Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

Watch my first and favorite book trailer for Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica. Get Spanked in print and ebook

Monday, December 31, 2007

Yay for panty blogging

What happens when you are working too fast and post quickly? You might accidentally, um, post something meant for this blog on your cupcake blog and offend lots of people. Whoops. Maybe I should take a vacation from blogging!

I did a photo shoot in October 2006, the day before I had my first date with my ex, S. Somehow, those two are now permanently entwined in my mind, which is part of why I can't wait to do some new shoots in January, hopefully of a slightly buffer me. I feel about a zillion years older than I was then, but figured this shot was appropriate to tell you about my friend's new panty blog, launching in January. I'm thrilled, not only because I co-edited a book about panties and such, Ultimate Undies: Erotic Stories About Underwear and Lingerie, but also because I've been missing hottpants since it shut down. I will also say that while I have some weight loss and strength training goals for 2008, I'm at least pleased that my ass continues to be "spankable." So yay for squats too.

my feminist ass, my real panties


Operation New Year's Eve

From IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America)

While we get ready to attend New Year's Eve parties and celebrations tonight, many of our service members will be ringing in 2008 in Iraq and Afghanistan - thousands of miles away from their families. Tonight, you have a unique opportunity to show how much you appreciate their service.

'Operation New Year's Eve' is a campaign that lets Americans send text messages of support to our troops via the tallest billboard in Times Square. Almost one million people will be in Times Square to see the sign, and people worldwide can view the sign by visiting Visibility is limited during the day, but there will be a clear shot of the billboard all night long.

You can send your own message by sending a text to 94444. Just add the word 'CARE' before your message (for example: "CARE Thank you for everything you do!"). The word 'CARE' will not appear on the sign.

Standard rates apply, and posting a message to the billboard costs $0.99. Due to high volume, there may be a delay, and your message may not appear immediately.

The Durst Organization, Sign Lab Media, which runs the billboard, and, a media company, have all generously donated their time to put this project together. It hasn't cost us a cent, and a portion of the proceeds from the $0.99 charge will be donated to IAVA.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2008 be wonderful and cupcake-filled.

From Flickr user Bombass

Happy New Year!

From Flickr user abbietabbie


Labels: ,

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Parting shot

Oops...meant to send this before I left. Well, I'm here in London now. Made it okay, despite being late to the airport (flight was then delayed) and my brand new Hideo suitcase not locking. Grrr...but I managed to get a pedicure at the airport, and am now being offered all kinds of movies to watch at home, so we're gonna check out Charlie Wilson's War before going to see fireworks. I feel spoiled. Thank you, BAFTA. Am in much better spirits than I was, mking plans with various friends and family to meet up with.

Okay, I'm off to London, back on Sunday the 6th, will answer any non-urgent emails when I return (though will be checking at least once a day while trying to solve my website nonexistene and file storeis), hopefully will be able to share lots of photos in the meantime.

Here's one I found on Flickr:

The healthy kind of pre-trip jitters

I'm kindof freaking out about my trip, as I tend to do, briefly debating whether I should cancel, even though that's impossible. I am hopng to take the week to really think about how I want to live my life, why I make the same kinds of mistakes over and over. Not that the trip is a mistake, necessarily, but for a supposedly independent woman, I realize that I tend to leap at the chance to be with people, even when the relationships are all all wrong. That's kindof been me this year, trying to get over S., trying to figure out what I want, yet continually attracting and being attracted to people who don't provide that. It'll be okay, and I do need to get out of New York before it kills me, at least for a brief respite, and I'm sure I will have a wonderful time, yet there is a part of me that truly wishes I were going off to a cabin, alone. I think I'm good at finding inappropriate people to latch onto, ones who are sweet and sexy, who certainly have wonderful qualities, but are not right for me. I did that several times this year, so grateful for any shred of affection tossed my way, still lingering under this belief that if S. didn't want me, why would anyone. I certainly feel that way sometimes, because I don't want me plenty of the time. I hate so many of my behaviors, my patterns, my messes, and some I have worked hard to solve and fix and better this year, but many I haven't.

It's infinitely seductive, then, to try to get involved with people who make me forget about those problems, who put a smile on my face, who bring me somehwere new and erotic and hopeful. Seductive, until it comes crashing down, and I realize that I'm just fooling myself with all the walls I've built around me to keep myself alone. So I'm looking forward to being away, to not doing the subway morning commute, to sleeping in and seeing friends and yes, to the man I'm going to see, but there is a pause, an edge, a "but" that I'm glad I have, glad I can recognize rather than just push aside. Because what I ultimately want is a real relationship, one that is not about distance, physical or otherwise, but about closeness, about seeing just how intimate we can be. About asking questions and giving answers that you don't give to anyone else. About whispers and jokes and privacy. About so much that I know I've only been half-heartedly searching for. I have a date, I think, when I get back, and though who knows what will happen, I'm really looking forward to it, am hopeful about it. I almost never go on dates, instead drifting into relationships with people for all the wrong reasons, only to later find myself not at all where I want to be, feeling more alone than I do when I'm single.

This was not how I wanted to end my year, frantic, last-minute copyediting and packing, the same adrenaline rush of will-I-make-the-plane. But I also recognize that I can't fix everything wrong with me in a day, or, clearly, a year. Perhaps not even in a lifetime. But I can do my best, and recognize my mistakes when I make them, my desire to run away into someone else's long as they aren't in New York. Heaven forbid I try to date someone here. Though this year I did try, and I'm glad I did, even though the results weren't anything worth sharing. I know I've made progress, but I also recognize how much farther I have to go, and I guess I will just have to see what unfolds, one day at a time. That's not at all in my control-freaking nature, but I'll just have to work slowly, in baby steps, at my own pace. And I know for all my pre-trip doubts, I'll be grateful to get out of here and clear my head a bit and hopefully let out a lot of the negativity I've been living with the past few weeks. At the very least, I will have a week of sleeping with the lights out, something that's on my half-formed list of resolutions, one of those awful habits that I just find hard to break. So yes, part of me wishes I were going somewhere all by myself for New Year's, but I also know that I needed to do this, for reasons that may not yet be clear. Sometimes impulsiveness can be a good thing.

