tl;dr/summary: Dore is a more gay-male raunchier version of Folsom. This year it’s called Folsom Street Market. See you there.
(Or are you looking for the Folsom guide?)
Be sure to bookmark this guide. I’m constantly updating as new events, venues, and DJs are announced.
You can always find the latest at andymatic.com/dore – just tell friends “it’s at andy matic dot com slash dore” – easy to remember!
Party grid for the weekend (so far) below: (compare to 2019 grid)
Up Your Alley? Dore? Dore Alley?
Yes, it’s true. The weekend is named for the street fair that takes place on Sunday. Most people just call it “Dore.” Rhymes with whore-y. Named for the street intersection the fair is oriented around, Dore Alley and Folsom Street.
- “Are you and the pups coming for Dore?”
- “Which parties are you and your Sir going to for Dore?”
- “Will you and your husband be playing separate for Up Your Alley weekend?”
- “Are you ready to hoe it up for Up Your Allley?”
- “Do you think that piece of shit Colton Underwood will show up at Dore this year? She betta wear a pup hood.”
The weekend of events is anchored by Sunday’s (usually called) Up Your Alley street fair, which celebrates gay kink and leather culture, produced by the Folsom Street Events organization. They also produce the Folsom Street Fair in September which is an even bigger event and bigger weekend. The difference between the two? Up Your Alley weekend is usually described as a bit kinkier/nastier, more gay male centric, and attended by more locals. You’ll have fewer tourists and more people ready to participate.
But there’s a lot more there there than just the fair .
Why is it called “Folsom Street Market” this year?
The Folsom organization is presenting an abbreviated version of the street fair this year, so they wanted to call it something different. I predict people will still call it Dore.
First: Know Your History
Leather is embedded in San Francisco’s history and Dore is connected to that history and pedigree. From Dore Alley Street Fair, a history lesson:
“The Up Your Alley Fair, wasn’t originally on Dore Alley, and it wasn’t originally ‘Folsom Street Fair’s dirty little brother’. In fact, the two fairs were originally completely unrelated to one another. The first Folsom Street Fairs were celebrations of SoMa’s neighborhood diversity whereas Up Your Alley was a celebration specifically of the gay leather community.” Read the full article…
Dore Alley Street Fair, A History Lesson
I’ve put together a list of the many events for Dore weekend. Keep in mind this is just one guy’s opinion on what to do and where to go. I’m not a big kinkster. I don’t think I am. I mean, I’ll tie you up, spit in your mouth, smack you around, and ask you if you like being dad’s whore like the next guy, but like, we know people that are for-real into this stuff much more intensely. It’s all relative, I suppose. Be sure to ask other friends and acquaintances for their must-do events if this is your first Dore weekend.
I’ll include links to photo galleries for most of the events so you can get a sense for what the crowd will be like and what to wear as well as links to the DJs profiles so you can get a sense of the music.
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required at many of these events with the date of the second shot being 2 weeks in the past. Many producers and venues are accepting a copy of your vaccination card or a photo of your vaccination card on you phone. Be sure to check the detail pages closer to the events.
Wednesday, July 21st
Dirty Alley at Powerhouse, presented by Mr. S Leather
Now celebrating 40 years of leather, kink, and style, Mr. S Leather is a San Francisco mainstay and globally recognized leather and fetish brand. There won’t be the usual block party at Mr. S Leather but they’ll kick off the week and Dore Wednesday with a night of fetish demos, sexy gogos, and [checks notes] “the trashiest bartenders in San Francisco.”
Full details for Wednesday night on the Facebook page for the event.
Meanwhile, at the Mr. S store:
They are back open as of July 7th and I’m sure everyone will be cruising each other at the store while they try on new gear to wear while they paint the town. If you are going to buy some new leather finery during your trip, get over there when you first get to San Francisco. They can do alterations onsite to ensure a perfect fit and often while you wait. Their leatherworkers will be going overtime so that might be more difficult as the weekend kicks in. Harnesses, hats, ballcaps, boots, uniforms, vests, blindfolds, ropes, lubes, jockstraps, singlets, socks, toys… they’ve got it all. And slings for rent.
