Even among San Francisco fetish fetes, the Up Your Alley street fair stands alone. The raunchier and more gay-centric cousin of the Folsom Street Fair is a huge event on the leather community calendar, with public floggings, pee and pony play, fellatio, and intercourse all part of the package. It's a "voyeur's paradise," observes Supervisor (and mayoral hopeful) Bevan Dufty, a regular attendee (but not participant, we should note).
But Up Your Alley is being forced to clean up its act after several people complained to police about public indecency laws being violated at last year's event.
Does that mean that there will be no naughtiness at this year's SOMA sexfest on Dore Alley? No, master!
"You'll definitely still see spankings, and floggings, and play piercings — all the things to which people are accustomed to seeing," organizer Demetri Moshoyannis said, describing the new rules. But there is a, ahem, hard line which shall not be crossed, lest fairgoers be ejected from the two-block fetish fest: an exposed, erect penis. Public blow jobs are also forbidden, although event security will be handing out free passes to nearby "Blow Buddies" where couples can get more intimate indoors.
Moshoyannis says the new rules should please decency- and deviance-seekers alike: "You can see some pretty extreme scenes that don't expose any genitals." What about pissing? "If someone pisses in their pants? I'm not going to do anything about that."
This is all well and fine with the SFPD. Lieutenant Nicole Greely says police don't plan to have much more of a presence at Up Your Alley on Sunday than the 14 officers last year, and will continue to be hands-off and let the event police itself (so no cop fantasies, sorry).
But you can't please everybody. Mike Hughes, a gay man and self-described "member of the community," thinks public sex will happen again this year despite the new rules, and that reflects badly on the gay community as a whole (and may have helped Proposition 8's cause). "Public nudity is fine," he says, "but golden showers in the goddamned street?"
Hughes complained about last year's event to the police and the mayor's office: "It's not what they do, it's where they do it. It holds up the rest of us to ridicule."