Some Nice Things Some People Have Said About “Bending,” Round 2

Bending cover
Here’s a collection of some nice things people said this week about my erotic fiction collection, Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More. Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords!

On Amazon:

Paul Z. Myers, Literate erotica for the discerningly horny reader:

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.

My only reservation, and it’s not a criticism, is that it’s got a focused theme. This is a book of stories about dom/sub relations and spanking, and it doesn’t match up well with my personal kinks (which I will not discuss, except to note that the word “tentacle” only appears ONCE in the entire book, and then as a metaphor). But if it does align with your interests, expect quality arousal.

Givesgoodemail, Very pleasantly surprising:

Christina write a literate blog, and now I know she also can tell a credible tale that can stiffen or liquify (depending).

There was one story that was particularly well-written (and hot). It has an unexpected, abrupt ending, which turns out to work extremely well. I am always impressed by authors who say what they have to say, and then shut up.

It’s nice to fine literate porn. I look forward to more of her work.

On blogs:

j00licious, Shouts & Murmurs, A book review: Bending, by Greta Christina:

I think what I like best about this collection is that while Christina might well have been typing one-handed at times, her characters do not suffer for it. The reader is not made to feel like she or he is just being pulled along for the ride, watching meat puppets boink for the author’s jollies. Christina has managed to give real personhood to each and every character. I can name authors on the New York Times bestseller list who don’t do that. There’s an asshole jock who is realistically an asshole jock, not a caricature. There are men and women wracked with guilt so badly my heart broke for them. The ending of one story, The Rest Stop, made me cheer out loud. There is a story that is, no shit, about a unicorn hooking up with a rainbow. I think it’s brilliant and it’s poignant, and while I didn’t wank to it, I’m sure it’ll make somebody horny (I would love to tell you why and how, but I can’t think of a way to do that without spoiling the story.)

There are themes within this collection, or rather, favored topics of exploration and favored acts. Only once, however, did I think to myself “Spanking again, Greta?” and then she did something totally new with it. Ditto humiliation and consent. I wasn’t always titillated, but I was never, ever bored.

Give Bending a shot. And, whether alone or with others, have good sex.

Read the entire review.

Tom Carlson, Sexy Red-Headed Nuns, Fap fap fap…

This is quality stuff. Greta’s a superb writer in general and she’s no less skilled in the realm of erotica. The stories are a good balance of set-up and pay-off. It’s not just balls-to-the-wall sexual descriptions, but nor does it shy from those. For me, the build up and situation setting is just as important as the sex, so I was very happy. Many stories trail off, leaving the ultimate conclusion to your imagination. If I were going to pick nits, I would have liked them to trail off a little later then many did, though.

I found most of the stories to be blazing hot. A few didn’t really “do it” for me, but that’s to be expected. And I didn’t dislike those few, they just didn’t really hit the spot for me as well as the others did. (The unicorn and rainbow story, for example, was clever and a nice break, but didn’t get me turned on. The Catholic one did. The other religious ones didn’t.)

The final novella is great, going on longer than anticipated, but in a logical way.

If I’m going to make an actual complaint it’s that most of the stories are from a female bottom perspective. I could have done with a few more stories of men being treated roughly.

Read the entire review.

Avicenna, A Million Gods, Sanguine Fallacies:

If you think my attempt at erotic fiction (or should it be Fucktion?) is terrible and that I am only fit to write bodice rippers for Mills & Boone/ Harlequin then I suggest you go see how it’s “Really Done”. Greta Christina’s book on Erotic Fiction is a lot better than mine and is now out!

(For the record: I rather like Avicenna’s attempt at erotic fiction.)

On Twitter:

Jo Alabaster, @joalabaster: @GretaChristina I wish Bending had been ten times longer, it was a sublime read. Please can you suggest where to look for similar erotica?

max f, @maxikf: finished 1st story in bending & dont remember having a more sustained erection. Tmi, perhaps; needed to be said, absolutely

Anne Sauer, @aynsavoy: Highly recommend @GretaChristina’s new kink erotica book, Bending. Read an excerpt here:


Thanks, everyone!

And if you’ve said nice things about Bending on Twitter, blogs, or elsewhere in the public eye, and I haven’t cited them, let me know! I’ll put it in next week’s round-up. If you’ve read the book and liked it, an Amazon review would be awesome. And once again, you can buy the book at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords!

