Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
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Read the introduction to Best Sex Writing 2012 here
Buy Best Sex Writing 2012 at Amazon or for the Kindle or Nook

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving sex I'm thankful for

This week's sex column is all about sex and gratitude and Thanksgiving. With a smidge of politics:
Firstly, I'm grateful to live in a country where homosexuality and abortion are legally protected — for now — and to have received decent, though not perfect, sex education.

Now, for the personal blessings. Unlike the Duggar family of reality TV show 19 Kids and Counting, I don't believe saving sex for marriage is the key to happiness. Instead, I'm convinced all my previous hookups, dates and relationships have shaped me into who I am today. They weren't all positive, but they did each teach me valuable lessons.
I'm truly grateful that while attending CatalystCon I got one of those magic career-boosting emails asking me to write this column, which in turn has brought me to Philadelphia a few times and given me the chance to explore a city that's so near and yet so far (about an hour and fifteen minutes by car, or, for this non-driver, four hours by public transportation).

So much of my sex writing career has happened that way, though in 2015, I plan to set goals and push myself to pursue new opportunities, including writing, editing and teaching, but this year, many of them came to me. I've learned that you never know how long a column will last, so as I cook up new hot topics (and welcome your suggestions at rachelkb at gmail.com with "City Paper" in the subject line), I'm grateful for it in the here and now, however long it lasts. Writing a weekly column requires a lot of planning as well as being able to respond to the news as it happens, and that's something I look forward to doing into the new year.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

A stormy night

I could say the wind and rain woke me up tonight, and that would be true, but even more, the lack of words woke me up. The emptiness, the gnawing, like hunger pangs, but they are writer pangs. Writer angst. Writer loneliness. I can't sleep when I feel all the words bubbling up, wanting to be heard, and yet, every time I even come close, I stop myself. Ironically, as I was looking over this post, I managed to delete it in one fell swoop, but luckily had a version of it saved that I could salvage. It felt like a sign, though: one step forward, two steps back to a blank page, and that emptiness, so wide open and vast, so seductive, sometimes far more so than the thrill of composing something, even something that isn't exactly what I'd hoped it to be at the start.

This week since my book party has been a blur, largely because writing has taken the form of writing lists, seemingly endless lists. I'm good at lists; they make me feel like I am moving forward in a positive direction. I'm a fan of lists, but they can also be debilitating, because sometimes I sit and look at my list and think, I'll never do all that. The other day I could barely even get up, and when I did saw that my hours late sleeping in had meant a missed writing opportunity about the topic du jour. I'm slowly, late to the game, realizing that I could be someone people turn to for those kinds of pieces, that I can also keep pitching my heart out to become someone editors turn to. Right now, I'm not that person, because I've been playing it safe, and thereby keeping myself in this crazy cycle where I chase after the small things and assume I have no business going after the bigger things. It's a tenuous way of life, and it's why I'm awake at five a.m. Lately, the thinking has been, I shouldn't bother because this won't amount to anything. When I type it out like that, it sounds ludicrous, and yet there it is, what's kept me so far away from my goals and dreams or even basic tasks the last few days: fear.

A friend posted this quote on Facebook the other day:

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." Georgia O'Keeffe

I've been thinking about it a lot, because the things I want to do are the things that terrify me. Tamsin Flowers wrote a wonderful post at One Handed Writers called "On writing and self-doubt" that tackles so much of my problem. It's funny because I have several paid venues these days, along with this unpaid blog, where I can write whatever I want. I almost put "whatever I want" in quotes, but the reality is, I have free reign over my topic choices. I can also of course pitch new ideas, which I do as often as I can. But lately I've just doubted my abilities. I catch a moment of excitement and then talk myself out of it. And then, because I'm me, I try to guilt trip myself. If you ever want to _____, you have to work work work no matter what. That blank can be anything from "pay down your debt" to "become a mom," and they all fit. It's hard too because I'm partnered with someone with a steady 9 to 5 job and want to prove my worth, both so that I'm pulling my weight financially and because I need that for my own sense of myself as writer. It's never enough to "have written," it's all about what you're going to write next.

So as I listen to the rain pound my windows, getting ready to go into New York for the fourth time this month, to visit a family member at the hospital where I was born, I want to acknowledge all the blessings this year has brought, but get real with myself about the fact that I have to make my own luck too. I have to get back out there and try, and keep trying, and believing. I think the belief is the part that falls away for me first. So this week, before we bunker down for our Thanksgiving feasting, just me and my guy, I want to try to get back all that eagerness I had 20 years ago, or 10. 2004 was pretty much the year my current career started taking shape, the year I went from typist to magazine editor, the year I became a sex columnist for an internationally read alt weekly, the year I started a cupcake blog. It's funny to me because I have changed a lot in the intervening 10 years, hopefully mostly for the positive, but I hope that I can regain a bit of my late twenties, or even teenage, gumption when it comes to writing.

