Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Interview with blogging and podcasting mom of 7-year-old transgender girl

Over at Salon, I interviewed Marlo Mack about her blog, Gendermom, and How to Be a Girl podcast on raising her 7-year-old transgender daughter. She had such wonderful things to say about listening to her daughter, believing in her and navigating the various other people and institutions they have to deal with in ways that value their daughter's health and safety. Very proud of this one! And not just because Laverne Cox liked it, though that was cool.

howtobeagirlpodcast

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Free sexy deflowering erotic romance short story from my book Only You, which is on sale today for $1.99!

It's been such a busy week I haven't had a chance to post here that my anthology Only You: Erotic Romance for Women (though of course, as always, any reader of any gender can appreciate this book!) is only $1.99 on Kindle (US).

onlyyoucover

To make up for that, here's most of my story "For the Very First Time" below. I post links to all my sales and writings on Twitter and Facebook and you can also sign up for my newsletter at left or at rachelkramerbussel.com for contests and the latest news. I've updated my website with most of my events (it'll be fully caught up soon), and am gearing up for my September 11th Los Angeles erotica and nonfiction sex writing workshops which are open to anyone, followed by attending and moderating an amazing panel on sharing our sex lives on the page and the stage at CatalystCon, then teaching erotica September 20th at SHE (Sexual Health Expo) in New York and teaching again at Nomia in Portland, Maine on October 21st from 7:30 pm-9 pm - the Maine workshop is limited to 20 people and you can sign up by calling the store at 207-773-4774. Plus stay tuned for a Washington, DC erotica workshop!

Table of Contents

Introduction: Very Happy Endings

Driven Angela Caperton
Overcome Alyssa Turner
Forgotten Bodies Giselle Renarde
In the Doghouse Hanna Martine
Autumn Rain Michael A. Gonzales
The Love We Make Kristina Wright
In-Flight Entertainment Catherine Paulssen
Republicans Don’t Like Kate Dominic
Mom’s Night Out Lolita Lopez
Slow Fire Donna George Storey
The Nude, Stripped Naked Jeremy Edwards
Edge Skylar Kade
Unfolding K D Grace
Married Abigail Grey
Cook’s Treat Elizabeth Coldwell
Hollywood Romance Veronica Wilde
Matters of the Heart Tenille Brown
September Song Anna Watson
Saved Cassandra Carr
For the Very First Time Rachel Kramer Bussel
From "For the Very First Time" by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Dean and I are snuggled on my couch, half watching TV, half feeling each other up. We’ve been dating for two months, a long time for me to go without sex, but I’m comfortable with the way the night is going. We’ve already decided that he’ll sleep over and spend the weekend. He’s done it before, and I’ve stayed at his place, but this night feels more momentous. I know something is going to change, and I feel that charge of something new and thrilling, of anticipation, in the air.

We watch some cheesy sitcom, and then I move to sit on his lap. I don’t usually do that with guys, because I’m six feet tall, and even when they’re tall (Dean’s just two inches shorter than me), it quickly becomes clear I’m not some petite little thing who can fit cozily on their laps. They have to commit to it, to make an effort, to really want it. I’m not offended when guys prefer side-by-side cuddling, but this time it feels right to be sitting on Dean’s lap, feeling his hardness beneath me.

I’m getting so turned on I don’t even mind that it’s not, actually, the most comfortable position. I’m slowly sinking into him, our bodies merging. If I shift a little, his breath catches the back of my neck, making me tingle. Dean doesn’t seem to mind, and his hand lazily plays with the waistband of my new pink mesh panties through the silky fabric of my gray dress. I’m waiting, eager, practically climbing the walls. My desire is like that much of the time: content to lie dormant, until it makes itself known and won’t take no for an answer. Of course I’ve used my assortment of sex toys during the time we’ve been dating, and the four months before that when I was lazily single, not eager to seek out someone new, content to wait and see. But six months is a long time, and I’m horny and oh-so-ready. I’ve been trying to be the girl here, the one who waits to get seduced, the one who lets the man feel manly by making the first move, even though that’s not normally my style. I don’t know if I really believe in all that stuff, but it’s sort of like religion, to me; if there’s a chance that believing is worth it, I’m in, and I’ve found that even the most enlightened men can easily fall prey to being the macho man, the seducer. I’m always willing to try something new, and from the times I’ve felt Dean’s cock through his pants, it’s one worth waiting for, though by now I’ve waited long enough.

