Come Hear Me Read! Perverts Put Out, May 25

Best_american_erotic_2005Come hear me read dirty stories! In honor of National Masturbation Month, the Perverts Put Out series of sex readings will be holding their Wank Edition, a sterling celebration of self-abuse, on Friday, May 25, with fabled and infamous sex writers Charlie Anders. Meliza Bañales, m. i. blue, Jen Cross, Juba Kalamka, Thomas Roche, horehound stillpoint, emcees Carol Queen and Simon Sheppard… and of course, MEEEEEEE. I’m planning to read my very nasty story, “View from the 14th Floor,” originally published in On Our Backs and reprinted in Best American Erotica 2005.

If you haven’t heard me read, you really should. I realize this sounds totally smug, but if I do say so myself, I’m a very good fun reader, and I have a special way with a dirty story. If you’re in the Bay Area, come by and introduce yourself — I’d love to meet my bloggies in the flesh!

Perverts Put Out
Friday, May 25
7:30 pm
CounterPULSE
1310 Mission Street, San Francisco
$10-15

This Space Available

BenchadAstute observers of this blog may have noticed a recent change — I’ve begun accepting advertising.

This wasn’t the conclusion of any great moral dilemma or anything. It’s just that the opportunity only recently presented itself. I was just invited to join BlogAds, a network of bloggers organized into hives so potential advertisers can find them. Many other blogs that I like and respect are part of this network, and I jumped at the chance as fast as I could.

And I have my very first ad — appropriately enough, from a gay atheist activist artist. Neat!

WritingLike I said, this wasn’t some big moral dilemma for me. My goal for some time now has been to make a living — or something resembling a living — as a writer. I love blogging with a passion, but until now it’s only ever benefited me professionally in an indirect way, by publicizing my writing and getting it out to a wider audience. That’s not trivial… but there have been times, when I’ve been up blogging until four in the morning several nights in a row, when I’ve wondered whether this was really the best use of my time and energy. If I can bring in a little money selling ads on the blog, then it makes sense for me to keep on blogging.

So if you like this blog, and you want me to be able to keep writing it, there’s now something you can do to help. No, I don’t mean “advertise in my blog” (although if you have a business you’d like to hawk, we should talk).

TalkNo, what you can do is this: Tell your friends about this blog. If you see a post you particularly like, email a few friends about it. The more traffic I get here, the easier it’ll be for me to sell more ads. And if I can keep selling ads, then I can keep justifying the ridiculous amount of time I spend here. Thanks.

Come For the Atheism, Stay For the Sex! (Or Come For the Sex, Stay For the Atheism!)

FishnetsGod_delusion_2Or come for the atheism AND the sex, and stay for the politics! Or the weird dreams, or the pop culture analysis, or the arcane discussion of the finer points of grammar, or the recipe for grilled peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwiches

We were talking about my blog at a party a couple of weeks ago, and someone suggested that I split my blog up into two blogs: one about atheism, and one about sex. They said that single-issue blogs are easier to market and publicize, and that I might get more traffic and keep more readers if I had different blogs devoted to my different interests.

Religious_symbolsEcstasy1It’s an idea I’ve considered before. I sometimes worry that people who find my blog through the porn reviews and blowjob discussions get put off by the lengthy faith/evidence conversations. And vice versa.

But I also think this blog’s eclecticism is one of its strengths. I personally enjoy blogs that are largely focused on one or two topics I’m interested in — sex and politics, politics and literature, science and culture — but that also surprise me with facts and ideas and news stories I might not have run into.

WritingAnd even from a purely marketing/publicity standpoint, I think keeping it all together might be a good idea. I don’t want to be pigeonholed as just a sex writer, or just an atheism writer, or just an anything writer. I’d like to be recognized as, you know, a writer, who can get her brain and her fingers around a wide variety of topics.

Besides, if I split this into a Sex blog and an Atheism blog, where would I put the political rants? The movie reviews? The dream journal? The grammar debates? The recipes?

Dirty_found_1Julia_sweeney_2So I’m taking a reader poll. Not that it’s necessarily going to affect what I do — I’m probably just going to keep on doing what I want to do — but I’m curious. What do y’all think? Do you think this blog would be better if it were two blogs, one on Sex and some other stuff and one on Atheism and some other stuff? Or do you like it better the way it is? Inquiring minds want to know.

