The Erotic Illuminati!

Bay_guardianYippee! According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay 2006 issue, I am part of San Francisco’s “erotic illuminati.” It’s a little mention in the Best Parliament of Perverts award they gave to Femina Potens Gallery for their “Sizzle Erotic Open Mic” (which they totally deserve, btw). And I quote:

“In the past 18 months, Sizzle has already featured many of the city’s erotic illuminati, from Carol Queen to Greta Christina… Come prepared for skin-tingling sexuality, but also for breathtaking insights.”

I now feel strangely compelled to write occultist conspiracy-theory porn about the number 23. Anyway, it’s a nice little plug, so thanks to the Guardian for thinking of me. I’ll do my best to live up to the honor, and continue to erotically illuminate.

Oral Arguments

Lips1I was originally going to call this post “A Dyke’s Defense of Blowjobs,” but lots of my readers get these posts sent as email, and I thought some of you might not appreciate having that subject line show up in your In box….

Anyway…

I recently found out that there’s been an entertaining flare-up in the blog-world about blowjobs. It all started when Twisty of “i blame the patriarchy” said, on the topic of blowjobs, that “no woman, since the dawn of the patriarchal co-option of human sexuality, has ever actually enjoyed this submissive sexbot drudgery.” Several other folks have been joining in the fun, including on Salon and even the Daily Kos (although there the conversation quickly degenerated into a argument over whether it was a waste of time and energy to discuss blowjobs when people are dying in Darfur).

So of course, I have to throw my belated hat into the ring. Here it is: my dyke’s defense of blowjobs.

Please note: Very personal sex talk ahead. If that will embarass you, please turn the page.

*****

UltimatecunnilingusI love going down on my lover. I love it partly because I love it — but I love it largely because I love giving her pleasure. And I don’t mean that in a noble, self-sacrificing, martyred way, or even in a kinky submissive way. Giving her pleasure is unbelievably hot. When I go down on her, I get completely lost in her pussy and in her pleasure. It works almost like a meditation to get me out of my head and into my body, and when it’s going especially well, it feels like my tongue is a clit. It’s fun. It’s sexy. I love it. And besides, it feels so very lesbian.

But in fact, I’m not a lesbian. I’m bisexual. It’s not completely inconceivable that I might have wound up in an LTR with a man instead of a woman.

And if I had, I’d feel exactly the same way.

Okay, not exactly the same way. I’m not quite as crazy about cock as I am about pussy. But pretty damn similar. I’ve certainly felt that way when I’ve been involved with men in the past.

And here’s what I want to know. If you don’t feel that way — then what the hell are you doing involved with men? If you think giving men sexual pleasure is patriarchal drudgery, why on earth would you have sex with them at all?

UltimatefellatioOf course, there should be some sort of reciprocation. It always bugs me to see studies about how more teenagers today are having oral sex instead of “regular” sex — because I know damn well that means blowjobs for the boys, not muff-diving for the girls. Of course men shouldn’t be assholes about it — no hair-grabbing or deep-throating without specific negotiation beforehand, guys. And of course, if you absolutely hate giving blowjobs (or any other particular sex act), naturally you shouldn’t do it.

But don’t act like your personal gross-out is some sort of righteous political stance. That’s just ridiculous. Most people like giving their lover pleasure. Some of us like doing it with our mouths. If you don’t, then don’t do it. You have every right to your quirks — but they don’t make you a superior feminist.

Spank_1And for God’s sake, please don’t start pulling the “no woman likes that and if she says she does she’s a co-opted tool of the patriarchy” bullshit. I’ve now heard that about spanking, buttfucking, porn-watching, porn-writing, and just about every other kind of sex that I love. I’m sick unto death of it. Can feminists please stop telling other women what they do and don’t like in bed — and stop trying to make other women feel bad because they don’t like the right things?

Thoughts? About blowjobs, or the political complications of male-female sex, or how we should all be ashamed of ourselves for wanting to talk about this instead of the slaughter in Darfur?

Oh, and a quick shout-out to the Nettles here (my longsword dance team). I polled them tonight about whether my next blog posting should be about North Korea, Matthew Barney, or blowjobs — and blowjobs won unanimously. Global politics and conceptual art are just going to have to wait.

