What Russia Gains from a Destabilized West

Thread from /r/worldnews:

“It’s as you already know pretty complicated as to why he’s doing this apart from you know just for the kicks. But let me try to put down three reasons that to my mind drives their agenda.

  1. Food.
  2. Oil.
  3. Trade.

“Food : Global population is topping off and a food crisis is looming and approaching fast. Russia has the most land resource compared to any other country in the world. And global warming means more and more uncultivable tundra land will be freed up and made available for farming. Allowing Russia to become the top food supplier to the world. This will give it unassailable power in any global stage.

  1. Oil : As the middle-east dries up the world will turn to the Arctic deposits for its fuel needs. Rosneft has the capability in most cases to drill through the depths of ice to get to the good stuff. But drilling through ice is expensive and raises the cost per barrel for the company. Guess what would help the bottomline? You got it, Global Warming. Becoming the primary crude supplier to the world has its benefits.
  2. Trade : Shipping routes the world over are concentrated around the equator. Most of the freight travels from China and surrounding Asian countries to North America and Europe. But once the ice caps loosen up due to Global Warming, it opens up the Polar shipping route, the shortest distance between the suppliers and the buyers. And Russian ports on the pole will become the loading hub for the millions of tons of cargo that gets shipped from Asia to the West every day. How about that petty cash?

“So, it all boils down to this. Russia has too much to gain from Global Warming to just sit back and let the West and the rest of the world take steps to slow it down. Every election it meddles in, every referendum it influences is driven by the need to destabilize the west. An unstable west will start working on their internal issues and stop working on wider issues like global climate change. Which means that the Western global leadership can no longer execute the plans to control climate change through consensus and global alliances.”

Comment in context.

Photo from WaPo.

How Steve Bannon Perverts Racist Tropes

Commenter on Metafilter:

“A mix of concerted efforts and accidental activism have chipped away at the definition of racism for some time. These attacks narrowed the definition from “the historically rooted pattern of social stratification and exploitation rooted in race” to “mean people.” They have belittled the consequences of racial violence and focused cultural attentions on small slights to one’s identity.

“That said, what Bannon is doing here, and neo-Nazi’s all over have been doing globally, is different still. They are extending the popular tropes that suggest claims of racism are really rooted in ‘excess sensitivity’ and ‘weakness.’ And that extension says, ‘See. To be called a racist ONLY means that you are angering the sensitive and the weak. That’s all racism really is!’

“This perversion of our moral compass is not just nauseating. It is dangerous. It is how we lose the moral authority to name racism for what it is.

“Importantly, the solution is not to stop calling things racist (lest the word lose its meaning). The solution is to insist on the right definition. And to pair the murderous rhetoric these ideologues use with their historic consequences. This stuff is not just politics. It’s not a joke. This stuff kills whole groups and generations of people. Just because it’s not happening yet, doesn’t mean it’s not the same as before.”

Full comment in context.

Photo from this CNN article.

Robert Mueller is the Anti-Trump

Commenter on Metafilter:

“He’s also the Anti-Trump:

“He actually hires the best people

“He actually is a smart person

“He actually knows the best words and uses them judiciously

“He obviously knows how to use publicity and the media to achieve specific results

“He is actually delivering on his mandate and doing it super-fast

“He shuts his fucking mouth ALL THE TIME and puts his shoulder to the wheel and works his ass off without saying a damn word to anybody

“He actually inspires loyalty and professionalism and devotion to duty — PAPADOPOULOS happened four months ago with nary a peep from anyone

“He actually understands and practices the art of the motherfucking deal”

Full discussion in context.

The Republican Party is the Problem

From a commenter on Metafilter:

“I keep hearing that Democrats should either talk about economic issues or pitch their message to the emerging, more-diverse electorate — but I don’t understand why this has to be an either/or choice. Democrats who can’t figure out how to do both should get the hell out of big-league politics, in favor of people who can walk and chew gum at the same time. […]

“But please, please, please: Make the point that the Republican Party is the problem. The Republican Party has contempt for you if you’re non-white or LGBT or if you’re unemployed or need health care for a child with chronic illness or live downstream from a chemical plant. The key to changing America is not electing Republicans.

“But what are we doing? We’re fixating on Donald Trump and portraying him as an anomaly, not as the culmination of long-term trends in his party. We’re cheering on supposedly brave Republicans such as Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, ignoring the fact that the entire GOP, including, on most votes, Corker and Flake, has circled the wagons to protect Trump. We’re rehabilitating George W. Bush, which, as Ryan Cooper writes, is nuts: […]

“We’re falling into the trap Hillary Clinton fell into: We’re assuming that “real Americans” don’t trust any idea unless it’s ratified by a Republican, so we’re seeking Republican validation for our opposition to Trump. That just reinforces the notion that Democrats aren’t worthy of respect.

Democrats: Be proud of who you are, speak up for yourselves, and talk about what Republicans have done over the past few decades and how their extremism hurts ordinary people. The problem is the Republican Party, stupid.”

From No More Mister Nice Blog linked from this comment on Metafilter.

Former Republican on the GOP

The former VP of the Berkeley College Republicans:

“The giant, unstated truth of American politics of the last decade is the staggering, insane levels of bad faith that Republicans have shown in federal governance, and the unwillingness of mainstream Democrats or supposedly neutral observers to take it seriously.

