Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch my first and favorite book trailer for Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica. Get Spanked in print and ebook

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Letter to the Voice about my pro-choice column

Village Voice letters to the editor, January 31st, Issue 05 (there's also a one pro, one against Tristan's "Tool of the Patriarchy" column - and speaking of Tristan, her new porn flick Tristan Taormino's House of Ass, a reality-TV parody starring Joanna Angel, is coming out February 24th and she's having a big release party on February 26th!)

Vagina monologue

Rachel Kramer Bussel's "I'm Pro-Choice and I Fuck" [Lusty Lady, January 18–24] expresses everything I've felt for years. I can accept nothing less than complete reproductive and sexual autonomy. Bussel delineates all the issues involved: sexual liberation, the choice to bear a wanted child, and the true agenda of so-called pro-lifers (I prefer to call them anti-choice) to curtail birth control and sexual expressiveness. The adherents of the Christian right conservative coalition have stymied any attempt to pass laws that would encourage the nurturance of the lives of the children they claim to protect.

Terry Graham
Buffalo, New York

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BET

BET is showing their "Most Embarrassing Moments in Black History" today, I think at 10 pm. I may or may not be on it. Michael Musto WILL be on it. I should be on their Valentine's Day "Hottest Black Couples of 2005" though.

"I Enjoy a Good Spanking"

Even though you probably already know that, I still want the t-shirt

And other potentially offensive, possibly funny t-shirts at Tshirtcrib.com (I did laugh at some of them)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Search engines and racism gone mad

Pretty much every recent search has been about Elizabeth Hayt (she was on David Lee Roth's show today), Lisa Loeb's thong and/or ass (she bared her thonged ass last night on her E! show #1 Single), or Jewish blowjobs. Can't really help you on any of these counts but Lisa's official site is Lisaloeb.com

I am rarely one to trash talk other people's writing on here, but I agree 100% with Judy McGuire about Elizabeth Hayt's most recent New York Post column "Love Isn't Always (Color) Blind." First off, she's not talking about love. Or even sex. She's talking about racism and white liberal guilt and maybe sexual curiosity, without stating the latter outright, and never mentioning the size issue. While I think generally it's great to examine one's prejudices, she does very little examining here. Unlike Scott Poulson-Bryant's claims that everyone is fascinated with the (myth of the) "big black dick," Hayt is totally freaked out (yet manages to assure us her man was not only good in bed, but he was a "good" black guy, a neurosurgeon.) She quotes her friend who says "The sex turned out to be an incredibly reassuring human experience," - as in, she was reassured that her Nigerian lover was human! She also puts her fears onto her lover, asking if he is nervous, rather than admitting to him that she is/was. Here's Hayt, whose words I think speak for themselves:

Standing in the surgeon's bedroom, I was frozen with fear. It was one thing to be seen in public with him, but quite another to be naked. The darkness of his body was frighteningly exotic, so opposite my own fairness, which, by comparison, I suddenly perceived to be weak and wane. How would I touch his hair when I couldn't run my fingers through it? What if he was physically aggressive?

My reaction startled me. Until that night, I'd prided myself on being progressive and tolerant, especially since I'd devoted many years to teaching at inner-city high schools. I was no Scarlett O'Hara, yet, to my shame and horror, I held sexual fears that were practically antebellum. Where did they come from? Who was to blame?

No one and nowhere, I surmised. I had unconsciously inherited social myths about African-Americans because I had no personal basis for formulating my own opinions. My fears resulted from ignorance. I wasn't even aware I harbored them until I had to face them. But when my lips met my bedmate's, all my worries melted away. I ran my hand over his head, enjoying the wooliness of his hair. I'd never felt anything like it. And as for his moves? We were totally in sync.

cheap date

If you win this contest, please take me to the movies

Speaking of romantic comedies, I actually really want to see Date Movie, but I only want to see it ON a date. Maybe I will meet somenoe at The Singles Show. Or a Super Bowl party I'm going to, armed with mini cupcakes. Yes, I am a huge fan of chick lit books (not all of them, but the good ones - I recommend Hex and the Single Girl by Valerie Frankel, and anything by Anna Maxted, and Friday Night Chicas) and chick flicks. In addition to the do-me/slut/spanking feminism, I am a total girlie girl.

My Gothamist interview with Ellen Friedrichs, Sex Educator

My Gothamist interview with Ellen Friedrichs, Sex Educator

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

A musical interlude

Just found out about all these new albums coming out this year, like Beth Orton's, and Rose Melberg (of The Softies) has a new one, Cast Away The Clouds, coming out on Double Agent - go to their site to hear her cover of Anne Briggs's "The Time Has Come."

What Am I Working On?

All of this and much of what I've been posting about recently ties into this book proposal I'm trying to write, which Mark Pritchard interviewed me about for his "What Are You Working On?" series.

I heart Mark Morford

And my google news alert on "slut feminism"

As relevant now as when it was first published on June 18, 2004, Mark Morford's San Francisco Chronicle column entitled "In Defense of Sluts," which starts out like this:

Sluts are good. Sluts make America proud. The world needs more sluts. I contend this without shame or conflict. God bless America.

But what I really admire him here for is not just blindly praising sluts or being funny with lines like "I thought I was all over the modern pro-slut feminism thing like whipped cream on a soy mocha." but for examining why the slut epithet continues and his own flawed ideas about it. Putting women on a pedestal is just not the answer. There may very well be biological and certainly cultural differences by gender, but these grand sweeping "really women are better/kinder/gentler/nicer/etc." therefore they should be praised and glorified, but only as long as they stay within certain precious modes of behavior.

But it raises an eternal question. "Slut." Still potent. Still a deadly stinger of a word. Still being bandied about like some sort of ultimate conviction, a nasty hammer blow, a definitive curse. Like a woman sharing her sex with unbridled abandon is unethical and wrong and dirty and, well, slutty, whereas if a man does the same he's considered, well, Colin Farrell. Is this still true? Is this still where we are?

The whole thing is worth reading, but I think there's this idea, again, that feminists or self-proclaimed sluts want to be "just like men," that rings slightly false. Morford writes that "we need more of the self-defined sluts...regularly nonjudged sluts who can do whatever they want and sleep with whomever they want..." and I do agree, to some extent, but I don't think we should just want to simply emulate men.

It's not my place to judge anyone else's behavior, but I will say that for me, I've certainly been on the other side where people sortof assume that for me sex is just a quick and easy transaction, a one-time, non-feeling, no-strings event, which it certainly can be, but wasn't for me. I think that while the whole "ethical slut" ethos may not appeal to everyone, there is something to be said for thinking about people other than yourself, which it is possible to do and still be as slutty as you want to be. A friend was saying I should write about the art of the one night stand, and how to have a good one - I may do that at some point, but I don't necessarily know the answer. In recent memory there's been one amazing one and several pretty dismal ones, so I'm certainly back to the drawing board. I don't necessarily think we need more sluts, but we need less judgment about other people's sexual choices. It's such an easy criticism to fall back on, perhaps the easiest next to slamming a woman's looks, and there really is no equivalent for a guy, so women can either embrace their sluttiness or perceived sluttiness, try to live up to some really fake ideal that's close to impossible. Emily White's Fast Girls: Teenage Tribes and the Myth of the Slut looks at this pheneomenon and how you don't even actually need to be slutty in order to be branded a slut, which I'm sure isn't a news flash to probably anyone reading this.

Me, Ayn Rand, Sarah Weddington, Harry Blackmun, and Wanda Sykes

Gotta love Wikipedia, no? Or in this case, Wikiquote, about abortion (I've never added a thing to Wikipedia, so it wasn't me who added these, but thanks to whoever did).

Sleepaholic

I was going to say I've been a workaholic this weekend but that's not true. I took several naps yesterday and barely left the house, and missed a dirty old prom queen's party because I just couldn't get it together to go out. I kept falling asleep and then was really groggy. Sometimes I just am not feeling social and am utterly content to lie around in my sweatpants and just relax and not stress. I like getting up and having somewhere to go every day, but I think what tires me more than waking up early is the strain of getting on the subway, shoving your way on and trying to juggle all the bags I seem to be unable to go without.

But today I kindof made up for yesterday's inactivity by actually joining and going to the gym, doing a little bit of writing/reading submissions, and kicking ass in Scrabble and Boggle. Also finished reading a silly but fun book called Chore Whore: Adventures of a Celebrity Personal Assistant by Heather H. Howard, a roman a clef that was the perfect book to finish while on the treadmill - a very fast-paced read with a teensy bit of identity politics thrown in as well that I wasn't expecting. I'm midway through M.J. Rose's The Delilah Complex and have to finish to see whodunnit, plus so I can finish up my interview questions for her.

I haven't been to any of the bars in the Voice's Overpriced Cocktail Hall of Shame, but I like how they ran out of money and are looking for more suggestions.

