San Francisco held its “Kink and Fetish” sex festival on Sunday despite the spread of the monkeypox virus among homosexual men. Organizers said they took precautions such as putting booths ten feet apart and requiring vaccination cards for coronavirus and monkeypox to enter the venues.
“Things that used to be audience participation are not, to keep people from smooshing together,” Angel Adeyoha, executive director of Folsom Street, the group that produces the Up Your Alley event,” said in a San Francisco Chronicle report. “We’re trying to keep people from smooshing together.”
The Chronicle reported:
[The event] still didn’t match the packed-in scene of years past. The estimated total crowd was 7,000 through the course of the day, compared with a more typical year that would see about 10,000, police said. Police estimated it peaked at 2,000 to 3,000 around 4 p.m.
City officials declared a public health emergency for monkeypox just days before the Dore Alley fair. COVID-19 testing was offered by the Department of Public Health. There was no monkeypox testing, and you had to look to find a preventative leaflet about the virus.
Officials said only hired professional fetishists would be involved in sadomasochistic activity.
“Speaking as a veteran of the HIV wars, we don’t preach. We offer information,” Cal Callahan, manager of the city’s official Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District, said in the Chronicle report.
“With this crowd, everyone wants to get paddled,” said Big Daddy Larry Rich, CEO of Bare Chest Calendar. “If it doesn’t land there, people ask to spin it again. San Francisco is a kinky city, and this fair is our dirty little secret.”
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