Godless Perverts Social Club Thursday April 16: What Does “Sex-Positive” Mean?

Godless-Perverts-Social-Club-Sex-Positive-blog-banner

The next Godless Perverts Social Club is this Thursday, April 16! On our third Thursday meetups, we pick a discussion topic ahead of time — and this week, we take a look at the question: What do we mean by the term “sex-positive”? The phrase has been part of sexual politics for thirty years, more or less, and it’s still as contentious as ever. What does “positive” mean to you? Can sexuality be talked about as “positive vs. negative,” or do we need something more? How have our religious backgrounds shaped our views of sexual shame and pleasure? Bring your questions and answers to Wicked Grounds on Thursday evening and share them with us.

The Godless Perverts Social Club meets on the first Tuesday and the third Thursday of every month, 7-9 pm, at Wicked Grounds, 289 8th Street at Folsom in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART). We do slightly different formats for the two clubs. Our Third Thursday Social Clubs are Topical Thursdays — we pick a topic ahead of time, have a moderator/ host who leads the discussion, maybe even get special guests to guide discussions on particular topics. The first Tuesday Social Clubs are more loosely-structured casual affairs, where we mostly just nosh and sit around schmoozing about whatever topics happen to come up. (Our next First Tuesday Social Club will be Tuesday, May 5.) Admission is free, but we ask that you buy food and/or drink at the cafe if you can: they have beverages, light snacks, full meals, and killer milkshakes.

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!

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.

Some Questions for the Secular Policy Institute

Secular-Policy-Institute-LogoSome of you may have read the recent statement from the Secular Policy Institute, criticizing/ condemning/ disassociating from/ it’s not clear what exactly but in some way saying something bad about PZ Myers. For the record: PZ is a colleague and friend, and as far as I can recall I’ve never met or worked with Michael Nugent, but I care almost not at all about the conflict between them. I do, however, care about the issues underlying that conflict, including the issue of how we should or should not talk about sexual assault. And I care about how some individuals and organizations — including the SPI — are responding to this conflict, since their responses have implications that reach beyond this particular dispute.

At the end of their statement, the Secular Policy Institute asked, “What are your thoughts?” Since the SPI invited me to join their organization not that long ago — an invitation I declined — I thought they might want to hear my thoughts. Here are some of them.

The secular movement has a problem, in that some of our foremost leaders get media attention by causing controversy.

Can you please specify who, exactly, you’re talking about — and can you give examples of the behavior you object to?

See, in my experience, words like “controversy,” “infighting,” “bashing,” and “discord” are very subjective. As I’ve written before: When we disagree with someone or think the point they’re arguing is trivial, we tend to call their arguments “infighting,” “bashing,” “discord,” “strident,” and “creating controversy”; when we agree with someone or think the point they’re arguing is important, we’re more likely to call their arguments something like “constructive debate.” If you don’t specify the people you’re talking about, and cite examples of the behavior you’re criticizing, it makes it difficult to have a discussion about the behavior in question, or to decide whether we agree with your characterization of it. Your readers will likely assume that your accusations apply to whoever and whatever they happen to not like.

So, specifically: Does the “problem” of atheist leaders “getting media attention by causing controversy” include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Peter Boghossian, or any other fellows in your institute known for making controversial statements, both about religion and about other atheists? Also, does it include Michael Nugent, who in recent months has written 32 blog posts, totaling 75,000 words, criticizing PZ Myers? If not — why not? How do you decide which controversies are acceptable and which are not — and who gets to make that decision? [Read more…]

“Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More” Now Out in Print!

Bending coverMy book of erotic fiction, Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, is now out in physical print!

The print edition is available through Powell’s Books.

The print edition is also available at Amazon. However, be advised (if you haven’t been already) that seriously abusive labor practices have been reported at Amazon warehouses. Please bear that in mind when you’re deciding where to buy my book — or indeed, where to buy anything. (For the records: Powell’s employees are unionized.) FYI, that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well.

You can also buy the print edition at your local bookstore. If they don’t currently carry it, you can special order it. (Bookstores can get it from standard wholesalers; wholesale info is below.) Support your local bookstore!

