The latest in SEX!

December 31, 2008

To see what’s NEW with me and sex and the latest anthology, visit the Best Sex Writing 2009 blog! You can read the introduction here.

Interviews about Sex 2.0

May 15, 2008

These interviews were conducted by me as part of an upcoming Huffing Post piece (will post link when I have it) about Sex 2.0:

Name: Amber Rhea
Title: Organizer, Sex 2.0

Why did you decide to organize Sex 2.0 and how did the event match up to your expectations?

Honestly, Sex 2.0 was borne out of frustration. I had been going to a bunch of social media unconferences, and there was always this persistent discussion about how to present oneself online. People – especially women – were very concerned with presenting a “professional image” of themselves and not doing anything to tarnish that image. Whenever they would give an example of what it means to be unprofessional, without fail it would be something sexual… for example, “…so I’m not going to go around posting nude photos online!” And everyone would laugh, because of course we all understand that being openly sexual online (especially as a woman!) it totally unprofessional.

I would push back on this assumption, and I always felt like the lone voice of reason in the crowd. I wanted people to question why being openly sexual is seen as unprofessional. I wanted the woman who declared, “If you work nights as a stripper, you deserve to get fired from your day job!” to examine where that idea comes from. But instead everyone would, basically, try to shame me into silence, and eventually I’d shut up, because it was too much to deal with.

So I wanted to have a conference geared toward people who have gotten past that very 101-level stuff, and who understand that “sexual” and “professional” are not mutually exclusive (especially if your profession is sex!). Women in particular are doing some really amazing things online in the realm of sexuality, and I wanted to highlight and explore those things.

Did the event accomplish this? Definitely so! It exceeded my expectations, and I think this was due to the energy and enthusiasm the participants brought with them.

What was your favorite part of the event?

It’s really difficult to pick a favorite part, but if I’m forced, I’ll say that my favorite part of the conference itself was Elizabeth Wood’s session, “Creating the Sex Commons: Sex Blogging as a Feminist Project.” There was some really great exploration of a variety of issues in that session.

My favorite part of the entire weekend was, without a doubt, Ellie Twittering while onstage during a somewhat sketchy “boob contest” at the Flesh and Fetish Ball. And with all of us sex nerds cheering her on, she won by a landslide!

I liked that there was a mix of people across professions, orientations, levels of outness, etc. What were you trying to achieve by bringing this group together? What can people who were there (or wanted to be there) do now to foster that sense of community both where they live and online?

I wanted to show that no matter what our various differences are in background, profession, age, race, gender, sexual expression, etc., one thing that we share in common is an interest in advancing the cultural dialogue about sexuality. I think it’s safe to say that no one at Sex 2.0 felt that people should be shamed (or fired!) for how they experience their sexuality.

How do you see the “sexual community” where you live vs. the community you’ve found online? What do online communities offer that offline ones don’t regarding sexual openness?

It’s not always a simple matter of delineating “online” and “offline” community; the beauty of social media is that those barriers are breaking down. My online community is my offline community. Maybe not all the time, when things like geographic distance comes into play; but all these people who knew of each other thanks to the internet came together at Sex 2.0 and had a really kick-ass time in Atlanta.

But speaking of geographic barriers, online community can fill the gaps when people aren’t able to get together IRL. If you live in an isolated area, you might feel pretty cut off from others who share your sexual interests; but with access to the internet, suddenly you’re not so alone anymore.

Also, online, people may feel more comfortable talking about things that are painful or embarrassing for them to discuss face-to-face. This is a useful facet of online community regardless of what one’s offline community looks like.

Is there any post-Sex 2.0 organizing going on?

Elizabeth Wood has created an online forum at Sex in the Public Square to continue the discussion begun in her session. And several people have been inspired to start new blogs, join Twitter, or get involved in others ways with social media.

Are there plans for another one?

