The Girls of Venus’ Playground Whip it Good

Sep 22, 2012 by

The Girls of Venus’ Playground Whip it Good

by Heather Cassell

Tantalizing leather it took good girl Betty Page and turned her into a sex kitten in the 50s and made rebels sexy kings.

That was only kids stuff until Folsom Street Fair took over the working class neighborhood South of Market, known by genteel locals as SoMa and not so genteel locals as “South of the Slot” nearly 30 years ago in San Francisco.

Leather will rule the streets SoMa this weekend on Sunday, September 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is open to the public free, but organizers suggest a donation of $7 – $10 at the entrance gates of the festival.

Venus’ Playground is back for frolicking and spanking fun in the women and gender queer-only space. Mistress Shae (Shae Flanigan), a professional dominant, will oversee the festivities at the playground from the burlesque and fashion shows to the fantasy hour and more. The guys will be able to be leashed up in the patio to enjoy the outdoor entertainment on the stage, says RosaLinda Colin, lead organizer of Venus’ Playground this year and who also sits on the Folsom Board of Associates of FSF.

Venus’ Playground is located at 9th Street north of Folsom.

Women have always been at the forefront of San Francisco’s leather community, when community organizers Kathleen Connell and Michael Valerio unleashed the first FSF, “Megahood” on SoMa’s streets in 1984, according to the FSF history.

But over the years women got lost in the shuffle of gay and kinky boys. That was until six years ago when a dozen women boned together to form Venus’ Playground for frolicking and spanking fun for women and gender queer folks with the support of FSF’s leaders.

Venus’ Playground attracted upwards of an estimated 500 women the first year. This year RosaLinda anticipates more than 1,000 women will come out to play at the playground

“Every year more and more people come,” says RosaLinda, excited about the growth of Venus’ Playground at FSF. She hopes this year the playground will be able to contribute for the first time to the FSF bank that supports community organizations. Last year FSF raised $330,000 for the organizations that were the beneficiaries

“I’m really grateful to be a part of that,” says RosaLinda.

Sponsors have taken notice, this year International Ms LeatherNew Mexico Leather League, and Xcentricities joined FSF supporting the playground. Women-centric sponsors CrashPadGood VibrationsSpare Parts, and Vixen Creations provided in-kind donations for prizes for games.

The whipping doesn’t stop at Venus’ Playground.

The official after-party hosted at the SF Citadel (181 Eddy St.; starts at 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. with a $30 cover. Funds from the after-party do not got to Venus’ Playground, said RosaLinda.

Fem Bar will get their spank on at Harlot (46 Minna St.; 415-777-1077; starting at 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Cover is $7 before 7 p.m. and $10 after.

The sexy fun continues into October with Good Vibration’s Indi Erotic Film Festival and first annual Sex Summit.

October 26: Indie Erotic Film Festival “Quickies Erotic Shorts” at the Castro Theater (429 Castro St.; 415-621-6120; starting with the pre-party at 7 p.m. and showing at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for each event.

October 27: Good Vibration’s presents the first annual Sex Summit, 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel (55 4th St.; 415-896-1600;

To get whipped, visit Venus’ Playground at Folsom Street Fair.

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