In 2006, I approached Carol Queen and asked whether she would be interested in reinstating the Erotic Reading Circle. I’d learned about the ERC during my first three months in San Francisco, when I was running my first erotic writing group for sexual trauma survivors. At Community Thrift (one of my my favorite bookstores in San Francisco), I came across a book entitled Sex Spoken Here, which anthologized some of the amazing work that had been shared at the Erotic Reading Circle during its run at Good Vibrations. In their introduction, the co-editors, Carol Queen and Jack Davis, described the power, beauty, and community that the Erotic Reading Circle had nurtured during its run into the mid-90s. Here I was, a newbie to San Francisco in 2003, researching the healing/transformative potential of erotic expression for survivors of sexual violence. “Wait,” I thought. “Why doesn’t a space like the Erotic Reading Circle still exist?”
A few years later, I had had the good luck to be introduced to Carol, began facilitating an erotic writing group at the Center for Sex and Culture, and even though I was still starstruck whenever I spoke to her (an experience that continues to this day!), I asked whether she would be interested in rebooting the Erotic Reading Circle under the Center’s auspices — and she said yes! We’ve been meeting monthly (every fourth Wednesday, 7:30-9:30pm, at the CSC) ever since — that’s coming on 8 years now — co-facilitating a space in which erotic writers can bring their work and have it received with respect, enthusiasm, and generous feedback.
Posted onJuly 7, 2014|Comments Off on Support Sex Still Spoken Here!
Three years, in 2011, Amy Butcher, Carol Queen and I got it into our heads to compile an anthology of the amazing writing that we were privy to every month at the Center for Sex and Culture’s Erotic Reading Circle — and so we put out a call for submissions, received gloriously hot stories in return, and began what ended up being a two-year process of bringing this collection together (talk about a lag time)!
But the long wait is over! It’s finally coming to fruition: please welcome Sex Still Spoken Here: The (second) Erotic Reading Circle Anthology: Twenty-seven stories from our Erotic Reading Circle writers, a conversation among the editors about the power of the circle and the need for more erotic-writing spaces, and a how-to guide for those wishing to start an Erotic Reading Circle in their own communities! Isn’t this a book you’d love to have on your shelf?
Here’s where you come in: Sex Still Spoken Here is being self-published by the new Center for Sex and Culture, and needs the erotic-writing- and erotic-reading-loving community to come together and support this book’s coming to life! Please check out our indiegogo campaign, donate what you can, pass the word on to friends who believe in the power and necessity of erotic expression and community. We have wonderful perks, not including the excellence that is this anthology — you might want some homemade bread (from yours truly!) along with a personalized writing prompt, your own erotic reading circle, or even to have Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence grace your very own bedroom with their delicious words! It’s all available to you — and you get the pleasure of knowing you have helped this beautiful collection.
This morning it’s late again when I sit down here at the keyboard and I remember that my body is always heavier, sleepier, more tired when she’s sleeping. We’re supposed to pretend like the blood doesn’t affect us, like everything’s normal. Well, everything is normal — this body is working extra hard during these days. Be unsurprised, ego-self, that the animal body has her seasons and cycles, has her rhythms and climbs, has her furrows, her sweet spots, has the moments when all she can do is lie down. Come and lie down with us. Bring a book. Now is the fallow time.
Last night was the Erotic Reading Circle at the Center for Sex and Culture, the monthly reading event I get to co-facilitate with the most-delicious Carol Queen. I am never disappointed at the ERC: last night we had stories about public-alley sex and masturbation and memoir about sex in SF in the mid-70s; we had the next installment of a fantasy piece, a story that taught me about the layers of exhibitionism possible at a nude beach, and D/s stories from both the D perspective and the s. The folks who come to the circle, both the regulars and the newbies, are without fail attentive listeners who are engaged with each piece being shared into the room — people pay close attention, give strong feedback, want to hear more. What a gift, to have a space where one’s erotic work is taken seriously. We meet again November 28 — maybe you’ll be able to join us one of these months.
Here’s what I want to tell you — the tissue around my microcalcifications came back benign. And today I go meet with a surgeon in the family practice department who will feel around where my primary care doctor originally felt around (and felt worried), and tell me if there’s anything going on that the mammogram didn’t pick up.
The new year is the time for a new dedication to your writing practice — and we’ve got a whole host of offerings, beginning in January and February, one of which might be just right for you or someone you love!
Please pass the word, and let me know if you’d like to join us! I’m looking forward to writing with you —
I wake up from layered and complicated dreams. There are things I want to tell you about, but it’s not time for them yet. The alarm goes off at 4, and I think, I could just snooze for a little bit, and then I forget to press snooze, and now it’s after 5.
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The Fall writing workshop series begins next week — Write Whole: Survivors Write starts on Monday, and we do still have a couple of spaces left! Friday is the last day to register — if you have been thinking about joining us and giving yourself and your stories a regular, weekly writing time, please do contact me.
Whew — be safe out there today, Bay Area-ers. That wind is crazy, fickle like dice, snapping back in your face just when you thought you had the umbrella situated right and held tight, flipping the metal framing inside out, leaving your safety shield as a cup for the moon and wet.
We had a lovely Erotic Reading Circle last night, the first one at the Center for Sex and Culture‘s new space at 1349 Mission St! (Will you join with me here in a moment of good wishes that the CSC has found a good and solid home for awhile? Hooray!)
Can erotic writing liberate more than our libidos? Does greater comfort with sexual expression lead to greater agency in our communities? Many of us assume that the erotic is solely the province of the individual, and not the realm of social change or communal liberation – but what happens when we all have wider access to and more comfort with erotic language and sexual expression? The full breadth of our erotic power can challenge what our society teaches us about our sexuality, which is both damning and provocative when it comes to personal expression and human relationships.
Posted onNovember 24, 2010|Comments Off on if a girl doesn’t have her standards, what does she have
What about today? Still cold. The space heaters don’t really make a dent. I need fingerless gloves and am wearing a hat. Today I’m feeling kind of constricted — cold does that. So does imminent vacation. Last night I gave myself comfort foods & comfort time, after my chores were done.
What comes next? Being with the notebook pages first means I’m more conscious when I get to the computer page, means I’m more awake, means I’m thinking more about what I’m writing — my being more awake means my internal editors are more awake. This is why I like to write before the sun is up — my editors are not morning people.
Happy Thursday! Today I have a little extra writing time in the morning, and then I’m off to SF for the MedEd writer’s group, a weekly meeting with my friend/colleague Peggy Simmons of Green Windows Writing Groups, and then tonight’s the night for Declaring Our Erotic, too! A full day; thankfully, I got a full-night’s sleep: whew.
Last night was the Erotic Reading Circle — we’ve been ERC-ing for at least four years. Can it be that long?