San Francisco Sexuality Resources

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This guide provides brief descriptions and contact information for some of the sex-positive cultural resources of San Francisco, California.

Before beginning, we should pause to mention that:

Sex Education

The monthly zine SanFranSexy is also worth a look, both for event advertisements as well as a sense of the local culture.

GLBT Resources


You'll find a wide selection of community events, newspapers, and flyers at the city's impressive GLBT Community Center (the Berkeley equivalent is Pacific Center). In print the SF Bay Times contains excellent listings of GLBT resources and events, and online larrybob's list is often useful.

San Francisco's newest GLBT institution is its GLBT History Museum, the only such museum in the United States, and one of only two in the entire world.

Lesbian or Bi Women

Dance and social venues for women include The Lexington (San Francisco's full-time lesbian bar) and El Rio (offering dancing, music, and open-mic events). The Women's Building offers both affordable meeting space for community groups as well as events of its own, and butch/femme socials are also held once a month.

Gay or Bi Men

One popular educational resource is the Leathermen's Discussion Group, which hosts educational programs for both novices and experts on a wide range of leather interests. In a more specialized vein, men with uniform fetishes may wish to check out Men of Discipline. For bears and their admirers there's Bears of San Francisco, and there's also a bay area Radical Faeries hotline.

Bi Men and Women

BiFriendly hosts bi-friendly social events in San Francisco and surrounding areas.


For most alternately-gendered folks, TransGender San Francisco is a solid place to start: it's the oldest transgender educational and social organization in the United States. Some FTM folks may wish to start with FTM International, which is the longest-running educational organization for FTM's and trans men in the United States.

Trannyshack remains the most popular drag event in the city, and a nightclub called Diva's may be the country's only full-time transgendered strip club.


Mixed-gender/orientation Clubs

Even including this section may be a lost cause, as clubs come and go so quckly. But at least for the last several years the high-energy EndUp has been a fixture of the local scene. The crowd depends on the event and the night of the week.

Recently there has been a trend of dance parties positioned much like off-premise swing events but advertised to a younger crowd, with an emphasis on dressing up, and restricted in attendance to couples and women only: Pleasurezone is one example.

One source of current information on the club scene is the San Francisco Bay Guardian web site.

Fetish Fashion and Gothic Events

Dress-up events include Bondage-a-go-go and events sponsored by Vau de Vire.


Community Event Calendars

For the mixed-gender BDSM community the EroBay calendar is excellent. For the men's leather community, there's the San Francisco Leather Page. For the women's leather community, there's the Exiles calendar.


The best place for most people to start is the Society of Janus; they have a rich schedule of educational events and panels each month, and also offer a monthly munch for new people. Other possibilities include EduKink.

The Knotty Boys and Rope Bondage Dojo offer bondage workshops, Cleo Dubois offers multi-day workshops on a variety of topics, and Midori has moved into education full-time.

Women who prefer to learn (or socialize) in a women-only environment should look into joining Exiles and attending their monthly workshops. Workshops are also hosted in conjunction with the annual International Ms. Leather contest.

Social, Support, and Play Organizations

Two mainstays of San Francisco's leather community today are SF Citadel, which hosts events almost every day, and Wicked Grounds, San Francisco's new kink cafe.

Leathermen who enjoy the social and erotic company of other men will probably want to look into the 15 Association, which sponsors regular play parties and the annual Bootcamp weekend. Similarly, leatherwomen will probably want to look into Exiles and San Francisco Girls of Leather.

Organizations focusing on spanking include SF-CP.

Men's Leather Bars

The Powerhouse (which also offers SM demos during the month) is very popular.

Out of Town Organizations

SM Odyssey in San Jose offers parties and workshops, and Backdrop offers parties, workshops, and a library for their members in Mountain View.

Swing Clubs

On-premise events include those by Club Kiss, Tangerine's Dream, and Twist.

Sex Clubs

Mixed-Gender Sex Clubs

The Power Exchange is now open again at a new location. Other facilities hosting sensual events include Mission Control SF.

Men's Sex Clubs

Blow Buddies (which also hosts Golden Shower Buddies, Naked Buddies, Leather Buddies, Underwear Buddies, and Bear Buddies on various nights of the month) has an excellent local repution and is extremely popular. Eros is particularly clean and well-lit, and very popular on weekends. Although there are no bathhouses in San Francisco (the aforementioned clubs are not technically bathhouses, as they do not provide fully private space) but in Berkeley there's one called Steamworks.

A "loose, goofy, and semi-spontaneous" group of men's j/o enthusiasts called SF Jacks meets at least twice a month.

Polyamory Organizations and Resources

The Bay Area Polyamory mailing list is one way to stay in touch.

Two resources for poly-friendly therapy are Geri Weitzman and Integrated Healing Arts.

Workshops on Spiritualized Sexuality

Same-Gender Classes

The Body Electric School offers their full range of men-only and women-only classes in nearby Oakland. The Flesh and Spirit Community specializes in men's workshops, while Love Journey specializes in women's workshops.

Mixed-Gender Classes

The Institute for Ecstatic Living sponsors workshops throughout the year at the Harbin Center. Other organizations offering mixed-gender workshops in this area include Dakini Temple, the Body Electric School, Celebrations of Love, and Center for Healing and Expression.


Sex Toys

Good Vibrations is the place to go for most sex toys and video rentals. For a more extensive selection of BDSM equipment, try Mr. S Leather and Stormy Leather.


Try Stormy Leather and Madame S first for women's leather and fetish fashion. Mr S Leather is an excellent choice for most men's leather and fetish clothing (as is the vendor area at the annual International Mr. Leather Contest), though you can also check Leather Etc for deals when you're in the neighborhood.

Romantasy and Dark Garden sell corsets.

Popular boutiques for women's lingerie include My Boudoir, Toujours, and Les Cent Culottes.

For drag clothing, try Piedmont.

Body Modification

Most folks recommend Black n Blue Tattoo for tattoos, and Body Manipulations for piercing.

Annual Events

HIV/STD Testing, Reproductive Health, and Counseling

HIV/STD testing referrals are available through the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, though one commonly-used location is the San Francisco City Clinic. A Planned Parenthood clinic is located dowtown at 1650 Valencia St, and offers drop-in hours for emergency contraception. Kink-aware physician and psychotherapist listings (e.g. Vanguard Leather) are available on the KAP list.

One well-respected sex therapist in the San Francisco area is Claudia Six.

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