Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tired and Dirty

The formerly long-haired Justine Joli

I have more to say but flew home on a redeye (cagey American Airlines called yesterday and said my flight was postponed, but never called back to say it was cancelled, so I wound up on an overnight flight) so am a bit tired and have much catching up to do. Just ran into the insanely hot porn star, redhead, and now burlesque star Justine Joli, who is doing burlesque this Friday and will be at the Cat O' Nine party on Sunday. Her hair is super short now! I ran into her in the lobby of Sirius Radio, located at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, notable for me personally cause I used to work here as an admin assistant way back in 2000/2001. I was on the super fun Devore and Diana show to talk about Dirty Girls

You can also hear me talk about Dirty Girls in this Seal Press podcast. I got interviewed by Felicia Pride, who was fabulous. And AVN Novelty gave the book a little writeup too. Yay!

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San Francisco snapshots

Some Dirty Girls reading snapshots by Guy Gayle (see full set on Flickr). Many thanks to all the wonderful readers, Les of Cafe Royale for hosting, Red Stripe for sponsoring, the people with the free chutney samples (sorry, don't have their company name in front of me) and Andie East of Seal Press for being an awesome publicist and coming to my rescue with books. The reading went really well and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces in the audience.

And is it me or is it kindof juvenile for the chutney person to have done the rabbit ears in this photo?

L to R: Melissa Gira, Donna George Storey, Gina de Vries, Carol Queen, me

My friend Shar Rednour of Sharlene's Babycakes, pictured with me below, is the woman who published my very first erotica story way back when, "Monica and Me," in her anthology Starf*cker. For a long time, I had the answering machine message she left me saved on tape. She made so many cupcakes for me, but I only got to try the sunken lemon ones. So good!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who is this woman and why is Vaseline on her shopping list?

The brilliant and hilarious Hillary Carlip knows.

I recommend her book A La Cart for Mother's Day (but I already gave it to my mom for her birthday) or for any wacky friend or relative in your life.


Monday, April 28, 2008

10 page article on Best Sex Writing 2008

Check out this amazing 10-page story on Best Sex Writing 2008, featuring interviews with me, Gael Greene, Michael Musto, Greta Christina, and other contributors. As appeared in First City Magazine, New Delhi, India. Visit their blog at

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Book party tonight for Dirty Girls in San Francisco!

Party tonight! Free! 7-9 pm, at Cafe Royale, 800 Post Street at Leavenworth, San Francisco. With me, Carol Queen, Melissa Gira, Gina de Vries, and Donna George Storey, with free cupcakes from Sharlene's Babycakes.

Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

White people and racism

I would be remiss if I didn't address what's going on over at my Dirty Girls publisher Seal Press over the images used in Amanda Marcotte's new book It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.

You can read an excerpt from the book yourself, and about the imagery used in the book at Feministe, and Amanda's apology.

But one comment stopped me dead in my tracks with its sheer wrongness:

"I know the folks at Seal Press. They're good people. I don't believe any of them have ever had a racist thought..." -- Joan Price comment on Seal Press blog

I wonder if Seal feels about this comment the way I hope the Hillary campaign felt about that NOW-NYC "let's put a woman in the White House" with no analysis of anything else whatsoever absolute bullshit press release. I hope they're cringing at this and thinking, "With friends like these..."

And here's where I'm going to make it less about Seal, in part because they're my publisher, but mainly because when Samhita Mukhopadhyay of Feministing told me about the controversy yesterday, I realized I'd raced through Amanda's book and given barely a glance to the images. I just don't pay attention to images unless they're actually part of the content of the book. And for the record, I thought the book was smart and funny, looking at everything from the feminist shoe conundrum to serious issues of reproductive rights and daily struggles. No, I didn't agree with all of it; she viciously attacks this Tristan Taormino column on asshole bleaching, a chapter she read from at KGB, and I don't agree with her on that. But you can read and judge the book for yourselves. I recommend it, and when I was reading it would pick it up and read aloud particularly witty bits to my friends. It's very topical and covers everything from women's humor to purity balls to "Nice Guys" and all sorts of bullshit women face.

What I wanted to say is that the above statement is not something I ever want to be associated with, as a white person or Seal author. I think that there are probably plenty of people out there who think if you're "good people," and/or a feminist, that you cannot ever be racist. That "racism" means being a KKK bigot who's against affirmative action and interracial relationships. You don't have to be white to have racist thoughts. The quote is almost like those people who say "I don't see color." Really? Unless you're blind, that's such a disingenuous statement. Maybe you're trying to say that you don't judge people based on their race, which is admirable, and none of us (unless you're the above-mentioned KKK bigot) want to see ourselves as racist, but I think the point is that there's a gap between what we want to see ourselves as and what we are. There are ways racist ideas and thoughts become part of us, consciously or unconsciously, and whether it's overt or not, I think it's way more useful to have a dialogue about it rather than whitewash the issue to pretend it never existed. That comment by Joan Price actually offended me more than the images, probably because it was made now, in 2008, and the images were not.

I don't have much more to contribute, but I wanted to bring this up here because what I also think is a shame is that this will likely only get discussed on feminist blogs, meaning ones solely devoted to feminism. That's speaking to a clearly varied but still self-selected group, and surely the non-strictly-feminist world also needs to have crucial discussions about race. Being aware and alert and open to learning and conscious are, to me, part of our mandate. And realizing that "race" and "racism" aren't just about other people or about the most egregious examples of the latter, and that you can be a "good person" and still commit racist acts. I commend Seal for moving so quickly to get new versions of the book in the store, and in fact don't think that most publishers would be so quick to act. That impressed me, and is a first step. I'm interested to see where they go in the wake of this, and hopefully we will see more books by and about women of color and race from Seal, as well as issues like these incorporated into the work that they do.