I once had a panic attack there trying on a metal cockring. The dressing rooms were all taken and I’m trying to shove my boys into the ring while a gathering crowd starts to watch. I eventually mutter “Goddammit, we’ll just buy it!” and headed to the cash register.
Mr. S staff are helpful and friendly and want to make sure you look your best – even if you’re new to the whole leather thing. I remember finding the place super intimidating when were first went since we didn’t know much about leather culture. You want to wear the right thing right, right? Now we live just a 10 minute walk away and go at least once a month. I went from having panic attacks when I first walked in to being a model for the new harness they debuted a couple years ago.
If you’re worried about wearing your harness wrong: Just check how they are styled on Mr. S Leather’s site or whatever vendor you got it from. A lot of guys wear their harnesses way too low and too loose. You should feel the tightness, the restraint. It’s basically a corset for your shoulders. Shoulders back, pecs out!
If you have a narrow build, look at the harnesses with thinner strips of leather. Some guys can’t pull of harnesses with a lot of leather pieces, coverage, and hardware.
Mr. S also has their famed brown bottle “cleaning solution” which you have to pay cash to get. There’s an ATM onsite or the one catty-corner at the gas station.
Thursday, July 22rd
BB&J at Powerhouse with DJ Eddie House
Boxers, briefs, and jockstraps! It’s an underwear party at Powerhouse!
Full details on the Facebook page for the event.
Friday, July 23rd
Beta at Club Six, presented by Fog City Pack witih DJs Fawks, Miloš, Jumper, and Astro
The pups from the Fog City Pack are back with the second installment of their annual three-party trilogy that starts with Alpha party (which would have been in March) and ends with Omega (usually before Thankgiving). In the middle – for Dore – the wild Beta party at Club Six. They’ve commandeered both the ground floor and the seedy basement for your evening’s adventures. Make it hoe, but fashion, but probably more hoe. The pup party music blend is kinda steady deep house with a delightfully sordid and sleazy vibe – tons of tracks linked below.
You don’t have to be a pup or into pup play to enjoy these parties and a broad swath of the city’s queerdom will be in attendance. Lots of leather and jockstraps and you’ll see pups in pup hoods.
You won’t see a lot of guys acting like literal dogs running around on the floor (that’ll be at the street fair). But guys will woof or growl at you if they’re interested. Nearly everyone checks their clothes so plan accordingly.
The best explanation I’ve heard for the whole pup thing is its a persona to make sex fun and playful, without all the baggage and anxiety humans can add to it. There’s several packs of pups in San Francisco that function as fraternal groups supporting each other through their lives and careers. It’s just like the Elks.
Love, love, love the security at Club Six. Always friendly and happy to see us – and they adore the pups. Always get a big hug after a quick frisk. It’s staff like that that puts patrons at ease.
What the Fog City Pack has carved out for themselves, for their community, and for their city is quite remarkable, unique, and amazing. Learn more about our dear pups:
- New York Times: We Live in Packs
- Slate: Teaching Young Dogs Old Tricks
- SF Weekly: Canis Majors
- The Fight magazine: Pups in the Mist
Music is dark and aggressive and horny, if you love celebratory soaring vocals – this ain’t it.
Headline DJ is still to come.
Resident DJs already on the ledger:
Lighting by Stratus Lighting and photographer Bradley Roberge.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event and follow our merry pups on their Facebook book page, Instagram account, or website. The pack’s Facebook page also has photos from previous Alpha and Beta event, and other past Pack events.
Prime at Oasis, presented by TrophyDad with DJ Neon the Glowgobear
Ed, Julian, and the gang at TrophyDad will be hosting a gaggle of gogos over 50 with a party dedicated to “men in their prime and their admirers.” If you’re feeling the need to work out some daddy issues (or work over some boys), this will be the place to be. As our friend and daddy connoisseur (papa sommelier?) Baby Jake always says, “You better check for that AARP card first.”
And it feels like we’re in a daddy moment as daddy-themed parties have start popping up across the country and around the world. It seems to radiate from San Francisco for some reason.
