement working with on the guide.

"I know I speak for everyone at The Fight when I say what a deep honor it is to be even a small part of helping to make the Folsom Street Fair a reality. The focus Folsom Street Events puts on promoting self-expression and sexual liberation combined with supporting some of our most important nonprofit institutions in the LGBTQ and BDSM communities is remarkable and worthy of praise and support."

If you can't find the official program in printed form, you can access it online at The Fight Magazine's website at

Whether you get a printed copy or access the guide online, I recommend you check out the guide's calendar for all the things happening this week. You'll also see a great map of the Fair so you'll know where everything is on Sunday.

Of course, you'll always be able to attend any of the official happenings produced by Folsom Street Events. Saturday night dance until the early hours at the iconic Magnitude. Sunday is the truly big show, Folsom Street Fair itself. After the Fair, you can continue to dance at Deviants: Adult Arcade. You can find more information on the organization's website at

Leatherfolk and kinksters of all persuasions proudly walked in this year's 26th annual LeatherWalk. photo: Rich Stadtmiller

Last year Folsom Street Events donated more than $323,000 to local and national charities working in public health, human services, the arts, and more. When you pay an entry donation at the Fair or attend any of their events, you're contributing to a large sum of money that goes directly to helping people and communities. You can have fun and do good all at the same time.

Apart from the official Fair-related events, a plethora of places to go and things to do awaits.

Want to play? You can attend play parties at Blow Buddies, 442 Natoma or the one hosted by The 15 Association at SF Catalyst.

Want to shop? Well, there are dozens of vendors who will be selling their wares at the Fair on Sunday, but you can also visit Mr. S Leather either Friday or Saturday for their infamous in-store parties where you can socialize with lots of sexy people while perusing the erotic clothing and gear for sale.

Want to dance? In addition to Magnitude and Deviants, there's the Recon, Brüt, Bearracuda, New Breed, Aftershock and Real Bad dance parties.

Kink twinks at 2016's
Folsom Street Fair.
photo: Steven Underhill

Want to hang out and socialize in a bar? The Powerhouse, SF Eagle, The Lone Star Saloon, and The Edge are all hosting special events. There's also an event honoring the historic Fe-Be's bar.

Want to cruise the San Francisco Bay? There are two different leather cruises on the Bay being offered.

Wants to see a fun show? Check out the Baloney Does Folsom and Mother shows at Oasis.

Want to hang out with a group fostering diversity and more kink inclusion for people of color? Hang out at Onyx Invades Folsom at the Powerhouse.

Again, check out both the calendar that accompanies this column and the one included in the official Folsom Street Fair Guide. Between the two you have a whole lot of choices for things to do during this amazing week when San Francisco celebrates everything leather and kink.

Have fun. Be kind to each other. And let's once again show the world that San Francisco is still one of the kinkiest and most fun cities in the world.


Race Bannon is a local author, blogger and activist. You can reach him on his website,



Couple kink at 2016's fair.
photo: Rich Stadtmiller

Leather Events, September 21 – October 6, 2017

Here are some Folsom-specific and ongoing leather events.
For more events, including dance parties, see On the Tab.

Thu 21

ACLC Education Night @ BAYC/OurSpace

The basics of breathwork and bodywork will be covered such as the essentials of Tantric breathing technique to enhance somatic awareness and enjoyment during many different types of BDSM play. 22245 Main St., Hayward, 7:30-8:30pm.

Fe-Be's @ 424 Haight Street

Mr. Drummer '79 presents a tribute to the famous leather bar on Folsom that inaugurated the 'Miracle Mile,' featuring Jackie House (Honey Soundsystem) and Matthew Paul (Mr. Drummer). 424 Haight St., 9pm-2am.

Fri 22

Folsom Sunset Cruise @ Pier 40

Brian Kent Productions and Chris Hastings team up to bring you a unique San Francisco experience, this time in leather. From Pier 40 you'll board a one-of-a-kind passenger ferry with an open air top deck and experience all that the SF Bay has to offer, with some of the sexiest people from around the world. Pier 40, 6-10pm, $65-$100.

Leather Studio Portraits @ 1229 Folsom Street

Duo exhibition by photographers Mark I Chester and Alex Ray. Images explore leather, race and sex. Also open Sunday, Sept. 24, from 11am-6pm during the Folsom St. Fair. Photo studio will be set up with both Mark's and Alex's lights. Pre-arranged/pre-paid sessions with either Mark or Alex of 15 min are possible for $40. Minimum of 3 photos. Additional images $15. 7-10pm. Free but donations accepted.