The print edition is $15.95 USD. It is published by Pitchstone Publishing.

Bookstores and other retailers can get the book from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Independent Publishers Group, and other standard wholesale distributors. It can also be purchased directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing.

Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More is also available in ebook and audiobook. 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 also available at Barnes & Noble, and 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.

The audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. And yes, I did the audiobook recording myself!

Here is the description of the book, and some wonderfully flattering blurbs.

*****

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.

“Located at some far vanishing point of sex and language, Greta Christina’s wildly hot and masterfully written stories make you rethink what you supposed you already knew — about command and consent, fantasy, belief, and that whole body-mind thing. The payoff is pleasure; the price of the ticket is to leave a few certainties at the door.”
– Molly Weatherfield, author of “Carrie’s Story” and “Safe Word”

“If books are sex, this one is a sticky, urgent alleyway fuck that you carry in your limbs forever.”
– Adele Haze, BDSM model and writer

“One of the most exciting things about fantasies is that they let us explore and get turned on by things we might not want to actually do in real life. And sometimes, we get turned on by things that we might not even want to admit to thinking about. But that doesn’t mean that those fantasies aren’t hot! In Bending, Greta Christina shares stories that’ll get you excited, bring a blush to your cheeks, make you laugh, and even make you stop and wonder why you’re enjoying them so much. It’s full of twists and surprises, hot sex, raunchy details, and lots of edges. Will you like all of the stories? Probably not. But the ones you do enjoy will quickly become favorites that you’ll come back to, again and again. So if you like to play on the edge, or if you simply get turned on thinking about it, pick up a copy of Bending and discover just how far sexy goes.”
– Charlie Glickman, Ph.D., sexuality educator, author of “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure”

“Greta Christina makes me want to live in one of her stories — actually, most of her stories! Not because of the smoking hot sex, kink and power exchange alone, but because her characters are bold, brazen and willing to go to any length to live out their fantasies. Bending is a must read for anyone with an erotic imagination — or who wants to develop one.”
– Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor, “Orgasmic” and “Cheeky Spanking Stories”

“I have just one word for Greta Christina’s erotic writing: Wise. What I mean by wise is, you won’t want to pick it up at all if you don’t want to know something deep, thoughtful, surprising, maybe troubling, and certainly inspiring about sex. (Sex, and spanking.)

“Well, actually, on second thought, I do have a few more relevant words: Completely freakin’ knowingly and on purpose filthy dirty pervy.

“In a wise, deeply wise, way.

“There. That about covers it. So if you want to know more, a lot more about sex: Read Greta’s book. Money in the bank.”
– Carol Queen, PhD, cultural sexologist and author, “The Leather Daddy and the Femme”

“Bending is excellently written — and it’s not the usual one-dimensional porn I’ve encountered on the internet (you know what I mean: the ‘Tab A goes into Slot B’ kind of porn that reads like an Ikea manual, with lube). It’s the kind of porn that explores what people are actually thinking and feeling, and it’s stronger for it.”
-PZ Myers, Pharyngula

“When I want the best erotica in the world, give me Greta Christina. Her new stories go where other writers dare not tread — and I love her for it. Greta gives me throbbing clitoral erections and huge orgasms every time. Gracias Greta! I’m going to reread a story right now!”
– Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., sex worker artist turned EcoSexologist

Building Atheist Community: Help Out Juicy D. Light

Juicy D. Light

Reposted from the Godless Perverts site.

One of the most important reasons that Godless Perverts organizes events is that we think that atheism should make a difference in the lives of people here in the real world. It’s not an academic or intellectual thing for us: any discussion about atheism or sexuality ultimately comes down to how well we treat the people around us.

Now one of our friends is having a lot of trouble with her health, and we’d like anyone who can to help her out. Juicy D. Light is the founder of Rubenesque Burlesque, body positive activist, and an all-around great person. She’s also an atheist and comes to our Godless Perverts Social Clubs in San Francisco. Early in March, she was admitted to a hospital in Oakland with four — FOUR!! — bites from a brown recluse spider. A single bite from a brown recluse can be pretty serious. Four is bad shit. In addition, while she was in the hospital she got an MRSA infection (an antibiotic-resistant variety of staph) and sepsis.

