Tomorrow is the big day. The event that started in 1984 is the state’s third largest public event, and the world’s largest BDSM leather party. Proceeds support local and national non-profits, and are often a major source of their income. The street fills with games, beer stands, S&M demonstrations and vendors of fetish leather, toys and videos. By 2 PM it’s packed curb to curb.
What began as a gay man’s paradise has become a freak show for folks from the burbs. It does provide men from America and Europe a unique experience, so my gym always has great bodies the week before the fair. It’s changed over the years, but what remain are the beer and overly priced hot dogs and barbecued chicken on sticks. What has changed is the raw energy of its first days. Hotel rooms fill up months in advance, and leather shops do record business. One year a Safeway ran out of Crisco because they hadn’t stocked up for the weekend. The fair weekend means fisting parties like Hell Hole and Tom Fisters’ invitation party, and countless men happily hang in slings all over town.
Everything on the street except the smell of leather and sweat is found on the Internet these days, so I’m not longer surprised. The naked men are still the ones you wish had never taken off their clothes and the Polish sausages are just as greasy. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
If you’re a gay man who’s never been to a Folsom Fair it belongs on your bucket list.