It's that time of year again. This weekend, San Francisco's kink community -- and plenty of gawkers -- head to Folsom Street for the city's biggest costume party. Wave upon wave of guys in leather chaps, harnesses and boots flood the street like a crowd-sourced BDSM parade. Last year, I got the lowdown on the traditional leather aesthetic and learned how to shop for a Folsom Street Fair ensemble (pro tip: Use lube to squeeze yourself into those latex booty shorts).
But this time around, I wanted to hear about Folsom from a girl's perspective. Even though men have defined the look of the festival, there are plenty of women who attend every year too. To help you pick your outfit for this year's fair, I turned to the ladies of Cum & Glitter, a live sex show that's owned and produced by its performers.
They showed off the costumes they'll be wearing in their show this Saturday (to attend, you have to purchase a membership through their website, so don't wait until the last minute) and talked to me about breaking away from the traditional modes of kink. Co-founder Ava Solanas explains, "It's all in the spirit of Folsom, but the show itself has a wide range of performances -- some performers took the idea of Folsom and have a fairly literal and comedic way of making commentary about it. Others are working with more abstract concepts around fetish, sexuality, and BDSM."
The mix of comedy, commentary, and fetish is clear -- from rubber chickens to latex dresses, Cum & Glitter is a bright mish-mash of San Francisco subcultures, drawing as much influence from DIY as they do from Folsom. Click through to get inspired by their ensembles.
Cum & Glitter co-founder Maxine Holloway explains her approach. "I like playing with a wider range of what kink and BDSM can be. It ranges from intense and dark to playful and colorful, or both. When you widen the idea of what is 'Folsom-appropriate fashion,' it can be a lot of fun!" she says. Her outfit encompasses the dark and the playful quite well, combining huge knives and subtle humor.