The Folsom Street Fair is no soft-core 50 Shades of Grey: the goings on at this celebration of sadomasochistic hedonism would put even Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights to shame! Each year thousands of kinksters flock to San Francisco and fly their freak flag high for one fantastically indulgent weekend of kink and sexual revelry.
One can expect to see nudity, fisting, creative public humiliation, whipping, human pony’s pulling carts, people suspended in intricate rope bondage, sissy maids, Master’s and Mistress’s proudly displaying their slaves and every other cardinal sin imaginable. And it’s not just for the gay boys either. There are kinky dominants, submissives, slaves, switches and fetishists of every gender and orientation.
Veteran Folsom attendee, writer and San Francisco kink scenester Davina Darling offers this survival guide for first time Folsom attendees.
DAVINA DARLING’S TIPS FOR SURVIVING FOLSOM
1. If you are wearing latex BRING A BACKUP OUTFIT!!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ripped latex. One Folsom I had to walk home naked as a jay bird, bits out for the world to see holding my ripped latex in my hand like last nights prom date.
2. If you are wearing latex BRING LUBE. Wiggling into un lubbed latex is by one of the hardest and most uncomfortable things I’ve ever had to do. Plus, no one likes a dull outfit.
3. If you are planning on drinking, bring your own booze in. It’s surprisingly easy to sneak in a flask or camel back and that way you don’t have to wait in the god awful lines for a watered down cocktail.
4. If you are driving in bring a cozy outfit for the car ride home!! It feels amazing after a day of sun and kink to slip into a sweatshirt.
5. Wear comfy shoes! Trust me I don’t care how fierce they make your outfit look NO ONE is going to appreciate them as you herd through the crowd like cows to slaughter. Your feet will thank you.
6. Bring a purse! Or some small bag to carry your shit in. You will need your cell phone (to find lost drunk friends) a extra lip gloss and a mirror, trust me.
7. Meet a friend who lives in walking distance. Cultivate a friendship for the months leading up to folsom so you will have a nice flushing toilet to visit and maybe a couch to fall on for a minute in between the crowds.
8. Wear sunscreen! Every year without a doubt I am always marked with an awful tan in the shape of fetish wear. It’s not cute, I don’t care who you are.
9. Leave cute accessories at home. No ones going to stop and admire your crazy gloves or parasol and you will end up carrying them around like dead weight. Not worth the effort.
10. Have another way to get home. Every year you see the same sad people wandering the street because they got separated from their ride. Bring extra taxi/bus money (that you will not spend on booze) just in case.
11. Negotiate! It’s so easy to get swept up in wanting to preform for crowds. Ive seen People’s boundaries get pushed far too often for the sake of drawing a crowd. Be respectful while playing!
12. Drink water!!!! Your out playing around In the sun all day in some ridiculous outfit not made for sunshine. It’s just common sense.
13. I don’t care how naked and inviting someone looks ASK BEFORE TOUCHING!!! Even if it’s your thing, being constantly groped by unfamiliar hands get old after a while.
Read more of Davina Darling’s work here: