Treasures from the Center for Sex and Culture

Carol Queen & Robert Lawrence

Wednesday, August 22, 2012   7:30 pm - 9:30 pm @ Mr S. Playspace, 385A Eighth Street

An evening with the co-founders and principals of San Francisco’s premier resource for all things sexual, the wondrous and underappreciated Center for Sex and Culture. Its mission: “to provide judgment-free education, cultural events, a library/media archive, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum. From our San Francisco home we promote creativity, information and healthy sexual knowledge.”

Carol and Robert will talk about their own roles in the erotic evolution of San Francisco’s leather/kink/fetish culture, about the development of their partnership and the creation of the CSC. They’ll also be bringing, for your perusal and inspection, an assortment of erotic art, publications, toys, posters, items from the estate of Larry Townsend (of THE LEATHERMAN’S HANDBOOK), turn-of-the-century buttplugs, plus other obscure, rare, and significant finds.

[NOTE: We’ll need a few extra volunteers for this program, to assist in transporting and displaying the items Robert and Carol will be bringing us from the CSC. If you can help, please drop us a line at]

DR. CAROL QUEEN is a writer and cultural sexologist with a Ph.D. in human sexuality. She is a noted essayist whose work has appeared in dozens of anthologies. Her essay collection, REAL LIVE NUDE GIRL: CHRONICLES OF SEX-POSITIVE CULTURE, was published in 1997 and reissued in 2002; it is read in university classes across America. Her erotic stories can be found in several BEST AMERICAN EROTICA volumes, among many other anthologies; her erotic novel, THE LEATHER DADDY AND THE FEMME, was published in 1998 and won a Firecracker Alternative Book Award the following year. A “director’s cut” edition with new material came out in 2003. Her first book, EXHIBITIONISM FOR THE SHY, published in 1995, explores issues of erotic self-esteem and enhancement and was reissued with new material in 2009. 

She is co-editor of the anthologies BEST BISEXUAL EROTICA (volumes One and Two), SEX SPOKEN HERE, SWITCH HITTIERS, and POMOSEXUALS, which won a Lambda Literary Award in 1998. She’s also edited “Whipped!” and two volumes of 5-MINUTE EROTICA, short-short erotic fiction. She has appeared in several explicit educational videos, notably “Carol Queen’s Great Vibrations: An Explicit Consumer Tour of Vibrators” and “Bend Over Boyfriend: An Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Male Anal Pleasure.”

Queen serves as Executive Director of the Center for Sex and Culture and works as staff sexologist and Chief Cultural Officer at Good Vibrations, the women-founded sex toy and book store in San Francisco, where she has worked since 1990, and blogs for the Good Vibrations web magazine at She has addressed numerous scholarly and professional conferences, including the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, the International Condom Conference, the International Conference on Prostitution, and the International Conference on Pornography; she frequently addresses college as well as general and specialized audiences. In February 2009 she debated the question of promiscuity (“Virtue or vice?”) for the Oxford Union at Oxford University, England.

Carol is active on behalf of progressive sex education and sexual minority issues. She has been speaking publicly about non-mainstream sexualities, from lesbian to leather, for over 25 years. Her perspective in addressing sexual diversity incorporates personal experience, accurate sex information, and informed cultural commentary. For more information (including CV and bibliography) see her website:

DR. ROBERT MORGAN LAWRENCE, ED.D., has 35 years of non-profit experience in the field of human sexuality. He has a Doctorate of Education degree in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and holds an additional doctoral-level degree in healthcare which informs his sexological perspective. He has served as a sex-industry consultant, educator and academic author, and has lectured both nationally and internationally about human sexuality and health. He has been an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Sexology, the Chapter Secretary for the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and a member of the San Francisco Coalition for Healthy Sex.

From 1979 Lawrence served in volunteer positions on the switchboard and training staff, and then as training coordinator, of San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI); he shared the latter position with Dr. Queen. In the early 1990s they left the organization to pursue their own projects, traveling and teaching together widely as they developed the Center for Sex & Culture.

Lawrence has covered many sexuality-related topics during many years of public speaking. He has been a guest lecturer at San Francisco State University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Sonoma State, Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, and the University of Chicago, and has appeared in places as far-flung as Amsterdam, London and (on a 1994 Ford Foundation direct grant) Beijing. Lawrence and Queen have produced safer-sex education events of many kinds, including the live Masturbate-a-Thon that has become a significant fundraising event for the Center for Sex & Culture. He has been active as a safer-sex educator since 1980.

Robert co-wrote the entry on “Bisexuality in the U.S.” for The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality, edited by Robert Francoeur (Continuum, 1997). He has also published in the “Journal of Bisexuality” and has more recently written and published erotica. His work has been published in magazines and books and for many years he was regularly interviewed on radio and television programs worldwide. Limited mobility from a failed surgery has curtailed his activities with and for the CSC, though he continues to serve as its Board president.

Robert also makes collage art solo and with Carol, some of which has been shown at San Francisco galleries. 

* * * * * * photo by Efrain John Gonzalez

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The Center for Sex & Culture, located in San Francisco at 1349 Mission St. between 9th and 10th, strives to promote creativity, information, and healthy sexual knowledge.

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The Center for Sex & Culture is proud to be a recipient of a San Francisco Arts Commission Creative Space Grant, supporting CSC's physical space in three ways: developing our library (particularly shelving); improving our lighting grid, both for library and for our stage area; and supporting disability access to the building and its restroom facilities.


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