It's the high holidays for all the homosexuals and fetishists in the land, and also a time of year when every vanilla gay man pretends they're into leather for an afternoon. Leather Halloween, some might say. In any event, for those for whom BDSM, latex, whips, ropes, and ball-gags are serious cultural business, and for those who'll just be wandering through drunk like gawking tourists, we give you this year's SFist Guide to Folsom.

First, a few helpful tips:

1) Try not to stare too long: If this is your first time at the rodeo, try to be at least a little polite when it comes to people's outfits and such. Yes, mostly everyone is there to be looked at, but they're not animals in a zoo. Try to at least be a cool about it (i.e. no pointing, giggling).

2) Photos are not always encouraged: We've learned this the hard way. But if they're porn stars, it's fair game.

3) If you see a coworker on his knees or in some other compromising position, pretend you didn't see it, and try not to gossip. The first rule of Fight Club, and Folsom...

4) That water bottle of yellowish liquid? Don't drink it. Unless that's your thing. That one should be easy.

5) It will be crowded, so be prepared. This is the second biggest, outdoor public festival in the state behind S.F. Pride, so if thick, slow-moving crowds, some of them naked, are not your thing, you've been warned.

Now, some events happening starting tonight.


Leather and Feathers: The AIDS Emergency Fund Turns 31
6 to 9 p.m. Armory
This benefit event, hosted by drag queens Donna Sachet and Sister Roma, will honor community members and feature cocktails and an 8:30 performance by recording star Brian Kent. An afterparty follows at the Armory Club across the street. Cocktail attire and dress leather encouraged. Get tickets here. $125

Cub Camp @ the Lookout
10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Noe and Market
A party for bearded boys featuring popular dirty Tumblr guy, A Bearded Boy (link NSFW). Also, there'll be DJs Scooter, Taco Tuesday, and Guy Ruben. $7

Touch Our Junk @ The Nob Hill Theater
8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
729 Bush Street near Powell
It's a weekend kickoff party from the team behind the weekend closer, Deviants -- i.e. Honey Soundsystem and Hard French. There will be free beer (while it lasts), and lap dances, and we're not sure what else. Oh, and this is a male strip club, FYI. $7


Bearracuda @ Public Works
9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
161 Erie Street near Mission
It's the Folsom edition of this monthly bear fest, featuring Honey Soundsystem's P-Play, and a 7-hour set from London DJ HiFi Sean. $20 advance.

Trannyshack: Kylie vs. Gaga @ DNA Lounge
9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
375 11th Street
This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Heklina hosts her regular drag shitshow with lots of tribute to Kyle and the Lady Gaga. Advance tickets here. $15

SatisFucktory @ Truck
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Folsom & 15th
A dirty, cruisy option for the evening featuring DJ Brower and $5 Jager shots.

Steam @ Powerhouse
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
There's a wet towel contest, a bathhouse theme, and a DJ from Men's Room in Chicago by the name of Harry Cross. $8

SomeTHING Manly @ The Stud
10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
9th and Harrison
This Folsom Week's edition of SomeTHING has a "mannish" theme, and will feature drag performances around 10:30, 11:30, and 12:30, as well as the weekly craft table! Juanita More!, Glamamore, and VivvyAnne Forevermore host. $8


Raging Stallion & Falcon Studios Man of the Year Party @ Mezzanine
8 p.m. to Midnight
This annual porn star fest technically requires these free tickets for admission (see link). Look out for them being passed around, or just try to show up.

Luther @ F8
10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
1192 Folsom Street
This will be sure to be a dark and dirty party with good, intelligent dance music, from a collective of DJs who'll all be in leather masks. (Get a sample here.) They're doing the party in three cities this year, and it's all sponsored by Rentboy, the escort site. Get tickets here. $15-$20

POP the Zipper @ The Lookout
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Noe and Market
LA-based porn director and pop-music DJ Chi Chi Larue will be spinning at this annual party, co-hosted by Sister Roma, which will likely attract a crew of porn stars in town. $5

The SF Citadel Annual Folsom Eve Party
7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
181 Eddy Street
This would be a "pansexual" play party that's been going on the last 8 years on Folsom eve, and where women and trans folk and all sexual orientations should feel comfortable. $40

Magnitude @ Terra Gallery & the Factory
9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
521 & 525 Harrison Street
The official Saturday event by Folsom Street Events will be tourist central, and a shirtless morass, but if you want a great big gay party with a lot of harnesses, this is it. DJs Tony Moran and Jack Chang headline. Get tickets here. $90-$100 (Also, there's an Aftershock party that starts a couple blocks away at 4 a.m. at 715 Harrison Street)


Folsom Street Fair
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
They'll be shutting down 13 city blocks people, including Folsom from 7th to 12th Streets, and the crowd is estimated at about 400,000. Stay hydrated, wear some sunblock (it's supposed to be sunny with a high of 66), and abide by our above guidelines if you haven't been. Bands this year include Hercules & Love Affair, Miami Horror, and Light Asylum.

Deviants Adult Arcade @ Beatbox & Audio Discoteque
4:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
314 11th Street
This popular collaboration between Hard French and Honey Soundsystem, which kicks off as the Fair winds down, is changing locations this year. There will now be a fenced in area on 11th outside Beatbox and Audio Discoteque with music starting in the daylight hours, then things move inside at two side-by-side venues. Also: There's a peep show. Get tickets here. $25/$35

Pegboy @ Driftwood
6 p.m.
1225 Folsom Street
This former dirty gay bar (Ramrod/MyPlace/KOK) is now more of a mixed cocktail venue, but they're throwing a Folsom afterparty featuring porn star Jimmy Durano along with LA Dom Sir Nik Satanas. Free

Eclipse! @ The Citadel
6 p.m. to midnight
181 Eddy Street
This would be a sexy women-focused event welcoming trans folk, and "genderqueer, gender fluid and other non-binary gender identities."

ALSO, see Folsom's official Leather Week event listings here, including some more fetish stuff that's sold out.