In the Sphere

SphereWell, I seem to be in the blogosphere.

My first clue was that my Grand Theft Auto: Jersualem post got mentioned in a Slate.com “Today’s Blogs” roundup of the day in blogging. Fairly exciting. A nice little ego boost that probably earned me some new readers.

But my second — and far more convincing — clue that I’ve really entered the blogosphere: A company I’ve never heard of has offered me free swag in exchange for a plug on my blog. They don’t want to send me a review copy or tester in hopes that I’ll do a review. They don’t want to do a link exchange. They want to send me free stuff, in exchange for which I will mention their company and their products.

Mary_tyler_mooreEverybody, to the “Mary Tyler Moore” theme music: “You’re gonna make it after all!”

I’m not going to tell you who these people are, since I don’t want to plug them, even by making fun of them. I’m just excited that my blog is apparently popular enough to be worth offering me a little sugar for a mention in it.

Now, just to clarify: I don’t have a problem when friends and colleagues send me their books/videos/music/etc. Friends and colleagues:

(a) have reason to think I might be interested in their work;

(b) understand that any reviews I write have to done be as a reviewer, not as a publicist — in other words, that I can’t make any promises, either to give them a review at all or to be nice about it if I do, and that there can’t be any tit for tat;

and (c) understand that I already have more porn and sex toys than I could possibly want or use in several lifetimes, and that an offer of a free sex toy in exchange for a plug on my blog is an UNBELIEVABLY CHEAP AND PATHETIC ATTEMPT AT A BRIBE!

I mean, please. I worked for years for a sex toy company, and am now working as a sex toy reviewer. I have probably thrown away more sex toys than most people own in their lifetime. You think you can buy me by offering me a vibrator? And not even one of these fancy several-hundred-dollar vibrators, but a fairly garden-variety one?

Homer_simpsonPlease. As Homer Simpson said when Mr. Burns tried to bribe him and he thought he was hitting on him: “Sure, I’m flattered. Possibly even a little curious. But the answer is no.”

The Ritualistic Year-End Top Whatever List

10Like salmons swimming upstream to spawn, writers are compelled by powerful inchoate longings to make year-end lists of the Top Ten, or Top 100, or Top 17, Things That Sum Up The Year In Some Vague Silly Way. For this blog, I thought I’d do a nice self-referential “snake eating its tail” one — and do a Top Ten list of the blog itself.

Here are the rules. I tallied up how many comments each blog posting gathered. I subtracted comments I made myself (it seemed like cheating somehow to include my own posts). So here are the blog posts that y’all thought were most chat-worthy — followed by a brief list of the blog posts I thought would collect a zillion comments but didn’t.

10. Tied for 10th place with 7 non-Greta comments each (thus actually making this a Top 12 list), we have:
Aging_slut
The Aging Slut

BravoBut Maybe They Didn’t Mean “Ha-Ha” Funny: Bravo’s 100 Funniest Movies of All Time

Dior
Mutant Sci-fi Dahlias: The 2006 Christian Dior Paris Runway Show

Tied for 8th place, with 8 non-Greta comments each:
Grand_theft_autoGrand Theft Auto: Jerusalem

Tag_1Tag, You’re It

#7, with 9 non-Greta comments:
North_koreaNorth Korea, and Reason 8,624 that the War on Iraq was a Bad Idea

#6, with 10 non-Greta comments:
GgwGoing Wild: A Feminist’s Defense of the “Girls Gone Wild” Girls

#5, with 13 non-Greta comments:
Mark_morfordTranscendental Skepticism: My Letter to Mark Morford

#4, with 16 non-Greta comments:
Believer_amd_skepticOh, The Believer and the Skeptic Should be Friends…

#3, with 18 non-Greta comments:
Dan_savageIf You Believe in Bisexuals, Clap Your Hands: My Letter to Dan Savage

#2, with 19 non-Greta comments:
Fred_flintstoneHow Fred Flintstone Got Home, Got Wild, and Got a Stone Age Life — what does it mean?

And the clear winner, the post that inspired the liveliest debate and conversation by a significant margin, with 23 comments not counting the 7 that I made myself…
Harry_potter_1#1 Why I Like “Harry Potter” Better than “Lord of the Rings”

My conclusion: Y’all like a good intelligent debate. You care about literature, sex, religion, politics, film, and deeply weird fashion.

