For Anyone Who Likes Sex, Feelings, Love Letters, Books, All Of The Above

Carmen’s Team Pick:

This is a Melissa Gira Grant appreciation post.

See, the thing is, Melissa Gira Grant does really amazing things and I feel like you’d like her. I like her first and foremost because ever since I met her in 2009 working on THE LINE I was overwhelmed with how cool she was. She self-describes herself as a “freelance writer,” but really she does it all: from talking on various issues of sex and sexuality on campuses and at conferences and writing and publishing creative and issue-based writing for various outlets to working in the arenas of human sexuality and sex work, queer people doing cool things, and feminism.

I think she’s the best.

photo by nikola tamindzic

One year ago she changed my life and published this anthology of Internet-authored stories about love and sex and relationships, “Coming and Crying,” in which I read these little pieces of people printed out on paper and then cried, true to form.

And then she gave me the gift of this bag, only about a month ago, which a girl fell out of her seat on a WMATA Metrobus trying to read when I got to my stop. (Please buy one because you feel so good with one.) (Also because the other one says “I like books and have feelings.”)

But just last week, I got this email in my inbox from Glass Houses Press, which Melissa started after the not-so-surprising success of her Kickstarter campaign to publish “Coming and Crying,” in which her newest product was announced. I decided instantly that I wanted it, mostly because it’s essentially a love letter delivery service – only the writing isn’t fiction and the letters aren’t to you.

For 25 dollars, you can sign up for “What Price Love?” online — a project labeled “performance” but that sounds like “perfection” to me. Once you’ve signed up, you have access to the actual, real-life correspondence (read: love letters) shared between two people from March to November of last year. But you won’t be receiving the letters as a thick packet or an e-book or a PDF once you’ve hit “purchase.” You’ll receive them as emails, the method in which they were actually delivered to the two people who were sending and receiving them, and at the exact same times on the exact same dates they were sent just 12 months before:

What Price Love? is an email love letter subscription, lasting nine months. Subscribers will receive the exact email I sent in 2011 in their inbox now in 2012 (e.g., what I wrote on the morning of March 8th before I went to work, you’ll get that, too, and at the same time). It’s like I am writing to you.

How often will they come? The letters will ebb and flow: that first burst of getting to know one another, the rush of obsession, the pace slowing, and then, that’s it. They stop.

You’ll enter into the correspondence at the time you subscribe, and get to/have to wait between love letters the same way their object did.

I’ll get to go back through the letters with you.

The end of the description posted online reads, “together we’ll decide what love letters are worth.”

I’m so excited to figure that out.

How about you?

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I love this project! The idea of re-living and re-sending love letters (especially in this digital age) is brilliant. How do you find all of this awesome art stuff, Carmen?

    • it’s all an accident or it’s all on tumblr! probably mostly accidental tumblr surfing.

  2. I think this is a really excellent idea! I used to read the Times Love Letters, which was letters about love from various authors, but the real life correspondence factor is really neat.

  3. This is kinda creepy but intriguing and it freaks my shit out. It also makes me realize I haven’t written love letters in a long time. *sad trombone* But damn, if anyone would pay for my old email love letters, I would hook them up so hard. This is kind of genius.

  4. There is a sweetness to this that leaves me at a loss for words..But my feelings about it are in abundance!

  5. Wow, that sounds awesome. What an incredible and crafty idea. I’ll have to look up her other stuff now. Thanks for posting!

  6. I just bought “Coming and Crying” after seeing the recommendation here, and it looks amazing so far!

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