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

Friday, November 27, 2015

Why Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 is the most important book I've ever edited

While I’m busy promoting this month’s release of Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples, I’m also looking ahead to January and the release of what I consider the most important book I’ve ever edited: Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1.

BWEOfThe Year_approved

I’ve been reading the Best Women’s Erotica series since the very first volume edited by Marcy Sheiner, and have had the honor of having several stories of mine published in the series, including some of my favorites, most notably my dishwashing fetish story “Doing the Dishes” and my oral sex restaurant story "Secret Service," inspired by a former restaurant where I used to live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With this new volume, Cleis Press has shifted from using calendar years in the title to volumes, so that the books are not automatically returned by bookstores at the end of the year. This means that readers will have more opportunities to discover the book.

I put everything I’ve learned from my last decade plus of anthology editing into this book. My vision was for an anthology of varied erotica by and about women, and while of course no single book will speak to every aspect of female sexuality, I am incredibly proud of the result. There’s a story set in the past and a story set in the future. There’s a fictional superhero and a pop star. There's kink and tenderness, love, lust and flirtation. There's real life drama and plenty of fantasies.

As I discovered upon my recent copyedit, as befitting my turning 40, there wound up being several women in their forties. There are two trans men (and if I have the honor of editing another volume, I will make sure trans women are included). There are lesbian and heterosexual pairings; there are bisexual stories; there are single ladies and ones in committed relationships, as well as ones in relationships that could use a little improvement. And much more!

I think this is one of the most diverse collections I’ve edited, in terms of race, age, sexual orientation and types of story settings and storytelling. I had to turn down many amazing stories due to space, which is always gut-wrenching to me, but one of the rougher aspects of anthology editing. However, my hope is that this volume reaches readers around the world, as it contains stories written by authors in the United States, Canada, the UK and Japan.

It’s become my new favorite amongst my titles. When people ask me which anthology of mine they should try, I will say Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, because I think it’s both modern and timeless. And yes, these stories are by and about women, but I truly believe anyone interested in varied, well written erotica, will appreciate them. I just reread them and even though I already knew what would happen, I got a kick out of it. My story "Flying Solo," written in the second person, made me want to write more in second person because it's fun (if challenging, but a good challenge).

The other reason I’m so proud of this book has to do with me stepping up as a businesswoman in a way I never have before. When I was asked to edit this anthology, I hired a publishing lawyer to help me with my contract, and then I got on the phone with my publisher and negotiated a better deal for myself than I would have gotten otherwise. I got some terms that I hadn’t even asked for, and all of that makes me even more committed to devoting 100% of my energy in the first half of 2016 to spreading the word about this book wide and far.

Right now I’m working on arranging readings that I hope will take place in San Francisco and Chicago and possibly a few more cities. As a general rule, I only travel for paid speaking events, because that’s what I can afford and what’s best for my business, but I’m breaking that rule to invest in this book because I believe in it so much and want to share that passion in the form of live readings. If those pan out, I will be posting about them all over, especially on the social media accounts for the book on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I hope you will consider pre-ordering the book in print or ebook, or just sharing this link with the cover, table of contents and introduction. I'll be sending postcards to any stores that want them (email me at rachelkramerbussel at if you have a store or event where you can put postcards out).

This is the culmination of the work I’ve been doing since I wrote my very first erotica story in 1999, and since I worked on my first anthology in 2004. It’s a huge honor that I do not take lightly. I thank all the authors who’ve allowed me to publish their work, and Cleis Press for believing in me and putting a beautiful cover on this incredibly sexy book. I will be sharing much more about the stories in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, as we approach the January 12 publication date.

What I’ve been learning in recent months is that if you want to achieve big goals, you have to first dream big. So here’s my big dream: that Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 becomes my bestselling anthology. I love all the books with my name on them, of course, but this one I truly believe speaks to modern sexuality in a way that’s, without explicitly using the word in its fiction, feminist. I can’t wait to share these 22 hot stories with you. If you're a blogger or journalist and would like to cover BWE of the Year (for short), email me at rachelkramerbussel at with "BWE" in the subject line and in the body your name, mailing address and publication name.

Below you'll find the links where you can pre-order Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, edited by me, Rachel Kramer Bussel, and published by Cleis Press. I hope you’ll check it out, because these authors are all ones to watch.