Some Nice Things Some People Have Said About “Bending,” Round 2

Greta Speaking in Orange County, San Francisco, D.C., San Diego, and Amherst, NY! — UPDATE: Davis, CA Now Added!

UPDATE: Davis, CA has been added to the schedule! Tuesday, May 7.

Hi, all! I have some speaking gigs coming up, in Orange County, San Francisco, D.C., San Diego, and Amherst, NY! If you’re going to be in any of these areas, I hope you’ll come by and say Hi!

CITY: Fullerton, CA, at the Orange County Freethought Alliance Conference
DATES: May 3-5; I’m speaking at 11:00 am on May 4
LOCATION: Howard Johnson Hotel, Fullerton, CA
EVENT/ HOSTS: Orange County Freethought Alliance Conference
TOPIC: Coming Out: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why?
SUMMARY: Coming out is the most powerful political act atheists can take. But coming out can be difficult and risky. What are some specific, practical, nuts-and-bolts strategies we can use: to come out of the closet, to support each other in coming out, and to make the atheist community a safer place to come out into? What can atheists learn about coming out from the LGBT community and their decades of coming-out experience — and what can we learn from the important differences between coming out atheist and coming out queer?
OTHER SPEAKERS: PZ Myers, Jessica Ahlquist, Matt Dillahunty, Margaret Downey, Darrel Ray, and Jamy Ian Swiss
COST: Pre-Registration $160, $175 at the door, $35 for students

CITY: Davis, CA, at UC Davis Campus
DATE: Tuesday, May 7
TIME: 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Wellman Hall Room 126 (First floor, in the middle), UC Davis Campus, Davis, CA
EVENT/ HOSTS: UC Davis Agnostic and Atheist Student Association (AgASA)
TOPIC: Atheism and Sexuality
SUMMARY: The sexual morality of traditional religion tends to be based, not on solid ethical principles, but on a set of taboos about what kinds of sex God does and doesn’t want people to have. And while the sex-positive community offers a more thoughtful view of sexual morality, it still often frames sexuality as positive by seeing it as a spiritual experience. What are some atheist alternatives to these views? How can atheists view sexual ethics without a belief in God? And how can atheists view sexual transcendence without a belief in the supernatural?
COST: Free and open to the public

CITY: San Francisco, CA, at Perverts Put Out!
DATE: Saturday, May 11
TIME: Doors 7:00, show 8:00
LOCATION: The Center for Sex and Culture, 1369 Mission Street, San Francisco
EVENT/ HOSTS: Perverts Put Out!, San Francisco’s long-running pansexual performance series
TOPIC: I have no idea. Sex, probably.
OTHER READERS/ PERFORMERS: Sam Sax, horehound stillpoint, Na’amen Tilahun and Virgie Tovar
COST: $10-25 sliding scale

CITY: Washington, D.C., at Women in Secularism
DATES: May 17-19 — my panels are on the 18th and 19th
LOCATION: Washington Marriott at Metro Center, Washington, D.C.
EVENT/ HOSTS: Women in Secularism, hosted by CFI
TOPICS: Panels on “Gender Equality in the Secular Movement” and “What the Secular Movement Can Learn from Other Social Movements”
OTHER SPEAKERS: Susan Jacoby, Katha Pollitt, Maryam Namazie, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, Jamila Bey, Rebecca Goldstein, Rebecca Watson, Amanda Marcotte, Debbie Goddard, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Amy Davis Roth, Desiree Schell, Shelley Segal, Soraya Chemaly, Vyckie Garrison, Teresa MacBain, more.
COST: $249; $219 for CFI members; $50 for students

CITY: San Francisco, CA at Ha Ha Heathens
DATE: Wednesday, May 29
TIME: 8:00 pm
LOCATION: Punch Line San Francisco, 444 Battery St.
EVENT/ HOSTS: Ha Ha Heathens comedy show, presented by Keith Lowell Jensen
TOPIC: Funny atheism, I hope. This is my stand-up comedy debut.
EVENT DECSCRIPTION: Ha Ha Heathens has thrilled skeptic crowds from Los Angeles to Kamloops, BC. Keith Lowell Jensen puts together his favorite non-theist comics for a night of hilarious blasphemy.
OTHER PERFORMERS: Michael Patten, Trevor Hill, Caitlin Gill, and Keith Lowell Jensen
COST: $15.00