Personally, having read Jennette Fulda's excellent weight loss memoir Half-Assed, as well as numerous other recent weight loss memoirs, I'm wondering why the authors of these books are almost always white? I'd love to see someone not white/middle class write about the ways food and weight and body image and class and race intersect, from a personal point of view, in memoir form. It would likely be different than many of these books in which weight loss becomes almost a second job. Joanne Chen talks about race/class and sweets in her book The Taste of Sweet in a fascinating way, but that was only about sweets/sugar.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm in San Francisco, here's Twanna on Wine Library TV

I'm in the Mission in San Francisco, here for Monday night's Dirty Girls reading (please come! It's free and there'll be free cupcakes). I'm also hoping to get someone to go see Harold and Kumar with me and after Passover's over will be hunting down the city's cupcakes, and going to lunch with the fabulous folks over at Foodbuzz, our Cupcakes Take the Cake advertiser and meeting with my publisher, Cleis Press. And, of course, doing some of the work I find it impossible to get done at home.

Here's a video of my friend Twanna talking about wine on dates on Wine Library TV. I know nothing about wine and when I used to drink would have green wine (really), so please listen to her and Gary Vanerchuk.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pregnant men

Annalee Newitz on "Pregnant Men" (yes, there have been others, and just read the comments on Alternet, a supposedly liberal site, to get a feel for the hatred out there against the likes of Beatie) (via Mombian):

So we know the answers to the "Why Beatie?" part. Every new minority needs a friendly, relatable poster child: lesbians have Ellen, and I suppose you could say mixed-race people have Barack Obama. The real question is: why now? Or even: can it happen now?

In some ways, those are the same questions people are asking about a possible Obama presidency. Can the majority of people in the United States accept a mixed-race guy in a role previously reserved for white dudes? To return to the issue of Beatie, can the majority accept a man taking on a role (pregnant dad) they'd never contemplated before, except when watching a bad Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi comedy called Junior?

I think they can, but not for the same reasons they might accept Obama. Beatie is not a political creation like Obama -- he's the creation of medical technology, pure and simple. Hormones and surgery made him male. Artificial insemination made him pregnant. There would have been no way to accept Beatie 10 years ago because he literally could not have existed. But contemporary medical technology has given us a chance.


I never know if R.I.P. is one of those really trite, dumb things to say, or whether death is the only time we are truly at rest. I'm not one of those people who've seen lots of friends die. The closest people to me who've passed were family and the family members I'm closest to are still here, thankfully. I went to my friend Courtney's blog because her name came up last night and I'm gonna go see her (and see her perform) in Minneapolis soon. I didn't expect to find the news there that I did.

I didn't know James well, didn't know him at all, really. To be honest, if you had told me to name Jenny's boyfriend, my manesia would've kicked in. I certainly had no idea he was a great chef. But what I do know is that every time I saw the at parties, they being one of the many people I met via that fateful wedding dinner where I didn't know anyone but everyone welcomed me into the fold, James was so sweet. Kind. As Rob notes, not necessarily what you'd expect on first glance. I'm so sorry and extend my condolences to everyone who misses him. The news certainly stopped me from whatever I was in the middle of doing. Made me re-realize that for all of us, life is indeed short and that just slogging your way through it miserably is not of service. I hope I can learn from that lesson because it's so true and important.

I will also say that I think the photos posted by Rob and Courtney tell a wonderful story all their own (not the whole story, but they do capture beautiful images of who James was).

"Being a mom has turned me into more of a perv" - Raven Snook

"What's It Like Being a Mom Who Does Burlesque?" by Raven Snook, The Frisky

Although I took a little time off (hey, one of the keys to being in burlesque is feeling sexy, and I won’t lie: post-childbirth, it took me a while to feel sexy again!), when my daughter was about six-months-old, I started contacting my old burly-Q buddies to let them know I was ready to get back in the game. They were all very sweet and booked me immediately, but they seemed surprised that I wanted to continue doing burlesque at all.

Audiences seemed to feel the same way. Whenever I mentioned that I had a kid at home, I always heard gasps or nervous giggles. It was as if, as a mom, I wasn’t allowed to do certain things—like have random female audience members lick whip cream off my boobs (I enjoy reliving my liberal arts college lezzie days) or participate in a simulated orgy to “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me” or sing a torch song to my vibrator. (Hey, I never said my act was classy. I know I’m one step down from the strip club den mother in Showgirls.)

If anything, being a mom has turned me into more of a perv, at least on stage. That’s partly because I no longer have the time to be a sexual deviant in real life. After spending all day being “mommy,” it’s a relief to be a foul-mouthed temptress on the boards (and to get paid for it, too!). Post-mommydom, I’ve said things and gone places I never thought I would as an emcee.

Kink in literature

Via Susannah Breslin, via Melissa Gira, an LA Times article, "Literary fiction gets kinky" about Playing by Melanie Abrams

"Americans don't like their sex and their art mixed together," said D.L. King, editor of the review site and a writer of BDSM fiction (it encompasses bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism). "Erotica writers are still treated like the bottom of the barrel."

And so Abrams was worried that, as a first-time novelist, she'd be seen as a "sex writer," with the reader's lone gratification as her primary purpose. She tried to strike a balance, she said, by focusing on Josie's complexities and avoiding pornographic cue words of the four-letter kind, aiming to "give pleasure in a couple ways" -- literary and sensual.

"We don't go into reading a literary novel with hopes of being titillated," she said. "It's unfortunate, because books are supposed to be read for pleasure."

