Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Come on my face jokes, crossdressing and coming out at Philadelphia's Erotic Literary Salon

This week's Philadelphia City Paper sex column is all about the monthly Erotic Literary Salon hosted by Dr. Susana Mayer. Erotica writers, published or not, this is a wonderful place to have your work heard by an appreciative crowd! Next one is November 18th and details are in the column. If you like my column, I'd love it if you clicked "like" at the top and shared it. The more people who read it, the longer the paper will allow me to write for them, and I have lots of column ideas cooked up! Thank you.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Good days, bad days, travel fears and Hello Kitty conning anyway

I often get nervous before trips, not so much about flying, but all the rest of it, especially when it's somewhere I don't know well, like Los Angeles. It's one thing when I attended CatalystCon West, because I mainly stayed within a two-block radius of the conference hotel. I don't know what has sent me into such a tailspin before this one, but I postponed my flight and seriously considered canceling. I didn't, because I had a feeling missing out on Hello Kitty Con would disappoint me more.

Partly, I feel guilty, like I shouldn't be going, because the whole reason I let myself book this trip was because I was offered the opportunity to teach an erotica writing workshop, which would have offset some of the cost of the trip. I had been toying with going but had thought it too wasteful. This week I found out the organization who'd contacted me is canceling the workshop and it's unclear whether I will get my fee. So even though I thought I had my RKB Enterprises, Inc. businesswoman hat on, I felt like a business failure for one thing. For another, I have other work and I didn't pitch stories on Hello Kitty con ahead of time so don't have anything lined up to write about.

But even more, I just felt homesick at the thought of leaving home. Maybe because I've been in Philadelphia twice recently and am in and out of New York a bunch in November, maybe because the fall leaves I can see from my kitchen are beautiful, and because I will surely miss streams of adorable trick or treaters. Maybe it's because my boyfriend has just been so rock solid supportive the past few weeks with all my mood swings and assorted ups and downs. Maybe it's because, while I do love Hello Kitty, LA is in no way my city and when I called my hotel to ask how to get there via public transportation, I was put on hold for essentially five minutes (with occasional dips back in to speak to me) while they Googled the directions. I despise that. Even though I may end up taking a cab, I love places that have decent public transport. I love cities like Portland, Maine, or Seattle, where I can walk and actually get somewhere substantial.

The last two days I just felt down, about assorted things, and then I realized that yes, not everything is going fabulously, but lots of wonderful things are happening too. You don't only get all good or all bad, just as you can't be in two places at once. So I am off to the city of angels and Hello Kitty, to eat cat (or pseudo-cat) shaped foods and look at palm trees and miss my guy and who knows what else. Maybe it's the not knowing, the unplannable, that sets me, someone who ultimately likes routine and control, on edge. I will see, and I'm sure I'll be posting photos on Instagram and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Open bar NYC book party for Sex & Cupcakes and bloggers wanted for virtual book tour

4 big pieces of news: my essay collection Sex & Cupcakes is now for sale on iBooks as well as Kindle (both are just $4.99 and if you buy on Kindle and send me your receipt by October 31st, I'll send you any of my other Kindle books free; click here for details), there's an audiobook version coming out and I want to celebrate with you November 17th in New York City! The official book party, sponsored by my publisher Thought Catalog Books, takes place Monday, November 17th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sweet Revenge, 62 Carmine Street, which if you haven't been to is a delightful and delicious little restaurant with cupcakes, food and drinks (also be sure to go for brunch: their red velvet waffles are to die for!). It's open bar from 6-7 and the first 25 attendees will get a free copy of the ebook. No need to RSVP, just show up, bring friends if you like, and cash for cupcakes (they also take credit cards). It's fitting that the party is in New York because so much of the book takes place in New York, though I also hope to do an event in my home state of New Jersey as well!

What else? The virtual book tour kicks off in a few days and I need a few more bloggers to join us! You get a free copy of the book and can post an excerpt, review, do a giveaway, riff on some of the ideas in the book, whatever you like. The open dates are listed on Tumblr and you can email me at rachelkb at gmail.com with "Tour" in the subject line and your URL and what type of post you plan and any preferred dates, and I'll send you a copy and sign you up.

Sex&Cupcakes

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Monday, October 27, 2014

2 sex books for just $4.99 through October 31st

Through October 31st, if you are a subscriber to my newsletter, you can get any of the books below (Kindle edition) FREE when you buy my new essay collection Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays. Why am I doing this? Because this is possibly my most important book, one that gives me the title "Author" after a decade of being an anthology editor. It's a big leap, one that has the potential to make big things happen.

