Welcome to the blog of Sir Dave where you can find news, appointment availability, new purchases, new ideas and just my thoughts on life work and the world. Oh and maybe the odd photo or collection of photo's I like.
This year I returned to Folsom!
But not Berlin, which is what most people in the UK think of when I mention Folsom. I returned to the original San Francisco Folsom Street Fair, my 4th visit to this iconic event. The worlds largest leather/kink event attracting around 250,000 visitors (for reference that is ten times larger then Folsom Europe).
I’ve never done Folsom East or Folsom Berlin so cannot compare the events, but I know a lot of my European friends have never done Folsom, so I will give you my guide on what to expect and what is there.
Folsom is very much a mixed event – different kinks, fetishes, fashions, gear, sexes, genders all on display! And that for me is what makes it so great – the huge spectrum of people who attend.
And with that many people attending it needs a lot of space – 13 city blocks near the centre of SF! People say it gets busy … really busy, but I think first-timers can often underestimate just how rammed it can be. By the time I left mid-afternoon the queues to get in were stretching over two blocks! Some of the popular areas of the fair were packed, if you don’t like crowds definitely get in early!
There is no ‘ticket fee’ for entering the fair, just a requested donation. If you donate and get a sticker to wear your drinks are $2 cheaper! The suggested donation on entry is $10 – $15, and to make life easier the volunteers accept cash or debit/credit card.
Folsom Street Fair Events (the organisation behind it all) in 2018 donated over $250,000 to its beneficiaries, has so far raised over $7 million since it started in 1984.
Throughout the event, there are places to get drinks at three types of bars – beer, cocktails or soft drinks. Whatever your beverage preference you can find something to enjoy, and by buying drinks you are also helping to raise further funds to support local organisations! Charitable organisations (referred to as a 501(c)3 organisation in USA) can apply to become a Beverage Partner for the event. If successful the organisation provides volunteers to staff and run a bar, and in return, their organisation receives financial support from Folsom. When you buy a pint you could be helping a local HIV charity or Rugby club for example.
In addition to the bars, there are 7 huge water towers around the site to fill up your own water bottle (free of charge), and there is also a Sunscreen Station to get and apply plenty of sunscreen – though I suspect an optional fee to have applied by a porn actor would have been another a good fundraiser.
Folsom is mostly a social event – show off your gear, get to see hot guys and girls in gear. To see some amazing demo’s – bondage, flogging etc all on display. There is more going on of course – companies selling awesome kit and gear, community organisations promoting their services. Companies you may have heard of, stands include Tykables, Grindr, Recon, Bad Dragon, Mr S Leather, Sheets of San Francisco, Boy Butter, KinkBnB, Nasty Kink Pigs and so many others!
There is a dance arena but that doesn’t interest me at all, so never ventured down into it, but it is there for those who want it. And then as modern events do now they have a ‘Main Stage’ area. It is mostly live bands, some sash queens on parade and hosts introducing everyone and keeping the crowds entertained.
I always advise people to arrive at 11 am, as I say it gets busy! And if you want to do any shopping on the stalls, play with the pups, meet some porn actors etc you need to do this before it gets crowded! This year the temperature was a little lower than previous years, I’d say around 20 – 25 oC. I was in full leathers – so very much a good thing for me! Previous years it has been mid/high 30’s! Which is really far too hot for fetish gear – but good for those who like to wear just jocks or get their cocks out (watch out for that sunburn!)
As any Leather event should have – the Bootblacks have a stand. There is a $10 fee (donation to a local charity) to book a slot and then recommended tips for the bootblacks. Because the service can take a while, and many don’t want to queue for an age they have a great ticket system. You pay your $10 donation and are given a numbered ticket, you can either wait to be called or go off around the fair and come back. Whenever a chair is free they call out for the lowest number, so if you go to the stand early in the day and head back a few hours later you are pretty much guaranteed to be sat next.
While my jeans need a decent deep clean and condition I opted to have my boots done, Unicorn boy (u.b.) did an awesome job – and good luck with the SF Bootblack 2020 contest!
There has been much made of recently about Pride events being “family-friendly” events, and even some trying to ban Fetish gear. Folsom is very much not a family event – and nor should it be! It is an event based around fetish and sex.
The nature of the event you are going to get a lot of non-kink people who want to go and see the perverts and players. It may not be quite as debauched as it used to be, but you could still piss on people in a paddling pool, see countless guys with dicks out jerking off, see guys drinking piss directly from the source or in one video going around twitter one guy over the shoulder of another getting fisted.
Any event like this you cannot go and be surprised if your photo ends up on the Internet somewhere. On the way in they have huge signs about consent which was good to see. And we saw some excellent examples of people both following and ignoring these. For example a well endowed young lad (about late 20’s) was asked if he could have his photo taken by someone, he agreed and posed. Photographer then decided that consent meant he could grab hold of the guy’s hard dick – he was very quickly and directly corrected on that! The lad handled the situation really well, and was great to see him have the confidence to do that. Whilst gear, nudity or attendance does not give consent it is a sad fact that you must also be prepared to deal with people who don’t understand that.
And this consent issue is why I haven’t been able to share many photos from the event – it would be so hypocritical of me to do so. Be like the photo of the old dear watching the Pope go past – don’t enjoy the whole event through a lens.
