tl;dr/summary: Dore is a more gay-male, raunchier version of Folsom. 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!):
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. Proper usage:
- “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 Madison Cawthorne will show up at Dore this year? She’ll know where the coke orgies are.”
The weekend of events is anchored by Sunday’s Up Your Alley street fair. The street fair celebrates gay kink and leather culture and is produced by the Folsom Street Events organization. They also produce the Folsom Street Fair in September which is an even bigger kink/leather 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 gawking at the zoo and more people ready to participate.
But there’s a lot more there there than just the fair.
First: Know Your History
Leather is embedded in San Francisco’s history and Dore is connected to that history and pedigree. There’s always a few leather guys at even the most mainstream-y party. 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…
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’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.
A few notable events to point you to before the main thrust of the weekend:
Early July: Baloney at Oasis, produced by Rory Davis
San Francisco’s “gay all-male revue that’s not entirely gay and not entirely male” is back with their July edition. We’ve gone to the show several times over the years and it’s always a fun evening with these talented sexy men of all shapes and sizes and ages. Baloney combines theater, dance, striptease, song, comedy, and acrobatics into an entertaining evening unlike anything you’ve seen before. Baloney runs the first two weekends of July.
Baloney featured in the Bay Area Reporter: Baloney’s back: saucy male burlesque show returns to Oasis and The Advocate
CANCELLED Saturday, July 23rd: Horsemarket produced by The Stablemaster
This event has been cancelled due to the monkeypox outbreaks happening nationwide. The Stablemaster on Twitter: “I’m sad to say that July 23rd party is canceled but it is necessary because of monkeypox. There will be more events soon! If you want more info check out my newsletter.”
Wednesday, July 27th
Dirty Alley at Powerhouse, presented by Mr. S Leather
Now celebrating over 40 years of leather, kink, and style, Mr. S Leather is a San Francisco mainstay and globally recognized leather retailer and fetish brand. They’ll kick off the week at Powerhouse and Dore Wednesday with a night of fetish demos, sexy gogos, and [checks notes] “the trashiest bartenders in San Francisco.”
Thursday, July 28th
11th Anual BLUF SF Dinner at Don Ramon’s Mexican Restaurant, benefitting Leathermen’s Discussion Group and Transform 1060.
You’re telling me there’s a Mexican restaurant with a buffet and I can wear leather? You can tell who the bottoms are since they aren’t eating any beans.
BLUF SF’s annual dinner has become a tradition to kick off a busy leather week of activities. Whether you’re new to the BLUF group (Breeches and Leather Uniform Fanclub) or want to reconnect with old friends, you’ll find a large gathering rubbing elbows – leather to leather – in a friendly setting.
More detail about the history of BLUF in Leatherpedia.
Rubber Ducky at Powerhouse
New local group Rubber Ducky SF is rolling out the rubber carpet! They’ve started throwing regular local events for the rubber community and those that want to hang out with them. Come relax, chat, and meet other guys into rubber. If this is your crowd, you’ll feel rightr at home surrounded by a crowd of dozens of men in rubber. Whether you’ve never been in rubber, just got your first piece, or are having to throw out your work clothes to be able to fit your ever growing rubber wardrobe, Rubber Ducky has space for you. Help them make a great space to band together as a community, to be into rubber, to starting getting into rubber, to experiment, and to have fun!
Flag Alley at Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco with DJ Greg Sueyoshi
Flagging seems to be a form of expression quickly disappearing from the queer dance floor. Usually when you first get to an event, there will be several groups of flaggers spinning on the empty stage or on the dancefloor before the crowd starts to fill. Flagging’s origins are murky but re-emergecned in the 1970s and another resrugence in teh 1990s as HIV meds got better and men started living and ssurv
Flag Alley is an evening originally envisioned by the late Jeff Hettinger, for flaggers, flow artists, and those that love them. He and his husband Robert were always among the flaggers on the dance floor at any event. We always found their love and commitment to each other inspiring and amazing to see in action:
Flag Alley gives flaggers and other flow artists the chance to spin their arts in a wide space with lots of room to move and accented by blacklights to light up your flags. This event is part of this year’s Flagger Destination Weekend with flow artists coming in from all over the world.