Wordpress help, anyone?

Does anyone know anything about Wordpress? More specifically, can you help me fix my Best Sex Writing 2008 page - through no reason I can figure out, the page now loads one post on the right-hand side, where my widgets should be. Drop me a line if you have any suggestions. Thank you!

Interview with Paul Festa about circumcision

Best Sex Writing 2008 cover

The latest interviewee in my Best Sex Writing 2008 contributor series is Paul Festa, who wrote a piece on circumcision called "How Insensitive." And again, you have until January 6th to win your very own copy.

Paul Festa, contributor to Best Sex Writing 2008

You write, "Apart from bypassing a few Craigslist ads stating a preference for intact dick, I've never been aware of being discriminated against for lacking one." When was the first time you considered being circumsized possibly something that was disadvantageous?

I suppose it was when I started hearing murmurings--at that point unsupported by scientific evidence--that the foreskin wasn't just some extra piece of useless flesh like the post-partum umbilical cord, but the source of a great deal of erogenous pleasure. As I went to bed with more men I became envious of their ability to get off without pouring tubes and bottles of sticky, expensive, possibly unhealthful lubricants on their dicks. I also started having one of those reorienting conversations with myself about what my circumcision represented. It's one thing to think of it as a hygiene-justified medical procedure (although the research supporting the hygiene issue is controversial, as a follow-up story I did for Nerve emphasized). It's quite another to consider that part of my genitals were amputated for dubious medical reasons and before I could give my consent. It's not at all clear to me why parents--*even religious parents*--have the right to decide this for their children in a society that respects a separation of church and state. Do we let parents authorize clitoridectomies? If someone came forth with a compelling medical or religious justification for lopping off that or any other sexual organ, would we say go ahead, sharpen your scalpel?

Read the whole interview

Labels: , , ,

My friend Flickr

almost topless
(if you can't read them, the stickers say top and bottom - I don't really consider myself either exclusively, cause it's so circumstantial, hence, both. For the right person, I can be anything, but that's a story for another time.)

I'm doing my usual frantic pre-trip running around (I'll be in London 12/31 to 1/6), so lots of posts I wanted to write will have to wait for the New Year. But I did want to say that for anyone wondering, yes, I have a Flickr account, which is now mostly cupcake-related and quite G-rated but once upon a time, I showed some nipple (actually, that wasn't the first time, and that's one of my favorite shots from the He's on Top/She's on Top party) on there so my entire account is in moderate mode or whatever they call it, so all you have to do is adjust your safe search settings to basically say you're up for seeing anythin. There are photos there, and armed with my trusty pretty new green Olympus, I plan to be posting lots more there soon. So set your SafeSearch OFF if you want to see my photos, even the G-rated ones.

From Flickr's guidelines:

Don’t forget the children.
Take the opportunity to filter your content responsibly. If you would hesitate to show your photos to a child, your mum, or Uncle Bob, that means it needs to be filtered. So, ask yourself that question as you upload your photos and moderate accordingly. If you don’t, it’s likely that one of two things will happen. Your account will be reviewed then either moderated or terminated by Flickr staff.

For those who want to know more, Violet Blue, who has an amazing and must-see photo stream, has blogged extensively about her trials with Flickr; go look through her archives. Here's another bit about that.

I could go through all my photos, take off any naked ones or make them friends only, and reapply, but...I have 1,255 photos on there, and don't really feel up to the task. I use Flickr every day for cupcake blogging and to store images of my book covers, In The Flesh readers, and interview subjects, so I guess my feeling is I'm just happy to have it as a resource. As anyone who's seen any website I've done by hand knows, I'm not a techie girl at all. I want to learn more, truly, but don't have the time, so Flickr is perfect for me because it's easy peasy. I resisted it for a long time until, like Bloglines, my friend Allison convinced me I needed to get on there, and now I'm hooked.

In sum, though, if you want to see my photos and they're not showing up, add me as a contact and fix your safe settings, and voila. I'll close with one of my favorite photos in my account, of Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Jessica Cutler taken at the original True Sex Confessions Night in April 2006 (has it really been that long??) at In The Flesh. Oh, and I'm doing another True Sex Confessions Night May 15th.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 28, 2007

Website down

My website is down right now. Don't know what the problem is, but am having "my people" investigate. Also, I'll be in London from Sunday to Sunday and not answering much email. Will blog before then, but have a Happy New Year everyone, and thank you so much for reading! I have lots of great stuff (like book trailers, events, podcasts, and photo shoots) planned for 2008, so stay tuned.

Caught reading by Anya Garrett
Photo by Anya Garrett

Ms. Pac Man cupcakes!

Ms. Pacman cupcakes from Flour Patch Bakery

How cute are these Ms. Pac Man cupcakes? And they're from a New Jersey bakery! See more yummy cupcake photos at Cupcakes Take the Cake.

I am a confirmed Ms. Pac Man fan - here's a video of me playing it from SXSW, captioned by my friend Dave, who took the video within minutes after meeting me, "Rachel Kramer Bussel plays Ms. Pac Man like it's her job." Indeed. That's definitely one of my highlights of 2007!


Video of me reading "Flirting With Santa"

I'm going to be buying a timer or stopwatch to use at In The Flesh from now on, both so I can time my readers and myself. I could've read the rest of my story (which involves the narrator getting spanked by Santa), but I wasn't sure of the time and didn't want to go over, plus I was nervous, so I stopped. I'm planning to start podcasting and vlogging in part to get myself over my stage fright, and will be starting with my very favorite stories. Still, no matter how many times I read, I get plenty nervous, I just can't help it. Hopefully, I still manage to pull the readings off. I will probably always be a little nervous, and that's okay. Big thanks again to my friend Michael (who, by the way, is Jewish) for lending me his Santa hat!