If You Believe in Bisexuals, Clap Your Hands: My Letter to Dan Savage

DansavageSo a couple of months ago, Dan Savage of the sex advice column Savage Love wrote this column about bisexuals. While it did get my dander up, it was certainly a sight better than some of what he’s written about bisexuality in the past. In his own words: “I no longer believe that most bisexuals wind up in [heterosexual relationships] because you’re all liars and cheats, or that you’re all dying to access societal perks reserved for heterosexuals, or that you’re all cowards and it’s hard out here for a homo.”

Gee, thanks, Dan.

No, instead he now says, “I think most bisexuals wind up in heterosexual relationships because most bisexuals are mostly hetero.”

Once again — thanks. Heaps.

I wrote the following letter in response — fairly reasoned, I thought — but he hasn’t printed it yet, and I’m assuming at this point that he won’t. (Which is fine — he must get hundreds of letters, most shorter than this one and actually asking for advice.) But I thought I made some important points, and I hate writing good stuff that never makes it out into the world (I’ve never kept a journal with anything like the regularity of this blog), and I thought y’all would be interested to see it.

***

Bi2Dear Mr. Savage:

I’m not going to yell at you or call you names. So please hear me out.

In your recent column, you asserted that “very few bisexual women wind up ‘sharing their lives’ with other women,” and that “most (bisexuals) can only fall in love with an opposite-sex partner.” I’m wondering: What data are you using to come to that conclusion?

I ask because your assertion is radically different from my own observations. In my own extended circle of friends, acquaintances, colleagues and family, the significant majority of bisexuals — both women and men — are in serious relationships with women. (BTW, that includes both me and my partner.)

There are certainly exceptions, and admittedly my extended circle is not a scientifically selected statistical sampling. But your claim is so drastically different from my own experience that I have to at least question it. Do you have data to back it up, or are you simply basing it on your own unscientifically-selected circle of people you know?

Bi4I also ask for another reason. I find it very troubling when people tell other people what their sexual orientation “really” is, based on their own definitions. And I find this especially troubling when it comes from a widely read and influential sex advisor. So many different factors go into deciding which sexual-identity label fits you best — does sex count as much as romantic love? does desire count as much as behavior? does sexual and romantic history count as much as present status? does present status count as much as potential future involvements? etc. etc. etc. — and thus the definitions vary enormously depending on who you’re talking to.

And because the definitions are both so variable and so heavily loaded, I think we need to let people define themselves, based on their own definitions. Saying that most bisexuals are really straight (or even “mostly straight”) isn’t very helpful, and it’s on the insulting side — as if we don’t know enough about our own sexuality to know what to call it. I appreciate how much you’ve changed your position on this subject over the years, but when you tell bisexuals “You think you’re bisexual, but actually you’re pretty much straight,” it really is just as annoying as all those annoying goddamn bisexuals who run around saying that “everyone is basically bisexual.”

Sincerely,
Greta Christina

P.S. I have seen at least one paper backing up my assertion that both women and men are more likely to get involved with women, at least under certain circumstances — but I’m not sure how much I trust it. Anyway, one paper is just one paper. If you’re curious and want to look it up, it’s by Andrew Francis, and there’s a pdf at http://home.uchicago.edu/~afrancis/research.html .

***

Bi1So anyway. Thoughts? Observations? What are the bisexually-identified people in your life — including you, if you’re one of them — doing sexually? Romantically? Are they/you mostly in hetero relationships, as Dan Savage asserts? Mostly in relationships with women, as has been my observation? Mostly sexual with one but romantic with the other? All over the map? Something completely different?

And if you do see a pattern — do you have a theory about why that pattern is? I have one about my “bis tend to end up with women” observation, but it kind of boils down to “men are pigs,” which I don’t actually believe. (Actually, I have a bi friend who was going to make T-shirts saying “Bisexuality: Men are stupid, women are crazy,” which, while still an obvious oversimplification, does, I think, hit closer to home.) But I’m very aware of the fact that my circle of close friends does not constitute a stastically accurate sampling — so I want to expand the sampling to my circle of people who read my blog. Much more accurate…

And yes, I was once one of those annoying bisexuals who insisted that everyone was basically bisexual. Mea culpa.

