Why Atheists Say “God” When They Have Sex, by Heina

Once upon a time, a veiled girl grew into a decidedly bare-headed young woman. As criticisms based on sexual pleasure were usually levied against, rather than by, the religious, she paid attention when religious folk criticized atheism in that way. Namely, certain theists claimed that without taboo, sex couldn’t possibly be as much fun. If they had been serious, she would have pointed out that the argument was the more benign cousin of the notion that sex is only good and healthy within the confines of monogamous, heterosexual marriage (her old religious, pedantic habits had yet to truly die).

As they were generally being playful, her mind went in a more pleasant direction. This isn’t to say that all of her religion-tinged sexual memories were good ones. She felt no goosebumps on her skin, just a wry smile playing upon her lips, when she recalled how her first partner once insisted she wear a headscarf during sex. She ended up feeling overheated and annoyed, not aroused. Darker were her memories of a tortured adolescence, one where an injunction against masturbation was delivered to her all too late to break the habit but soon enough to instill guilt. Flick, fret, flick, fret.

But she didn’t want to dwell on that. She recalled how lovely it was to feel the gentle warmth of the spring sunshine on the back of her neck and shoulders as she awaited a date for the first time. The accompanying breeze added to the tingling already coursing its way up and down her spine as she waited for her date to show up. Later, the fear of being caught fed the hunger with which her mouth tore into the one against it as the movie credits rolled.

Suddenly, she realized that she hadn’t violated a sexual boundary in years. Well, fuck, she thought. How could she get her spine to tingle like that again? She had no boundaries left that weren’t truly based on ethical considerations. Her feminism couldn’t provide any for her, either, since it was intersectional and sex-positive. It was clear that she needed to go on a quest for answers.


Bending coverTo read the rest of this thoughtful, hilarious, and hot essay by Heina, go to Why Atheists Say “God” When They Have Sex at Skepchick.

Here’s the deal: I’m doing a blog tour for my new erotic fiction collection, “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.” Today’s installment in the tour is an awesome, fun, iconclastic, and frequently sexy essay by Heina at Skepchick, Why Atheists Say “God” When They Have Sex.

And remember — the book is currently available an an ebook on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. Audiobook and paperback are coming soon!

Previous stops on this blog tour:

Ozy Frantz’s Blog: Is Erotic Shame Real Shame? (guest post by me)
Ozy Frantz’s Blog: Christian Domestic Discipline (extended excerpt)

Ozy Frantz has taken down their blog. These posts have now been reprinted on my own blog:
Is Erotic Shame “Real” Shame? (essay)
Excerpt from Christian Domestic Discipline (extended excerpt)

Brute Reason: Greta Christina on Writing Dirty Stories (interview with Miri)

Lusty Lady, Rachel Kramer Bussell: Excerpt from Craig’s List (extended excerpt)

Charlie Glickman’s Blog: “Discover just how far sexy goes” (brief review/ blurb)

WWJTD? JT Eberhard: On Being an Atheist Writing Religious Porn, plus Excerpt from Penitence as a Perpetual Motion Machine (guest post by me, plus extended excerpt)

Passions and Provocations, Pam Rosenthal (a.k.a. Molly Weatherfield): How to Read a Remarkable Work of Erotica (review/ essay)

Curvacious Dee’s Blog: Bent Fiction, plus Excerpt from Doing It Over (review, plus extended excerpt)

Susie Bright’s Journal: Pain, Kink, Shame — and a Unicorn Chaser. Greta Christina’s New Erotic Epic! (brief review and extended excerpt from “The Shame Photos”

En Tequila Es Verdad, Dana Hunter’s blog: Why Is Kink Fun? (guest post by me)

Under His Hand, Kaya’s blog: Excerpt from “This Week” (extended excerpt)

Sick leave

I picked up a nasty cold bug on my last round of travels; plus I’m exhausted from my last round of travels; plus I’m in the final stages of getting my porn collection ready for publication. So I’m taking a couple/few days off from blogging. Will be back soon.

Atheism and a Catch-22

I was doing a little writing — working on the introduction to my next book, if you want to know — and I thought of a whole new Catch-22 about atheism and atheist activism that hadn’t occurred to me when I’ve written about this before.

It’s this.

When atheists criticize religion, or argue that it isn’t true, we get accused of being negative. We’re told about all the wonderful things religious communities provide for people — ritual, social support, continuity, etc. — and we’re told that atheism isn’t going to get very far without providing these.

But when atheists talk about the positive aspects of atheism and secular humanism, we’re told that we’re turning atheism into just another belief system. And when we do work to create atheist communities, we’re told that it’s ridiculous to organize a community around the things we don’t believe in.