I'm reading my story "Flirting With Santa" from Alison Tyler's excellent anthology Naughty or Nice? Christmas Erotica.

Labels: , , ,

Fear, fear, and more fear

Over and over, I keep having this same conversation with people, or variations thereof. I express my sheer, insomnia- and nightmare-inducing terror over my novel, how, except for brief spurts of energy and excitement, I am scared of it. It, like it's a thing that's going to come attack me in the night. That's how it feels at times. So monumental and impossible. I will start to work on it, or even just plot things out in my head, and there is a voice chasing me, telling me why even bother, it's never gonna be any good. What made you think you could write a novel, anyway? Stick with the little leagues. Stay with what you know. This is a fluke. And on and on and on. It's become absolutely ridiculous, especially because when I do work on it, the words, well, if not flow, come out. The characters start to take on life. And even if, say, a scene I wanted to set at Religious Sex on St. Marks can't happen because the store is no longer there, I can revise, rearrange, make it happen somewhere else.

I read a lot of novels this year, both for fun, and thinking I would magically, through osmosis, learn from them how to create my novel. And while I can admire what a lot of these authors do, that hasn't really helped, and in many ways has only served to make me more insecure. I'll never be as good as she is. It must come naturally to her. These thoughts plague me day in and day out. Erotica, I feel like I've largely mastered. I love it, and am excited about all my new projects, but to a large degree it's lost the challenge. Sure, I still get my share of rejections, and I sometimes succumb to the fear and don't send work to awesome anthologies, but for the most part, the ideas for erotica are almost always there. I keep saying things like "if" instead of "when" I finish it. And yet there is a part of me, a tiny part, but a part, nonetheless, that is trying to rise above the fear. It's little things, like wanting my book cover to hang, signed, at The Pump, where I get lunch most days. It's sometimes having to literally envision the cover, or make like my very LA uncle and envision it as a movie, anything to make it more real rather than just words on a page.

Becuase I must say, despite the advance, despite the knowledge that Bantam, part of Random House, aka the big time, hired me for this job, found my writing worthy of not just one, but two novels, when it's just pages on a screen, even a hundred something of them, it doesn't quite feel real. As I proof galleys for Yes, Sir and Yes, Ma'am those books inch closer to being real. There's a different font, there's a layout, there are things that have happened to my word and my authors' words that I didn't do.

Copyblogger has a fabulous article called "The Nasty Four-Letter Word That Keeps You From Writing," (via the brilliant Agent Obvious, who you should be reading if you're a writer) and the very first comment says, in part:

It’s always been clear to me that the more important a writing project is, the more difficult it is for me to complete.

Exactly. It's so comforting to know other people go through this, and yet so easy to think you're the only one.

I've even been afraid of posting about this. I mean, what if I pots about how hard and scary writing a novel is, and then when it comes out, people come back to this post and say, "Well, no wonder her novel sucks, she had such a tough timing writing it." But you know what? Fuck that. I am sick of that way of thinking, that way of living. I am sick of waking up and staring at my laptop not with excitement or even mild interest, but with sheer terror. I'm writing something else for Huffington Post about stopping drinking, and I will also say that this novel terror has extended into other projects, because I tend to have such all or nothing thinking that I feel like if I can't do this, I can't do anything. Of course I know that's not true, and in some ways I have been overproductive in other arenas to make up for my stalling on this.

At the end of the day, I have to accept that my novel will only be as good as I can make it. Not as good as someone else might write their novel or perfect or the best book ever. But it will be something that I would want to read, and hopefully other people will too. It will be something that, while fictional, will help call bullshit on things like this:

(via Feministing)

So thanks for listening, and those who've heard me freak out about this, for putting up with me. Everyone, from my friends and family to my very patient agent and editor, who I fear have now put me in the "problem child" category, have been really supportive. My new deadline is January 14th, and I'm gonna meet it. And next time, I'm gonna take some time and go on a real retreat, away, where I'll be left alone with my thoughts and my computer. That sounds both petrifying and also kindof marvelous. I'm learning, slowly, very very slowly. I don't think fear is something you combat overnight. And I don't think it's all bad. It's only bad if we stay stuck in the same place with it, instead of using it to challenge and propel us forward.

From the Copyblogger article (but there is so much more there that really hits the nail on the head - fear of success, fear of failure, fear of rejection, etc.):

Fear of Mediocrity

Writer Dorothy Parker couldn’t meet a deadline to save her life, because she said for every five words she wrote, she erased seven. Our fear of mediocrity manifests itself as perfectionism, and
perfectionism prevents us from simply putting things out there and resolving to get better over time. With that approach, we fail to achieve anything at all.

Right now, if I think about it, I’ll realize that this article is never going to be good enough, no matter how long I spend on it. In fact, what the hell am I doing writing a blog anyway? Is this what I was put on this planet to do?

Then I take a deep breath, and move on to the tips for dealing with the fear of mediocrity.

* No one will ever be perfect, so let it go.
* Action beats inaction every time.
* Accomplishing
anything feels better than accomplishing nothing.

Labels: , , , ,

Feminist porn

I'm a big fan of Becky Goldberg's documentary Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography and just discovered 3 video clips from it on YouTube. Here's one, with interviews with Nina Hartley, Shar Rednour (who wrote a super yummy intro to Sex and Candy and now has her own cupcake business), and Best Sex Writing 2008 contributors Greta Christina and Tristan Taormino.


Ariel Gore on Jamie Lynn Spears

Hip Mama founder and mother of two Ariel Gore on Jamie Lynn Spears:

People have dozens of reasons why they say having a baby before the magic age of twenty is uncool, but mostly it’s a class issue.

Some schools of feminist thought have allied themselves with the elitists, arguing that women should get their educations first, get their careers on track first, go through years of therapy first. Because the institution of motherhood has been used to oppress us, they insist that we should delay or forgo child-bearing rather than reinvent the whole freakin' institution. That’s fine if it’s our true choice. But what if it’s a teenagers true choice to parent? Should we not have that right? Instead we're ridiculed and, adding injury to insult, we're denied equal access to education.

