“A ludicrous, badly written law that criminalises sexual minorities”: Pandora Blake on the UK porn restrictions

There’s an excellent commentary on the UK restriction on porn content by English spanking performer, blogger, and producer Pandora Blake. It’s titled Online porn: the canary in the coalmine. (Note: the page includes some sexual imagery, including kinky imagery.) Some of the best quotes:

This is a ludicrous, badly written law that criminalises sexual minorities and small business owners. It predominantly targets the cottage industries of women, couples, queers and fetishists – people who are making enough to cover their costs or perhaps a little more, people who are making their own porn because the mainstream genres don’t cater to our needs.

We are self-employed performers, artists, producers, directors. We buy our camera equipment ourselves and edit our content ourselves. We create safe spaces for fellow kinksters to discover they are not alone. We propagate much-needed information about consensual kink practice, showing examples of safe play, negotiation, and healthy kinky relationships. Our films are homegrown, niche, playful, political and sexy, documenting our authentic sexualities where they are not catered to by the mainstream. We work alone or with our partners and like-minded kinky friends. We dare to be different, and to reach out to others who are like us. For this we are criminalised.

Pandora intends to defy this legislation — because she’s a badass.

I’ve had people sending me this information for the last few weeks, asking what I intend to do, and my answer has been the same every time. If you think that this legislation is going to send me running and hiding, you are mistaken. I have no intention of helping the bigots by self-censoring, and I’m certainly not going to pre-emptively shut up shop.

If you care about this, here’s what Pandora says you can to to help:

So what can you do? Well, you can tell your journalist friends about it and get them to write articles about how stupid and harmful this is. You can talk to your mates about it, post about it on social media, and raise the chances that the next time this comes to trial, the jury will think this legislation is a load of rubbish. You can donate to Backlash UK and join the Open Rights Group (of which I am a member), both of whom are campaigning on this issue. You can write to your MP. And you can support your local independent queer and fetish porn producers by buying their porn while you still can.

It’s been said (on the Obscenity Lawyer blog) that “pornography is the canary in the coalmine of free speech: it is the first freedom to die.” Pornography and other sexual expression is all too easy to censor, since many people aren’t willing to publicly say that they like it and think they should have a right to have it. And this is even more true for pornography catering to unconventional tastes: as hard as it is to write a letter to the editor saying, “Bring back my porn!”, it’s harder still to write one saying, “Bring back my kinky porn!” But we have to be willing to do this. If you can do this without destroying your life, please spread the word — even if you’re not in the UK. Let them know that the eyes of the world are on them — and we bloody well want our spanking porn.

The UK Bans Spanking, Female Ejaculation in Porn

Via Salon:

Porn produced in the United Kingdom quietly incurred some major restrictions on Monday, via an amendment to the 2003 Communications Act that bans a long list of sex acts from appearing in adult films. While the new restrictions do not affect porn produced outside the UK (and do not prevent people from watching such porn), they do require on-demand adult films to meet the same guidelines as adult films available on DVD in sex shops.

Via The Independent:

Seemingly arbitrarily deciding what is nice sex and what is not nice sex, the board has banned the following acts from being depicted by British pornography producers:

Spanking
Caning
Aggressive whipping
Penetration by any object “associated with violence”
Physical or verbal abuse (regardless of if consensual)
Urolagnia (known as “water sports”)
Female ejaculation
Strangulation
Facesitting
Fisting

The final three listed fall under acts the BBFC [British Board of Film Censors] views as potentially “life-endangering”.

So. Some serious commentary, and some snarky commentary. [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…]

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.

Annabeth Leong on “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More”

Long before I read Greta Christina‘s book Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, I was lucky enough to encounter its title story. This was early in my career as a reader of erotica, and it pushed buttons I didn’t even know I had. Though I got off a great deal, I also found myself moved by the story of shifting desires, love as insufficient, and exploration as paramount. Reading “Bending” was one of the first times I realized that erotica isn’t the low form it’s made out to be.