Found Hollywood Is Talking (which I initially thought was called Hollywood Stalking, which I like even better than the real thing) cause they plugged the fabulous The Pleasure's All Mine: Memoir of a Professional Submissive by Joan Kelly, who I interviewed for my next Voice column and who's reading February 21st at Coliseum Books. HIT led me to Date Number One, an indie movie about first dates, and the blog by its creator.

My friends in the Times and bloggers travel free to Amsterdam

Congratulations to Will Leitch (who looks way younger than 30 in the accompanying photo), editor of Deadspin, for being profiled in today's New York Times. Warren St. John also has a great article on the local comedy scene, namechecking everything from Chicks and Giggles to The Apiary and quoting some fabulous local comedians including Aziz Ansari, Andres du Bouchet, Erin Foley, Josh Comers and Liam McEneaney. I'm not sure individual jokes can really translate that well onto the page without the charm of their delivery, as I've learned in my feeble attempts to write about comedians, but he picked some good ones to highlight nonetheless.

Will was also 1/4th of The Black Table, which had a very crowded, fun, media-filled goodbye party on Friday night, that was also later invaded by some 80's prom queens who glittered up the bar. It was like one-stop shopping to see people since I am becoming quite the homebody. Thankfully, I left before midnight and ran into Brian otherwise it would have been a very loooong, circuitous ride home.

And someone I don't know - The Seahawks' Shaun Alexander, who is apparently also an avid chess player.

Also, a whole bunch of bloggers are going to Amsterdamn for free (!!), including Dooce, Cityrag, Coolfer, Culture Kitchen, Jossip, Pandagon (interesting post on sex post-baby), Perez Hilton, Pink Is The New BlogSlice NY, The Food Section, and others.

Yes, I'm jealous, but very happy for them. The only free trip I've ever gotten was going to LA to shoot The Berman and Berman show back in 2003. But the most fascinating thing is that they get the free trip, free hotel stay, free transportation while they're there, with nary a thing to do in return except be interviewed and give Holland.com ad space on their sites for a month and keeping the link to the Bloggers in Amsterdam on their nav bar for a year. Pretty sweet deal but also a big expenditure on the part of the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, which is sponsoring the trip.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America

In my "I'm Pro-Choice and I Fuck" column, I interviewed Cristina Page, author of How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics, and The War on Sex and I just found out (thanks to my google news alert) that she has a website, prochoicemovement.com and a blog. I like how Cristina describes herself:

Gushing mother, loving wife, devoted daughter, trusted colleague, native New Yorker, first-time author, freedom lover.

She's doing some readings (Feb. 9 at McNally Robinson, Feb. 16 at Bluestockings and March 28 at Brooklyn Public Library) and I found interesting blurb from Ariel Levy, bolding mine:

From the very first sentence of her book, it’s clear that Cristina Page is looking for common ground—profound understanding—between those frightened to interrupt biology in motion and those determined to control their own destiny. Page understands that to be alive is to be sexual, and she brings to this discussion something much more interesting than violent rhetoric\: insight informed by genuine compassion.

—Ariel Levy, author of Female Chauvinist Pigs

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Boys in skirts

When I was in high school (Teaneck High School, in New Jersey no less), this kid totally wore a skirt and it really wasn't that big of a deal. It wasn't every day, I think he did it once.

"Skirting: The Issue" by Robin Givhan, Washington Post - she argues that he should have the right to wear a skirt, but the aesthetics are wrong, and even brings in Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush to make her point. Me - well, it's the rare day you catch me in pants, and if and when you do I get really flustered about it.

This week in New Jersey, a male high school senior won the right to wear a skirt to school. The Associated Press reported that Michael Coviello's skirt fight began when he was barred from wearing shorts. His school district prohibits shorts from Oct. 1 to April 15. But it seemed reasonable to Coviello that since girls could sport skirts and show their legs then boys should be allowed the same privileges...

Coviello's adopted style calls to mind Axl Rose during his heyday with Guns N' Roses. Coviello is wearing the costume of disgruntled youth. Kurt Cobain may have preferred the baby-doll dress to make his point, but the skirt and T-shirt send a similar message of being disenchanted with the system.

Where Coviello's ensemble goes wrong, however, is with the scuffed New Balance sneakers. They take the tough, rebellious edge off the look and send it spiraling into the land of soft-serve suburbia.

Divorce Debate February 1st

Lawyer John Crouch and writer-blogger Nichelle Stephens debate the question "Should the Law Make It Harder to Divorce?" (with Michel "The Brain" Evanchik moderating and Todd Seavey hosting) at the next Jinx Athenaeum, Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 8pm, downstairs at Lolita bar (free admission, cash bar) on the northeast corner of Broome and Allen on Manhattan's Lower East Side, one block south and three west of the Delancey St. subway stop.

New BUST erotic book review roundup

In the new issue of BUST (which I haven't actually seen yet), I did an erotica book review roundup, even though I have stories in the first 2 of these: Best American Erotica 2006 edited by Susie Bright, With A Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn edited by Amber Dawn and Trish Kelly, Candy Licker by Toure and Whipped: 20 Erotic Stories of Female Dominance edited by Carol Queen. I also have an interview with Carol Queen that will be up on my job's website Variations.com sometime in early February - it's a pay site.

February 15th In The Flesh lineup

IN THE FLESH EROTIC READING SERIES
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 at 8 PM
AT HAPPY ENDING LOUNGE, 302 BROOME STREET
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey, http://www.happyendinglounge.com)
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676
http://inthefleshreadingseries.blogspot.com

Bask in the post-Valentine’s Day afterglow with the hottest, sexiest words in the city! February welcomes a stunning mix of performers, including M.J. Rose (Lip Service, The Delilah Complex), Carol Taylor (Wanderlust: Erotic Travel Tales, Brown Sugar series), Lauren Sanders (With or Without You, Kamikaze Lust), and two contributors to Wanderlust, Melvin E. Lewis and SékouWrites, along with a naughty tale from host Rachel Kramer Bussel. Copies of The Delilah Complex and Wanderlust will be given away throughout the evening along with a signed poster of The Delilah Complex. Free refreshments will be served.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by Village Voice sex columnist and acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Future themed nights include fetishes, true confessions, GLBT stories and erotic memoirs.
Reader Bios:

Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New York City-based author and editor. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations and a Contributing Editor and columnist for Penthouse and writes the Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice. Her erotic stories have appeared in over 50 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004, and she’s edited her own collections, including Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 1 and 2. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, Time Out New York and Velvetpark. http://www.rachelkramerbussel.com

Melvin E. Lewis has a forthcoming short story, “La Linea Negra” about Puerto Rico in Wanderlust: Erotic Travel Tales, edited by Carol Taylor (2006). In 2005 his poetry appeared in Obsidian III and Gargoyle magazines in the United States of America. He published poetry about Tanzania, “We Are Always Close To the Sea” in the summer 2003 issue of Wasafiri in London. Recently his work has appeared in the anthologies Beyond the Frontier: African-American Poetry for the 21st Century, editor E. Ethelbert Miller, Black Classic Press, Baltimore 2002, and The Black Panther Party Reconsidered, editor Charles A. Jones, Black Classic Press, 1998. Lewis lives with his son in southeastern North Carolina. Currently, he is writing articles on popular culture, music reviews, and a novel.

M.J. Rose is the author of half a dozen novels, Lip Service, In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music, The Halo Effect and The Delilah Complex. She also is a contributor to Poets and Writers, Oprah Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Pages Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in Pages Magazine, The Vestal Review and several anthologies including Best American Erotica and The Auntie's Book. She also runs the book blog Buzz, Balls & Hype, has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, and The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and has written for USA Today, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly. http://www.mjrose.com

Lauren Sanders is the author of the recent novel With or Without You (Akashic, 2005). Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Kamikaze Lust (Akashic, 2000), won a 2000 Lambda Literary Award. Her short fiction and nonfiction has appeared in many publications. She lives in Brooklyn.

Carol Taylor, a former Random House book editor, has been in book publishing for over ten years and has worked with many of today's top black writers. She is the editor of the best-selling, Brown Sugar series: Brown Sugar, Brown Sugar 2: Great One Night Stands, Brown Sugar 3: When Opposites Attract and Brown Sugar 4 and, most recently, Wanderlust: Erotic Travel Tales. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in many publications. She writes a relationship column for Flirt.com. She lives in New York City and is at work on a collection of her own stories. She is the CEO of Brown Sugar Productions, LTD. http://www.brownsugarbooks.com

SékouWrites is the editor of When Butterflies Kiss (Silver Lion Press, 2001), a serial novel in which ten co-authors each wrote one chapter of the same story. Sékou also writes a monthly online relationship column that responds to queries from women by offering multiple male opinions. Sékou’s fiction has been most recently published in Intimacy: Erotic Stories of Love, Lust and Marriage by Black Men (Plume, 2004) and Carol Taylor’s Wanderlust. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction and serves as Managing Editor of UPTOWN magazine. http://www.sekouwrites.com

"Cock Size Obsession" - latest Lusty Lady column

"Cock Size Obsession," Lusty Lady column
Guys Reveal How Much Penis Length—and Race—Really Matter


With quotes from Scott Poulson-Bryant (author of Hung), Kevin Keck (author of Oedipus Wrecked), The Assimilated Negro and others.

