Carol Queen

Carol Queen

Scroll to Info & Navigation

I’m sure that not all the news this year was sex-related, but I’m challenged to recall a single big story that didn’t have a whiff of the sexual (often, since it’s 2016 and a shitshow, nonconsensual). I’ve scrolled through hundreds, maybe thousands, of news stories to curate the year for you, and I don’t ever remember being this overwhelmed. Let’s just begin simply, then, by agreeing that there should never be anything called either Pussygate nor Pizzagate in US political discourse.

And yet, at the end of this singular year, here we are… about to discuss both. Well, let’s dive in.

Rest in Peace, O Bright Stars of Our Youth

There were really two stories of such enormity that they’ll define 2016 historically, and only one of them was the election. The other was the wave of deaths that seemed unremitting, many with a link to sexuality and/or gender. Some talked about a “celebrity death curse,” but not all the important people who departed this year were celebs, at least not outside their own communities. Good Vibrations lost our founder, Joani Blank, to just-legalized (in CA) physician-assisted suicide after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Fetish photographer Charles Gatewood, artist and gay TED talk sensation Jok Church, and bisexual, multiracial activist and seminary provost Ibrahim Farrajajé, all heroes in the Bay Area and beyond, died during the first half of the year. 2016 wasn’t done with the Bay Area yet, however, and later in the year we lost art collector and designer Buzz Bense and the dozens of victims of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire, including rising trans star Cash Askew.

Center for Sex and Culture XXXmas Eve

Saturday, 12/24, 4-7pm

CQ hosts the XXXmas Eve Gathering & White Elephant Gift Exchange

Center for Sex & Culture, 1349 Mission

No charge! Donations gratefully accepted

Once again we’re opening our doors to the community for a convivial evening — a great chance to celebrate the holidays with us, ignore celebrating the holidays somewhere less sex-positive, and/or bring a year-end contribution! If you’d like to bring food or drink to share, please feel free, but not required.
If you plan to participate in the White Elephant exchange (we’ll start that around 5:30pm), bring a wrapped gift. Please don’t shop—bring something from home that you’re not using (clean it first, especially if it’s, you know, the type of thing you could NOT bring to any other White Elephant exchange! Though you do not need to bring a sexy thing. ANY thing that someone else might want or use is fair game). Here’s how it works: We each take a number. One at a time, we choose a mystery gift. Person One gets their gift and opens it, and Person Two can either choose another gift and open that, or take Person One’s gift. If they do, Person One chooses again. Then Person Three… and so on! It’s big fun. Recycle-y altruism and competitive gift-grabbing all in one!
Feel free to bring friends and partners. 

Nerd Nite SF
Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell St, San Francisco, California 94102
Tickets here:
As is our hallowed nerdy tradition, our December show...

Nerd Nite SF

Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell St, San Francisco, California 94102
Tickets here:

As is our hallowed nerdy tradition, our December show has NOTHING to do with the holidays and EVERYTHING to do with learning something new about something you never knew you should know. Got it? So come get it! Dude, we’ll get so meta about metadata with a software engineer and kick it with one of our audience faves (and nephew of DJ Alpha Bravo) rapping (maybe literally) about dinosaurs. With booze from our beloved Rickshaw ‘tenders and bites from Alicia’s Tamales, be there and be square!


“STOMPIN’ THROUGH TIME!!!” by Brian Engh

Explore a dinosaur-infested prehistoric ecology through the evidence left on a squishy, nasty old lakeshore! You may remember Brian from his 2015 talk, “Extreme Dinosaur Makeover,” in which he took us through the process of accurately reconstructing dinosaurs from bones on up. Well, this professional paleo artist and creature designer is back to edify and entertain you!