Nonfiction has always been my true love, even though I plan to write erotica forever, but getting the chance to dig into the topics nearest and dearest to my heart and my daily life was an honor and I want to do everything in my power to make my first book written by me succeed. The good news is that because of the magic and awesomeness of e-publishing, I actually earn more per purchase of my $4.99 ebook than I do when you buy my other books. That's not to say I don't want them all to succeed, but the reality is some books have found their audience, and some absolutely have not. I could be discouraged and disheartened, or I could get out there and try something new, and the latter is what I've chosen. I put my heart on the line and on the page with Sex & Cupcakes and that's why I'm offering this free special gift to you. So if you want to take advantage of it, make sure you've subscribed to my newsletter (which you can do on the left-hand side of rachelkramerbussel.com), then buy Sex & Cupcakes from Amazon and forward me your receipt by October 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST by emailing rachelkb at gmail.com with "Amazon" in the subject line AND make sure you tell me both the Kindle ebook you want AND the email address to send it to (cannot be an @kindle.com address and must be the one associated with your Amazon account or the gift won't go through).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, which is always right on the surface (as you'll read in my essay "Wearing My Tattooed Heart On My Sleeve"), for helping me become something I've long wanted to be: an author. Want to help my little ebook that could do even better? Please rate it on Goodreads and/or leave a review on Amazon (1-2 sentences is fine, Amazon boosts books with lots of reviews). If it does well I promise there will be more sales and newsletter subscribers get special free book offers and special deals each month too.

Sex&Cupcakes

Free book options: Anything for You: Erotica for Kinky Couples; Baby Got Back: Anal Erotica; Best Bondage Erotica 2011; Best Bondage Erotica 2012; Best Bondage Erotica 2013; Best Bondage Erotica 2014; Best Sex Writing 2008; Best Sex Writing 2009; Best Sex Writing 2010; Best Sex Writing 2012; Best Sex Writing 2013; Between the Cheeks; The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories; The Big Book of Submission; Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories; Caught Looking: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists; Cheeky Spanking Stories; Crossdressing; Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories; Fast Girls; Flying High: Sexy Stories from the Mile High Club; Going Down: Oral Sex Stories; Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex; He's on Top: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance and Female Submission; Hide and Seek: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists; Hungry for More; Instruments of Pleasure: Sex Toy Erotica; Irresistible: Erotic Romance for Couples; Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women; Only You: Erotic Romance for Women; Orgasmic; Passion; Peep Show; Please, Ma'am: Erotic Stories of Male Submission; Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission; Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission; She's on Top: Erotic Stories of Female Dominance and Male Submission; Smooth; Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica; Suite Encounters: Hotel Sex Stories; Surrender: Erotic Tales of Female Pleasure and Submission; Tasting Her: Oral Sex Stories; Tasting Him: Oral Sex Stories; Twice the Pleasure: Bisexual Women's Erotica; Women in Lust; Yes, Ma'am: Erotic Stories of Male Submission; Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission

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Friday, October 24, 2014

On personal essay writing and being written about

Unless you are a hermit who lives alone and never interacts with someone, I venture it would be impossible to write personal essays without including other people in them. After all, our relationships with other people, be they friends, family, lovers, even strangers, are so much of what drives us as humans. While I know that intellectually, there is still always a part of me that's nervous about releasing a personal piece into the world, and even more so knowing the people I've written about will be reading my work. It's hard not to want to apologize, even though for me, writing has always been an essential part of my makeup, my way of operating in the world.

Frankly, while I'm writing, I can't let myself think too much, if at all, about what anyone else will think. That always stops me in my tracks. But that doesn't mean that after I've written I don't care. I'm sure it's not easy to be written about, and especially so when you are repeatedly written about, whether you are the only one who knows it's you or not. It's an ongoing conversation I have in my relationship, but the bottom line is I couldn't really be partnered with someone who wanted to monitor every single thing I write, because that would, on a practical level, impede my ability to make a living, and on a much more personal level, make me feel stymied and controlled.

I do my best to ethically walk that line. I'm sure sometimes I fail at that quest. But what I always think about is: is this about more than me? That sounds grandiose on one level, but on another, I try to look at what about our culture and the larger forces at work am I talking about. I didn't set out to write an essay called "My Boyfriend's Fat" because that is a statement and a fact and alone isn't worthy of note. The whole thing came about because of the question posed to me by my cousin about his fatness and if there is anything that riles up this country, it's fat people. They are such objects of scorn and pity and I knew it was worth delving into because the question threw me off. I wanted to have an easy and pat answer and I didn't, and any time people are questioning me about things that I'm not sure about how to handle, I know it's rich material for some kind of writing. I've also tackled body image and size and desire in my fiction, most notably in "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (click to read it free) in my erotic romance anthology Obsessed.