Yes! Even before this one had ended, people were already brainstorming about next year. The idea is to move it to a different city every year, and have different organizers to put their own spin on it. Locations proposed so far for next year are Washington, DC and Burlington, Vermont.

Anything else to add?

I am blown away by the positive response to Sex 2.0. I’m still kind of in that post-orgasmic bliss stage! The only complaints I heard about the conference were that there were too many awesome sessions going on at once. So, next year, we’ll make it two days!

Name: Viviane, librarian
URL: www.thesexcarnival.com

You host teas in New York for what you lovingly call the “perverts” amongst us. Why was it important to you to foster this sense of community, largely bringing online personalities together in real life?

Why did I start this? Because there’s so much nuance that’s missing if you only engage with a person online. I started my blog in May 2005. By early 2006, thanks to what I was contributing to the Fleshbot Sex Blog Roundup, I knew there were a lot of bloggers in NY, was curious about who they were, what they were like in real life. With a blog, you only see what the author wants you to see. At the first gathering, we were all pretty nervous – it was a big risk. I remember scouring my living room and hiding everything with my real name on it! We may be sexual outlaws, but it’s important to know we’re not alone.

Also, when I travel, I make it a point to try and meet the bloggers I’m in touch with or read online.

What is the relationship between the online and offline sexual communities you’re part of?

There’s lots of cross pollination. Being a part of the online communities led me to check out what was available in NY. For me, the catalyst was going to Dark Odyssey in 2006 (with Jefferson, Selina Fire, and Marcus), where I met Lolita Wolf, who’s a NY based BDSM educator. Through her, I started reading her Livejournal, joined The Eulenspigel Society (TES.org) and Lesbian Sex Mafia. And the Pleasure Salon, created and hosted by Mark and Patricial Michaels (www.tantrapm.com) and Selina Fire. I was just at Dark Odyssey Winter Fire and there were a number of sex blogger who I’d convinced to attend – including you.

How did Sex 2.0 fit into this vision of sexual community?

I didn’t know what to expect. This conference was a year in the planning and Amber Rhea had invited me to give this talk when we met at BlogHer in Chicago last year. Many of the sessions I attended were about activism and learning how to represent yourself online. Turns out my talk was one of the few nuts and bolts sessions and was the last session of the day. The vision and energy are there, but people need help understanding how to use the tools to get them on there and how to protect themselves online.

Speaking of tools, many of us were on Twitter, before and during Sex 2.0. I used Twitter to ask questions of my following me when I was updating my presentation, to learn more about my co-presenters, to follow everyone during the day and to coordinate when we were traveling somewhere.

What would you want to see at the next Sex 2.0?

I wanted to go to all of the sessions – perhaps scheduling less sessions in each slot, for longer time periods. And if the wireless is as good as it was at 1763, we could do more hands-on tech sessions, similar to what you do in your erotic writing workshop.

Name: Twanna A. Hines
Title: writer | editor | blogger | sexpot

Why did you attend Sex 2.0 and what did you get out of it?

I attended Sex 2.0 because I was giving a presentation titled “A Brief History of Sex.” I blog FUNKYBROWNCHICK.com, and I have an online column over at Nerve magazine. I also write freelance articles about sex, dating and relationships. So, I wanted to meet other people who were penning and keystroking pieces on the same theme. Of course, I already knew you and some of the other New Yorkers such as Elizabeth from “Sex in the Public Square” and Viviane from “The Sex Carnival.” I had yet to meet Valleywag’s Melissa Gira Grant, Wired.com’s Regina Lynn and others.

What would you like to see at a future event?

I’d like to see even more people of color and additional folks who self-identify as “vanilla” sex lovers, that is, people who practice so-called boring sex. From sodomy laws that are still on the books to discrimination against our LBGTQ friends and laws governing reproductive rights, this stuff effects all of us. Every sexually active person — regardless of kink, or relative lack thereof — could benefit from further discussion about the politics, laws and social dynamics of sex.

Do you feel you’re part of a “sexual community,” online and off?