Brian is also a filmmaker, animator and rapper/beat-maker steeped in a lifelong fascination with natural history. His paleo illustrations can be seen in scientific papers, books, museum displays, and several outdoor interpretive fossil sites around Moab Utah, one of which is the focus of this talk. His various and assorted creative efforts are collected on his website


“Getting Meta with Your Data: How to see and be more than the sum of our parts” by Simon Bayangos

“Metadata” has entered the mainstream, but much of its meaning and value has been mislaid in the process. Metadata is just that—data that tells us about data. But most of our attempts to capture, comprehend, and control this information have tried to do it as if it were analog information. What if we could experience data the way we hear an orchestra or smell an amazing meal? What if we could interpret millions or even billions of pieces of information not as individual isolated stories but as a collective whole? And what if this information were not scientifically accumulated data on the physical world but rather the intertwined threads of our lives? Tonight we will see and hear metadata in ways few people have perceived it and learn about all the big and small, public and secret ways and places it is accumulated. Whoa, meta.

Simon’s never met a piece of data he couldn’t dig something interesting out of (a.k.a. Head of Engineering at Nuix – a forensic software company).


“Hysterical Paroxysms: The Amazing History of the Vibrator” by Carol Queen, PhD

Your great-great-grandmother might have owned a vibrator, and the fascinating story of our favorite household helper is truly stranger than fiction. Learn all about their history with Good Vibrations’ Antique Vibrator Museum curator Carol Queen, PhD!

Carol is Good Vibrations‘ staff sexologist, curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum, and runs the Center for Sex & Culture.


With: Alpha Bravo, who’ll be spinning tunes specially selected to match the presenters’ themes. Follow the setlist on Twitter @djalphabravo.

Food: Alicia’s Tamales los Mayas will be upstairs

I’m far from sure that anyone out there–short of Newt Gingrich, or more precisely the fantasy Megyn Kelly that lives in his brain—thinks this election year has actually been sexy. Full of sex, sure. Overamped on sex, even, some days. Newsy, well, of course. But aside from the obvious gender difference between the two candidates—and BOY, is it obvious!—the 2015-16 election cycle has given us so many sex referents that it’s finally crystal clear that sex is a different and more public issue in the 21st century than it was in the 20th.

The Center for Sex & Culture and Good Vibrations Sponsor CA Prop 60 (Condoms In Porn) Info Night for Adult Performers and Content Producers; General Public Also Welcome
Event details:
PROP 60 DEBRIEF: What is Prop 60, how would it impact us, and how...

The Center for Sex & Culture and Good Vibrations Sponsor CA Prop 60 (Condoms In Porn) Info Night for Adult Performers and Content Producers; General Public Also Welcome

Event details:
PROP 60 DEBRIEF: What is Prop 60, how would it impact us, and how can we stop it?
Center for Sex and Culture–1349 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
November 3rd, 7:00PM
Free, donations gladly accepted to defray cost of the space; Wheelchair accessible
Co-sponsored by Center for Sex and Culture and Good Vibrations

Members of the voting public as well as adult industry professionals whose work might be impacted by Prop 60, the California initiative seeking to require condoms for all vaginal and anal porn scenes, are invited to an informational evening to discuss the measure, the Center for Sex & Culture announced today. Details of the event are below.

“Many participants in the adult industry are targeted by this ballot initiative helmed by a well-known anti-porn activist,” says CSC director and co-founder Carol Queen PhD. “We are honored to be able to host a discussion about this proposed law and hope that curious voters will come hear these important legal and industry perspectives.” Admission to this event is free; donations are gladly accepted to defray cost of the space.

Does Prop 60 have you confused? Attorneys Alex Austin of the Austin Law Group and Karen Tynan will join Verta of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, adult film producer Shine Louise Houston, and porn performer Jiz Lee to address questions from the industry. What is Prop 60? How would it impact our business? What can we do in the remaining days leading up to the November 8th election to stop it? This debrief will focus on adult film and cam professionals but is open to the public.

Austin Law Group is the premier queer adult entertainment law firm in the Bay Area. Austin Law Group was founded in 1996 by attorney, Alex Austin. Alex earned a law degree from New College of California School of Law, the oldest public interest law school in the nation. Alex is on the legal referral panel for National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Kink Aware Professionals, California Lawyers for the Arts, AIDS Legal Referral Panel and Transgender Law Center. Alex is a member of the Entertainment Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law, National Lawyers Guild, and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. Austin Law Group strives to provide high quality legal services at reasonable fees, while maintaining an atmosphere compatible with the creative and adventurous nature of our clients.