But above all else, y’all are nerds.

And I love you all.

And now that I’ve buttered you up, I get to berate you for your shocking lack of interest in what seemed to be to be obviously compelling and controversial topics. I bring you the Top Three Posts On My Blog That I Really Thought Would Generate A Lot More Conversation Than They Did.

#3, with 3 comments:
Oral_argumentsOral Arguments (A Dyke’s Defense of Blowjobs)

Actually, I think I know what happened here. Laura D’s comment was so thorough, and so articulate, and said so clearly what lots of people were thinking, that nobody felt they had anything to add.

#2, with 1 comment:
DegeneracyDomesticity and Degeneracy

This one surprised me. I really thought I’d hear more of all y’all’s stories about how you balance your wild lives and your domestic lives. But maybe this wasn’t as big a revelation to y’all as it was to me.

And my Number 1 Post That I Thought Would Generate More Conversation, with 1 — count ‘em, 1 — comment:
KatrinaHurricane Katrina, and What Government Is For

What the hell is wrong with you people? Where are the anarchists, the libertarians, the “government is inherently evil and oppressive” folks? Where are the hard-assed realists to tell me that my vision of government is hopelessly idealistic and naive? Where are the political science majors to tell me what government really is? Shame on you.

But seriously, folks. I love you all, and I’ve loved every one of these conversations. You’ve made me clarify and re-think my ideas, and you’ve kept me wildly entertained. I hope you’ve enjoyed it a tenth as much as I have. Let’s have as much fun in 2007!

No Whining Allowed: Greta reading, Fri. Dec. 8

FootlooseI’m going to be reading at a cool event this Friday, a benefit for the Women on the Way Festival in January. Come by and say howdy if you can. The theme of the event is No Whining Allowed, and… well, here’s the official blurb.

FOOTLOOSE presents NO WHINING ALLOWED:
A Benefit for the Seventh Annual Women on the Way Festival in January, 2007
Friday, December 8, 2006 at 8:00 PM.
Shotwell Studios 3252-A 19th Street (bet. So. Van Ness and Folsom), SF

$5-25 sliding scale;
$25 donation includes FREE PASS to a
Women on the Way Festival show at Dance Mission in January, 2007
Info/Res: 415-289-2000 or ftloose.org
Advance tickets available at ticketweb.com or 1-866-468-3399

As women, we have to deal with a lot — media opinion of how we should look, societies determining how we should act, glass-ceilings, Aunt Flo, menopause, uncomfortable shoes… We are told to just deal with it all with a smile on our faces — NO WHINING ALLOWED. But if you could complain, what would you say?

Writers, poets and comediennes mouth off about what it means to be a woman these days (womanhood to be self-defined). Stick around at the end, sign up for the open mic and have five minutes of fame telling all about your female glory or shame. Lilycat will be the hostess with chocolate on hand for whining control.

Featured performers are:
Lady Monster
Greta Christina (that’s me!)
Alicia Dattner
Nicole Henares
Gina de Vries
Raina Bird
Sabeena
Katie Rubin

For more info about the featured performers, visit http://www.ftloose.org/calendar.html

Hope to see you there!

Best Erotic Comics 2008: Call for Submissions

Last_gasp(Note: This news has now been updated.)

Last Gasp is seeking submissions for an anthology of adult comics, Best Erotic Comics 2008 (the first in a planned annual series). The series is intended to showcase the most artistically interesting — and most sexually arousing — recent erotic comics, from both the literary comic side of the field and the smut comic side. We believe that the divide between literary comics and adult comics is unfortunate and unnecessary, and we plan to make “Best Erotic Comics” enjoyable both as a literary and artistic exploration of human sexuality… and as a fun dirty book.

*****

Thus begins the call for submissions for my brand-new book project, “Best Erotic Comics 2008.” (The complete call for submissions is on my Website, but I’m also including it at the end of this post.) If you’ve talked to me in the last couple/few months and I’ve said I had a potential new book project in the works but was cagey about the details… this is it.

I am dying of excitement. I am so proud of this project — and am having so much fun with it — that I could just fall into hysterics at any time.

And here’s why I’m doing it.

Black_holeIf you’ve been paying attention, you know that the last 20 years or so have seen a tremendous blossoming in the world of comics and graphic novels.