I have only read a few pages of Playing so can't speak to its content, but I highly recommend checking out the work of James Lear, aka Rupert Smith, which is filled with filthy hot, wink-wink gay male sex with a twist; it's erotica, but it's also doing something else, in the case of The Back Passage, mystery. He wrote also in the LA Times last weekend:

The fact that erotica sells so much, and so widely, suggests that it's really just like any other type of genre fiction -- doing a job for an audience that knows what it wants and where to get it. Crime, horror, sci-fi and romance authors set out their stalls in very similar fashions, offering a mystery, or a fright or a flight into fantasy. The porn writer's offer is just as simple: I'll deliver two good orgasms per chapter (or one, for readers over 40), along with a rattling good plot that will get you to the next sex scene, some likable characters and a big dollop of humor.

The main reason erotic literature remains in a publishing limbo is that it's specifically designed as an inspiration to masturbation. Literary fiction is full of sex scenes at least as dirty as anything I've ever written, but they're "justified" by other considerations. Porn relies on no such subterfuge. Sex in a James Lear novel is there to excite, not to illuminate some grungy corner of the human psyche. It's recreational -- and recreational sex has always been suspect.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Scott D. Pomfret, "The Back of the Papal Bus"

Not sure yet how it turned out, but check out gay memoirist (and Romenics co-founder) Scott D. Pomfret on "The Back of the Papal Bus:"

Check out this timeline:

Feb. 1

I pay $60 bucks for the chance to participate in the lottery for tickets to the April 20 Papal Mass in Yankee Stadium.

March 17

The Archdiocese notifies me that I have won a ticket. The update includes a list of recipients that shows my name and address.

April 3

The Archdiocese notifies me that no security concerns have been identified and re-publishes a list with my name and address on it indicating where I should board the bus that will take me from Boston to Yankee Stadium.

Do you have an out-there porn fetish?

I'm looking to interview New Yorkers (must live in NYC) into "granny porn" or BBW porn or hairy porn, but someone very into it, for an article I'm working on (you can be anonymous). If you know of anyone, please contact me at rachelkb at - I'd need to very briefly interview the person. Thanks!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gluten-free kosher for Passover?

If you know of any place in NYC (ideally downtown) that sells gluten-free kosher for Passover desserts, please email me at rachelkb at - just called and Babycakes doesn't. Thanks!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"and we get high/just my mom and me"

No, not my mom (though that possibility could be a story for another day - I don't do drugs and except on very rare occasions, don't drink), but I am absolutely in love with this song by Adira Amram I heard the other day - not sure of the name, but maybe it's called "Mom" - I will have to ask her. If you watch this video below, it's at 3:20 (though obviously should be at 4:20) - you can probably click through faster directly at YouTube. I interviewed Adira in 2006 for Gothamist and have loved watching her perform over the last two years. She's going places, people, in her gorgeous leotards. Feministing sponsored a fabulous lineup of female comics last Monday at Comix as a fundraiser for The Hysterical Festival. See the photo set by Maryanne Ventrice, who kindly let me repost these photos. First of is the wonderful Desiree Burch and Comix PR superstar Kambri Crews, demonstrating that Comix and the Hysterical Festival are BFFS, second is of Ms. Adira.

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Photos from In The Flesh and my reading series immortalized in a book!

More photos are coming, but I wanted to tell you we had a packed room, at least 75 people, out to see a stellar lineup. We'll have video soon too, but you can't capture the looks on people's faces as they passed around the dildo, pictured below, that HoneyB had people fondle while she read (she also had a feather tickler going around the room. Then we did trivia and Lolita Wolf won a copy of HoneyB's Sexcapades and the dildo! Awesome.

These photos are by Viviane of The Sex Carnival.

L to R: Rachel Kramer Bussel, Sarah Thyre, Sofia Quintero, HoneyB, Stephanie Whited, Marie Lyn Bernard

Not pictured (by choice): Suzanne Portnoy

Also, just found out (I have started the book but haven't had time to finish it yet) that In The Flesh gets mentioned in Suzanne Portnoy's new book The Not So Invisible Woman, about her last time reading here. Woo-hoo! My little reading series is now immortalized in print.

On the table last night, photo by Viviane:

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

the old "Dirty" me

Because I've been a little lax about organizing my virtual book tour for Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, I'm giving myself the spot today. ANd it seemed appropriate to repost an essay called "Dirty" that was published at Scarlet Letters in 2003.

I hate rereading my work, especially old work. I know that some of this has changed, some has stayed the same. I feel weird even posting it, and will say that, uh, if you're related to me, you probably want to stop reading now. Anyway, though, the thing about writing is is that it's there forever, and yet we change. The thing with blogs, social networks, Twitter, etc., is that people who thrive on them, I think, are fast-paced. Fast talkers, fast thinkers, fast doers, for the most part. We, or rather, I, don't have time to sit around and be sentimental cause we're always onto the next (big?) thing. I'm tryign to slow down, I swear, but I also don't relive the past (except those moments when I do). I'll always be infinitely more interested in the next thing I write or am writing than something from the past. But if you've never read this, or just want to, as kindof a companion to my book Dirty Girls, here goes. Me, circa 2003:

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

What makes me feel dirty? I know, and yet I don't know. Some things that make me feel dirty are crystal clear to me, while others are more elusive, only knowable in the moment, constantly changing and evolving. There are parts of the puzzle I know all too well, have fantasized and created and recreated over and over again. And there are parts that no amount of detail will ever fully explain, those I wouldn't want to explain even if I could.