“The story of what has happened to the GOP is actually a very, very simple story. They had a Presidency which they fully supported under George W. Bush, and it was an immense failure, a failure of a presidency of the kind not seen in generations.

“The GOP’s response to this was not to introspect, but to become a defiant, salt the earth opposition party. Rather than look inward to try to understand what had happened to them such that their governance was such a failure, they decided upon the election of Barack Obama that complete and total opposition – to everything – was the way to go. This was documented at the time – you can read the reporting about a meeting of GOP leadership after the 2008 election (but before the inauguration) where they made a tactical decision to 100% oppose everything Obama did, no matter how reasonable, because by rejecting everything they would deny him the appearance of bipartisanship and thus make it look him he was the radical one. They united themselves in this opposition.

“And it was immensely successful. It took years before anyone other than liberals like Krugman or Jon Chait noticed what was happening. It took Obama about 3 years to realize himself, to realize that you can’t negotiate substance with the GOP because refusing to negotiate was the substance. That’s the definition of reactionism. There was nothing Democrats could to prevent this from happening.

“While this was bad, what was worse was the combination of (i) the GOP’s hollowed-out hatred was an immense success and (ii) their base didn’t know they were being cynical lying sacks of shit. Eventually, even the party officials themselves bought their own nonsense. You can’t live for years with a knowing lie – you eventually convince yourself that the lie is in fact the truth.

“And so we’re now in a position with a party which has no ability to govern anything at a national level, but no one other than liberals realize it. And because they have so thoroughly poisoned the well against liberalism as an identity, no one listens to us liberals. The GOP’s toxic stew of empty, hateful resentment led them to elect Donald Trump, because the only actual qualification for being a conservative nowadays is hating liberals, and Trump was the most straightforward and vicious in his hatred.

“This party is poison. And we may be way too far down to benefit from any antidote.”

Discussion in context.

The Luxury of Meteorology

from /r/TropicalWeather:

“What’s that? You’re upset that, although decades of wonderous and dedicated scientific advancement allowed you to sit in your underwear at home and track with fairly good precision what was, for thousands of years of human existence, an unpredictable force of nature chalked up by our ancestors to the acts of angry gods?

“You’re angry that thanks to a stunning array of meteorological technology, every citizen can now have up to a 4-5 day heads up of when one of the most potentially destructive acts of nature is going to come barrelling down on their community? It pisses you off that because of television, the internet, social media, etc., word of looming natural danger can spread to those who need that information in the blink of an eye?

“Your own grandparents lived in a time when nobody evacuated from hurricanes because nobody had a fucking clue when they were coming or where they would hit. People didn’t evacuate, they just died. And for what? What upsets you so much?

“That scientists only managed to predict what was until the last 50 years almost entirely unpredictable within 25 mph of wind force and within 70 miles of landfall? Fuck them for not nailing it on the head, right? Fuck everybody else for erring on the side of people NOT dying, right?”

Full discussion.

Inside a Store-Front Church Cult

From /r/bestlegaladvice:

“And here’s a cool church with a diverse, mixed group of parishioners, young and old, black and white, where “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

“Great! I like what I see and I want to learn more about this!

Wellllll…after being love bombed for a couple weeks (check that phrase out online) they finally integrated me into a sharing group or something. This sharing group was a circle of adults, young and old, including some pensioners and people living off nickles and dimes.

“But the purpose of the group wasn’t bible study or growing closer to the Word or whatever. It was to hold each other ‘accountable’ for this really atrocious, userous amount of money each congregant pledged to raise for the church at the first of each month, and was supposed to have in hand by the end of the month.

“This is the first I’d heard of it. There’s a reason why they waited weeks.

“We’re not talking about a tithe here. We’re talking about STUPID amounts of money.

“Several hundred for people living hand to mouth. Even more for people doing slightly better. More than health insurance. More than food.

“One little old lady of color was sitting in her chair crying because she’d just held her 4th or 5th yard sale and didn’t know how she was going to come up with the money, but she was just going to have to have faith the Lord Jesus would come through. Upset, fearful, distraught, and struggling as if this was for a kidney transplant or for a sick grandchild.
Oh. I got mad. I got sooooo angry. Because not only did no one defend her, or say something like “let’s take this to the deacon” (as in the church won’t hold you to that this month), but they asked her what she was going to do next, what she was going to do better, how she was going to try harder. People in no better circumstances than she was. Abusing her, and each other. In this insane mutually abusive financial accountability group. They say the most effective form of control is when you can convince the victims to exert control on each other, and I saw it that day.

“I noped right the fuck out of that shit. Double time fast. I never went back to services again or set foot near the place.

“Lo and behold, all the prayer group people I’d been meeting for bible studies (not the same as that sharing group), started calling me, harassing me, trying to call me out, telling me the debbil had a hold of me, telling me I needed to submit to authority, and other even craaaazier cray cray shit.

“I noped the fuck right out of having anything to do with them as well. Block. Block. Delete. Ignore. The last thing one of them told me was that I was going to hell and that she felt really badly but couldn’t associate with me. And I could tell she believed it when she was saying it.

“Head trippy. Head fucking trippy.

