Carol Queen is battling cultural misnomers about sex, one lecture at a time.
The week of Valentine’s Day was busy for Carol Queen. Then again, so are most weeks for the sexologist who, in addition to being the oldest working staff member at Good Vibrations, is also a lecturer, author, educator, and founding director of the nonprofit Center for Sex & Culture.
In fact, in the span of four days, Queen achieved more than most people would in a week. On Monday, she gave a lecture about porn, media, and 50 Shades of Grey to a student group at the California Institute of Integral Studies. The next day, she did a presentation for the Young Presidents’ Organization, where she discussed cultural sex myths, like the belief that women can only orgasm through intercourse. (Not true.) On Wednesday, she hosted a class about reproductive justice rights for queer and trans-identified people at Good Vibrations. And by Thursday, she was at the Asian Art Museum, talking about antique vibrators and 2000-year-old dildos for the launch of a new exhibit called Tomb Treasures.
“There’s always a lot going on in my life at any single time,” says Queen, who is in her 50s. “There are people who need everyday to be the same, and then there are people who are completely allergic to it. I’m pretty sure I’m one of the latter.”
This summer, Queen will celebrate 27 years working at the sex shop Good Vibrations, where she not only gives classes and lectures, but also curates the store’s collection of vintage sex toys. In 1998, she starred in Bend Over Boyfriend, a series of sex education videos demonstrating the art of pegging (or having sex with a man using a strap-on dildo) that held the title of Good Vibrations’ best-selling video for years. And, as an author, Queen has penned multiple novels and essays, including erotica, that champion sexual freedom, promiscuity, LGBTQ rights, sex-workers’ rights, and better communication and transparency about sex, in general. (Click here to read more)