NSFW: 30 Great pics of Folsom Street Fair 2017

Every September thousands of LGBTs converge upon San Francisco's Folsom Street for an annual celebration of BDSM and leather subculture. We selected our favourite pics from this year's Fair.

A group of topless muscled men in shorts at the Folsom Street Fair
Image: https://500px.com/adoremynikon

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.

Photo of an old edition of Folsom Street Fair

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…

4. Kneel!

5. Thirsty pups

6. Packing

7. Master and pup

8. Buns on display

Man wearing jock strap, sunglasses and a black blazer at Folsom Street Fair

9. Serving Big Trouble in Little China

10. Everybody loves puppets!

11. Hiyyeeee

12. Those red cheeks though

13. Triple trouble

Three shirtless men in shorts hugging at Folsom Street Fair

14. He looks so happy

15. Nice… tool?

16. Daddy Chaser

17. Lady Dragon

Girl wearing dragon hat at Folsom Street Fair

18. Sister Sister

Two colourful drag queens at Folsom Street Fair

19. Britney or Tina?


20. Strike a pose

21. Rad hair don’t care

22. Quiet moment for reflection

Man with shaved head, wearing a black t-hist and pants with red suspenders, leaning against wall at Folsom street fair

23. I want to go to there

A group of shirtless guys in shorts talking at Folsom street fair.

24. The helmet!

A woman with an helmet with the word

25. That’s a big pup

Two shirtless guys at Folsom street fair. One wearing a harness, the other one wearing a pup mask.

26. Beautiful eyes

27. Punk realness

28. Sweetest Pic

29. Shady Queen

30. No leather but he was too pretty not to photograph 

Guy wearing a shredded top at Folsom street fair

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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