CITY: San Diego, CA, at the American Humanist Association conference
DATES: May 30 – June 2
LOCATION: Bahia Resort Hotel, San Diego, CA
EVENT/ HOSTS: American Humanist Association 2013 conference
TOPIC: I’m not giving a regular talk — I’m being given an award, the LGBT Humanist Pride award. Neat!
OTHER SPEAKERS: Katha Pollitt, Phil Zuckerman, Rebecca Hensler, Ayanna Watson, Teresa MacBain, Amanda Knief, David Tamayo, Katherine Stewart, more
COST: $299, $25 for students, with travel scholarships available

CITY: Amherst, NY at CFI
DATE: Friday, June 14
TIME: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
LOCATION: CFI Amherst, 1310 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY
EVENT/ HOSTS: Center for Inquiry
TOPIC: Why Are You Atheists So Angry?
SUMMARY: The atheist movement is often accused of being driven by anger. What are so many atheists so angry about? Is this anger legitimate? And can anger be an effective force behind a movement for social change?

Greta Speaking in Orange County, San Francisco, D.C., San Diego, and Amherst, NY! — UPDATE: Davis, CA Now Added!

"She is none of these things": Excerpt from "Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More"

Bending cover
Excerpt from “Breasts,” one of the stories from “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.” Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords! Content note: Kinky sex.


The pain starts to be too much. Her moans shade up into shrieks and screams, and her tormentor gestures to one of his henchmen and has her gagged. Normally he likes to hear her scream; but the point of this particular exercise is that it’s about his enjoyment of her breasts, and not about her pleasure or pain. So he has a gag forced into her mouth: so as not to be distracted by the sounds she’s making, or by what she might be feeling, or by who she, you know, is.

This has the effect, not only of concentrating his attention onto her breasts, but of concentrating her own. Without the ability to vent, both her pleasure and her pain are amplified. Instead of being let out into the afternoon air, the noises she would be making seem to be channeled down through her throat, and down into her chest, and out into her nipples. Where they are trapped.

He is trying to reduce her: to strip away everything about her that is not a sexual object, everything that is not the sexual body part he’s currently getting off on. It’s working. In much of her day to day life, she has long, tortured conversations with herself about the nature of identity, and who and what she is. Is she her thoughts? Is she her feelings? Is she her memories? Is she her actions? But at the moment, she has no such doubts. At the moment, she is none of these things. She is her breasts. That is all.


If this intrigues you, check out the rest of the book! Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords!

"She is none of these things": Excerpt from "Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More"

Godless Perverts Social Meetup Now A Regular Thing! Next One 5/21

The Godless Perverts Social Meetup is now a regular thing!

Wicked Grounds icon
Join us every third Tuesday of the month at Wicked Grounds, San Francisco’s renowned BDSM-themed coffee house, for an evening of conversation and socializing. 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. All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) welcome. There’s no admission, but we ask that you buy food and drink at the counter, or make a donation to the venue.

The Godless Perverts Social Meetup will be every third Tuesday at Wicked Grounds, 289 – 8th Street at Folsom (near Civic Center BART). The next one: May 21st, 7-9 pm. Hope to see you there!

Godless Perverts Social Meetup Now A Regular Thing! Next One 5/21

"Public rituals of grief": A Guest Post by Rebecca Hensler

Rebecca Hensler
This is a guest post from Rebecca Hensler, founder of the Grief Beyond Belief secular grief support network. It was written in response to this request from Dave Muscato of American Atheists, calling for education of public officials about the diversity of their communities in times of tragedy, and atheists’ desire and need to be included.

Aurora, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon… following each tragedy, I ask myself, “Who is taking care of the nonbelievers among the grieving?” As the founder of Grief Beyond Belief, a secular grief-support network whose members reach into the thousands, I am painfully aware of how alienated, isolated and without comfort many atheists and other freethinkers feel following the death of a loved one — or following public events such as the ones above, events that touch and traumatize not only those present but the millions who see, hear or read about them. I think of the atheists among the multitude who heard the President use the word “we” as if he was speaking not just to the nation but for the nation. Might they, like I, find more hurt than comfort in having belief in scriptures, God, and an afterlife projected onto their own grief by the leader of their nation?

A believer might say, “But this is an interfaith ceremony; why should a speaker not speak of the faith that supports him through tragedy?” Certainly a Rabbi or Imam or Pastor at an interfaith ceremony should do so. But this is why the public rituals of grief at which our elected officials speak, the ones that are aired on television and through the internet across the country, should be secular in nature. They still might have clergy speak for those who share their beliefs, because belief about what happens after we die is an intrinsic part of grief. But if clergy are given the opportunity to speak religious words of comfort, the same opportunity should also be provided for a secular or Humanist celebrant to speak secular words of comfort.

