San Francisco Sex Information 415-989-7374 [415-989-SFSI], Monday - Friday, 3 PM - 9 PM California time.
This is a telephone hotline for any kind of information relating to sexuality. This includes information about birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual variations (``paraphilias''), and all aspects of sexual activity.
The training for SFSI volunteers, which I went though in 1990 when I was living in San Francisco, is very much like the famous SAR (Sexual Attitude Restructuring) originated by the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, where I have also taken courses. It includes discussions of all aspects of human sexuality. If you've never met a transsexual, or a professional dominatrix, or a call girl, or someone who's had sex with a pet (as in the famous scene in Xavier Hollander's book The Happy Hooker), you will have by the time you've finished the training. In fact, you will probably have a few fellow students fitting in all the categories. The training also includes a "fuckorama," where about two dozen sexually explicit films are shown simultaneously. (The theory, at least, is that this has a desensitizing effect, so that afterwards nothing will be so shocking or disgusting that one can't discuss it rationally.)
When I took my training, two of my teachers were Carol Queen and Tala Brandeis, both familiar names to those familiar with the California sex scene.
Although I went through the complete training, I only worked a few weeks as a volunteer on the hotline. For one thing, I found that the SFSI work, with the emphasis on keeping calls short and making sure that they stayed purely on the level of providing information, did not give me the sort of satisfaction that I had derived from doing suicide prevention work.
For another thing, I never really felt that I belonged to the SFSI crowd. To me, many of the SFSI members seemed to have a self-congratulatory attitude that made me uncomfortable: as if they were always saying, ``Aren't we all great, aren't we all beautiful, don't we all have exciting adventurous sex lives?''
Obviously these feelings probably reveal more about me than about SFSI. In 1997 I decided to go through the SFSI training again. This time I found the attitudes somewhat changed and I'm much more comfortable with it.
Thoughts on SM (Part I)
Thoughts on SM (Part II)
Erotic Love and Parental Love
The Importance of Sexual Play
Our Lack of Comfort with Our Own Sexuality
Nude Dancers I have Known
The SFSI web page itself now has a quite comprehensive list of links to resources on human sexuality, essentially rendering my own brief list below obsolete. But I suppose there is a certain virtue in brevity, and in any case, my list serves as an indication of my own interests.