We met just when I’d been ready to consider looking up an ex for a roll in the hay. I saw Dean and simply couldn’t look away. He was so stunning that I couldn’t help but go over to him after hearing him sing at my local café, where we’re sometimes treated to the likes of a Shawn Colvin or John Prine, but more often get the up-and-comers. I don’t generally bother with younger men, but Dean’s voice and delivery said to me “old soul.” Too many guys in their twenties and even thirties are so cocky they think every woman, even those totally out of their league, was put on earth just to blow them. That type will hit on me, but shrink away when I demand a mere modicum of commitment.

But Dean was different. He was handsome, but not so perfect that he was arrogant, at least from what I could tell as I watched him strumming his guitar. So many performers have that ego thing down pat, but he had the shy, earnest look of a busker, one who was more comfortable in the bowels of a subway station than on a stage surrounded by drinks and laughter and flirting. It was almost like he was singing these soulful, tender, beautiful songs to himself, with his eyes closed, his body thrown into each song. He launched into a Richard Thompson cover, “Beeswing.” He didn’t try to do the accent, but he sang with all his heart. When he got to the end, the line, “Well I wouldn’t want her any other way,” I could tell he was thinking of his own version of that song’s eccentric heroine, and I found that I wasn’t jealous of his girl who got away, but curious. I wanted him to rest his head in my lap while I sat on the floor next to him and he told me all about her, and then I could kiss him and make it better. He was sitting back in his chair, legs clad in worn dark blue jeans spread slightly, foot tapping along, eyes intermittently lost in memory, in song, and there, present, with us. He was beautiful, and the crowd could tell he was someone to be silent for. He made me want to curl up next to him, on the ground, if need be, and I smiled in a way I don’t seem to do all that often in New York City.

I’d tried to play it cool after the show, but I’d still stammered my way through greeting him. Pushing forty, you’d think I’d have a clue how to talk to a man—or in this case, man-boy—but that ability had forsaken me. Thankfully, Dean agreed to dinner the next night, telling me he loved greasy spoons. I couldn’t remember the last time a guy had told a truth like that, rather than trying to impress me with the latest trendy boîte. Over burgers dripping with grease and fries with even more, we talked and talked and talked. The place is open twenty-four hours so they didn’t care that we stayed from nine ’til three in the morning, as long as we kept ordering coffee. He reached for the bill and I noted the twenty-dollar tip he left, impressed. He offered me a ride home, and even though I usually walk or take the subway, I agreed, wanting to spend more time with him, as much as I could get. I’d expected him to pin me to his car, even though our conversation was more cerebral than flirty. We’d made out, for another hour, and his hands had gone up my shirt but he hadn’t tried to get me to come home with him or to come home with me, just dropped me off like a gentleman. I soon discovered that’s exactly what he was—a gentle man—and I’d been trying to make him a little less gentle as the weeks turned into months.

I knew he was busy with shows most nights and trying to woo record label A&R types the rest of the time, so I didn’t push him. This was a weekend we’d set aside for ourselves, and instead of the hassle of going away, we’d settled on a staycation right at my apartment. Phones and computers off, our focus would be totally on each other, which I’d taken—or at least, hoped—to mean lots of blazing-hot sex. I’d gone to get waxed and while I usually leave a landing strip of hair in front, this time I told my waxer to take it all off. “Someone special going to see?” she asked.

Sometimes I get a little freaked out by too much conversation in the salon, but this time I was happy to wax on, if you will, about my new man. He was so sweet and sexy all in one, and I even gave her a postcard touting his next gig.

So as I’m sitting on his lap, I’m waiting for him to make his move, and then finally I just go for it. “Dean,” I say, sitting up, looking him directly in the eye, blocking his view of the TV. “I want you. By which I mean, I want your cock. In my mouth, in my pussy, everywhere. I thought you’d have figured that out by now. I dream about you. I touch myself and think about you. Don’t you want me?” I ask, noting a creeping edge of whiny neediness entering my voice.

