San Francisco Sex Information offers a unique class on human sexuality twice each year. It’s designed for anyone who wants to be a sex information resource for their community, including health educators, medical professionals, therapists, bloggers, youth workers, researchers, teachers, case managers, sex workers, and organizers.
The mission of the SFSI training is to train people to provide accurate, nonjudgmental sex information to the public. By the end of training, students should make significant progress in basic sex information, communication and education skills, and personal insight.
SFSI’s Sex Educator Training can be taken in two different ways:
Single Semester Track
Take the training as an intensive, all during the same spring or fall and all with the same cohort of fellow students. You’ll experience 60+ hours of instruction in just over two months—more than most medical students receive during their professional education! You’ll hear from individuals and panels of speakers, as well as watch videos, slides, and films covering all aspects of human sexuality. This is the most direct way to become a SFSI volunteer. We highly recommend this route: it offers the tightest learning experience and valuable networking opportunity with your peers in the class.
If your schedule will not permit taking the entire training in one spring or fall, you can stretch the training over 2 training cycles by completing some weekends this training cycle and coming back to finish in the next training cycle. The first training weekend must be taken during your first training cycle, and the final day (which includes the endorsement exam and graduation) must be completed on your second cycle.
Training starts at 10am and ends no later than 6pm each day.
Interviews for training are held about three weeks before training begins. Interview meetings include an introduction to SFSI and to the training, and typically last about 90 minutes (more details below, in ‘Applying for Training’).
We currently have no dates available for our next training.
Course Content & Objectives
Basic Sex Information
One of the objectives of training is to impart information about human sexuality. While it is not possible to cover every aspect of sexuality and sexual behavior in detail, our aim is for participants to receive at least some information about as many areas of sexuality as possible. Full course participants should leave the training with at least a passing familiarity with core sexuality subject areas.
Consent and Communication
Aspects of Sexuality: Biology, Gender & Orientation
Fertility, Infertility, Pregnancy, and Birth
Birth Control and Abortion
STIs and Safer Sex
Sexual Variation and Taboo
Sex, Commerce, and Law
Trauma, Abuse, and Sexual Assault
Communication and Education Skills
A unique feature of our training is the emphasis on communication. Many of our graduates feel that the communication skills they learn from this class have helped them become more effective communicators in everyday life.
Students should be able to communicate information about human sexuality and their own sexuality to others, whether in an educational or private context. This includes the ability to:
Communicate about sex without becoming emotionally overloaded.
Ask pertinent clarifying questions.
Present information in a way that is clear, comprehensible, and appropriate.
Throughout the training, students are exposed to information, ideas, lifestyles, practices, and opinions that may be unfamiliar or challenging. Our goal is that students develop increased insight about their own sexual desires, history, and attitudes. This includes:
Being aware of judgments and assumptions.
Being aware of how their own histories, families, contexts, and cultures have informed their feelings and attitudes about sexuality.
Being able to recognize emotional triggers that interfere with their abilities to process information about sexuality.
Applying for Training
Acceptance into SFSI’s training is competitive. There are two steps: an online application (link at the top of this page, when available), and an interview session.
The online application is available from several months before a training begins up until an application deadline a few days before our interview sessions. Applications are submitted for one specific training, and so if you have submitted an application for a previous training but did not attend, you must apply again.
The application provides a choice of signing up for one of two group interview sessions, or for indicating that you require an individual remote interview.
Individual remote interviews consume more time and effort from SFSI’s training staff, and so are reserved for those for whom attending a group session would be a significant hardship, usually due to distance or disability. Please note that being busy does not constitute a significant hardship. Training staff reviews remote applications on a rolling basis and grants interviews to the strongest candidates.
In addition, for those requesting a remote interview because of distance (but not disability) we charge a $30 remote interview fee, payable via PayPal. We regret the need to charge, but in past seasons many remote interviewees who were accepted into the course declined to attend; the fee compensates the organization for the effort involved.
To summarize: selecting to attend an in-person interview session guarantees you an interview, after which both your application and your interview will be used to determine your acceptance. Requesting a remote interview means that your application will determine whether or not you are granted an interview, and then your participation in that interview will determine your acceptance.
The tuition is $800 on a sliding scale that goes down to $350. If you have questions about your tuition, please talk to our training staff during your orientation.
Scholarships are available.
Training fees are due in full on your first day of class unless a payment plan is arranged in advance.
SFSI does not provide refunds for non-attendance.
SFSI is run entirely by volunteers! Your tuition forms our budget each term; payments above the minimum sliding scale allow us to offer scholarships to students in need. Our budget for each semester goes to rent (about half), panelist honorariums (about a quarter), and insurance and supplies (about a quarter).