Godless Perverts Social Club — Game Night! Tuesday January 5

game pieces on game board

Godless Perverts is having another game night! Our first one in November was a rousing success, so it’s back by popular demand, on Tuesday, January 5. As you may have noticed, Wicked Grounds has a huge stash of games including chess and checkers, Cards Against Humanity*, Scrabble, Fluxx, Slash, Gloom, and much, much more. Feel free to bring your own games if you’re not sure Wicked Grounds has a copy of your favorite.

We’re meeting at Wicked Grounds, the kink cafe and boutique, at 289 8th Street at Folsom in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART). 7-9 pm. Admission is free, but we ask that you buy food and/or drink at the cafe if you can: Wicked Grounds has beverages, light snacks, full meals, and milkshakes made of literal awesome sauce. We meet at Wicked Grounds on the first Tuesday of every month: we also meet in Oakland, on the third Thursday. All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome. Community is one of the reasons we started Godless Perverts. There are few enough places to land when you decide 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. Hope to see you there!

Godless Perverts presents and promotes a positive view of sexuality without religion, by and for sex-positive atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-believers, through performance events, panel discussions, social gatherings, media productions, and other appropriate outlets. Our events and media productions present depictions, explorations, and celebrations of godless sexualities — including positive, traumatic, and complex experiences — focusing on the intersections of sexuality with atheism, materialism, skepticism, and science, as well as critical, questioning, mocking, or blasphemous views of sex and religion. Godless Perverts is committed to feminism, diversity, inclusivity, and social justice. We seek to create safe and welcoming environments for all non-believers and believing allies who are respectful of the mission, and are committed to taking positive action to achieve this.

*(If you decide to play CAH, please be cautious; it can be a really hard game between people who don’t know each other and aren’t familiar with each others’ limits and triggers.)


Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 100 JPGComing Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.

A Modern Over-thinking of the Sexual and Relationship Ethics of “The Cherry Tree Carol”

Cherry Tree Carol Jacket 200Okay. Ever since I heard this song, this has bugged me. I know I’m over-thinking this, but I’m being entertained by my over-thinking, so I decided to share.

Do you know “The Cherry Tree Carol”? There are different versions, what with it being a folk song and all (here’s an MP3 of a pretty one), but here’s the basic storyline.

Joseph and Mary are walking in a cherry orchard, and Mary asks Joseph to pick her some cherries, because she’s pregnant.

Joseph gets angry, since he knows the baby isn’t his (they haven’t had sex — in most versions of the song they’re not yet married). He says to Mary, “Let the baby’s father pick the cherries for you.” (Some versions of the song call his words unkind; others say they’re angry.)

Jesus then speaks from out of Mary’s womb, and commands the cherry tree to bend down and give her cherries. Which, of course, it does.

Mary says to Joseph, “See? I have cherries at command.” (In other words: “The baby’s father is God, and I didn’t cheat on you.”)

In some versions, Joseph then begs forgiveness, says he’s not worthy, wallows in guilt, hopes God won’t smite him, etc. In other versions, Mary’s “In your face, douchebag” is left as an implication. (In some versions, Mary then asks the baby Jesus to predict the future, either after he’s born or from inside her womb — which he does. Damn, theology is weird. That’s not relevant to this particular story, though.)

Okay. So here’s the thing:

It is entirely reasonable for Joseph to be pissed.

How on Earth was Joseph supposed to know that the baby was the supernaturally-conceived son of God? Why would he imagine that, even for a second? Think of Joseph’s arc in this song. “Gee, I was such an unkind jerk for not considering the possibility that your pregnancy was supernatural, rather than the result of perfectly ordinary human sex. I mean, that’s only been the case in EVERY SINGLE PREGNANCY THROUGHOUT HISTORY.”

Assuming you accept that monogamy is a reasonable relationship arrangement (which I do, although I certainly don’t think it’s the only one), it’s reasonable to be pissed off when your partner breaks that agreement. It’s especially reasonable to be pissed off when your partner breaks their monogamy agreement, gets pregnant with someone else’s kid, and then just assumes that you’re going to parent this kid.