Introduction (read it on Tumblr)
A New Canvas Tara Betts
Demimonde Valerie Alexander
Ophelia the Second Jade A. Waters
Revisiting Youth J. Crichton and H. Keyes
Date Night D.R. Slaten
Flying Solo Rachel Kramer Bussel
Drawn by Nic Heidi Champa
The Ropes Elise King
Starstruck Lazuli Jones
The Altar of Lamented Toys Jessica Taylor
Matilda’s Secret L. Marie Adeline
Scents & Sexuality Doriana Chase
Alvin’s Night Elizabeth Coldwell
Enter Me Tabitha Rayne
The Wolf at His Door Deborah Castellano
Out of the Ordinary Rose P. Lethe
Lighting the Pyre Theda Hudson
Restitution Ria Restrepo
The Carnalarium Rose Caraway
Waiting to Pee Amy Butcher
Two Doms for Dinner Dorothy Freed
The Assistant Tiffany Reisz

Get your hands on Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 1:

Amazon (print)


Barnes & Noble (print)




IndieBound (find your nearest local bookstore)

Cleis Press

Amazon UK (print)

Amazon UK Kindle

Amazon Canada (print)

Amazon Canada Kindle

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A free book on Black Friday? Enter my giveaway on Facebook to win Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex

Like me, your inbox is probably inundated with Black Friday sales. I love a good sale too, but with Thanksgiving this week and me feeling truly grateful that I get to live this life and keep on editing books that I'm so proud of, I wanted to offer something back. So I'm giving away 5 copies of my first "little" (in size) book, Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex on my Facebook page. There are only three requirements: a) that you're in the U.S. (I'm not rich, so can only afford to send books via media mail in my country) b) that you subscribe to my monthly newsletter and c) that you leave a comment on this Facebook post with the email address you've used to subscribe to my newsletter.

Not a subscriber to my newsletter? You can subscribe on the left-hand side of my blog ( if you're reading hit elsewhere) or on my Facebook page (click on "newsletter signup") or on the left-hand side of


The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST tonight and I will be contacting the winners in the morning so I can send them their books! Good luck!

I hope you are feeling thankful this year, even if it's in small doses. I have strived hard to make gratitude a daily, deliberate part of my life this year, and along with that, I've tried to figure out ways to change the parts of my life that I don't like. It's not always easy, and sometimes there are curveballs thrown at me. For instance, in January, I'll be moving for the fourth time in four years. Do I want to? No. Will it require time and money that could have been invested back into my business? Yes. But is there anything I can do about it? No, and since I live by the Serenity Prayer, I am simply pulling out the packing tape today and getting a head start on packing up what will turn out to be mostly books, along with clothes and other important items. The upside of moving so often, especially after having lived in my convenient Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment for 13 years, is that I care less about "stuff" in general and more about the specific things that matter. It gets easier to pare down each time. I've gifted hundreds of books to friends, and gotten to share in the delight of them reading one I liked (or, in some cases, never wound up reading). I got serious with myself about what items I wanted to keep and which I didn't.

Out of all the things I've read about gratitude, this post by the wonderful Latham Thomas of Mama Glow, "My Home Burned Down Before Thanksgiving & I Am Still Thankful" spoke to me the most. Read it and treasure people, health, love, humanity, not things. Yes, it's a paradox: this post is mainly about giving away a thing, and I make a living by crafting things (books) I care deeply about. But I care about them differently now after my moves. I know that they can be a burden as well as a blessing. Books have taught me almost everything I know about life, but they are not life itself. It's a good lesson to remember.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Just announced: my next LitReactor erotica writing class starts February 11; register by December 31 to save $25

Want to learn how to write erotica, and how to market your work and get it published? You're in luck!


My next LitReactor 4-week online erotica writing class will start February 11th. And for the first time, they're offering an early bird discount! Register by December 31st and pay $350; register January 1 or later and the price will be $375. This will be my sixth time teaching the class, and each time I refine and learn more about how to best serve my students.

You can take the class from anywhere in the world, in any time zone, on your own schedule. You read the weekly lectures and assignments when you want to, and can participate in weekly homework assignments. I would say the people who will get the most out of the class will be able to dedicate at least 5 hours a week to it. I also encourage questions and enjoy researching the answers for my students. You will also be invited after class ends to join my secret Facebook group for my erotica writing alumni to continue to the conversation.

On the LitReactor site, you'll see a breakdown of the weekly lectures and assignments, plus quotes from former students. In addition to what's listed there, I also offer extra material, including over a dozen Q&As exclusive to the class with erotica professionals such as publishers, editors, agents as well as authors, including Tiffany Reisz, Elizabeth SaFleur, Charlotte Stein, Cecilia Tan, Rebekah Weatherspoon and others.