But this is what I can explain, what does make sense. I feel dirty when someone tells me I'm dirty - someone who I want to believe knows the truth about me, someone who I want to show my dirtiest, naughtiest, bad girl self to. The truth is I am wicked and dirty and can spend whole days dreaming up explicit fantasies, and often do. I'm often much dirtier in my mind than I am in my daily life, but I don't always feel driven to share these fantasies with my lovers. There's often that underlying fear that they won't be able to handle what I have to say, or I just don't want to go down that road with them, hoarding my fantasies inside my head, waiting for that "perfect" lover to come along. When I do share and it turns out well, I'm pleased, but the possibility of them dismissing my innermost desires as trivial or silly is quite scary. One of the greatest compliments a lover's ever paid to me occurred after a vigorous round of phone sex when he said, pleased, "I didn't know how filthy you really are." I liked that I'd surprised him, that with my dirty mouth and mind I'd shown him a new side of myself, and he liked it.

Being looked at like I'm dirty makes me feel dirty, almost all by itself. I like it when a lover takes a risk and pushes me, coaxing me into possibly emotionally dangerous territory, making me push myself and my own fears and fantasies to the limit. I like being "made," however subtly or unsubtly, to tell things I never thought I'd share with anyone, to be forced to realize how much, deep down, I really want to be manhandled. There are some things that it's hard to verbalize, or even think about, but that I definitely want to happen during a sexual encounter. It's often easiest for me to open up in writing, but in person I freeze up and settle for a fun but not mindblowing experience because I'm too nervous to take a risk. When I find someone who is also willing to take those risks of exposure and daring, I feel more comfortable sharing my own sexual dirty secrets.

For me, sex is best when it's unexpected, when something happens that isn't planned or thought about or really prepared for in any way. Since my mind is always racing, I generally have trouble thinking only one thought at a time, instead wanting to jump to the next thought immediately. So anyone who can get me to stay completely in the moment, to shut off my galloping brain and relax, stay still (mentally and physically), and submit, can have me. I like to be jolted out of my complacency, shown new ways of fucking and relating to someone else, introduced to things that I never would've thought would get me off. I want whole new worlds to open, ones I don't have time to fully comprehend because I'm too busy feeling something - pain, orgasm, fear, excitement.

It's not always so clear-cut, this process of arousal, the things that get me shaking and trembling and wet and wild. It can be unexpected, taking different forms each and every time. What works once might leave me cold and dispassionate in another situation. Sometimes it's a whisper, or even a word, told to me when my eyes are closed and my body is floating in ecstasy. Then, I'm open to anything, and words reverberate through my head and skin, touching parts of me that sometimes never recover. That's when a lover's words become a brand, searing themselves into my skin, forever a part of my erotic self. If in this heightened state of bliss, my lover tells me I'm a dirty whore, a tease, a slut, I lap it up and wait for more. I want to be all those things, not in some absolute objective sense, but for my lover, in that moment. For them, I'll transform myself into whatever they want, to gain their approval, win their affection, be their most special and sexy girl ever. I'm at my best as a lover when all I want, all I know, is pleasing my partner, because always, always, in return I please myself. That's why it throws me for a loop to sleep with someone who can't articulate what they want; I'm left in a hopeless guessing game. Even if I can discern what they want by my own devices, that doesn't fulfill me in the same way as being told what to do, as taking a command and turning it around into a very personalized sex act.

Though I can't precisely define what gets me into this core dirtiness, here are some examples of what triggers it for me. When a lover makes me come while we're fucking, causes me to squirt right there all over his cock, in a moment of unexpected bliss, a pleasant shock to both of us, I am dirty. He has me on my back, legs spread wide, clothes hastily shucked away. He's above me, knees pressed into the carpet, pulling my hair, biting me, fucking me as hard as he can. His sweat is dripping down onto me. He pulls my hair, slaps my face, pinches my nipples. He looks at me, runs his eyes up and down, focuses on my face, my breasts, my cunt, and back to my face, with a look of awe and lust and passion and drama. I don't need any words, just the look that makes me flush far beneath the surface of my skin, the look that sends shivers running throughout my body.

Or this. She tells me to make myself come, something I've never done in a front of a lover before. Her tone is one I haven't heard from her; it's not admiration or a compliment or a question; it's a command. I look up at her breathlessly, so eager to please her, more eager to make her happy than myself (which in turn makes my heart race). She's taken care of that though, by telling me to come, and I hold my breath as I play with my clit. I want to come for her, for me, for us. I look up at her as I play with myself, waiting for her smile, wanting to please her. Or maybe I don't, maybe I want to fail in this task, and have her punish me. Either way, knowing that she is there, watching, waiting, for me, makes me feel dirty and warm and slutty and happy.

When I want to explain my erotic desires to a new lover, I'm often at a loss because mere words are just not enough. Sometimes I feel like my plans will lose some of their magic if I have to spell them out in too much detail. And it's not just what I want that matters; I need them to want what I want too, or else it doesn't work. I don't relish the idea of someone doing something simply to please me, but want my own desires and theirs to mesh.

There's no magic formula for me to get off; it's truly unique every time, even with the same person. That's part of the thrill for me, the way old dramas get played out, new discoveries are made, my body revealing itself to me over and over again, showing off different parts of itself, yearning for new adventures. And I want it to last, not just for an hour or eight, but far beyond that; I want every minute to seem like twenty. People talk about the earth moving, but I don't really care about this planet, or city, or even my room. I want my head, my body, my brain, to spin around, landing somewhere new. That can take seconds or minutes or hours or days, but what I find transcendent is when I emerge from sex feeling like a new person, my mind and body racing, replaying my lovemaking as my own personal porno in my head.