This is an event for expert and advanced flaggers all the way to those that just started or those that are curious to learn more.
DJ Gregg Sueyoshi has loved music since he was 5 years old. From his high school days creating mixes on cassette tapes, today he creates a solid sound the incorporatios house, vocals, disco dlassics, nu-disco, progressive house and even dance oriented rock.
This is event will only have water onsite for beverages. You can get a drink at the bowling alley nearyby.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event and be sure to follow the Flagging in the Park group for the monthly flagging and dancing event at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park.
Friday, July 29th
Beta at Club Six, produced by Fog City Pack, with DJs Morenxxx and Aeryn Pfaff
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 happens 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 of the club for your evening’s adventures. Make it hoe, but fashion, but probably more hoe.
The pup party music blend is kinda steady deep house – though one of this year’s DJ is a faster tempo like a few of last year’s – with a delightfully sordid and sleazy vibe – tons of tracks linked below.If you love celebratory soaring vocals – this ain’t it. The pups have always brought in fresh talent for the DJ booth. They describe the event and crowd and DJs are like, “No way, I’m so in!”
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. Club Six is one of the venues in the city that allows producers to include play spaces in their marketing (though nearly every party this weekend will have somewhere in the club dark enough to seed and breed).
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
Morenxxx is s a Brooklyn-based artist, DJ, and producer with heavily percussive performances that disrupt genre declaring the dance floor as a “devotional, spiritual site of becoming and unbecoming.”
Aeryn Pfaff is a versatile Toronto based DJ with roots in the queer techno scene. “I play clubs, warehouses, festivals, patios, drag shows, disco, techno, house, breaks, dnb, jersey club, baile funk, vogue house, rave, ambient — I like everything,” he says. He throws a party called 2GETHER at The Black Eagle Toronto, and an Italo-Disco party called Problemes D’Amour.
Along with the Pack’s resident DJs:
The Fog City Pack SoundCloud also has lots of mixes from past parties.
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 events, and other past Pack events.
Prime 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.
Prime will be situated in the more intimate Gods & Monsters room of Midway, lower ceiling, less cavernous than the main Ride space. It’s a little bit of a ride so you’ll need to share a Lyft with some other hot guys.
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 but you can also follow TrophyDad’s Facebook page and see lots of photo galleries on the TrophyDad Facebook page.
Flex at Powerhouse, produced by Andrew Dombos and Cortez Onyx with DJ Brian Urmanita
The quarterly muscle worship party is back for a special Dore edition at everybody’s favorite trashy bar, Powerhouse. Enjoy the company of strong men and rugged attitudes all night long. Classic bodybuilding and muscle worship videos play on the TVs and musclebound gogo studs dance for your enjoyment and perusal. Show off them gains bruh at midnight with their Best Bicep Contest and enter to win fabulous prizes from Berkeley baththouse Steamworks, iconic leather brand Mr. S Leather, and local fitness chain FitnessSF. Plus, a guest bodybuilder on hand to show off his best poses and angles.
The front of the house will be cruising and perusing. The back is where the dense floor throbs with a hot horny crowd. The back-back behind that door on the right is the smoking area outside that also includes various other activites for you predilections but usually its so packed you can barely wedge yourself in there.
And handsome-as-a-Disney-Prince daddy DJ Brian Urmanita will be behind the chainlink screen at the decks spinning a muscular blend of groove and funk-influenced house all night to keep the pecs poppin’ as you cruise.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event. Tickets available at the door.
Fuzz Ball at Eagle, produced by Bo Welge with DJ Bo Bear
If you’re into the furry guys, welcome to Fuzz Ball! Join us at the Eagle for a night of hairy men includinga Best Beard and Hairiest Beast Contest.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event.
Saturday, July 30th
Dore Party at Mr. S Leather
Finally, they’re back!
Now celebrating over 40 years of leather, kink, and style, Mr. S Leather is a San Francisco mainstay and globally recognized leather retailer and iconic fetish brand.