Have a question about the class? Email me at rachelkb at gmail dot com with "LitReactor" in the subject line and I'll get right back to you!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Why the "for couples" in the Dirty Dates subtitle is a suggestion, not a mandate

Look closely, or even not that closely, at the cover of my new BDSM erotica anthology Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples and you'll see that the image and subtitle are trying to tell you something. "Couples" is the theme, what with the one kissing in the black and white photo and the "for couples" in the subtitle of the book.


Well, I'm not saying the subtitle is a lie, but I am saying it's not the full story. I get into this more at Lady Smut in my post "Why I believe in sexy stories for everyone", which I encourage you to check out. The week before they made it Dirty Dates week and there's lots of posts there riffing on the theme.

I believe Dirty Dates, like all my anthologies, has something for everyone interested in sexy tales. You don't need to be part of a couple, or kinky, or have ever read erotica before, to find something to appreciate.

Now I will do my duty as an editor with a brand new book out to tell you where you can buy it (and if you buy the ebook by November 30th, I'll send you a free erotica ebook as thanks):



Barnes & Noble


Books-a-Million (paperback)

Books-a-Million (ebook)


IndieBound (find it at your local bookstore)



Cleis Press

Amazon UK

Kindle UK

Amazon Canada

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hello from your "erotic fairy grandmother"

A few awesome things converged around my recent Washington, DC erotica writing workshop. One is that I learned just how much a store like Lotus Blooms appreciates its teachers. I got a small bonus for all the promotional posts I did about it, which felt awesome. I've been reading and listening to podcasts all about using your strengths, talents and passions to further your creative career. That's what I do; I'm a sharer—some would obviously say an oversharer. But I don't apologize for it, and to be financially rewarded for it felt like my career and my passions and my life were all in alignment.

I was also thrilled that Lotus Blooms booked the upstairs of the bar across the street, The Black Squirrel. It was a wonderful little area, complete with bartender. We were a relatively small group, I think about 12 or so, but the perfect size for the setting and for those who wanted to share to be able to.

One of the places I did my outreach to was the website Brightest Young Things, and their writer Kaylee did a fabulous review of my erotica writing class. I love that she called me "our erotic fairy godmother for the evening" and you should read her piece to get her take on the workshop. Key words: "A Freddy Vs Jason love story."


Speaking of teaching, I'm just about halfway through my latest LitReactor Between the Sheets class and am looking ahead to 2016. I'll be announcing a new event soon, and will teach both erotica writing and nonfiction sex writing workshops on April 1st for CatalystCon in Chicago (though you don't have to attend CatalystCon to attend my workshops). Beyond that, nothing is finalized, but I am working on launching new events and classes, so stay tuned by reading this blog, @raquelita on Twitter and/or subscribing to my monthly newsletter at

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, November 16, 2015

Free kinky erotica book offer for Dirty Dates ebook release day!

I got an email while I was sleeping at 12:08 a.m. that my Kindle copy of Dirty Dates was ready for my ebook reading pleasure, so it must really be release day for Dirty Dates! That's a great way to make an anthology editor happy.


It's like my book gets two release days, because I know many people prefer to read on an e-reader. Here are those handy links, and if you have read it, or when you're done, I'd love if you'd leave a review wherever you purchased it and/or on Goodreads. Even a sentence sharing your favorite story in the book goes a long way to more readers discovering the work of these amazing writers! My goal as an editor is to publish stories readers of all kinds will enjoy (not just kinky readers and not just "couples" in this case), and to give my authors a wide audience. So thank you for your support! FYI, I'm not seeing Dirty Dates listed in Google Play, but if that changes, I will update this post and the official Dirty Dates Tumblr.

Not convinced yet? Read the introduction on Tumblr. Read sexy free excerpts:

"The Corset" by Dorothy Freed

"Switch" by Mina Murray

"Polka-Dot Dress" by Erzabet Bishop

Buy the ebook of Dirty Dates from these retailers for your e-reader of choice:




Kobo (note: I found out after I posted this that Kindle doesn't allow users to send ebooks as gifts and because I'm in the U.S., I can't send a Kobo egift card. So if you're a Kobo user, I can only send you either a physical gift card from Kobo or else an ebook gift from Amazon, Amazon Canada, Nook or iBooks. My apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. I wish Kobo allowed the gifting of books!)