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Mark DeMaio art opening


Mark DeMaio art opening
Originally uploaded by rkb1.

A Million Little Penises by Chris Genoa

So wrong but so funny

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hello Kitty overview and photo gallery

Hello Kitty in Images: For Kids or Adults?" at The Village Voice (including a guitar!)

And Corina Zappia's "Here Kitty, Kitty" overview of her ongoing appeal at Sanrio's "Breakfast with Hello Kitty" (there were cupcakes!)

Hello Kitty is for adults. Although we'll never see Sanrio racing to promote that Hello Kitty vibrator, it is interesting to see what products do have Sanrio's explicit approval. At a table crammed with island-themed totes, there is a cotton g-string printed with the image of Hello Kitty on the front—she is wearing a teeny skirt, an attached piece of metallic fabric, that you can lift up. The Chococat thong counterpart lies across the room, on a table of faux-vintage Hello Kitty tees. In the center of the room is a mannequin wearing a white string bikini, with a rhinestone Hello Kitty face over the right boob. One hopes this is for adults, but it is more likely part of the Hello Kitty Juniors swimwear line.

And look - Hello Kitty in a bikini!

Hello Kitty Through the Seasons

Hello Kitty Through the Seasons

"My Girlfriend's Threesome"

Because they're my friends, I wasn't going to blog about this, but Fishbowl just did, and she's way more widely read than my little blog, so I think it's fine. Rachel did point out that the characters in Will Leitch's novel Catch are called Tim and Helena, as are the players in his essay, though she didn't note that Will's print story in Men's Health is called "My Girlfriend's Threesome" but in the online version it becomes "My Girlfriend's Kinky Threesome." Interesting. I thought it was a very sweet, touching, and very Will essay - and those are all compliments.

See also: Will's Life as a Loser column "This Is About Sex"

It's not about sex, but I did interview Will Leitch on this very blog about Catch

Looking for Tad Friend's article "Yes" on "do me feminism" from Feb. '94 Esquire

I'm looking for Tad Friend's article "Yes" about "do me feminism" that was published in Esquire's February 1994 issue. If anyone has it and can photocopy it or email it to me at rachelkb at gmail.com I would be SO appreciative. If you want to snail mail it, you can send it to Prince St. Station, PO Box 39, New York, NY 10012.

Here's the exact citation:

Friend, Tad. "Yes." Esquire Feb. 1994: 48-56.

Thank you!

Susie Bright interviews "sadistic Southern Belle" L. Elise Bland

Many people have told me their favorite story from Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z was L. Elise Bland's "Every Good Boy Deserves Favors," about a very wayward piano student and his demanding teacher. Bland's one of my favorite writers and a lot of fun (not to mention having a mean spanking hand herself!). Her story's reprinted in Best American Erotica 2006 and now Susie Bright has interviewed her about being a kinky Southern belle, spanking, sex work, and her Republican clientele.

“It’s all behind closed doors, consenting adults,” they argue, but what they don’t understand is that there are no closed doors anymore. I quit taking new clients the day W. got re-elected in 2004. I cried when I posted my announcement on my website.

I wanted to protect myself, but as much as I love my subs, I had also gotten tired of spanking Republicans. I didn’t like that they could have their cake and eat it, too. I wanted them to understand that their vote counted—against sexual freedom.


Also look for stories from L. Elise Bland in First-Timers: True Stories of Lesbian Awakening, Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 2 and Sex and Candy, plus whatever else I can coax out of her for my other anthologies - everything I've read of hers has been fabulous!

I only read it for the panty pics

Should the New Haven Advocate be porn free? Various takes, along with photos of underwear and such.

In The Flesh hookups

See what happens when you come to my reading series? Debauchery! And she's not the only one. I hear that some of these folks were dirty dancing and some were making out; you can use your imaginations or ask them if you want details, or, better, yet, show up at the next In The Flesh on February 15th and get some action for yourself!

Adventures in book covers

See? I really am obsessed with books:

Same Sex in the City

Same Sex in the City



How to Set His Thighs on Fire

How to Set His Thighs on Fire

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Less than four months until...

BEA!

It'll be my 5th BEA, and my first time in DC in ages. I have multiple publishers now and am hoping to maybe (fingers crossed) be a bit closer to a book deal by then. But I really go as a book fan, not as an author. As the dorky bookworm I've always been who delights in seeing shiny pretty book covers, meeting some of my favorite (and some new and unexpected) authors, and just being in a massive room full of books and book lovers for 3 days. Looking forward to books galore, vacation, mingling, and my first visit to CakeLove.

Quick rundown of my BEA history:

2002: I knew nothing. I wandered around in a daze, saw Heidi Fleiss's scantily clad employees hawking Pandering, didn't really know what to make of the whole spectacle

2003: Sociopathic Lesbian Stalker Incident in LA (really not worth going into, certainly not for free), also got to see Carly

2004: Chicago with GirlyNYC! Kitty ears! Tons of fun!

2005: Practically broke my back and shoes lugging stuff home from the Javits Center

2006: ??? Who knows what fun this year will bring?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The good kind of dealbreaker

Congratulations to my friend Elizabeth Spiers on the soon-to-be-launched dealbreaker.com, a blog about Wall Street, a topic which I know next to nothing about, but I will be reading and hopefully learning something. Elizabeth also looks quite fetching in her new photo by the fabulous Paul Sarkis.

Speaking of deal breakers, I will finally be doing a follow-up column to my "Sex and Dating Deal Breakers" one at some point, probably in March or April, so there's still time to let me know your dating pet peeves: rachelkb at gmail.com

I'd read Look At This Huge Knife I Bought!

I do, in fact, read chick lit books, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate Michelle Collins's "21 Titles of Chick Lit Books I Would Like To Write.

Dorm Porn!

Dorm Porn

Dorm Porn



Sometimes I write gay male erotica, and this time I've contributed (as "RK Bussel") the story "All-Nighter" to Dorm Porn: Raunchy Tales of Boys on Campus edited by Sean Fisher. It's about a college student who has to cram (ha ha) for an exam and gets a little help from his boyfriend. And don't worry, he gets a good grade on the final too! I was supposed to have another story, "Friday Night Video," in this one too, and was contracted and all, but due to an error on their end, it didn't make it in, but it's all cool and hopefully that one will be in a forthcoming anthology.

Naughty Spanking Stories kudos

I'm very excited that two stories from Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z have been picked up for 2 of the annual "Best Of" anthologies - hoping there's more of that with the 2nd volume because there are some real treasures in it too:

Debra Hyde's "Only A Woman's Touch" appears in Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 edited by Tristan Taormino (Cleis, 2005).

L. Elise Bland's "Every Good Boy Deserves Favors" appears in Best American Erotica 2006 edited by Susie Bright (Touchstone, 2006).

KGB Young Adult fiction Sunday night

KGB BAR 85 East 4th St. 7PM - Free!
______________
Authors' books available for sale and signing at reading!
______________
David Klass is the author of many other young adult novels, including Home of the Braves and You Don’t Know Me. He has also written a number of screenplays, including Kiss the Girls and Desperate Measures. He lives in New York City and reads from his novel:
***Dark Angel***
“Klass has woven a captivation first-person narrative with an original voice . . .An engrossing story . . . to which reader will immediately connect.” Kirkus Reviews
______________________
Robyn Schneider is the author of the forthcoming young adult “chick literary” novel Better Than Yesterday (Random House/Delacorte January '07). Robyn is the creator of the website "Correspondences with YA Fiction Agents" and co-curator of the Barbes Reading Series. A member of YA Writer Blogs, she keeps a popular blog called Queued Paper, about being a “reluctantly-stereotyped 19-year-old chick lit writer trying to navigate life in New York City.” She will read a sneak preview of her novel:
***Better Than Yesterday***
____________________
Gabrielle Zevin’s novel for adults, Margarettown, was published earlier this year. She lives in New York City with her unusually clever dog, Mrs. DeWinter. She reads from her novel:
***elsewhere***

male college sex columnist - an oxymoron

"Could a man write about sex?" by Ben Flanagan of University of Alabama paper The Crimson White:

I eventually came to the conclusion that it isn't logically possible to have a straight male sex columnist or, if there is one, to take his commentary seriously. Keep in mind that we're talking about a straight college male . . .

To be blunt, the mind of a single straight college male is a deep, dark and scary path that leads to a despicable and vulgar utopia that if one were to hear the thoughts with human ears, his head would instantaneously explode.

For this particular kind of male's thoughts to be released as words for others to hear, they must go through a series of processes that basically trim them down to what could be considered suitable, which would still sound pretty appalling. It's kind of like taking an NC-17-rated movie before the Motion Picture Association of America and cleaning it up until it's a hard R.

Go Annalee!

