Misty watercolor memories of the Folsom Street Fair

So when I said I got “a big ol’ whopping serving of freaky on Folsom Street,” what I actually meant was, “I got drunk and gave my phone number out to a zillion people.” And when I said, “I’m still dealing with the fallout,” what I meant was, “Yes, you’re right, I am an idiot sometimes.”

First, a bit of background on the Folsom Street Fair: It is the biggest gay leather expo/fair/spectacle in the country, It distills all that is wild and wonderful, BDSM and GLBT, exhibitionist and off-color about San Francisco down into a single afternoon. You will see more naked  penises and  pierced nipples in one hour at that fair than you ever have in your entire life. Oh, and milky white buttocks. Hundreds of them. I’m telling you, at least half the city called in to work “hung over, sunburned and trying to remember exactly what happened” on Monday.

If I were a normal writer, I’d say, “You must go to this event at least once, if only to get a glimpse of SF’s alt-lifestyle crowd in its full glory.”

Since I’m me, I will say, “Next time I go to this party, I am bringing a giant squeezy-bottle of SPF 60 sunscreen, and I’m doling it out for free, because sunburned privates are no joke.”

I will also say that next time I go to any similar party, I need to be chaperoned. The thing is, after a few drinks, I will give my card to just about anyone. I feel like I’m just being polite. In LA you swap cards with everyone, and no one ever calls you. But in the real world, if you give someone your card, they WILL call. Because they will think–quite logically–that you want them to.

 In the two weeks following Folsom Street, I’ve received date offers from old men, young men, women, couples, lesbian triads… you wouldn’t believe it. I’ve turned them down as gracefully as possible–they all seem like pretty nice people. Apparently I had lengthy conversations with all of them. I don’t remember that, though. Here’s what I do remember:

The girls 

These young women tried to take me home.


This couple was adorable, and totally knew it.

Sausage stand

This boy dressed up in a stewardess’ outfit featuring tiny white hotpants, and he and I stood on a street corner and tried to sell sausages (edible ones, that his friend had cooked), but no one wanted them. They only wanted him.

Folsom Street nun 

This nun was the greatest.

I kissed no one, and went home alone (to my sister’s house, so she can back me up).

Anyway, now you understand why I didn’t want to go to Exotic Erotic–which is basically a bridge-and-tunnel knockoff with the highest grope rate in the city.

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November 2007
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