This article was published on September 23rd, 2019
Folsom is this coming weekend! This gay rite of passage event that draws hundreds of thousands of people to San Francisco’s golden shores should not be missed. It’s a street fair like no other: the world’s largest leather party is also one of the friendliest, open gatherings of love, sex, kink, and fetish enthusiasts. Here is the ultimate list of everything you need to know and do to have one hell of a Folsom weekend!
1. Come with an open mind. Folsom Street Fair is a welcoming, open community of people looking to strip away society’s expectations and limitations. This is a judgement free event: don’t stare, ask permission, and get consent from everyone you plan to engage with. That includes taking photos.
2. Check that weather forecast. Late September can go from super hot and sunny to cool, wet weather. The coldest winter Mark Twain ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Maybe it would be best to bring an drawstring bag with some layers, just in case.
3. Don’t forget that sunblock. No one wants an X across their chest in the form of a sunburn in areas your leather harness didn’t cover!
4. Gear up with the appropriate clothing like harnesses, chaps, and all things leather! Cute, sexy, and fun are the themes. But most of all: dress to be comfy and feel good about yourself. Then, your true radiance will shine through! Here are some great Folsom gear suggestions.
5. Hydration station. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. You’ll thank us later when you’re the one of your friends that doesn’t end up a drunk mess in some alley… Unless that is your scene…then go for it, gurl!
6. Support the festival with a donation and the local bars with your patronage. Folsom is technically free, but the money donated at the entrance goes to sustaining Folsom as a free event that is open to the public. The suggested donation is $10.
7. Experiment in a safe environment. Sex does have a huge part to play with Folsom, and it’s up to you to protect yourself with your safer sex toolkit. Use condoms. Experiment in a safe environment. Bring and take your PrEP. And ask people their statuses. Keep your own best interests at heart.
8. Book your accommodation now. San Francisco is not a cheap city and the hotels can be quite pricey over that weekend. Check out the Hilton San Francisco Union Square for great deals, a primo location, and some of the best amenities you’ll find at a hotel in SF.
9. One of the coolest cities in America is San Francisco. There’s so much to do and see while you’re getting your kink fix. But don’t forget to check out the city’s extraordinary attractions: Alcatraz, Delores Park (the gay “beach”), Fisherman’s Wharf, the cable cars, Haight Ashbury, and the Castro.
10. Do your research about Folsom. There is so much history, so much queerness, but so much love that everyone should take the time to educate themselves on this historically LGBT event. Read the highlights from Folsom weekend 2017 and Folsom weekend 2018.
Need more help planning your trip? Explore the City by the Bay with help from Travel San Francisco. Make your weekend complete with culinary adventures, arts and culture discoveries, and more exciting nightlife suggestions. Get your weekend plans figured out today in the city famous for gay, with the LGBT itineraries and suggestions from Travel San Francisco.