Exiles Celebration @ Center for Sex and Culture

Sponsored in part by the Society of Janus and the SF Bay Area Leather Alliance, the Exiles presents their third annual all-genders party that kicks off Folsom Street Fair weekend. It'slso the Exiles' 20th anniversary. 1349 Mission St., free for members, suggested donation of $5-20 for non-members. No one is turned away for lack of funds. 7:30-10:15pm.

Leather Buddies @ Blow Buddies

A men's water leather and gear night. $15 with membership, 933 Harrison St., 8pm-4am.

Recon San Francisco @ DNA Lounge

The official Friday night gear and fetish dance party of the Folsom Street Fair weekend. 375 11th St., 9pm-3am. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 21+, photo ID required.

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm.

Brüt @ The Great Northern

The Men of Brüt are stocked and ready to deliver the much-anticipated kick off to this fetish holiday weekend. You'll be sweating and swaying to resident DJs Peter Napoli and Dan Darlington with special DJ Manny Ward. 119 Utah St., 10pm-4am, $50.

singlet sexy at Folsom.
photo: Steven Underhill

Sat 23

BLUF/Hot Boots Bootmen's Brunch @ Firewood Cafe

SF Bay Area Bootmen and Folsom Fair visitors, mark your calendars. 4248 18th St., 12pm.

Leather Cruise on the San Francisco Bay @ Pier 40

The Golden Gate Guards host their 7th annual Leather Cruise on San Francisco Bay. Leather or uniform attire expected. 3-hour cruise on SF Bay with views of SF, Alcatraz, Sausalito, Angel Island, Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge. Music, full no host bar on-board, appetizers and souvenirs. $80, 4:30pm, Pier 40 near AT&T Park.

ONYX x FLSM: the ONYX Folsom Weekend Party @ Powerhouse

The official ONYX party of Folsom Street Fair weekend for kinky men of color and their admirers. Strap into your leather, slick into that rubber, and gear up for a hot night with the men of ONYX. 1347 Folsom St., 5-9pm.

Men's BDSM Play Party @ SF Catalyst

The 15 Association hosts monthly play parties for men. This Leather Week play party is one of the biggest of the year. Party sells out every year. Buy your ticket early. If you have not attended one of our parties in the past, click the "Request Invite" button on the web site. All male-identified people who are interested in BDSM and are 18 or older are welcome. 6pm-12am.

Golden Shower Buddies @ Blow Buddies

A men's water sports night. $15 with membership, 933 Harrison St., 8pm-4am.

CODE @ The Edge

Bringing leather back to the Castro. 4149 18th St., 9pm-2am.

Magnitude @ The Armory

The official dance party of Folsom Street Fair. DJ Nick Bertossi, Alex Acosta and Ralphi Rosario. 333 14th Street 9:00 PM–4:00 AM. See website for prices.

New Breed @ Club Six

Pound Puppy and Polyglamorous present this notorious double decker event featuring Polyglamorous upstairs and Pound Puppy downstairs. 60 6th St., 10pm-4am. See website for prices.

Kink: it's not just for gay folk!
photo: Steven Underhill

Sun 24

Aftershock @ City Nights

Dance in the early morning hours at this well-known after-hours party. 715 Harrison St. 4-10am. See website for prices.

Folsom Street Fair @ Folsom Street from 8th to 13th Streets

With 400,000 fetish enthusiasts spread out over 13 city blocks, there is something for everyone. Over 200 exhibitor booths showcasing fetish gear and toys. Massive live stage with top-name indie, electronic and alternative acts, two huge dance areas spinning underground EDM, public play stations, and an erotic artists' area with a performance stage. And, yes, you can still be naked, so avail yourself of the coat and clothes check areas. 11am-6pm.

Deviants Adult Arcade @ Mezzanine

The official closing dance party of Folsom Street Fair. Featuring Jennifer Cardini, Josey Rebelle and Honey Soundsystem. 444 Jessie St., 6pm-2am. See website for prices.

Mon 25

Ride Mondays @ Eros

A motorcycle rider and leathermen night at Eros, bring your helmet, AMA card, MC club card or club colors and get $3 off entry or massage. 2051 Market St.

Wed 27

Leather and Underwear Buddies @ Blow Buddies

A men's water sports and underwear night. $15 with membership, 933 Harrison St., 8pm-12am.

Fri 29

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm.

Mon 2

Ride Mondays @ Eros

A motorcycle rider and leathermen night at Eros, bring your helmet, AMA card, MC club card or club colors and get $3 off entry or massage. 2051 Market St.

Fri 6

Sober Kink Together @ Castro Country Club

Officially a CMA meeting, but open to all Anonymous 12-step Fellowship members, 4058 18th St., 9:30pm.

Gear Party @ 442 Natoma

Gear play party (leather, rubber, harnesses, etc.) for gay men. 442 Natoma St., $15 (requires $5 membership), 10pm.


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