I’m definitely a sexually active, heterosexual single woman. If we define the term community as a group of people sharing a collective social environment, yes, I think we’re all part of the sexual community. I’m not a fan of segmenting public discussion. For example, I’ve never believed conversations about race should be limited to people of color — nor, for that matter, should women be the only folks talking about sexism or feminist ideas. Likewise, why should sex positive discussions be restricted to our lovely perverts?

Circumcision/Best Sex Writing 2008 in San Francisco Chronicle

April 17, 2008

Violet Blue, who is also a contributor to Best Sex Writing 2008, has a great column in today’s San Francisco Chronicle inspired by Paul Festa’s piece “How Insensitive” about circumcision. She writes:

Most circumcised male foreskins are fairly mobile when the penis is erect, but may be too tight to slide up to, or around the head of the penis. That’s one major difference in understanding pleasure principle differentials between cut and uncut men. Uncircumcised men have a “turtleneck” of skin richly endowed with nerve endings inside a thin, slippery mucosal layer that covers the unerect penis and slides back to reveal the tip when the member is at fill tilt, so to speak. This layer of skin can be pretty movable and slidey at most stages of arousal, and is basically the uncut penis’ own pre-loaded sex toy.

It’s those nerve endings that everyone’s wondering about. While working at a sex toy store, selling sex toys for boys and condoms alike, I’d routinely get questions about what sex toys might be better or more fun for uncircumcised men, and what condoms were recommended for those with intact foreskins. The overview of advice and recommendations we’d give was that because the head of the uncircumcised penis is often described as more sensitive than the shaft, some toys might feel more intense.

Also see my interview with Paul Festa about his essay.

I myself recently penned an ode to uncircumcised cocks for Jewcy.

2 great new Best Sex Writing 2008 reviews

April 17, 2008

Two great new reviews for Best Sex Writing 2008.

The first is from Hot Movies for Her by The Porn Librarian:

Tristan Taormino’s essay on phthalates is one that everyone with a cheap jelly dong should read. I’ve read a lot about the dangerous chemicals, but really appreciated how accessible this article was. It paints a scary picture, and I’m thankful for that. As Taormino points out, Canada has banned phthalates in doggie chew toys but you can still buy a chemical oozing anal plug.

One of my favorite pieces was Ariel Levy’s Dirty Old Women, which focuses on older ladies who seduce teenage boys. We all have our opinions about Mary Kay Letourneau and her former sixth grade student and current husband Vili Fualaau. Unfortunately, I’ve never been exposed to information that wasn’t straight off the pages of People. Levy speaks of the differences between women and men who seduce children and of how society tends to portray all parties in this intriguing essay.

Rachel Kramer Bussel has managed to create an informative page-turner that offers readers a chance to broaden their horizons through each author’s unique perspective. Perverts and prudes will find themselves unable to put this one down.

Then Donna George Storey, one of my favorite erotica writers, wrote about it at Cleansheets:

“Whatever definition you currently have for sex, prepare for it to be shattered.” So writes editor Rachel Kramer Bussel in her introduction to Best Sex Writing 2008, and after reading the twenty-one essays in the anthology, I can honestly say my perspective on sexuality in our culture was blown wide open by the variety of topics, voices and emotion evoked in its pages.

Rachel Kramer Bussel’s introduction provides a few hints about what we’re in for: provocative answers and even more provocative questions about the role of sexuality in our lives, both close to home and in places as foreign, and strangely familiar, as Iran. If you’re the type who thinks the brain is the most important sex organ, you’ll definitely want to read on –and you won’t be disappointed.

Rachel Shukert’s opening essay “Big Mouth Strikes Again: An Oral Report,” tackles stereotypes regarding Jewish women and oral sex “head” on with an old joke about a wife who would let her husband die rather than provide the doctor-prescribed blowjobs. Common wisdom once had it that Jewish women never gave head, but apparently, the word is now they’re the best. Shukert explores this shift with interviews, self-reflection, and wonderful humor. Indeed many of the essays in this book are very funny which engages another taboo — that a serious, thought-provoking treatment of sex must be serious in tone.