Fast-forward many years, and “Bending” has become one of a handful of stories I return to again and again. It’s not just for the filthy, lovingly fetishized, obsessive ass play, though I do still love that. It’s also that few pieces of writing have been wiser about the issues I’ve faced in BDSM as I’ve come to practice it, not just read about it. When I’m distressed about having changed in a way I swore I never would, it’s to “Bending” that I turn.

When I read Christina’s entire collection, I recognized the fearless gaze I first met in that story I have loved so well. In her introduction, Christina explains that she hopes each story conveys the respect she has for sex itself. And Christina respects sex enough to visit hot and uncomfortable places, to trust that adults understand what it means “to imagine things we wouldn’t actually want to do—even things we think are immoral.” She respects her audience enough to believe that we will sort out the difference between fantasy and endorsement. “If we have any freedom at all,” she writes, “it’s between our ears: the freedom to think about whatever we like.”

Thus begins a really nice, really thoughtful review of my erotic fiction collection, Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More. To read more, read the rest of the review. Many thanks to Annabeth Leong at the Circlet Press blog!

*****

Bending coverHere, by the way, is the most current ordering info for Bending — in ebook, print, and audiobook editions.

Ebook 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 book is available on Smashwords in multiple formats, including Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, and others.

All ebook editions and formats cost just $7.99.

Audiobook edition:

The audiobook is available on Audible.

The audiobook is also available on Amazon.

The audiobook is also available on iTunes.

And yes, I did the audiobook recording myself!

Print edition:

A print edition is in the works. Please watch this blog for future announcements.

Godless Perverts Story Hour on YouTube!

The Godless Perverts Story Hour that was livestreamed as part of the Freethought Blogs Con online conference was also recorded, and is available on YouTube!

You can watch and hear readings and performances from Greta Christina (“To Give Itself Pleasure”), Virgie Tovar (“Brother David”), Simon Sheppard (“The Tibetan Book of the Fag”), Juba Kalamka (“Jubilee Showcase (for Aaron Muhammad)”), David Fitzgerald (“There’s Something About Paul”), Dana Fredsti (excerpt from “Champagne!”), and Kate Sirls (“One of Those Girls”). We also had Q&A after the performances, and that’s on the video as well.

The video quality isn’t super-mega-awesome, what with it being a recording of a livestream and all. But it’s not bad, and you get a good sense of the flavor and energy of the show.

We hope to be posting all the individual performances as their own short YouTube videos soon, in case there’s one particular one you want to link to (or want to watch over and over and over again…) In the meantime — enjoy!

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. Our next Godless Perverts Social Club will be on Tuesday, March 4 at 7:00 pm at Wicked Grounds, 289 8th Street in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART). Hope to see you there!

My Podcast Interview With Masocast!

I have a new podcast interview up! This one is with Masocast, who does “casual interviews with intelligent, funny, and all around interesting kinky people.” We talk about the experience of writing erotic fiction, whether the stories in my erotic fiction collection (“Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More”) came from my own sexual fantasies, being out as a kinky person, how the kink community can become more accepted, how the hell I wound up writing “The Unicorn and the Rainbow,” and a lot more.

And we also talk about atheism! Masocast is an atheist, and we had a grand old time talking about godlessness before we got to the sex.

It was a delightful conversation, and Masocast is a great interviewer. I’d never heard of the Masocast podcast before I went on it myself, but I think I’m now going to have to keep listening. Enjoy the interview!

Bending coverThe ebook of “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More” is available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. The audiobook is available on Audible and Amazon. The print edition is in the works.

On Reading Your Own Porn Out Loud in a Recording Studio

It was… unique.

Among many other things, of course. Entertaining. Bizarre. Weirdly hot. But when I think about the experience of reading my own dirty story collection out loud into a high-end microphone in a small soundproof booth in a professional recording studio, the word that leaps most quickly to mind is “unique.” I have never had another experience quite like it; unless I put together another collection of dirty stories, I probably never will again.

bending cover audibleSo I wrote this book, an erotic fiction collection, “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.” The audiobook version has just been released on Audible and Amazon (it’s also available in ebook on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords, and a print edition is in the works). I did the audio recording for it myself. And since doing this audio recording was such a… unique experience, I want to write a little bit about it.

