First of all, a little background on Folsom for the uninitiated:
Since its debut in 1984, Folsom has grown into one of California’s largest single-day festivals, one which generates significant revenue for numerous charities.
Though the event, officially called the Folsom Street Fair but known by all as just ‘Folsom’, caps the end of the city’s Leather Pride Week, it attracts a broad range of attendees from all walks of life.
The City of San Francisco has a long history of leather-loving, stemming partly from its popularity as a destination from returning servicemen, post World War 2. The city’s first leather bar, the Sailor Boy Tavern, opened in 1938 and catered to navy sailors looking for some same-sex action.
Folsom became the epicentre of San Fran’s (mainly male) leather community since the 1960s. Leather-friendly bars like the Tenderloin, The Why Not and The Tool Box sprang up to meet the growing demand for more subculture safe spaces.
An earlier precursor to Folsom was the CMC Carnival (California Motorcycle Club Carnival), a gay leather BDSM fair which took place from 1966-1984 and was organised by gay motorcycle clubs, like the Warlocks, San Francisco’s first gay biker gang.
When the Aids crisis took hold in the 1980s, city officials began to enforce stricter regulations for bars and to crack down on bath-houses. As such venues were popular amongst the leather community, community activists decided to organise a street fair in order to raise visibility and funds and to offer members of the leather community the chance to connect to services and vital information – particularly around safe-sex.
Eventually, the event evolved into the epic celebration of sexuality that it has become today. Today, Folsom Street Fair draws an estimated 400,000 each year. That’s a lot of leather.
This year Fair ended recently and we picked the thirty best (NSFW) images for you.
1. He can be my commander!
2. Holy tattooed hunk, Batman!
3. Sun’s out…
5. Thirsty pups
7. Master and pup
8. Buns on display
9. Serving Big Trouble in Little China
10. Everybody loves puppets!
12. Those red cheeks though
13. Triple trouble
14. He looks so happy
15. Nice… tool?
16. Daddy Chaser
17. Lady Dragon
18. Sister Sister
19. Britney or Tina?
20. Strike a pose
21. Rad hair don’t care
22. Quiet moment for reflection
23. I want to go to there
24. The helmet!
25. That’s a big pup
26. Beautiful eyes
27. Punk realness
28. Sweetest Pic
29. Shady Queen
30. No leather but he was too pretty not to photograph
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