Nina Hartley chimes in in this comments section too. But I liked Annalee Newitz's the best. Skip judiciously unless you have time and brainpower to waste (to summarize - I'm an evil non-feminist because I'm not a socialist - there now, wasn't that simple?):

As a somewhat old-schoolish Marxist, I agree completely that many of us sex postivistas are acutely aware of class and economic issues. Sex positivity, for me, is about liberating sex from the bounds of private property. Sex shouldn’t belong to certain kinds of people in certain kinds of relationships — it should belong to anyone in any way they like. And that means leaving space for people to dislike sex or choose not to have it. I’m very pro-virginity for folks who don’t want to have sex, just as I’m pro-orgy for people who want to fuck ten of their pals. Sex positivity is really about removing sex from (market-based) institutions like “the traditional family” and “marriage.”

Even more than that, I think you’re right to put the term in an historical context — people called it “sex positive feminism” to distinguish it from “anti-porn feminism.” Both epithets aren’t really fair, nor are they necessarily applicable to sex/gender politics in the early twenty-first century. I’ve been experimenting with calling myself a pro-cloning feminist just to freak people out.

P-O-R-N-O B-I-N-G-O

I miss bingo so much - the awful yet beguiling summer of 2003 was filled with nonstop bingo. I think Linda Simpson and Murray Hill have also resurrected their not-to-be-missed perfect bingo fun somewhere around town.

I probably can't go to this but hopefully at some future date I can play bingo again. For now, the work never stops around here. Well, sometimes I do try to sleep but I am trying to up my writing and lessen my slacking.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006: 9pm. Will Clark's PORNO
BINGO at the 9th
Ave.
Bistro (693 9th Ave. btw 47th and 48th). Porn Star Tim
Rusty and The Glamazons (courtesy of SASi Public Relations) join us for a
night of sexual fun to benefit the Museum of Sex.
Sponsored by Hot House video.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm in Geniuses of Love! on Valentine's Day

To be honest, I have NO IDEA what I've gotten myself into. But I adore organizer Becky Yamamoto and this is a kick-ass lineup, so I can't wait and I'm sure it'll be a riot. Plus, it gives a single girl something to do on Valentine's Day.



Geniuses of Love!
Galapagos
Back room
Feb 14
8pm
$5
70 North 6th Street
between Kent and Wythe
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211
718 782-5188

Do you feel like love is hiding from you? Maybe it's hiding in the forest of self-doubt, or in the mall of recriminations. It could even be in the dentist's office of despair. Wherever love is hiding, love experts Becky Yamamoto and Tony Carnevale will help you sniff it out. Join them and an army of entertaining special guests at 8pm on Valentine's Day at Galapagos. Featuring: Rachel Kramer Bussel, Chelsea Peretti, Patrick Borelli, Lang Fisher, Michelle Collins, Carolyn K. Castiglia, Alan Fessenden, Joe Randazzo, Frank Philbrick, Mike Barry, sketch group A Week of Kindness, and the band Ladystein.

Virginity, sin and sexual integrity

Because I'm always curious about how other people view sexuality, and I'm half-heartedly working on this ongoing book proposal about sexual freedom, I'm always poking around Amazon and such. This time, it was through a circuitous process, leading from Nichelle's post to seeing that Tara McCarthy, whose Been There, Haven't Done That: A Virgin's Memoir I read when it came out, writes under Tara McCarthy (for adults) and her married name, Tara Altebrando (for teens).

Looking up books on virginity, I came across Soul Virgins: Redefining Single Sexuality by Doug Rosenau and Michael Todd Wilson, which sounded interesting. I am not against chastity; I really don't think I have the right to tell anyone else what to do with their sex lives. But...I do find it disturbing how circumscribed acceptable sexuality is within this framework.

Soul Virgins

Soul Virgins



In an article (part 3 of an 8-part series) by Rosenau entitled "Eight Skills for Sexual Integrity: Become the Master of Your Mind - You don't have to be a slave to sexual fantasies and urges," men are painted as pretty much slaves to their sexual desires, even as they're told they can overcome them. It's this push-pull, you're okay but only if you go against your own nature, acceptance/rejection that to me seems highly confusing. They're saying that men have these thoughts, but should be ashamed because women (and God) would be upset:

What if God decided to give the woman in your life the ability to see your every sexual thought for a day? If you're the average male, this would be the ultimate nightmare! We would be driven to our knees in desperate bargaining: "Lord, please not that. I promise to grow up!"

And it's really the assault on sexual thoughts, on "impure" thoughts, that I think is such a vital piece of "sexual freedom." Even thoughts are not safe, not okay, not part of one's private sphere of sexuality. I mean, who exactly is having sexual fantasies with all our clothes on? (Okay, yes, it's conceivable, but I'm just not clear on how the following clarifies things)

It's important to note that not all sexual thoughts are lustful, and not all are wrong. Sinful lust is when we start mentally disrobing and visualizing people in sexual situations.

I don't want to just pick on these people, because I really do want to understand these ideas and ways of thinking about sex. I don't think men should walk around ashamed and full of guilt for their lustful thoughts. But I believe in a fairer balance, where fantasies and thoughts are and plus/and part of a couple's sexuality, not an either/or part.

When confronted with feminine beauty, men don't often think of the woman as a real person with feelings, a person with a soul, one that experiences joy and fatigue. Instead, they zoom in on female parts, not even looking at the whole body. It is narrow and one-dimensional.

We all look - men and women, at each other. I think it's natural to look, and there are ways of looking that can be leering and gross and sleazy, and ways that can be the opposite of that. I don't think looking at someone and getting turned on is necessarily bad - for the watcher or the watchee. It all depends on the context. Maybe the super tired mom gets a little thrill after a long ass day doing errands, etc., by having some guy smile at her, or knowing she turned his head. Maybe the women all decked out wants to feel better about herself and has dolled herself up. And we all know that it doesn't really matter what you're wearing - women get sexually harrassed in sweatpants all the time. I'm not saying sexual harrassment doesn't exist, or that we should encourage it, but there are lines and demarcations, and while I do think we should consider everyone we meet as a whole person, part of that person is their sexuality. To deny that is just ridiculous and I feel like this goes beyond monogamy; it's asking for mental as well as physical monogamy, and is really a much vaster program than just "don't touch anyone else." And the reasoning is all because it's God's way.

There are some good parts of this series, like the idea of meeting nonsexual needs nonsexually. I am pro-sexual integrity as well, it just means something different to me than to this author.

Justin reflected on his relationship with his wife, and finally noticed that he had too many eggs in the sexual basket. He wasn't very affectionate unless they were making love; he usually celebrated victories by making love; he was encouraged out of his funks and felt affirmed in his masculinity through sex. One time, he even told his wife that sex would help him get over the flu!

Men and women both use sex, and can be used by sex. I thin it's important to be aware of what you're using sex for and what kinds of interpersonal relationship you get into, sexual or otherwise, because it can be highly confusing and potentially hurtful. But sex itself is not inherently wrong or bad (or positive or good) - it isn't inherently anything, which is why I think the phrase "sex-positive" gets confused and misused. To me, being sex-positive doesn't mean endorsing every sexual act ever; it doesn't mean having the most sex possible 24/7 with just anyone, it doesn't mean elevating sex over other forms of communication. It does mean valuing what sex can (and can't) do for us and maximizing the positive aspects of it, as well as valuing sexual expression and feelings.

Other interesting-looking upcoming "virgin" titles: (I know Vegan Virgin Valentine is a reprint, but I still love the name)

The Technical Virgin

The Technical Virgin



Best Bondage Erotica

Six Reasons to Stay a Virgin



Vegan Virgin Valentine

Vegan Virgin Valentine

Transgender erotica writer needed for June 21st NYC reading

I'm trying to round out my June 21st lineup for GLBT night at In The Flesh and am looking for someone who has a transgender erotica story to read - can be any type of trans story as long as there's some transgender element and it's erotic. The rest of the lineup includes Cheryl B., Gena Hymowech, Sam J. Miller, and Scott Pomfret of Romentics. The reading's at 8 pm - no pay, but a few free drinks. Anyone interested can get in touch with me at rachelkb at gmail.com - please give me a short bio, website link if you have it, and let me know about any writing credits and feel free to send a short erotic writing sample. Thank you! I will also be booking July and beyond probably starting in February. Found someone: Jane Vincent, who will read her first-time transman sex story from First-Timers: True Stories of Lesbian Awakening. Thanks!

Ha!


Has blogging jumped the shark?
Originally uploaded by culturecat.
Or, as A Dude Somewhere asked, "Has Blogging Jumped The Shark?"