Bae2006And if you’ve been paying attention, you know that those same 20 years have seen a similarly fabulous blossoming in the world of erotica, especially erotic writing and photography.

But erotic comics have not been getting their props. Adult comics are very much ghettoized in the comics world, shunted off to the side with the expectation that its readers want jerk-off material and nothing more. As a result, the work has suffered, in the same way that stigmatized, low-expectation, commerce-driven art forms and genres have always suffered.

Lost_girlsThere’s good work being done, though. There are adult comic artists doing work with excellent literary and artistic merit. There are serious art/literary comic artists and graphic novelists creating some wildly hot and dirty scenes in their work. And Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s impossibly beautiful Lost Girls (drool, drool — but that’s a post for another day) has made the potential for this field — and for the fusion of its literary/art side and its dirty side — unmistakably clear.

The time is clearly ripe for a blossoming in the field of adult comics. With the “Best Erotic Comics” series, I want to help foster that growth. I want to spotlight the good work that’s currently being done — and I want to encourage comic artists to do more of it.

So if you’re a comics fan and you have suggestions for work you think should be included in this book, please look over the call for submissions, and send me your suggestions/nominations. If you have friends/colleagues/etc. who are comic artists, please pass the call for submissions along to them. And if you’re a comic artist, for the love of God, check out the call for submissions, and send me your work.

*****

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS:
Best Erotic Comics 2008, to be published by Last Gasp

Last Gasp is seeking submissions for an anthology of adult comics, “Best Erotic Comics 2008″ (the first in a planned annual series). The series is intended to showcase the most artistically interesting — and most sexually arousing — recent erotic comics, from both the literary comic side of the field and the smut comic side. We believe that the divide between literary comics and adult comics is unfortunate and unnecessary, and we plan to make “Best Erotic Comics” enjoyable both as a literary and artistic exploration of human sexuality… and as a fun dirty book.

In keeping with this vision, submissions to “Best Erotic Comics” should be both:

a) Hot.

b) Interesting in some way in addition to being hot.

Here are some more details:

IF YOU ARE PRIMARILY A SMUT COMIC ARTIST:

Submissions to “Best Erotic Comics” should not simply be hot sex comics. They should have some literary and/or artistic quality, as well as being arousing. We are looking for hot sex comics that are also thoughtful, insightful, engaging, funny, poignant, political, and/or exceptionally well-drawn.

IF YOU ARE PRIMARILY A LITERARY COMIC ARTIST:

Submissions to “Best Erotic Comics” should not simply be about sex. They should also be hot. We are looking for thoughtful, insightful, engaging, funny, poignant, political, and/or exceptionally well-drawn comics that make the reader want to have sex and/or whack off.

IF YOU ALREADY WORK IN LITERARY SMUT COMICS:

Excellent! Send us your best work.

We are looking for a wide variety of erotic content — straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and other; kinky and vanilla; from the points of view of women, men, and others. Both single-panel and multi-panel comics will be accepted. We are primarily looking for black-and-white work, but will be including a limited color section. We are accepting both original and previously-published comics; previously-published work should have been published or reprinted fairly recently, ideally after January 1, 2000. You can submit individual stories or excerpts from longer works. Work should be in English or wordless. Deadline for submissions: November 30, 2006. The pay starts at $20 a page, depending on length and other considerations.

The editor of the anthology is Greta Christina. Greta has been writing about sex professionally since 1989. She is editor of the anthology “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients,” and author of the erotic novella “Bending,” which appeared in the three-novella collection “Three Kinds of Asking For It” edited by Susie Bright for Simon & Schuster. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Ms., Penthouse, and the Skeptical Inquirer, as well as several anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2003 and 2005. She has worked for Last Gasp Books and Comics since 2002.

Please send submissions to:

Last Gasp
Attention: Best Erotic Comics
777 Florida St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Do not send originals, or your only copy. All submissions with SASE will be answered, but submissions will not be returned. Deadline: November 30, 2006.

If you have any questions, please contact bec@lastgasp.com.

Perverts Put Out returns — and I’m reading!