Prime party started a few years ago as just Ed throwing himself a big 50th birthday party. He had no idea it was going to become a thing. But it has! I think as the generation of men that survived the 80s and 90s is hitting their 50s and 60s they’re redefining what it is to be a gay man after 50: active, vital, confident, horny, and fun.
Oasis is a fantastic gay-owned venue founded by drag queens with a big front bar, rooftop area, and a legit stage and cabaret theatre space that doubles as a dance floor. You can barely tell it used to be an 8,000 sq ft gay bathhouse in a past life (that step down into the main concrete floor is the old pool space). I hear the rooftop is being remodeleded (video) for some old fashioned open-air cruising.
The crowd includes lots of guys you usually don’t usually see out and about and the music will be prime time circuit with celebratory vocals with a modern remix with resident DJ Neon the Glowgobear. And he mixes in the older classics for the geriatrics like us.
Read more about the genesis of the Prime party in Race Bannon’s article in The Bay Area Reporter: “Celebrating Grey — the Older Kinkster”
Visuals and lighting by local master RAGErLAZER.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event and you can also follow TrophyDad’s Facebook page and see lots of photo galleries on the TrophyDad Facebook page.
Bearracuda at Public Works, produced by Matt Bearracuda with DJs Mateo Segade and Matt Stands
And if you’re into the big boys and/or a big boy yourself, the Bearracuda crew is back with their Dirty Dore underwear party. These aren’t those Insta-twinks that say “Oooh sis, I’m so thicc.” Or that do a before photo then an hour of cardio and another photo after expecting Likes. No bitch, these are the original thick boys. Thick with a K. Booty with a capital T. The kinda heft you want to feel on top of you (or underneath).
We’ve gone to many Bearracuda events over the years and it’s always a great, friendly mix of guys and a positive vibe.
And I’ve heard fantastic reviews from friends that have gone to Horse Meat Disco parties all over the world. Overwhelmingly they say if disco is your thing, then this is your party. Background on the Bearracuda parties and their creator Matt in this profile in Homoculture. Horse Meat Disco on Mixcloud, SoundCloud, Instagram, and Facebook. No word yet on which two of the four HMD DJs is joining us.
In the upstairs lounge is local mixmeister DJ Mateo Segade.
Background on the Bearracuda parties and their creator Matt in this profile in Homoculture.
Stank at Powerhouse with DJs Vicki Powell and Trever Pearson
Get a waft! Everybody’s favorite gay dive bar kicks off the weekend with a evening devoted to the natural smell of men as God made ’em and as God intended.
Stop showering a couple days beforehand and hit the gym hard so you can go in perfectly fragrant (we have a couple friends who declare it “natural poppers”). Be ready to bury your face in a man’s ripe pits and enjoy the aroma and taste of the gogos as they ply their trade.
But get there before midnight so you can participate in (or just appreciate) the Ripe Pits Contest.
More details will be on Stank’s Instagram.
Pig Boy at Lone Star Saloon with DJ boyshapedbox
“Big Boys know how to have a good time.”
Full details on the Facebok page for the event.
Saturday, July 24th
Where did Big Muscle party go?
The producers tell me there is no Big Muscle party planned for July, but they’ll be back for Folsom in September.
NSA Underwear Party at Club OMG
The NSA honchos are back on with a Dore editiong of their underwear party on Saturday afternoon from 4pm to 10pm. Promotions always promise hot bartenders, bangin’ beats, horny men, and a sexy playful vibe. No event page for the party but I saw a flyer in the Castro (above). You can follow the NSA at OMG folks on Facebook for more updates. OMG and Club Six are kinda in that strange hellhole block of 6th Street between Market and Mission. Keep your wits about you.
Where did Bay of Pigs go?
I’m guessing if the Folsom org is pulling back on the street fair, there aren’t going to be any official events coming from them this year So I’m assuming we won’t have the most cleverly and tastelessly named circuit party ever: Bay of Pigs. Since Bay of Pigs isn’t a go this year, might I suggest:
Rated X at Space 550 produced by Ky Martinez Events with DJs GSP and Mohammad
We’ve known producer Ky Martinez and his husband Juan for many years (they sat at the circuit queen table at our wedding reception) and it’s been wonderful watching them go from producing their monthly House Party event at Powerhouse (every second-Saturday) to building their reputation with larger more sophisticated events like Imagina, Heaven, and the notorious Folsom afterhours Nocturnal. Their events always draw a fantastic crowd that is a diverse, broad slice of the city’s denizens (leather, muscle, queens, queers, jocks, fairies, and all the rest) and all generations in attendance.