“Oh, my god, of course I do. I can’t believe you’d think otherwise.” He pauses, and I settle into his lap again. He tries to look away, but I steer his gaze directly toward me. “Okay, I’m just gonna come right out and say this and if you don’t want to see me after this I totally understand, but I hope you will. I’ve never done this before. I’m a virgin. And I’m worried that someone like you will be disappointed.”

Whoa. I turn to look at him, but now his eyes are closed. I stroke his cheek tenderly, suddenly protective of him—not his virginity, which I very much plan to take, but his heart. I’d known right away this was “serious,” but not until this moment exactly how serious. “Look at me. Open your eyes.”

He does, his body trembling. “Dean, I want you—all of you. It’s okay. I’m not expecting you to be like anyone but yourself. Do you understand that?”

He nods, but his eyes seem cloudy still, like he doesn’t really get it. “Look, baby…do I want to sleep with you? I can’t lie—yes, yes I do. Am I going to push you to do it sooner than you’d want to? Of course not. I want you, not some random cock. I want the whole package.” I don’t say that I’d had plenty of other more experienced packages, and here I was, forty and single, and so over the guys who were cocky enough to think they owned the world, or at least, New York City.

He stares at me for a long time, and finally a small smile appears on his face. “The whole thing? Are you sure you can handle it?” His laugh is soft, but definitely a laugh, as he takes my hand and presses it tight against his hardness. Then neither of us speaks, and the enormity of what we are about to do washes over me. If I weren’t sure I wanted him—him, all of him, everything from his curls that seemed to melt through my fingers to the omnipresent stubble on his chin to the elaborate snake tattooed along his arm, every strum of his guitar and every brooding, beautiful look—I wouldn’t keep touching him. There’d been times in my life when I would have “fucked like a man,” as they say, taken what I could get, what I wanted, and then moved on. And while I desperately want him at that moment, his cock is just a part of what I want. I do want everything—I’m greedy like that—but I don’t want it by any means necessary. I wouldn’t want to use him for sex and move on, leaving him, shattered, to write a song or even an album about the bitch who broke his heart. I’m suddenly more hungry than horny, hungry for the look he is giving me, the heat that is penetrating through our clothes. If you can be hungry for a hint of forever, that’s what I am.

But we are here, now, and I can’t know what will happen, if I will break his heart or he mine. The best laid plans and all that, but still, I can’t worry about every possible eventuality. You can live in fear forever and never walk outside your door, never take even a baby step into the unknown. If he’s willing to take that first step with me, I’m ready, too. I know that when I stand and pull him up and toward my bedroom, I’m not doing so as some wise-woman courtesan intent on teaching a new young thing tricks he’ll use on other women. I’m not trying to teach him anything, but simply to share myself with and indulge and love him, for as long as we are able to.
Read the full story plus all the others in Only You, just $1.99 on Kindle today!

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Working at Philadelphia porn company HotMovies.com

This week I profiled Dee Viant of HotMovies.com about working at a Philly porn company.

deeviantcolumn

Here's an excerpt:
Has Viant ever felt discriminated against because she’s a woman in a business largely focused on naked ladies? “Never,” says Viant, “but I’ve definitely felt that in more formal workplaces. At the office, it’s a business environment; we have to be mature about sex.”

Yet she can appreciate some of the more absurd aspects of her job. She gets to travel to Las Vegas for the annual AVN (Adult Video News) convention, where Ron Jeremy signs DVDs — and body parts — at their booth. Her most surreal ex-perience? “At AVN, it’s known that if you’re interested, Ron will lift up your top and fondle and/or kiss and suck your breasts. This year, one of the AVN staffers told me, ‘You’ve got to tell Ron the nipples have to stay covered.’ That was just hysterical. I thought, ‘What the fuck is my life?’”
Read the whole thing, check out the column archives and pitch me or tell me what I should cover at rachelcitypaper at gmail.com

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I can't stop listening to this song about period sex

I've interviewed a lot of people over the years, but have to say that my interview with Rachel Lark about her period sex song "Warm, Bloody, and Tender" is one of my favorites of all time. She actually made me want to start a podcast because she has so much expression in her voice and even the usually arduous task of transcribing was fun. Be warned: her song will stick in your head! Yes, it's a catchy, funny song about doing it while bleeding. As soon as I heard it, I knew I had to interview her. And lucky for you West Coasters, she's planning a fall tour. Watch the video, co-starring Dan Savage, and find out all about it over at Salon. And if you like it, I'd love if you'd share it with your friends/readers too.

