Ahead of San Francisco’s Up Your Alley street fair, more commonly known as Dore Alley, California state Senator Scott Wiener shared guidance from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation that tells potential attendees of the fetish festival how to remain safe as monkeypox continues to spread across the globe.
On July 27, Wiener shared a guide from the organization on "Core Alley without fear of monkeypox," writing in a tweet, Awesome @SFAIDSFound guidance on monkeypox & fun. We can continue to have fun while reducing risk."
"Closing bathhouses in 1980s didn’t reduce HIV. It was an epic blunder & pushed people into the shadows," Wiener continued. "Let’s not make that same knee-jerk mistake with MPX."
The guide features the mascot "Douchie," a rectal douche wearing various fetish gear outfits.
"We’re gearing up for an exciting return of our favorite street festival in San Francisco: Up Your Alley (aka Dore Alley), where you’ll get your fill of hot hairy daddies, hungry pigs, BDSM babes and kinks of all kinds. Douchie’s got some hot tips for a fun and filthy weekend — free of anxiety," the guide began.
The guide expressed hopes that festival attendees will go to "biggie parties," noting that people should be "aware, but not overly afraid" of contracting monkeypox.
"Monkeypox is transmitted from person to person during skin-to-skin contact with a person who has a rash (like during sex, or dancing), or contact with body fluids like when kissing and when engaging in water sports. Even though it’s technically possible to transmit monkeypox on surfaces (like if you share a towel with someone who has monkeypox), it’s less likely. There isn’t much risk of getting monkeypox from sharing things like toilet seats, pools, and gym equipment, or being in a steam room or sauna with someone who has monkeypox," the guide explains.
To prevent skin-to-skin contact with fellow festival attendees, the guide suggests that people consider wearing latex or leather bodysuits.
Most notably, the guide tells people that if they discover a bump on their skin and they still want to attend the festival’s activities, they should "cover it up with a bandaid or clothing before you go out."
"See a bump on your skin and worried that it might be monkeypox? If you’re not sure, and you still want to go out tonight, cover it up with a bandaid or clothing before you go out. If you feel like it’s likely to be monkeypox (for instance if you know you may have been exposed), it makes sense to stay home and wait on going out until you can get it checked out by your healthcare provider," the guide states.
To also prevent the spread, the guide recommends the use of condoms, tells festival attendees to be picky with their sexual partners, to have "open and honest conversations about monkeypox symptoms and possible exposures," and to consider skipping crowded parties.
In response to the California state senator posting the relaxed guidance for attending the fetish festival, many Twitter users noted the strict Covid-19 measures that had been put into place in the state.
Wiener is involved in the city’s monkeypox response. While other cities have issued states of emergency in response to the virus, Wiener told the Washington Post, "If people want to have sex, they are going to have sex."
"I know people who normally go to sex parties who will not. People will make their own decisions about their own risk levels."
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