To sweeten the pot, for those who've already ordered Dirty Dates in ebook form OR those who do by November 30th at 11:59 pm EST, here's a special deal:

Send your receipt for any of the above ebook versions of Dirty Dates to dirtydatesbook at with "Ebook" in the subject line and your free ebook request in the body (see options below), and I will send you the ebook version of any of the following of my BDSM erotica titles free (I believe they should all be available in the above ebook forms):

Anything for You; Best Bondage Erotica 2011; Best Bondage Erotica 2012; Best Bondage Erotica 2013; Best Bondage Erotica 2014; Best Bondage Erotica 2015; The Big Book of Submission; Bottoms Up; Cheeky Spanking Stories; He's on Top; Please, Ma'am; Please, Sir; Serving Him; She's on Top; Spanked; Surrender; Yes, Sir; Yes, Ma'am.

It's that easy, but in case you prefer a numbered list:

1. Buy the ebook of Dirty Dates on Kindle, Nook, iBooks or Kobo.

2. Select your preferred free kinky erotica ebook from the list above.

3. Forward your receipt with "Ebook" in the subject line to by November 30, 2015, 11:59 pm EST.

4. Download the free gift ebook I've sent!

Unless otherwise specified, I'll send you the gift ebook in the same format you bought the Dirty Dates ebook. So if you send me a Dirty Dates Kindle receipt and ask for The Big Book of Submission, I'll gift it to you via Kindle. This promotion is valid through November 30th, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST. Your receipt MUST be received by then for me to send you the free ebook. This is a promotion done solely by me as a gift to my readers to thank you for reading Dirty Dates. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who might appreciate some hot BDSM erotica!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 recent podcast appearances: Speaking of Sex and Made in '83

I've recently gotten pretty obsessed with listening to podcasts ("obsessed" as in, I try to listen to at least part of one every day), so I was excited to be interviewed recently on two podcasts: Speaking of Sex (the wonderful podcast by sex educators the Pleasure Mechanics) and the Made in '83 podcast. Click on each podcast title or logo below to listen and/or subscribe to each in iTunes.

For Speaking of Sex, I talked a lot about Dirty Dates, my responsibility as an editor of BDSM, how couples can use erotica, whether I agree with the review that called it "kink light," what I hope readers take away, and a little about what I teach my erotica writing students. On Made in '83, we briefly discussed Dirty Dates but mainly talked about sexuality in everyday life, from slut shaming to dating and more.



Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, November 15, 2015

How to know your relationship is going to last

Okay, unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to know anything for 100% sure about the future. But here's my hunch about my relationship: it's lasted almost four years now both because we love each other and we are open to change. Change within ourselves and change imposed from the outside world. In January, a week or two after our anniversary, we are going to be moving for the fourth time in four years. Is that a complete pain in the ass? Of course. But both of us, after a few minutes of complaining, have simply adapted.

Yes, I just hung up my gorgeous Georgia O'Keeffe painting and other artwork. I have bookshelves set up so all my books are accessible by walking across my bedroom/office. But that's life, and we aren't moving far, and while we will still only have a one-year lease, we are both pretty confident who we're renting from won't have any reason to kick us out (in this year's case, it wasn't anything to do with us, but our landlord decided to exercise their option to move back in after our lease was up).

We have adapted to so many things: job losses, family deaths, loss of income, jealousy. We've adapted to new towns and new circumstances. We've seen each other at our best and our worst. We're working on learning how to argue more productively. Friday, we went to Grounds for Sculpture, which was stunningly gorgeous. I wasn't quite prepared for how grandiose it would be. We lucked out with a sunny but slightly chilly day, and bundled up, I was happy to roam around most of the day, punctuated by a lovely lunch at their restaurant, Rat's. We so rarely get a weekday together and if we do, are usually on our computers.

Summertime Lady by David Hostetler (side view)

Then we came home and watched the news about Paris. It was such a jarring juxtaposition to see this artwork that celebrated life and love and, I believe, timelessness, contrasted with such horrific violence.

Then yesterday, we set off for Westchester. We had a little day adventure planned, but when we checked into our hotel, it was awful. As in, we stayed for as long as it took to book another room and left. It was a little tense; I'd been so relieved to be out of the car, and there we were, getting in another one. But guess what? We not only got a refund because my boyfriend calmly but firmly told them why the room didn't work (it was very dirty and it smelled), but we found a suite at a new hotel for only abut $30 more that also had a jacuzzi hot tub we could both fit in!

