(Content note: sexism, some transantagonism, references to violence, all fictional)
The Irresistible Woman’s Curse
The irresistible woman is powerful this week. It’s her special time. She’s cursed.
She can destroy flowers with a touch. She can spoil food with a touch. She can turn herself into lava. If she marches around a field three times, the pests will die. Sharks follow her, tracking her movements; she makes them her pets. She’s thought about making them her minions, her personal shark army, but that seems unethical. The tools that help her manage the power will kill any man they touch. If she touches your face, her sweat will penetrate your skin, sink into your jaw, make your fillings fall out. Her sweat can be carried by steam, sucking power out of the air to feed her own. Do not touch her. Do not even be in a room with her. Continue reading “The Irresistible Woman’s Curse”→
We’re having a Godless Perverts Social Club on Tuesday, February 6, at Wicked Grounds, 289 8th St. in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART), 7-9 pm. Our discussion topic for this evening: It’s 2018 — Now What?
We survived the disaster of 2017 (more or less). With mid-term elections coming this year, we have power to make make some real change. What can we do — as individuals, as a small local organization, as members of larger organizations? What are you, personally, planning to do? What would you like to do — and what support do you need to help you do it?
Note: Godless Perverts is a non-profit organization, and as such does not endorse any specific candidates for office. We do advocate for consensual sexual liberation, church-state separation, atheist rights, feminism, anti-racism, and other social justice concerns. We take political actions that we’re permitted to, and encourage our members to apply these principles on their own political decisions.
The Social Club is free, and all orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome. Wicked Grounds has beverages, light snacks, full meals, and amazing milkshakes: please support the cafe if you can, and please tip generously. If you can’t afford cafe prices, Wicked Grounds customers have bought you coffee or tea: just ask for your beverage to paid for “from the wall.”
Community is one of the reasons we started Godless Perverts. There are few enough places to land when you decide that you’re an atheist; far fewer if you’re also LGBT, queer, kinky, poly, trans, or are just interested in sexuality. And the sex-positive/ alt-sex/ whatever- you- want- to- call- it community isn’t always the most welcoming place for non-believers. So please join us! Hang out with other nonbelievers and chat about sex, sexuality, gender, atheism, religion, science, social justice, pop culture, and more. Godless Perverts is now a non-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible.
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.
Godless Perverts has declared War On Christmas! Our annual Holiday Fun Time Party happens on Saturday, December 9, and we’ve finally decided that if the religious right wants a war, we’ll give ’em one! A silly, friendly, not-at-all-violent war, waged with food, games, piñatas, outfits, and conversation.
1349 Mission St
San Francisco, CA
$10-20 Donation requested; no one turned away for lack of funds.
As always, proceeds benefit St. James Infirmary, San Francisco’s health clinic by and for sex workers.
Potluck with festive food and drink! We’ll provide food and beverages, but we’d love to add your holiday treats to the buffet.
Adorably ridiculous icebreaker games!
Door prizes, including books and DVDs that are godless, pervy, or both!
Introverts’ Lounge, a quiet space to be around festivities while recharging your batteries.
Pin the Dildo on Jesus game!
Smash the Santa Piñata! The original St. Nicholas was the patron saint of sex workers; we’re going to destroy the modern corporate Santa, while letting St. Nicholas do his good work. And we’re pinning dildoes on Jesus just because.
Is There a Dress Code?
Other than keeping your naughty bits covered, not at all. Blasphemous costumes, sexy costumes, awesome combinations of the above, and other festive garb are encouraged, but by no means required.
What is St. James Infirmary?
St. James is a unique healthcare resource, even in San Francisco. Founded by and for sex workers, they provide free, compassionate and nonjudgmental healthcare and social services for current and former sex workers of all genders and sexual orientations. We wholeheartedly support the organization, and we want to help them out. So all donations collected at the party will go directly to them.
Godless Perverts Book Club is reading Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski. WEDNESDAY, Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday, October 18, Borderlands Cafe in SF. Please note that it’s on Wednesday this time. All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome. Please join us!