Sex 2.0 conference in Atlanta 4/12

April 10, 2008

I’ll be teaching Erotica 101 at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday in Atlanta for Sex 2.0, a one-day “unconference” where you can learn everything from “Sex blogging as a feminist project” with Elizabeth Wood of to “HOWTO: Gt the most out of sex/tech” with Regina Lynn to “Sex Styles of the Internet Famous” by Melissa Gira, description below, to my friend/roommate Twanna A. Hines‘s “A Brief History of Sex.” Also, not about sex, but on Sunday at 3 p.m. I’ll be playing cupcake bingo at Sweet Pockets – stop by if you like!

On the Internet, we’re all famous to fifteen people. Inevitably, you’ll date at least one of them. So how does one gracefully navigate Relationships 2-point-whatever? Is post-coital Twittering acceptable? Should you block an ex from your Flickr? Do we need to call in a couples’ counselor to revise our Facebook relationship status together? After the breakup, who gets custody of the secret sex vlog? A seriously self-effacing facilitated discussion of social networking & managing your identity online when that comes close to and at odds with that of your lovers & partners.

Read more about it with Amber Rhea’s interview with Cory Silverberg at About.com

Photos from the San Francisco reading

April 2, 2008

Marlo Gayle took some amazing photos from the March 27th San Francisco Best Sex Writing 2008 reading. They can all be seen in this Flickr set.

Paul Festa:

Violet Blue:

Amy Andre:

Jen Cross:

Melissa Gira:

Host Carol Queen:

Thanks to everyone for reading and to Carol Queen for hosting and Kara Wuest at Cleis Press for organizing it!

Tristan Taormino’s new site openingup.net

April 1, 2008


Tristan Taormino photo taken by me

Best Sex Writing 2008 contributor (and the force behind Dark Odyssey, which I recently attended) Tristan Taormino has just launched a new website called Opening Up to promote her new book Opening Up: Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, which comes out this month.

Welcome to OpeningUp.net. I created this site as a resource for folks interested in all kinds of open relationships, including: nonmonogamy, partnered nonmonogamy, polyamory, solo polyamory, polyfidelity, swinging, open marriage, mixed orientation marriage, and mono/poly combinations. Check out the Resources section to see an up-to-date version of the Resource Guide in the book. The Open List is a list of professionals (therapists, psychologists, doctors, coaches, etc.) who are knowledgable and experienced with nonmonogamy. Check them out!

Here’s more info about the book, and here’s an excerpt

In a society where many people feel dissatisfied with monogamy and dishonesty in relationships runs rampant, Opening Up offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino gives readers practical advice on how to craft responsible, fulfilling nonmonogamous relationships. Refreshing, accessible, and jam-packed with information, Opening Up dispels myths, explores the real-life benefits and challenges, and helps readers decide if an open relationship is right for them. It offers strategies for making an open relationship work, including tips on communication, negotiation, jealousy, boundary setting, and conflict resolution. With her trademark down-to-earth, sex-positive style and sharp wit, Taormino covers different styles of open relationships from partnered nonmonogamy to solo polyamory as well as topics like coming out, finding community, and parenting. Woven throughout the book are the diverse voices of real people—from a woman with two husbands and a suburban swinger couple to polyamorous parents and a gay male triad—who candidly share their struggles, fears, hopes, and the secrets of their success in open relationships.