The Rated X party is going to bring us San Francisco’s first leather circuit party/main event in over a year and half. Come join over a 1,000 hot men at at this Saturday main even with fetish demos and leather, boot shining, and much more detail on the way.
Space 550 is a sprawling location with lots of nooks and crannies, so be sure to explore all the crevices you can. You’ll need to take an Uber or Lyft to get out there. Grab a bunch of guys with you in the hotel lobby and order an SUV and chat ’em up on the way there.
We just heard DJ GSP do a seven hour all-night set in Saugatuck and he was absolutely fantastic. His style bridgestech and progressive house with tribal perscussion and lots of vocals. He’s had residencies at Xlsior in Mykonos and Gravity in Fire (London) along with Europe’s Gigolo, Beyond, WE Party, Onyx and Matinee. Gusmen managzine said, “He can transform any popular or classic timeless commercial tracks into amazing ass-shaking club hits.”
Now DJ Mohammad’s music… that I can fuck to. Mohammad’s past life as a gogo god gives him an intimate intuition of what’s going to make your hips move. He’s blends a prime time cirucit sound with an aggressive, darker edge that keeps the club galloping. Get there early and enjoy his entire set. You’ll love it. And she better not steal my look again!
DJ Mohammad on SoundCloud, Instagram, and Facebook and featured in Chicago Pride. We are always overplaying his promo mix from Ram party NYC, Market Days a couple years ago, and his 5 year anniversary of House Party mix.
VIP tickets include priority entry, VIP lounge, and a faster coat check line.
And those poster boys – poster men! – are hawwwwt. They better look like that in person.
Brut at The Great Northern, produced by Hedonic Productions and Brian Kent Productions with DJs the Perry Twins and Dan Darlington
What I remember most about the last Brüt for Dore was how hot and steamy it got in the club. I was surprised the lighting instruments didn’t short out.
Co-founder/producer Dan Darlington is always a joy to watch as he spins because he always has a huge grin on his face. He and the merry Brut Brand and proudcer Brian Kent keep the boys bouncing – and with the Perry Twins joining him this year, it’ll be a great night.
The Perry Twins haven’t spun in San Francsico in quite a while so this will be a special treat. Real-life twin brothers Doug and Derek have come from a musical family with rock ‘n roll parents and have roots in the LA circuit and club scene and are known for their remixes and several breakthrough singles.
The Great Northern has that step down from the bar into the dancefloor. You can watch queens trip over it all night if you need entertainment.
Full details on the Brüt event page on Facebook.
My favorite Brüt mix of all time is this Folsom mix from a couple years ago. It absolutely purrs.
Brut featured in:
- The New York Times: Gay Leather Scene Tones Down From Hard-Core to Dress-Up
- Daily Xtra: How one leather party is taking back New York City
- Project Q: Brut muscles it’s way into Atlanta
Full details on the Facebook event page.
Sneaks at Club Six, produced by Polyglamorous with DJs The Carry Nation, Vicki Powell, and Mark O’Brien
Local producer Polyglamorous’ naughty sneaker fetish party returns for their Dore edition to reminds us that leather culture’s Venn diagram is broad and deep.
Dress code is enforced. You must wear sneakers. Lots of folks wil wear sports gear, singlets, mesh, underwear, knee socks, gym shorts, sweats, track suits… things that are sports-related or you might wear to the gym. Do not wear jeans or slacks – you will be turned away. The party is at Club Six, where Beta was the night before, so it, too, will have two floors with two different sounds and vibes.
The Polyglamorous vibe has a sense of ease to it, nothing too manic. I asked one of the other Short Circuit Andys to describe what he loves about Sneaks:
“I always describe Sneaks as the queerer, more-techno/house sound of Dore weekend. It’s the ‘locals’ choice on Saturday night as far as I’m concerned. Sneaks feels home grown. It’s black-lit which has become commonplace at Polyglamorous parties. It’s a mix of leather, drag, burner [Burning Man] and queer. The biggest thing I’d stress to readers is that [lower priced] pre-sales [tickets] always go fast but there are always tickets at the door as well.”