Okay, yes. “I’m ticked off, I don’t feel like picking cherries for you right now, let the baby’s father do that” isn’t the best response to this. It’s definitely on the sarcastic side. But as responses to “I cheated on you and got pregnant” go (which, again, is the entirely reasonable conclusion for Joseph to come to), it’s pretty mild. And Mary didn’t exactly tell him in the most sensitive way, either. “Hey Joseph, can you get me something to eat? I’m hungry — because I’m pregnant, with a baby that you know perfectly well isn’t yours. Now, make with the cherries.”

In fact, I would argue that in this story, Mary is being a total drama queen. If she can talk to the baby Jesus in her womb and get him to do telekinesis, couldn’t she have done that before this little incident? “So, Joseph, you’re probably not going to believe this, but I’m pregnant with God’s baby. I know, you have every reason to think that’s bullshit — but here, I’ll show you. Baby — bend that tree!” Instead, she manufactures this passive-aggressive little drama, where she gets to be the martyr. “Oh, Joseph, I’m so hungry, because I’m pregnant with someone else’s kid. What? You’re angry? You don’t trust that I kept our monogamy agreement? Oh, I’m so hurt. But I’ll prove it. Baby — bend that tree! See, Joseph? The baby’s father is GOD! In your face, douchebag!”

Thoughts?

Godless Perverts Raises Over $900 for St. James Infirmary!

st james infirmary

Wow.

Wow, wow, wow.

On Saturday December 12, Godless Perverts hosted a benefit party for St. James Infirmary, the San Francisco health clinic run by and for sex workers. We just finished tallying up the numbers — and we raised over $900! ($901, to be precise.)

This was our first big fundraising event, and we’re delighted that it went so well. Everyone at the party had a grand time — the silly icebreaker game was a big hit, as it mysteriously is every year. We had a wonderful spread of yummy food and beverage. The fraudulent Tarot readings were eerie and hilarious. And very importantly — between donations made at the event, and overflow from our online fundraiser, we raised over $900. St. James Infirmary is an important and valuable resource: they provide sex workers of all genders with health care and counseling of all kinds, including primary care service, gynecological and urological medical care, STI testing and counselling, needle exchanges, and support groups. We were delighted to be able to pull together the energy and resources of the Godless Perverts community, to support the clinic in such a tangible way. We’ll definitely be doing this sort of event again!

We want to extend a huge “Thank You” to everyone who helped out. [Read more…]

Godless Perverts Holiday Fun Time, Saturday Dec. 12 – A Benefit for St. James Infirmary!

Godless Perverts Holiday Fun Time 2015

Godless Perverts is throwing our annual Holiday Fun Time party! Who says that the holidays are only for the believers? Just as families don’t stop giving presents after the kids realize that Santa is a fake, the godless can have a great time during the holidays even without any gods, deities, angels, or spirits watching over them. And Godless Perverts Holiday Fun Time is just the place to do it! It’s at Borderlands Cafe this year, 870 Valencia St. near the 24th and Mission BART station — and this year, we’re making it a fundraiser for St. James Infirmary, the health clinic for sex workers in San Francisco!

We’ll have:

Festive food and drink! It’s a potluck: we’ll provide food, but we’d love to add your holiday treats to the buffet.
Adorably ridiculous icebreaker games!
Atheist holiday songs, celebrating the improper, twisted, and just plain silly!
Door prizes, including books and DVDs that are godless, pervy, or both!

And this year, Greta will be doing fraudulent Tarot readings! Well, okay, all Tarot readings are fraudulent — but she’s telling you that up front. (She used to take this seriously back in her woo days, and she’s actually really good at it.)

Blasphemous costumes, sexy costumes, awesome combinations of the above, and other festive garb are encouraged, but by no means required.

