SSIS advice column

March 13, 2020

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

What type of books are in the SSIS library? Can I check the books out?

Thank you for asking! The SSIS library is made up of over 650 volumes about sexuality, gender, healthy relationships, sexual health and wellness, and erotica. 

Our books range from guide books such as the “Guide to Getting It On” to erotic novels like “SMUT Vol. I.” Our library also includes photo books like “The Little Book of Big Boobs.” We have history books that may be helpful for research purposes, for example “The Gay Almanac.” One could also find in our library a collection of DIY books for making your own sex toys! 

On the first day of each month, we publish our book and product of the month on our social media. Be sure to check out those posts if you are interested in keeping up with our featured library books!

All of our books are available to be checked out by Brandeis community members for a period of two weeks at a time—although you can always renew books if you don’t finish them in two weeks. 

I want to go to SSIS but I’m scared I will see someone I know there and it will be awkward. How do I avoid this?

This is a great question! SSIS is open for our regular office hours, but we are also open by appointment. To make an appointment, text 586-ASK-SSIS (586-275-7747) and ask to come into the office. That way, you and the SSIS member will be the only people in the office and you will not run into someone you know. 

If you are concerned about the SSIS member being someone that you know, we’d like to remind you that SSIS is a confidential space, so SSIS members will not tell anyone you were there or bring it up to you in other contexts. If you are still concerned about a particular member, you can request over text to not have that member open the office. Thanks for asking!

I am interested in working at SSIS! How can I apply?

That’s so amazing! Our applications are open now and will close on March 25. There is no prior experience necessary to apply. To fill out an application, come to our office either during office hours or text us at our texting service (586-ASK-SSIS) to set up an after-hours appointment—this can be in the evenings, weekends, etc. We usually recommend allowing for about 30-45 minutes to fill out the application. Once you fill out an application, you will be asked to sign up for several interview times when you are available. The interview is 30 minutes long and will also be in our office. We will contact you in April to let you know if you have been selected. Let us know if you have any questions!

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