Sep 12, 2014
Dore Alley: the San Francisco Fetish Festival
So I've been to my share of film festivals, art exhibitions, bar nights, and benefits. I've been to Gay Pride, Folsom Street, and the Castro Street Fair. I've been to Dore Alley.
The neighborhood used to be very run-down and sleazy, but it has undergone a renaissance in the years since I was there last. .
Dore Alley is a place to let it all hang out. Lead your slave on a leash on all fours, with doggy ears and a tail. Practice BDSM on a nude model. Demonstrate golden showers. Put beer bottles places where they ordinarily don't go. Walk around naked and fully aroused. Be as sleazy as you wanna be.
I only went once. It scared me.
My problem was: for 40 years we've been telling the heteros, "Gay is not about sex. It's about a shared history and culture, about fighting oppression, about finding a community."
Dore Alley is definitely, aggressively about sex in all of its variations, all of its fetishes.
And the heterosexuals know it. They come, take horrified pictures, and rush back to their homophobic churches to report.
And when a gay rights bill comes before the city council, they show the film and yell "If the bill passes, this is what homa-sekshuls will be doing openly on the street! They are already doing it in San Francisco!"
And the Gay Rights Movement is set back a few years.
See also: Why San Francisco is Gay Heaven.; and Sean and the World of Gay Leathermen