This year’s party is a benefit for St. James Infirmary. St. James is a unique healthcare resource, even in San Francisco. Founded by and for sex workers, they provide free, compassionate and nonjudgmental healthcare and social services for current and former sex workers of all genders and sexual orientations. Like so many San Francisco non-profits, they are being forced to move after losing their lease. They need to find a new site by the end of the year. We wholeheartedly support the organization, and we want to help them out. So all donations collected at the party will go directly to St. James Infirmary. Greta’s going to charge $2 a minute for the fraudulent Tarot readings, and all proceeds from that will also go to St. James Infirmary.

We’re asking for donations of $10-$20 at the door — but please just donate what you can, whether that’s less than $10, or more than $20. (We’re also collecting funds now to cover the costs of throwing the party — please help make it happen if you can!)

Godless Perverts Holiday Fun Time is at Borderlands Cafe this year, 870 Valencia St. in San Francisco (at 20th Street, near the 24th and Mission BART station). Saturday, December 12, 8:00 to 11:00 pm. We hope to see you there!

Why Godless Perverts is Supporting St. James Infirmary for the Holidays

outlaw-poverty-not-prostitutes-st-james-infirmary

This post was written by Chris Hall for Godless Perverts, and originally appeared on the Godless Perverts website.

We may be Godless, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t know how to party. For the last two years, we’ve helped the non-believer community celebrate the winter holidays in a secular fashion by holding the Godless Perverts Holiday Fun Time, a social event complete with icebreaker games, weird songs, and decadent desserts. We’re having it at Borderlands Café this year, a magnificent community space, and we’ve got a lot of great uses planned out for it.

We’ll have our usual silly icebreaker games, goofy but fun holiday songs (Walt Kelly’s “Deck Us All With Boston Charlie” is a perennial favorite), delicious potluck holiday treats (bring your favorite to share – we will!), and the pleasure of connecting with our fellow secularists. And this year, Greta’s going to be giving openly fraudulent Tarot card readings! She’s almost completely guaranteed not to tell your future (except by accident), but it’s just as sure to be a great deal of fun. It’ll be on Saturday, December 12, 8-11 pm, at Borderlands Café, 870 Valencia St. in San Francisco, near the 24th St. & Mission BART station.

This year, as you may know, we’re doing it a little bit differently. The Godless Perverts Holiday Fun Time is not only going to be fun, but it’s going to be a fundraiser for an organization that we’ve admired for a long time: The St. James Infirmary.

To do that, we’re trying to raise $700 to pay for space rental, refreshments, and assorted expenses of this year’s party. We’re almost just over halfway there, thanks to the generosity of some of you. As we get closer to our goal, we thought that it would be a good time to talk about the organization that we’re supporting this year, and why we think that they’re so awesome.

St James Infirmary Ad: Someone You Know is a Sex WorkerWhat is St. James Infirmary?

In a nutshell, the St. James Infirmary is an occupational health clinic run by and for sex workers. Founded in 1999 by members of COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) and the Exotic Dancers Alliance, they remain the first and only of their kind. They provide sex workers of all genders with health care and counseling of all kinds, including primary care service, gynecological and urological medical care, STI testing and counselling, needle exchanges, and support groups. Trust us when we say that all of this work does much more for sex work communities than any of the various “rescue” operations (i.e. arresting sex workers for their own good), or john-shaming programs that are popular in mainstream politics.

Why Sex Workers Need Their Own Health Care Resources

Sometimes when people hear about St James, the first response is to ask why sex workers need health care resources especially for them. The simple answer is that even the most legal sex work – such as stripping or adult modelling – is heavily stigmatized. For that matter, sexual pleasure is heavily stigmatized. Most doctors aren’t trained in how to address human sexuality beyond matters of basic physiology, and certainly not in the day-to-day realities of sex work. Have you ever tried to talk to your doctor or a nurse about discomfort “down there” or problems with how your body feels during sex? For most people it’s an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Imagine the difficulty of doing that if you also add in the problem that your work is, by its nature, either illegal or socially condemned. [Read more…]

Godless Perverts Social Club in Oakland Thursday 11/19: Genderqueer & Trans Identities, Hosted by Cinnamon Maxxine!

