The largest leather event in the world, with an estimated hundreds of thousands of fetish enthusiasts, took over 13 city blocks in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood on Sunday.
Amidst the food, drinks and demonstrations at the annual Folsom Street Fair were clear guidelines around consent. Posted just outside each entrance was a sign reading "gear is not consent," "nudity is not consent," and "no means no."
"Every year we seem to get a little less kinky people and a little more tourists," said Bay Area activist and sex worker Maxine Holloway. "And maybe people don't really understand the nuances of what being half-naked and still expecting people to understand your boundaries are."
That's why she says she started "Ask First," a sticker campaign that began at the Folsom Street Fair in 2014. It focuses on consent in sexualized environments like the fair.
Holloway says that with all the news out of Washington D.C. right now, specifically the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, discussing concepts like consent is even more important.
"Keeping that idea of consent visible and present, and keeping conversations about what consent means and looks like, is important for everybody," she said.
The fair also featured a multitude of booths and activities ranging from rope tying demonstrations, naked Twister, an informal pony parade and public flogging for charity — all celebrating the diverse aspects of kink culture.
"There are very few places in the world where you can see this much skin in public at 11:30 in the morning," says Brian Wiedenmeier. "And as somebody who lives and bikes in South of Market, this is part of our neighborhood. It's part of our cultural heritage of this neighborhood."