An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works, based on groundbreaking research and brain science. Cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines tells us that the most important factor for women in creating and sustaining a fulfilling sex life, is not what you do in bed or how you do it, but how you feel about it. Which means that stress, mood, trust, and body image are not peripheral factors in a woman’s sexual wellbeing; they are central to it. Once you understand these factors, and how to influence them, you can create for yourself better sex and more profound pleasure than you ever thought possible. A New York Times bestseller. Continue reading “Godless Perverts Book Club: Come As You Are“→
We’re having a Godless Perverts Social Club on Tuesday, October 3, at Wicked Grounds, 289 8th St. in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART), 7-9 pm. Our discussion topic for this evening: Sustaining Resistance.
How do we sustain political resistance for the long haul? How do we stay involved and informed, without becoming overwhelmed and burning out? How do we move forward with our everyday lives, without letting fascism become normal? Join us for a discussion about self-care, taking care of each other, deciding on priorities, taking breaks, folding resistance into our everyday lives, and more.
Godless Perverts Book Club is back from summer vacation! We’re reading Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey. WEDNESDAY, Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday, September 20, Borderlands Cafe in SF. Please note that it’s on Wednesday this time. All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome. Please join us!
An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country’s most infamously haunted places — and deep into the dark side of our history. In this secular exploration of the belief in ghosts, Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. With boundless curiosity, Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. He conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living — how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Continue reading “Godless Perverts Book Club in SF: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places“→
Some political protests are relatively safe. Others are more risky. And we don’t always know ahead of time which is which. Whether you’re planning to be in a protest with a known risk of injury or arrest, or you just want to be ready in case it happens, it’s good to be prepared, so come attend this Protester Safety Training session, featuring Guy Vandenberg and Kitty Stryker, hosted by Godless Perverts. Wednesday, August 23, 7:00 to 9:00 pm in San Francisco. This training will cover:
Preparing for action, anticipating and avoiding violence and injury
Tactics for non-violent self-defense and de-escalation
What to do — and what not to do — when you’re injured and/or arrested
Taking care of yourself and each other after an action
PLEASE NOTE: The space for this event is limited. If you’re planning to attend, please email [email protected] to RSVP and get the location.
Guy Vandenberg is a registered nurse and HIV specialist who began work in the fight against HIV/AIDS in 1985. A veteran of ACT-UP, the AIDS activist organization, he has founded needle exchange programs, worked with homeless populations, and done continuing education about HIV care for physicians and nurses in correctional settings across the US. He has done numerous trainings in protestor safety.
Kitty Stryker is an experienced activist, the ringmistress for Juggalo resistance group Struggalo Circus, and an active member of the genderqueer feminist art collective the NorCal Degenderettes. She has been on the ground acting as a street medic since Occupy. Her first book, Ask: Building Consent Culture, is an anthology with diverse voices discussing consent, from Thorntree Press and coming out in 2017. For media inquiries and bookings, email [email protected].
GODLESS PERVERTS is a non-profit organization that presents and promotes a positive view of sexuality without religion, by and for sex-positive atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-believers. We host social meetups, educational events, performances, and fundraisers for other organizations. We are committed to feminism, diversity, inclusivity, and social justice. All sexual orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome.
I’m writing this three days after the last round of the Big Health Care Showdown. For seven years, Republican legislators in the U.S. have been screaming that they wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Yet despite having control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, despite arm-twisting and deceit and heavy-handed manipulation of legislative procedure (including introducing their final bill at ten p.m. for a vote at midnight), they failed.
There are a lot of reasons they failed. Even though they had seven years to prepare, the Republicans weren’t prepared with actual legislation. Their own party was divided: a large branch of the party thought the bills being proposed weren’t draconian enough. And, of course, the president is an arrogant, incompetent, willfully ignorant buffoon, who failed to do the difficult work of convincing legislators and citizens to accept the legislation, and didn’t even see the value of doing so.