Gender-Queer-Grafitti-CharlesHutchins-700x400

The Godless Perverts Social Club is meeting in Oakland on Thursday, November 19 — and we’re very happy to present a Social Club hosted by Cinnamon Maxxine, a local genderqueer sex worker and performer for a session discussing trans and nonbinary gender identities.

The binary of boy/girl man/woman has been treated as obvious and unquestionable for centuries, even those who fought and chafed against the rigid roles that society assigns according to sex. But the more that we talk about sex and gender, the less the binary fits everyone. Tonight, Cinnamon Maxxine will guide us in a conversation about what being nonbinary, genderqueer, or trans means, the ways that society (even in liberal or “sex-positive” communities) tries to enforce gender, and how our concepts of gender are evolving in culture, religion, and politics.

We welcome everybody of all genders (or none) to come join us in this discussion. Please be prepared to respect everyone’s choice of pronoun.

We meet at Telegraph Beer Garden, 2318 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland (near the 19th Street BART station). 7-9 pm. It’s free, although we ask that you buy food and/or drink if you can to support the venue. Hope to see you there!


Cinnamon Maxxine

Cinnamon Maxxine

Cinnamon Maxxine is a Bay Area original. Born and raised in Oakland, Cinnamon Maxxine is determined to be an advocate for those who are typically left under-represented. From people of color to people of size to people with invisible disabilities and trauma. Cinnamon Maxxine seeks to give those communities a voice. You can find Cinnamon here:

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Godless Perverts Holiday Benefit Party for St. James Infirmary – Please Support!

Godless Perverts Holiday Fun Time 2015

Godless Perverts is hosting a fundraiser party for St. James Infirmary, the health clinic for sex workers in San Francisco — and we need your help to make it happen!

Every year, Godless Perverts hosts a Holiday Fun Time party, with festive food and drink, door prizes, atheist holiday songs, ridiculously adorable icebreaker games, and more. (This year’s party will be on Saturday, December 12, at Borderlands Cafe.)

This year, we’re turning the party into a fundraiser for St. James Infirmary. St. James is a unique healthcare resource, even in San Francisco. Founded by and for sex workers, they provide free, compassionate and nonjudgmental healthcare and social services for current and former sex workers of all genders and sexual orientations. Like so many San Francisco non-profits, they are being forced to move after losing their lease. They need to find a new site by the end of the year.

Godless Perverts wholeheartedly supports St. James Infirmary — and we want to put our money where our mouth is. So this year’s Holiday Fun Time is a fundraiser. All donations collected at the party will go directly to St. James Infirmary. We’re aiming to make it a barn-burner that raises a heap o’ cash!

But we need your help. We need to cover the expenses of throwing the party: renting the space, printing songbooks, acquiring door prizes, providing food and beverage (the party’s a potluck, but we need to offer something to our early arrivals!). So we’re doing a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe.

We’ve estimated that our total costs will be $700. If we raise more than that, or if the party expenses are less than that, any extra funds will go to St. James Infirmary. (If the party expenses are more than that, we will suck it up and pay out of our pockets — we will not spend more than $700 of your donations on party expenses.)

Please help make this happen! Even small amounts help — if you can only donate $5 or $10 or $20, it really does add up. Your donations will help us throw an awesome party that brings in a bucket of cash for St. James Infirmary. Let’s do this! Please support the event, and spread the word!

(You can also donate directly to St. James Infirmary.)

Sexual Ethics in “Steven Universe”

Spoiler alert: This post contains mild Steven Universe spoilers. I’m mostly avoiding more specific spoilers, although I’m fine with spoilers in the comments.

garnet amethyst fusion

So Ingrid and I have been binge-watching/ obsessing over the animated TV show “Steven Universe.” And I noticed something the other day that I wanted to share.

I was thinking about “fusion” (a process by which the Gems, magical superheroes, fuse together into a larger, more powerful being). Let’s assume that fusion is some kind of metaphor for sex. It’s not much of a leap (although I don’t think sex is the only thing fusion is supposed to be referencing).

So in the “Steven Universe” universe, what are the ethics about fusion?