One of the other Short Circuit Andys. There’s three of us. A group of Andys is called a “griffith.”
Several tracks on the Polyglamorous profile on SoundCloud.
Polyglamorous producer and resident DJ Mark O’Brien on SoundCloud.
Black, Brown, & Kinky at Powerhouse, presented by Onyx Northwest
Onyx Northwest kicks off the weekend atour favorite dive-bar Powerhouse featuring sexy kinksters, jello shots, leathermen of color with geared up gogos, fetish demos and more.
Hunky Dore at Powerhouse with DJ Rolo.
After the Onxy party, AJ Huff hosts a Titleholders Reunion on Dore Alley Eve for anyone with a title from any of the leather competitions all over the world. DJ Rolo on the decks. Sashed, vested titleholders free entry. Gogos, drinks, and dancing.
Code at Edge with DJ Sean McMahon
Code is The Edge’s monthly event bringing leather back to the Castro with geared-up gogos and a no-frills bar packed with congenial leather-clad gents and resident DJ Sean McMahon, spinning Code’s signature dark and cruisy beats.
No Facebook event page but their manager Erick has confirmed with me that the party is happening. Details will be on page Edge’s events listings on Facebook, the Code page on their site, or their Instagram.
Underbear Party at Lone Star Saloon with DJ Chaka Quan
“Bears in their underwear everywhere.”
Full details on the Facebook page for the event.
Sunday, July 25th
Butch afterhours at The Endup, produced by Ky Martinez Events with DJ Marti Freison
This is the Saturday night/Sunday morning afterhours before the fair. Butch is before the fair. Starting on Sunday. Before the fair.
We all thought, Oh well Ky didn’t do much for Pride he’ll just probably do one thing for Dore. Nope, the bitch is back.
So after Rated X closes, we’re all headed over to The EndUp for the Butch afterhours with DJ Marti Frieson.
Founded in 1973, The EndUp has been around longer than a lot of us have and is one of the city’s late-late night venues that is open after everything else has closed. Everyone ends up here. The club has a huge bar with lounge seating in the front leading to a modest dance floor with low ceilings. Down the hall you’ll find the VIP area comfy leather seating and tables and lighting. EndUp has a huge outdoor patio for cooling off, smoking, and cruising and I predict that’ll be a fun area for a lot of guys that night.
DJ Marti Frieson is making his San Francisco debut with Butch. He’s been spinning for over a decade with residencies Houston (DNVMRX and Rich’s) and Score night club in Miami and you’ll also find him a Jubileo in Puerto Vallarta. Marti combines his love of dance music with inspiration from cinema, hip hop, pop culture, and is always trying to push the boundries of himself and the genre. He told me he doesn’t get to play a dark sexy aggressive after hours often so he’s really excited to go deep and go late.
Folsom Street Market produced by Folsom Street Events
And then there’s the fair, which this year is named differently. We’ll probably go for a bit. It’s funny how it seems kinda normalized anymore for us to go to a street fair and see a guy chained to a telephone pole being whipped or porn stars playing Twister in jockstraps or a domme in a carriage being pulled by a quartet of human ponies or shirtless women being flogged to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Like Folsom, the fair encapsulates the crazy kinky libertine spirit of San Francisco – and with this event it’s much grittier and more gay-oriented than Folsom Street Fair.
You will see people dressed in their favorite fetish attire. Some of these kinksters wait all year for events like this to strut their stuff and fly their freak flag. If you don’t like it or roll your eyes at people or can’t delight in seeing perverts celebrate their perversions, don’t be a twat about it. Get the fuck out of there and go to Woodfield Mall. Not everything is for everybody.