Juicy’s at home now, recovering with the help of a lot of great friends. However, she’s still getting bitten in the ass by the shitty lack of support services we have in this country for people who get sick. Being at home means that Juicy’s not working and that means that she’s having a lot of money problems at the very time that she can afford them least.

This is a really common problem in the United States, and while the system isn’t there for Juicy (or the rest of us), her friends certainly are. They’ve established the “Saving Juicy’s Ass Fund” at GiveForward. The money is going to help Juicy out with the essentials, such as rent, food, and medical expenses. If you doubt that Juicy’s done great things for her community, check out the video below showing Rubenesque Burlesque performing their routine “Camp” at the Burlesque Hall of Fame last year. Definitely not safe for work, especially near the end, but extremely entertaining. Juicy is the dancer second from the left near the beginning of the show.

Rubenesque Burlesque – 2014 Movers, Shakers & Innovators Showcase from BurlesqueHall on Vimeo.

Godless Perverts Social Club Thursday 3/19: Sex and Music

godless-perverts-sex-and-music

The next Godless Perverts Social Club is this Thursday, March 19! On our third Thursday meetups, we pick a discussion topic ahead of time — and for this meetup, the topic is Sex and Music. Rebecca will co-moderate a discussion of kink in popular music and other media. Was your sexuality influenced by the songs and movies of your youth? Are the explicit — and often kinky — lyrics in current hip-hop sex-positive or appropriative? Are bad representations of kink in pop culture better or worse than invisibility? Come discuss these questions and more. If you’d like to listen to some examples, check out the YouTube playlist below:

The Godless Perverts Social Club meets on the first Tuesday and the third Thursday of every month, 7-9 pm, at Wicked Grounds, 289 8th Street at Folsom in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART). We do slightly different formats for the two clubs. Our Third Thursday Social Clubs are Topical Thursdays — we pick a topic ahead of time, have a moderator/ host who leads the discussion, maybe even get special guests to guide discussions on particular topics. The first Tuesday Social Clubs are more loosely-structured casual affairs, where we mostly just nosh and sit around schmoozing about whatever topics happen to come up. (Our next First Tuesday Social Club will be Tuesday, April 7.) Admission is free, but we ask that you buy food and/or drink at the cafe: they have beverages, light snacks, full meals, and killer milkshakes.

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!

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.

In Honor of Pi Day — Greta’s Amazing Chocolate Pie Recipe!

pi plateIn honor of today being Pi Day (3.14.15 — do you have something special planned for 9:26?), here is a recap of my renowned chocolate pie recipe!

This is a ridiculously easy, unbelievably delicious recipe for chocolate pie. And it’s not just me saying so: friends have been known to demand it for celebratory events, and will shed hot tears of bitter disappointment if it doesn’t appear at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It’s very distinctive — most people who try it say they haven’t had anything else quite like it — and it’s one of those rare recipes that seems really elegant and like it would be really complicated, but in fact is absurdly simple. The pie crust is 9/10th of the work.

The recipe came from my mother, but I don’t know where she got it from. I’ve been making it for many years now, and have refined the recipe a bit over the years, mostly in the direction of using better ingredients. I did an experimental version for my birthday a couple of years ago (in addition to a classic version), which was a big hit, so I’m including that variation here as well.

CLASSIC CHOCOLATE PIE
INGREDIENTS
1 single pie crust (this is an open-faced pie). More on pie crust in a moment.
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. evaporated milk
2 squares/ ounces baking chocolate (unsweetened)
Whipped cream (optional in theory, mandatory in my opinion)

chocolateA quick note on the baking chocolate: For the sweet love of Loki and all the gods in Valhalla, use Scharffen Berger’s if you possibly can, or some other seriously good baking chocolate. I made this pie for years using just regular baking chocolate from the supermarket, and it was perfectly yummy — but once I started using Scharffen Berger’s, it amped up from delicious to transcendent. I frankly don’t much care for Scharffen Berger’s eating chocolate, I think the mouth-feel is insufficiently creamy — but for cooking, their baking chocolate is beyond compare.