A Sex Writer’s Defense of Visual Porn

MyeroticxfilesWords or pictures? When it comes to erotica, what turns you on? And why? For me, it’s almost always about the pictures — something I feel a little odd about, what with being a porn writer and all.

The Good Vibrations magazine has just started running a photo gallery — and they’ve published my piece, A Sex Writer’s Defense of Visual Porn, as part of their opening festivities. If you’re interested in the “dirty pictures versus dirty books” question — or if you’re curious about why a dedicated sex writer turns to photos and videos when it’s time to get off — come check it out. Here’s a taste:

“It’s about feeling like I’m really there. The pictures don’t just make it easier for me to imagine the scene — they make it easier for me to project myself into it. Having a picture thrust into my brain makes me feel like I’m there; like I’m one of the people in the scene, or a new person wedging myself into the goings-on, or even an invisible voyeur watching it all up close. And that’s true whether the pictures are photos of real dirty people doing real dirty things, or drawings of dirty people doing made-up dirty things that an artist thought up.”

SpankTo read the rest, come visit the Good Vibrations Magazine. There’s tons of great writing in addition to mine — and now they have dirty pictures, for drooling perverts like me!

Screaming Annies and Found Porn: Recent Smut and Sex Toy Reviews

Jasmine_1Silkensleeves_1Whitelightning_1Dirtyfound2_1Vulvamassage_1
It’s been a couple of months since I updated you on my Adult Friend Finder reviews. Since then, I’ve written about teasing vibrators, women’s art-bondage videos, women’s regular smut videos, found porn, and vulva education.

A quick note of explanation: I’ve been writing an every-other-week column for the Adult Friend Finder magazine for a little over a year, reviewing porn and sex toys and stuff. I’m having a lot of fun with the gig, and doing some interesting, entertaining writing for them.

Anyway, here’s an index of reviews I’ve written for them in the last couple of months. (You can see a complete index on my Website if you like.) FYI, you don’t have to be an AFF member to click these links (although you do have to join if you want to surf around and visit the rest of the magazine). Enjoy!

The Scent of Jasmine:
Jasmine Vibrator (June 2, 2006)
“I masturbate almost every day, and if I turned it into a sensual adoration of my inner sex goddess every time I whacked off, I’d never get to work on time.”

Silken Sleeves (May 28, 2006)
“The video is wordless as well, thank God. Most porn videos would be vastly improved by shutting the actors up. With duct tape, if necessary.”

White Lightning Strikes:
White Lightning (May 14, 2006)
“This isn’t one of those pornos where the women moan and thrash a little and then get on with the important business of getting the men off. The women in this video come.

But Now I’m Found:
Dirty Found Magazine, issue #2 (Apr. 21, 2006)
“Plenty of the pics in this magazine weren’t chosen just to illustrate the sexual Zeitgeist. They were chosen to make you stick your hand in your pants.”

Pat the Bunny:
The Best of Vulva Massage (Apr. 7, 2006)
“Annie Sprinkle’s ‘megagasm’ may sound too New Age-y for words… but when you watch her scream for five minutes straight with a Hitachi Magic Wand shoved against her clit and two hot young dykes fingering her pussy like jackhammers, you stop worrying about these finer points.”

Enjoy the reviews, and drop me a line here to let me know what you think!

The CDC “pre-pregnancy” report — argle-bargle or fooferaw?

PrelesOkay. Dan Savage has ranted about it. Susie Bright has ranted about it. The blogosphere is supposedly going apeshit over it. And I have a giant question: Is it really that bad?

I’m talking about the recent CDC report about pre-conception health care — the one that the Washington Post reported on, the one that supposedly advises treating all women of child-bearing age as “pre-pregnant.” (BTW, that’s the Post’s phrase — the CDC doesn’t use it at all).

I read the actual report — not the Washington Post story about the report, not the opinion pieces about the Post story about the report, but the actual CDC report itself. And to me, it seems pretty reasonable. Am I missing something?

