Folsom: A Fair for the Kinky

  • by Race Bannon
  • Friday September 25, 2015
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What San Francisco event fits this profile?

- Attended by more than 200,000 people.

- Draws 71% of its attendees from outside the city of San Francisco (and 42% from outside the Bay Area).

- Among those out of town visitors, 89% state the event is their primary reason for visiting San Francisco.

- Has a huge positive economic impact on the city of $180 million.

- Is the premiere leather and kink event in the world.

If you answered Folsom Street Fair, you're correct!

It's that time of year again when the entire city comes alive with everything leather and kink, all of it leading up to the highlight event, Folsom Street Fair, produced by the nonprofit organization, Folsom Street Events ( The Fair will be on Sunday, September 27, 2015, from 11 am to 6 pm, on Folsom Street from 8th to 13th streets and expanding into many of the adjoining side streets.

While Folsom Street Events produces a number of events such as the Up Your Alley street fair, the recently completed LeatherWalk, and the dance events that accompany their street fairs (Bay of Pigs, Magnitude and Deviants), there is no doubt that Folsom Street Fair is the Grand Poobah of their events.

Also, unlike their other events, Folsom Street Fair overtly welcomes a broad range of men and women of all orientations and kinky persuasions. No matter what your kinky proclivity, the fair is a destination you must experience if you have not already. There is truly nothing else like it anywhere.

Folsom Street Events' mission is to unite the adult alternative lifestyle communities with safe spaces for self-expression and exciting entertainment. They most certainly do that, with Folsom Street Fair being a primary example. They also raise funds to help sustain San Francisco-based and national charities.

So remember, all of the net proceeds from Folsom Street Fair, and all of the other events produced by Folsom Street Events, is distributed to a wide range of worthy nonprofit organizations. So when you drop your donation into the bucket as you enter the fair, you're helping to do some good for others and yourself.

When you're not people-watching at the Fair as you stroll down the blocks of leather-clad and fetish-wearing people -and their admirers- one of the enjoyable ways to engage with the local and national kink scene is to visit the many booths that populate the entire fairgrounds.

Not sure what booths to visit? At the fair is a merchandise booth that doubles as a fair information resource. There you can pick up copies of the program guide, maps, and more. Especially if you're new to attending the fair, do yourself a favor and get this information when you arrive to make the most of your experience. There's so much happening at the fair that it's easy to get lost amid the masses.

Among the many booths that stretch for blocks are leather and kink gear retailers, various nonprofit organizations, event producers, porn companies, lube and sex toy companies, representatives of many clubs and groups, and much more.

A lot of the booths will be familiar to long-time fair attendees. Certain companies, groups and organizations have participated for many years. However, the nice thing about the leather and kink scene is that it's always growing and morphing into ever-expanding areas of interest. So naturally, new types of booths are added each year.

One relatively new group that will have a booth at the Folsom Street Fair for a second year is Tykables (formerly called Snuggies -, a company that focuses on the ABDL (Adult Baby Diaper Lovers) lifestyle. The company sells adult-sized diapers to those who enjoy the lifestyle.

The ABDL lifestyle and fetish, also often referred to as infantilism, is a much misunderstood interest (and no, it has nothing to do with any underage participants). While the Tykables booth will sell their products, the booth will also serve as a place where people can stop by and ask questions should they be curious about this particular erotic interest. They'll even offer the chance to take a fun photo with some of the oversized adult baby props they'll have on hand.

Another relatively new booth offering is the San Francisco K9 Unit ( The SF K9 Unit is a social organization for people who enjoy puppy play, a style of erotic play that's become incredibly popular over the last few years. The group participates in the fair to inform attendees that the puppy/Handler scene is socially fun, playful and accepting no matter who you are, what you look like or what you wear.

The SF K9Unit space will have a multi-booth area for puppy playing, socializing and lots of great interaction throughout the day with each other, visiting pups and Handlers, and the crowd. They'll have booth spaces with gymnastic-quality mats in them (for comfortable puppy "romping"). There's even a "group howl" at noon.

Yet another relatively new group that will have a booth at the fair is the Rubber Men of San Francisco (, a San Francisco-based social organization dedicated to developing their membership through community outreach and support as well as providing social experiences and fetish events for rubber enthusiasts.

The three booths I just described are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of the wide array of booths you'll find at the fair, not to mention the beverage and food vendors, amazing selection of top name entertainment, dance areas, and more.

Folsom Street Fair is truly a time and place where it is safe for you to express yourself erotically (within legal limits, of course) while newcomers and old-timers alike can continue to learn and explore more of themselves.

The Folsom Street Fair is the ultimate expression of a diverse community coming together, uniting for a day of BDSM and kink exploration, fun and flirtation, and all while raising a lot of money for some worthwhile charitable organizations.

It's no understatement that there really is nothing else in the world quite like the Folsom Street Fair. Enjoy.