Here’s the thing. Reading my own porn out loud is an undeniably erotic experience. My dirty stories almost always get their original inspiration from my masturbatory sex fantasies. They usually take twists and turns from the original fantasy, as I work to make the fantasies plausible, or to make the characters more interesting and human, or to find the backstory behind the sex scenes and figure out why these characters are having this sex and what it means to them and how their lives will be different because of it. But the germ of the story is almost always some sexual image that gets me off, and hard. (“The Unicorn and the Rainbow” is the exception. Long story.)

So reading my dirty stories out loud is almost always at least somewhat erotic for me. And in some ways, recording the audiobook of my dirty stories amplified that experience. I was working hard to immerse myself in the stories, to really experience them, to get deep inside my characters and feel what they were feeling… so I could get it across to my listeners. And because this was being recorded for posterity, because it wasn’t some random erotic reading that would disappear into the night forever once it was done, I felt more compelled to really do it right.

Yet at the same time, I had to stay completely professional throughout the process. I had to pay attention to things like the timbre of my voice, the pitch, whether I was starting to sound scratchy and needed to take a water break. I had to find the sweet spot between sounding sing-songy and sounding monotonous. I had to pay attention to rhythm and speed, reading slowly enough to be understood but quickly enough to keep the momentum and forward motion, and using rhythm and speed to convey different moods and sensations. And when I was reading dialogue, I had to find a way to convey the different characters speaking the words, without doing crappy voices and sounding dorky and “act”-y. (If I were a professional actor, that part probably would have been easier… but I’m not.)

I’ve been doing public speaking and erotic readings for years, so all of this was familiar and comfortable territory. But it was professional territory. I was deeply immersing myself in the deeply filthy content of my stories… while at the same time, keeping a professional distance from them, and viewing them with an analytical eye.

roller_coasterPlus… well, usually when I do an erotic reading, like at Perverts Put Out or the Godless Perverts Story Hour, I just read one story. Ten minutes, fifteen tops. Doing the audio recording for “Bending” took hours: multiple hours-long sessions over the course of two days. So it had a certain “erotic marathon” quality to it. And it had an “erotic rollercoaster” quality as well: I’d immerse myself in one story, in one set of intense and often deeply freaky sexual scenarios…. and then, immediately, as soon as it was done, I’d switch gears to the next one. I’d get completely engrossed by the intrepid young woman screwing dozens of strangers she found on Craig’s List… and on a dime, I had to switch to the tough dyke humiliating a strange woman in front of an open hotel window. I’d get completely engrossed by the college student and her professor, crossing the line between academic and sexual discipline without ever acknowledging it… and on a dime, I had to switch to the self-absorbed porn star, manipulating her innocent, baby-dyke lover into performing in spanking porn. It was like erotic whiplash. And to manage it, I had to have the emotional and sexual willingness to sink deeply into each story… and the professional willingness to detach from it, and move on immediately to the next one.

The physical setting played into this oddity as well, this bizarre juxtaposition of erotic intensity and professional detachment. A voice recording booth is small. It’s dark. It’s intimate. It’s private, carefully designed to be sealed off from the outside world. It’s just you, in a small dark room, and the recording engineer in a larger, brighter, but still hermetically sealed-off room, with just the one window between you. (In the space I was in, anyway: I don’t know how universal this setup is.) It’s just you, in a small, dark, private room, with the filthy images you spent years honing as vividly as you could, reverberating off the walls and surrounding you. (Not literally reverberating, obviously. Metaphorically.) In some ways, it reminded me of the “talk to a live nude girl” booth where I worked at the Lusty Lady peep show. At the same time, it’s an entirely professional setting: all techy and shit, super-clean, plush and slick, with dials and levers and readouts in the engineer’s room that looked like an airplane cockpit. And the relationship with the recording engineer was 100% professional… necessary, desirable, but in its own way, weird. I’ve never before read my dirty stories to someone who showed so little outward interest in their content. (To this day, I wonder what he thought about the stories. Especially the more seriously fucked-up ones. And especially the one about the unicorn and the rainbow.)