RachelLarkbyNatalieCarrabello
photo by Natalie Carrabello

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

I'm turning 40 and getting a new anthology for my birthday; here's a sneak peek at my food porn erotica

To put it very mildly, I'm dreading turning 40. I know I shouldn't care, I know "age is just a number," I know all those arguments, but inside, I'm kicking and screaming and berating myself for all the things I didn't do in my thirties, all the ways I wasted money and time and emotional energy and possibly my fertility. Aging is real and it's scary and I don't know if you'd call this a mid-life crisis, but I feel like the next few months are ones I want to truly make the most of.

On the bright side, I have a new anthology of BDSM erotica, Dirty Dates, coming out from Cleis Press and the pub date is actually on my birthday. I'm not sure how many more I'll get to edit after this, though I have the biggest one of my life, Best Women's Erotica of the Year Volume 1 (yes, that's its new updated title, though what's inside is still being finalized) coming out in January, so to combat the 40 blues and to celebrate this book, I'm gonna be doing a lot of promotion. Starting, well, right now. Below is a sneak peek at my story, "Admitting It Is The First Step." If you like it, please do me and my book a huge favor and add it to your Goodreads want to read list. It's an interesting time to have this particular book release, because that exciting essay I mentioned previously will explore some of the changes in my personal sex life, and how the kink level has shifted there, but that actually made proofreading these stories even hotter, because they transported me in the most delightful way and I am so excited that this book is almost on bookstore shelves, virtual and brick and mortar.

Yes, Goodreads matters, and if you want to support my work and make it more likely that I'll be offered more books to edit, doing this one small click goes a long way. My goal is to make this book earn out my advance in its first quarter. It's gutsy and ambitious and possibly unlikely, but you know what? This almost 40-year-old is going for it. I love this book and how much passion and daring the authors brought to BDSM, and that I got to work with many authors I never have before, which is one of my missions as an editor. I'll be sharing more excerpts as the publication gets closer, and if you want a free copy to review, sign up of my newsletter on the left-hand side of either this blog or at rachelkramerbussel.com for your chance (if you signed up as one of the early reviewers, you too will get a hot off the press free signed copy!).

dirtydatesonamazon
If I were more web savvy, I'd draw a red circle around my birthday here.

Here's your sneak peek:
From "Admitting It Is The First Step" by Rachel Kramer Bussel

I don’t even look at the menu, because Ryder has already whispered in my ear what I’m to say. “Two of the extra-large sausages—I like them nice and juicy.” I want to laugh, but I also know that Ryder could put his hand between my legs right now and find out just how seriously I’m taking this. “I can fit a lot in my mouth.” I try to muster a flirtatious tone, and am rewarded with a huge grin from the man, his fingers lingering extra long on mine when I hand over the five dollars. I can’t believe I’ve just said that, but Ryder’s light pinch of my hip lets me know I’ve done a good job.

I smile uncertainly and then go to wait at a table with Ryder. “Sausage is your favorite food, isn’t it, honey?” he asks in a louder tone than normal. “You certainly like mine.”

I hear a chuckle nearby. My cheeks are flaming—I can always tell—but I sit there and let Ryder joke around about my big mouth. When our giant sausages are placed on the table, he makes a show of pushing both to my side. “They’re for her—she’s extra hungry today.” Then he leans across and says, “Make sure they know how much you can take.”

I can be defiant when I want to be, and just to show Ryder, I proceed to make eye contact with an older man sitting at a nearby table and then lick the head of the sausage, before slowly placing the tip in my mouth. I’d eased the bun down so all I am now putting between my lips is the sausage itself, which is delightfully spicy. I close my eyes and make an orgasmic sound as I bite into it in a way that makes juice drip down my chin. “Oops,” I giggle, sticking out my tongue to lick it off. I proceed to thoroughly enjoy each of the sausages, even though they’re so big, one would’ve been fine.