“Culty ass scammy fucking so-called ‘church.’ Well, I lived and I learned. And I got a small taste of how people get drawn into that, what happens to them once they’re there, and what happens when they try to escape. I got a bit of life education that has proven invaluable. So I don’t regret it. But it still makes me angry when I think about that lady.”

Full discussion.

Photo from WookMark.

Why We Can Blame Roger Ailes

Because it’s all his fucking fault:

“This current shitshow is brought to you by Roger Ailes.

“When I was growing up in the 80s, politics was more like a thing that came up a few months before a presidential election, and people would talk about who they might vote for and why, and you would freely choose whichever candidate you liked best. Totally dullsville. Not like now, where who you think you are as a person determines your vote.

“Way back in the late 80s, a guy named Morton Downey Jr had a hit talk show. The format was, Downey was an abrasive chain-smoking loudmouth asshole who’d invite people from two opposing sides of a story to talk it out. He’d pick a side and verbally abuse them and get the audience all riled up with outrage on his side. Outrage! This was the key component, the sense of you or someone like you getting screwed and there’s the guy doing the screwing, it’s one of our most powerful emotions.

“Cue Roger Ailes. He clocked Downey’s shtick, put it in a suit and tie and sat it behind a desk in a room with bookcases and flags and called it Rush Limbaugh. Of course it was a smash hit. With Limbaugh, Ailes used outrage to manipulate his audience with what appeared to be a respectable format. In reality it was as absurd a cartoon spectacle as Downey or pro wrestling or televangelism. But say what you want, they made politics a lot less boring.

“Five days a week, people would flock to ‘Rush Rooms’ at bars and cafes to listen to his radio show, and/or tune into his TV program at night. The secret to its success was that, finally, there was a person to blame for all your troubles, and it was the Liberal. Outrage! The Liberal was out to destroy your entire way of life!

“Ailes used the astonishing success of Limbaugh to start Fox News, where he cultivated an entire stable of Limbaugh clones, all working the same shtick. It, too, was a tremendous success.

“Working closely with the Republican party and Rupert Murdoch, they transformed the entire political narrative. Outrage sold like gangbusters, so much more than boring old serious policy discussions. No longer did you need to have a coherent plan for anything in government – to win, all you needed was an identifiable enemy for every occasion. Who’s to blame for what ails you? Who’s trying to destroy your way of life? It’s always going to be the blacks, the Mexicans, LGBT, Muslims, immigrants, terrorists, atheists, abortion doctors, big-city elites, Obama, Hillary, college professors, college students, Hollywood, the French, etc etc etc, but one way or another all jammed under the big umbrella of Liberal. Not the Asians because that’s the “good” ethnic stereotype you can use, and never the military or the Jews if you want to stay in prime time, but pretty much any group who’s not white, straight, Christian and rural, they could use to work their audience into a sweet, profitable lather.

“That’s why Republicans don’t really have any substantive policies to implement now, even when they control the whole works. They don’t have any ideas to actually do anything, all they know after 25 years of this is how to generate outrage.

“Now the biggest problem with hammering on this outrage for so long is, people take it real seriously. It becomes part of their identity. It’s like you root for the sports team from the area you live in. You don’t choose that team because you carefully analyzed all the available teams in a big spreadsheet, it’s just fun to feel like part of a tribe with your neighbors. And you’ve heard all these terrible stories over and over and over about all the terrible Liberals out there, so you, along with your neighbors, are simply not the kind of person who would have any truck with people like Those People. It’s got nothing seriously to do with sitting down and analyzing political policies and the best way to run things, it’s just sports and identity.

“So keep turning the screws on that concept bit by bit for 25 years, and where we are now was always inevitable. Trump says he could shoot people and not lose his base. Just today, 60% of Trump voters still say there’s nothing that could ever ever never ever turn them against Trump. Well of course. It doesn’t matter to them what he actually does or doesn’t do because it was never about that in the first place. It was only ever about sticking it to whoever caused all this outrage that day – because if Those Terrible Liberal People are all up in arms screaming about what a scumbag Trump is, he must be doing something right, right?

“And on the far side of that envelope, there’s the fascists. Implicit in the nature of authoritarianism is the use of or at least the credible threat of violence. The far right, personified by Trump, is the father archetype: what he says goes, or else. The nazis marching in the street these days are the ‘or else.’

“People like to bitch about PC SJWs and whatever, but let’s face facts, we just don’t like being lectured about not saying “retard” anymore. Nobody’s going to come to your house and burn a cross in the yard if you keep saying it, though. At least I hope not, for my own sake. There’s not a lot of vegans shooting up churches and mosques or shooting people at protests or stabbing people to death on trains or running people over with cars. At least not yet. It’s almost sure to happen sooner or later. But Antifa, as the name clearly states, is only a reactionary movement against the spread of violent fascism given increasing signal boost in recent years.

“But this is the most important and least-discussed principle behind the whole shebang: in the post-Ailes world, liberals are not just people with different ideas about what’s best for the community or country, they’re dirty dirty Liberals who want to destroy your way of life. Keep drilling that into peoples’ heads for long enough, and a few of them will start to act on it. And then those dirty liberals will start to fight back. And then the nutjobs will say, we gotta stop these dirty liberals, now they’re getting violent, and the Outrage Machine will eat that story up from both sides.

