My Letter to the Editor, or, Another Goddamn Bee in my Bonnet

So demonstrating my mastery of yet another literary form (I already have porn and scathing movie reviews under my belt), I just got a new letter to the editor published in the SF Chronicle. (This makes about four or five total. I don’t remember exactly.)

It’s a response to an Op-Ed piece about universal access to pre-school, which you probably should look at if you want to make sense of my letter (or if you just want to get your dander up). Or you can just appreciate by itself, in all its context-free glory.

My letter reads as follows and begins now:

Editor — I’m very glad that Daffodil Altan had a good life and a good education without preschool (“A time-honored alternative to universal preschool,” Dec. 28). But apparently she failed to learn that a single counter-example doesn’t disprove a statistical trend.

Nobody is claiming that every single disadvantaged kid who doesn’t get preschool will grow up to be a thug. Nobody is arguing that preschool is the sole solution to poverty and crime. And nobody is trying to force preschool on parents who don’t want it. Advocates of universal preschool are simply claiming that preschool, on the whole, gives a better chance at life to large numbers of kids, and that it should be available to parents who want it.

Altan’s early experience at her mother’s knee sounds wonderful and worthwhile — but it is one person’s experience, and as such it makes a terrible argument against a program that could be hugely beneficial to thousands.

GRETA CHRISTINA
San Francisco

Not bad, huh? I do so enjoy the whole “rational yet snippy” tone that letters to the editor seem to call for. Anyway, you can see the letter in the Chron itself if you like. (You have to scroll about halfway down the Letters page.) Yay! I’m a star!

Dream diary, 12/25/05: Treasure Hunt

I dreamed that it was Christmas morning, and Ingrid and our friends Tim and Josie were waking me up very early to go on a singing treasure hunt for charity. I didn’t want to go, I’d been up very late the night before and wanted to sleep in, and at any rate I didn’t remember any discussion about a singing treasure hunt for charity on Christmas morning. But they were all very insistent that this was something we’d planned to do, and they were exasperated with me for wanting to go back to sleep.

Come listen to me talk dirty!

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Come listen to me talk dirty! (I know, like that’s such a rarity…)

I’m going to be doing a reading this Friday, December 16, along with three other writers from my book “Paying For It”: Carol Queen, Cleo DuBois, and Roxie Rosales. We’ll be reading bits from our chapters in “Paying For It” — plus we’ll be doing readings from our other sex writing as well. So there should be a fun, entertaining variety of dirty talk, from a fun, entertaining variety of dirty women.

Details: The event will be at the Femina Potens gallery, at 465 South Van Ness in San Francisco (between 15th and 16th, just a block and a half from the 16th and Mission BART station). All four readers in the event contributed to “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients,” the book I edited of advice for sex customers written by sex workers and former sex workers. The event is part of the “Sizzle” series, a monthly series of erotic open mic nights at Femina Potens. Admission is very cheap at $5.00, or $3.00 if you sign up for the open mic. It’s this Friday, December 16, starting at 8pm.

Here’s some info on the lineup:

Carol Queen’s newest book is “Whipped! Stories of Dominant Women.” She’s the author of several books, including “The Leather Daddy and the Femme” and “Real Live Nude Girl.” She works at Good Vibrations and is the founding director of the Center for Sex and Culture, but before all that, she was a call girl.

Cleo DuBois is a renowned BDSM educator, ritualist, personal trainer in the kinky arts and educational video maker. She currently writes a monthly leather column for Alt.com. Her Academy of SM Arts, created in 1995, is in its third year of offering Erotic Dominance Intensive Weekends for Women and its second year of offering Dominance Intensive Weekends for Men. Her skills in SM, bondage play, safety, and communication reflect her sense of humanity and respect for others’ erotic sensibilities.

Roxie Rosales is a performance artist, writer, and dancer whose work strives to implode classic and modern form and create social change. She has contributed to Girlfriends Magazine, The San Diego Gay and Lesbian Times, and of course, “Paying for It.” A former stripper and sex worker, she now spends most of her time writing and dancing with her clothes on. Currently she teaches pole dancing classes at Good Vibrations and other venues around town, and is re-starting her pole dancing performance group. Rosales is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Literature Program. She lives in San Francisco.

Greta Christina (that’s me!) is editor of the collection “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients.” She is also the author of the erotic novella “Bending,” which appeared in the three-novella collection “Three Kinds of Asking For It” edited by Susie Bright for Simon & Schuster and published in 2005. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Ms., Penthouse, and the Skeptical Inquirer, as well as several anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2005. She has worked as a stripper, a pornographer, an order-taker for a phone sex company, the buyer for a mail-order sex products catalog, and the personal ad manager for a gay newspaper — all of which she considers sex work.

Okay, I’m done talking about myself in the third person now. Do come down to the reading and say howdy if you can. Hope to see you there!

How to get married

So if I were a professional wedding organizer, here would be my first piece of advice to the happy couple:

Get a group of family and friends who are (a) unbelievably talented and (b) happy and even eager to share their talent at your wedding. Have friends and family who will sing, dance, play music, help organize, design invitations and programs, arrange flowers and decorations, read their writing, and shamelessly bedeck themselves in imaginatively festive outfits — and who are extraordinarily good at all these things. Do not do this because it will save you money (although it probably will). Do it because it will make your wedding yours. Do it because it will make your wedding a unique reflection of your own life together, at its very best.

My second piece of advice would be: As much as possible, use vendors you have some sort of personal or sentimental attachment to. Have your catering done by a local place where you passionately love to eat. Ditto the cake. Have your bouquets made by a dear friend of yours who’s an assemblage artist. Have your dress/dresses made by a dressmaker with ties to your community (ours were done by a corsetmaker with connections to both the fetish/sex world and the historical recreation/dance world). Hire a band made up of friends of yours who are kick-ass dance musicians that you’ve danced to many times. Have your rings made by a jeweler who made the rings for beloved friends of yours. Get the photographer who took the photos at your same-sex civil-disobedience City Hall wedding (okay, not everyone can do that, but you get the idea). Get your wine and champagne from old friends of the family; get your beer from the brewpub whose festivals you dance at twice a year. Have your officiant be the friend who introduced you. And have the ceremony in a neighborhood where you spend a lot of time and have a strong emotional/political attachment to, in the city you call home.

Here are some pictures.

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This is me and Ingrid walking down the aisle, looking demented and ecstatically happy.

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The wedding party. From left to right: my brother/best man, Rick, in the medieval troubador outfit; my best friend/best man, Chip, in the vintage suit; me in my corset; Ingrid in her corset; our officiant, Rebecca, in *her* corset; Ingrid’s sister/maid of honor, Cynthia in the vintage dress; and Ingrid’s best friend/maid of honor, Laura, in *her* wedding dress.

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The longsword dancing. That’s me in the blue dress.

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The Morris dancing. That’s my beautiful bride Ingrid in the green. My God. I could just fall down on the floor with how lucky I am.

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Cutting the Cake, or, The Brides and Their Breasts.

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My cousin Dennis, his wife Christine, and Mark and Tom of the Fez Family, dancing the Sicilian Circle Waltz.

More pictures to come.