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Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

EROS has resources for students to become sexperts

Students can rent safe sex books and pornographic DVDs on campus
Gustavo Hernandez
Monica Perry, office assistant (left) and Camila Hernandez, EROS (Education & Referral Organization for Sexuality) director (right) pose in the EROS office on the terrace floor of the Cesar Chavez Student Center on Feb. 12, 2024. (Gustavo Hernandez / Golden Gate Xpress)

Dildos and condoms decorate the door of the office of the Education and Referral Organization for Sexuality, the Associated Students organization that provides porn and sexual health resources to students located on the terrace floor of the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

Students can rent pornographic films and informational books. Through events and workshops, EROS spreads safe sex awareness. The organization is celebrating 50 years of being on San Francisco State University’s campus. While their office is currently in the middle of a makeover, students can walk inside to find sex toys, condoms, lube, sex books, films and a scrapbook of photos from 1992 to the present day.

They have an expansive library of books ranging from “The Threesome Handbook” by Vicki Vantoch to “The Ethical Slut” by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy. Students can either check their inventory on their website or they can come to browse in person. If a student wants to rent a porn film but does not have access to a DVD player, they can rent one from the university’s library. EROS’ resources are available to all students and faculty — no age restrictions exist.

“I think the point of having porn is to destigmatize and also to be able to provide sexual material that is for the most part ethical,” said Camila Hernandez, the director of EROS.

Hernandez is a public health major who used to be an intern for the program. While tabling, she noticed some students found the program embarrassing or funny. Monica Perry, the office manager, has noticed pushback from people on campus.

“There are some situations where AS has invited us to open houses where high schoolers will come and explore the school and they’ll say we’re not a family-friendly program, so they’d prefer if we didn’t put up our usual setup of dildos, which I felt a little offended by,” Perry said. “But I understand where they’re coming from. It might not be something that would be embraced by all families that are coming in.”

Camila Hernandez (left) and Monica Perry (right) table for EROS (Education & Referral Organization for Sexuality) at Malcolm X Plaza on Feb. 12, 2024. (Gustavo Hernandez / Golden Gate Xpress) (Gustavo Hernandez)

She has ended tabling in the past due to religious speakers making comments about the booth. But mostly, the EROS has been accepted on campus. EROS recruits students whose majors align with the program like visual communications, biology and sociology.

“We want to normalize talking about sex a lot more,”  Perry said. “We want to make it a safe space for us to talk about sex. A lot of people will come by and laugh that we have dildos or penises on our door, but really it’s about opening up that discussion. We have porn available because we want people to have healthy examples of what sex can look like.”

The team’s newest member, Danielle Hicban is the assistant student director for EROS and is currently in charge of renovating their office space. While organizing the office, she found historical documents, mainly newspaper clippings and scrapbooks, from EROS’ past.

“I think the fact that EROS has been here for 50 years boggles my mind, considering the Queer and Trans Resource Center has only been here since 2012,” said Hicban, in reference to her discovery of archival photos and articles in EROS’ office. “Just seeing pictures of people who were a part of EROS years and years ago, it really ties you into the community.”

The assistant student director transferred to SFSU from Glendale Community College. There wasn’t much discussion of sexual wellness at her old school. Hicban noticed students are embarrassed when asking questions. But once the conversation flows, the topic of sex becomes natural. Hicban wants to destigmatize the topic of safe sex.

“It’s normal — especially at this age and at this time in your life — to explore your sexuality,” Hernandez said. “So it’s important to have those resources available in terms of safer sex materials but also somewhere for people to ask questions because they might not have been comfortable talking about it with anyone else.”

The EROS office is currently in the middle of redecoration; they will have an open house on Feb. 20. On Valentine’s Day, they will collaborate with the QTRC for Cupid’s Dash. The event will encourage students to make friends and possible relationships. The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Jack Adams Hall.

“One of the most important takeaways I think I’ve learned about sex — it’s better to pursue pleasure rather than an orgasm,” said Perry, the office manager at EROS. “Focusing on pleasuring each other, being in a pleasurable state instead of just gutting for that orgasm. It’s a lot more about intimacy and the enjoyment of it than it is about just cumming.”

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About the Contributors
Natalie Metcalf
Natalie Metcalf, Staff Reporter
Natalie Metcalf (she/her) is a staff reporter from the Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in creative writing. She was born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles. Metcalf has previously worked as The Valley Life editor at The Valley Star, the independent student newspaper at Los Angeles Valley College. During her free time, she enjoys reading, journaling, writing poetry and making themed Spotify playlists.
Gustavo Hernandez
Gustavo Hernandez, Photographer
Gustavo Hernandez (he/him) is a staff photographer for golden gate xpress. He is double majoring in journalism (photojournalism) and BECA. He currently lives in a San Francisco where you can catch him dodging potholes on his white Vespa. He has contributed freelance photo stories for Mission Local with the ambition for more future published works.

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