I mean, I don't know Jamie Lynn. Maybe she's a total nut job. Maybe J.Lo is, too. And maybe that straight, married, 40-year-old neighbor of mine is, too. But who gets to decide who's fit to parent?

When I got pregnant at 36, a few magazine editors asked me to write about how different it was from my experience as a teen mom. When they realized I wouldn't dis my first pregnancy or characterize it as a sad reality I’d valiantly “overcome,” they decided they weren't so interested.

I’m glad I got pregnant when I did. The first time. And the second time.

Why are we allowed to discuss only the downside of teen pregnancy? And why aren't we allowed to admit that by delaying child-bearing, we risk our own health as well as our children’s? We certainly risk not being able to get pregnant at all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shoe sex

Tis the Season
Originally uploaded by urbanphotographer2007
Or at least, shoe oral sex. I happen to have this pair of shoes, I think, from Nine West (or ones damn like it), and I think they do inspire just this type of shoe lust. Found via Photographers of the Damned - Fetish & Fashion

I want some

I'm not a pill taker (save for the dozen odd vitamins I try to remember to take daily), drug user or alcohol drinker, but I have to say, this photo makes me want to get down on the floor with this hottie and ingest whatever she's about to ingest.

From Flickr user captatio, who's got a whole lot more super sexy shots right here

Oh, and it's titled "Latex Therapy" - hot!

It's also part of a Flickr group called Photographers of the Damned - Fetish & Fashion

In The Flesh thank yous

the cleavage and cupcakes In The Flesh logo

Thank you to everyone who read at my erotic reading series In The Flesh this year, all 72 of you (73 if you count me), listed below. Many thanks also to Oliver and the entire staff of Happy Ending, my lovely photographers, Brian Van and Stacie Joy, Desiree for the food and all my friends who've helped out when I've rushed in frantically.

Please join us on January 17th for Blogger Sex Night and then February, where the amazing Zane is joining us, not to mention Stephen Elliott, Nick Flynn, and Chocolate Flava II contributor Michelle Robinson. 2008 is also going to be an amazing year for In The Flesh!

And last but not least, THANK YOU to all the audience members who've been there, laughed, got turned on, submitted true confessions, ate cupcakes, and made In The Flesh such a wonderful and welcoming space for my readers.



Abiola Abrams
M. David Hornbuckle
Marcelle Manhattan
Molly X

November – True Sex Confessions Night

Rachael Parenta
Lux Nightmare
Anna David
Selina Fire
Isobella Jade
Kimberlee Auerbach

October – Virgin Night

Sean Manseau
Colette Gale
Robert Cabell
Jane Lockwood
Steven Padnick
Jasmine Clemente

September - Best Of In The Flesh Night

Jessica Cutler
Andrew Boyd
Polly Frost
Marie Lyn Bernard
Samara O’Shea
Todd Levin

Best Of


John Blesso
Perry Brass
Catherine Lundoff
Elisha Miranda
Michelle Herrera Mulligan


Louisa Burton
Myriam Gurba
Aimee Herman
Lillian Ann Slugocki
Maddy Stuart

June – GLBT Night

Jay Lygon
Peggy Munson
Michael Luongo
Jolie du Pre
JD Glass


Dana Vachon
Min Jin Lee
Sarah Iverson
Jackie Kessler
Samara O’Shea
Jerry Rodriguez

April – True Sex Confessions Night

Peter Hyman
Lianne Stokes
Courtney McLean
Valerie Frankel
Logan Levkoff
Dan Goldman
Veronica Vera


Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz
Carol Novack
Cheri Crystal
Claire Thompson
Joel A. Nichols
Suzanne Portnoy


Reen Guierre
Andrew Boyd
D.L. King
Dahlia Scwheitzer

January – Erotic Memoir Night

Helen Boyd
Ron Geraci
Rachel Sarah
Lauren Wissot
Gael Greene
Grant Stoddard
Susan Shapiro
Virginia Vitzthum
Marty Beckerman


Spanking implements on Flickr

I love that there's a spanking implements pool on Flickr. Then again, there's pretty much everything on Flickr. Thanks to a check for some book advances, I shall be buying myself a new digital camera to take to London and generally have to indulge myself; I have missed my camera, which is probably somewhere in my apartment, but was due to be replaced anyway. B&H, here I come.

As for getting spanked, I'm a paddle fan myself, but am thinking of branching out...It's been probably years since I've given someone a spanking, sadly, but perhaps I can change that in 2008. We shall see.

Guess what just hit bookstores? Best Sex Writing 2008!

I'm so thrilled that Best Sex Writing 2008 is now out! This is the first, but hopefully not the last, non-fiction collection I've edited (fingers crossed on a proposal I'm still finessing after a year!), and I couldn't be more proud of it. And I have to throw an indirect thanks to David Blum for firing me from my Village Voice column - much as I definitely miss writing a sex column and would LOVE to do so again (and editors: I'm available!), I think part of the reason my publisher, Cleis Press, offered me this chance was because I had gotten fired. So, I'm thrilled, and to get to publish people like Michael Musto and Gael Greene (both of whom, incidentally, I interviewed this year for Mediabistro), is beyond amazing. Plus, I think the anthology rocks and really paints a powerful portrait of sex in America and around the world right now. You can read teh introduction here and check out the ongoing Best Sex Writing 2008 blog for updates and interviews with contributors (if it looks weird now, no worries, I'm fixing it). If you are looking for a last minute/late gift for someone who's smart and likes sex, I highly recommend this book. Update: WIN A FREE COPY by clicking here and telling me what your favorite sex-related story of 2007 was. Deadline: January 6, 2008, 5 pm EST. One entry per person.

If you're a reporter or sex blogger looking to review the book or interview me, drop me a line with your publication info/circulation and your mailing address.

