Friday, May 23, 2008

Met the challenge in South of Market district

When I was first looking into things to do around San Francisco online I found all sorts of references to this gay sex shop on Folsom street in the South of Market district that said that it was THE worst, sleaziest, cringe inducing one in all of San Francisco. Of course, this intrigued me immensely and I made it a point to go there. Hit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art first and then headed down to Folsom street, where I was half expecting crack deals to be going on on all the street corners and hookers walking up and down the sidewalks, based on what people online had written about the area. But although I'm sure that there are really bad parts and that as night falls the scene changes immensely, I found that in the light of day Folsom street isn't too bad.

The store itself, which shall remain nameless, was pretty much just your average sex store, catering to a mostly gay clientele. Besides carrying tubs of lube designed specifically for making fisting safe and easy that only thing out of the ordinary was a back room that was darkened where I think that people could, if they wanted to, meet each other and fuck. I'm sure the management doesn't condone that, but they're busy manning the front desk, so what can they do if people decide to fuck in the back without their permission? I didn't go back there and so didn't actually see any fucking, so I could be totally wrong about what goes on back there. Maybe they have a knitting club.

It was great to walk down Folsom and go into the stores that make and sell the kind of leather harnesses and gear that are featured in the Folsom Street Fair. This is the event that the conservatives on Fox love to repeat footage of. My impression, based on info gathered online as well as general experience, is that the Folsom Street Fair is intended to break the assimilationist mold of gay pride, the one that wants to portray gay folks as just like everyone else that are in relationships while denying the gay culture that's grown up for decades. Either take the whole package or don't take any of it. I like that attitude.

As can be expected they also had a wonderful BDSM supply store there, with all the crops, floggers, neurological tools for sensation play, restraints, whips, blindfolds that you could want, at good prices too! I can name the store this time, it's Leather Etc..., and you can order from them online. If you don't know much about BDSM and what's possible with it there would be worse sites to look at to get a feel for it.

The biggest misconception is that since there are stuff like restraints and blindfolds that the whole thing has to do with inflicting pain on someone against their will. That's not what this is about. Believe it or not it can be sexy to have your wrists cuffed to something, a blindfold put on you, and your back beaten with a flogger or a cane. But that's getting into a whole 'nother post, one that introduces the novel concept to people that just because you think that something might look like a bad and exploitive act doesn't mean that that's what's actually going on.

Anyways, check out Folsom street and don't be paranoid if you're walking down that part of South of Market in broad daylight. But of course be aware just like you would in any situation that's somewhat (or a lot) sketchy.

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