Karen Tynan is a California attorney practicing in the areas of employment law and regulatory law and holds a B.S. degree in marine transportation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy. She advises and defends California employers and companies in civil, administrative, and regulatory matters. She works with clients throughout all areas of California including the Bay Area, Central Valley, High Sierra, Los Angeles, and San Diego area. Many clients have worked with the office for at least ten years with services ranging from defending wage and hour claims, defending discrimination suits, in-house sexual harassment training, compliance, and crisis management. Karen is licensed to practice law in the State of California, including the United States District Courts of the Eastern District and Northern District.

Verta is an author, adult film performer, and Secretary of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee. The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee advocates to maintain and improve safety and working conditions in the adult film industry by giving adult performers organized representation in matters that affect our health, safety, and community.

Shine Louise Houston is the founder and director of the San Francisco-based adult film company Pink and White Productions. She is a graduate of the San Francisco Arts Institute with a Bachelors in Fine Art Film and a former staff of Good Vibrations. Her work is internationally recognized for its cinematic quality and honest portrayal of LGBTQ sexuality. She was awarded the “Sylvester Pride in the Arts” by the Harvey Milk Democratic Club and the California Legislature Assembly, and was honored ‘Visionary’ at the Feminist Porn Awards. Her films have been presented at Stanford, Princeton, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and the American Studies Conference, among others, and appear in the Human Sexuality textbook, A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography, and featured on Emmy award-winning television series Transparent, on HBO NOW, and in exhibit at the Tate Modern Museum in London.

Jiz Lee has worked in the adult industry for over a decade, spanning independent erotic films and hardcore gonzo pornography. A versatile performer and key player in the queer porn movement, Jiz has been the recipient of multiple AVN and XBiz Award industry nominations and Feminist Porn Awards, and is an honoree of The Trans 100. (Jiz is nonbinary and uses the gender-neutral pronouns: they/them.) Their writing has appeared in Global Information Society Watch: Sexual Rights and the Internet and they are the creator and editor of Coming Out Like a Porn Star: essays on pornography, protection, and privacy, and co-editor of the Porn Studies Journal Special Issue: Porn and Labour.

About the Center for Sex & Culture (co-sponsor): The Mission of the Center for Sex & Culture is to provide judgment-free education, cultural events, a library/media archive, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum; and to research and disseminate factual information, framing and informing issues of public policy and public health. The Center for Sex & Culture aims to provide a community center for education, advocacy, research, and support to the widest range of people.

About Good Vibrations (co-sponsor): Good Vibrations is the premier retailer trusted for over three decades to provide high quality products, education, and information that promotes sexual health, pleasure, and empowerment. We invented the concept of the clean, well-lighted vibrator store and we’re proud to provide a safe, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment where customers can shop for sex toys, books, movies, and attend workshops. 

Photo: Free Speech Coalition spokesperson Siouxsie Q and adult performer Mickey Mod spread the word at CatalystCon

Antique Vibrator Museum Docent Tour
Sunday, October 16, 3-4pm
Good Vibrations
1620 Polk Street, San Francisco
Limit 20 per tour!  Sign up:
A monthly FREE tour of San Francisco’s most unique museum!...

Antique Vibrator Museum Docent Tour

Sunday, October 16, 3-4pm

Good Vibrations

1620 Polk Street, San Francisco


Limit 20 per tour! Sign up:

A monthly FREE tour of San Francisco’s most unique museum! Your great-great-grandmother might have owned a vibrator, and the fascinating story of our favorite household helper is truly stranger than fiction. Come see our collection of vibrators, spanning the 20th century, and learn all about their history with curator Carol Queen, PhD.

Queer Fashion Week
Morning Session with Carol Queen: From Exhibitionism to Shaming: Queer Dressing in a [Not Always] Sex-Positive World
When: Friday, September 30th, 10:00am-11:15am
Where: Conference Room 1 / Main Hall — 420 14th St,...