But one of the biggest reasons the Affordable Care Act was saved was a massive outpouring of resistance from citizens, beseeching their representatives not to take health care from millions. The ACA was saved, in large part, by a flood of people contacting their Senators and Congresspeople: calling, texting, emailing, sending letters and postcards, protesting, lobbying, getting arrested, and organizing others to do all the above. Everyone familiar with how federal government works says contacting elected officials is effective, and when it happens on this scale, it’s hugely effective. Everyone familiar with federal government says the recent flood of civic engagement was a major reason a handful of Republican legislators broke ranks — and all Democratic legislators held firm.
On the one hand: We don’t want to normalize the Trump regime. One of the ways fascism and authoritarianism get a foothold is by turning up the hot water a little at a time. We get used to a little more autocracy, a little more corruption, a little more contempt for democratic government, a few more foxes guarding the henhouses, a few more basic rights dissolving into the night.
And once we get used to all that, the regime makes it all a little bit worse. We can’t allow ourselves to get used to it. We have to resist it at every turn, and we can’t allow ourselves to think it’s normal or okay.
On the other hand: We can’t live in a constant state of crisis. Emotionally, psychologically, that’s just not tenable. It’s exhausting and demoralizing. For those of us with mental health problems — and those numbers have gone up dramatically since the election — a constant state of crisis can make those problems worse. And it can lead to the exact numbness we’re trying to avoid. If we’re going to have the strength to resist, we have to live our lives. We have to have some sort of routine: eating meals, going to work, playing games, paying bills. We have to put one foot in front of the other.
That’s especially true when we’re in it for the long haul. We might be able to drop everything and throw all our reserves into a political crisis if it can be resolved in a few weeks, or even a few months. We can’t do that if the crisis will be going on for years.
So how do we do this? How do we live with the unacceptable, without accepting it? How do we get on with our lives, avoid treating every day as a crisis, without allowing the intolerable to become normal?
Here’s how I’ve been framing this for myself:
Don’t normalize fascism. Normalize resistance.
Make resistance part of our daily or weekly routine. Do something on a regular basis to resist the current regime. Call or fax elected officials, every day or every week. Post notices on social media every day or every week, encouraging our friends and family to call elected officials. Put the phone numbers of our elected officials in our phones, to make these calls easier. Sign up for notifications of resistance actions. Go to meetings of resistance organizations, every week or every month.
Go to protests when we can: make plans with our friends to go. Donate money to resistance organizations: set up regular automatic donations every month. Subscribe to good sources of news. Wear buttons and T-shirts, put bumper stickers on our cars, signaling our resistance. Participate in boycotts. Stay on top of the news. Stay informed about which news sources are reliable (yes, there’s fake news on the left as well as the right). Share news on social media.
Read about the history of resistance movements. Read about the history and experience of marginalized people, especially in groups you’re not part of. Talk politics with our friends and co-workers and families. Listen to marginalized people when they talk about their experiences and tell you what they need — even when they’re criticizing you, especially when they’re criticizing you.
And very importantly: Keep talking with each other about how bad things are — and what we can do about it. Keep it on our back burner, and bring it to the front burner regularly. Keep it in each other’s consciousness, and in our own.
Don’t normalize fascism. Normalize resistance.
We don’t all have to do all these things. We can pick one or two or three, more if we can but only if we can. We each get to decide which forms of resistance are within our abilities: physically, emotionally, financially. And we don’t have to do resistance work every second of every day. In fact, we probably shouldn’t. Self-care is not selfish; preventing activist burnout is not selfish. Taking care of ourselves is one of the ways we get the strength to resist — and that includes setting limits and taking breaks.
In fact, taking regular breaks can be part of how we normalize resistance. Taking care of each other, building supportive communities with other people doing resistance work, is itself a form of resistance work. Dinner parties, dance parties, chat sessions, game nights — all of this helps us get to know each other better, care about each other more, work together more effectively.
And making resistance pleasurable is an important way to make it normal. People are more likely to keep doing activism if it’s at least occasionally fun — and we’re more likely to make activism part of our lives, part of our selves.
Folding resistance into our everyday lives lets us have “normal” lives in a fascist regime, without letting fascism become normal. And it gives us daily reminders that fascism is not normal.
(Thanks to my Facebook friends for their suggestions of concrete, everyday resistance activities.)