San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair: a multi-block assemblage of kinky bedroom props suppliers, alternative music performances, on-stage flogging and whipping, food, drinks, a women’s area and a lot-a lot-a lot of leather. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Folsom Street Fair is a leather and fetish extravaganza. While I wasn’t able to make the journey across the Bay to personally check out this annual event (now in its 27th year!), I did decide to do some research on it. In the name of education.
And so, as I read the nice description on the fair’s official website, browsed pictures from last year’s episode, read the SF Chronicle’s little coverage of yesterday’s festivities, a thought came to mind.
I couldn’t help but notice that some of the people quoted in the Chronicle’s piece would only give their first names or no name at all. These people did attend an event on the streets of San Francisco, so it is interesting that they are choosing a certain level of anonymity in regards to this. However, it does actually make sense. In a world that is still struggling to accept anything other than “standard” heterosexuality, this is not that surprising. This community (and all other communities) wants to hold an event, come together, share, bond over their common interest and above all, have a place where it’s OK to enjoy some leather and pain, amongst other things.
This actually reminded me of an instance a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine asked me how long she should wait before telling her new fuck buddy about “what she likes” (not that she meant a BDSM fetish, but just some specific little moves not necessarily found in everyone’s bedroom sessions). My response? Anytime.
She could have even told him the first night.
Why? Because in the bedroom, everything is “normal.” To each his own.
I mean, if you’re not into it, by all means do decline, but we all have the freedom of preferences. Actually, there is no such thing as “normal.” Ideally, you should be hooking up with someone of similar interests (or one willing to be introduced and enjoy yours) so you can truly be fulfilled, but there is nothing wrong with you if whoever you’re about to get down and dirty with isn’t a fan of your favorites.
Sex is a complex concept. It’s private, yet shouldn’t be inhibited. It’s a personal preference, yet “norms” have been formed as society “normalizes” everything. You should express your preferences, yet judge not those who differ. Normal are those who like it wrapped in leather or as a different character, yet so are those who like it missionary style in a comfortable mattress.
Kia Kokalitcheva is the Sex on Tuesday blogger. Follower her on Twitter @imkialikethecar