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. Err on the side of caution and use rubber cockrings or the ones that have naps. Ask your ER nurse friends about sawing off cockrings during gay party weekends. And don’t get titanum or you’re really in deep shit. They gotta call the fire department for that.
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. (Ron’s modeled some of the rubber line, too.)
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. And if I’m dancing all weekend I don’t want a lot of things hanging off me.
Mr. S also has their famed brown bottle “cleaning solution” so be sure to stock up.
Big Muscle Party at DNA Lounge, produced by BigMuscleBears.com benefitting Positive Resource Center with DJ Paul Goodyear
I always like taking friends to this event because if you don’t know it’s happening on a Saturday afternoon, you don’t know what you’ve been missing.
Several hundred muscle guys of all sizes and stripes, and their admirers pack into DNA Lounge (founded with Netscape money and like every other big venue always at risk of closing) 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, chill in the back lounges, hang out and chit-chat in the side bars, or people-watch from the wrap-around balcony.
Ron and I contend that this party usually the hottest crowd of the weekend. And some of the guys are yooooge! Like water buffalo galloping through amber waves of grain on the dance floor. It always makes me want to start a TikTok called Big Guys, Tiny Fans.
Veteran DJ/producer and house music legend Paul Goodyear will be on the main floor weaving classic 70’s Disco with House, with anything 80’s inspired, with soul, electronica, urban, pop and just about everythign else (“It’s all disco as far as I’m concerned.”) Known all over the world for his disctinct soundscapes and marathon 14 hour setsl he’ll be the perfect cook in the kitchen for this event..
Halfway through the party you’ll meet the men of this year’s Bare Chest Calendar. For 35 years the annual calendar has been a huge part of the San Francisco community, raising over $3 million for PRC and its program AIDS Emergency Fund. PRC (Positive Resorce Center) is devoted to providing residential treatment and supportive housing for people with mental health, substance use, and HIV/AIDS-related issues. Buy a calendar! That’s our bestie Moe as your Mr. January (and in the poster above)
It’ll be bright outside and dark as night indoors so it’ll take you a bit to see once you’re in the club.
Reminder: DNA Lounge is a huge venue! It took me a couple years to realize, “Ohhh shit there’s that back bar there… and oh damn is that another bar further on back…”
So after you’ve enjoyed the main floor, go upstairs to the balcony, the side bar on the left with the windows to the street (and another DJ lineup), the bar behind that, the bar behind that (and another DJ lineup), the bar that swings around behind back into the balcony to the lounge with seating and back around to the other side of the club.
Favorite moments from past year’s is the DJ in the upper bar teasing the growling bass line for “The Humpty Dance” for about 10 minutes and you kept thinking, “Am I hearing that?” and then finally launching into the 1989 classic, then back into the usual house mix. Or in the main room a couple years ago with crowds of muscle queens chanting, “Nails! Hair! Hips! Heels!” And I have an apocryphal story of the DJ dropping in, “All I Want for Christmas,” to troll the crowd with Christmas in July.
There’s also the photo booth in the balcony (house-left) where you can get photos of your hot ass and hot-ass friends for posterity. It closes earlier than the event ends, so be sure to get up there sooner than later. If you get overheated, there are A/C vents to chill you down, right in front of the street-side balcony bar. You’ll see the vents. And come out onto the street for a vape or a smoke or to gawk at the shirrtless guys in the sun.
And don’t forget to grab pizza next door at DNA Pizza (menu) during the party or on your way out. You know these gals like to eat. The veggie slice is called Artichoke-Me-Daddy. You can go between the pizzeria and the club and even go outside for a smoke or a vape during the event – just be sure you have your wrist stamped (or wrist band). If that’s the plan, don’t wait to get in line until the end of the party, it’ll be a long line to get pizza.
Tip: This event has started selling out. And they seem to throttle entry to the club so get in line early. You can usually buy a ticket online the day-of on your phone if you need to.
Usually $15-$20 at the door but advance tickets available on the DNA lounge site, that nasty transaction fee is a doozy (and doesn’t go to the producers, btw).
