top of page

Center for Sex&Culture

Carole Queen, Library Vixen and Miss Ian

























CAROLE QUEEN talks about:

00:04 # Higher Education and the Streets
00:27 # IASHS and Patterning Films
04:26 #Blurred boundary between director and model
06:26 #The least represented in porn
07:26 #SF Survival
10:49 #Feminist and queer porn is expensive
12:08 #History of Vibrators


Carole Queen is a writer, editor, sociologist and sexologist who hosts alternative and sex-positive education at the sex shop Good Vibrations and at the Center for Sex&Culture. She is the founder of the Center of Sex&Culture whose mission it 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 is known for its humongous archives of books, papers, art, erotic and pornographic materials, and personal collections from notable people within the sex-positive community. 


Queen herself has produced adult movies and was featured as an instructor and star in Great Vibrations: An Explicit Consumer Tour of Vibrators and in both installments of Bend Over Boyfriend: An Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Male Anal Pleasure.






















                                                                                                Carole Queen, How To Choose a Vibrator


Queen is co-editor of several anthologies of erotic fiction, Best Bisexual Erotica (volumes One and Two), Sex Spoken Here, and Switch Hitters, and PoMoSexuals.. She is also curator of a phenomenal historical collection of vibrators and sex toys, which were used by psychiatrists and doctors to treat female disorders such as hysteria. This practice went on for many years until the same vibrators were started being used in porn movies in the 1920s and were then recognized as elements of pleasure.





































Queen received a Ph.D. from the Institute of the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and immediately points out the unique pedagogy of this sex institute: "The really significant thing that I experienced when I was a PhD student there was that they take down the wall between academics and “the street”--the sexual culture out of academic realm. They allow a back and forth osmosis between the two things. That’s very important I think. I don’t know if anyone did that before them."


She further explains that one of the most important predecessors to feminist and queer porn are the “Patterning Films” made by the Institute in the 1960s and 70. They started the radical trend of involving students as participants in d.i.y. sex films that were made and screened at the IASHS. These movies were supposed to feature positive and realistic depictions of people’s sex acts and they were screened in the classroom and commented on by the other students. They were also distributed to other sexologists and medical programs interested in learning about diversity in human sexualities. As Queen explains: “I think the institute is a really important link that showed people that it was possible to make explicit movies that try to express almost like documentaries, the reality of somebody’s sex lives. It’s especially important if you’re trying to document sexual diversities.“ She 

sees the significance of these patterning movies in the practice of reflecting on sexual representation, which has also become a common practice in queer porn (such as the Crashpadseries) as she explains: “All these ways that we are invited to experience it more fully by including the voice of actresses/actors who made the movie.”


Another key feature of early queer porn for Carole Queen is the ability to switch between the roles of being a director and actress/actor in porn. And thirdly, queer porn aims at representing those people who are least represented in porn: “We are talking about queer women, bi women, dykes, and trans folk. We’re talking about an interesting grouping of people--all of whom might say we’re the least represented in other pornographies. This is a remediation of that lack and a way to take what we know from this inside of segments of the sexual world and put it on the screen. We don’t relate to traditional lesbian porn. We don't relate to traditional women’s porn. We want to mix it up.”


The real challenge for feminist and queer porn has been its very expensive production expenses and in its lack of distribution channels. But that all has somewhat changed with the advent of video on demand streaming services, which has allowed business like Good Vibrations to set up their own companies for streaming mainstream and alternative products.





In this video you will find clips of the interviews with CSC librarians Library Vixen and Miss Ian. I interviewed them about their favorite archive materials and about San Francisco sex culture.



00:00 #Library Vixen at Center For Sex and Culture
08:38 #Sex and the library connection

bottom of page