Folsom (Updated)

Our last full day in San Francisco and we’re off to the Folsom Street Fair.

I’m only half aware of what to expect. Lots of leather. Lots of BDSM folks and paraphernalia. It should be fun in the extreme.

The funny thing is that although New York has a few gay pride events (i.e. the Halloween and Mermaid parades), it really has yet to embrace the kinksters in any significant way. Yes, there is Paddles and a variety of S&M shops and clubs but these seem to survive unacknowledged by the average New Yorker even though they might know they exist.

New York is a strange place. It is seen as a beacon of liberal and libertine thought yet has a distinct conservativeness about it at the same time. New Yorkers hate it when things change but accept change as inevitable. They profess a live and let live attitude as long as the living is being done away from their sight. There is also a distinct segment of New York City which is Society and sees the city in terms of dressy facade and a place that fits their own view of themselves. Other New Yorkers, the majority, get up, go to work and go home at night, living their own lives and hoping for as little trouble as possible.

I think this is why the New York kinksters, whether spankos like Sandy and me or other BDSMers, do what we do with as little fanfare as possible. Like other New Yorkers, we want to go about out business with the fewest number of eyes on us – leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. The freedom that the gay and lesbian communities have demanded has yet to be claimed by people with our or other sexual proclivities.

As liberal as New York is seen as, it has a disturbing undertone of moralism perhaps most strikingly embodied by a string of Catholic Cardinals and a hypocritical mayor. Even with all the gay pride events New York has to offer, I could never see anything like the Folsom Street Fair happening. So much for liberalism.


So many people crammed into one area but it was a lot of fun. Bought a couple of the official 25th Anniversary pins to take back for my vanilla coworkers. Saw plenty of varied genders and orientations, lots of penises and asses and gave Sandy twenty with a leather strap for charity at one booth (I think it scared the onlookers). All in all, it was a not to be missed experience.


4 Responses to “Folsom (Updated)”

  1. MrCommenter Says:

    It’s hard to compare New York with San Francisco on this.
    The NY Times reported some time ago that over 40% of the single men in San Franscisco are homosexual.
    Another study reports that 20 to 25 percent of San Francisco’s voters is comprised of educated and committed lesbians and gay men.
    There are estimates that over 1/3 of the gay men in San Franscisco have engaged in some form of sadomasochistic sex.

    So a strong percentage of the the electorate in SF don’t have a problem with public beatings and simulated torture being publicly displayed once a year.
    This level of openness makes ANY city, let alone New York, seem overly moralistic.

    Gay bars in New York haven’t been interfered with in 40 years.
    I driven by the David Geffen center for years, and there has never been any graffiti written there or a policemen protecting it.
    The speaker of the New York City Council is openly gay.
    I haven’t read of any demonstrations in front of the Museum of Sex on Fifth Avenue.
    A S&M bar existed on 23rd street, by the Chelsea Hotel, with a pretty obvious sign publicly posted, with barely a mention in the press.

    I don’t think that you’ll find a case anywhere of any New Yorker criticized for their sexual morality. The city sure didn’t close any sex clubs. There have been no public announcements to shame or shun anyone.

    And please tell me how your life got WORSE under Giuliani. You miss the squeegee men on the street corners, or your car being broken into? Did you possible have a no-work job for the Board of Education on Livingston Street? Or are you angry that artists insulted Churches and were called out for it?

  2. If you would like me to point out just one example then I’ll be glad to oblige. Under Mr. Giuliani’s watchful eye, the NYPD were allowed to shed the last vestiges of shame left over from the Knapp Commission’s exposure of the rampant corruption and overreaching engaged in by New York’s Finest. “Giuliani Time” became a metaphor for a department who after being given a loose reign, felt free enough to anally rape suspects. There is a strange misreading of the reasons for the decline of crime in New York City. The boom of the Clinton years brought down unemployment and poverty (both a leading cause of crime). The initiatives to get cops out from behind desks and onto the street were begun under the Dinkins Administration leaving Giuliani to take the credit.

    The truth is that Giuliani made New York not just a leaner but substantially meaner city. He is a corporate controlled quasi-militaristic strong man which is still the definition of fascist. I’m not even getting into his personal corruption and his attachments to people like Bernard Kerik.

  3. MrCommenter Says:

    Sorry you had trouble with the NYC Police.

    Because of your strong party affiliations, and out of respect for your efforts on the blog, I won’t challenge your political statements again.

  4. I request no special treatment nor shrink from a discussion of politics if I bring it up in the first place. My dislike for certain politicians would be equal if they belonged to any party.

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