I love the Folsom Street Fair. I love that there is a day in the year that hundreds of thousands of freaks and gawkers run around being freaky. I love that we are given this leeway, and I love that our local government supports the Leather Community the way that it does.
I am not so sure that I am entirely positive on this recent development.
Every year there are a handful of complaints about the sexual antics at the fair. This is pretty normal. Folsom pushes boundaries, and this is something to be expected. It usually is addressed in a low-key manner, and is forgotten within a few weeks.
Today, I saw an editorial in the SF Weekly, decrying a proposal to set up “public sex tents” at Folsom. This sounded a little extreme, and I thought it was probably some sort of scare-tactic to ruffle the feathers of those who are already not fans of Folsom, and to build momentum in the increasing conservatism in San Francisco.
“Public sex tents? Now there’s an idea that should have been shot down the second it was announced from the mouth of a member of the “leather community” in response to complaints about public sex at Folsom Street Fair and its smaller sibling fair, Up Your Alley.
Instead, it appears that at least one of our local leaders (Supervisor Bevan Dufty) has agreed to take the matter “under advisement.” Since our local leaders are having trouble speaking the obvious, we will: Public sex is not appropriate at Folsom Street Fair or anywhere else. Even in San Francisco.”
You can read the whole editorial here.
The thing is, this editorial seems to NOT be in reply to a story in the paper, but refers to a “Community Feedback Meeting” held at City Hall. One of the attendees was Michael Petrellis. He reported on the meeting before it happened, and posted abut the results as well. His full blog post is listed here.
I found this in particular particularly interesting:
“Demetri and Andy gave a recap of how 2-3 complaints filed against individual cops with the Office of Civilian Complaints, created controversy two months before the Dore Alley Fair, leading to a crackdown on public sex this year. When Demetri asked if there was a different vibe because of the crackdown, I spoke up and set there was, and that we lost public sex space – the alley next to the Powerhouse – and that I want to reclaim the right to engage in public fellatio, or watch it unimpeded by sex monitors.
I said a tent, that would be clearly marked for oral sex and alcohol-free, should be considered, as a safe space for consenting adults to engage in fellatio on a public street. Of course, some poor suckers, er, lucky volunteers would have to head up a committee to maintain security at the tent, or other structure, if this idea is to become reality, and I’d be the first to kneel down and pray that this happens. Demetri and Bevan will consider the tent idea and it will be revisited at future meetings.”
As an avid supported of sexual freedom, the idea that we have a “right” to public sexual intercourse gives me pause.
What are your thoughts?