What I want from my lovers is more than just words and acts and orgasms, though it's all those things too. It's a sensation, an overall feeling that I look for, that aids and abets all the words spoken, body parts stroked or pulled or kissed, orgasms reached. I want to be coddled on the one hand, and chastised on (or by) the other. I want to be a little girl, a bad girl, a slut, a dirty whore, a naughty troublemaker, a temptress. I want to be decadent, innocent, coerced, tied up, helpless, fragile, raw. I want to be over her knee, the paddle in her hand, a threat in her voice, uncertain of what words will come out of my mouth or what emotions and sensations will well up inside of me. I want the pain to leap across my skin, to center in my pussy or my ass and spread outwards. I want to not be able to think to not be able to guess or even desire, just to feel, for a few moments. I want sex that surprises me, that's unlike anything I've ever done before, even if it's exactly like something I've done before. Because ultimately, that's why we keep coming back to sex again and again, why some of us concern our lives with it; the fascinating mystery, the beauty and pain and freshness of it, make it continually arousing. Sex is as old as time yet it can be totally new, and can make me feel like an eager and nervous 17-year-old virgin again (albeit with the wisdom of experience, but it's the same feeling).

I want to be at a lover's mercy, wanting more and more, with every cell in my body, but unable to ask for it. When I open my mouth, they put something in - a finger, a tongue, a toy, an ice cube. They fill it up, just like they fill up all the other parts of me that are empty. They fill it with their tongue, and can take that tongue away at any time. Their teeth scamper across my body, searching for the points that will best respond to their bite. Like my nipples, for one. My lover's teeth sink into them like the most tender of meats, mincing, pounding, chewing. Sharp but not fast; I want to feel that exquisite pain for as long as possible, and I want to not be able to escape it, even when I try. I want to be nervous, a little bit scared, uncertain. I want my clit and my pussy to be scared too, to try and anticipate what will happen next and be thrown off guard by a slap or a pinch or a pull. I want the pain of a hand falling full force against my ass, making it burn and seethe, and knowing that there's more waiting for me. I need that fear, that edge, to hover over. I need my lover to act differently with me than they do on the street, to treat me rougher or meaner or more fiercely, anything that distinguishes our sex from our average conversation. I want them to focus only on me, on us, on our pleasure. I want them to make me do things and want things I've never wanted before, to plant wholly new erotic possibilities in my head, to sweep me away and be there to catch me.

I want to be "forced" to do the things I secretly want to do but don't get to do alone, or don't allow myself. I want to feel the ache all over for days afterwards. I want to not be able to think of anything else. When I'm at work, watching tv, cooking dinner, reading, talking on the phone, I want to not be doing those things at all, but instead hearing my lover's voice whisper in my ear as s/he pulls my hair and makes tears form in my eyes. I want to not be able to control the rate of my breathing: pant, pant, gasp, pant, hold breath, pant. I want sex to sweep me away from the rest of my life, to make everything else irrelevant and unnecessary, for a little while, to give myself wholeheartedly and intensely to an all-encompassing passion. Sometimes I want to be deliberately foolish, to be drunk on sex, letting it move me in ways that my rational mind might not agree with.

When I am my dirtiest, sluttiest, naughtiest self, I feel at home, happy, safe, wanted, loved, sexy. I want to stay in that space forever, and even though it doesn't last forever, those moments seem to take up more than their fair share of time, kidnapping my thoughts and seizing my fantasies. They expand, take over, fill me with a warmth that I'm hard pressed to find elsewhere. Those moments can make me cry, for lack of a better way of showing my devotion to them. Every day, I search for those moments, those lovers, those parts of myself that can bring me there. And when I find them, I rejoice.


Tonight is In The Flesh!

We have special out of town guests and yet another New York Times bestseller and super hot readings from Dirty Girls and, of course, free snacks and lots of them! Please come out tonight and join us.

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

the cleavage and cupcakes In The Flesh logo

Logo by Molly Crabapple

A night of fabulous female authors from across the sexual spectrum (and world). Let Honey B., author of Sexcapades, seduce you before memoirists Sarah Thyre (Dark at the Roots) and Suzanne Portnoy (The Not So Invisible Woman) share their real life sex stories. Marie Lyn Bernard and Sofia Quintero, contributors to Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, edited by In The Flesh host and curator Rachel Kramer Bussel, will read from their stories in this brand-new collection. Hosted and curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Dirty Girls, Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am). Celebrate the release of Rachel’s new book Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, which will be available for sale and signing, along with work by other contributors from Mobile Libris. Free candy 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 Portnoy, Sofia 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.

HoneyB, HoneyB, aka Mary Morrison, is a happily single mother, a poet and lecturer and a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and an Essence best-selling author. Just as every woman has an inner child, every woman also has an inner woman. The HoneyB, through her explicit writings, wants to pollinate every woman with knowledge about sexuality and self-love and her objective is to help women blossom into goddesses. Sexiness is an attitude HoneyB wants every woman to embrace and express openly. HoneyB lives and loves as much as she possibly can in Oakland, California. Sexcapades is her first erotica title. Single Husbands is the second in the HoneyB series, due out in Spring 2009.

Marie "Riese" Lyn Bernard is a half-Jewish, half-Midwestern Farmer's-Daughter freelance aspirant. She blogs at This Girl Called Automatic Win ( and recaps homosexy television at Automatic Straddle (> and for The L Word Online. Her work has appeared in The Bigger the Better, the Tighter the Sweater: 21 Funny Women On Beauty, Body Image, and Other Hazards of Being Female, Best Women's Erotica 2005, Best American Erotica 2007, the Lambda Literary Award-winning Erotic Interludes 2: Stolen Moments, Marie Claire magazine, Curve Magazine,, Suspect Thoughts,, Clean Sheets, Fresh Off the Vine, Conversely,, and The Sarah Lawrence Review. She's currently writing a memoir about her super fascinating life on earth.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, conducts interviews for, 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 Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am, Dirty Girls, and Best Sex Writing 2008. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Cosmopolitan UK, Gothamist, Mediabistro, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York and Velvetpark.