“Presto, now you’ve got a low-level civil conflict simmering to open warfare. Who’s got the power to dial it back? Doesn’t seem like anyone can at this point. The power of the state can at least keep it somewhat in check… but funny enough, the current president is doing everything possible to undermine the authority of the state, so how much longer will that hold? It’s notable that Glenn Beck had a change of heart and tried to pull back from the precipice, and what happened? His fans bid him the fuck goodbye and found themselves another outrage supplier.

“It’s possible this all bottoms out and people demand pulling back on the controls and getting out of the civil war death spiral. I mean, it doesn’t take much to look around and realize how few people anywhere in the world have ever said, ‘gosh, sure am glad we had that civil war.’ But as long as outrage sells, it will… and it only takes a handful of people captive to their chosen media who spin out sideways on it and do a bunch of damage, so… good luck with all that, America.

“Ironic thing is, the Outrage Machine could be turned around and used for good. Be outraged at the rich who actually are taking all your wealth and jetting off to their bunkers leaving you behind to die in the wasteland they created, for example. Be outraged at a system that led us straight into extinction. Imagine the possibilities, instead of this weapon being used against each other. It’s a damn shame.

“Now what this means for collapse… well, I don’t think civil war’s ever been kind to a nation’s infrastructure and development, and if we’re sliding into the peak oil climate change economic collapse future at the same time, it’s just that much more reason to be pessimistic. Although on the other hand, should the state weaken sufficiently, civil conflict may provide opportunity for more self-governing enclaves, some of which might be dedicated to surviving into the future. That may be the most optimistic scenario, really. Even if we could pull back to the pre-civil conflict status quo, our systems will come unglued some other way anyway.”

Full discussion in context.

Folsom Weekend 2017 Party Guide

This is the 2017 guide. Looking for this year’s Folsom party guide? Right here, stud.

tl;dr/summary: Folsom weekend is like a big gay leather prom. I’m going to Brut, Big Muscle, Aftershock, Real Bad, and Nocturnal. See you there.

I did a write up for some friends on what parties to consider for Dore a month ago and then for our Folsom houseguests and figured might as well spin it out into a blog post (here’s my account of Folsom 2014).

First: Know Your History

Photo above from the June 1964 isssue of Life magazine profile Homosexuality in America, a landmark in LGBT visibility.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include some history. It’s hard to convey how much leather and fetish culture is woven into the fabric of San Francisco and how that libertine spirit has grown to include all sexualities and genders and types of people and expanded across the world.

SFTravel’s article Behind the Harness: The Extraordinary History of the The Folsom Street Fair.

Found SF’s article Changes and Continuities in the Leather Community.

I think it’s also important to know the context of Folsom because so many people have a knee-jerk conservative reaction to this collection of people and behaviors. Numerous religious right websites choose photos from the street fair to depict all queer people. If you don’t like, it isn’t for you, and isn’t intended for you and it’s completely fine if you stay away. For some people leather and fetish is a core part of their identity and their peer groups. For others it’s a fun weekend to get a little wild, experiment with different dress or style, and push your own boundaries of what you like and who you are.

You can see this history in action as the entire week kicks off with:

San Francisco Leather Walk on Sunday September 17th

Hundreds of people dressed in their streetfair-Sunday best walk together to celebrate leather, kink, chosen family, and community while raising funds for three local agencies. They stop at several local watering holes ending up at The Eagle where the leather pride flag is raised (know your flags!). Full map and event details and event on Facebook.

When someone asks me about Folsom weekend I usually say:

It’s like a big gay leather prom.

Sure there’s gonna be Mean Girls or Mean Bears or Mean Muscle Queens or Mean Belligernet Twinks that you want to kick in the face – let it slide. Any time you get more than a dozen gay men in one space, a few decide they are the fairest of them all, and that others should give them deference and act generally like tween girls. As I tell my sister in recounting these antics, “Yes, these are grown men.” You can usually find these guys because they are standing outside the dance floor not moving at all, just posing. They look amazing and they’ve worked hard all year to look this good – and they are starving. Give them a quick high-five and then go to the opposite space in the club where people are actually having fun.


But generally the San Francisco crowd is warm and friendly to a fault and the general etiquette is such that everyone introduces everyone to everyone else. I describe it to my folks as it’s like a really slutty adult Halloween. Everyone is dressed to impress (an undress).

I’ve included links to photo galleries for most of the events so you can get a sense for the mix of the crowd is like and what to wear.

Here’s a list of many of the events of the weekend. I’ll call out the ones I’m going to but keep in mind this is just one guy’s opinion on what to do and where to go and be sure to ask other friends and acquaintances for their must-do events if this is your first Folsom weekend.

Friday, September 22

Friday night I’m one of your persuadable hosts for:

Brüt at The Great Northern, produced by Dan Darlington with DJs Peter Napoli, Manny Ward, and Dan Darlington

Two of my favorite moments of Folsom weekend last year were at the Brüt party at Great Northern (formerly the old Mighty space). One was when Brüt proudcer and DJ Dan Darlington slowed down the beat and mixed in Nine Inch Nails’s “Closer” and you had hundreds of rutting leather-clad men chanting “I want to fuck you like an animal!” and then as the song ended, Dan kept repeating the Downward Spiral descending motif from the classic album as he brought the beat back up. That and the remix of DMX’s “It’s All Right” featuring the rap, “It’s all good, it’s alright, fuck all day, fuck all night.”