The last few days scared me with how easily I pretty much gave up, despite lying in bed at night or waking up full of ideas. But I haven't given up entirely. I have too many stories I want need to tell. So here's to a week of words to be thankful for, but even more so, making the effort, despite the storminess I'll probably always have inside me.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Oral pleasure: Blowjob kings and queens in my new sex column

My working title for this latest Philadelphia City Paper sex column was "Pleasure In My Mouth: Talking To Blowjob Kings and Queens," which, as you'll see, got changed to "When it comes to sex, don't tell me where to get pleasure". I still like my original so I'm using it here (blog editorial power, yay!). But the point was that in mainstream writing, "blowjob" is all too often equated with women delivering them to men, often just to please them, and I wanted to explore other configurations. Thank you to Raul Queue for a gay male perspective on blowjobs (or as he calls them, "blowjoys") and Sophie Delancey of TheArtofBlowjob.com, who I've quoted before, because I don't want to always be talking about my own sexual favorites.

If you like it, I'd really appreciate you sharing it or liking it at the top of the column. I'm working on columns about topics that are a little more off the beaten path, and welcome column suggestions at rachelkb at gmail.com with "City Paper" in the subject line. I can't promise I'll cover it, but I'm definitely on the hunt for topics I hadn't previously considered.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't also let you know that if you want to read fictional accounts of blowjobs, I've got two great erotica books for you (and a special November BOGO sale where if you buy any of my books from any store, online or off, I'll send you my ebook Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays free!).

goingdowncover
Going Down: Oral Sex Stories (all kinds of oral fun)
Amazon
Bn.com
Kindle ebook edition
Nook ebook edition
Powell's Books-A-Million
IndieBound (find your local independent bookstore)
Cleis Press
Audible audiobook

tastinghimcover
Tasting Him: Oral Sex Stories (blowjobs, blowjobs, blowjobs, basically!)

Amazon
Bn.com
Kindle ebook edition
Nook ebook edition
Powell's
Books-A-Million
IndieBound (find your local independent bookstore)
Cleis Press
Audible audiobook

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Essay on dating a fat man at YouBeauty

Yes, size is something that comes up in a lot of my work, from my erotica, such as in my new story "Big Bottom" in The Big Book of Domination to my book Sex & Cupcakes. It's something that's personal and political and that I think touches so much of society. So my latest essay is "What I’ve Learned About Size and Body Image by Dating a Fat Man" at YouBeauty. It's my first piece for them, so if you like it, I'd love it if you'd share/comment there. Jessica Wakeman is an editor there now (formerly at The Frisky) and is bringing lots of fascinating content around looks, gender, body image and more.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Open bar tonight 6-7 for my Sex & Cupcakes book party in NYC!

RKB-Bookparty-Book-Tour-Image

Tonight's the night! Yes, it's dreary as can be outside but inside Sweet Revenge at 62 Carmine Street, NYC (subway to West 4th Street) at my Sex & Cupcakes book party tonight from 6-8 (open bar 6-7) it will be sweet and cozy and sexy and fun. Can't make it? Let a friend know! Here's the Facebook invite. Sweet Revenge owner Marlo Scott had this to say. I have to say a giant thank you to Thought Catalog Books for sponsoring this.

Here's me there on Saturday enjoying their ridiculously delicious brunch (if you go, while my burrito bowl was delicious, with wonderful hot sauce, do get the red velvet waffles):

meatsweetrevenge

Want to know more about the book? My awesome publisher Thought Catalog Books asked me lots of questions, like whether I write better erotica when my sex life is booming and what I'd tell my future 9-year-old child about sex.



My friend Stacie Joy took this photo below of me on Saturday, and I adore it so much. If you've read Sex & Cupcakes, you know that the book is as much about love as sex, about falling hard and getting my heart broken and falling in love again. While my boyfriend is incredible and amazing and designed this postcard and doesn't mind that I wrote about him in essays like "My Boyfriend's Fat" and "Monogamishmash," it's not one of those happily ever after my-life-is-awesome-cause-I'm-not-single books. My life is awesome because I went through a lot of hard times and tried a lot of things, I dropped out of law school and stumbled my way into an erotica job and a sex column, I went all out, I let my heart lead the way, and still do. If you want to know more about that, this book is my most personal writing ever, and the thing I'm proudest of this year. You can get it for Kindle or iBooks, and if you don't have a Kindle, not to worry; you can read it on your phone, laptop, tablet, etc. Click here for details on that. Thank you for reading and responding; it's still scary, 15 years later, to open myself up in the way I do in this book, but I do it because that's how I'm made, and because I hope it reaches someone with a message that's useful in their lives, somehow.

