Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Good Housekeeping debut on why I love clutter

Yes, that's my byline on Good Housekeeping's website, for my essay "I'm Happy With My Clutter, Thank You Very Much." I am, and I'm also very happy to be published somewhere I never thought I'd be, given that I'm so far from being a housekeeper. I also wrote about moving three times in three years for Omni, a new imprint at Medium, with my essay "What I Want in a Home vs. What I Need."

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What a difference 13,000 miles makes

Last week was a challenging one, to say the least. It pushed me to my emotional limit, not because anything majorly awful happened, but a combination of intense deadlines, upcoming international travel and general anxiety had me breaking down in tears several times. I just kept wondering, Can I do this? I even considered canceling my trip to Thailand because I wasn't in a frame of mind that seemed conducive to travel. I wanted to curl up in bed and not leave.

But I got through the worst parts, thanks to my very patient boyfriend, made my Qatar Airways flight, and have spent the last few days exploring Bangkok and catching up with one of my oldest friends. I met my deadlines, and even decided to write a little while I'm here because with the time difference (it's 11 hours ahead of EST), I can go out during the day and then, when I'm physically tired and ready to not be walking around any more, I have been catching up a bit in the evenings, in a way that doesn't feel anywhere near as stressful as last week did.

So far the highlights have been eating at the Hello Kitty House cafe, visitng the stunningly gorgeous Wat Arun and Wat Pho, surviving my taxi and tuk tuk rides (I am afraid of cars and try to avoid them), running through a rainstorm and eating something for breakfast that I'm not sure the name of, but it's fried and vegetarian and delicious. My friend wisely told me to get a SIM card and being able to go online, use Google Maps and not feel like I'll ever be totally lost has made a world of difference.

So did the 20 or so hours it took get here. On my flights, I had plenty of time to think about what I'm doing with my life, what I want to be doing, what I don't and how to make changes and manage my workflow and not feel as trapped as I did last week. I'm not saying I figured it all out in the air, but I have felt much calmer, more centered and also more productive during my time here. I have gone from being utterly afraid of what my professional future might hold to feeling extremely grateful for the opportunities that are coming to me, and the chance to truly think about how to make opportunities happen. With that said, I'm now going to go enjoy my trip, but wanted to share a few photos.

Nature competed with the man made structures for my favorite things I saw


the intricacy of the artwork on these structures was stunning

watphocute Cute

coconut water
Coconut water straight from the source helped keep me from overheating and was so delicious, I'm sure I'll be having it again while I'm here.

my "I hope I don't die in this tuk tuk" face

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

See you on Instagram

I have a jumble of feelings as I get ready to fly to Thailand for a much-needed vacation, even though I haven't finished all the work I needed to (thank you, upcoming 21 hours of travel). Excitement, fear, guilt, missing my boyfriend even though I haven't quite left yet. This week kicked my ass in all kinds of ways, but even though I didn't do everything I wanted to, I wrote more than I ever have in my life, filing 23 pieces, pushing myself in ways I didn't think I was capable. I decided to take this trip in part to visit one of my oldest friends, and partly because my dearest hope in the entire world is that soon I won't be making international travel plans cause I'll be too busy with being a mom. Who knows if that will ever happen or I'll just be crazy vacation girl forever, but right now, I'm heading off into the unknown, trying to put a rough week behind me. I probably won't be posting too much here, but I do plan to post photos on Instagram. See you there!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Want to be a sex blogger? Take this online class by Epiphora and JoEllen Notte

I've emphasized my love of online classes before, based on the ones I've taught for LitReactor, but today I want to share news about this class on The Business of Blogging About Sex, taught by two women who know this from many years of experience, Epiphora, whose blog's tagline is "where sex toys go to get judged" and JoEllen Notte, aka The Redhead Bedhead. I will also be contributing a segment on writing erotica. They'll cover topics such as setting up a blog, posting, making money and getting readers. While I haven't taken the class myself, I can vouch for both of them being smart professionals who certainly know what they're talking about, and you can read testimonials by people who've taken the class. This is a class I wish I'd had access to before I started blogging.


Here's the class's official description:
Whether you're brand new to sex blogging or want to take your current blog to the next level, The Business of Blogging About Sex will kick you into high gear. Each week will focus on a different topic, giving students the skills they need to be well-rounded sex bloggers. Epiphora and JoEllen will teach you how to set up your site, pinpoint your niche, publish captivating content, obtain products for review, build a loyal following, use social media to your advantage, and much more. Since dildos can't pay your bills, they'll also spend a week discussing avenues for blog monetization, including affiliate links, banner advertising, and sponsored posts.

In addition to instruction and personalized feedback from Epiphora and JoEllen, students will be treated to tidbits of advice from over 30 successful industry leaders, plus a photography tutorial and critique from ace blog photographer Penny of Penny For Your (Dirty) Thoughts. Finally, attend two private video hangouts with Epiphora and JoEllen, where you'll meet their pets and they'll answer all your blogging questions with brutal honesty.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What happened the last time I got hate mail

To find out, check out my first article for Contently, "5 Ways to Use Hate Mail to Your Advantage." I learned a lot from the writers who shared their hate mail stories with me (not all of them made it into the final piece) and it helped me get some perspective on my unexpected hater. I was especially pleased because I've been reading Contently's great, well, content about freelance writing and hosting a writing portfolio on their site with many of my clips, which makes it handy to pass on to editors I'm pitching. I recommend it, and they were great to work with on this piece.

This also puts me on track to meet my goal of writing for one new publication per month (on average) in 2015. I have a lot more I'd love to blog about but I'm getting ready for my first trip to Thailand, where I plan to spend as little time as possible using my phone (save to take photos) or computer, and also writing two pieces a day for Salon, which may not sound like that much writing but takes up a good amount of my time. I will hopefully have a little time to post before I leave about my upcoming events and assorted other thoughts. Right now, I am trying to stay on top of the news and my writing assignments and spend time with my boyfriend before I head off yet again.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Why rope is better than handcuffs for bondage, according to Emily Bingham

Check out "Confessions of a 'rope fiend'" at Philadelphia City Paper to find out all about why memoirist Emily Bingham loves rope bondage so much.


Here's a snippet:
Bingham’s evolved from being the one solely on the receiving end to doing the trussing herself and says now she “enjoys doing the binding as much as I enjoy being bound.” Rope, especially made from hemp or jute, is her favorite tool. Handcuffs just won’t do. Bingham gets practically poetic about her favorite equipment. “There’s a wonderful texture to the natural rope that feels lovely on the skin, especially when the person tied up struggles and the lines of rope creak like the mast of a ship.”
Read the whole column

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What does "orgasm equality" really mean?

That's the question I tackled in my latest DAME column, "Is Orgasm Equality As Simple As Tit for Tat?" where I looked at recent statements by Nicki Minaj and Amy Schumer about how women should demand and go after an orgasm, and explored a few reasons why it may not be so simple. Want to read more? Check out my DAME Shameless Sex archives.

Here's a snippet of this one: "n situations like this, it’s as if, rather than demanding orgasms, they are being demanded of us. Or, as author Jenny Block puts it in her forthcoming book O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm, we’ve made orgasm less of a joyful endeavor and more of a power play, a symbol of achievement first and foremost." Read the whole thing here

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