Photo of Ron and I with our Orlando husbands. Photo by Marques Daniels.

Brüt always attracts some of the  die-hard leather and fetish crowd but also the Brooke & Meagans like us who just like to dress like fuckbots from time to time or others who are more mainstream circuit queens but giving the leather thing a spin. In the bear/muscle spectrum, it’s more on the muscle side.

Here’s the Facebook event and details you can get tickets at the Brüt Party website.

Photo gallery of last year’s Folsom Brüt from Joe Pessa.

If you want something more on the bear side, might I suggest:

Bearracuda at Public Works, with DJs Tony Moran, Ryan Jones, and Freddy King of Pants

Bearracuda will always have a special place in my heart as the first place I ever gogo danced. It was New Year’s Eve and we knew one of the dancers scheduled and we get to the club and he said, “The other dancer didn’t show! It’s either you or Ron.” It was a great way to start 2016 and forecasted the year to come.

Bearracuda is what it says on the tin: A dance party for the big boys. Many of which have beards. And are hairy. We had a great time at the Pride Bearracuda and if you’re into big cubs and thick daddies, this is where you want to be. We last heard Tony Moran at Sunsation Sundays (next one is September 10 with Jesus and Mohammad at the Chapel) and every time we’ve seen him spin he’s fantastic.

Learn more about Bearracuda from this interview at Unicorn Booty as they celebrate their 11th year of producing events around the world.

I didn’t find a gallery for the Folsom Bearracuda but here’s the photos from this year’s SF Pride event and a bonus photo of me on the prowl at the New Years event this year.

Folsom Sunset Cruise, produced by Brian Kent with DJs The Perry Twins

Leaving from Pier 40 (to the north of AT&T park). The Pride Friday and Folsom Friday sunset cruises have quickly become some of the most popular events of the season – and they always sell out, so get your tickets now. Join a couple hundred of your new best friends on a cruise sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, The Bay Bridge, and watching the city come alive as the sun sets. DJs The Perry Twins will spin you into the night from the moment you board the boat and are handed a glass of champagne through to the return to the pier. The revels include a bon voyage toast, drink specials all night, and just about the friendliest crowd you’re going to find in the city. Tickets are on sale now – and this event *will* sell out. Bring a coat or jacket (or wear your leathers). It can get blustery out there in the water.

Photos from last year’s event by Mr. Pam.

Full event details on Facebook and tickets on Eventbrite.

Friendly Fire at Danzhaus, produced by Gage Lennox

And Gage Lennox’s Friendly Fire event for Fancy Fellas that need a helping hand. Ahem. Full event details and tickets on Eventbrite and if this is your kinda thing, add Gage as a friend and then join their private Facebook group.

Recon San Francisco Party at DNA Lounge

Recon.com’s party promises this is “where all the geared-up men come meet, dance and get ready for the oncoming carnage of Folsom. This is a men only event where you can find the guys you’ll be playing with all weekend long!”

Details on the Recon site.

FLSM Friday Fetish Ball at Club Six produced by Gus Presents with DJ Russ Rich

The first of Gus’s trio of events for the weekend with local favorite Russ Rich who is always wonderful whether he’s spinning at a bar on Sunday Funday or at larger warehouse spaces. Ron and I usually end up down front clapping and queening out with each new track he plays.

Full event details on Eventbrite details about Gus’s entire weekend of events. Didn’t find a photo gallery from last year.

Earthquake on Folsom at Raunch Afterhours produced by Francisco Tolentino with DJ Alex Ramos

Francisco Tolentino is bringing his Raunch Afterhours to the weekend. We went to one of these once and had a great time. It’s a Friday night afterhours so should be a relatively big crowd I reckon. I think the address listed is DNA Lounge.

Details on Facebook and tickets on Eventbrite.

DILF San Francisco Meat & Greet Fundraiser by MAN UPP at Lookout benefitting Lyric Bay Area Center for LGBTQQ Youth

Joe Whitaker brings the DILF crew to Lookout on Friday night with DJ Max Bruce spinning. Jockstraps encouraged with clothes check available. Details on Facebook.  $10 donation at the door.

Saturday, September 23

We’re going to wake up, brunch up, gear up and go to:

BigMuscle Meet & Greet at DNA Lounge, benefiting AIDS Emergency Fund with DJ Jesus Pelayo

I always like taking friends to this event because if you don’t know it’s happening, you don’t know what you’re missing. Several hundred muscle guys of all sizes and stripes, and their admirers pack into DNA Lounge to have cocktails and dance and make Mary. It’s got a fantastic vibe whether you’re in the mood to dance on the main floor, hang out and chit-chat or people-watch from the wraparound balcony. Keep mind that DNA Lounge is much bigger than you think. If you’re new to the space, go upstairs and do a promenade all the way around and through – I totally missed the far back back lounge all these years until we were there for Dore. Relaxed and fun with lots of hot guys and not everybody is a total mess just yet. Also a cheap ticket. $10 on DNA site I think (with suggested $15-$20 donation at the door the day-of). If you wanted to go to a mild but fun event and still be in (someone’s) bed at a reasonable hour, I’d say go to this one. You’ll be blind for the first few minutes you enter the club since it’s so bright outside and so dark inside. Ron and I have always had a great time at this event. The DJ is Jesus Pelayo who was the main DJ for last year’s Real Bad event. More on Real Bad in a bit.