We're also having a book release party (yes, there will be cupcakes!) for it on Tuesday, January 22nd, 7-9, at Rapture Cafe, 200 Avenue A (between 12th and 13th), NYC, featuring me and contributors Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, Rachel Shukert ("Big Mouth Strikes Again: An Oral Report"), Lux Nightmare ("The Pink Ghetto"), Miriam Datskovsky ("Absolut Nude") and Liz Langley ("Sex and the Single Septuagenarian"). Books will be available for sale and signing.

There will also be a San Francicso reading (without me, I'm afraid) sometime in March or April; I'll post as soon as we have that organized.

Best Sex Writing is an annual series publisher by Cleis Press. For the 2008 edition, to be published in December 2007, Rachel Kramer Bussel is the editor.

Below is the publisher's blurb and interviews, updates and event info coming soon:

Do Jewish girls give better blowjobs? What does it mean to be a modern-day eunuch? Would you want to work in the pink ghetto or live in the glass closet? How “hung” are African-American men? What happens to a celebrity sex tape star in Iran? Best Sex Writing 2008 answers these questions (and raises many more) as it probes the inner lives of those on the front lines — political, personal, and cultural — of lust. From dangerous dildos to professional submissives, the erotic appeal of twins, sex work, pornography and much more, these authors delve into the underbelly of eroticism. Probing stereotypes, truths, and the tricky areas in between, Best Sex Writing 2008 opens the bedroom door and explores the complexity of modern sexuality with thought-provoking, cutting-edge essays and articles.

Introduction: One Little Word, Infinite Interpretations

Big Mouth Strikes Again: An Oral Report • Rachel Shukert
Double Your Panic • Kevin Keck
Battle of the Sexless • Ashlea Halpern and Porn Hysteria: The Lie of Unbiased Reporting • Violet Blue
The Prince of Porn and the Junk-Food Queen from Insatiable • Gael Greene
Tough Love • Kelly Rouba
Dirty Old Women • Ariel Levy
Stalking the Stalkers • Kelly Kyrik
Sex in Iran • Pari Esfandiari and Richard Buskin
Surface Tensions • Jen Cross
Sex and the Single Septuagenarian • Liz Langley
The Pink Ghetto (A Four-Part Series) • Lux Nightmare and Melissa Gira
To Have or Have Not: Sex on the Wedding Night • Jill Eisenstadt
How Insensitive • Paul Festa
The Study of Sex • Amy Andre
Dangerous Dildos • Tristan Taormino
Absolut Nude • Miriam Datskovsky
The Hung List from Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America • Scott Poulson-Bryant
The Glass Closet • Michael Musto
Menstruation: Porn’s Last Taboo • Trixie Fontaine
Buying Obedience: My Visit to a Pro Submissive • Greta Christina

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My only music video cameo

A very long time ago, I went to law school, and discovered all kinds of music when I should have been studying contracts and torts. None changed my life more than Mary Lou Lord, who I once had a fan webpage for and started a mailing for that's pretty much defunct, and traveled all over to see her play. That was a long time ago, but was such an oasis from the hell of law school for me, and Mary Lou has been such a huge part of my musical education. One of my favorite of many Mary Lou New York memories is staying up all night while a director had his run of a subway station (I forget which one) and I got to be an unpaid extra in her video for "Lights Are Changing." You can't see me, just my hair for about a second, but still...sadly, I don't even remember when the last time I saw Mary Lou was. I will have to get my ass up to Boston in the spring to catch her busking (and she is still doing shows in the Boston area -- there's a show December 27th in Cambridge -- and occasionally elsewhere, check out her MySpace page for the latest).

Sex workers and nerds

Really just a way for me to recommend a book and share a book I'd like to read sometime in 2008. I'll be in London for New Year's (leaving Sunday, yay!) and the first week of the year taking a much-needed vacation, investigating cupcakes and museums, working on my novel, seeing friends and having lots of kinky sex. Expect a "Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2008" list sometime soon, and some checking in here while I'm away.

The first is Working Sex: Sex Workers Write About a Changing Industry edited by Annie Oakley. Seal Press's description says:

Dispelling the myth that sex workers are anything short of innovators and artists, Working Sex brings strippers, prostitutes, dommes, film stars, Internet models, and others together into a fascinating and groundbreaking collection. Featuring contributions from a vibrant community of out and proud sex workers, editor Annie Oakley showcases women who dare to take their jobs out of the shadows and into the public consciousness and examines the complexity of a sex worker’s life.

Among the contributors are Chris Kraus, reflecting on her time working in the hustle bars owned by the Jewish Mafia in the late 1970s; Michelle Tea, singing the “Ballad of Bart Starr”; and Ana Voog, describing the early days of her pioneering 24/7 online home webcam. Working Sex offers a glimpse into a changing industry, introducing readers to the messy world of sex workers and their critical insight into class, gender, labor, and sexuality in the 21st century.

I came across Nerds: Who They Are And Why We Need More of Them on Amazon:

A lively, thought-provoking book that zeros in on the timely issue of how anti-intellectualism is bad for our children and even worse for America.

Why are our children so terrified to be called "nerds"? And what is the cost of this rising tide of anti-intellectualism to both our children and our nation? In Nerds, family psychotherapist and psychology professor David Anderegg examines why science and engineering have become socially poisonous disciplines, why adults wink at the derision of "nerdy" kids, and what we can do to prepare our children to succeed in an increasingly high-tech world.

Nerds takes a measured look at how we think about and why we should rethink "nerds," examining such topics as: - our anxiety about intense interest in things mechanical or technological;
- the pathologizing of "nerdy" behavior with diagnoses such as Asperger syndrome;
- the cycle of anti-nerd prejudice that took place after the Columbine incident;
- why nerds are almost exclusively an American phenomenon;
- the archetypal struggles of nerds and jocks in American popular culture and history;
- the conformity of adolescents and why adolescent stereotypes linger into adulthood long after we should know better; and nerd cultural markers, particularly science fiction.