Do I write things that may make their subjects uncomfortable? Of course, but probably that's true of any writer, nonfiction or otherwise, at some point. If you don't ever dare to say anything potentially off-putting, what are you really saying? I don't have a perfect answer or a one-size-its-all solution for myself or anyone else. It's a constant risk and I've had to embrace the fact that I may put out work that nobody relates to or likes, and that's okay. I also know that the subjects of my essays are, in almost every case, not the target audience. These aren't open letters; they are essays. When I wrote about not wanting to have sex at night, my boyfriend already knows that. It's everyone else who doesn't necessarily. Do I mine my life for things to write about? Yes, and no. I don't sit down and say to myself, What happened today that would make a good essay? Rather, those ideas leap out at me, bold and in my face and not to be ignored. Hopefully in my book Sex & Cupcakes I've opened up myself just as much as anyone else, ideally more. A personal essay or memoir is never the final say or the "real" truth, it's one person's truth, at one moment in time. The words themselves are final but our thoughts and feelings are not.

Sex&Cupcakes

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why does my vagina shut down after 8 p.m. and other sex timing questions in this week's column

My Let's Get It On sex column this week is called It's Sex O'Clock, time for a weekend romp and is about how I balance being part of a couple where one person wants sex at different times of day than another person, and how other people do as well, along with some suggestions on compromises. If you like it, I'd love it if you'd pass it on, comment, mention it on Twitter and/or like it at the top! I have tons of ideas for future columns and hope to keep writing it for a long time, but know much is riding on how many people are reading these first columns. That being said, I welcome ideas for future columns, nothing is off limits. Email me at rachelkb at gmail.com with "Column" in the subject line and your ideas. Thanks for reading!

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Can't sit still - on loving my home and loving traveling

I woke up from a nightmare I can only vague recall at 4:30 a.m., and considering I'd passed out while barely mumbling sentences to my boyfriend around 10, I decide to wake up and get some work done, because the bit I do remember from my nightmare was that it was about work. I've taken on a lot this month, between writing my weekly sex column, debuting my essay collection Sex & Cupcakes, teaching my first online erotica writing class for LitReactor and assorted other projects, plus travel. It's the travel that seems to throw me off the most, because you never really know what your schedule will be like when you're away from home. Even when you make plans, they are subject to change, and time to yourself or to work often seems harder to carve out. It doesn't have to be far away to throw me off.

I just spent two days in Philadelphia, attending an event I was covering for my column, meeting with friends and businesspeople and my Philadelphia City Paper editor, enjoying a lobster roll and walking around on Tuesday, racing through the rain on Wednesday. It was a lovely little visit (thank you, Bolt Bus, for making it so cheap to get there), but it also takes me out of my routine. Next week I'll be in Los Angeles to attend Hello Kitty Con (yes, really!) and teach a live writing workshop. I'm so often torn because I love traveling but I actually love being in my cozy home even more. We've given it many touches that make it ours, and it's one that I feel utterly relaxed in.

There's a tension between the fact that I can't seem to sit still, that I'm constantly hopping on a train or a plane to somewhere, and that when I do get home, it feels so glorious. There are times when I look at my calendar (which is actually more like the calendar in my mind, because while I do use the calendar function on my phone, I don't currently have a paper calendar) and get excited about the trips I have planned. I like filling in dates and having trips to look forward to. Yet sometimes I dread the idea of being away from home, from all that makes up my routine. I'm slowly getting used to the fact that I'm half homebody, half traveler. It's confusing sometimes, trying to figure out which one I want to be at any given time. But it's also made me treasure my time at home, where we plan our meals and watch "our shows" and I make the exact same amount of coffee every morning, drinking it out of the exact same mug.

I don't think a whole month goes by where I don't go somewhere, even if it's just to New York, a city I love but often find exasperating and stressful. It's not that I couldn't wake up at 4:30 and forage for food and listen to the rain anywhere, but more that it feels right when I'm home. I don't have to be as on as I do when I'm away, navigating plans or directions. I follow a lot of travel bloggers, and for many of them travel is their way of life to the point that home seems, to my reading, almost beside the point. I don't think I could ever do that. I love traveling because I always get to come home, and this home specifically, where I've lived since April, is a very special one.

I'm already making plans for 2015, vacations which I feel very lucky to be able to afford for now (it's been a very up and down year, and I have no idea what the future holds in that regard), teaching at events like CatalystCon (I just submitted a panel proposal as well, and encourage you to do so ASAP; the deadline is November 4th and this is an incredible, inspiring conference) and hopefully teaching at more sex toy stores and doing other events. I am the kind of person who doesn't mind airport layovers because I love people watching; I love the sense of excitement that builds just before a trip, and can even get it vicariously by watching others about to embark on a journey. But as I sit in my kitchen on a wet, rainy day, having just sent my guy off to work, there's no place else I'd rather be at this moment. Maybe there's nothing wrong with not knowing how to sit still for more than a few days or weeks, as long as I can appreciate being wherever I am at any given moment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Get on my mailing list for exclusive giveaways and deals

Since I just switched to Mail Chimp, I wanted to share this - I give away books and offer special deals like this month's buy one get one free offer exclusively to subscribers, so if you like my work, you'll want to sign up.

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