From the Bay Area Reporter‘s article, ‘San Francisco leather, bear fairs among 1st LGBTQ outdoor events to return in-person’:
The Up Your Alley and Folsom Street leather- and kink-focused fairs in the city’s South of Market neighborhood will be proceeding with in-person gatherings, but in rebranded formats intended to help the neighborhood’s LGBTQ businesses recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. “Our July event is going to be rebranded to Folsom Street Market, and will be vendor focused, but in the same footprint [as the Up Your Alley street fair],” Angel Adeyoha, the queer and nonbinary executive director of Folsom Street Events told the Bay Area Reporter. “We plan to bring back Up Your Alley, in all its sticky glory, next year.” Adeyoha said that Folsom Street Events hopes to partner with the city on providing COVID-19 testing and vaccines for the Folsom Street Market event, which will be Sunday, July 25. There will be no alcohol or food “because we want to support the bars and venues that have had an awful year,” Adeyoha said.
Map of the fair:
DJ line up:
White people/Wypipo: BRING SUNBLOCK. The sun is pretty much high noon and direct sun with little shade and most of the surrounding buildings are one story. But there’s usually super hot sexy tattooed EMTs with sunblock at the first aid tents.
People of Color: Please continue to get super-dark and sexy. And if you got more tattoos, I would not be mad. We thank you.
Heaven at DNA Lounge, produced by Ky Martinez Events with DJs Alex Acosta and Ale Maes
Like I said, Ky Martinez and company are gonna put you th’rough it!
Heaven is his usual Sunday night party for our holiday weekends and brings in a broad crop of guys and as our closing party for Dore weekend, even more of a leather contingent than usual. So head over from the fair (or go rinse off and do a gear change). And with the 6-midnight time frame you can be in (someone’s) bed before 1am – on a school night!
DJ Alex Acosta we’ve heard many times over the years in different cities and he’s always a great blend of tribal and house circuit with enough vocals to keep everyone satisfied.
DJ Ale Maes is my big crush. He did an astounding job at Real Bad for Folsom 2019 and we must have listened to that peak prime time mix daily for most of the shutdown. When he spun Prime party it was a room of rump-shaking rutting men. So good.
This is one of those lineups where I don’t care who is opening for whom. Show up early. The music will be fantastic all night.
Xanadude at SF Eagle with DJs Paul Goodyear and Phil B
A night of “men, music and memories as they take you on a sonic trip” from afternoon tea-dance to prime time and late night dance.
DJ Phil B on Mixcloud, SoundCloud, and Facebook. One of my favorite of Phil’s mixes is Bay of Pigs party in 2015 (he teased “I Feel Love” for a full 8 minutes without ever giving us the actual vocal, it was sublime).
Full details on the Facebook page for the event.
Cumunion at SF Catalyst
Catalyst is one of the local dungeons available for events. We went to a private birthday party here recently and it is a pretty impressive setup with locker room, play areas, and a dungeon outfitted with rafters for rope work and bondage.
Legit for-real no DJs, no fans, no divas, just-dick play-party Cumunion is back for their Dore edition at the Catalyst dungeon space. The event started as a small sex party after Up Your Alley, 11 years ago in 2010. San Francisco. The success of the first party quickly led to a Folsom outing and the party is now in close to 50 monthly parties held in 40 cities around the world. Happy anniversary, Cumunion! Mazel tov!
Aftermath at Powerhouse with DJ Dakota Pendent
Powerhouse will have music all day with DJ Jason Godfrey at 3, Eddie House at 6, and their post-fair party Aftermath starts at 9pm with Dakota Pendent spinning.
Oasis Does Dore at Oasis with DJs Ryan Andrews and Pumpkin Spice
Oasis invites you to join them after the fair for drinks, dancing, and dirty Dore fun!
Full details on the Facebook page for the event.
DoreWood at Driftwood with DJs Chuck Gunn and Since Forever
Not much detail besides DJs spinning from 4-10. No cover.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event.
Market Daze at Lone Star Saloon with DJs Paul Goodyear and E. Feld
Cold beer, great music and plenty of bears.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event.
Where did Play T-Dance go?
City Nights, the home venue for everybody’s favorite Dore closing party, Play T-Dance, wasn’t re-opened in time for a 2021 edition. The producers have promised a 2022 party. Follow their Facebook page to stay up to date.