DLKingPurplePassionReading_11-15-14_w_r_030

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Registration open for my erotica and sex writing workshops at CatalystCon, March 27, Arlington, Virginia

CatalystCon is a very special event; yes, it's a conference, but it's so much more. It's the only place I've taught my nonfiction sex writing workshop so far, and where I will be again, along with erotica writing (2 three-hour workshops that you can sign up for separately, or save money and sign up for both), on March 27th, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia, and that's because those attending CatalystCon attend with a knowledge and passion about sex. I'm not saying that others can't also write well about sex, but that there's a base level of empathy and openness that you don't always find, which can lead to sharing highly personal and often very non-mainstream information in a supportive, welcoming environment. I've been so impressed with the workshops I've taught this year at CatalystCon East and West and am so looking forward to this one. I'm actually cutting back on in-person workshops to focus on teaching online but with three-hour workshops, we have the space and time go deeper into the topics and develop ideas that they'll hopefully take out into the world, get published, and share more broadly, if they so desire. Full descriptions of both workshops can be found at the Catalyst site, and I'll be handing out an updated list of venues to submit your writing in each workshop. No previous writing experience required!

ccon2015eastlogo

So why me? Well, I've been writing about sex for 15 years, in fiction and nonfiction. I've edited over 50 erotica anthologies and been published in over 100, including the series Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica and Best Women's Erotica. I've written across genders and orientations and fetishes and kinks, and continue to innovate with my fiction. With my nonfiction, I've been a sex columnist for The Village Voice, Penthouse, The Frisky and now, Philadelphia City Paper. I've written about sexuality for a range of venues, including Buzzfeed Shift, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Inked, Salon, Slate, Time.com, Time Out New York and others, covering topics such as BDSM and sobriety, open relationships, porn, foot fetishes, blowjobs, bisexuality, sex toys, famous naked ladies, dirty talk and more. Over the years, I've picked up a few tricks, and I also know what editors are looking for and can help you hone your words to get published.

Sign up and get all the details at CatalystCon. I'll share more information soon about the awesome panel I'm moderating, which is also worth attending if you want to write/create art about sex: Sharing Your Sex Life on the Page and the Stage, featuring Cooper Beckett (Life on the Swingset podcast), Twanna A. Hines (creator/performer of one-woman show I Füçkèd Your Country) and Jillian Keenan (The New York Times, Slate).

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Friday, November 14, 2014

The naked lady beat: me on Kim Kardashian's ass and other body parts in Paper magazine

"Kim Kardashian Butt Fame" is what shows up in the URL of my latest Time.com article, "I Can’t Help But Admire Kim Kardashian’s Devotion to Staying Famous", about her enduring popularity, flaunting of her sexuality and those glossy, gorgeous photos in Paper magazine. Apparently, I'm the go to girl for naked lady coverage, as I was asked to comment on Kim based on my previous piece, "Jennifer Lawrence's Breasts Aren't Sending Mixed Messages." That one I cold pitched them, and at the bottom of both pieces is more information about pitching them, for the writers reading this.

kim-kardashian-paper-cover photo by Jean-Paul Goude for Paper

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Losing my pegging virginity with the Sasha harness

This week's Philadelphia City Paper sex column is on "Pegging for the first time." I used this Sasha harness by SpareParts HardWear:

SASHA RED BOOTY FULL FRONT VIEW

I'll admit upfront it's not my best work. I was at a huge loss and debated this topic vs. that topic endlessly for this one. The good news is that I'm cooking up lots of fun columns, from blowjobs to fetishes and beyond, and want to hear from you. What should I cover next? Sex parties, events, fantasies, relationship configurations, sexual health, sex toys, etc. I'm all ears! Email me at rachelkb at gmail.com with "City Paper" in the subject line and your ideas. If you're interested in being interviewed you can always be anonymous. Thanks for reading!

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Win a copy of new erotic romance anthology The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

A sexy new erotic romance anthology, The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires is out today from Harper Impulse, and can win a copy! Fittingly, authors Liz Everly, Madeline Iva, C. Margery Kempe, Elizabeth Shore all blog at Lady Smut, which you can also find on Facebook.

Here's the hot cover, and you can get the ebook for Kindle, Nook and Kobo.

DarkDesires

What's in the book?
Four paranormal stories of erotic temptation & paranormal thrills!

THE IMMORTAL LONGING OF BRENNA BANG by Liz Everly

When a vampire materializes through her computer, successful vampire-romance romance author Brenna Bang finds herself marked for inescapable passion with a tech savvy bloodsucker.

THE LYING, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE by C. Margery Kempe

Christina tries to figure out how to unlock her grandmother's wardrobe and uncover what happened all those years ago when the goblins came to offer their sensuous erotic fruits.

SEXSOMNIA by Madeline Iva

Jenny needs to unravel the mystery of what she does at night and who she does it with in order to subdue the sexual demon inside her.

DIVINE by Elizabeth Shore

Locked in an abandoned mental asylum, an ambitious filmmaker soon discovers she’s trapped with a Dionysian god. He offers her a glimpse of astounding future artistic success—but it will only come true if she’ll perform an erotic ritual to free him.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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