Leather Events, September 25 - October 9, 2015

Kink and leather gatherings include this weekend's massive Folsom Street Fair and its related parties, to smaller yet equally fun events afterward.

Friday, Sept. 25

Kibbles & Bits @ SOMA StrEat Food Park

SF K9 Unit's informal pup and handler dinner social. Dutch treat ; buy your own food/drink or just socialize. 428 11th St. (at Harrison), 6pm.

KuF (Plus) @ SF Citadel

SF Kinksters under Forty (KuF) presents a sexy all-ages men's play party in SF's largest dungeon space. 181 Eddy St., 6pm. Tickets and info at

Folsom Sunset Cruise @ Pier 40

Doing it in leather over one of the biggest weekends SF has to offer, Folsom Street Fair Weekend. Boarding begins at 6pm.

Leather Gear & Boots Banquet @ Stompers Boots

Formal leather extravaganza for those in the Stompers Nation. 323 10th St., $95, 7pm.

Meat and Greet Social @ Center for Sex and Culture

The Exiles welcome people of all genders and identities to enjoy our hospitality at this special kick-off party for Folsom Weekend. 1349 Mission St., 7pm.

Jok Church @ Magnet

Be My Porn Star Tonight; Church's show illustrates the beauty of man in a kaleidoscope of body parts. The colorful show also features some familiar faces of the San Francisco porn industry. 4122 18th St., 8pm.

Leather Buddies @ Blow Buddies

Erotic fun for leather and gear guys, $15, 933 Harrison St., 8pm.

Beers, Steer & Queers @ SF Eagle

SF Eagle and Jello Biafra's Incredibly Strange Dance Party are proud to present Beers Steers and Queers the dance party. 398 12th St., 9pm.

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

Brut @ Beatbox

A place to dance where you can be your kinky selves. 314 11th St., 10pm.

Saturday, Sept. 26

Rope Bondage Fair @ Wicked Grounds

Whether you are just beginning to get curious about bondage rope, or have been tying partners up for years, attend this very special pre-Folsom rope festival. 289 8th St., 1pm.

Folsom Saturday Beer Bust @ SF Eagle

Join us Folsom Street Fair weekend and see all the hot guys and girls in from all over the world. 398 12th St., 4pm.

Leather Cruise @ San Francisco Bay

Golden Gate Guards and BLUF host a cruise with leather men and women; complimentary cap, pin, lei and photo, complimentary food service, cash bar. 4:30pm, $75. Meet at Pier 40.

The 15 Association @ Alchemy

A men's BDSM play party. Advance tickets required. No tickets at the door. 1060 Folsom St., 6pm.

Radicals @ Books Inc.

A Folsom Eve reading on the theories and fictions of BDSM. Radicals celebrates human sexuality on the eve of Folsom Fair 2015. 2275 Market St., 7pm.

Magnitude @ The Midway SF

The official Saturday night dance event of Folsom Street Fair. 900 Marin St., 9pm.

Sunday, Sept. 27

Aftershock @ City Nights

Bring your friends and join the sexiest men from around the world at San Francisco's epic afterhours dance party. 715 Harrison St., 4am. Tickets at

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

This is the world's largest leather and fetish event, attended by thousands. Multiple bands, booths, kink demos, and more. Gate donations. 11am-6pm.

Queer Oasis @ Folsom Fair

The Queer Sphere's Relaxation Station at Folsom Street Fair. Stop by for sun screen, a bit of shade, a sip of refreshing spa water, a bandaid for that nasty blister or to freshen up at the Pitz & Titz Spritz station. 9th St. next to Venus Playground between Howard and Folsom, 11am.

Victory Party Stage on 12th Street @ SF Eagle

Featuring The Limousines, Pansy Division, Black Sabbitch, The Club Meds, and more; hosted by Violet Chachki, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 7. 398 12th St., 11am.

Boot Party @ Stompers Boots

The annual traditional party held during Folsom Street Fair, this year with not one but two kegs on our patio to be able to quench everyone's thirst. 323 10th St., Noon.

Deviants @ Mezzanine

The official closing party of Folsom Street Fair. 444 Jessie St., 6pm.

Real Bad XXVII @ 1015 Folsom

Huge dance party following Folsom Street Fair. 1015 Folsom St., 7pm.

Monday, Sept. 28

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.

Post-Folsom Decompression @ Wicked Grounds

Whether you're flying back home or just trying to muster the energy to get back to work, get that last taste of kinky San Francisco before you go. 289 8th St., 8am.

Friday, Oct. 2

SCCLA Bar Schmooz @ Renegades Bar, San Jose

Informal social where friends, prospective members and anyone else who wants to relax, laugh, talk and hang out with like-minded people, 501 W. Taylor St., San Jose, 9pm.

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.

Monday, Oct. 5

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.

Tuesday, Oct. 6

Under the Sole: The Eroticism of Boot Play & With Disciple

This class we will examine the attraction of boots, from aesthetics to sexual. $20, 181 Eddy St., 8pm.

Friday, Oct. 9

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.