Now, my boyfriend is a big guy, so this is a rare occurrence. I didn't even know he'd want to get in. But we positioned ourselves and turned up the hot water and then the jets, while I drank a tea that was still hot 20 minutes after I got it. We didn't stay long, but I just kept looking around like, What? This is my life, that I get to randomly be in a jacuzzi hot tub with someone who cares about me so much and looks out for me at every turn?

There were other moments of unexpectedness, like curving roads that I was so relieved we passed that I almost cried (I'm extremely afraid of cars, though I'm better than I used to be). I'm not saying we are both perfectly calm 24/7, but that we are each both able to roll with any given unexpected situation, or one of us can help guide the other through it. We even shared a bed, two nights after telling the world why separate beds are good for our relationship. But with the help of earplugs for him and a king-size bed, we did it. In fact, he's sleeping in that bed right now while I type this at seven in the morning.

So no, I have no idea what the future holds. But I have a feeling we are going to make it for the long haul, as long as we can continue to adapt to change in whatever form it takes.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, November 13, 2015

My 40th birthday photo shoot on why my boyfriend and I sleep in separate beds is in the New York Post

I've been 40 for 4 days, and they've been a whirlwind! On Tuesday, my 40th birthday, I woke up very early, around 5 a.m. (I was born at 3:59 a.m., and was a preemie; I was supposed to be born in February 1976), then spent the day celebrating the release of my new erotica anthology Dirty Dates, writing two articles for Salon, teaching my LitReactor class, going to dinner with my boyfriend and a coworker, and having my photo taken for this New York Post article on couples with separate beds. I only have a few photos of my boyfriend and I from our almost four years together, so that was fun and special, all the more so because he's pretty camera and press shy (yes, my opposite!), but did it for me. Thank you to Anna Davies for writing the article and contacting me to be interviewed, and to Alex M for the great photos. This is what a 40-year-old writer with a stuffed animal in her bed looks like!

The article got a lot of buzz, including a mention on In The Papers on NY1, a discussion on Live with Kelly and Michael, another interview with me at Yahoo Health, a Jezebel post and a great exploration at The Frisky on your ideal cohabitation situation. The most amusing part to me is that the original New York Post headline changed during the day to the current one. If my life is boring (which, I admit, parts of it are), I say, the more boring, the better!



Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kinky erotica sale alert: Best Bondage Erotica 2013 is just $1.99 on Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo!

From November 13 (today!) through November 20, the ebook edition of Best Bondage Erotica 2013 is only $1.99!


It's got a foreword by Graydancer and lots of hot stories inside. Here's where to take advantage of this special sale:



Google Play



For a free sample of my story "Foot and Mouth," click here.

Table of contents:

Foreword: Uncomfortable Truths Graydancer
Introduction: Loving Bondage Anywhere and Everywhere
An Introduction to Shibari Elizabeth Coldwell
This Is Me Holding You Annabeth Leong
Tying the Knot Tiffany Reisz
The Great Outdoors Teresa Noelle Roberts
What Vacations Are For Thomas S. Roche
Lights Out Mina Murray
Feeling the Heat Lucy Felthouse
You Can Look… Evan Mora
The Moons of Mars Valerie Alexander
Interlude for the Troops Louise Blaydon
Hot in the City Sommer Marsden
Passion Party Purgatory Logan Zachary
Steadfast Andrea Dale
Tree Hugger Giselle Renarde
A Public Spectacle D. L. King
Seven More Days N. T. Morley
A Bit of a Tangle Monocle
Wheelbarrow Position Danielle Mignon
The Longest Afternoon Medea Mor
Plastic Wrap Shoshanna Evers
Wiped Kay Jaybee
Foot and Mouth Rachel Kramer Bussel

Official blurb:
Some say bondage is the ultimate intimacy. Once you have allowed yourself to fully explore your fantasies of giving in and surrendering to pleasure, you may find you need a firm but gentle hand to guide you. Let Best Bondage Erotica 2013 be your guidebook of everything BDSM. Editrix Rachel Kramer Bussel and her writers put it all out on the page in stories using everything from silk ties rope to shiny cuffs, blindfolds, wires and everything you can imagine and MORE. Best Bondage Erotica 2013 offers erotic insight for newbies and experienced players alike. These stories of forbidden desires and sexual fantasies, penned by the “masters and mistresses” of the genre, will shock, scintillate, and mesmerize.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,