Sex Ed, Technology and the Six-Foot Pussy

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From my Blowfish column:

Twice a year, I am one of about a dozen instructors who, with the help of guest speakers, teach a 60-hour four-weekend class on sex for San Francisco Sex Information, a nonprofit educational service that answers peoples’ sex questions by phone and email and occasionally (as in the case of events like the Folsom Street Fair) in person. The purpose of the training is to educate the phone (and now internet) volunteers in sex information, communication and sex-positivity, so they can offer accurate, free, anonymous, nonjudgemental sex information. SFSI has been operating since 1972, so the training has graduated literally thousands of people, and many prominent sex educators from the SF Bay Area and around the world have taken the training and/or served as guest lecturers.

I’ve been involved with the organization since I first took the training in the spring of 1993. In those days, technology was a critical part of the training. I and my fellow trainees were presented with a very clear promise-cum-warning on the first day by the training coordinators Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence: This is a multimedia class; you will hear lectures, you will see explicit images, you will watch pornography. There will be no live demos, but you’ll see and hear about more variations of the human sexual mind and body than you probably knew existed. Watching pornography and seeing explicit images may be a new experience for you (it wasn’t for me) and watching it in this context may “bring up some issues” for you (it did).

Read more at Blowfish.com.

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