Photos from last year’s event.

Event details on Facebook and tickets available on DNA Lounge website.

I’m hoping we relax after that but a lot of folks will probably go to:

Magnitude at The Armory, produced by Folsom Street Events with DJs Ralphi Rosario, Alex Acosta, and Nick Bertossi

Photo of Magnitude from last year, photo by lighting/visual designer William Brown.

Magnitude is huge. Massive. I mean that’s why it’s called Magnitude. You don’t know how big it is until you walk in the venue. They’ve moved to the Armory this year (part of the Kink.com studios complex) which is absolutely cavernous and if you can fill the space (and I know they will) it’ll be a fantastic event. There was a scandal this year when it was announced the event would not have the usual fully outfitted dungeon/demo area (bigger SF venues aren’t willing to risk their liquor license blah blah techies ruin everything blah blah). The line to get in should go fast this year if it is anything like how the Armory operated for Pride this year (last year’s Magnitude at Midway we stood in line for more than an hour before getting in, not a fan). The DJ lineup is amazing with Ralphi Rosario, Alex Acosta, and Nick Bertossi.

Magnitude event page and some photos.

We’re going to skip Magnitude this year. One reason is because is last year we overslept. We got home from Magnitude and decided we’d just take a brief nap and neither of us set an alarm. I woke up at 8:30am and thought, “Oh shit. Do I tell him?”

So yeah this year, no Magnitude, snuggle and sleep until 3am and then rinse off and gear up for:

Aftershock at City Nights produced by Frisco Disco and The Disco Cherry, with DJ Abel

It’s hard to say why Aftershock is one of our favorite events of the year. It’s got the perfect dark, horny, forbidden, unforgiven ambiance. None of this happy vocals and “Isn’t life great?!” bullshit. I want to be dragged to hell and stay there. With Aftershock, it feels like the guys that want to hookup have already met at Magnitude (or the bars or the apps) and are in their respective hotel rooms in the throes of whatever, so the crowd that comes to Aftershock is there to dance.  And DJ Abel is just the fucking best. We’ve heard him in several cities and on the Atlantis cruise last year and whether it is prime time circuit, tea dance, or afterhours, he’s just simply master at what he does. Aftershock starts promptly at 4am. Everyone is pretty much wearing just jockstraps, harnesses and boots.

Aftershock achieves that strange surreal feeling that you’re dancing in a crowd of hundreds of hot horny sweaty men and you’re not entirely sure the world outside the club exists anymore.

City Nights clothes check is always a shitshow. Every single time, without fail. I don’t blame anybody because I’ll get people telling me to stop being so criticial etc. and I simply don’t know how hard it is to produce events blah blah blah. Just know that clothes check is nuts and hopefully you get there early enough that you aren’t waiting in line for 45 minutes before you can start the fun. But… it’s worth it and you can always dance in line. Stumbling out into daylight at 10am and stumbling back to your hotel will be something you remember forever. Besides the fair starts 11am so you better rinse off and gear up, babydoll.

Event details on Facebook and tickets availabe on Eventbrite.

Keep in mind Aftershock is before the fair on Sunday morning.

Other events on Saturday include:

New Breed: The Second Coming at Club Six, produced by PoundPuppy SF and Polyglamorous, with a shitload of DJs

Along with Friendly Fire, this is the most sex party-ish events I’m seeing promoted for the weekend. Upstairs, the Polyglamorous crew is running their usual dance party while downstairs, the gang from Pound Puppy is getting a bit more carnal. I don’t know much about these events at all but it literally has the words “breed” and “coming” in the title, so there you go.

Event details on Facebook and tickets on Eventbrite.

Sundance tea dance at Midway produced by Gus Presents wth DJ Dan Slater

Gus has a daytime outdoor tea dance at Midway boasting a full-scale urban beach with tons of palm trees, sand, volleyball court, and “a kitschy dough-boy swimming pool.” DJ Dan Slater spins a six-hour set. Details and tickets.

Industry at The Great Northern produced by Industry and Gus Presents with DJ Morabito

What it says on the tin: Industry/Gus producing. Jocks/leather recommended. Morabito spinning. Details and tickets.

ONYX vs FLSM at Powerhouse produced by Onyx with DJ Jason Godfrey benefitting Leatherwalk

And Saturday night at Powerhouse is Onyx’s Folsom party for leather men of color and their admirers. DJ Jason Godfrey will be spinning the hottest house, soul, and disco. $5 cover benefits Folsom Street Event’s Leatherwalk and gets you in for a drawing of VIP access to the Folsom Street Fair, Magntitude tix, and a Mr. S Leather + Kink.com Prize Basket. Details and tickets.

Sunday, September 25

Sunday morning we stumble out of Aftershock and sleep until Real Bad. But we have houseguests so I might be convinced to go to:

Folsom Street Fair produced by Folsom Street Events

Ah the fair. It’s huge. You won’t realize it’s so many people until you are there. It’s crazy. Enter on the side streets for quicker entry and to get into the crowd faster. It’s 400,000 people packed into 13 city blocks for 7 hours. It’s insane. There are two huge dance areas with some of the city’s best DJs and a couple other stages with a constant cavalcade of indie music acts. Hundreds of booths of fetish and leather vendors. You’ll see just about anything there. What do you actually do there? Get flogged, buy some leather, have a chicken skewer, dance your ass off, get drunk, or whatever you’ve got a whim for.