Fusing with more than one person is fine. Fusing with more than one person at a time is fine. Sometimes people get jealous — or envious, I guess might be more accurate — if other people are fusing and they wanted to be in on it. But there’s never any suggestion that there’s anything wrong with having more than one person that you fuse with.

It isn’t, however, right to be dishonest about fusion: to fuse under false pretenses, or in any way to deceive someone into fusing.

It isn’t right to fuse with no concern for the consequences.

And it’s seriously, profoundly not right to force fusion on anyone.

Thoughts?

Godless Perverts Social Club — Game Night! Tuesday November 3

Godless-Perverts-Social-Club-Game-Night-Blog-Banner

This month, we’re trying something different: Godless Perverts is having a game night! As regular attendees of the Godless Perverts Social Club may have noticed, Wicked Grounds (San Francisco’s legendary kink cafe) has a huge stash of games including chess and checkers, Cards Against Humanity, Scrabble, Fluxx, Gloom, Slash, and much, much more. Feel free to bring your own games if you’re not sure that Wicked Grounds has a copy of your favorite.

(Note: If you decide to play Cards Against Humanity, please be cautious; it can be a really hard game between people who don’t know each other and aren’t familiar with each others’ limits and triggers.)

We meet at Wicked Grounds, 289 8th Street in San Francisco (at Folsom, near Civic Center BART), 7-9pm. It’s free, although we ask that you buy food and/or drink at the cafe if you can. All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome. 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 meet in San Francisco at Wicked Grounds on the first Tuesday of every month: we also meet on the third Thursday of every month in Oakland, at Telegraph Beer Garden.

Godless Perverts presents and promotes a positive view of sexuality without religion, by and for sex-positive atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-believers, through performance events, panel discussions, social gatherings, media productions, and other appropriate outlets. Our events and media productions present depictions, explorations, and celebrations of godless sexualities — including positive, traumatic, and complex experiences — focusing on the intersections of sexuality with atheism, materialism, skepticism, and science, as well as critical, questioning, mocking, or blasphemous views of sex and religion.

Godless Perverts is committed to feminism, diversity, inclusivity, and social justice. We seek to create safe and welcoming environments for all non-believers and believing allies who are respectful of the mission, and are committed to taking positive action to achieve this. Hope to see you there!


Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 100 JPGComing Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.

Godless Perverts Social Club in Oakland Thursday, October 15!

Godless-Perverts-Social-Club-Oakland-October-2015-Blog

Join Godless Perverts for another night of godless talk about sexuality, gender, and all the issues that tie them together at Telegraph in Oakland. It’ll be an open discussion night, so bring any thoughts or questions you have with you.

How to Find Us

We’ll be meeting in the back room behind the bar, so we’ll have a separate, somewhat private-ish space to talk about sex and blasphemy and whatnot. Telegraph has lots of food options, mostly in the sandwich/ sausage/ burger family, and including many vegetarian and vegan options. They have a wide selection of beers, and they also have soft drinks for those who don’t drink alcohol. (It is a bar, which means you need to be at least 21 to attend.) Admission is free, but we ask that you buy food and/or drink if you can.

Godless Perverts: Our Policies on Building Safer Spaces

All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome. 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’ll meet on the third Thursday of every month in Oakland: we’ll also still meet in San Francisco at Wicked Grounds, on the first Tuesday of every month.

Godless Perverts presents and promotes a positive view of sexuality without religion, by and for sex-positive atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-believers, through performance events, panel discussions, social gatherings, media productions, and other appropriate outlets. Our events and media productions present depictions, explorations, and celebrations of godless sexualities — including positive, traumatic, and complex experiences — focusing on the intersections of sexuality with atheism, materialism, skepticism, and science, as well as critical, questioning, mocking, or blasphemous views of sex and religion.

Godless Perverts is committed to feminism, diversity, inclusivity, and social justice. We seek to create safe and welcoming environments for all non-believers and believing allies who are respectful of the mission, and are committed to taking positive action to achieve this. Please let the moderators or other people in charge of any event know if you encounter harassment, racism, misogyny, transphobia, or other problems at our events.

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!