Suzanne Portnoy has been an entertainment publicist for twelve years. Divorced and with two children, aged 13 and 15, she is formerly from New York and now lives in London, UK. Attractive and finally a size 8 after twenty years of yo-yo dieting, she is happily single and spends her spare time writing, having sex and acting as a one-woman car pool service. She is the author of The Not So Invisible Woman and Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker: An Erotic Memoir, both published by Virgin Books.

Sofía Quintero is the author of several novels and short stories that cross genres. Under the pen name Black Artemis, she wrote the hip hop novels Explicit Content, Picture Me Rollin’ and Burn. She is also a contributor to two other erotica collections: Juicy Mangos, an anthology of short stories by Latina writers, and Iridescence: Sensuous Shades of Lesbian Erotica.Sofía is also the author of the novel Divas Don’t Yield and contributed novellas to the “chica lit” anthologies Friday Night Chicas and Names I Call My Sister. As an activist, she co-founded Chica Luna Productions (, a nonprofit organization that seeks to identify, develop and support women of color who wish to create socially conscious entertainment. She is also a founding creative partner of Sister Outsider Entertainment, a multimedia production company that aims to create edgy but quality entertainment for urban audiences. To stay in touch with Sofía and learn about her works-in-progress, public appearances and latest rants and raves by visit her at, or

Sarah Thyre is the author of the memoir Dark at the Roots, which she is currently developing for television with Warner Brothers. An actress and writer, she has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, TV Funhouse, Upright Citizens Brigade, and as the gender-compromised Coach Cherry Wolf on Strangers with Candy. She has performed her own work at the UCB Theatres in New York and Los Angeles, Sit 'n' Spin at the Comedy Central Stage, and on Public Radio International. She is the voice of Mary Frances on The Mighty B!, a cartoon premiering on Nickelodeon this April. Sarah lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids.


Have an extreme fetish and live in NYC? I want to interview you!

I need one more person with an "extreme" fetish to interview - blood play, scat, "granny porn," hairy bushes - something along those lines, as long as you also live in NYC and are over 18. This is kindof, uh, urgent, so if you are that person or know of someone (you can use a pseudonym), email me at rachelkb at - thank you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mark your calendars: May 13, Party With the Sexerat

There is also a fabulous reading for Andrea Askowitz's My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy that night at The Center.

New York, NY May 13th Tuesday, 7 p.m.

A conversation about lesbianism and parenting at LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, NYC 10011

with Rose Arce, Karin Cook, Louise Sloan, Linda Villarosa, and Terry Boggis, Director of Center Kids

See Tristan Taormino's new site for more information.


Cupcake bingo ruled

In case you were wondering, cupcake bingo was awesome! For $6, you got 5 mini cupcakes and a bingo card, and we played various permutations of bingo. You had the option of using your mini cupcakes on the board, or the little circles of paper it came with. A bunch of the Sex 2.0-ers won, we were typing and Twittering and eating our crazy delicious cupcakes from Sweet Poclets. It's an ingenius idea and I'm so glad we went. Plus, it's in this little market with all women-run businesses, so I also had red velvet cake ice ceam (yes, as good as it sounds) and peach lip gloss.

Photo by Jewel:

Some other shots by Viviane of The Sex Carnival

Car closeup:

With Twanna at Waffle House:

Viviane's hash browns, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, peppered and capped (thanks to jbrotherlove for those yummy potoato details):

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dirty Girls party photos (aka, scroll down to the boob cake)

Piles of Dirty Girls

What can I say about the Dirty Girls book party? It was a lot of fun, though the start of it was rocky because I had a rough time prior to it, forgetting my cell phone and hitting traffic in the cab, unable to communicate with the friend I'd promised a ride,and having as close to a panic attack as I get. Anyone who saw me arrive knows I was pretty stricken, and I realized that I'm just not a book party, evnt planning kind of girl. I can fake it, sure, but no more. That will be the last book party for a long while; if Harpercollins wants to do somethnig for Bedding Down, (my winter-themed erotic novella anthology out in December) great, if not, whatever. It just hit me so hard that event planning and all the leadup promotion and preparation severely detracts from my duties as a writer/editor/human being. Like, do I really care if people think I run good events if that comes at the cost of writing? No. I know now I can do it, after 2+ years of In The Flesh. And I like parts of it, but I find that with cancelling authors, so many social networks and places to spread the word, and just too much else to do, something's gotta give. Writing is insanely stressful too, but it's still a calmer kind of stress. I am reliant on myself, and yes, I'm flaky and dumb, but at least I have control of my flakiness and dumbness. I have no real control over cab rides or who shows up or any of the vagaries of planning events.

And sure, you could say I could hire an assistant or get help with it or not stress over it so much, but I'm too much of a control freak to do that. So at least I can be safe in the knowledge that I only have to have those mini panic attacks for aslong as I'm running In The Flesh, which probably won't be after this year, though we'll see. (I am thrilled to announce that Sexography author Carly Milne (more on her and her RAINN fundraising campaign later) is starting In The Flesh LA, kicking off May 29th with me and famus porn star guests at Freddy and Eddy.) That being said, I had a fabulous time once it got started. THANK YOU to everyone who showed up. So many wonderful friends were in attendance - Heidi, Nichelle, Twanna A. Hines, Michael Malice, Christen Clifford, and others. I got to feed people cake which was awesome, and it was great to have a big cake, especially such a cool one, for once (no offense to my beloved cupcakes.

