Folsom Street Blues | Wild love
Q I was wondering what you think of Folsom Street Fair, the annual gay leather / fetish / BDSM street fair in San Francisco. Do you think this is still a socially relevant display? Or do you think that in this time when we are fighting for civil rights and equality, it does more harm than good? –Better display San Francisco
I’m pretty sure the Folsom Street Fair remains socially relevant – and great – for the folks in the leather / fetish / BDSM scene in San Francisco. It’s also relevant to anyone who believes in freedom of sexual expression. (To get an idea of what Folsom looks like, and to see the scale of it, search for “Folsom Street Fair” on YouTube.)
And it’s important to point out that the Folsom Street Fair, which took place last weekend, is not exclusively gay. Thousands of straight kinksters attend each year. The only difference between straight guys and gays is that no one is claiming that the perverted straight guys in Folsom make all straight guys all over the world look like sex-crazed sadomasochists. (For the record: sex-crazed sadomasochists are my favorite types of sadomasochists.)
Straight guys, of course, don’t fight for their basic civil rights. Kinky straight guys can get married in all 50 states, after all, and no one is committing to kick evil straight guys out of the military or enshrine anti-evil bigotry in the U.S. Constitution. So maybe it’s not the same – maybe it’s not as politically risky – when straight guys come out in bondage gear, leather leggings, and pony masks. But straight people are also a big part of Folsom.
But you didn’t ask about perverted straight guys. You wondered if the Folsom Street Fair was doing damage to the fight for LGBT equality.
The Folsom Street Fair has been held on a Sunday in September in San Francisco every year since 1984. Pride parades have been held on a Sunday in June in cities across the country since the early 1970s. And every year we hear from trolls worried about the damage that is supposed to be done to the LGBT rights movement by all those drag queens, go-go boys, dykes and leather goods from Pride or Folsom or International Mr. Leather.
But everyone recognizes – even our enemies – that the gay rights movement has made extraordinary strides in the 43 years since the Stonewall riots in New York City. We are not there yet – we have not yet achieved our full civil equality – but the pace of progress has been unprecedented in the history of social justice movements. The women’s suffrage movement, for example, was started in the United States in 1848. It took more than 70 years to pass the 19th Amendment, which extended the vote to women. In 1969, at the time of the Stonewall riots, gay sex was illegal in 49 states. Gay sex is now legal in all states in the United States, gay marriage is legal in six states and our nation’s capital (and all of Canada), and gays, lesbians, and bisexuals can openly serve in the military. (The armed forces continue to discriminate against trans people.) And we have made this progress despite fierce opposition from the religious right, a deadly scourge that has wiped out a generation of homosexuals, and – gasp – all those leather men from Folsom and go-go boys and drag queens at Pride.
We couldn’t have gone that far, so fast if Folsom or the Pride Parades are hurting our movement. And I would say the leather guys, the bike dykes, the go-go boys and the drag queens have actually helped our movement, the BDSF. They show everyone that our movement is not just about the freedom to be gay or straight. Our movement is about the freedom to be the type of straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or trans person you want to be. And freedom, as Dick Cheney said, means freedom for everyone – from outlet salespeople wearing pantsuits like Mary Cheney and Chris Barron to kinky straight guys and sexy gay boys in harnesses.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that cities with big pride parades and events like Folsom are more tolerant and tolerant of sexual minorities than cities that don’t have big gay parades and street fairs. fetishists. If an event like Folsom was in fact counterproductive, BDSF, you would expect San Francisco to be less tolerant and less likely to support equal rights for sexual minorities, not more likely.
And finally, BDSF, any attempt to shut down the Folsom Street Fair – or ban drag queens, go-go boys, dikes on bikes or leather men from movement parades that a thousand Folsom street fairs ever could. .
Q I am a woman in a relationship with a man. My boyfriend recently told me that he bought himself a set of butt plugs. He said he was happy to use them on his own if I wasn’t interested. I don’t mind him using them when we’re together, and I’d also be more than willing to reattach him if he wanted to, but I hesitate to tell him. I’m afraid that will lead him to suggest that we play in my anal territory, and I’m really uncomfortable with the idea. I have IBS; my lower digestive tract and I can’t get along well. I don’t trust my body enough to feel comfortable trying this, and I don’t think I could look my boyfriend in the eye again if he put a finger in my butt and something terrible thing was happening. I know when it comes to guys wanting anal sex your position is that he should take it first if he wants to. So if I don’t want to take it back, am I giving up any right to strap-on my boyfriend? –I am selfish?
Reversal is fair play and reciprocity is important, yes, but a person can have a legitimate physical limitation which makes certain kinds of reciprocal reversal impossible. Such is the case with you and your butt. You have a really good reason to avoid being a victim of anal play, IBS, and I can’t imagine your boyfriend – who is obviously interested in her final reception, whether it’s yours or not – is going to do it. oppose your offer to hook him up or poke his ass even though he’s not allowed to hook it up, fix it or fuck yours.
QYes Dan, there are still a lot of heterosexuals who are turned off by women who go “too fast”, and first date oral sex is generally seen as too fast. This is part of a misogynistic, IMHO frame of mind that says women who are too sexually assertive are not “relationships.” Or maybe it’s an old male fear of the insatiable nympho who will drain his male power by sexually overwhelming him. Or, more generously, maybe these men think that going too fast just speaks of poor judgment (although straight men rarely apply this logic to themselves). Whatever the cause, I have experienced it myself, and I have found the solution to be by now more HIV positive feminist men who take responsibility for their half of the pace. I’ve found that feminist men actually appreciate sexually assertive women, while many non-feminist men are happy to accept the attentions of sexually assertive women while harboring contempt for us. –The happy whore
Thanks for sharing, THW.