“A superbly informative, sympathetic and literate guide to polyamory. Important reading for anyone curious about how multiple relationships work, and for everyone seeking solid advice on how to make those relationships satisfying and successful.” —Dr. Gloria Brame, author of Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission

“This is a courageous, stunningly thorough and inspiring book. If you need a pathfinding guide on how you might take the next steps in evolving your relationships to ever more expansive containers for that one great energy which is Love, this is it.” —Daphne Rose Kingma, author of The Future of Love

Violet Blue interview about porn and mainstream reporting

March 27, 2008

Don’t forget – you can catch Violet Blue and other Best Sex Writing 2008 contributors Amy Andre (“The Study of Sex”), Violet Blue (“Kink.com and Porn Hysteria”), Jen Cross (“Surface Tensions”), Paul Festa (“How Insensitive”), and Melissa Gira (“The Pink Ghetto”) TONIGHT at The Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission Street (between 11th and South Van Ness), San Francisco. Free! Hosted by Carol Queen.

Violet Blue is the best-selling, award-winning author and editor of over a dozen books on sex and sexuality, all currently in print, a number of which have been translated into several languages; she has contributed to a number of nonfiction anthologies. Violet is a sex educator who lectures at UC’s and community teaching institutions, and writes about erotica, pornography, sexual pleasure and health for major publications and blogs. She is a professional sex blogger and femmebot; an author at Metroblogging San Francisco (Metblogs); a correspondent for Geek Entertainment Television; she is on the Gawker payroll as girl friday contibutor and editor at Fleshbot; in January 2007, Violet was named a Forbes Web Celeb 25. She is a San Francisco native and human blog. Violet is the sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle with a weekly column titled Open Source Sex, and has a podcast of the same name that frequents iTunes’ top ten.

What prompted your piece “Kink.com and Porn Hysteria: The Lie of Unbiased Reporting?” I know you were reacting to articles about Kink.com specifically, but how long had you been noticing this trend of unbiased reporting?

I write for the SF Chronicle; I’m their sex columnist. and on the same day my column ran “Open Source Sex” I had an interview with sex-positive alt porn director Eon McKai up. it was a great interview that showed the breaking down of porn’s redundant gender and physical stereotypes, the sex-positivity and inclusiveness of modern sex attitudes into the mainstream (which had been going on for a while, I was just drawing attention to the newest wave of it). porn from the POV of the makers, not the critics who don’t know what’s really going on. that week, local BDSM empire (and all-inclusive, sex-positive, politically minded local porn company) Kink.com had purchased the SF Armory for its new studio location. the Chron’s website bumped my column to the bottom of the page and ran a totally anti-porn, completely biased piece about a staged “protest” in front of the Armory — many have said that even the number of protesters stated in the piece was incorrect and more than the few who showed up. the website showed photos of Kink employees who were there to wash the building and called them “protesters” (though later corrected their mistakes).

the piece was so anti-porn, and especially anti-kink, I saw red. especially since Kink is one of the most incredible places to work — they threat their employees better than any company I’ve seen (except for Google), the performers are treated with respect, paid really well, have hair and makeup people and are regarded as Olympic athletes. the cleanliness standards should be envied by every restaurant in San Francisco and copied by every porn company in the world. and the owner’s mission is to demystify kinky sex, normalize it, and make the world a better place for all sexual outsiders for doing do. the Chron’s hit piece disgusted me, the rest of mainstream media predictably followed suit, and I wrote a powerful response.

the reaction at the paper was extreme. let’s just say mainstream media found it a bitter pill to swallow when I criticized their lock-step anti-porn and anti-sex bias within its own pages. it was quite a scandal. but that’s what happens when a paper hires a blogger, you know?

You contrast religious groups’ opposition to porn with the coverage in mainstream papers like The New York Times and your own San Francisco Chronicle. Do you feel the anti-porn groups have been successful in getting their POV into mainstream papers or is it simply lazy reporting?

it’s both; mainstream media still sits behind its cozy little Fourth Estate wall of authority and assumption that everyone agrees sex is bad and wrong; journalists don’t have to bother questioning this point of view, even though the world’s view on sex has changed (and is changing rapidly) around them. MSM needs to get sex positive, because we can only make fun of them for so long…ultimately their attitudes are causing them to miss telling real stories and reporting with accuracy, which I think the corrective nature of the blogosphere will reign in eventually. but not without scandal and humiliation first — on the part of the sex-negative press. sex is normal, and they need to get over thinking people will agree with their assumptions of sexual shame. but I do feel that the anti-porn groups, while way smaller than the millions of people who feel the opposite, have been effective in disrupting accurate reporting about sex and porn. they’re loud, they have government backing, and everyone at Fox wants to keep their jobs; they talk about sex a lot, just as long as it’s bad and wrong, no problem.

