Every year thousands of locals and tourists flock to the streets of San Francisco in their finest leather and latex to celebrate the Folsom Street Fair–the world’s largest celebration of bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism (often referred to as BDSM, S/M, or kink). The fair is a community gathering in the heart of a city known for innovation, as well as the arts, and LGBT activism, but the activities inside the gates of this street festival would make even Christian Grey himself blush. Adult oriented activities aside, street festivals like the Folsom Street Fair, while visually and socially stimulating, can also take quite a toll on the body, mind, and spirit. Big crowds, hot sun, and concrete can leave a person exhausted and overwhelmed, which can impede one’s desire and bandwidth for kinky play, even when fueled by a seemingly endless supply of over-priced beer. I knew there had to be a better way.
This year I teamed up with transgender activist, porn star, and cannabis entrepreneur Buck Angel to create a space nestled right in the heart of the festival that would provide a respite for cannabis users within the chaos of the celebration. Thus, High Protocol was born: a “CannaBDSM” party where people could hydrate, medicate, and even play a little before heading back out into the festival madness. Local cannabis entrepreneurs were invited to showcase their products for attendees, including Oakland Extracts who sponsored a beautiful and educational dab bar throughout the day.
Two unique medicated intimate lubricants were also present: Velvet Swing, an innovative water-based, condom safe THC lubricant and Quim Rock, an intimate oil that both supports vaginal health, and claims to enhance and intensify sensation and climax. Talent Testing, an STI screening service serving the adult film performer population showed up with free condoms and info about safer sex practices, and Buck gave a talk on his new CBD topical products: Buck’s Balm.
The THC infused strawberry lemonade was flowing and the pre-rolls were plentiful as Los Angeles based performers Bettie Bondage and Bella Bathory of Femme Domme Fatale took to the stage just after 4:20 to top the day off with heart stopping sideshow burlesque featuring stockings, heels, and power tools. One attendee was heard saying their performance was, by far, the craziest thing he had ever seen at Folsom–but maybe it was just the edibles talking.
As the sun set and the fair began to break down, the last remaining guests watched from the safety of their indoor window seating while less fortunate souls scrambled half naked and drunk through the quickly darkening streets. Behind the glass, the vibe was mellow and satiated as we nibbled on CBD chocolates. When the time finally came to lock up and head out in search of burritos, the consensus between attendees and organizers alike was that High Protocol was a grand success. The next installment of kinky cannabis events and entertainment is already in the works. Go to HighProtocolParty.com for updates.
Siouxsie Q is an author, activist, performer, and the creator and host of The WhoreCast podcast.
Photo by A and J Studios.