Monday, July 26th
Recovery at Lookout
Like with most party weekends, a lot of folks take Monday off. That means Monday afternoon everyone will go to the bar Lookout for “recovery” which means we all just keep drinking and raging since we don’t want to think about going to work tomorrow morning. A lot of guys start to head over to Guerneville and Russian River for Lazy Bear. But usually one of the city’s favorite local DJs is on from 3 to 9 and so the bar will be bouncing. So if you’re still in town, slather on the eye cream, and head over to Lookout.
No details yet but they’ll show up on Lookout’s Facebook page.
Other Events in 2021
Aside from all the upcoming Folsom events (guide) here’s several more San Francisco parties coming up:
Late July Horse Market: The Stable Master regretfully shares the unfortunate news that the Horse Market for July has had to move to the week after Dore. Don’t have a firm date or location just yet. Hopefully there will be a Folsom one though. Horse Market is a private event, so you’ll need to get updates from their Facebook group, Twitter, or their mailing list and learn more on the site for the event.
July 11 Sunsation Sundays rootop party at Oasis. DJs Grasso + Rich and Brian Urmanita. Details.
Every Second-Saturday: Ky and his husband Juan produce the monthly House Party at Powerhouse I mentioned above where every second-Saturday a couple hundred guys come out to try and stuff a deep house/circuit party into the back of a trashy gay dive bar (we always succeed). Follow Ky Martinez Productions to stay in touch.
Also every Second-Saturday is local leather event: SOMA Second Saturdays a fun afternoon with queer art, kinky crafts, local artians, fun vendors, clubs and orgs of the South of Market neighborhood. Details and site.
Omega party in November, the final part of the Fog City Pack’s trilogy of licentious parties, is usually before Thanksgiving. Stay in touch with their Facebook book page, Instagram account, or website.
Rumors of December dance parties are roiling.
You look amazing. Get photos.
You probably look foyne as fuck this weekend. You should preserve the moment. Our friend, photographer Trevor Ott will be again doing his impromptu photo shoots with the street fair as the backdrop. We did a shoot with him at Dore a few years ago (above) and had a great time. Contact him on Facebook if you’re interested and peruse his work on Instagram.
One day you will look at those photos and say, “Dear God, I was a beautiful thing!”
Dore on a Budget
Travel, tickets, transportation, refreshments, enhancements… this kind of weekend ain’t cheap. But, if you’re trying to keep spending to a minimum:
If you feel you have to have some sort of leather on ya, grab an armband from Mr. S or one of the other stores.
Assumign it happens, the Mr. S Party is free since it’s in the store. You can mill about and cruise guys and try stuff on.
Hang out at the bars in Castro and SOMA (historically known as “the Valley of the Dolls” and “the Valley of the Kings,” respectively). They’ll be packed with lots of other guys that are more into the cocktails & cruising dynamic. Most bars will have a modest cover charge.
Most of the bars are walkable from transit. If it’s super late you don’t want to be walking around too much in the dark. Keep your phone in your pocket, headphones off, and keep your wits about you. It’s San Francisco, but it’s still a big city with crazy people.
If you really have barely any money at all, you must use it to go to the fair. If ten bucks is all you have, give it to the fair and charity that is the centerpiece for the weekend. These orgs didn’t bring in any revenue last year.
Volunteer for events. Another way to keep costs down is to volunteer for events. For the first few years we were here, Ron and I were greeters and ticket-takers at lots of parties and that was fun because you literally meet everyone their way in and you get to put wristbands on hot guys and once your shift is over you can go dance.
Quick Run Down of FAQs
(Jump to the end of my Folsom guide for the extended set of FAQs)
- Get vaccinated. Many of these events are vaccinated only. Carry a photo or screencap of your proof of vaccination. I have yet to hear of a producer or venue requiring patrons to bring their literal paper vaccnation card. It’s okay to dress like a whore, everybody else will. And favorite that photo on your phone so you aren’t scrolling through hole pics while a bouncer waits.
- Get tested for covid the week after. Just to make sure you aren’t caring around a breakthrough infection.
- Be gracious to security (many of them are also gay and giving up their weekend to take care of your messy friends).
- Thank the EMTs for taking care of our trashy brethren.