Here’s my layperson’s summary of what the report actually says:

1) Most women by far (85%) in the U.S. give birth by the time they’re 44.
2) Many problems in pregancy and childbirth (birth defects, complications, premature delivery, etc.) are preventable.
3) Therefore, the health care system should be trying to, you know, help prevent them.
4) Ways to help prevent these problems include planning your pregnancies if you’re going to have them, and taking care of your health in an assortment of ways before you get pregnant.
5) This is harder for poor women, and this disparity should be recognized and addressed.

Here, I think, is the key sentence:

“Preconception care offers health services that allow women to maintain optimal health for themselves, choose the number and spacing of their pregnancies and, when desired, prepare for a healthy baby.”

Please note the “When desired.”

As far as I can tell, they’re not saying “All women are baby factories and we have to treat them as such.” They’re saying “Most women of childbearing age will eventually bear children — so we should help make this a conscious, planned choice with a good outcome.”

The one part of the report that I think is even remotely problematic is the recommendation that all women — and men, for that matter — of child-producing age be given “pre-conception health care,” regardless of whether they currently plan to have children. But given that their idea of “pre-conception health care” centers on planning ahead of time when — AND WHETHER — you’re going to have kids… well, I don’t see the bad.

The CDC is saying — it seems to me — that since (a) most women of childbearing age do wind up bearing children, and (b) many pregnancies are currently unplanned, therefore primary care providers and gynecologists (who are the medical professionals most people see most of the time) should initiate discussions about the patient’s plans — if any — for having kids, and if they want kids, help them do it in a conscious, healthy way.

Again I ask: Why is this bad?

A final key sentence: “Each woman, man, and couple should be encouraged to have a reproductive life plan.”

You know — planned parenthood.

And once again I ask: Why is this bad?

So am I missing something? I’ll admit that I didn’t painstakingly read every sentence of this report — there’s a lot of medical and public-health jargon that I didn’t understand and therefore skimmed. If anyone out there works in public health/reproductive health/related fields, or is familiar with them, or even just knows how to read a CDC report, please speak up:

Is the hysteria over this report justified — or do we all need to just chill the fuck out?

P.S. Apropos of nothing: When I was doing an image search on Google for images of pregnant women (before settling on The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians), fully one out of four images on the first search page were of Britney Spears pregnant. I don’t know what that says about us as a society, but it can’t be good.

Bauhaus dildos and Tolkein in Vegas: Recent smut and sex toy reviews

Supersexsling_2Venuspyrexdildo_2Stainlessladies_2Hotenglishpunishment_2Dreamquest_2
It’s been a couple of months since I updated you on my Adult Friend Finder reviews. Since then, I’ve written about sex slings, Bauhaus dildos, gynecologically dirty photos, English punishment videos, and cheesy Tolkein-wanna-be porn.

A quick note for those of you just joining us: I’ve been writing an every-other-week column for the Adult Friend Finder magazine for about a year, reviewing porn and sex toys and stuff. (Adult Friend Finder is sort of like Friendster, but for sex.) It’s a good gig, and I’m doing some fun, interesting work for them.

Anyway, here’s an index of reviews I’ve written for them since the last time I posted an index. FYI, you don’t have to be an AFF member to click these links (although you do have to join if you want to surf around and visit the rest of the magazine). Enjoy!

Slinger’s Party:
Sex Sling and Super Sex Sling (Mar. 24, 2006)
“With the help of this contraption, I’m finally free from the tyranny of my leg muscles.”

I’m Your Venus:
Venus Pyrex Dildo (Feb. 24, 2006)
“As the Bauhaus architects used to say, sometimes less is more. The Bauhaus architects probably didn’t know that they were talking about dildos, but trust me — they were.”

Open Wide:
Stainless Ladies (Feb. 10, 2006)
“For all its stylish black-and-white artiness, it ultimately has no pretense of being anything other than a direct beeline to the crudest and hungriest part of the libido.”

Bored With the U.S.A.:
Hot English Punishment (Jan. 30, 2006)
“It could very easily be that these filmmakers have just happened to hit on a porn formula that I happen to like.”

Cheese Factory:
Dream Quest (Jan. 14, 2006)
“See, in the midst of all the zany Tolkein-in-Vegas costumes and sets and makeup jobs, someone forgot to come up with the zany sex.”

