This one word, “Folsom,” is well-known. It refers to a week’s events and activities in San Francisco, California. The largest activity that culminates this week of events is a street festival held on Sunday, September 23. There will be plenty of entertainment, parties, after-parties, demonstrations, dances, smokin’ and drinkin’, and lots and lots of boots and leather. While it is predominantly attended by gay men into leather, there are a lot of people (both gay and straight) who go. It is the largest such outdoor “fetish” event in the world.

Ahhhh… back in the day…

In 1993 and again in 1994, my partner and I spent a week in San Francisco for this event and some of the other activities that lead up to it. We did not know anyone in the gay community there, but enjoyed the views. During our visit in ’94, I rented a motorcycle and my partner and I rode all around northern California. We had a good time, but unfortunately the bike that I rented — a BMW — was hard to handle and difficult to operate. Taught me that I didn’t want to consider owning a BMW of my own.

But I digress…

What did we do? Mostly touristy stuff. Ate great food, did some leather shopping, and attended the Mr. Drummer contest which was held at the time there. (That contest is not held any more.)

What didn’t we do? While there were many activities related to gay sex, we didn’t partake. We went to a bathhouse and, ahem, “observed.” But I have to be honest, some things we saw scared me. I’m just not into those kind of things.

We wore leather everywhere, and of course, boots. I remember wearing Dehner boots at the leather contest, and Wesco boots on the bike. I also bought a new pair of Wesco harness boots while there.

We had a good time. Lots to see and do in San Francisco.

If you are going, be sure to read my “Air Travel with Leather Gear” Guide which I wrote while remembering my struggles in bringing almost every item of leather that I owned. I learned the hard way not to do that — and to mix and match with fewer items in future travels.

For more info about the Folsom activities, see the Folsom Street Fair website. Be safe and have fun!

Life is short: live your fantasies at least once in your life.