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Up Your Alley

The Tech Industry can move the date of Folsom Street Fair but the last Sunday in July is still Folsom Street Fair’s dirty little brother, “Up Your Alley,” a very gay leather community celebration and, I must say, it is my favorite!   My queer heart loves being in all that energy.


Dore Alley 2013 Photo by Rig Daddy

In Good Company!  Happy Me!

In Good Company! Happy Me!

The modern day mainstream fascination with kink may be fueled by media, but that disregards its meaningful foundation in our culture.  As my dearest friend, Mark Thompson, wrote way  back then in his groundbreaking work, “Leatherfolk,” “What links the authentic leather world together is an upfront sexual attitude. True leatherfolk see black leather…as a still daring symbol of cultural transgression and personal transformation…and the urge is to push…boundaries on the sexual frontier as far as they will go!” and at Dore Alley, we unashamedly do just that in celebration of who we are!


Drill Whip Team 1988

On the other hand, as Dr.Gayle Rubin reminded the full house at Mike Skiff’s “Folsom Forever” documentary pre-screening last June, Folsom Street Fair was organized and remains both a celebration and a community fundraising effort. The leather bars and bathhouses moved in for the cheap rents and made Folsom Street flourish at night,  In the 80s, with the ravages of AIDS  and the political voices that forced the Pleasure Palace to close, neighborhood activists held the first Folsom Street Fair in 1984 to emphasize the positive and raise money for community charities!

As we all know San Francisco is being remodeled, historic buildings demolished and alternative lifestyle organizations like the Center for Sex and Culture, Mission Control, Counterpulse and others displaced.  Our leather queer neighborhood culture in danger of being erased.  I only know one thing, I’m heading Up Your Alley as long as I can!

In Leather pride,

Cléo Dubois

I don’t just comment on local events, you know.  I consult, coach and educate those interested in erotic energy exchanges of the profound, connected, spiritual and ecstatic kind.  Visit to engage my confidential services and to enroll in one of the Erotic Dominance Intensives offered through my Academy of SM Arts.

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