Feedback, subject line: "IGNORANCE"

I read your article "I'm Pro-Choice and I Fuck" and I think its the most ignorant thing I have ever read. As a woman I believe you (women) have the right to f'ck whom ever, when ever and how ever you (they) want. But to be so casual about the death of an unborn child is ignorance! With freedom comes responsibility, women (you) should be more responsible about
having sex. Its people like you that encourage young girls (kids), who aren't prepared for the emotional and physical consequences, to have irresponsible sex. Rather than expressing and preaching your promiscuity, you should be using your talent to encourage young gilrs to safer, smarter sexual practices.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sex.com sold for close to $12 million

Reuters

A group of anonymous buyers, Boston-based Escom LLC, said in a statement it had acquired the Web address Sex.com from Gary Kremen, chief executive of Grant Media LLC and the founder of Match.com. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sex.com is seen as one of the most recognizable and therefore financially most promising Web domain names but does not currently have much content.

The new owners said in the statement that they plan to transform Sex.com into "the market-leading adult entertainment destination," which they said would include "adult dating opportunities," sex and relationship advice, erotica, video-on-demand and live chat.

Lisa Loeb obsessives

That would clearly be me based on this post, which I didn't intend to contain so many links, but what can you do?

A lot of people are searching for Lisa Loeb panties, and it just so happens that this site is the #1 google search result. Sorry, people, I can't help with that. But I did interview Lisa once about cupcakes, and saw her at the late, great Sara Schaefer (Is Obsessed With You). Lisa's also on MySpace (and so's her sister)and has a greatest hits album coming out tonight. Lisa fans should also totally check out Ida, a band with Lisa's college friends Liz Mitchell and Dan Littleton (actually, not sure if Dan was at Brown with them but I think so) - Liz and Lisa also put out the kids' album Catch the Moon (and formed the duo "Liz and Lisa" in college - they also went to Brown with Duncan Sheik) and Liz and Dan played on "Stay." Actually, even if you don't like Lisa Loeb you should check out Ida and their kids' albums You Are My Sunshine and You Are My Flower. You can listen to Lisa's very catchy new song "Single Me Out" on her official website.

And oh my goodness, Wikipedia tells us that she's...just like GirlyNYC!!!

According to her one-season Food TV show, she is an extremely hot, "bacon-loving" vegeterian who avidly collects Hello Kitty items, manufactured by SanRio.

Last thing, that people who actually watch TV very likely already knew: Lisa's starring in the new reality show #1 Single. (What about me? Ha!) Here's the basics and if I had cable I would totally watch this:

Single Singer Seeking: Find Out if You're a Love Match for Lisa

Texas girl (minus big hair). Petite build, brown hair, hazel eyes. Singer-songwriter. I listen to Zeppelin but don't sound like them. I love to cook and eat, go to restaurants, grocery shop, read, travel and hike. I enjoy Chinese food, good conversation and long walks on the beach (ha, ha!).

Seek intelligent city guy (NYC or L.A.) between 30-45. Must be smart, funny, sensitive (not wimpy), adventurous and family oriented. Preferably Jewish. No diets, no fake hair. Healthy and active a plus. Must love cats.


Anyway, the show's site also has some of her dating tips:

Early Bird Special: Arrive ahead of schedule. Who knows? The chatty bartender at the restaurant could be your next husband.

Another day, another podcast

Not really, it just so happened I was interviewed for 2 podcasts in one weekend. The latest is Plueballs, where I talked about the sex lives of comedians, Magnolia Bakery, sex, and read a bedtime story. It was a lot of fun. I also had to answer a very strange hypothetical question at the end.

Lynn Harris's readings

I adore Lynn Harris, writer for Glamour, Salon's Broadsheet, author of the novel Miss Media and the fabulous Breakup Girl to the Rescue! : A Superhero's Guide to Love, and Lack Thereof (which is illustrated by the very cool Chris Kalb). Anyway, Lynn's doing a bunch of readings in NYC and other places and you should check them out - Polly Frost writes super hot erotica and is reading at In The Flesh in May.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29
"Sex Scenes"
Funny, erotic stories by Polly Frost and Ray Sawhill—read by hot actors.
These stories--part of a soap-opera type cycle about life and lust in
LA--are as hilariously satirical as they are um dirty. Read more about
the most excellent Polly here: http://www.pollyfrost.com. Stories read
by: Karen Grenke, Mason Pettit, Sarah Kozinn, Jake Thomas, Lynn Harris,
Lyndsay Becker, Tami Mansfield, and Alex Kosene
The Knitting Factory (Tap Bar):
click here for Knitting Factory
6 PM, $5.00

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14
"Pour Your Heart Out" -- readings by memoirists
KGB Bar (http://www.kgbbar.com/)
85 E 4
Doors open at 7 PM

...and please tell your far-flung friends:
Hot & Bothered: An Evening in Bed (Not as dirty as it sounds! At least
my stuff isn't. Mom.)
Nextbook (Nextbook.org) presents an evening (actually, three!) of
erotic escapades, courtesy of writers Jonathan Ames, Lynn Harris & Neal
Pollack.
Washington DC, Feb 7: DC JCC
http://nextbook.org/localprograms/dc_readings.html
Chicago, Feb 8: The Abbey Pub
http://www.nextbook.org/localprograms/chicago_readings.html
Seattle, Feb 9: The Tractor Tavern
http://www.nextbook.org/localprograms/seattle_readings.html

"I'm Pro-Choice and I Fuck"

Reposting for anyone who hasn't read it, since today is the 33rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. "I'm Pro-Choice and I Fuck," Lusty Lady column, The Village Voice

If you're a (hetero)sexually active woman capable of getting pregnant, your freedom is in danger. Access to abortion and birth control is increasingly under fire from conservatives who think all sex should result in pregnancy. Go beyond the bloody-fetus placards and you'll see the religious right isn't out to simply reverse Roe v. Wade, but to combat birth control and promiscuity while they're at it. Keep reading

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Knitted Porn!


mitene sem dedos
Originally uploaded by kitty-san.
Remember how I told you my friend started the blog Knit Porn? Well, these are the kinds of sexy photos she wants from YOU. Plus if you click through there's a hot pierced nipple + knitted penguin pic. Feel free to repost her link on any knitting-related blogs/sites/livejournal groups/etc.

"Why Married Men Are Hot" by Elizabeth Hayt

There's also an anonymous essay in the latest Elle with Madonna on the cover from an ex-husband on why he left his wife.

"Why Married Men Are Hot" by Elizabeth Hayt, New York Post, January 23, 2006

In New York, where eligible men are few and far between, single women who endure long stretches of unwilled celibacy may resort to cheating with someone else's husband because it seems like the only hope - consequences be damned...

But other than an arid sex life, why do single women dare to dally with married men? To cheat with someone's spouse may seem self-defeating, even masochistic, since the promise of a romantic future is pretty dim. Few mistresses become homewreckers.

Yet single women can benefit from marital infidelity. It gives them freedom to search for Mr. Right without denying their libidinal needs. Other women's husbands are also a bachelorette's great ego-booster. "They're desperately looking for the early stages of love when there's that sweet, tender feeling," said a girlfriend in her late 30s, a well-seasoned mistress. "They're much more driven and aggressive in their pursuit of you, which makes a woman feel wanted.

"A Very Special Post Show Xmas"

The lastest Post Show episode, "A Very Special Post Show Xmas," is now up.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

PK and J show

You can listen to me talk about sex and cupcakes on The PK and J Show (#46). But I beg of you, I am not "a real life Carrie Bradshaw." At least, I desperately hope not. Please check me if you find me typing "I couldn't help but wonder..." as I hobble out the door in some overpriced heels. I walked across the Williamburg bridge today in my Skechers sneakers, thank you very much.

Blog for Choice Day

As Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22nd, 1973, many bloggers are participating in Blog for Choice Day.

There's not really time to read them all, or even make a dent, as I read too many blogs already and am still trying to get some words out of my brain and onto my computer screen, but I liked Pen-Elayne's "A Little Bit Pregnant."

I'm getting addicted to...

Miss Snark

Then again, I am always looking for anything interesting to read to prevent me from writing. Must work on my procrastination habit. Eradicating it, I mean.

I don't know if I'll be able to stomach this one, so to speak

But I'll try if it gets released here.

"Eating In Smaller Bites And Not Choking," David Poland's 10 Days of Sundance, Movie City News

I saw my first great film of Sundance 2006 today. It's called Thin and it's a document of an in-patient treatment center for eating disorders, focusing centrally on the lives of four of the women who had checked themselves in...

Of course, one of the most compelling things about Thin is that even as some of these women face their part in the responsibility for their conditions, that still is not enough to stop them from killing themselves.

To watch a human being struggle to eat a cupcake in 20 minutes, bit by bit, disgusted by the prospect... it is a powerful thing... almost incomprehensible to a "healthy" person. But each of us struggle with some kind of cupcake at different moments of our lives. And sometimes, the cupcake eats us.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Why I continue to adore Jessica Cutler

Now I can concentrate on fucking for cash and prizes instead.

This is also something I could totally see GirlyNYC saying. Jessica also extols my personal favorite, the Hitachi Magic Wind, though I think a shopping trip to Babeland is required soon as I will most likely be relying on that kind of sexual stimulation for quite a long while. The naive, silly, dorky, probably futilely romantic part of me has taken over and I actually want to fuck for love, or something like it.

