“Supportive, practical, and compassionate… probably a definitive guide”: B.A.R. Review of “Coming Out Atheist”

Coming Out Atheist“Some of the real-life experiences recounted here are chilling and disturbing, but Christina’s advice, with its breezy, conversational tone, is supportive, practical, and compassionate… With a superb resource appendix, including listing organizations and support groups, online forums and resources, video/print blogs and podcasts, as well as an exhaustive bibliography, Coming Out Atheist is probably a definitive guide, providing a witty, common-sense road map for those willing ‘to be hated for who they are, rather than loved for who they are not.'”

There’s an interesting, largely positive review of Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why by Brian Bromberger at the Bay Area Reporter, one of San Francisco’s oldest LGBT newspapers.

FYI, the review gets some important facts wrong. I’m bisexual, not a lesbian; the 2013 Harris Poll showed that 36% of Americans under 35 don’t believe in God, not that they identify as atheists (not the same thing); I didn’t collect the coming out stories primarily from my blog (only about a third of the coming-out stories I read for my research were collected on my blog); and I have definitely not placated my exasperation about religion, I continue to happily rail about it. And I’m a little tired of the trope about how atheism in “chic.” But it’s an interesting take on the book, and I’m happy to see the book get noticed in the LGBT press.

Here, by the way, is current ordering information for the book. All three formats — print, ebook, and audiobook — are currently available! [Read more…]

“She writes like she’s talking to you”: Amazon Customer Review of “Coming Out Atheist”

Got a nice customer review on Amazon for Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why! Four stars out of five. (In fact, the book now has 32 customer reviews — and 27 of them are either four- or five-star reviews!) Here’s what Davd L. Wilson had to say:

I like Gretta’ s writing. She writes like she’s talking to you.

She covers all bases of the act of being honest to a society that is firmly sure of it’s own views to the exclusion of others.

Some people have criticized this book for repetition but I do not see this as a problem. If you have a problem with kin or friends or jobs then you can go straight to the chapter that deals with it and read the rest of the book later. She is a fun writer.

She also understands how two very different cultures interact with one another in a very practical way.

Thanks, David! (BTW, you’re exactly right about the occasional repetition. Yes, there’s some repetition of some of the in the book, and it’s for exactly the reason you mention — I knew some people probably wouldn’t read the book straight through and would just skip to the chapters that were relevant to them, so if a particular idea was particularly important, I mentioned it more than once.)

And if any of you have read Coming Out Atheist, it’d be awesome if you’d post a review.

***

Here, by the way, is ordering info for the book in all three formats — print, ebook, and audiobook!

Coming Out Atheist cover 150Ebook edition:

The Kindle edition is available on Amazon. (That’s the link for Amazon US, btw — it’s available in other regions as well.)

The Nook edition is available at Barnes & Noble.

The Smashwords edition is available on Smashwords. Right now, it’s only available on Smashwords in epub format: I’m working to make it available in other formats.

All ebook editions and formats cost just $9.99.

Print edition: [Read more…]

So You Think You Can Dance Nudity Parity Watch, Season 11, Episodes 12 and 13

sytycd logoAs regular readers know, I’m watching the current season of So You Think You Can Dance, the mixed-style dance competition show, and am documenting whether the women are generally expected to show more skin than the men. (I give a more detailed explanation of this project, and why I’m doing it, in my first post in the series.)

I’ve been letting the perfect be the enemy of the good: I haven’t posted the “So You Think You Can Dance” nudity parity documentation for the last couple of episodes, since I keep thinking, “Oh, I just have to find video links and the photos to illustrate it,” and I’ve been swamped lately and that task just seems daunting. So I’m just going to get the documentation up, sans video links and photos, and sans clever commentary. [Read more…]

Godless Perverts Story Hour Saturday September 6! Plus Godless Perverts Social Club, Tuesday September 2!

Godless Perverts Banner

The next Godless Perverts Story Hour is happening Saturday, September 6!

It’s time again for the Godless Perverts Story Hour, the performance and entertainment branch of the Godless Perverts empire! Join us at the Center for Sex and Culture for an evening about how to have good sex without having any gods, goddesses, spirits, or their earthly representatives hanging over your shoulder and telling you that you’re doing it wrong. We’ll be bringing you depictions, explorations, and celebrations of godless sexualities, as well as critical, mocking, and blasphemous views of sex and religion. The evening’s entertainment will have a range of voices — sexy and serious, passionate and funny, and all of the above — talking about how our sexualities can not only exist, but even thrive, without the supernatural.