Sutra Lounge was an amazing, intimate, gorgeous venue, with a throne-like chair for us to sit on and drink specials and loveliness. Between 40 and 50 people showed up and listened raptly as I read along with Lillian Ann Slugocki, Suki Bishop, Tsaurah Litzky, and Sofia Quintero. Then I got to cut the boob cake from Moist and Tasty, which had thick fondant as the "skin" and yummy chocolate cake with a light layer of frosting beneath. I sold out all my copies of the book and we signed autographs, primped and posed for photographer Stacie Joy, and chattered away. At the very end of the night, Marie Lyn Bernard (who is reading at In The Flesh on Thursday along with Sofia Quintero) showed up. See my entire photo set here

Dirty Girls contributors
L to R: Lillian Ann Slugocki, Sofia Quintero, Suki Bishop, Rachel Kramer Bussel

Lillian Ann Slugocki read from "Trucky Stop Cinderella:"

Lillian Ann Slugocki reads "Truck Stop Cinderella"

Suki Bishop read from "Flight:"

Suki Bishop reads from "Flight" in Dirty Girls

Tsaurah Litzky read from "Lily:"

Tsaurah Liztky reads from Dirty Girls

Sofia Quintero read from "El Mar de Encanto:"

Sofia Quintero reads from Dirty Girls

The cake was amazing:

Touching the boob cake

My friend Tess was sporting amazing cleavage to match the cake:

Boob cake plus boobs

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Liz Funk: "Can we have sex without solipsism?"

Liz Funk on Lori Gottlieb's infamous "Marry Him!" article in The Atlantic and subsequent movie deal (that's in addition to the book deal):

Gottlieb’s success makes an interesting issue really stand out: can there be solipsism-free writing about sex and dating? Honestly, I think there are so many writers who focus on romance and sex and even gender issues who posit that the things that bother them and the issues they encounter apply to everyone. Gottlieb made it known that she conceived with a sperm donor because she couldn’t find someone to marry… but just because she should have settled doesn’t mean that everyone else should.

In fact, a week or so after Gottlieb’s article generated such a media firestorm, the blog PostSecret (link contains often graphic content) published a postcard with a picture of a prison on it that said “Marrying the wrong person is more like having a cellmate.” Lori Gottlieb had thousands of words to make her point, but that think that precise postcard was far more poignant.

Here's Breakup Girl on the matter:

Okay, now you settle down. The real issue with the piece is that according to Gottlieb, women who want to get married are … all women. If you say that’s not you, she says you’re in denial. “Take a good look in the mirror and try to convince yourself that you’re not worried, because you’ll see how silly your face looks when you’re being disingenuous,” she writes. (”I took Gottlieb’s advice, and my face does look silly. But that’s just because I’m making gagging faces and pantomiming a stabbing motion to my throat,” Broadsheet’s Sarah Hepola responded, adding, “Maybe I swallowed my panic and desperation. Though it tasted, for all the world, like a delicious cheese blintz.”)

There's been so much fallout from this article, one that seems intended to push people's, largely women's, buttons. At first, I too was horrified. But at the same time, Gottlieb has what I so desperately want: a child. I will be upfront and say I want a child in such a powerful way that I don't feel that same urgent desire for a relationship, which I also very much want, but not in quite the same way. The difference is, I can have a child on my own if I like; I can't will a relationship into existence.

I teeter between seeing Gottlieb's point and finding it infinitely sad. Of course people settle, but to so brazenly want to pursue the art of settling, to crave the lowest common denominator, seems like we then put ourselves down by saying that we are not enough on our own, and that instead of searching for an authentic match, any match will do. As AisleDash wrote:

Please tell me we're still fighting for the bastion of marriage based on true love and absolute friendship. Not simply the complacent truth that he's willing to puree peas and pull cheese-string bits out of the portable DVD-player, despite the fact that "you get a cold shiver down your spine" at the thought of embracing him.


Twanna is a bad influence on me (but I adore her)

Update tonight, but Sex 2.0, after many misadventures of the two stooges, aka me and Twanna, was amazing as was meeting so many wonderful people. Today it's off to Waffle House for breakfast and then Sweet Pockets for cupcake bingo and then writing and then airplane home. Also, I seem to have forgotten my camera (but found my passport!) so can't document our massive hotel room, but it's so big, for only $150, with a kitchen (!), couch, balcony, etc. I'm staying with early birds so we cannot lounge around as long as I'd like. Anyway, more on the conference later. It was fabulous and I'm so inspired, can't wait to teach Erotica 101 again on May 3rd in Minneapolis at Smitten Kitten. And I really hope some of the people taking my classes submit to my upcoming anthologies. I'd love to publish them.

The last time I'd drank alcohol was, I believe, February 12th, 2007, but somehow I wound up having a mango margarita at lunch yesterday. I blame Twanna! It was good and lots of fun, photo by the fabulous Tiffany Brown.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Perfect for The L Word/LOLCats fans: LOL-word

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yes, it's a bacon bra

It's by Brian Kusler on Flickr, reposted with permission (via TheFrisky) and is part of a Bacon photo pool on Flickr - the bacon bra was a Christmas present to Brian. This bacon-bra-about-to-be-devoured shot is one those who like Sarah Katherine Lewis's upcoming book Sex and Bacon should enjoy (that cover sadly does not feature bacon, which I'll add alongside Jennifer 8. Lee's The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, which has soy sauce on the cover, as an odd cover choice).