Labels:

Guess what?

This chick only cares about her pussy and pocket book.

Yup, got me on that one, clearly.

Very lazy Saturday

So far, my day has consisted of:

A glorious one-hour-that-felt-like-at-least-two massage at Cornerstone Healing

A tiny stop into the awesome store Serimony on Court Street, where I got a necklace and some half price holiday cards (fingers crossed that I can find them in December)

Getting my mail at my po box, which contained a gift of chocolate treats as well as a packet of dirty photos I have to write text for

Doing an interview for The PK and J Show Episode 46 (should be up on Monday)

Starting Wil Wheaton's Just a Geek and getting engrossed in Sofia Quintero's four girl road trip story Divas Don't Yield

A nap

Soon it's off to (what else?) two comedians' parties. Happy Birthday to Lianne and Happy Moving to Susie!

Tomorrow I will hopefully return to a more productive schedule as per my to do list(s).

Violet Blue hotness


violet2006042-vi
Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche.
Love this photo of blogger, author, smut editor, and podcaster Violet Blue taken by Thomas Roche.

See the whole set of pinup photos.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Speaking of Straight Up & Dirty

Harpercollins First Look at Straight Up & Dirty by Stephanie Klein

A young woman's hilarious adventures — post-Sex and the City and pre-Desperate Housewives — as she jumps back into the pool of single women after her divorce from a "Big"-like character. On sale 4/11/06 (hardcover)

She had every girl's dream: the perfect marriage to the perfect guy in the perfect apartment on the Upper East Side. Marriage fit Stephanie Klein like a glove…but unfortunately it fit her husband like a noose. And just like that Klein found herself "divorced when you're firm, fashionable, and let's face it — fetching."

Celebrated bloggist, photographer, and freelance writer Stephanie Klein lets it all hang out in this juicy tell-all tracing her return to single life following divorce. On the dating advice of her therapist, Klein attempts to keep "a pair and a spare" of men always at hand and has lots of bawdy fun along the way. But when the anniversary of the devastating breakup from her "wasband" forces her to revisit what happened, she finds herself wanting more than her therapist's recommended gimmick to keep her emotionally safe.

About the Author:
Stephanie Klein was born and raised in New York. She graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College in 1997 with a B.A. in English and a concentration in writing. There she worked with writers such as Colin Harrison, Dani Shapiro, and Mary Gordon. Klein is a freelance writer and a popular blogging mistress (www.stephanieklein.com) with a readership averaging more than 100,000 unique visitors a month. She has been published in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and China. Klein lives and writes in New York City, where she specializes in web design as an advertising executive. By night, she photographs the grit, glam, and grandeur of the city for Fashion Wire Daily, Sipa Press, and Fox Sports.

how to make me cry

Play me these live Elliott Smith tracks - the first one is a cover of "These Days," which I'd never heard him sing, along with one of my absolute favorites of his, "Between the Bars" and "2:45 am" and "St. Ides Heaven"

Well, maybe not cry exactly, but close. I think it will always be more than a little bittersweet to listen to him, to these songs that I've heard so, so many times. There were a few months where I played Either/Or every single day, multiple times. It's also a bit of nostalgia, for my earliest days here in New York. Much as my life is a million times better now, there was something really fun about having the whole city be so new and fresh. The people I was closest to then are flung all across the country, though we are connected, by these weird little online communities, I guess. New York still has that dazzle for me sometimes, but it's rarer. I can forget about it more easily, can not even see things because I think I've seen them before, I think I know what will be there. And then sometimes I look more closely, like listening to a song for the thousandth time and hearing a breath or a line or a melody and falling in love with it all over again.

I guess Elliott's as good as anyone to listen to as I read Amazon reviews and do other research about Smashed author Koren Zailckas.

How awesome is Edith Layton?

(I do promise a rundown of Wednesday's reading, complete with photos, but that'll have to wait.) For now, go check out Edith Layton's awesome post about reading at In The Flesh:

I sat there and listened to passages from erotic novels, and forthcoming novels and stories.

And I didn't blush. Or even widen my eyes. Or titter in embarrassment. Truth is, I wasn't shocked. And it wasn't any weirder than sitting next to my daughter at any one a dozen new movies we've seen together. That could be because of the uninhibited nature of the movies and TV shows we're inundated with these days. It could be because some of the authors were really good writers!

And it could be because of what I said when I began this: a woman's attitude towards sex ripens and matures as she does - if she's been listening all the while.

Labels:

Knitting is Sexy

My friend just set up the blog Knit Porn and wants to see you almost naked, showing off your knitting - Jane, I think this means you!

Playahata

Saw fit to reproduce my entire "I'm Pro-Choice and I Fuck" column on their site without permission.

My Gothamist interview with Bob Castrone and Brian Levin, creators of The Post Show

My Gothamist interview with Bob Castrone and Brian Levin, creators of The Post Show, is up now (with this adorable photo):



What’s so funny about rape fantasies, pedophilia, facials, hipsters, online dating, and Nick and Jessica’s breakup? Watch The Post Show, the biweekly internet-based online sketch comedy show produced by college pals Bob Castrone and Brian Levin and find out. In the 20-episode first season, they skewer fraternities, homosexuality, porn, and pop culture. As they celebrate the recent release of their DVD The Post Show Season 1: Life's a Beach! and gear up for Season 2, which debuts on Monday, Bob, who also blogs at My Blog Is Poop and VH1's Best Week Ever blog, and Brian riff on hot girls, goofing off, ghost sex, “Lazy Sunday” and what year Gothamist peaked.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

My final word on blog drama

Is just that I would love to be in a position where someone were paying me $25K for a book. That's many times (like 25 or 8) times what I get for the anthologies I edit. When I break down the ones where I have to pay the authors, it's basically working for free. And that's all me, because given the choice to work on something or not, especially since I came to this with no credits, no degree, nada, I would do it all over again. But to someone like me, $25K may as well be half a million. Now, down the road my agent may hate me for saying I'd love $25K - and yes, I'd love more than that too, but still, from where I sit now, that'd be like winning the freaking writer's lottery. But you know what? At the end of the day, I can only focus on myself. Being jealous of someone else's work or deals or whatever furthers me in no way and I sometimes have to really hit myself on the head to remember that.

I do think, though, that the people I admire the most, whose work moves me and sucks me, are those who are about something more than just themselves. Not that it's an altruistic, selfless act, of course a book is a product like any other, there to be marketed and advertised and promoted to death, but there are people who are out there promoting more than just themselves. For some of us, as much ambition as we have, it IS about community. Well, I can only speak for myself - for me, it's about community, it's about collaboration on occasion. I love when I see my friends' bylines and books. I love being able to invite people to speak at my series. And all those writers whose work I think is brilliant (not a complete list) - Jeannette Walls, Lisa Carver, Tristan Taormino, Susie Bright, Lisa Palac, Lily Burana, Shar Rednour and Jackie Strano - to name just a few, I know for a fact that plenty of people have had their lives changed by their work. Just this week several people have mentioned that about these writers, and I know it myself. All of their work has impacted how I think and what I think good writing can do.

No doubt, writing is an utterly selfish act, which is why when my ex said I was "dating my writing," she was 100% correct. Now we're happily engaged and I'm trying to make book babies with my writing. I would never presume to say my writing is not purely selfish. At the same time, I am grateful when people get something out of it. It may not be exactly what I intended, and if I've learned anything, it's that every person reading a given piece of writing will take away something differently. I have to struggle, as a wise blogger friend told me, not to judge myself by others' perceptions of me, or my writing, good or bad.

My writing is very much a part of my life, and vice versa. But to me, the writers I care about and whose work is lasting, are selling more than themselves and their story, even if they're selling an autobiography. So it's not that I wish ill upon Opinionistas, it's just that the people I admire are ones who have a sense of something bigger, something broader than their little corner of the universe. I may be totally naive, and I've already proven I'm not exactly Miss Business Savvy, but I agree with Lindsay.

Now, I'm not one to romanticize the idea of the struggling artist, because of course having time, money and other resources often enables us to have the space to think. At the same time, I think that people are writers in their blood, who just have that thing that compels them to write and observe and obsess, are fairly bursting with ideas. That doesn't mean it's easy or simple, but that they ponder life beyond the surface. Which is why when I see a class that is designed to teach you how to write a nonfiction book proposal that sells, while a tiny part of me wants to take it, as that's what I am trying to do, a larger part is horrified at this first step:

No idea? No problem! How to choose salable subject and concept.