Leatherman stock a variety of products from companies like Square Peg, Hanky Toys, Ox Balls, Wesco and Alpha Industries. But they also make a load of their own products, both bondage and clothing! And their leather clothing is amazing, and there is one thing that makes this store so special to visit. Their sizing!
This is something that I have complained about before about so many fetish companies, here you can buy a variety of sizes in their shirts and jeans / breeches. After spending a small fortune at Langlitz Leathers and Wesco (blog post coming in the next few days about that), I wasn’t planning on buying anything here. But that plan didn’t last very long – I’m in a store full of Leather and the smell is quite intoxicating.
I’ve been thinking of buying a new waistcoat / vest for a while, something plain and simple. A thumb through the racks and there are plenty of designs and importantly sizes of vests! And the prices are all super reasonable for the quality of the products.
No sooner had I picked one up to try out one of the excellent staff came over to assist and make sure I was ok and could find what I was looking for. And gave advice and feedback on the products – did they look right, was it the right length and size. They wanted to help me find something that fit! And that is how I ended up walking out with a gorgeous 44″ chest new waistcoat (with several larger sizes and styles available) – I couldn’t wait to wear it, and Flaming Saddles was the perfect place to go that evening in it!
For comparison on the sizing issue that most companies don’t address in Regulation and Mister B for example I couldn’t even squeeze into their largest size of waistcoat in the store.
The store has most clothing upstairs, and down a snug spiral staircase, is the large selection of quality toys and bondage kit! And the workshop where much of their amazing products are made and adjusted.
A great store, great service and well worth a visit!
I was recently asked if I would sit for a portrait, in Leather and for a painting that reflected me and was a story shared through that medium. Of course I said here, and here is the finished piece:
I love it! And I know the artist is incredibly proud of it, the way he has captured the leather is fantastic and the amount of detail is just incredible.
This is much more then just a painting of a guy in leather in his Dungeon. For me a portrait isn’t just a snapshot of the person, it should reflect them as a person and tell their story. So some of the elements of this that are important to me as were part of my journey as a Leatherman – my first leather shirt, my first piece of dungeon furniture, the first bit of gear I bought from Mister B in Amsterdam. Something from my very first visit to San Francisco and the Mr S Leather store, that is now quite important for leather history and culture, and probably quite rare now. Things that have inspired me, things that I have used in sessions, items that contain deep emotional significance for many subs (male and female) that have visited me.
There are also elements that are deeply personal, shared only between myself and the artist – some things have deep hidden meanings.
The traditional image of a leather man is both featured and updated for a more modern look that I feel more confident with. Here I am sat with my Nasty Pig Baseball Cap rather then Muir Cap as many would expect. For me the baseball cap is sexier, it gives me more confidence, it feels more a part of me.
I feel absolutely honoured to have been asked to sit for this, and am so proud of the result.
June was a busy month for me, not least because I took the opportunity to redecorate the Dungeon!
I’m really pleased with the new look, not a huge change, new flooring, some new painting, changing of storage and displays and a new Geardrobe full of kit to wear … for Sir and slaves!
So if you are looking for a session call 07516 036 105 to get booked in! Here is a preview of some of the changes and gear in the dungeon now.
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I have lots of gear and kit, mostly Leather but the variety includes rubber, lycra, pvc, hi-vis, sports kit, and a variety of jocks and pants! So if you prefer some loose fitting footy shorts, or lycra cycling kit I’m sure I have something to wear you will find horny and fun to submit to.
One of the things several people have commented on is that they would like to play / serve wearing some sort of gear.
So I now have a collection of Jockstraps in a variety of colours and sizes and matching football socks. An absolutely classic and very horny combination! I am also looking at building a collection of Boys Boots too – details of those will come to complete the set.
I love suspension! It’s so much fun – and the feeling of total helplessness for the sub is unlike any other.
I am also very lucky to have a dungeon space that is nearly 3m floor to ceiling – so plenty of space to leave you hanging around. I’ve been able to offer various forms of suspension for a while now with wrist and foot suspension and also the Fetters Suspension Harness. So a vertical harness position has been popular and for some upside down the perfect place for them – for others too much of a head fuck.
But what about horizontal – stretched out floating in the air? This requires a lot of space and support for the body, I’ve tried a few ideas but non have thus far worked out … until this week.
I now have a custom suspension harness that was also made by Fetters, but this one has extra padding and support to allow both the usual vertical suspension but also horizontal! And it works so well, I used it with Slave R and he said it was very comfortable.
The positions of the hands can change – down by your side your above your head depending on what is most comfortable or fits the scene best. The head can be supported with a strap, or maybe a tight leather hood, ear plugs and ear defenders for a bit of an sensory deprivation trip?
Using the harness with a sleepsack suspension frame gives lots of support, helps to keep the body flat. And once off the bondage table there is much fun to be had – plugs, estim, violet wand, doxy massager to the cock. And you feel completely helpless!
Next time I think will be fun to try it with the Handlock out front too.
Maybe with the leg spreader at the feet too just to add some extra restraint and loss of control. If you crave that helpless feeling then my Dungeon has lots of fun ways of achieving that. You just have to be careful of what you ask for …