Bake the unfilled pie shell for 5-10 minutes at 450 degrees, until it’s starting to firm up a little but isn’t cooked through. Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan. Add the other ingredients (minus the whipped cream) and mix; you can do this in the saucepan. (I add the eggs last, so the melted butter and chocolate have a chance to cool and the eggs don’t scramble.) Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 325 degrees, until the filling is set. (I usually test it at 30 minutes, but it usually still needs another 5-10 minutes. When it’s no longer jiggling in the middle, it’s done.)

That’s it.

No, really.

I told you. Ridiculously easy. Not counting the pie crust, the actual work you put into this pie takes about five minutes.

I always serve this with whipped cream, as the pie is intensely rich and dense, and I think the whipped cream gives it balance. But many people prefer it with the richness and denseness unadulterated, and scoff at the whipped cream as an unnecessary frill for lightweights. My advice: Make whipped cream available, and let your guests decide. (Don’t add too much sugar to the whipped cream; this pie is plenty sweet.)

EXPERIMENTAL CHOCOLATE PIE [Read more…]

Houdini, 2011-2015

I have some very sad, very sudden bad news. Our cat Houdini died early Wednesday morning, completely unexpectedly, from heart failure. It happened very fast: she seemed totally fine on Monday; Tuesday morning she wasn’t eating and we took her to the vet; she seemed ill but stable Tuesday evening; and early Wednesday morning she went into a rapid decline and died within an hour. The vet thinks she may have had some sort of congenital heart problem: apparently this can happen with cats, they can have heart problems that don’t show any symptoms until they suddenly give out.

Ingrid and I are pretty wrecked. Houdini was a very young cat, just three years old, and this came out of nowhere. We do feel fortunate that we were able to give her a good life, even though it was a short one, and we feel fortunate that she didn’t suffer for very long. But we are having a very hard time with this. We’ve lost cats before, but it’s been a long time since either of us has lost a cat this suddenly or this young.

I know the usual thing in these situations is to post pictures. But I can’t face that right now. I’ll do it when I can. If you want to see pictures of her, you can do a search for “Houdini” on this blog. (Houdini was the tortoiseshell.) If you feel so inspired, donations in her name can be made to the San Francisco SPCA. Thanks.

Greta’s Podcast Interview with Atheist Airwaves!

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 200 JPGPodcast fans — I have a podcast interview up with Atheist Airwaves! We talk about my new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do With God — including ways that atheists can cope with religion at funerals, why religious approaches to death are less comforting than they seem, and more. Also on the show: the first legal gay marriage in Texas and the future of marriage equality, a Christian pastor in the UK claims god will send you to hell for any sexual position, an ex-Scientologist turns to pushing a ‘miracle’ autism cure in the form of bleach enemas, the Pope compares transgender people to nuclear weapons because he’s a full-on bigot, and more. Good times! Enjoy!

Dream Diary, 2/24/15: God

blake godI dreamed that Ingrid and I were hanging out with God. God looked pretty much exactly like the Western cliche of the Christian god: Caucasian, white hair and beard, golden light radiating from his head. The only thing that was different was he was sitting in an armchair. Some other people were hanging out with us, too, although I don’t remember exactly who: some friends of ours, and I think also some characters from “Parks and Recreation.” (I actually had this dream a couple of days ago, and didn’t write it down right away, so some of the details have faded.) It was very clear, in that dream-logic way, that this was not a hallucination or any kind of illusion: it was clear that this was a real interaction with the real Christian God, because dream-reasons.

I was really embarrassed at having been so certain that God didn’t exist, and at first was very apologetic to him about it. But he was cool with it. In fact, he insisted very firmly that even though he existed, it was important that I remain an atheist — and not just an atheist but an atheist activist. It wasn’t at all clear why, though. Dream-reasons.

I woke up at first still feeling embarrassed about how wrong I’d been, and feeling very confused about why God wanted me to be an atheist. Once I started realizing it was a dream, I was mostly baffled at my dream-logic, and was still trying to figure out why my dream-God wanted me to be an atheist.


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.