Using education research, psychological theory, and interviews with nerdy and non-nerdy kids alike, Anderegg argues that we stand in dire need of turning around the big dumb ship of American society to prepare rising generations to compete in the global marketplace.

Labels: ,

More photo hotness

Just some photos I like...words coming soon, I'm just busy so drooling over pretty photos on breaks from family stuff and work.

Fishnets and heel from Flickr user vanesssa56

What is there really to say except WOW about this photo from Flickr user fiumeazzurro entitled "The Embrace?"

I also like this SuicideGirls shot (via Flickr):

And this one I can only link to - but I can tell you it's of Justine Joli in her underwear, and, needless to say, totally hot. Also NSFW/NSFAmazon: The Lovely Brenda's Best of the Best set.


The Lovely Brenda's lovely work

Originally uploaded by the lovely brenda photographer
See more sexiness that's NSFW/NSFAmazon in her best of Flickr set or at

And she's got a book coming out from Goliath next year!

More prettiness

Click through on Task Master for more pretty retro lingerie photos

Playing with fire

See more sexy shots in this set

Quoted in the L.A. Times on cupcakes

Mrs. Beasley's, two cupcakes
Photo of Mrs. Beasley's cupcakes from Flickr user jleighb

The L.A. Times ran a story today on cupcakes, largely focusing on Mrs. Beasley's, that has a few quotes from me as well:

Few details of Paris Hilton's jailhouse drama enraptured the media as much as the imprisoned celebutante's oft-described craving for Mrs. Beasley's gourmet cupcakes.

It was another high-profile shout-out for the Los Angeles purveyor of high-end baked goods, which has been collecting celebrity endorsements since Barbra Streisand walked into the original Mrs. Beasley's in Tarzana almost 20 years ago.

Cupcakegate also illustrated how a once-humble bakery product has gone upscale, morphing from a homemade staple at children's birthday parties into a pricey custom-made comestible boasting its own bakeries, mail-order sites and, inevitably, blogs. Consider: Gourmet cupcakes from Williams-Sonoma made Oprah's 2007 "favorite things" list.

"In the last three years it has really exploded; at least every two weeks I'm hearing about a new cupcake bakery opening somewhere," said New Yorker Rachel Kramer Bussel, who helps run a blog called Cupcakes Take the Cake...

Read the rest of the article

If anyone has a paper copy and could cut out the article and mail it to me, I'd love that - my address is Prince St. Station, PO Box 39, New York, NY 10012 and if you can send it, drop me a line at rachelkb at with your address so I can thank you!

Labels: ,

Monday, December 24, 2007

Every once in a while I do in fact cook

My recipe for spicy mac and cheese kugel is in the new issue of Heeb, the Goy issue.

Tonigth is Heebonism across the country. I've got a family dinner and ridiculous amounts of work to do that thus far this weekend I've been neglecting, but am gonna try to stop by, if only to find out what Strip Dreidel's all about.

Heebonism New York will take place at the Knitting Factory and start with an hour-long open bar from 9:00-10 p.m. The 21+ blowout will feature live sets by Original Hamster, Terry Diabolik (Finger on the Pulse), June D (White Dove) and DJ Krowd Pleezr, Christmas Carol Karaoke, “Strip Dreidel” led by and all sorts of other Semitic salaciousness. The event runs from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. (open bar courtesy of LinLin Vodka for the first hour) and will be held at the Knitting Factory (74 Leonard Street, New York, NY). Tickets are $20 in advance ( or $25 at the door. (The event is 21+)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'm a sucker for fishnets

And everything about this photo...

by photographer Steve Diet Goedde, who also has, of course, a blog

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday burlesque

The talented and adorable Little Brooklyn as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:

Kimberlee Rose, aka "the muppet of burlesque," doing a tribute to A Christmas Story:

Christmas light bondage

Stave off the darkness
Originally uploaded by ABMann
With actual lights. So beautiful. Click here to see more.

I just love this shot

TC Shoot Outtake 1
Originally uploaded by Josh Cole Photography
So strong and sexy at once...

Nina Hartley's French Toast and other links

Nina Hartley shares her recipe for French Toast! (via fabulous Chicago sex toy shop Early to Bed))

Amazon's showing that Carol Queen's latest anthology, More Five Minute Erotica, is finally out! This collection of ultra-short stories features my stories "Nurse Feelgood" and "Our Little Secret" (hint: the "secret" is a butt plug).

Two more men freed in the Genarlow Wilson case: (AP)

Two more young men have been freed after serving time in jail for a case involving a 17-year-old who had consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Ryan D. Barnwell and Cortez Robinson, both 22, were released from prison Friday morning after spending 3 1/2 years behind bars. The two pleaded guilty to child molestation after attending a 2003 New Year's Eve party with Genarlow Wilson, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having oral sex with the girl.

Wilson, now 21, was freed Oct. 26 after the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that that his sentence was "cruel and unusual punishment." Georgia law at the time of his trial required a minimum of a decade in prison.

Slightly old (December 6th), but..."French the library:"

Ribald and X-rated, a new exhibit at France’s national library is banned to anyone under 16.

The exhibit that opened this week offers a peek at France’s long-secret library of libido, where, starting in the 1830s, librarians hid books and other documents from the national collection that they deemed dangerous for public morality. They called it L’Enfer, or Hell, and kept it under lock and key.

In 1849, library director Joseph Naudet described L’Enfer as “a hiding place … in which we lock up certain books that are very bad but which are sometimes very precious for book-lovers and have a great monetary value.

There's been much ado about drag queen bingo in Tampa, Florida:

The drag queens were reined in and very nearly ladylike.

Succumbing to pressure from City Hall, prizeless drag queen bingo debuted at the Canvas Cafe on Monday night, to a capacity crowd of about 100 who came out to see the suddenly famous show.

But the bullhorns were gone after neighbors complained about the volume and the profanity of the trio of drag queen entertainers.