Photo gallery to show you who-all’s there and what to wear in Out magazine: “109 Photos From BigMuscle Party at Folsom Street Fair”
Full details on the Facebook page for the event and tickets on sale on the DNA Lounge website on the July 2022 calendar page. (ignore the VIP packages, that’s for straight prime time events, and when has a gay man ever ordered bottle service?)
Flagging in the Park at and benefitting the National AIDS Memorial Grove with DJ Kimberly S
There’s not much more San-Francisco-y things to do in San Francisco than Flagging in the Park, a monthly event that comes to us during the spring and summer months. It’s one of those things that once you know about it, you’ll wish you’d known about it sooner. Featuring a sunny pleasant afternoon of some of city’s top DJs spinning bright happy vocals while dozens of people engage in flagging, poi spinning, and other visually enchanting “flow arts.” Bring a blanket, sunscreen, some snacks, and a couple bottles of champagne (or other transformative substance) and enjoy the music and the colors – and even take a try at flagging yourself with helpful folks on hand to show you how.
There’ll be a few hundred people out at the National AIDS Memorial Grove, a lush verdant meadow in Golden Gate Park. This is a free event but donations are encouraged to help with the upkeep and maintenance of the Grove, ” a dedicated space in the national landscape where millions of Americans touched directly or indirectly by AIDS can gather to heal, hope, and remember.”
DJ Kimberly S (Los Angeles) – heralded as “The Queen of The Circuit” – knows how to command a room with a repertoire ranging from joyful house, to sophisticated grooves, to bangin’ big room anthems, she skillfully delivers the sound that packs dance floors, works crowds into a frenzy, and leaves them begging for more.
There’s also a silent auction benefitting the National AIDS Memorial Grove.
Daddy Daycare at Eagle, produced by Dad SF with DJs Mondo Nexus, Kelly Naughton, Jesse Frank, Doescompute, Jumpr with hosts Sir Spense and Christopher Vasquez
“Inflation, daddy formula shortages, expensive mannys… Quality dadcare is hard to find! You can trust your dad will be handled with care, well-hydrated, and fed a healthy helping of nutritious delicious beats by the experienced team of DAD SF. Give your special dude the space he needs to frolic, sniff, and learn world-class DAD behavior. DADdy Daycare, the SF Eagle’s new daytime al fresco discoteca will fill your dad with joy while meeting plenty friendly boys. Mominatrixes, ladydads, transdads, and granddads, are all welcome to play all day.
Full details on the Facebook page for the event.
NSA Underwear Party at Club OMG
The NSA honchos are back with a Dore edition of their weekly underwear party on Saturday afternoon from 4pm to midnight.
Promotions always promise dim lights, sexy bartenders, and a horny crowd so expect a sexy playful vibe.
Remember, OMG and Club Six are kinda in that strange hellhole block of 6th Street between Market and Mission. Keep your wits about you.
Brut at The Great Nothern, produced by Brian Kent Productions and Hedonic Productions, with DJs Morabito and Dan Darlington
Saturday night, Ron and I will among your gracious, persuadable hosts helping to facilitate you in making regrettable life choices.
What I remember most about the Brüt for Dore is how hot and steamy it gets in the club. I’m always surprised the lighting instruments don’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’ll sneak in a vocal after a nasty beat that can be just transcendent.
We’ve heard Morabito several times and she’s magnificent. Morabito has dominated the dance scene for over three decades and played at pretty much every big event in the world, driving every party with a wide range of tribal, underground, progressive, and tech house into a seamless experience on the dance floor.
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. That dark far corner behind the DJ on the right can be fun. Rubber, leather, singlets, whatever… let’s see it.
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
Rated X at Space 550, produced by Ky Martinez Events, with DJs T’Don and Jerac
We’ve known producer Ky Martinez and his husband Juan for many years (they sat at the circuit queen table at our wedding reception). 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 will have over a 1,000 hot men at at this Saturday main even with fetish demos and slutty gogos. 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.
T’Don blends influences from tech house to techno and even trance and nu disco for a solid prime time circuit sounds that will keep you moving all night.