Our performers this time include:

Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders

Juba Kalamka

Juba Kalamka

Anthony O'Con

Anthony O’Con



Cinnamon Maxxine

Cinnamon Maxxine

Hew Wolff

Hew Wolff



Greta Christina

Greta Christina

Chris Hall

Chris Hall


Blogger and managing editor of io9, Charlie Jane Anders;
Poet and co-founder of homohop group Deep Dickollective Juba Kalamka;
Poet and activist Anthony O’Con;
Genderqueer burlesque artist Cinnamon Maxxine;
Jon Longhi, author of Wake Up and Smell the Beer, and The Rise and Fall of Third Leg;
Writer and all-around nerd, Hew Wolff;
Godless Perverts co-founders Chris Hall and Greta Christina.

It’ll be at the Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART), starting at 7:00 pm. $10-20 sliding scale; no one will be refused entry for lack of funds; benefit for the Center for Sex and Culture. Hope to see you there!

And we’re having a Godless Perverts Social Club on Tuesday, September 2! [Read more…]

Michael Brown, Entirely Normal Teenager, Is “No Angel”

Are you fucking kidding me, New York Times?

Michael Brown Spent Last Weeks Grappling With Problems and Promise

Michael Brown was “no angel” — because he got frustrated with his family, sometimes used vulgar language, dabbled in drugs and alcohol, got into one scuffle with a neighbor, wasn’t the best student, once took money meant for shoes and bought a PlayStation, and as a child climbed fences and scribbled on the wall.

None of which makes him an ENTIRELY NORMAL TEENAGER.

Also he “had taken to rapping in recent months.” OOOOOOO! No! Not rapping!

Oh, and he was accused of stealing an iPod, but actually didn’t. Which is relevant how?

Seriously? Are you fucking kidding?

Susie Bright’s Ridiculously Easy, Amazingly Delicious Roasted Tomato Sauce

tomatoes and peppers

It’s tomato season, which means I’m making big batches of Susie Bright’s roasted tomato sauce. This recipe is amazingly delicious and ridiculously easy (about 10-15 minutes of prep depending on how much you’re making, plus blending at the end). And it freezes really well, so whenever it’s tomato season, we make giant batches of it and freeze it in Tupperwares for the winter. You know that children’s book, Frederic, about the mouse who sits around in the summer gathering words and colors and sun rays to store up for the winter? That’s what making this sauce feels like. When winter comes, and it’s been gray and cold and wet and dark for days on end, we stick some of this sauce in the microwave and put it on pasta, and it feels like pulling a bit of stored summer out of the freezer. And when we’re making it, it fills the house with this ambrosial tomato perfume. We mostly make this to freeze for the winter, but we can never resist eating some of it right away, warm out of the oven.

I want Susie to get the traffic, so I’m not going to repeat the basic recipe here — you have to go to her blog to get it. But I have a few modifications and finer points, and those I’ll tell you about. [Read more…]

Is Repression Necessary for Kink? Notes on the Godless Perverts Social Club Discussion

Is repression necessary for kink?

BDSM Gear With a Red Rose

That was the topic for discussion at last night’s Godless Perverts Social Club. The Social Club is now meeting twice a month, and we’ve been alternating the format: the third Thursdays are “Topical Thursdays,” where we pick a discussion topic that we announce ahead of time, while first Tuesdays are more casual and we discuss whatever’s on people’s minds that day.

So our topic last night:

Is repression necessary for kink? Imagine a world in which there are no boundaries on what is considered normal consensual sexual expression, a world in which sexual practices are openly discussed and fully accepted as personal preference without shame or recrimination. In this imaginary utopia, would kink exist? Is kink a response to repression and, if so, how has repression formed the current ideas of what is or is not kink? Would we always find a path to kink, regardless of the enforced societal standards? We’ll discuss how repression, whether societal or religious, has shaped the idea of kink and how our personal experiences have defined our understanding of and preferences for kink. Come talk about religion’s role in shaping your kinky (or non-kinky) choices.

We had a really interesting conversation, and I thought I’d blog about it. This post isn’t going to be a coherent essay on the topic, by the way: it’s just presenting some of the ideas that got tossed out and discussed, in no particular order. [Read more…]

Greta Speaking! Farmington Hills, MI (Near Detroit) Added to Tour of Michigan, Ohio, New York State, Kentucky, and Indiana!

UPDATE: The Akron event has been cancelled, and the topic for the Columbus talk has been changed.

I have a mega-epic speaking tour coming up in the Midwest and East! And Farmington Hills, MI (about a half hour drive from Detroit) is now on the schedule! I’ll be in Grand Rapids, MI; Farmington Hills, MI; Cleveland, OH; Amherst, NY; Akron, OH; Columbus, OH; Cincinnati, OH; and Indianapolis, IN.