I hear Ryder whisper, “You are making quite a scene, my dear. I hope you’re hungry for my sausage when we get home.” I could swear I hear someone say, “Damn” under his breath at that.

When I’m done, he walks over and grabs me roughly by the hair, then kisses me hard. I’m shaking a little when I stand up. I can’t mistake the whistles and claps I get as I head back into the car.
Intrigued? Add Dirty Dates to your Goodreads want to read list now!

Table of contents and introduction:

Introduction: Kinky Is as Kinky Does
The Corset Dorothy Freed
The Swap Jade A. Waters
Slow Burn Morgan Sierra
The World in My Pants Valerie Alexander
Lying Down Kathleen Delaney-Adams
The Rabbit Trap Nik Havert
Closing Time Elise Hepner
A Thousand Miles Apart Tilly Hunter
Switch Mina Murray
The Birds and the Bees Giselle Renarde
Potluck Alva Rose
Magic Words Emily Bingham
Polka-Dot Dress Erzabet Bishop
Baby Steps Justine Elyot
On Location D. L. King
Well Lit Sara Taylor Woods
A Soundproof Room with a View Leigh Edward Gray
Recipe for Punishment Jacqueline Brocker
Cry to Me Skylar Kade
Needles Kathleen Tudor
Admitting It Is the First Step Rachel Kramer Bussel

Introduction: Kinky Is as Kinky Does

What does it mean to be a “kinky couple”? Does it mean both partners hit the dungeon every night—or have one in their home? Does it mean wearing a collar? Does it mean a 24/7 BDSM lifestyle? Yes, yes, yes—and no. The truth is, like so many aspects of sex, “kinky” is in the eye of the beholder. One half of a couple may be kinkier than the other—in fact, those kinds of stories often yield extremely powerful transformations. If you were to pass some of these couples on the street, you might peg them immediately as a little bit naughty. Others, you’d stroll right by, without any sort of erotic antennae tuning in. Many of them take pains (pun intended) to hide their kink—or exult in the thrill of maybe, possibly—hopefully—getting “found out.”

The thrill here, what makes these dates “dirty” in the best sense, is the tension between tops and bottoms, doms (and plenty of dommes!) and subs, those craving control and those who desire nothing more than giving up control. Actually, there’s a third category of sub, one who teeters on the edge between giving up and exhorting his or her own control. That fine line is teetered upon perfectly in “Switch,” by Mina Murray, when narrator Cass notes: “He smiles, a sly look that does nothing to warm his eyes. That’s when I start to get nervous.” Keeping a sub on edge is all part of the kinky fun, but Murray makes it clear that this dom’s mastery comes from the heart when he tells Cass of her new chains: “‘I had them made especially for you. With padded cuffs, to protect that creamy-soft skin of yours. See how much I love you?’”

These couples act out their kink in many ways—some at play parties, some outdoors, some long distance. Some do it with bondage, spanking, service, a corset, a look, a location—for many, their instrument of choice is words. Emily Bingham takes one extremely charged word in “Magic Words” and lets readers know exactly what the prospect of saying it does to her character: “The shame is a scalding tickle that takes over every cell in my body. Looking down at his lap to hide from his gaze, I feel more embarrassed than in any naked-in-front-of-a-crowd nightmare. It’s the one word I promised myself I would never say, yet he has managed to make even this taboo titillating, something I want to explore with him. I’m annoyed at myself for being so aroused by this lone, little word.”

What is that magic word? You’ll have to keep reading to find out. There’s a sensual beauty to these stories that I believe will speak to those who practice kink in their lives and those who don’t, because in some ways the tenderness, the charge, the power shifting back and forth between partners, transcends kink. It speaks to ideals of worship, wonder, adoration—from both sides. Even the most sadistic men and women whose worlds you’re about to enter clearly value those they are asking to give them their bodies, their minds, their words, their beings. They are living out their most vivid fantasies with the person they most cherish. I hope you enjoy their dreams, fantasies and explorations, and that they inspire your own.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
Red Bank, New Jersey

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How to have an open marriage