Award-winning DJ Jerac hails from Colombia bringing tribal house and progressive mixes to clubs and events all over the world including The Week, Alegria, and We Party.
VIP tickets include VIP coat check, lush lounge overlooking the crowd, and access to the “infamous XXX room.”
Rogue at Eagle
Saturday also marks the return of Eagle’s monthly fetish event Rogue. A TBA DJ will be on hand laying down his dark and sexy beats while gogo slaves grind it out for you while hot and twisted demo acts of taboo and perversions play out on stage. Hot men in gear cruising for some action pack the back patio maze for a night of fun that grabs you by the balls and won’t let go!
No Facebook page yet for this event but info will show up on their Facebook page.
Ritual at 1015 Folsom, produced by Real Bad benefitting Grass Roots Gay Rights, with DJ Charly
Ritual is a Sunday morning afterhours before the fair. Before the fair.
We missed not having it last year!
Real Bad events always have the friendliest, warmest crowd. The Real Bad org has been producing events for 30 years including their crown jewel – and literally our favorite party of the entire year – Real Bad (one of Folsom weekend’s closing parties). In 2018, they took a a risk producing a Dore aftehours..
Ritual doesn’t try to be Real Bad, Part Deux or try and mimic the surreal feel of Folsom weekend’s Aftershock party. Ritual hits a whole new chord. It has an afterhours feel but less “pots and pans” or abstract but not quite prime time circuit with vocals. The crowd was hot and horny and aggressive, the gregarious fun crowd you expect at a Real Bad event. The guys weren’t tweaking and falling over themselves and shoving you as they pass by.
Ritual is at 1015 Folsom, one of the city’s top dance temples and the same venue as Real Bad in September, but with a more intimate configuration. The balcony and upper lounges are closed off concentrating the action in the lobby and the main room with three story ceilings and signature church-style lanterns floating above the crowd.
DJ Charly (Real Bad XXX, Ritual 2019) returns for an unforgettably sexy open-to-close set. Expect world class production, friendly and flirty hospitality, and unmatched dance floor magic, all benefiting local LGBTQ nonprofits.
Laser wizard RAGERLAZER will deliver a stellar light and laser show while video alchemist Kristen Violet creates an unforgettable visual experience.
This party starts at 4am Saturday night/Sunday morning (before the fair) and goes well past sunrise. Proceeds benefit the Real Bad/Grass Roots Gay Rights Foundation and their many local and national beneficiary organizations.
And a special sweet treat when you least expect it!
Sneaks at Club Six, produced by Polyglamourous with DJs Marceaux Marceaux, Lisa Frank, KK/Nark
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 so you must wear sneakers (no jeans, no slacks) and sports attire is encouraged (jockstraps, singlets, gym shorts, etc.). 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.
MarceauxMarceaux is a Memphis-based, New Orleans-born DJ/ producer whos style is an eclectic blend of soundscapes and rave-friendly techno that feels right at home on a dark dance floor.
Lisa Frank – known as “The Queen of the DC Underground” – has been running with underground crews to re-ignie warehouse culture in DC. Her sets connect to your mind, body and soul; regardless of whether they’re playing techno, disco, house or Miami bass. With a recent move down to South Florida, she’s got focus on production, her label, and her Sunday night residency at The Eagle in Wilton Manors.
Nark, aka Kevin Kauer, founder of label Bottom Forty and Nark Magazine, has devoted his life to dance music and club culture. Purveyor of slithering acid. Anxiety-ridden intro-extroverted socialite. [checks notes] Totally nice and likes to be pet gently. Requires naps Can say “biyee” in several languages.
I’ve never been to a Polyglamorous party so 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.”
Clothes check provided, venue is cash only. No cameras allowed. One of the few parties specifying proof of vaccination (digital version or photograph of card should be fine).
Several tracks on the Polyglamorous profile on SoundCloud.
Polyglamorous producer and resident DJ Mark O’Brien on SoundCloud.