Photo of XuXu Fontana by Rod Millington

If there's a GLBT teen in your life (or you want to keep up on issues of relevance to them), check out my friend Ellen Friedrichs's page on GLBT Teens, answering questions such as How Do Gay Teens Lose Their Virginity? and interviewing Muray Hill. You may also know Ellen from her webiste (also see my Gothamist interview with her)

And Happy Holidays to everyone! Here's another shot of me in my friend's Santa hat, taken by the fabulous Stacie Joy, who will be shooting me in January. I can't wait! My dream is to do a naked shoot in the snow, but that will require snow and extra courage. We'll see what happens...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Gorgeous body paint

I didn't realize these were photos of an actual person until second beautiful. From Desire of Desire Collective - click through to see more of her lovely body coated in silver paint.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gift Guide TK

I am still buying gifts for people, and will make yet another visit to Williamsburg's Artists and Fleas flea market this weekend, which I highly, highly recommend. I will also be making up a little gift guide for this blog cause there's so much great stuff I want to tell you about. For now, though, check out these buttons, available on Etsy, I saw on the Good Vibrations blog: (click through for the penis pin cushion - really!)

Captivating catfight

I find this catfight totally captivating...the song is "Bad Girl Too" by the rockabilly band Rattled Roosters with footage featuring Bettie Page.

Merry Christmas from The Kissing Booth

I heart Sara and Brandy...and in 2008 plan to see their shows more than, oh, once!

With: Sara Jo Allocco, Brandy Barber, Jay Bois, Katina Corrao, Peter Kassnove, Aaron Kheifets, Livia Scott, Matt Sears, and Baron Vaughn

Directed by Nathan Kloke & Brandy Barber

Some recent photos

In reverse chronological order:

Photo by Brian Van from In the Flesh last night:

L to R: Judy McGuire, Molly X, M. David Hornbuckle, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Abiola Abrams, Marcelle Manhattan, Topaz.

December 20th In The Flesh readers

See more In The Flesh photos here. Video coming soon!

At the Sex and Candy book release party, with the becandy-necklaced Jen Dziura and impossibly hot Molly Crabapple:

At the Small Press Book Fair, where I moderated a panel on erotic writing:

WIth my panelists, L to R: Polly Frost, me, Sofia Quintero, Tsaurah Litzky


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Any university librarians out there?

If you are a university librarian (or know someone who is), please email me at rachelkramerbussel at with "Librarian" in subject line if you're up for being interviewed. Just some general questions, re: the New Criterion attack on my book Glamour Girls: Femme/Femme Erotica. I want to write about this for the Huffington Post, but won't be asking you specifically about my book, just general ordering for university libraries. Thanks!

Free porn and candy tonight at In The Flesh!

(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue,
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

Celebrate the sexy holiday spirit with erotic writing from Judy McGuire (How Not to Date), Abiola Abrams (Dare), M. David Hornbuckle (The Salvation of Billy Wayne Carter), Marcelle Manhattan (Sexegesis), Topaz (Prometheus magazine), and Molly X reading erotic haiku. Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Sex Writing 2008, He’s on Top, She’s on Top). Door prizes include copies of Alison Tyler’s Naughty or Nice: Christmas Erotica Stories. Free candy canes and cupcakes 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 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. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Stephen Elliott, Valerie Frankel, Polly Frost, Gael Greene, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Edith Layton, Logan Levkoff, Suzanne PortnoySofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Dana Vachon, Veronica Vera, Susan Wright, and many others. The series has gotten press attention from the New York Times’s UrbanEye, Escape (Hong Kong), Flavorpill, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth. This is not Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending Reading Series.

Abiola Abrams is the host of BET’S The Best Shorts. A writer and filmmaker who gives motivational talks, her artistic films, ranging from edgy 'chick flicks' to socially conscious docs, investigate the themes of gender, race and empowerment. The goal of all of Abiola's work is to use pop culture entertainment to inspire: politically, emotionally and sexually. Abiola's writing is featured in the anthology A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer by Eve Ensler. Her first novel, Dare, was recently published by Simon & Schuster. Abiola has BFA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, conducts interviews for and, and wrote the popular Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice. Her erotic stories have been published in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and she’s edited numerous anthologies, most recently Best Sex Writing 2008, Hide and Seek, Crossdressing, He’s on Top and She’s on Top. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Cosmo UK, Gothamist, Mediabistro, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York and Velvetpark.

M. David Hornbuckle is a full-time writer and musician, originally from Birmingham, Alabama. His fiction has been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Isms, Peek, Air in the Paragraph Line and Astarte. His novella The Salvation of Billy Wayne Carter will be published as an e-book by Cantarabooks in October 2007. Hornbuckle now lives in NYC where he is finishing up a novel and is the leader of the M. David Hornbuckle Dixieland Space Orchestra.

Marcelle Manhattan is the author of the popular new blog Sexegesis, which combines fetish erotica and sexual politics. Since starting her blogging career in September, Marcelle has received both critical acclaim and media attention. She will publish her first short story, "Second Date," in an upcoming anthology edited by Susie Bright. Marcelle holds a Master's degree in literature and almost received her Ph.D., but was saved by a desire to write smut in New York City and run around wearing a lot of vinyl.

Judy McGuire writes a sex and love advice column called Dategirl for the Seattle Weekly. She recently had an essay entitled “Cohabitatiion Hesitation” published in the anthology, Single State of the Union, and is ecstatic to announce that her new book, How Not to Date, is being published this January. Remarkably, though she interviewed scads of people, nobody has yet to come close to beating her tale of the worst date ever.

Topaz is multi-talented, being primarily a cabaret singer/performance artist, who recently ventured into performing as a serious (yet comedic) actress. She is also a writer, proof-reader/editor, and sex educator. In her "spare time" Topaz works at Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to be Girls, as the first Dean of Night Life. She recently had a short story published in Prometheus, the magazine of The Eulenspiegel Society, which won Third Prize in their submissive literary contest. The title is “Stranger Than Fiction,” and she will read it at In The Flesh.