I’m just sayin’, is all.

What Do You Say to Grieving Non Believers?

This piece was originally published on AlterNet.

If you know someone who’s grieving a death, and they don’t believe in a God or in any sort of afterlife… what do you say?

A lot of religious and spiritual believers find themselves stymied, at a loss for words, when the atheists and other non-believers in their lives are grieving. The comforts and consolations they’re used to offering, and that they rely on themselves, don’t do much good with atheists and other non-believers. “It’s all part of a plan.” “I’m sure they’re smiling down on you now.” “You’ll see them in the afterlife.” Etc. At best, these notions are useless for atheists: at worst, they’re actually upsetting.

Some believers behave very badly indeed at these times. It’s all too common for religious believers to use death and grief, and the heightened vulnerability that comes with it, as an opportunity for proselytizing. And when confronted with the reality that non-believers usually aren’t comforted by religious sentiments, believers often get churlish and defensive: insisting that grieving non-believers should be comforted when believers offer religious platitudes, and getting irritated or even outright hostile when we don’t.

But many believers are entirely sincere in their desire to console the non-believers in their life. They care, they sympathize, they mean well. They genuinely want to help. They just don’t know how.

Which is understandable. Even some non-believers have a hard time knowing what to say to the grieving non-believers in their life. Many atheists were brought up in religion: they’ve been brought up framing death and grief in religious terms, and dealing with it with religious customs. And in American culture particularly, our social customs around death are very much rooted in religion. So when atheists reject those customs, they often don’t know what to replace them with.

So what, specifically, can people say — or do — to comfort and console the non-believers in their lives who are grieving? [Read more…]

Caturday: Greta With All Three Kittens

Ahhhhh. So happy to be home again… with KITTENS!

So happy to be snuggling with kittens! So happy to be in my beautiful house, with my beautiful wife. So happy to be sleeping late on the weekend, listening to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” walking in my neighborhood, buying fresh-baked bread, eating fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, tasting cardamom ice cream, re-reading Harry Potter, watching Project Runway, reading Vogue… So happy to not be traveling, not be desperately trying to write and self-publish a book in time for a ridiculous self-imposed deadline. And so happy to be snuggling with our cute, playful, mischievous, trouble-making, adorable KITTENS!

Can feel rage melting away. “Why Are You Atheists So Snuggly? 99 Things That Calm Down The Godless.” Ahhhhhhhh.

“Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” – Answers To Some of Your Questions

So a bunch of you have been asking a bunch of questions about my new book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless. (Available on Kindle and Nook; soon to be available on Smashwords and in physical print!) So on the theory that for every person asking a question, there are a hundred people also wanting an answer, I thought that instead of answering them one at a time in the comments section, I’d answer them all together here.

First, in the You Didn’t Ask But I’m Telling You Anyway department: Why Are You Atheists So Angry? is, as of this writing, the #1 book on Amazon in the Atheism category. Not just the #1 Kindle book in the Atheism category — although it’s that, too. The #1 book in the category, period. And as of this writing, it’s the #120 best seller among all Kindle books. Yowsa. That doesn’t suck. Thanks so much to everyone who bought a book, and everyone who told their friends about it!

And now, to your questions. [Read more…]

Talisker: Curled Up In Arms

This is Talisker, being a tiny small little, curled up in Ingrid’s arms.

And this is Talisker, being a tiny small little, curled up in my arms.

I cannot believe we have to wait until Wednesday to take them home. We are seriously jonesing. There is no way we’re going to make it that long.


UPDATE: Tiny small little!

What Atheists Are Thankful For

What are atheists thankful for?

At Skepticon IV, the Fellowship of Freethought Dallas were videoing attendees/ speakers/ organizers/ vendors/ passers-by, asking us what we were thankful for. The results are thoughtful, sweet, giddy, funny, joyful, touching, occasionally freaky, and almost uniformly inspiring. I found myself riveted for the entire fifteen minutes. (I weigh in at 4:49, with my own excitable, somewhat grandiose effusions.)

I really liked how some participants — specifically PZ Myers and David Silverman — questioned the entire idea of thankfulness in a world without God or any sort of cosmic intentionality. (I’m actually planning an entire post on the whole concept of intransitive gratitude, and whether it makes any sense.) And the contrast between the atheists’ responses and the lone theist’s is startling: almost all of the atheists have clearly thought carefully about what their lives mean and what matters most to them, and are grateful for very specific, concrete things and people… while the theist just sort of yammers on vaguely about Jesus.

It’s perfect for Thanksgiving. Have a happy one!