Was there or has there been any positive mainstream coverage of Kink.com?

yes: the New York Times piece was a real piece of reporting, and in its unbiased accuracy reflected Kink’s positive impact.

What do you make of the fact that the porn industry seems to be flourishing, and certainly there’s much more porn available in more varied forms, with this continued insistence on including anti-porn viewpoints in major papers?

I think the mainstream porn industry is struggling to keep up with changing technology and how it’s consumed (just like Hollywood), but porn in general — especially homemade — is totally flourishing. people don’t read the papers anymore, or they know they don’t need to; they shop for their news and information now, and I think the democracy of consumption is reflected in people’s refusal to swallow lines about sex and porn being bad, when their individual experiences online are showing them otherwise. sex has become normal and healthy for many people, and they might click on a sex scandal story to see what the sex workers say about their jobs, but most aren’t buying that sex workers are Diane Sawyer’s sad stereotypes. they can go to wakingvixen or $pread and see a bunch of empowered women. people aren’t stupid — or, at least they’re not in the dark for information anymore and know when they’re getting a one-sided view.

Is there anything porn fans/consumers, not to mention creators, can do to make their voices heard? It seems to me that the anti-porn lobby also preys on porn users’ insecurities over porn and sex and assumes that there aren’t people willing to stand up and say that porn is both legal, as you point out, and can be healthy.

blog. vlog. make more media. show that you’re real people. link to people who show sex is good and healthy; don’t link to douchebags.

What are the main ways you think mainstream media gets porn wrong?

MSM needs to erase all their preconceptions about porn and start over again. they’ve been so mired in sensationalism, religious dogma, erroneous studies pushed by fundamentalists and dated stereotypes about exploitation and degradation that they have no idea what’s really going on in the worlds of porn and sex online. who is being exploited by gay porn, by the way? and, with all the baggage MSM brings to ordinary, self-defined sex work and healthy sexual expression, we can’t actually find the real voices of the people who do get exploited and need help. it’s shameful.

Do you think mainstream journalists are anti-porn, or simply want to give the appearance of being so? Is there any advantage to them to not including a fairer portrait of the industry?

the tradition of their jobs force them to posit anti-sex and anti-porn points of view. to do otherwise would cost them their jobs.

What can journalists do to become better versed in porn and provided more accurate coverage? What resources would you recommend journalists covering porn to check out to get a broader view of the topic?

read fleshbot, read my site, read all the sites in Eros Blog‘s sidebar, in thesexcarnival.com‘s sidebar, and the Lusty Lady blog.

What are you working on next?

Best Women’s Erotica 2009, trying to pull a web show together, more GETV (always!), writing about my teen years as a homeless kid on the streets, finding time to cuddle with my cat, sip fine absinthe, good chocolates, and ravage a certain Hacker Boy. oh, and change the cultural conversation about sex.

Great review in Forum UK

March 24, 2008

From the latest issue of Forum UK:

Rounding up the most incisive, provocative and bizarre articles on sex published in the last 12 months, author and senior editor at Variations magazine Rachel Kramer Bussel presents a selection as mouthwatering as her other area of specialist interest, the cupcake. The collected articles range from Kevin Keck’s wryly amusing Double Your Panic, in which he tells how every man’s dream of bedding twins becomes a nightmare when you’re about to become the father of a set, to Tristan Taormino’s alarming look at the use of phthalates in cheap sex toys, Dangerous Dildoes, which is guaranteed make you think twice when you buy your next vibrator, and Ashlea Halpern’s harrowing Battle Of The Sexless, which examines the plight of men who will go to any length to become eunuchs. If that’s not enough, there are also investigations into the phenomenon of ‘naked parties’ on campus, the unsafe sex lives of the over-fifties and the truth about wedding night sex.