If you’ve never been to the fair, go. I’d go early if I were you. The crowds are crazy.

We’ve been to the fair numerous times so I’m hoping we’re sleeping in so we can enjoy our absolute favorite event of the entire year (yes, our two favorite events of the year are in the same 24 hour period).

Event details on Facebook and just about anything else you’d like to know at folsomstreetevents.org.

Real Bad XXIX at 1015 Folsom produced by Grass Roots Gay Rights with DJs Juanma Escudero and Scott Shepherd

Our favorite event of the year. Thousands of the friendliest, hottest men you’ve ever met pack into local dance temple 1015 Folsom for nine hours of dancing and revelry. The event is produced by Grass Roots Gay Rights and all the money from the general admission tickets goes directly to local and national beneficiaries (this year including Southern Poverty Law Center who does crucial work in tracking white supremacist groups across the country). Real Bad is special to us because it is kinda the centerpiece for the entire year of gay dance events in the city. From the initial margarita party kickoff to the Reach tea-dance for pride to Real Bad and then the check-presentation to the beneficiaries, it’s an entire narrative across most of the year.

Most tickets are only available through a host system of 250 hosts who are each given 5 host codes to share with friends and their network (each host can also buy 1 or 2 VIP tickets which they can also resell if they like). That can be really frustrating I know. But it does help preserve the vibe that nearly the entire crowd is there because of someone they know in the “Circle of Friends.”

On the main floor is DJ Juanma Escudero taking you on a nine-hour journey from post-fair tea dance into the early hours of the morning. In the Underground – the basement bar of the club – is Scott Shepherd spinning a more downtempo sound. Be sure to appreciate both. The VIP area of the club opens up after midnight so be sure to explore the upstairs balcony, the lounge and the red room.

I can’t say enough about Real Bad. It’s a singular experience distilling everything amazing about the city of San Francsico into one event. I know that sounds trite. But every year I walk down that ramp from the lobby to the main floor and think, “Goddamn this is a whole other level of party.”

And when you hear Cazwell’s “Ice Cream Song” come on, look for Ron and I among the platoon of men and women in aprons and hats (and little else) handing out popsicles to the over-heated crowd. Sometimes it’s hard to convince a queen to eat a calorie. And be sure you’re in the main room for when they drop the leather flag. The whole night has several peak moments.

It’s worth the rigmarole to get tickets. If you can’t get tickets through hosts they have a limited set of tickets available at a handful of retail locations in NYC and SF and a few tickets available as the event opens.

Short documentary about Real Bad, Activism with a Beat.

Article about Real Bad in The Daily Californian.

Real Bad event on Facebook and ticket swap group for those looking for tickets.

After Real Bad ends 4am we’ll probably come home and rinse off and re-caffeinate and have some calories and then attempt to rally to go:

Nocturnal afterhours at Halcyon produced by Ky Martinez and Cecil Russell with DJ Paulo

I can’t think of a better way to close out the weekend, the night, and the morning than with the original “tribal bitch” DJ Paulo. Doors open at 3am and the event goes until 9am Monday morning. Our friends Ky and Cecil are producing and their events are always fantastic and with lighting designed William Brown the production at the Halcyon space will be amazing stellar.

Details on Facebook and tickets on Eventbrite.

Other events on Sunday night/Monday morning include:

DNA: Enter it, Give It, Take It at DNA Lounge produced by Cip Cipriano and Locoya Hill with DJs Dani Toro, Bradley Portnoy, Haute Toddy, Mohammad and Paul Goodyear

Local producer extroardinaire Locoya Hill literally just moved to NYC but he couldn’t not let a Folsom go with out producing an event for the weekend with a full roster of the city’s best DJs, plus  And in the upstairs lounge is an event within the event called Top the Hole. So between that and all the talk about entering, and giving and taking DNA, draw your own conclusions.

Details on Facebook and tickets on Locoya’s website.

Deviants Adult Arcade at Mezzanine produced by Folsom Street Events featuring Jennifer Cardinim, Josey Rebelle, and Honey Soundsystem

This is the official closing party of Folsom Street Fair. I’ve never gone to this and don’t really know many people that have but Honey Soundsystem is known all over for their parties and events.

Not finding a lot of photos of the event, here’s some photos of Deviants from the Folsom Street Events Facebook page. I’m assuming this is where the straight people go if they want to dance or if you weren’t able to get tickets to Real Bad.

And one more afterhours after Real Bad on Monday morning is:

Twisted at Endup produced by LEFT Magazine, Brian Kent, and Folsom Street Events with DJs Chus + Ceballos, Shane Stiel, and Ricky Sinz

Whatever Brian Kent does is amazing (the Pride party at the Armory was one for the ages).  This is the official final party for the weekend. Chus + Ceballos were here for Magnitude last year and were astounding and they’ve been back to SF couple other times since then and everyone talks very highly of them (and Shane and Ricky are no slouches either).

Details on Facebook and tickets on Eventbrite.