Yes, you can totally sell a book that way, by just figuring out what you think is popular or what's "salable" or whatever. But...will it be a Glass Castle or a Drugs Are Nice or even a Bitter Is The New Black? I read everything, I'm not saying everyone has to write "high" self-important nonsense, but there's something very crass and scheming to me about treating writing like a math problem, plugging in X for popularity and Y for marketability and solving for bestseller status. That may mean that I never do it, and I think it can be done in ways that are authentic, but I do think audiences can tell who's just out to make a quick buck and who actually has something to say that'll be interesting to more than their inner circle. I want to be that person, not to act like I'm so "deep," but because at a certain point, where's the line between doing what you love and having it "do" you? Maybe I've crossed it on occasion, and yes, not everything I've ever written or done has been my idea, but when I'm pondering how I want to move to the next level, I don't want it to be with someone else's idea. I want it to be my own, the book I feel I was "meant to write," if I can be so grand as to say that.

In the meantime, I'm just gonna keep doing what I've been doing, and see what happens and hope not just for my $25K or whatever, but to actually be able to form the words I've been struggling with, to make it all come together. That's a challenge that is solely my own, and some days I feel up to it and some days I don't. Part of what keeps me going is having so many wonderful writer friends who not only read and care about what I have to say, but have been there. And new friends/colleagues/interview subjects who totally inspire and dazzle me with their honest, insightfulness and talent, two of whom feature prominently in my next Voice columns.

So that was actually my last 1,101 words, and it wasn't really about blogs, but after a very long week and work coming out of my ears, I had to get that out.

p.s. I think that one sentence on Opinionistas, one parenthetical actually, illustrates all of what I was trying to capture in this post quite succinctly. Next to her link to Clublife she writes "(the only blogger out there whose upcoming book I will actually buy)" - if that's something to be proud of, be my guest. I personally am looking forward to reading Stephanie Klein's book, Elizabeth Spiers's book, Dana Vachon's book, Anna Broadway's book, and Dawn Eden's book. (Please note: I didn't say these people are my best friends, clearly they're not, but I would by lying if I said I wasn't itching to read their work. I respect them even if I don't always agree with their views. I actually have no doubt that all five of these bloggers are going to write books that will have me locked away, biting my nails, swigging Diet Coke, and ignoring my phone - and possibly even email - to finish them. Opinionistas's book, not so much. I know some of these people are those some bloggers "love to hate," but I am not judging their books until I actually read them. Shocking, I know.) Speaking of blogger books, I got Wil Wheaton's Just a Geek out of the library. To add to the piles of books all around my apartment that I use as a way of procrastinating. And they do quite a nice job of it, actually.

Queen of the Podcasts

I'm such a low-tech person, but somehow despite that, I'm going to be interviewed soon for 2 podcasts:

The PK and J Show and Plueballs

I'll let you know when they're airing.

I heart tea


Sunday morning tea
Originally uploaded by craftapalooza.
How cute is this?

Killer lineups

I'm such a dorky mother hen about my reading series, but hey, that's me. I'm a dork about a lot of things. It's funny how something that at first seemed really daunting and intimidating starts to take over your life, in a good way. I'm such a people person and while I can really only write in isolation, I love sharing writing and books, I love saying "Here - you HAVE to read this." Judiciuosly of course, but I do love it, which is in part why I like blogging. So anyway, I'm really excited about these upcoming readings, especially April's jam-packed-with-awesomeness True Confessions night, which includes an advice columnist, a scandalmonger, a nude model, a comedian, a memoirist and a college student. It is also possible some people are more than one of these but you'll have to show up and see. I'll also have free candy (I'll bring a bigger supply as we ran out last night) and free book giveaways tied to the readers.

February 15, 2006, 8pm


In The Flesh Reading Series, Happy Ending Bar

With Melvin E. Lewis (Wanderlust), M.J. Rose (The Delilah Complex, Lip Service), Lauren Sanders (Kamikaze Lust, With or Without You), Carol Taylor (Brown Sugar series, Wanderlust), and SékouWrites (Wanderlust).

302 Broome Street, NYC

Directions: B/D to Grand, F to Delancey, J/M/Z to Bowery

Free.

March 15, 2006, 8pm


In The Flesh Reading Series, Happy Ending Bar

Featuring famed Marketplace series and widely published BDSM erotic author Laura Antoniou, Karen Taylor (Best Transgender Erotica and other anthologies) and Debra Hyde (Pursed Lips blog, numerous anthologies including Best Bondage Erotica 2, Best S/M Erotica 2).

302 Broome Street, NYC

Directions: B/D to Grand, F to Delancey, J/M/Z to Bowery

Free.

April 19, 2006, 8pm


In The Flesh Reading Series, Happy Ending Bar

Sexy nonfiction on the theme of "True Confessions" from local erotic authors, sex columnists, and personalities including comedian Dan Allen, Jessica Cutler (The Washingtonienne), Miriam Datskovsky (Columbia Spectator sex columnist), Judy McGuire (Dategirl columnist for Seattle Weekly), Audacia Ray (wakingvixen.com) and memoirist Felicia Sullivan.

302 Broome Street, NYC

Directions: B/D to Grand, F to Delancey, J/M/Z to Bowery

Free.

May 17, 2006, 8pm


In The Flesh Reading Series, Happy Ending Bar

Featuring Sofia Quintero (Divas Don't Yield, Friday Night Chicas), Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE and co-author of A Piece of Cake: Recipes for Female Sexual Pleasure, Leora Skolkin-Smith, author of Edges: O Israel, O Palestine, Polly Frost (Tawny Roberts Private Access, "Sex Scenes") and Ron Bass ("The Varities of Orgasmic Experience").
302 Broome Street, NYC

Directions: B/D to Grand, F to Delancey, J/M/Z to Bowery

Free.

June 21, 2006, 8pm


In The Flesh Reading Series, Happy Ending Bar

GLBT Night with Cheryl B. (Best Lesbian Erotica, Coming Out of the Closet Again), Gena Hymowech (First-Timers: True Stories of Lesbian Awakening), Scott Pomfret (Romentics, Hot Sauce, Hot Gay Erotiac, Honcho, Playguy), rest of lineup TBA
302 Broome Street, NYC

Directions: B/D to Grand, F to Delancey, J/M/Z to Bowery

Free.

First-Timers cover!

Especially when my life is so wacky and busy and I'm largely sick of small publishers screwing me over, even unintentionally, it's nice when there's some good news, like a hot cover (I have pretty much no say and just see covers once they're done) - this is the cover image for my anthology First-Timers that's coming out in June:

First-Timers

First-Timers



I'm especially excited to be including some of my favorite writers and bloggers, Waking Vixen and The Educated Slut.

Since the manuscript is now finalized, I can tease you with the Table of Contents:

First-Timers: True Stories of Lesbian Awakening
edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Table of Contents

1. Coming When You Call, by Joy Parks
2. 8 Mile, by Therese Szymanski
3. The Pick-Up, by Kate Freed
4. Law School and Lesbians, by Rachel Kramer Bussel
5. What Makes Her Tick? by Tara Alton
6. First Sight, by Laren LeBran
7. What’s a Little Fisting between Friends? by Audacia Ray
8. Strap-On Sex Is So Passé, by Aimee Nichols
9. Light My Fire, by Alison Tyler
10. Wear Me Home, by Jane Vincent
11. Sanctuary Girls, by Scarlett French
12. First Hand Knowledge, by Elaine Miller
13. Sugar Daddy, by L. Elise Bland
14. My Modern History, by Devon Black
15. Gabrielle’s Fountain, by Jean Roberta
16. Runway Blues, by Radclyffe
17. An Incredible, Amazing, Really True Story, by Isabelle Gray
18. Questioning Youth, by Gina de Vries
19. The Orgasmic Orgasm, by Jen Cross
20. Thank You, Frannie, Wherever You Are, by Lynne Jamneck
21. Learning It at Her Knee, by Sacchi Green
22. Snow Dancing, by Laren LeBran
23. Wet, by Tina Simmons
24. Don’t Call Me Ma’am, by Gun Brooke
25. Yolanda’s Sports Bra, by Kate Dominic
26. Now Arriving, by Therese Szymanski
27. Picture This, by Kristina Wrigh
28. The Flying Hat, by Madlyn March
29. Do You Floss? by Therese Szymanski
30. Three’s A Crowd, by Barbara Johnson
31. Meeting FtF, by Radclyffe

To read

Firstly, thank you to everyone who read and showed up at In The Flesh last night. It was a rousing success and lots of fun, though afterward I came home and collapsed. It was a great turnout with great readers, and a full rundown with photos is forthcoming.

One thing I like about the cold weather is hot tea. I've been drinking tea a lot lately, both to stay warm and because I find it soothing. Mostly I've been consuming Lemon Zinger, Bigelow's Vanilla Caramel, and this apple tea I got in Turkey.

Other stuff:

If you're part of a couple who met in a strange way or have tips on how to turn a special friend into a naked friend, Judy McGuire (aka Dategirl) wants to interview you.

Charlotte Observer article, "Do Men Lie More Than Women?"