- Coat/clothes check is usually a bitch. Lines are long. Plan accordingly. We usually plan hoe-optional ensembles that are not dependent on checking shorts and not bringing jackets.
- Never mix G and alcohol, or G and other depressants. Know your mLs. When in doubt, wait a half hour or stop altogether.
- It’s not just a bunch of white guys only into guys that look just like them. But wypipo do move in herds. If everyone around you looks like you, go somewhere else.
- “I’ve been looking all night for you!” No. Stop it. Don’t spend a party looking around for acquaintances or waiting for that one guy that you saw on the apps or that dickhead you know from Instagram. You are where you are. Be there.
- Don’t grab piercings without asking first.
- Know your hanky/armband code. Left side, top. Right side, bottom. Both sides, vers. Color chart (history). But remember sometimes red is just a sartorial choice.
- Fuck your fan clacking and don’t bring parasols to parties.
- If you plan to hoe it up, get STI testing 2 weeks beforehand so you have enough time to get your results and complete a round of antibiotics if needed. Get on PrEP of course if you’re negative, make sure you have enough meds in your luggage if you are. And every gay man – hell everyone – should know that undetectable is untransmittable. If you are an intermittent whore, know about the PrEP 2-1-1 “on demand” protocol (poster).
- You don’t have to look a certain way to enjoy the weekend. Don’t wait until you “lose the weight” or “do a cycle” or whatever other barrier to entry you’re setting for yourself. You have the right to have a fucking great time no matter how you look or how you feel about how you look.
- Get tickets early. In SF, we buy first tier tickets early. Months early. If you have tickets you’re not using, announce they are for sale on the respective event or producer’s Facebook page. If you’re looking for tickets, same thing. If you pay at the door, you’ll pay out the ass. Watch out for scalpers online.
- If you are sober, be sure you know which Whatever Anonymous meetups are happening at all times so you can stay on the straight and narrow while being bent in every other way.
- The week beforehand, make sure you have all your tickets. If they are in your email, use the pin/star feature to make sure they bubble up to the top or take screencaps of all your QR codes. Nothing like the, “Oh my god I bought tickets for the Folsom party but not the Dore one, Ron’s going to kill me…” panic attack.
- And Daddy Aaron’s rule: No in-town trade when out-of-town trade is in. If you’re local, don’t make this the weekend you make it happen with that local guy you’ve been over-staring at at the gym. Focus on the fresh, transient meat.
- There’s not a lot of cabs. SF is colder than you think it will be.
- Save this GIF to your phone to drop in group threads when someone’s being a needy/dramatic twat:
And of course – Folsom’s rule applies to Dore:
See you on the dance floor, gentlemen…
…and ladies, and everyone else in between. It’s incredibly rewarding to have guys from all over the world say hi and say that they read my guide or shared it with friends. So, if you see us on the dance floor, say hello. Look for the complimentary Polynesian sleeve tattoos (reference photo above, we have nipple piercings now FYI) on the sexy Filipino muscle daddy with the huge smile dancing with abandon and probably waving (but never clacking) a majestic fan (my husband Ron) and the semi-serious/RBF’d inked bearded white muscle daddy wolf trying to keep up with him (me).
Thanks for reading – please share!
Andy (with editing/etc. from Ron)
p.s. You can follow my writing on Facebook, Twitter, and enjoy cat photos, thirst pics, Ron’s Stepford streak, aggressive shirtlessness, and fear of aging on my Instagram (andymaticgram), but actually Ron posts better photos on his Instagram (ronamatic) and his account for his pandemic macaron obsession (macarons_by_ron). If you want even more reading in this vein, you can read my previous guides for Dore (2019, 2018, 2017, and the 2016 recap) and Folsom (this year, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2014 recap). Or read about that time I turned 40 or when we got married. on the Little Gay Guide podcast, or on the Daddy Issues podcast talking about roids and racism, why gay Trump supporters are such terrible people, and being pretty vs smart. And if you’re really retro, there’s the old fashioned RSS feed for my blog at andymatic.com
p.p.s. Typos are my gift to you. If you’re eagle eye catches one, DM me on Ig or Fb.