Some more tips and FAQs on surviving the weekend:

Do you have to be into leather or fetish to attend and enjoy these events?

Not really. When we first moved here we didn’t really get the leather thing at all. We’d lived in Chicago for ten years and had gone to the annual International Mister Leather convention but it didn’t really stick then. For some people, the leather thing is core to their identity and social circles and they carouse at leather bars and enjoy all the accoutrements of leathermen culture. For others, it’s more like a fun way to stretch your self-image. But if you find the culture off-putting you definitely are not going to have a good time – so don’t be a bitch about it – just leave.

Do some people really wear just jockstraps at these parties? I don’t want to be the only one dressed like a whore.

Yes. And dress like a whore is pretty much par for the weekend. Which seems to be a particularly SF thing. Sometimes outside other cities and on the cruises but SF seems to go full-bore-whore a little more regularly.

It’s fucking hot at most of these parties, Hot as hell. Hot as thousands or horny drunk and/or high mostly naked gay men radiating body heat and dancing for hours. It’s humid too – my iPhone shorted out halfway through the evening last year. Had to put it in a bag of rice that night.

Some wear full leather uniforms or pants or shorts. Others go simple with jeans or just shorts. Some just wear jockstraps and boots with a harness. You’ll want to have pockets to keep your ID and such handy. Or wear long socks and stuff them in there.

It’s completely up to you. Typical fashion will be jeans/pants/jock with boots and a leather harness. But peruse the galleries of the events for a sampling of the various options available.

There’s clothes check too if you don’t want to parade your sweetcheeks down the street or have your bare bum sitting in an Uber.

Go ahead and check your shirt or put it in your beltloop. Otherwise you’ll lose it on the floor and have to walk home like a hooker.

Are all these events just a bunch of white guys only looking for other white guys?

Sometimes these events have a tendency a bunch of big hairy white guys only interested in hanging out with other big hairy white guys. And that sucks for our brown, black, and/or smooth brethren. The weekend’s events will have a pretty broad size, type, and ethnic mix. Chances are you’re “totally my type” for someone in the crowd.

Never ever ever mix alcohol and GHB.

Don’t do it. You are a stupid fucking idiot if you do and fuck you for making your friends worry and have to take care of you when they should be having a good time. G is very volatile and dose/potency varies from person to person. 4ml that gets one guy a nice high might make someone else stumble down the stairs. Go slow.

How to find the bears.

Tip: If you are looking for the bears at any club, find the big industrial fans. There’s literally a ‘bear corner’ at 1015 Folsom because that’s where the big fans always are. The big boys overheat easily so they’re usually near the fans, or they have actual fans, or are near the A/C vents.

Buy multiple drinks at a time.

None of the bars will be fast and many events will end up short staffed. If you are buying Gatorade for 3 friends, grab six. If you are buying cocktails, buy double, chug one and sip the other. Hell, grab 8 Gatorades and hand a couple to guys you pass on the dance floor – they will act like you’ve given them nectar of the gods.

Assume clothes check will be a disaster everywhere.

Given the minimal attire of patrons to most of these events, coat/clothes check will probably be a complete bitch anywhere you go. We usually bring one of our gym bags and put everything in there (and put phones and wallets in obvious pockets so we can find them quickly for the keys-phone-wallet check as you leave the club). So if it gets misplaced or mis-tagged we can say, “Look for the bright red Timbuktu bag.” I know you don’t believe me but I’m not joking. Lines are long.

Get tested the week after.

A lot of people have a lot of sex with a lot of people during Folsom weekend and so there’s a possibility you might get a bug, even if you’re the most careful condom user ever-ever. Go to your GP or local clinic to get tested for the full palette of STIs. Keep in mind you can have gonorrhea, syphillis, or chlamydia and not show any obvious symptoms. And ‘I’m always the top,’ doesn’t really mean anything since infections can spread between oral, anal, and genital regions regardless of who is fucking who. And notify the other people you had sex with if you have their contact info. It’s common courtesy and comes with the territory in our high-volume-hookup sex-as-a-hobby culture. And of course get tested for HIV. And if you test positive, go into treatment immediately and it is much easier to get down to undetectable levels and manage your health.

I’m too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too young, too old to go.

You will see some guys who are so roided up they are practically parodies of what a man could look like galloping like water buffalo across the dance floor. You’ll see beanpole guys who are skin and bones (and guys going nuts over them, too). All shapes, all sizes, and ages ready to have a great time. You should go.

Well shit I guess that’s about all I’ve got to say about that.

See you on the dance floor, gentlemen. And ladies.

If you see us on the dance floor say hello. Look for the polynesian sleeve tattoos on the sexy pinoy muscle boy with the huge smile dancing with abandon (Ron) and the semi-serious bearded white guy trying to keep up with him (me).

Andy · Follow me on Facebook or on Instagram.

The Best MLM Program Ever

From a Metafilter thread about predatory MLM tactics:

“It makes me want to host a Smash the Patriarchy party. Buy-in cost is bringing one bottle of cheap wine to my house. You get a stack of voter registration cards, a promise to babysit for each other on short notice, and marching orders to recruit ten other women. (The party part is just drunk-dialing our representatives and collectively yelling, “Where the fuck is the subsidized childcare?” into the receiver.)”

Full discussion.