Dad Vibes at Lone Star Saloon, produced by Gabriel Garcia and Charlie Stuart with DJs Carlos Souffront and Omnibot
Dad Vibes is back with their Dore edition at Lone Star Saloon on Dore Saturday afternon. From 3pm-9pm, so perfect hours for dads!
Carlos Souffront is a music gourmet with the unique ability to create deeply rhythmic narratives that offer unexpected and exotic spices. He mastered his deep mixing skills with a cassette deck and a belt drive turntable in his father’s den.Equally entrenched in indie rock, post punk, experimental music, ambient, rock, house, and techno, Carlos was always a man of many worlds – with an ability to traverse though them with an unique imagination.
DJ Omnibot mostly for founding the disco celebration of short kings, Studio 5’4″, is programmed for all moods and genres while keeping it funky with emphasis on fun.
Not seeing any URLs or proflies or mixes for Omnibot.
Full details on the Facebok page for the event
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.
The category for their Dore edition of Code is: Pups! So dress in your canine best and bring your handler as well.
Black, Brown, & Kinky at Powerhouse, produced by Onxy Northwest
The Northwest chapter of Onyx kicks off the weekend at our favorite dive-bar Powerhouse featuring sexy kinksters, jello shots, leathermen of color with geared up gogos, fetish demos and more. Photos of past events on their site.
Where did Bay of Pigs go?
I assume the best-named and most tastelessly named party – Bay of Pigs – isn’t happenign this year since they haven’t said anything yet. Here’s some old mixes for ya Wayne G (2017), Phil B & Phil Grasso (2015), and Phil B & Russ Rich (2012).
Sunday, July 31st
Up Your Alley Street Fair, produced by Folsom Street Events
And then there’s the fair.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 Up Your Alley it’s much grittier and more queer/gay 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.
Full details will be on the Folsom Street Events website.
Dore at Oasis, prodouced by Oasis with DJs Bugie and Pumpkin Spice
Oasis invites you to join them after the fair for drinks, dancing, and dirty Dore 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). The remodeled during the shutdown and it’s better than ever.
Play T-Dance at 1015 Folsom, produced by Brian Kent Productions and Paradigm, with DJ Russ Rich
Play T-Dance is back! After a couple years away, one of our favorite events ever-ever is back on the schedule and ready to dazzle and enthrall a whole new generation of patrons.
And it’s at our local dance temple 1015 Folsom (you were just there this morning for Ritual).
Some background about the party, from my interview with the party’s founder, P. Tyrone in Left magazine a few years ago:
“In 2000, my experience at night clubs had started to shift. There was much more meth use in our community and at the clubs. The music had shifted away from beautiful melodic music, to heavy, dark, tribal beats. And we were paying a lot of money for parties that lacked hospitality and production value… So I decided that I had to do more than just complain, and joined forces with Chuck Connor, an epic event corporate producer in his own right, to launch a new tea dance event called PLAY T-Dance.
The basis of the concept was simple: provide a beautiful vocal tea dance musical journey appropriate for an inside/or outside tea dance event, be thoughtful about production value and decor, focus on hospitality, fun, joy, and making connections for guests. And our tagline ‘Flirt. Frolic. Dance.’ was born.”
And so after a weekend of leather and wild revelry at clubs, private parties, and at the fair, it’s time for something a little lighter. A little more celebratory. A little more playful and theatrical.
The crowd will be sexy, affable, and relaxed. The guys skew a bit more mature so there’s less attitude. Everyone is there to have a wonderful playful time.
Play’s resident DJ Russ Rich is back spinning Play’s signature “black tea” sound – a darker side of tea dance mixing uplifting vocal house, peak-time anthems, and harder, driving rhythms. Russ is one of our favorite local DJs. He’s a fucking master at whatever he does and has been a part of some of our most memorable nights on the dance floor. The last few parties he’s spun he always weaves in a new epic mix of Amber’s “Sexual” and I swear each time it gets a little more operatic. Love it. And if he brings in “Runnin’ (Lost It All)” or the mix of “Never Enough” everybody hates but we love expect to see Ron and I scream-singing it at each other.