Here are details about this tour, as well as my other upcoming speaking gigs — including Charlotte, NC; Sacramento, CA; and Springfield, MO. If you’re in any of these cities, I hope to see you there! [Read more…]

“Where the hell can I find a secular counselor?”: Guest Post on The Secular Therapist Project

This is a guest post by Dr. Darrel W. Ray, founder of Recovering from Religion, and founder and project leader of the Secular Therapist Project. Conflict of interest alert: I am currently in therapy with a therapist I found through the Secular Therapist Project.

secular_therapist_project_banner

Thanks to Greta for providing me the opportunity to talk about The Secular Therapy Project. In 2011 and 2012, as I was speaking on our Sex and Secularism research and on book tour for my book, Sex and God, I had a steady stream of people coming to me and emailing me to ask about psychological help. Many of their stories were horrendous. Typical was a former Catholic man who said, “I was really depressed about my marriage and recent loss of my job when my wife suggested we go to a counselor. We searched and finally found one that seemed qualified and reasonably priced. I had recently stopped going to Mass with my wife and seriously doubting the whole Catholic thing. Needless to say, the counselor we chose was Catholic, her book shelf was full of Catholic counseling kinds of books. Within two sessions, I could tell this woman was more interested in our “spiritual” life than the issues we faced in our marriage. As we revealed more to her, I could tell her own biases from her expressions and the direction she tended to take in the discussion. My wife was perfectly satisfied with her, I was furious. I did not go to a counselor to get told how to make a perfect Catholic marriage. I’d been there and done that. We had done Catholic marriage encounter, among many other things in our 24 years of marriage. It always made her feel better, but ultimately drove me out. At my insistence, we dropped that counselor and searched for another. The new one turned out to be a New Agey kind of therapist that talked about energy and spiritual alignment. I was out of there in two sessions. The next one turned out to be evangelical, but he was somewhat better than the others. I lasted four sessions with him. Where the hell can I find a secular counselor?” [Read more…]

The Godless Perverts Social Club — Thursday August 21! Topic: “Is repression necessary for kink?”

BDSM Gear With a Red Rose

The Godless Perverts Social Club is meeting again this Thursday, August 21!

The Godless Perverts Social Club is the socializing/ hanging out branch of Godless Perverts. Community is one of the reasons we started Godless Perverts. There are few enough places to land when you decide that you’re an atheist; far fewer if you’re also LGBT, queer, kinky, poly, trans, or are just interested in sexuality. And the sex-positive/ alt-sex/ whatever- you- want- to- call- it community isn’t always the most welcoming place for non-believers. So please join us! We’re now meeting twice a month — first Tuesdays, and third Thursdays. We’re meeting again this Thursday, August 21.

We’re doing slightly different formats for the two clubs. Our Third Thursday Social Clubs are a little more structured — we pick a topic, let people know what it is ahead of time, have a moderator/ host who leads the discussion, maybe even get in special guests to guide discussions on particular topics. In August, that’ll be Thursday August 21.

The topic for August’s Topical Thursday: Is repression necessary for kink? Imagine a world in which there are no boundaries on what is considered normal consensual sexual expression, a world in which sexual practices are openly discussed and fully accepted as personal preference without shame or recrimination. In this imaginary utopia, would kink exist? Is kink a response to repression and, if so, how has repression formed the current ideas of what is or is not kink? Would we always find a path to kink, regardless of the enforced societal standards? We’ll discuss how repression, whether societal or religious, has shaped the idea of kink and how our personal experiences have defined our understanding of and preferences for kink. Come talk about religion’s role in shaping your kinky (or non-kinky) choices.

The first Tuesday Social Clubs are more loosely-structured casual affairs: we typically start with a check-in question and do a little moderating to make sure everyone gets to talk who wants to, but mostly we just nosh and sit around schmoozing about whatever topics happen to come up. On First Tuesdays, we’ll keep doing that. Our next First Tuesday: September 2.

All Social Clubs are at Wicked Grounds, San Francisco’s renowned BDSM-themed coffee house — 289 8th St in San Francisco, near Civic Center BART. All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) welcome. 7:00 – 9:00 pm. There’s no admission, but we ask that you buy food and drink at the counter. (Their food is quite yummy, with both full dinners and lighter snacks/ beverages, and they have the best milkshakes in town.)

If you want to be notified about all our Godless Perverts events, sign up for our email mailing list, or follow us on Twitter at @GodlessPerverts. You can also sign up for the Bay Area Atheists/ Agnostics/ Humanists/ Freethinkers/ Skeptics Meetup page, and be notified of all sorts of godless Bay Area events — including the Godless Perverts. And of course, you can always visit our Website to find out what we’re up to, godlessperverts.com. Hope to see you soon!



Coming Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina’s books, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why and Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, are available in print, ebook, and audiobook. Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More is available in ebook and audiobook.