Symphonic Bondage – A Day Out In San Francisco

I recently had two consecutive days to spend out en femme and I took spent them very different ways. Today I will cover the first day and later this week, the second day.

The first day out was a Sunday which is unusual for me to have free. I thought spending the day in San Francisco would be fun as there are always lots of things to do there. On this Sunday the SF Symphony had an afternoon concert, the Opera had a free performance at the baseball park (ATT Park), and then there was the Folsom Street Fair. For those of you who don’t know what the Folsom Street Fair is, it is large outdoor event dedicated to showing off the world of BSDM, complete with live demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands of people show up to it. It is so very San Francisco.

I thought briefly about going to the Fair but only briefly. I had never been to the Faire, having never been attracted to the whole BSDM scene. I for one have never been one to confuse pain and pleasure or freedom and bondage. Still I was vaguely curious, especially about “Venus’ Garden” which was a woman oriented space open to all “self identified women and genderqueer people”. Sounds like my kind of place.

Still, I was frankly more curious about the Symphony performance since it was Mahler’s Third Symphony. The music director and conductor of the SF Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas (or MTT as he is known around here) is a well known big fan of Mahler and has conducted many of his works to great reviews. I looked up the Third Symphony and the writer said it was a romantic work in the tradition of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (one of my favorites). It had a soloist and a very large, all woman,  chorus. I knew nothing about Mahler and so this was my chance. I was really looking forward to it.

I was a little worried about the traffic and so arrived in SF a little early. For an afternoon performance I figured black was too formal and so went with a lighter colored skirt suit. The official color is “stone” which is sort of a grey/white/brown blend. I wore a brown silk top and brown Mary Jane pumps that had about a 2 inch heel.  I had worn the pumps before and they were comfortable. The “stone” and brown went well together. The outfit was dressy but not too much. I parked  within a block of Davies Hall and so had only a short walk but still managed a typical, surreal,  SF experience. Parking for the Fair extended to near Davies and so the Fare people and Symphony people crossed paths. It was amusing to see 3 semi-naked leather clad guys standing next to well dressed elderly couple all waiting for the traffic light to change.

I bought my ticket at the box office and discovered the performance was an hour and forty minutes long without an intermission. I made sure I first stopped at the ladies room  but found there was a long line there  since lots of other women had the same idea. I finally got in and made it out just before they closed the doors to the hall (but only barely). I made it to my seat which was in the middle of the row. I settled in the for the performance.

From the first notes I knew I was in trouble. It was clearly a very modern sounding piece, full of all sorts of technical cleverness and skill and devoid of any soul. Every once in while, the composer would discover some melody or harmony that sounded good to me but then would lose it and fall back into the normal dreariness. The first movement was 40 minutes long and I knew it was going to be a long afternoon. I kept hoping it would get better but it never did. About 30 minutes into it, one my pumps became very uncomfortable and my foot ached no matter how I held it. The tight seating and strap on the shoe made removing it nearly impossible and so I had to just endure it.

I found I had skipped the BSDM Fair only to be bound in misery at the Symphony. I was trapped: listening to music that assaulted my ears and heart, with an aching foot, and with a increasingly sore backside. It was as if I had been tied to the rack and whipped (just like what was actually happening on Folsom Street). Oddly enough I had gotten to go to both events, although not as I planned. Eventually, thankfully, the performance ended but I had to reward my tormenters by applauding them multiple times and giving them standing ovations. No slave had better rewarded and thanked his master!  Eventually I escaped from the hall and made it (limping) to my car. Never have I felt so good about getting out of SF.

Still I had several hours left and so I stoped at some stores in a nearby city. I was suddenly completely overdressed and so found mini-mart with a restroom that locked and changed out of my skirt suit into a olive jacket, cotton top,  and tan jeans. I exchanged the pumps for some brown ankle boots that were very comfortable. I stopped for a snack and generally just wandered around. It felt very nice. I discovered, once again, that one can feel as feminine in a casual top and jeans as one can in a nice suit or dress. The actual clothes almost don’t matter. It has more to do with feminine “presentation” than any particular style of clothes. It is something I keep relearning.

Next time, my second day out.

robin

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