Folsom Fun: Folsom Street Fair

Dan Cameron
Jack Shamama has been living in San Francisco for 15 years, and he never misses a Folsom Street Fair. He’s eagerly awaiting the 27th installment of the popular leather-lover event, which typically attracts more than 300,000 visitors from around the globe.

“I say this every year: I see something that I have never seen before,” notes the product manager for “It’s just that outrageous. It’s a perfect event for San Francisco, because it’s a celebration of alternative sexuality. I see things that I just didn’t think were physically possible or see outfits that are so outrageous or some sort of sexual situation, or someone doing some sort of performance in a booth that just blows my mind.”

That energy — and the massive amount of visitors — has made the Fair a mustattend event for gay adult studios and businesses. And with San Francisco Leather Week, award shows and parties preceding the Sept. 26 Fair this year, it promises to be a prime opportunity to attract attention to important causes and charities (all of the net proceeds, which totaled $333,000 last year, go to charity).

NakedSword — which has been a presenting sponsor since 2007 — is helping corral many topname gay porn studios and content producers into the Cell Block, a spotlight destination that will centralize a lot of the adult film fun. The company is partnering with Raging Stallion again to provide a bevy of big muscles (and other body parts) for fans to admire.

“It’s really a place where fantasy can become reality to gay porn fans,” says Silvio Silva, content and marketing manager for NakedSword. “It is a very open environment in that anything goes.”

The Fair will be overflowing with porn stars, product and activities. Also on tap is a dance area produced by Gold’s Gym, including live DJ and band performances on two live stages; and Venus’ Playground, a special area just for women. New this year is Deviants, the official closing party that’s meant to offer a little something for everyone.

“This is easily our Leather Christmas,” notes Jonathan Schroder, general manager of San Francisco’s Mr. S Leather Co. “I’m sure that many others are in the same boat — whether it’s making direct sales at the Fair or just getting the brand out there.”

TitanMen has been involved with the Fair for more than 10 years, and during the last four has strengthened its relationship — in part with the creation of the TitanMen/Folsom Fund, which supports non-profits dedicated to gay men’s health issues. The charter sponsor will be unveiling its latest fetish-themed feature, filmed in partnership with supporting sponsor

“Since it is a one-day event, it is really more about branding than it is a sales opportunity,” Titan Vice President Keith Webb says.

And it’s the people from all over the world that make the Fair fun, unique and exciting.

Demetri Moshoyannis, executive director for Folsom Street Events, says, “I’ve never seen anything quite like it in terms of men, women and transgender people all coming together, people of different races and backgrounds just coming to explore and appreciate one another’s fetishes.”