GretaCome hear me read dirty stories — along with faboo sex writers Simon Sheppard, Carol Queen, Kirk Read, Charlie Anders, horehound stillpoint, and Lori Selke — when Perverts Put Out returns to San Francisco! Perverts Put Out was a long-running sex-writer forum/salon thing, which ended prematurely when host Bill Brent inexplicably decided to do what he wanted with his life and moved to Hawaii. But now Simon Sheppard and Carol Queen are reviving it as a benefit for the Center for Sex and Culture — and they very kindly invited me to be one of the readers at its debut!

Perverts Put Out always had a great and hilarious variety of sex writing — fiction, non-fiction, poetry, queer and straight, kinky and somewhat less kinky — and the return engagement promises to keep that tradition alive. I’m thrilled that it’s back, and I’d be going even if I weren’t reading. It’ll be on Saturday, September 23, starting at 7:30 pm, at CounterPULSE!, 1310 Mission St. (that’s at Mission and 9th, near Civic Center BART) in San Francisco. Admission is a $5-$15 sliding scale to benefit the Center for Sex and Culture, but no-one will be turned away for lack of funds.

I’d give you a taste of what I’m going to be reading, but I haven’t decided yet. Probably the story about the college girl getting spanked by her professor, but I might change my mind…

Bending and Bottoms: Erotic Reading by Greta and Others, Thursday 8/17

Threekinds“She loved being bent over. More than any fiddling that might precede it, more than any fumbling sex act that might follow. The moment of being bent over was like a sex act to Dallas, like foreplay and climax blended into one swooning, too-short moment. A hand on her neck, pressing gently but firmly downward, felt like a tongue on her clit; a voice in her ear, telling her calmly and reasonably to bend over and pull down her pants, felt like a cock in her cunt.”

Want to hear more? Come hear me read it in person! The Inside Story Time reading series is having an evening devoted to the topic of Bottoms, which they’re describing as “a literary exploration of the theme of sexual submission.” I’ll be reading from my erotic novella Bending (excerpted oh-so-briefly above), which was published in Susie Bright’s three-novella collection Three Kinds of Asking For It. Other readers at the event include Carol Queen, Stephen Elliott, and players to be named later.

Greta_in_top_hatSo why should you come? Well, at the risk of sounding appallingly arrogant, I’m a really good live reader. I love doing it — I’ve never understood the “fear of public speaking” thing, to me it’s like eating bon-bons and getting a neck massage — and I do it extremely well. Dirty stories especially. And this novella, “Bending,” is easily one of the best things I’ve ever written. It’s smart, it’s funny, it takes its subject seriously, and it’s unspeakably filthy. I love it, and I love reading it aloud. (And it’s been a while since I’ve given a reading from it, so I’m no longer sick of it.) Here are a few of the nicer blurbs, about “Bending” in particular and “Three Kinds of Asking For It” as a whole:

Kirkus_cover“Greta Christina’s ‘Bending’… is a surprisingly moving odyssey of exhaustiveness and exhaustion.” -Kirkus Reviews

Annie_sprinkle“A smart and delicious trio of erotic novellas — a must-read in bed with towel near by. I’ve been a long-time fan of Greta Christina’s writing, and here she is at her very best — and in excellent company. I was inspired, and perspired.” -Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D.

Sarah_silverman“The perfect book for intellectual sex freaks… Even the ones I thought were disgusting aroused me wildly.” -Sarah Silverman

Cleo_dubois“‘Bending’ is amazing. Kept me from sleeping. Truly brilliant.” -Cleo DuBois

Pwcover“Who needs a beach for this summer treat? Bright’s imprimatur guarantees heat sufficient to melt an ice floe.” -Publisher’s Weekly

M_christian“This is not a good book, or even a great book, but rather is an excellent book. The writers here have managed the near-impossible by presenting stories that are not just touching, amusing, amazing, evocative or poignant but also powerfully erotic. I cannot recommend it too highly!” -M. Christian

Alan_ball“Intense, unjudgmental, hilarious and wise.” -Alan Ball (yes, that Alan Ball, creator of “Six Feet Under” and writer of “American Beauty”)

The “Bottoms” reading will be on Thursday, August 17, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street in the Hayes Valley district of San Francisco. $3-$10 sliding scale. If you can’t come, you can read a more extensive excerpt from the novella on my Website. Plus, of course, you can buy the book at Powell’s.

And if you can make it to the reading, please say hi afterwards — I’d love to meet my blog readers. Hope to see you there!

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.