It's time again for the city to fill up with tourists, not of the conventioneer and Alcatraz sweatshirt-buying kind, but of the latex bodysuit and leather chaps-wearing kind and it's the annual time of year for a large swath of the city's gay community to dust off their harnesses and pretend to be leather queens for a day.
With that in mind, and given that the heterosexual kink community is privy to a world of underground parties that I am not, I bring you a brief guide to the goings-on for these high holidays for the gay segment of Folsom Street Fair fans.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Bondage a Go-Go: I know I said this would be a mostly gay guide, but here's a party for a mixed crowd of kinksters that's happening at the Cat Club, well ahead of the big events of the weekend. Expect burlesque performances by Kitty KaPowww, Barbie Bloodgloss, and Risky Ginger. And apparently they'll be giving out "kinkster discounts" on drinks in the back room, whenever announced, providing you serve up your ass to be spanked. 1190 Folsom Street, 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., $10
Kosmetik: Every Wednesday at The Stud there's this newish party for house and electro fans, which this week features resident DJs Matthew Paul and Jordee, and guests Taco Tuesday (Pound Puppy) and Siobhan Aluvalot. The Stud, Harrison and 9th, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Free before 10, $5 after
Pan Dulce!: It's the weekly Latin night at Castro club Beaux, but for Folsom Week they've got a special guest: porn star Armond Rizzo. Also, allegedly, "horny Colombia + Miami go-gos," so take that as you will. Beaux, 2344 Market Street, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., free before 9:30, $7 after
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
Mr. Drummer '79 Presents: Fe-Be's: To kick off the big weekend, the party folks behind Mr. Drummer '79 are paying "tribute to the famous leather bar on Folsom that inaugurated the 'Miracle Mile'," Fe-Be's, which used to be in the corner building across from Oasis, now home to Calle 11. The night, in the Lower Haight, will feature Honey Soundsystem's Jackie House, and Mr. Drummer's Matthew Paul. Underground SF, 424 Haight Street, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. $10
GayC/DC: Gay AC/DC cover band GayC/DC is back for a gig at The Eagle to kick off the weekend, and they're performing with Zbornak and Fat Bottom Girls, to a crowd of hard-rock-loving homos and others. The Eagle, 398 12th Street at Harrison, 9 p.m., free
Gym Class: Cute gay locals and their friends in town will be gathering for the weekly non-sports party at Hi Tops, the Castro sports bar. There will be go-go boys on the bar, and go-go boys handing out free shots, and a whole lot of shout-talking. Hi Tops, 2247 Market Street, 9 p.m., free
JUNK, the Underwear Party: For tourists already in town and anyone who wants to start the dirty festivities early, head to the P-house for the underwear party known as JUNK, hosted by mr. Pam and Dulce de Leche, with music by DJ Rolo. 1347 Folsom Street at Dore, 9 p.m. $5
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Baloney: The cheeky (sorry) all-male review that is Baloney will baring almost all for you at this Folsom edition, and the cheaper GA tickets are already sold out, so you're stuck with premium seats at $50, or chancing it at the door. Oasis, 298 11th Street at Folsom, show at 8 p.m.
Bearracuda: It's a 10th annual Folsom Friday edition of this bash for bears and their cubs and admirers, this time at Public Works. DJs include Tony Moran, Ryan Jones, and Freddy King of Pants. 161 Erie Street at Mission, 9 p.m., $20 advance, $30 at the door
Phantasmagoria: Check out the Eagle on what may be its quietest and tamest night of the weekend (though maybe not) with this party featuring DJs In Flagranti and Kelly Naughton and barber cuts from Seattle's Daddy Brock. Hosted by Nark. Eagle, 298 12th Street, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., $19 advance
Shenanigans: Magic Kinkdom: Just as they now have an annual tradition of "Mask for Masc" parties on Pride weekend, the Shenanigans crew now have a tradition of doing their Disney-themed party, ironically, on Folsom Friday. Come for the go-gos wearing Mickey gloves, stay for the room full of dudes wearing blinky mouse ears. Oasis, 298 11th Street, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., $15 advance, $20 at the door
Swagger Like Us: For a night outside the Castro or SoMa, head to this hip-hop heavy queer night at the Elbo Room, featuring DJ Joey LaBeija, and live bondage demos. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia Street, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., $10
Steam Does Folsom: The Powerhouse will of course be doing their bathhouse-themed towel party, complete with "Power shower" go-go station, and the music of DJ MAJR. Powerhouse, 1347 Folsom Street at Dore, 9 p.m. $10
Black Fridays: The party for Queer people of color and everyone else will do their first Folsom weekend edition featuring DJ's Rolo & MicahTron, and performers Nicki Jizz, Militia Towers, Kay Nilsson, Rahni Nothingmore, Alotta Boutte, and more. And remember, this one goes after-hours! The Stud, 9th and Harrison, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., show at midnight, $10
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
New Breed: The Second Coming: This fetish-y party on Sixth Street joins the Pound Puppy and Polyglamorous crews, and it's a two-level, check-your-clothes-if-you-care-to affair, and will feature seriously good music from Fabrizio Mammarella, Jacob Meehan, Mark O'Brien, Bears in Space, and more. Club Six, 60 6th Street, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., $50-$60 at the door
Big Muscle Tea Dance: This day party at DNA will be for everyone who doesn't want too much sun on Saturday, or who needs a place to start the dancing early. 100 percent of proceeds go to the AIDS Emergency Fund. DNA Lounge, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., 375 11th Street
Mother: Folsom Bash With Raja: The big SoMa drag show presents a Folsom edition with edgy LA-based Drag Race winner Raja as headliner. Also featured will be Kim Burly, Roxy-Cotten Candy, K Color, Tamale Ringwald, and LOL McFiercen. Oasis, 298 11th Street, 10 p.m., $15
Sure Thing: This Saturday fete features Japanese DJ Wata Igarashi, and is sure to draw a lot of the techno faithful. Also featured: Aaron J. The Stud, 9th and Harrison, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., $15 tickets here
CellBloc: For Saturday the Eagle is going prison-themed, and DJs Josh Cheon and Aaron Clark. A leather/fetish/prison dress code is "strongly encouraged." The Eagle, 298 12th Street, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., $15 in gear, $20 without
Magnitude: The "official" Folsom Street pre-party is this big, shirtless, house-y affair at The Armory, featuring DJs Ralphi Rosario and Alex Acosta. And it's expensive! The Armory, 333 14th Street, 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., tickets $110 and up.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
Folsom Street Fair: The fair kicks off at 11 a.m., and the earliest to arrive may be the ones who never went to sleep on Saturday night. You'll find some great electro music on the Main Stage later in the day from the Black Kids, Little Boots, and Austra, and there will be plenty to draw your eye all day -- as well as all the bars on Folsom will be open, and completely insane inside. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., donation at the gates
Deviants: The now annual official closing party of Folsom, Deviants, goes down at Mezzanine, and people start trickling in moreso around 7 or 8 p.m., though it officially starts at 6 p.m. right when the fair ends. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie Street, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., $40, tickets here