Is the subject of my latest DAME sex column. I'd love to hear any other topics related to sex and women you'd like to see me cover (or sex in general). Truly, I would! Email me at rachelcitypaper at gmail dot com with your ideas: could be about dating, relationships, sex practices, fetishes, fantasies, events, etc. I'm open, to be punny for a moment.

dameopenmarriage

Here's a snippet of the new column:
Skye, a writer in her fifties, began her 20-year marriage monogamous. But eight years into her marriage, her husband told Skye that he was interested in exploring his bisexuality, and they decided to open their relationship. He’d stopped seeing other people once they started dating, but she wasn’t surprised or threatened when he brought it up. Skye believes this is because, at the time, he was interested exclusively in seeing men at the time (he’s since gone on to date other women), so Skye was less threatened by the prospect than she would have been if he’d wanted to see another woman, because "clearly, in my case, I could not be a man." But he has suffered more pangs of jealousy over the years than she has, she explained. “In the long run, as long as I’m being treated well by my partners, he’s okay,” she said. “I make it a habit to tell him that no one else could ever be what he is to me.”
Keep reading

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Why I'm excited to teach, speak and simply be at CatalystCon West in Burbank in September

In just a few weeks I'll be hopping on a plane (okay, two planes, the first from Philadelphia to Boston) to Southern California--Burbank, to be exact--to attend one of the best conferences I've ever been to, one I judge other conferences by (yes, I really do): CatalystCon. It's an event focused on the wide world of sexuality, and when I say wide, I really mean it. Look at the breadth of session topics being presented! I've never attended and not learned so much, often things that changed how I consider a topic or given me deep insights. If you're anywhere near Southern California or deeply interested in how people are changing the world of sexuality, I encourage you to attend.

catalystconwest2015banner

A few sessions I'm especially looking forward to: Is Kink a Sexual Orientation? A Panel Discussion, SEX AND LOVE AFTER 50 — Rewriting the Rules, Toys For a SexAbled Life: Fun, unique and adaptable ways to give and receive satisfying pleasure with erotic toys, Slut Shaming in Sex Positive Communities (and Elsewhere). It's also a place where I look for people to profile in my sex columns; they can't all be about dick pics. In fact, it was while attending CatalystCon West last year that I got asked to write my Philadelphia City Paper column, and I launched it writing about The UnSlut Project and Emily Lindin, whose documentary sneak peek I saw at Catalyst.

It's also one of my favorite places to teach writing, as I'll be doing on September 11th, with two workshops, three hours each, on Erotica Writing and Sex Writing. (See also, "How to make money writing about your sex life and 5 times I did" and "6 reasons I encourage my erotica writing students to submit their work.") These classes are a chance to dig deeply into the topics and, I hope, encourage students to get their work out into the world, because people attending CatalystCon have fascinating things to say about sexuality, activism, art, relationships, values and so much more (although you do NOT have to attend CatalystCon to attend my workshops, though I highly recommend it). I love getting to update my handouts with new venues to pitch and submit to, and to enter into a room where there's a base level of trust and eagerness. Yes, people may be strangers, but I've found there's a camaraderie that forms around the conference that is special and helps further the spirit of the classes. Plus I now have a private Facebook group for my writing class alumni, so hopefully if people join and do publish pieces as a result of the class, I'll get to hear about it and proudly share their work. I started the group because often I teach one-off classes and when they're done I never hear what people are up to, and I like to see people's progress develop as they gain confidence in their writing and continue to pursue it, whether that's the following month or following year. So I'm really looking forward to that.

I'm very much looking forward to the panel I'm moderating (details below) about how to navigate some of the issues around sharing your sex life whether in writing, onstage, in podcast form or in YouTube videos. It's the same topic as the one I moderated at CatalystCon East, but with different panelists. One of my goals with my panels has been to include people who haven't been to CatalystCon before, in this case, the amazing Gaby Dunn, and also to work with people I haven't worked with before. I learned so much last time, and this is a topic near and dear to my heart as someone who continuously writes about her personal life, and continues to grapple with the impact.