Enjoy the reviews, and drop me a line here to let me know what you think!

People Who Bought This Book Also Bought…

I was doing a variant on ego-Googling and checking the “people who bought this book also bought” feature for my two books. Amazon’s are really boring and predictable — people who bought “Paying For It” bought other books about sex work, and people who bought “Three Kinds of Asking For It” bought other Susie Bright collections. Ho hum.

But Last Gasp’s are hilarious — and weirdly apt.

Threekindsblog_2At Last Gasp, people who bought “Three Kinds of Asking For It” also bought:

Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture
This Is Heroin
Baby! (a collection of baby-themed graphics from India)
The Copyright Handbook: How to Protect and Use Written Works
J&L Illustrated 2 (an illustrated fiction collection)
The Skullz Press Compendium (tattoo-inspired graffiti art)
Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir
Even a Daughter Is Better than Nothing (a travel book about Outer Mongolia)

PayingcoverblogOn the other hand, people at Last Gasp who bought “Paying For It” also bought:

Original Bondage Fairies 5
The Illustrated Book of Dominatrices
Cherry 6
Cherry 8
Cherry 9
Cherry 10
New Bondage Fairies 1
Bad Girl

So people who are buying literary smut are also pursuing an eclectic assortment of modern cultural interests, only occasionally connected to sex. And people who are buying the guidebook for sex work customers are pretty much buying dirty comics and dirty picture books.

And good for them. Both groups.

A seriously classy gig: Hastings Women’s Law Journal 2006 “Sex and Reproduction” Symposium

HastingsThis is one of the coolest, classiest speaking engagements I’ve done to date. The Hastings Women’s Law Journal is having a symposium on sex and reproduction law this Wednesday… and because of my book “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients,” I’m going to be on the panel discussing sex workers. (Hastings, in case you’re not familiar with it, is one of two law schools in the Bay Area connected with the University of California, and is the oldest law school in the state. So this is a serious goddamn gig.)

PayingcoverbigIt’s a little daunting — after all, I’m not anything resembling an expert in sex work law. But I told the organizers that, and they said that was fine: they already have legal experts, and they want my perspective on the effects of sex work laws on the day-to-day working lives of sex workers. Which I now do seem to be an expert in. What with the book and all.

Best of all, I just found out that the event is open to the public. So if a scholarly symposium on sex and reproduction law is your cup of tea, do come check it out. It’s going to be Wednesday, February 15, starting shortly after 4:00. There will be two panels before the one on sex work; one on same-sex parenting at 4:30, and one on late-term abortion and disability law at 5:30. The sex worker panel begins at 6:30; there will be a reception afterwards. It’s in San Francisco, at 198 McAllister, room A, on the first floor.

For this particular gig, friends and family are requested not to bring giant foam rubber “We’re Number One” hands and shout “Woot, woot!” Thank you for your co-operation.

The oddest interview yet

Bannerinterviews_1It was with RomanceJunkies.com.

No, really. I was as surprised to be asked as you probably are to hear about it. But it seems that the world of romance novels and the world of erotica are beginning to overlap quite a bit. Romance novels are apparently getting more and more explicit — many of them are essentially becoming erotica. And romance novel readers and reviewers are paying more attention to barefaced porn, and paying attention more openly and unabashedly — especially if it’s written by women.

ThreekindsbigSo when “Three Kinds of Asking For It” came out, (for those of you just tuning in, that’s a collection of three erotic novellas edited by Susie Bright, one of which is mine), this website called RomanceJunkies.com asked me for an interview. It just recently went up…

…and it’s one of the oddest, most interesting interviews I’ve done.

Not because it’s with a romance novel website. Because of the interview itself. The interview is a melange of serious questions about my writing career, personal questions about my life and hobbies… and almost surreastically random questions about what kind of food I like, what my favorite appliance was, and whether I was right- or left-handed. And although they were interviewing me because of my erotica (and had reviewed “Three Kinds” earlier), they never once asked me about sex or erotic writing. In fact, they edited out my comment about the Hitachi Magic Wand in the appliance question.

Anyway. Odd, interesting interview. Check it out on their website. Enjoy!