You want this book: Hillary Carlip's A La Cart

Some of you may know Hillary Carlip as the editor of the insanely good essay site Fresh Yarn or author of the memoir Queen of the Oddballs. Now, though, she has one of the most amazing photo books out I've ever seen. It's called A La Cart: The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers. It also makes an amazing gift, or inspiration if you write fiction (or nonfiction) because Hillary truly becomes these characters, not just through the use of a makeup artist, but through empathy, creativity, and imagination. From her introdoction: "On countless occasions I've been tempted to snatch lists right out of shoppers' hands--especially the woman at Whole Foods who was buying soy milk as she was breast-feeding her baby. But then it would lack teh mystery, the pleasure of getting to know these strangers, sight unseen, through their abandoned lists." The best part is that just when you think you've gotten to a favorite, you turn the page and there's another outrageous, stunning, hilarious or tender or WTF? or "I want to know them" moment. The photographs are by Barbara Green, and you can check out some related links here.

Also, for any writers out there: both of Hillary's book web sites are excellent models to follow, not necessarily to the letter, but they have everything you'd ever want to know about her or her books, in an easy-to-find find, fun layout. Probably because Hillary is also a web designer!

She's been collecting discarded shopping lists for a long time, and in the book, winds up impersonating all kinds of people. Please watch the trailer and an interview with her (in a grocery store!) from The Wall Street Journal. The book is truly stunning; she takes these relatively small lists and truly transforms herself into these characters (male and female), figuring out what makes them tick. It's creative, humorous, and will make you look at your neighbor's grocery cart in a whole new way.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dirty Girls NYC book party tonight!

I'm having a super fun, free book party tonight, April 10th, for my brand-new anthology with 27 HOT stories, Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, from 7 - 9 pm in NYC at Sutra Lounge, 16 First Avenue off First Street, Free

There will be boob cake to honor the nipple on the book's cover from Moist and Tasty, readings by me (Rachel Kramer Bussel) and contributors Tsaurah Litzky, Sofia Quintero, Lillian Ann Slugocki and Suki Bishop. Plus drink specials and books for sale!

See you there! If you can't make it, the book is available for sale on Amazon or directly from me, autographed, $14 including shipping (U.S.), email me for details.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Get naked for Time Out New York

There was totally a time I would've jumped at the chance to do this, but that time is not now. Instead, I am writing an article on extreme fetishes for them. But if you want to get naked and be ogled by millions of New Yorkers, here's your chance...

Time Out New York wants to feature everyday New Yorkers getting naked in an upcoming issue. If you've ever dreamed of taking it all off in a VERY public way, now's your chance. Aspiring models and Ron Jeremy wanna-bes need not apply: We want the real thing—bankers, zookeepers, MTA workers, you get the gist. Males and females. All races, shapes, sizes and styles welcome. How much you show is negotiable, and details will be sent upon entry. (Rest assured, the photography will be professional and the setup tasteful. Well, as tasteful as you want it to be.) Think you can bring sexy back? E-mail pics of yourself (naked or clothed) to DEADLINE ASAP.

How cute is Nichelle?

Omg, I am loving these aprons from Carolyn's Kitchen. I love that even though I'm rarely in the kitchen, I get my own apron. Maybe it'll inspire me to bake more!

My fellow cupcake blogger Nichelle

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Boob cookies

Sorry I have no time for blogging (or creative post titling) lately. That's just, uh, the way it is. But here are some links, and I am throwing a PARTY on Thursday where there will be BOOB cake from Moist and Tasty, who also made the boob cookies above. At Sutra Lounge, 16 First Avenue off First Street, Thursday, April 10, 7-9, FREE, 21+. And for those in/coming to Atlanta, come see a bunch of us talk at Sex 2.0.

The Hot Movies for Her 20 Questions interview - sounds easy, was actually kinda challenging

Joanna Angel interview at Heeb

The Village Voice hired Audacia Ray to edit their new sex blog Naked City - I believe they used to have another sex-related site - Gothamunderground? Gothamuncovered? I don't know if they still do, but I used to get a teeny bit of extra cash for my column. Anyway, check out her stuff, she's gonna be doing video blogging and all sorts of sexy goodness.

I am not really a Valleywag reader, not being anything of a techie, but two people I adore are writing for them and doing some really great stuff:

Melissa Gira, who write things like "How to blog about your sex life and not wind up on Valleywag" and "How to get laid using Twitter"

Jackson West, most of whose posts are a bit geekily over my head but I liked this one: "Assemblyman Charles Calderon wants to tax your Internet porn"

The Huffington Post is all about the non-monogamy (and you can hear Suzanne Portnoy in person next Thursday at In The Flesh):

Suzanne Portnoy: "Less Monogamy, More Fun"

Jenny Block on Huffington Post (her book Open is out June first, see her site for details)

Speaking of Seal Press, there's an interview with my Dirty Girls editor Brooke Warner at WOW! Women on Writing.

What I think is interesting is that of the 22 titles on her recent list, she said they have "two feminist titles." It's interesting wording to me because it goes back to something I've been thinking about with Dirty Girls and generally, being, what is feminism? Because Seal is indeed publishing books like Rebecca Woolf's Rockabye by women who ardently don't identify as feminists. But I do think if feminism is going to be relevant to a large number of people, we can't only think of things that are "officially" feminist as "feminist," if that makes sense. I love the books Seal puts out and am eagerly reading many of them, and I don't think Brooke necessarily meant that the rest of the list isn't feminist, but that's sortof how it came out.

You can also check out this Mediabistro interview I did with Brooke in 2006.