Politicians, however, should either admit they are speaking as individuals, and leave out the “we” and “our,” or they should speak for a nation in mourning using language that is universal. The president — this president — is certainly capable of finding words that speak for us all: “sorrow,” “love,” “remember.”

– Rebecca Hensler, Founder
Grief Beyond Belief

"Public rituals of grief": A Guest Post by Rebecca Hensler

"Their arrangement is, in theory, completely consensual": Excerpt from "Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More"

Bending cover
Excerpt from “What She’s Not Telling Him,” one of the stories from “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.” Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords! Content note: Kinky sex, fantasies about problematic consent or non-consent.


Their arrangement is, in theory, completely consensual. Safewords, and limits, and all the usual stuff.

What she’s not telling him is that, the moment he orders her in for a punishment, all of that stuff disappears. The moment he tells her that she must be punished — no, even before that, the moment he gets the gleam in his eye that prophecies a punishment — her submission takes over her mind, and her safeword and limits and understanding that she has consented to this are obliterated. What she’s not telling him is that, for her, the game of sadistic master and frightened obedient slavegirl is real, and is becoming more real with each passing week.

In their arrangement, he always initiates the punishments, and she never refuses. It’s an arrangement she’d asked for, early on. It’s an arrangement he agreed to, with fascination and eagerness, but with more than a bit of trepidation. It’s an arrangement he thinks is a potential minefield. So he agreed to it only on condition that she absolutely promise to safeword if she needs to, that she promise to tell him immediately if he’s being too hard or too cruel.

She promised.

She lied.

For her, the moment her punishment begins, all of her ability to say “No” vanishes.

And that is exactly as she wants it.


If this intrigues you, check out the rest of the book! Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords!

"Their arrangement is, in theory, completely consensual": Excerpt from "Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More"

On Starting a Secular Meditation Practice

So I’ve started a secular meditation practice. As you probably guessed from the title of this piece.

Meditating in urban environment
I’ve been interested in meditation for a long time. It offers, or seems to offer, some things I’m in great need of: peace, calm, the ability to be present in the here and now, the ability to sit still, the ability to not constantly be either in motion or feeding my brain with stimulation, the ability to stay centered and focused and keep my mind from racing in a million directions at once like a hummingbird on meth. I have friends who practice it and find great value in it. And I know there’s research in neurology and neuropsychology supporting the idea that this isn’t just woo bullshit: research supporting the idea that a meditation practice can reduce stress and help in the management of anxiety and depression. The folks who originally came up with this meditation thing do seem to have found something of genuine utility: they framed it in supernatural terms which I obviously don’t accept, but the idea that certain physical and mental practices can alter one’s consciousness, temporarily and longer-term, is pretty well-understood, and doesn’t seem particularly controversial to me.

Am noticing that I’m feeling defensive about this. Am noticing that I’m worried that the atheist/ materialist/ skeptical/ secular community is going to jump all over me about this, and accuse me of getting suckered into pseudo-scientific quasi-religion. Part of this practice is noticing my emotions and physical feelings, acknowledging them rather than fighting them or denying them or trying to fix them, and moving on. Doing that now.

The particular set of physical and mental practices I’m learning is called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I first heard about it at a Science in the Cafe event, a presentation given by a neurologist and neurological researcher (from Stanford, if I recall correctly) who talked about MBSR in a larger talk on current thinking in the science of consciousness. I’ve been interested in meditation for a long time… but I’ve been resistant to pursuing any version of it that’s set in any religious or spiritual setting whatsoever. I do have atheist/ materialist friends who don’t have any problem with that, who can take what they need and leave the rest, who can filter out the supernatural noise or re-frame it in a secular/ materialist framework. But I know myself. I know how irritating I find religion and spirituality, even in small doses. I know that the minute I starting hearing the woo bullshit, I’d be knocked right out of my meditation and into a whole series of arguments and rants in my head. (One of the downsides of being a professional atheist and anti-theist, I suppose.)

So when I heard about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, I got very excited. And when I found out that Kaiser (my insurance company/ health maintenance organization) was offering classes in it, done in a medical setting rather than a religious or spiritual one, I jumped at it.