Queer Fashion Week

Morning Session with Carol Queen:  From Exhibitionism to Shaming: Queer Dressing in a [Not Always] Sex-Positive World
When:  Friday, September 30th, 10:00am-11:15am
Where:  Conference Room 1 / Main Hall — 420 14th St, Oakland

Description:  When we choose the clothes we wear, we’re signaling identity and desire, sometimes very overtly. Let’s explore how our sartorial choices factor in when presenting ourselves as sexual and gendered beings… and what happens when the rest of the world brings judgement down in response. From erotic exhibitionism and flagging to slut-shaming and queer oppression, let’s talk about sex and fashion!


Carol Queen PhD is staff sexologist and Company Historian at Good Vibrations, the women-founded sex shop, where she has worked since 1990. She is the lead author on The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone and the author of Exhibitionism for the Shy. A noted cultural sexologist whose work has been widely published, she’s written or edited over a dozen books. She has been speaking publicly about sexuality for over 40 years—a loooong time ago, she confounded one of the first gay youth groups in the nation. More recently she co-founded the Center for Sex & Culture [] in San Francisco.

LitCrawl 2016 at Good Vibrations: Perverts Put Out! October 15th, 2016

LitCrawl 2016 at Good Vibrations: Perverts Put Out! Phase 2 of the Crawl:

October 15th 7:15pm to 8:15pm

Good Vibrations Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110

(between 17th St & Clarion Alley)

This diverse, filthy, thought-provoking, surprisingly charming, long-running San Francisco spoken-word treasure, now held quarterly at the Center for Sex & Culture, comes to Valencia Street for LitCrawl! 


Marlo Gayle

Simon Sheppard

Greta Christina


Jen Cross

Daphne Gottlieb

Hosted by Carol Queen 

“Some people will prefer sex one way, others another way. What I’d recommend is to first evaluate what you’d like the experience to be. Do you in fact want it not-very-intimate? Doggy style, then, where you’re not face-to-face. Do you revel in the hot, dirty, ‘I don’t even KNOW this person’ of it all? Do it on the floor or bent over their sofa. I know when you’re in that mood it’s tempting to get tied up, but don’t do that on a one-night stand,” says Carol Queen, sexologist for Good Vibrations.

This sitch can manifest itself in two ways: Either one of you prefers to get busy in the daytime while the other is all about nighttime shags, or one of you wants to do it all the time and the other, well, doesn’t. Even though it can be a real challenge, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, says Carol Queen, Ph.D., staff sexologist for Good Vibrations.

Communicate! The One Sex Skill Everyone Needs to Master

Aug 18, 2016 6:30 PM

Good Vibrations Polk Street Store

1620 Polk Street (at Sacramento Street)
San Francisco, CA 94109

$20.00 ($21.69 w/service fee) Or $25 at the door, as space allows

Virgin or kinkster, monogamous or open, asexual or sex maniac, theres one thing you have in common with everyone else: If you can communicate clearly (and, bonus, comfortably!) about erotic desires and limits, you’ll get more of what you want and less of what you don’t, and you’ll be sexually safer in more ways than one. So let’s practice! With Carol Queen, co-author of The Sex & Pleasure Book, we’ll explore communication skills and contexts and then do some real-live-say-it-out-loud practice. Bring someone you want to talk about sex with or pair up with another attendee. Special bonus: If you ever want to learn to talk dirty, this skill is pretty much a pre-requisite.

PLEASE NOTE Good Vibrations new Event Ground Rules:
Your participation in our event means you are willing and able to conduct yourself according to these rules. They are intended to ensure everyones comfort and safety.
*If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may not attend a GV event.
*No touching of other participants except in the context of opt-in exercises as directed by the instructor.
*No disruptive behavior.
*No sexual activity.
The instructor and Good Vibrations staff have the right to remove class participants who do not respect these guidelines. Thank you for your understanding.

More events and classes at Good Vibrations: