The Castro, San Francisco Pt. I

Jay has been up in Northern California for a few weeks, studying for an entrance exam. This has been fun because I’ve gotten to come up and visit him on weekends, and see San Francisco and Berkeley. I’ve been to both these places before, but it’s not like there’s a shortage of things to do there; there are so many unique things to experience in both these places!

First day, we went to Berkeley and walked around the campus. I saw a huge spider on an emergency phone; the campus was nice and all, but the spider was really the most memorable part of the day. The next day we went to San Francisco to check out Pier 39. If you haven’t seen it, you should because there are like a million sea lions. I swear. They all crawl up on the docks and just lay there in the sun like the fat lazy creatures they are. They also make a bunch of noise. And in case I haven’t convinced you, Pier 39 also has churros and corn dogs at these snack stands that appear every ten meters. Whatever municipal planner designed this place was a freakin genius. The biggest problem with most locations is insufficient availability of corn dogs, and Pier 39 has solved this problem artfully.

seals

So many fat sea lions laying around on these platforms…

Aside from eat corndogs and watch sea lions, there was one thing I’ve always wanted to do in San Francisco; I’ve always wanted to go to the Castro. And now that I have a bi boyfriend, what better time to go?

The Castro

The Castro is San Francisco’s gay district, and a lot of history has happened there. Basically, it’s a culturally relevant place for many members of the LGBT community. They’ve got a museum of LGBT history, restaurants and clothing stores manned by super hot gay guys (and womanned by adorable lesbians, but I didn’t see as many of them…), LGBT-friendly bars and lounges, sex toy shops, and of course some boring stuff like a Bank of America.

Castro Guide Book, full of  fun stuff that can only be found in the Castro

Castro Guide Book, full of fun stuff that can only be found in the Castro

Example of the clever ads, showcasing the Castro's Gay Friendly attractions

Example of the clever ads, showcasing the Castro’s Gay Friendly attractions

Info page on GLBT History Museum. I wanted to go but it was 10 minutes to closing when we got there, and Jay didn't want to be "those people"

Info page on GLBT History Museum. I wanted to go but it was 10 minutes to closing when we got there, and Jay didn’t want to be “those people”

I wanted to go there with Jay because… I guess I wanted to know more about his gay side (he uses the term ‘gay side’; hope I’m not offending anyone.) He went to the Castro back when he was dating a guy, and he said it was fun, so I was determined to show him he would have fun there with me too. Just because I’m not a gay guy doesn’t mean I can’t go to the Castro; lots of straight people go to the Castro because it’s a tourist destination.

Aside from wanting to measure up to his past flames, I also wanted to go to the Castro to show him that I’m totally accepting of the side of him that’s attracted to men. I’m not sure if he knows this; he might think that I tolerate that side of him, or am willing to ignore it. But I wanted him to know he doesn’t have to sweep it under the rug or put it in his past just because he’s with me. In other words, walking past salon’s that offer “Boyzilian Waxes”, or looking at fliers and posters for events featuring burly nude men in bondage gear doesn’t freak me out.

I was skimming through the pages of my little guidebook, and I asked Jay if he had ever gotten a 'Boyzilian Wax'. He said, "What? No. What are you talking about?"

I was skimming through the pages of my little guidebook, and I asked Jay if he had ever gotten a ‘Boyzilian Wax’. He said, “What? No. What are you talking about?”

And lastly, aside from all those serious goals, I kind of just thought he would have fun. He could look at some cute bartenders, have some drinks, shop, have a nice dinner, – what about that could be not fun??

In some ways it was fun. It was like being in an entire city where everyone was gay- like if Disneyland had Frontier Land, Tomorrow Land, and Gay Land, this would be Gay Land. And let me tell you, Gay Land is a lot better than the rest of this crappy world.

Jay shopped for a new jacket, and it was interesting watching him interact with the sales attendants. Obviously I’ve met gay sales attendants other places, but it always seems like they are under some unspoken contract to keep the flirtation to a minimum. These guys on the other hand were a little more on the flirty side- as well they should be. I feel  any man who comes to the Castro has consented to some amount of harmless flirtation. Watching Jay was interesting though, because it was clear he was used to being hit on by men. He didn’t act all fidgety about it like some of my straight guy friends do.

I was trying to show Jay this cute preppy blazer, when one of the sales guys came up and said, “Isn’t that one great?”

“See?” I said to Jay. “He likes it too.”

But Jay made a face and said, “I don’t like Blazers,” He turned to the sales guy and said, “She only likes it because she has school boy fantasies.”

I was about to punch Jay in the shoulder, but the sales attendant said, “Oh, don’t worry, I have those all the time.” So instead I laughed and stuck my tongue out at Jay.

Overall, as a tourist destination, the Castro was interesting and fun and I highly recommend it.

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