Scott Poulson-Bryant’s profile of Lexington Steele, The Hung List, fails to say much beyond ‘America doesn’t like its black porn stars to be too black’ (a comment which could be leveled at its black female singing stars and potential Presidential candidates…) and the think pieces on the whole are less interesting than the reportage, but Best Sex Writing 2008 proves that the quality of writing about sex I generally as high and thought-provoking as it has ever been.

Best Sex Writing 2008 San Francisco reading, March 27

March 17, 2008

Best Sex Writing 2008 Reading
Thursday, March 27, 7 pm
Best Sex Writing 2008 features the best writing from across the sexual spectrum. Hear contributors talk about sex in academia, mainstream porn reporting, hiring a professional submissive, sexual abuse and butch/femme, circumcision, and working in the field of sex. Hosted by Carol Queen, with contributors Amy Andre (“The Study of Sex”), Violet Blue (“Kink.com and Porn Hysteria”), Greta Christina (“Buying Obedience”), Jen Cross (“Surface Tensions”), Paul Festa (“How Insensitive”), and Melissa Gira (“The Pink Ghetto”).
At the Center for Sex and Culture, 1519 Mission St. (between 11th and South Van Ness), San Francisco
Free (donation requested)

Details from the Center for Sex and Culture site:

The Center for Sex and Culture presents the best in sex journalism! Join the local contributors of Best Sex Writing 2008 for a reading on Thursday, March 27 at 7:00pm. From dangerous dildos to professional submissives, the erotic appeal of twins, sex work, pornography and much more, these authors delve into the far reaches of eroticism. Probing stereotypes, truths, and the tricky areas in between, Best Sex Writing 2008 opens the bedroom door and explores the complexity of modern sexuality with thought-provoking, cutting-edge essays and articles.

Authors Violet Blue, Paul Festa, Amy Andre, Greta Christina, Jen Cross and Melissa Gira will read and sign books afterwards.

Violet Blue (“Kink.com and Porn Hysteria: The Lie of Unbiased Reporting”) is author and editor of nearly two dozen sexual health books and erotica collections. She is a professional sex educator, lecturer, podcaster, blogger, vlogger, porn/erotica reviewer and machine artist. She has written for outlets ranging from Forbes.com to O, The Oprah Magazine. Violet’s website is tinynibbles.com.

Sex essays by Paul Festa (“How Insensitive”) appear in Nerve, Salon, Best Sex Writing 2005 and Best Sex Writing 2006. His award-winning movie, Apparition of the Eternal Church, about the music of Olivier Messiaen, has its San Francisco premiere at Grace Cathedral on April 18. His related book, OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, was recently published. He can be found online at paulfesta.com and apparitionfilm.com.

Amy Andre (“The Study of Sex’) has a master’s degree in human sexuality studies from San Francisco State University. She works as a sex educator and writer. http://www.amyandre.com/

Melissa Gira (“The Pink Ghetto [A Four-Part Series]) is the editor of Sexerati, the award-winning blog about smart sex, the co-founder of the sex worker group blog Bound, Not Gagged, and a reporter for Valleywag. Visit her at melissagira.com.

Greta Christina (“Buying Obedience: My Visit to a Pro Submissive”) has been writing professionally since 1989. She is the editor of Best Erotic Comics 2008 and Paying for It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, including Ms., Penthouse, the Skeptical Inquirer, and two volumes of the Best American Erotica series. She blogs at http://gretachristina.typepad.com.

No charge — but we will ask for donations if you’re able to contribute. At The Center for Sex & Culture: 1519 Mission near 11th St. CSC can take checks, Visa, M/C and Discover.


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