I linked to Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's bulimia post, and there are a lot of sites about eating disorders out there (Something Fishy is a good one), but where do you go to learn about healthy eating? I've been trying to eat oatmeal and zucchini (not together) every day, and I take a bunch of vitamins, and try to choose healthy options, but it's not easy if you're out all day. At home is one thing, though then there's the temptation to raid the cabinets, but it's usually when I'm ravenous that I just grab whatever's quickest and easiest. I think the gap between wanting to eat healthily and doing it/knowing how to do it is a big one. So some sites that I've found about healthy weight loss and nutrition are:

Put Down The Donut

Hungry Girl

Skinny Daily Post

If anyone has any general nutrition sites they recommend, please let me know at rachelkb at gmail.com

I've also been walking, which I love. Walked from 32nd/7th to Broadway Lafayette last night, and then just had to hop on the train for that one stop to Happy Ending. Maybe I could've made it if I weren't carrying umpteen books, DVDs and other assorted crap. I'm working on that one, really.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In The Flesh is TONIGHT! Don't miss it! Plus erotica teaser

Hope to see you tonight - there will be free candy on every table and at least 5 naughty books (probably more) given away to lucky attendees. And I know - if it's my reading series, it must be raining. But it'll be worth braving the rain for. Also: FIRST THREE PEOPLE TO ASK ME FOR ONE GET A DRINK TICKET!



IN THE FLESH EROTIC READING SERIES

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 18th at 8 PM
AT HAPPY ENDING LOUNGE, 302 BROOME STREET(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey,
www.happyendinglounge.com)
Admission: Free

Stay warm this winter with the hottest and juiciest words in the city! January welcomes a stunning mix of performers, including romance novelist Edith Layton (Gypsy Lover), fiction writer Danyel Smith (Bliss), and erotic storytellers Iris N. Schwartz (Stirring Up a Storm) and Rob Stephenson (Best Gay Erotica), along with a naughty tale from host Rachel Kramer Bussel. Also: free candy and erotic book door prizes!

In the Flesh is a new monthly reading series held the third Wednesday of every month at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by Village Voice sex columnist and acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Future themed nights include fetishes, GLBT stories, true confessions and erotic memoirs.


And to whet your appetite, so to speak, here's a little teaser from "Most Unexpected" by Marina Saint, which was read last month at In The Flesh, and will be featured in my anthology Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 2, coming out in September.

His hands continue to rain down on my fleshy asscheeks, beaming up at him, encased in my new underwear, black with pink bows chasing the seam, new, just for him. He lifts the edge of one side, pushing the fabric into my asscrack as his hand connects directly with my skin. We don’t speak, haven’t even kissed on the lips yet, but I want him with a passion that is all real, perhaps stronger than anything I’ve ever felt. He fingers me, fondling my wet slit through the sheerness until he decides I need more spankings. He bunches the rest of my panties in my crack, so they burrow in there, tight and arousing, while he continues to spank me. Now, each smack not only stings my ass, sends arrows of arousal to my cunt, but also creeps along my asscrack.

Also, for everyone searching for "Jewish girl blowjobs" (a lot of people!), read this story of mine, "Gloss."

And stay for the open bar at 10:

Happy Ending 4 Year Anniversary Party

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
10:00 PM
Happy Ending
Lower Level
302 Broome Street (between Forsyth and Eldridge streets)
Open bar courtesy of Sparks

Please join us to help celebrate our 4 Year Anniversary party.
Music by The Banger

Labels:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It sounds so disgusting, but...

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez has an honest, pull-no-punches post coming out as a bulimic. Her blog is one of my favorite writer's blogs because it's about her life, and her process, and is just so open. This is really disgusting sounding but important too I think. Because if you read her post, there's always a "but." There's always someone else who's worse off, or who's really in trouble or who's really whatever it is you're not. I just spent that whole Opinionistas post comparing myself to someone I don't even know and trying to measure up, and I do it all the time. And, not so shockingly, I never do. I think it's so easy to find ourselves lacking, to see only the faults, only the flaws. Especially when you feel like you're "supposed" to be a certain way, which is the opposite - confident, happy, perfect. For me, lately, all I am aiming for is even, calm, neutral. Serenity prayer, which means I can't be upset if there's a huge rainstorm and nobody comes to my reading. Or I can be disappointed, but not mad at myself. It means I shouldn't get elated or dejected because of other people's opinions. These are things I tell myself all the time, yet still haven't fully sunk in. Part of my personality is about having those hyper highs and lows. Being always even and neutral feels stifling to me, though at the same time kindof a relief from the barrage of criticism. Anyway, I thought her post was very brave and illuminating (and slightly horrifying).

Bulimics also burst vessels in their brains from the pressure of the heave, resulting in strokes. The throat comes undone from the stomach after a while, too, because of the acid. And the glands beneath the chin swell and often don't go back down, making us look fatter. If we live, that is.

Most interestingly, I learned that bulimics tend to be of average weight, or slightly overweight, and we tend to be well-educated high-achievers with low self-esteem. The description fit me to a T.

What a lede

HE is the embodiment of He-Man and there's no room for women in his testosterone-soaked version of Castle Greyskull.

From "Will banks conquer sexism in the City?" by Jim Stanton, The Scotsman

Blogging for fame and glory

I'm not one to begrudge someone else their success (usually), but there's something a little icky to me about the ongoing anonymous blogger saga, as evidenced this week by Opinionistas. Maybe it's because I always thought that the way to become a writer was to write. Maybe it's because I just don't feel sorry for anyone making over 100K at some firm. I don't really care whether what she wrote on her blog was totally true or not, it's more the idea that the way to forward your career is to start an anonymous blog, rather than try to write something as yourself first, that I find kindof galling.

Part of it is certainly jealousy; I would love to be making big bucks writing, and I also would love sometimes to be anonymous. There is no going back and no erasing things I've written, and while I stand by them, I've grown up a lot and am not the same person I was when I started freelancing. So part of me admires and is enamored by those who just go ahead and create a persona, because I'm always smitten by things I can't do. I have no poker face, in real life or in my writing, which is why nonfiction is so much more my forte than fiction ever was or will be. I'd have as much trouble keeping track of a fictional blog persona as I would using a fake name, even though I know plenty of people who have a "real" name and one that most people in their life use for them, like a scene name or a pseudonym. I just know I'd be the kind of person, though, if I tried that, who would totally ignore it every time I was called by my other name. Hell - I often don't even hear people calling me "Rachel" because I'm just not expecting to run into people on the street.

For me, fiction is clumsy, like trying to speak a foreign language or drive a car (if you've ever watched me play Pole Position, this should frighten you), but nonfiction often doesn't even feel like "work" because once I've gotten to the point that I actually sit down at the computer, it's been percolating and sorting and shifting through my brain. So part of my disdain is certainly jealousy. And I do get the need for anonymity, especially this week with everyone I know scrambling to become someone else online. I guess part of me just wishes it weren't necessary. Since so many people of our generation have blogs, what's the big deal?

Maybe it's just that this Observer story seems like something that should be published, well, on a blog. I mean, it quotes Gawker, Nadine Haobsh, and Alex Balk. There's something kindof crass and mechanical about the whole "oh, I'm going to be outed/oh, I want to be outed" thing at this point, which Schneider-Mayerson pinpoints in the first sentence declaring Melissa Lafsky's bid for stardom the desire to become a "public commodity." I guess any writer, any artist, is that to some extent; you are selling yourself, your work, your words. Yes, I try to promote my work (and I know I've probably been annoying you all with incessantly plugging my reading series, but that's cause the bar told me they need me to up attendance), but is hailing your umpteen Gawker mentions under "Media Love" really necessary? I guess so. I guess that's how the game is played and I need to take a memo on how to win.

“I’ve thought about it and what it means, but I have no desire to do it anytime soon,” said the still-anonymous author of WaiterRant.net about a reveal of his own. “There are a couple of things to anonymity: Just from a purely mercenary point of view, if you want to pursue this for money—which every blogger wants to do—then you have to consider whether putting yourself out there too early sabotages the mystique that you’ve put out there or the mystique that has grown up around you.” [bolding mine]

Also, the whole bit about deleting parts of her blog? Did we learn nothing from Ms. Cutler? That whole Queen Bee/"nasal proclamations" thing is cached. Yes, maybe I'm being bitter and cynical. I don't apologize for that. I just have to try to learn and figure out how I can get myself a big fat book deal too. It's no secret that that's what I'm working towards, both to pay off my loans and because I think I have something to say that's at least as worthy as what Ariel Levy has to say.

Actually, though, at the end of the day, I am happy to have any audience I do. I wish I'd figured out a little sooner what I wanted to "do with my life," but I didn't. Spending this month meeting with fellow writers and artists, trying to get on track with my projects and writing, has helped me figure out what I want from life. Yes, I'd love to actually make money from editing books, but even if I don't, I'd rather do them than not. It's a massive pain in the ass especially when it's for what feels like pennies but I also love the thrill of reading other people's work, of getting to pay them in turn and publish them and feel like an explorer, an excavator, a guide. Confusing my love for it and the value of my work probably makes me a terrible businesswoman, but at least I can take pride in what I'm doing when I can manage to overcome my innate laziness. And know that there are amazing writers who actually blog because they have something to say.