Molly X is a writer and editor who lives in the swinging borough of Queens. For the past year, Molly X has been writing reviews of the latest tech products. In haiku form. Since then, she has found the 5-7-5 rhythm slowly taking hold of her daily life. A recent In the Flesh reading awakened the erotic haikuista struggling to free herself from the straitlaced journalist, and inspired a number of very sexy, minimalist poems, which we'll hear tonight.


Reading in bed

Because I need another project (not!), I'll just say that sometime in 2008, I'm going to start podcasting, mostly recording some of my erotic stories, some commentary. Who knows? I just ordered a recorder, and I tend to have insomnia, which I'm hoping to parlay into something useful. First, I must finish my novel. I will post more about that arduous/exciting/crazy process when I'm done. It's intense, and will be awesome when it's done. Right now, I'm kindof a space case, forgetting essential times/dates/places/information, brain on total overload. Not just because of the novel, but I'm working on getting my life organized overall so 2008 can be an even better year than 2007 and I am not quite so crazily stressed. So there's my little update. I also cannot recommend enough to any writer to immediately read The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield. My friend Wendy Spero recommended it to me and it's been truly invaluable in numerous ways.


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

a musical interlude

Can your favorite band still be your favorite band after they've broken up? I sure hope so. Elizabeth Elmore had me at "a certain inept licentiousness..." Actually, she had me with her old band, Sarge, but still, I love that line and this song and pretty much every song The Reputation ever sang. Listening to them is like a magical cheer-up cure.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My book Glamour Girls part of "grotesque carnival of today's academy"

I just found out about this thanks to a reader - will post a proper reply when I have a chance, but for now, there's this lovely bit of vitriol about my book. Because, I mean, the horror of college students reading dirty stories! See also the Haworth page for Glamour Girls, or check it out on Amazon. It's ironic because pretty much nobody bought this book except, I guess, university libraries. I blame the cover, because trust me, the inside is HOT. I thought my story from the book, "Lap Dance Lust," was on my site - will get it up ASAP, it's one of my favorites ever. You can read A.J. Stone's hot sex in the back of a New York taxicab story "If You Can Make It There, You Can Make It Anywhere" right here. I will also say that the book was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in the lesbian erotica category, and that Haworth isn't (wasn't?) a "fly-by-night press," as far as my definition goes. Obscure, perhaps, but not "fly-by-night." Also, I'm a graduate of a UC school (Berkeley), and I also know Glamour Girls is in some public libraries. They're libraries; they are there to cater to a wide group of people who have varied reading interests. Yes, even at public universities. I wonder what Ms. MacDonald would think if any UC schools ordered something like He's on Top or She's on Top? Not that they have, as far as I know, but maybe I should personally send UC Irvine some of my latest work. I'm sure there are some students who'd be interested.

From Heather MacDonald's, "America's Flaw-- Or Alan Bloom's?" in New Criterion

The university of 1987, when Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind appeared, looks like a cloister of humane learning compared with the grotesque carnival of today’s academy. The course catalogues of major universities and publishing lists of major university presses furnish evidence aplenty. But for the moment one small example may suffice: a book I picked up by chance this August from a reshelving trolley in the University of California, Irvine’s library. It was Glamour Girls: Femme/Femme Erotica, a collection of lesbian smut put out by a fly-by-night press. A single page—the conclusion of a story by “Ana Slutsky Peril”—was as much as I could take, and it is not printable in this magazine. Suffice it to say that sado-masochistic sexual practices usually associated with the shadier reaches of the West Village turn the narrator into what she calls a “blind, dumb f**k doll.” The jacket blurbs from various erotica writers assert that the collection makes an important contribution to lesbian literature by presenting “femme/femme” (feminine lesbians) couplings instead of the usual “butch/femme” stereotype.

Glamour Girls is undoubtedly not what California’s taxpayers have in mind when they foot the bill for new university books, which a bright orange sticker on the spine cheerfully proclaimed Glamour Girls to be. Nor is it what Allan Bloom likely had in mind when he wrote of the “Eros” of learning. Heartbreakingly, a UC Irvine librarian had dutifully penciled catalogue classifications inside the cover, with all the orthographic care that one might lavish on a new edition of The Divine Comedy. Glamour Girls was not, alas, gathering dust in the stacks, as that new Divine Comedy likely would, but was clearly in use—whatever that means for a college book these days.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pretty latex and an interview to tide you over

I'm on a bit of a blogging/CrossFit/lnon-urgent email/life hiatus through the rest of the year (save for my awesome cupcake and Mad Lib and candy-filled Sex and Candy book release PARTY tomorrow night and In The Flesh on the 20th) to finally finish my long overdue novel and, to a lesser extent, get my life sorted out.

In the meantime, here's a pretty photo taken by Emma Delves-Broughton, the photographer of the beautiful book Kinky Couture.

Also, check out my interview with Greta Christina about her wonderful Best Sex Writing 2008 essay wonderful essay “Buying Obedience: My Visit to a Pro Submissive,” about her experience hiring a pro sub, writing about it, and how that affected her sex life and fantasies subsequently. (Note: the woman she hired was named Rachel, but is obviously not me.)

When you visited the professional submissive, was it with the purpose of writing about it, or did that come later? How long afterwards did you write the essay and did your thoughts about the experience change as you wrote it?

I definitely visited Rachel with the intention of writing about it. It’s how I justified the expense to myself, actually. I’m a freelance writer, I’m not exactly raking in the big bucks, and I’m not generally in a position to drop $300 on a one-hour luxury splurge. But as a professional expense…that’s a different story.

I started writing about it almost immediately afterwards. In fact, much of the essay talks about my planning and thought processes before visiting Rachel — and I started writing that before I even saw her.

Writing about the experience didn’t change my thoughts about it, exactly. But it did clarify them. And more importantly, I’m not sure I would have had the experience at all if I hadn’t planned to write about it. I don’t think I could have justified the expense; but I also don’t know if I would have had the nerve to go through with it. If it had just been for my own pleasure and curiosity, I might have chickened out.

Read the whole interview