I’m very much in my baby steps with this right now: I’ve been taking this class for a couple of weeks, and have been meditating regularly — daily — for just a few days. And I’m having a lot of scattered thoughts/ feelings/ opinions/ reactions/ experiences with this, and about this. I’m certainly noticing an immediate benefit: after a session of meditation, I feel calmer, more centered, less jangled, more present in the world and better able to take it in. (Of course, being a skeptic, I know that this could be confirmation bias, placebo effect, any number of deceptive cognitive errors. At the moment, though, I’m willing to trust the current science that I’ve seen, showing that this effect does seem to be real.) I’m also noticing some anxieties about it: mostly having to do with whether the “be here now/ accept reality as it is/ let go of striving” philosophy that seems to underpin the practice is consistent with either my ambition or my passion for social change. I think I’m okay with that, though: I know that self-care is an important part of not burning out on both work and activism, and this practice has potential to be a powerful way to take care of myself. And then of course, this being me, I’m having all sorts of anxieties about whether I’m doing it right. :p

But the thought about meditation that I mostly want to focus on today has to do with how I’m framing this practice in an atheist/ materialist context.

The core of the practice — so far, anyway, right now I’m just in the baby-steps stage — is to sit or lie quietly, focus on your breathing, and then focus your attention on each part of your body in turn: focus your attention on the big toe of your left foot, your little toe, the toes in between, the sole of your left foot, the top of your left foot, your left ankle… etc. all the way through your body and up to the top of your head. (It’s called a “body scan,” and it’s not limited to meditation: I’ve done it in acting classes and other contexts.) When distractions arise, either from the outside world or from inside your head, you acknowledge them, recognize them, accept them without judgment, and then let them go, and return your focus to the body part you’re focusing on.

And what I’ve been noticing, in these baby-steps days of the practice, is how valuable it is to return my attention to my body.

Or, maybe more accurately: How valuable it is to remember that I am my body.

As a materialist, I talk a lot about how we are our bodies: how we have no immaterial souls animating our bodies, how our thoughts and feelings and consciousness and our very selfhood are biological products, constructions of the brain and the rest of the body. But I also have a strong tendency to live in that part of my body between my ears: to live in ideas and abstractions, worries and imaginings, plans and fantasies. (Especially fantasies.) When I’m meditating, and I find myself getting distracted by my own brain — and when I then return my focus to my knee or my ears or whatever part of my body I’m focusing on — the thought that’s been filtering into me as I settle back in is, “I am my body.”

Neck and face muscles
It’s almost becoming a secular mantra. I am my body. I am my knee, my belly, my fingers, my neck, every bit as much as I am my plans and ideas and fears and goals. In fact, my knee and my belly and my fingers and my neck are part and parcel of my plans and ideas and fears and goals: they’re not separate from them, they inform them and shape them, and are informed and shaped by them. They are intertwined, part of the same physical being.

When I spend my time in my head, the experience is often one of feeling very detached from my body. Even though I know, intellectually, that my ideas and so on are products of my squishy biological brain, the feeling is often like having my data stored in a cloud system: off in the ether, accessible by my hardware but separate from it. And among other things, this experience makes it harder to focus: it tends to fragment my attention, jangle my nerves, turn me into a hummingbird on meth.

So I can see how it might be useful, as a materialist, to spend forty-five minutes every day remembering that I am not data stored in a cloud system. I am my body. I can see how it might be useful, as a materialist, to spend forty-five minutes every day returning my attention to my body, and reminding myself that this body — this ankle, this hipbone, this ribcage, this heart, this elbow, this jaw, this scalp, this brain — is who I am.

Related post:
Atheism and Sensuality

<small)("Meditating in urban environment" image by Louwrents.)

On Starting a Secular Meditation Practice

"It's going to be videotaped": Excerpt from "Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More"

Bending cover
Excerpt from “Dixie’s Girl-Toy Gets Spanked for the First Time,” one of the stories from “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.” Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords! Content note: Kinky sex, fantasies about problematic consent or non-consent.


She is doing it to please Dixie.

She would do anything to please Dixie.

She is in Dixie’s apartment. She is getting ready to pull down her panties and be spanked by a lover, for the first time in her life.

It’s going to be videotaped. The video is going to be sold.

Dixie is there with her, of course. So are two camera guys. A lighting guy. A sound guy. A couple of gofers. The director. Another actress, for some reason.

She doesn’t want to do this. She is frightened, and embarrassed.