I have a print piece coming out in a dream publication, a magazine I subscribe to, whose founder is a household name, right around the time of CatalystCon. I'm excited and honored, but the truth is, also nervous. Will people think less of me because of what I reveal about my sex life? Will I be misinterpreted to sound like I have disdain for a certain kind of sex that used to be a bigger part of my life, but isn't as much now? Will my partner, who is very supportive and proud of me, face any discomfort by my writing about our sex life in such a large venue? Will family members, who are wonderful but I would rather not discuss my sex life with, see it? Hence, I need and am excited for this panel just as much as anyone.

September 13, 11 a.m.-12:10 p.m.
CatalystCon panel Sharing Your Sex Life on the Page and the Stage
Whether on the page, stage or podcast, sharing personal sex stories means making public what’s often deemed private and inviting audiences to read, hear—and judge. What are the biggest challenges and rewards of airing our “dirty” laundry? How do we decide which sex stories are worth telling? Is there such a thing as TMI? How can we be deeply honest while honoring others’ boundaries (and having ours respected)? How can we tie our lives into what’s happening in the larger world and further social and political change? Is writing about your sex life different than sharing it live or via podcast? This panel will explore what it’s like to invite readers, listeners and audiences inside our bedrooms, and beyond. Featuring Anaín Bjorkquist, sex educator and host of the Sex Love Joy podcast, Gaby Dunn, writer, comedian, YouTuber and co-host of web series Just Between Us, and Dixie de la Tour, founder, host and curator of long-running live storytelling show Bawdy Storytelling. Moderated by Rachel Kramer Bussel, Philadelphia City Paper and DAME sex columnist and author of the personal essay collection Sex & Cupcakes.
CatalystCon West, Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, 2500 North Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA

I will also be seeing lots of old friends, some who live far away, some who live "nearby," but that's all relative. Now that I live in what feels like the boonies, I rarely go to New York, and don't anticipate being there often in the future unless I'm doing an event. So geographical closeness is a bit moot, and even then, I wouldn't be around so many fascinating people at once. But for me CatalystCon is also a chance to meet new people, ones maybe I've interacted with online, often ones I haven't but who become familiar faces by the end of the weekend.

Want to hear more about my upcoming events and have access to exclusive book giveaways? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter by visiting rachelkramerbussel.com (left hand side).

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My next LitReactor online erotica writing class starts November 3rd

Just announced: LitReactor erotica writing class running November 3-December 3 (yes, it's happening over Thanksgiving weekend, but we've extended the usual 4 weeks by 2 days, and I always stick around to answer additional questions until the end of the month, so in this case, though December 31st). Click above or on the image below to see the specific topics being discussed in each lecture. This is a class I would say is ideal for newcomers to erotica or those looking to get published in the erotica field, or looking to enhance the eroticism of other types of fiction writing.

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Since the previous 4 have sold out, this one is likely to as well. There are 16 spots in the class, and as of now it's totally open. You can participate from anywhere in the world, anonymously or not (you select your own username) and you participate as much or as little as you'd like. I provide weekly lectures, assignments and critiques (you also give/get critiques in groups of 4), plus I give you direct from publishers details about what they're looking for, extensive market information and over a dozen Q&As only available here with erotica industry professionals, including authors (both self-published and traditionally published), editors and publishers, such as The Original Sinners series author Tiffany Reisz and widely published erotica and erotic romance author Circlet Press founder Cecilia Tan. I suggest allotting around five hours a week to dedicate to the class.

The class is $375, which I know is not cheap, but I can promise you I do my best to give you your money's worth. You also get access to the classroom materials forever and the option to join my secret Facebook group for erotica writing class alumni to continue the conversation and community. But don't take my word for it: read what my former LitReactor students have had to say (this will be my fifth time teaching the class). Questions? Email me at rachelkb at gmail dot com with "LitReactor" in the subject line.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

A graphic novel, a romance and a young adult novel where a character gets an abortion

I did a short roundup at Salon of three books in very different genres that each walk the reader through the experience of a character getting an abortion: the graphic novel Not Funny Ha-Ha by Leah Hayes, erotic romance The Girlfriend by Abigail Barnette (pen name of Jenny Trout) and YA novel '89 Walls by Katie Pierson. The former is meant to be a guidebook on what the procedure is like; the other two are novels where there's a lot more going on, but abortion is treated seriously but not overdramatized.

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