Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Article on me, porn and feminism in East Bay Express

Rachel Swan wrote a fabulous piece in the East Bay Express about me, Best Sex Writing 2009, and my anti-porn Berkeley days and plugged Friday's Berkeley Good Vibrations reading with me, Mary Roach, Violet Blue, Mistress Morgana Maye and Tracy Clark-Flory (FREE at 6:30-7:30, Good Vibrations, 2504 San Pablo Avenue at Dwight Way, Berkeley, CA). Though just fyi, I was at Comix in the hallway so the reception might've been bad - I said "Chippendales" and it came out "Chip and Dale" which cracks me up. But I love it, and they used Stacie Joy's new photo of me in bed with champagne.

Once upon a time as a very young and looking-back-on-it ridiculous student at Cal, I sent little restaurant reviews, I think, in to the East Bay Express. And that's where Gina Arnold got her start, right? I'm so looking forward to revisiting my old Berkeley haunts (is Yogurt Park there anymore?). But mostly to the readings and hanging out with Rachel Sarah and Mary Pols.

Crossing my fingers that the paper that rejected me as a columnist my senior year, The Daily Californian, (which started one of the first college sex columns, "Sex on Tuesday") will somehow cover this. But even if they don't, my pal Jon Friedman, whose book Rejected came out today (read my interview with him at the Huffington Post), will support me in seeing the bright side of rejection, I'm sure.

Bussel's transformation reflects a larger paradigm shift in feminism and pornography. Once the domain of prudish, anti-smut crusaders like Andrea Dworkin, the feminist movement has given way to a generation raised with Good Vibrations and Internet porn. Yesterday's forms of exploitation are now considered hip and progressive — a woman who lands a strip club gig to put herself through college now gets approval from her feminist peers, rather than the cold shoulder. "I think to some degree there's a generation divide," said Bussel. "My mother doesn't like the fact that I write erotica or work for a porn magazine. I don't think my generation thinks everything going on in the porn industry is awesome, but we're much more open about it, and more cognizant of people our age who are making porn. We see it more as an issue of, 'If you don't like it, make your own.'"

As a result, porn has become a new realm for feminism. These days women write all the sex columns for college newspapers; they post naked pictures on the Suicide Girls web site; they gab freely and openly about cybersex, orgasms, spitting and swallowing. In fact, they dominate a lot of the public discourse about sex. A quick glance at the sex-writing industry shows that a substantial niche has been
Sex in the City-fied, and rendered into a virtual matriarchy.

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