Desire - Setting the Scene.docx

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Women's Studies
Women's Studies 2283F/G
Andrea Allen

SETTING THE SCENE/SM COMMUNITIES IN SAN FRANCISCO –  All munches are social events held on weekday evenings or weekend afternoons in public places, most often a restaurant – involving dinner/drinks  Designed to be friendly, open and welcoming to newcomers: SM play, fetish outfits and nudity are prohibited  Everyone at Palo Alto munches I went to was white, many were heterosexual and married  The much epitomizes the new guard pansexual BDSM community  San Fran remains the symbolic center of leather and SM: a queer homeland and a wide open town  Tourism in the city relies on the spectacular display of difference, often racialized and sexualized difference  These sociological changes has transformed the SM scene  BDSM organizations have transitioned from predominantly gay to predominantly heterosexual  Capitalism and more generally, modernity depend on and generate the discourse of community to legitimate social hierarchies  The history of SM in the Bay Area is epitomized by the story of the rise, fall and redevelopment of the Folsom neighborhood  South of Market was a dense network of gay leather bars, stores etc cruising spots that lined Folsom street – the leather capital  Redevelopment of the area from its former skid row image was met with protest  Resident and neighborhood coalitions fought against forced displacement, inadequate housing subsidies and the lack of low income housing available in the city  Several other favtors combined with this urban redevelopment to destroy the Folsom leather science by the mid 1980s  The combination of neoliberal urban development policies was misguided public health crusades made a potent and deadly combination – at least for public, street level sexual culture  The neighbourhood was a diversified zone of sexualized contact across races and classes  Privatizing public spaces has the greatest impact on the marginalized: poor, non-white and queer residents
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