Kinky boots

Leather season is hard upon us -- and a special Folsom Pride party adds to the festivities

|
()
Mr. San Francisco Leather, Andy Cross, won the International Mr. Leather competition in Chicago last month

marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO Just hear that harness jinglin', chapped cheeks tinglin', toooo .... Leather season is here, whipping us into a frenzy in the best possible way. At the feisty International Mr. Leather Competition in Chicago last month, our own adorable Mr. San Francisco Leather, Andy Cross, took home the top title, while Mr. Santa Clara County Leather, Thib Guicherd-Callin, won first runner-up. The International Ms. Leather competition, held here in April, was quite lively as well, and of course we're still celebrating the reopening of leather central, the SF Eagle. Sashes, lashes, shots, and nipple slaps for everyone!

It's all the perfect, thigh-high-booted lead-in to a gloriously kinky summer, bracketed by those essential Folsom Street Events (www.folsomstreetevents.com): scruffy gay Up Your Alley Fair on Sunday, July 28 and pansexual bacchanal Folsom Street Fair (celebrating 30 years, woah) on Sunday, September 29. Those two events have grown so much they've recently been expanded, as have their satellite parties — this year, Folsom's muscle-hunk Magnitude party will take over two huge venues, Sound Factory and nearby Terra, as will its more queer-friendly counterpart Deviants, at Beatbox and Mist. Meanwhile, Folsom Events is planning its first Pride float — at 48-feet, it needed a special parade provision, because it's "too big." Ummm.

"Well, people are still having the dirty sex. We're just trying to give them as much as they can handle — and they can handle a lot, apparently." laughs sparkle-eyed cutie Demetri Moshoyannis, Folsom Events' executive director, when I bring up how much his organization keeps proving that rumors of the leather scene's imminent demise are unfounded. (Like many close-knit communities, the leather one's in a constant tizzy over dying out — due to the Internet, mainstream blanding, old age, gentrification, Japanese water ghosts, what have you.) "But of course things change. No, girl, it's not gonna look like the '70s. Because those were the '70s."

Demetri Moshoyannis of Folsom Street Events (he's a DJ, too!) Photo by Uel Renteria

"It's kind of funny, our biggest task this year is assuring everyone that it's perfectly legal to be naked at Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair," Demetri continued, referring to the street fair exemption from the city's recently passed nudity ban. "We'll have an expanded clothes check, and we encourage everyone to get naked. Everywhere we go, people from around the world are, like, 'You can't even be naked in San Francisco anymore?' Well, at least at our party you can."

The biggest surprise expansion of the leather community, however, has been one of taste. Under Demetri's eight-year leadership, Folsom's gone beyond being the biggest fetish fair in the world to becoming a major West Coast tour stop for indie electro bands. For those of us who still associate leather parties with the tinny diva carnival racket that is gay circuit music, this is an incredible relief. Folsom Street Fair lineups, including acts like The Presets, Little Boots, and Ladyhawke, have been geared toward attracting a more adventurous concert-going demographic. And it's worked.

Related articles

  • Folsom Special: Guerrilla Queer Bar returns as leather "Pop-Up"

  • The Organ Master

    NIGHTLIFE/SEX ISSUE Amazing organist Cameron Carpenter pipes up at SF Symphony (and Folsom Street Fair). Plus: All the best Folsom parties ever this week.  

  • Here, piggies: Quick 'n dirty Folsom party guide

  • Also from this author

  • Southern light

    MOVEABLE FEAST 2014 Eating a path through southern Italy

  • Beat it

    Fall nightlife season is heating up, with Ten Walls, Tiara Sensation, Basic Soul Unit, Hercules and Love Affair, Daniel Wang, Art Beats, and more 

  • Folsom Special: Zbörnak wants to rock your "Dikpix"