But Dixie wants this.

So she is doing it.


If this intrigues you, check out the rest of the book! Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords!

"It's going to be videotaped": Excerpt from "Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More"

In Praise of Frivolity

“How can life have meaning without God?”

Pretty much every atheist or humanist I know has gotten this question. It’s often asked in a smug, passive-aggressive way by religious believers who seem to think it’s a real zinger, a deal-breaker of a question that we’ve somehow never contemplated. But it’s sometimes asked in all sincerity, by religious believers who genuinely can’t comprehend what meaning itself could even mean without a divine creator handing it to us from on high. And of course, we humanists ask it ourselves. We ask it of each other—and answer it for each other—when we’re presenting a positive, public face of happy, ethical, meaningful atheism. And we ask it of ourselves in private, in all sincerity, in our long dark nights of the soul-less. The thorny question of life’s meaning isn’t magically answered by a belief in God—but it doesn’t magically disappear when we let go of that belief, either.

When humanists consider this question of meaning without God, of what gives us meaning and how we create it, we often answer with The Big Things. Love. Art. Marriage and family. Friendship. Community. Charity work. Making the world a better place. The never-ending search for knowledge. All of which are awesome; all of which are central parts of how I create meaning in my own life.

But I’d like to add a few things to that list.

Dynamo donuts
What brings meaning to my life? Donuts. Fashion magazines. Costume jewelry. Playing “Cards Against Humanity.” Pretentious overpriced cocktails with a lot of silly crap in them. Fooling around on Facebook. Looking at cute cat videos on the Internet, over and over and over again. TiVoing the Olympics and watching the really obscure sports we’ve never heard of. Coming up with a sexy, gorgeous, wildly inappropriate outfit to wear to the Dyke March. Padron peppers sautéed in hot olive oil until they blister, then sprinkled with coarse sea salt. Sitting on the sofa watching Project Runway and letting cats crawl all over us. The never-ending search for a perfect cup of decaf coffee.

I want to speak in praise of frivolity.


Thus begins my latest piece for The Humanist magazine, In Praise of Frivolity. To read more, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!

In Praise of Frivolity

"Putting herself in his path": Excerpt from "Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More"

Bending cover
Excerpt from “This Week,” one of the stories from “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.” Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords! Content note: Kinky sex, fantasies about problematic consent or non-consent.


Here’s what it is this week. A girl, a college student, is being spanked by her college professor. She’s young, nineteen or twenty, young enough to be in college, but old enough to have some sexual knowledge. He’s older, of course, probably in his forties, dressed casually but with dignity, a trim beard with a hint of gray. She is dressed, not in the schoolgirl outfit of porn cliché, but in regular modern clothing that merely implies the schoolgirl look: a short skirt with a flare, a simple blouse, white panties. The white panties are important. She is bent over his lap with her skirt pulled up and her panties pulled down, and he is spanking her with his hand.

Here’s how they got there. I think of the girl as the instigator of the scenario. I think of her sitting in this man’s class: admiring him, becoming excited by his ideas and his authority and his ease with his body. I think of her feeling flustered in his presence: not stupid, but young, and acutely self-conscious of her youth and her limitations. And I imagine these feelings coalescing into the simple image in her mind, the lap and the bare bottom and the hand coming down again and again. I think of her, not coolly deciding to act on her thoughts, but doing it impulsively, not even entirely consciously; just coming to him after classes for help and advice, putting herself in his path, waiting to see what happens next.

Now. I imagine her going to his house after a test, a test on which she had done fine but could have done better. She goes to his house, dressed only somewhat on purpose in the short skirt and simple blouse and white panties. She goes to his house, apparently upset about her less-than-ideal test score, telling him that she clearly needs more help. She works herself into an agitation, a frustration about her academic performance that even she half-believes. At the same time, she’s deliberately, or semi-deliberately, being provocative, displaying her body, putting herself in poses both seductive and submissive. She talks about how lazy she is, how little self-discipline she has, how she needs external discipline to succeed — and she drops something on the floor and turns away from him to pick it up. She says she can’t achieve her best unless she fears being punished, says a B+ grade isn’t enough punishment to drive her to excel — and she bends over his desk to examine a knick-knack on the far side. She uses the word “punishment” again and again, and she keeps finding ways and reasons to turn away from him and bend over.


If this intrigues you, check out the rest of the book! Now for sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords!

"Putting herself in his path": Excerpt from "Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More"