Kinks.. and Folsom Street Fair

Folsom SmilesDuring a recent trip to San Francisco I had the pleasure and delight to chance upon Folsom Street Fair. My eyes (and perception of ‘normal’) will never be the same.

For those not on the local BDSM mailing lists, the Folsom Street Fair (FSF) is an annual BDSM and leather subculture street fair held on the last Sunday in September that caps San Franciscos “Leather Pride Week”. S&M activities are actively encouraged and performed in public, most attendees don their favorite leather/studded/PVC outfit (mostly consisting of straps and a buttload of naked), and there’s a whole lot of freakin’ going on.

(and no, I’m not explaining S&M activities.. you can look that one up yourself)

And here was I getting excited about trying my first Pumpkin Spice Latte that morning. Its all a question of perspective now, isn’t it?

As my girlfriend and I watched the throngs heading towards their 1pm ‘partial suspension bondage’ demo and the 2:15pm ‘safe, consensual and sane’ lecture, the squeals and laughter were constant from everyone around us.  Watching the guy who got off his motorcycle in galoshes, arm length rubber gloves and a butcher apron (why yes, he was wearing a helmet..but no other clothes), fuss with his hair in his motorcycle mirror, we were distracted by a tall man walking down the street in a top hat and bow-tie. Wearing nothing else.

‘That must have taken a while’ my girlfriend said. I was confused. To tie the bow-tie? ‘No, to shave all that’ she said. ‘Quite a while.’ In case you never get the opportunity to watch a confident naked hairless man walk down the street.. I can highly recommend it. It was riveting. Jaunty.

(Though now I don’t understand how any guy can get away with just boxers.)

Next up were the folks on leashes (what is it with leather pig face masks these days?) and all those those bound, strapped, greased and gagged. Not a few were tied to lampposts. Folsom 2Whipped and penetrated, sucked and slapped, it’s all on display and for those not partaking, its the best people watching you’re ever going to get – ever – without leaving the USA. Of course, if watching a man with a cock-ring and Doc Martens (I guess he keeps his money in his socks?), study the dude impaling himself on a 3 foot dildo isn’t your thing, or you’d rather skip the chick tied to a Wheel of Fortune being whipped as she spins, there’s always Alcatraz or the cablecars. San Fransisco really does have something for everyone.

747px-Folsom_2003_bondage_demoBut watching (and laughing, and shrieking, and squirming) got me thinking about the folks who are really passionate about this stuff. The people who live the fetish life and for whom Folsom is more than just a chance to get together with your mates and compare nipple rings, its the annual celebration of what you love.

Lord, kinks are awesome. Talk about something for everyone.

1. Poppers. Yup. Some people get off on the popping of balloons. Balloon fetishists regard balloons bursting as essential to the sexual experience, so probably aren’t a mate for someone with an nervous disposition. But this kink isn’t limited to popping; prior to actual ‘moment’ poppers will hump or ride the balloon, hugging or squeezing balloons to burst them at the critical moment.  And you thought you were weird.

2. Sploshers.  Here the kinkster gets excited when messy substances are deliberately and generously applied to their partners and themselves. This might mean whipped cream or mud, shaving foam or baked beans, but also extends to pudding, cake batter and paint.  Ever wondered why your sweetie has a tiled room in his basement? I’m guessing he likes to get pelted with cream pies to get off. And you thought taking a shower before sex was a hassle…? Try wiping pudding off the Tiffany lamp and the end table twice a week.

3. Infantilism. Most of us have some awareness  (and squickyness) around this one. The kinkster in question gets his (its mainly men) kicks from wearing diapers (nappies), donning kid style clothing (romper suits, oneseys’) and being treated like a baby. No, not how you usually treat him.. like an actual baby. Complete with diaper changes, baby talk and kids toys. The piece de resistance is…sorry.. I need to go take a shower.

4. Aptemnophilia (that’s amputee fetishists to you and me). Some people love the nubs. But it could be worse, they could have Apotemnophilia. That’s the one where they fantasize about losing their own limbs. Yikes. And keep him away from the bread knife.

5. Vores want to be eaten whole or be eaten whole themselves. Yep. That’s a ‘thing’. Beings whole new meaning to the words ‘ You’re so lovely, I could just eat you up’. On a good note, most people don’t act on it, they prefer to just look at pictures of cannibalism. Oh.. so that’s.. good?

6. Agalmatophilia – or a love of statues, mannequins, and immobility. And no, that’s not the dude who gets off from a partner who’s less than responsive. These folk are into fooling around with mannequins or things which can’t immobile. (different from necro’s.. they’re the ones into actual dead people). I’d say these guys really have been spending wayyyyy too much time at the ICU ward. But I’m sure there’s a different fetish for that too.

7. Mechaphilia – people who get sexually aroused by their cars or other machines. Hmm, Do I need to rethink my mechanics enthusiasm for Moto Guzzis?  Actually these folks tend to prefer helicopters, aeroplanes and cars (so that’s ok then).  In fact, in 2008, an American named Edward Smith admitted to ‘having sex’ with 1000 cars. Clearly might explain why Match.com features a lot of guys showing off their Madzas. Hmmmm.

8. Catheterophilia – A sexual perversion in which a catheter or other foreign body (e.g. swizzle stick, garter snake) be inserted in the urethra. Uh- good luck with that. I tapped out as soon as I heard the word ‘Catheter’.

9. Throwing up – (Emetophilia or also known as  Roman shower). Finally, a fetish designed for partners of celiacs! Emetophiles find the act of vomiting arousing; for them, the sequence of “spasm, ejaculation, relief” in vomiting is erotically charged. Other emetophiles are aroused by seeing, hearing, and smelling others vomit. (some of these guys must be elementary teachers). Some desire a partner who will vomit on them, while others wish to induce vomiting in a partner, or even force them to vomit. Bring on the wheat dude.. I am your new best friend!

10. And finally, farts. Eproctophilia is the rarer-than-rare sexual attraction to human flatulence. No idea why, but it exists. First documented case in 2013. Really. Only in America kids, only in America.

Suddenly that naked guy in the top hat and bow tie looks pretty tame doesn’t he?

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