Up Your Alley

Posting about the Folsom Street Fair yesterday reminded me of another BDSM street fair in San Francisco. From the fair’s website:

Up Your Alley® is an unrivaled fetish fair, always on the last weekend of July in San Francisco. It’s only for real players – and not for the faint of heart. There are sweaty athletes in full kit, motorcycle studs, hairy chested muscle men, spit-in-your-face punks, and leather daddies galore. You won’t find a filthier event here in the States. If you’re into it, there’s a scene for you at Up Your Alley. With over 10,000 sexy leathermen, you’re sure to find your match. 

Located in front of the legendary Powerhouse bar, leather and fetish enthusiasts engage in serious BDSM play – right on the street! The fair features over 50 vendor booths, hot food and cold stiff drinks, boot black stations, and a dance area with the hottest San Francisco DJs located at the intersection of 10th and Folsom. Check out this only-in-San Francisco event that attracts your most self-indulgent band of brothers. 

In order to accomodate the newly enacted SF nudity ordinance, from which the UYA fairgrounds is exempt, coat check will be available on 10th Street between the food court and Folsom St.

Smaller and more focused than Folsom Street, and seriously raunchy.

(Up Your Alley is its official name, but almost everyone refers to it as the Dore Alley Fair or just Dore Alley.)

Posters for this year’s fair and the 2009 event:



Two linguistic notes: on the name Up Your Alley and on the idiom it plays on.

The idiom. From OED3 (Sept. 2012):

to be (right) up (also down) one’s alley: to be well suited to one’s tastes, interests, or abilities

The first OED cite has down, the second up:

1922   H. Broun Boy grew Older viii. 268   I’d like to have him come out with me and do notes of the games… That would be down his alley.

1931   M. E. Gilman Sob Sister v. 65   It’s about time a good murder broke, and this one is right up your alley.

The fair name. The idiom is already metaphorical, but the fair name piles another metaphor on top of that — one in which the anus is treated as similar to an alley. So the allusion is to anal sex: fucking, fisting, anal sex toys. Up yours, buddy. And that’s combined with the location of the fair, on Dore Alley.

Bonus. Note that the Saturday night dance party is called Bay of Pigs — a play on the geographical name, involving pig as a sexual term, in the snowclonelet X pig, denoting someone who’s seriously into X (sex pig, involving sex in general or specifically “dirty sex” of various kinds; dick pig; piss pig) and in the compounds pig play and pig sex, referring to “dirty” sex.

One Response to “Up Your Alley”

  1. #TGIF: It’s Up Your Alley Weekend in San Francisco #NSFW | DanNation.org Says:

    […] Up Your Alley […]

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