This year’s theme is side show so explore your curiosities, unbind your inner freak, and be hypnotized by mystifying performances, mesmerizing visuals, and spectacular lighting and lasers.
You do know why we have tea dances right? Know your history with Back2Stonewall’s article: The Very Gay and Interesting History of the Almost Lost Tradition of the Sunday Tea Dance.
Heaven at Halcyon, produced by Ky Martinez Events, with DJs Isis Muretech and Thiago Oliveira
Ky Martinez and the gang’s got you set for Sunday night at City Nights with a Dore edition their Heaven party.
Isis Murtech is a fantastic talent that blends latin drums and influence with a rough jungle beat with residencies at Mantamar Beach Club (Puerto Vallarta) and Jubileo (Mexico City). Do not be fooled. She’s a cheery pixie Mexicana but once she’s behind the decks, she’ll tear your face off. Here she is plying her trade at a Heaven party in June 2021 at Halcyon.
Hunky, handsome Thiago Oliveira displays a jubilant style of house, adding Brazilian rhythms to house, tribal, and progressive sounds.
Rogue at Eagle
Rogue is one of our newer monthly fetish events featuring dark and sexy beats while gogo slaves grind it out for you. Expect hot and twisted demo acts of taboo and perversions play out on stage. Hot men in gear cruising for some action pack the back patio maze for a night of fun that grabs you by the balls and won’t let go.
Shaggin at Powerhouse, produced by Guido Can-Fauxking-Dito with DJ Dakota Pendent featuring Florence Frightengale
Polish those boots and buckles and wear as much – or as little as you like – and make sure the water runs clear! Your host Guido Can-Fauxking-Dito – with an assist from Florence Frightengale – will oversee the horny procoeedings as the music jumps through time to the 90’s with grunge and boy bands spun up by mix master Dakota Pendent.
Guido Can-Fauxking-Dito on Facebook.
Florence Frightengale on Facebook.
Details on the Facebook page for the event.
Monday, August 1st
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.
Not details yet but you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Other Events in 2021
Aside from all the upcoming Folsom events (guide) here’s several more San Francisco parties coming up:
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.
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.
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.
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)
- Vacccine #1: Stay informed about monkey pox and get vaccinated if you can. It looks like we’re gonna do this fucking shit all over again. This Google Doc has frequent updates on monkey pox vaccination information for the US. 800k doses have been released from a Denmark plant and should be on their way to the US in the next few weeks.
- Vaccine #2: Get COVID vaccinated and boosted. Most events aren’t checking vaccine status. But have a digital one or a photo of it on your phone. And favorite that photo on your phone so you aren’t scrolling through hole pics while a bouncer waits.
- Vaccine #3: Get a meningitis vaccine while you’re at it. There was an outbreak in Florida. Get the ACMY vaccine since the current is meningitis serogroup C. Your local CVS, Walgreens, etc. should have it available or your primary care physician.
- Vaccine #4: Get the HPV vaccine too if you’re the right age (it’s expanded) and have coverage. HPV can lead to forms of anal cancer.
- 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).
- 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 we don’t jackets.
- Never mix G and alcohol, or G and other depressants. Know your mLs. Just one milliliter – 1/5 of teaspoon! – can be the difference between being persuadable versus your knees buckling and your friends pissed they have to take you home (or so pissed they hand you off to the EMT). When in doubt, wait an hour or stop altogether. If you forget if you already put it in that drink, throw the drink out, start again. Don’t leave drinks unattended.
- If everyone around you looks like you, go somewhere else. It’s not just a bunch of hairy white guys only interested in fucking their mirror image.
- 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 (it fucks up event photos).
- You have the right to have a fucking great time no matter how you look or how you feel about how you look. 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.
- 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 over.
- 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 Brut party but not the Dore Brut, 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. You’ll use Lyft and Uber a lot.
- SF is colder than you think during the day it will be but you probably can leave jackets at home at night since you’ll be surrounded by hot men radiating heat.
- 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 on the sexy Filipino muscle dad 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 (2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, and the 2016 recap) and Folsom (2021, 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.