When Carol Queen speaks about sexuality, she does so with that brightness in her eyes of one who hasn’t lost the illusion for what she does. Her speech connects with the freedom of the self-more than with the libertine sense.
Author, editor, sexologist and activist of the Sex Positive movement, she invites us to discover our own unique sexual profile, a positive sexuality free from judgment. She has developed new ideas about sexuality that stretch the margins of desire, eroticism, and freedom.
She met us at the Center for sex and culture (CSC), and she spent nearly three hours together for the interview.
“You’ve arrived at a pivotal time for San Francisco,” she says.
There’s a collective complaint about the tech industry that settled in the Bay nearly 20 years ago. Now, after a new boost, is kicking the artists and cultural entities out of the city, so we’re in the middle of a change.
Who has inspired you the most?
“Hmm, probably Betty Dodson” –we’ll get to her soon- the mother of orgasm. Betty speaks her mind, takes risks, investigates and makes is grow even when she is faced with the contradiction.
There’s so much sex on TV that perhaps for most people it is hard to put a context on the historical moment in which we are in. Sex is a good sell. You can make lots of money with sex, even though it won’t always be very profitable.
What do you feel most proud of?
CSC, no doubt. My partner Dr. Robert Morgan and I opened it with the intention of bringing the world of sexuality through culture, an accessible one, out of the academic world and really connected with what you read, watch on TV, films and everywhere. I’ve been committed to this project for 15 years and it helps to uphold my thinking, my commitment and the responsibility I have towards it. It’s like our child. CSC joins the Sex Positive movement, the diversity, the community and its history”.
“Sexuality is really everywhere, in every culture, although it’s not identical at every place. Sexuality is part of people, and there are as many sexualities as persons. When I learned the term Sex Positive…”
Hey, it says in Wikipedia that you invented the term, hahaha
“Well, it already existed when I came to university, so we could say I was the one who made it popular. Now the term is not as well used as it should be. Sex Positive means that everybody has a right to have his/her own sexuality, even if you don’t want to have sex at all; that your choice is the one you really wish for, and everybody may have access to the sex they desire and need. Deep down, it’s a reflection of culture”.
By the end of this delightful talk with Carol Queen, we make a final question for the interview:
We’re conducting a reader’s club in which we propose a book with erotic or sexual background to discuss in a group meeting. Which title would you suggest for our next read?
“I’d say Histoire d’O, being one of the classics, and Safe word – an erotic s/m novel, of Molly Weatherfield. Almost any work of Patrick Califia should do as well”.
Thank you for your time and kindness, we look forward to seeing you again soon.