Also… I don’t know if you know this, if you don’t do public speaking yourself you might not, but public speaking is physically demanding. It’s not just emotionally draining: there are physiological reasons why it’s tiring, having to do with the way you breathe when you’re talking versus when you’re not (tl;dr: you don’t take in as much oxygen when you talk). Doing it for an hour is tiring: doing it for hours is exhausting. So it felt like an erotic marathon… but it also felt like the regular kind of marathon. Again reminding me, especially at the end of the recording day when I was fried, that this was work.

I guess in a lot of ways, it was like any other kind of sex work. When I worked as a stripper, I had to maintain a similar blend and balance of sexual engagement with professional detachment. And other sex workers I’ve known — at least, the ones who’ve liked their work and cared about it — have said much the same thing. I just hadn’t expected it here. And because this particular work was so very much my own — because I cared so much about these stories, because I’d put so much work and love into them, because it mattered so much to me to make the audio recordings as first-rate as I possibly could — the intensity, on the eroticism and the professionalism and the weird balance and blend between them, was dialed up to eleven.

I hope it paid off. I think it did.

The audiobook of “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More” is available on Audible and Amazon. The ebook is available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. The print edition is in the works.

The Audiobook of “Bending” Is Now Available — Recorded By Me!

Bending coverThe audiobook version of my erotic fiction collection, Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, is now available on Audible! It’s $19.95 for Audible non-members, less for Audible members, free with a 30-day Audible trial membership.

And yes — I did the audiobook recording myself! Come on… you know you want to hear me reading these stories out loud….

For those who somehow missed hearing about this book:

These are not nice stories.

They’re filthy. They’re fearless. Some are even funny.

Greta Christina’s erotic stories are written to get you hard and wet — and to change the ways you think about sex. Be forewarned — stuff happens here that’s borderline consensual. Or not at all consensual. These are dirty, kinky stories about shame, about pain, helplessness and danger, reckless behavior and bad, bad ideas….

A baby dyke is manipulated into fetish porn by her beautiful, self-absorbed porn-star lover.

A good Christian wife follows her duty to obey, even as her husband’s sexual demands become bizarre.

A student, hungry for punishment, seeks it from a professor who should know better.

A woman with a dedicated fetish finds a lover who meets her more than halfway.

And then there’s the one about the unicorn and the rainbow…

Raw, exciting, joyful, intensely believable, Greta’s stories are written with a fierce respect for erotic fiction — and for sex itself.

Once again: Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, is now available in audiobook format on Audible! Once again… read by me!

The book is also available as an ebook on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. A paperback edition is coming soon. Here are some wonderfully flattering blurbs about it: [Read more…]

Audiobook of “Bending” Available for Pre-Order!

Bending coverThe audiobook version of my erotic fiction collection, Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, is now available for pre-order on Audible! It’s scheduled for release on July 31. It’s $19.95 for Audible non-members, less for Audible members.

And yes — I did the audiobook recording myself! That was an interesting experience, let me tell you…

For those who somehow missed the dealio about it:

These are not nice stories.

They’re filthy. They’re fearless. Some are even funny.

Greta Christina’s erotic stories are written to get you hard and wet — and to change the ways you think about sex. Be forewarned — stuff happens here that’s borderline consensual. Or not at all consensual. These are dirty, kinky stories about shame, about pain, helplessness and danger, reckless behavior and bad, bad ideas….

A baby dyke is manipulated into fetish porn by her beautiful, self-absorbed porn-star lover.

A good Christian wife follows her duty to obey, even as her husband’s sexual demands become bizarre.

A student, hungry for punishment, seeks it from a professor who should know better.

A woman with a dedicated fetish finds a lover who meets her more than halfway.

And then there’s the one about the unicorn and the rainbow…

Raw, exciting, joyful, intensely believable, Greta’s stories are written with a fierce respect for erotic fiction — and for sex itself.

Once again: Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, is now available for pre-order in audiobook format on Audible! The book is also available as an ebook on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. A paperback edition is coming soon. Here are some wonderfully flattering blurbs about it: [Read more…]