Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

More about Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories

Read my Do Not Disturb story "Hump Day" at Bastard Life

Do Not Disturb contributor interview with Thomas Roche

Do Not Disturb contributor interview with Gwen Masters

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Sex toy inspires Dacia's Love Machine

Today I finally got to catch most of (I was a little late - I blame the F train) my friend Audacia Ray's film Dacia's Love Machine at film festival CineKink. Below is the trailer; it's a fun movie about her trying to get rid of a sex toy she reviewed for Fleshbot. You can download it on her site (and only on her site) for just $2.99 here (so worth it!).

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Friday, February 27, 2009

My new glasses

I'm still getting used to them, but I like them. I may get a second pair just to have a spare. I wound up spending the bulk of a day without glasses and hardly able to see, and it was challenging but made sight all the more worth it when I got these (Ralph Lauren, from Lenscrafters). I've never had purple glasses before!

But I'm still lusting after these Bulgari ones: (they didn't have them in the store)


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Interview with The List author Gail Belsky

Remember when I said I was going to do weekly Q&As on this blog? Well, um, yeah. That didn't happen. So it'll be more of an occasional series. Here's one!

Find out more about at - here's an interview with The List author Gail Belsky.

The List cover

How did you get the idea for The List, and how did you go about choosing what to include?

The List began when I started feeling itchy to try something new. My kids were older and I had more time to think about me, and all the possibilities out there. And because I generally live vicariously through others, the idea of interviewing women who'd done the things in The List was really appealing!

Choosing the items on The List was hard at first; I didn't see how I was going to think of 100 adventures. But every time I thought of one in a particular category it opened the floodgates to other ideas.

Were there any shakeup list items that didn't make it into the book (that you can share) and if so, why didn't they make it in?

I didn't have any extra ideas floating around...I was just glad I made it to 99! But I bet if I went in reverse and asked women for their shakeups, there would be enough for a whole other book. Or two.

Who would you say is your intended audience? Did you receive responses from people outside that group that surprised you?

Since the book focuses on women between the ages of 40 and 60, that was my intended audience. I knew they were interested in breaking out and trying new things. But the surprise responses have come from men. I never thought this book would resonate with them, but more than a few have asked if I would write The List for Men. Apparently they want other ideas for mid-life shakeups besides buying a sports car or having an affair.

Which item do you wish you had the guts to do, but know you probably won't?

Oh, there's a bunch. Sky-diving would be number one, I guess, because I would have to overcome two fears: the fear of flying and the fear of dying. It's so scary, I can hardly think about it. Scuba diving is another one. I'm claustrophobic and afraid of water, and I know I'd panic the entire time. But if I could get over myself, I'm sure it would be extraordinary. And writing a novel. I would love to be able to do that, but I'm not sure I have it in me, so I'll probably avoid trying for a long time. Although that's all about fear of failing, which is much easier to overcome than a fear of falling out of the sky.

Which was your favorite to research?

Burning Man (#83) was fascinating to learn about. I'd heard about it before, but never really understood the scope of it. Just looking at pictures was an eyeopener (Google "cupcake cars at Burning Man" for a good idea).

Which one story was the most inspiring to you?

Jan St. John's story about sky-diving (#50). Her motivation hit home on so many levels. At 56, she decided she didn't want to be limited by her own fears and expectations. She wanted to be able to let go of her grown children (they went up with her, and she made them jump first) and confront her fear of flying. She wanted to do things differently than she always had, to push herself beyond her comfort zone, and to make her life bigger instead of smaller as she got older.

I, of course, especially enjoyed the sex-related challenges (Buy Yourself a Sex Toy, Go Commando, Go Topless, Have Nude Pictures Taken, Make a Sex Tape, Skinny Dip, Strip, Use Food as Foreplay, Watch Porn). Do you think there's a generation gap when it comes to some of these? It seems like for my generation and younger (I'm 33), most of these are things almost everyone has done.

I think there's definitely a generation gap—but often within the same woman. I went topless in my twenties and thirties, but not since. Same thing with skinny dipping and watching porn. I might have taken nude pictures then, but I wouldn't dare do it now. Why not? I'm older, wiser, and arguably more confident. Now's the time. In fact, if I could overlook the stretch marks and love handles, I bet the pictures would be a lot more interesting. The one thing in the book that I think is truly generational is getting a Brazilian Wax. I'm sure women in their 30's and younger don't think twice about it.

Along the same lines, your last book was the anthology Over the Hill and Between the Sheets, which you edited. Is there any connection between the two?

Only in the fact that they both explore the mid-life experience. But Over the Hill focuses on relationships, while The List is all about your own potential. It's about self discovery.

The List has a Facebook application where you can add things to your own list. What do you see as the connection between the Internet and social networking sites and The List?

They're both about community, and finding support, inspiration, and motivation. The more women you can connect with, the bigger a cheering squad you'll have.

What's the most important lesson you learned from working on the book?

Never say never.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Originally uploaded by
My first slice from Artichoke.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Julie Powell, Paula Derrow et al 2/24 at KGB Bar

I missed Ignite NYC tonight because I wasn't paying attention, and just found out about this, but I'm so going. Julie Powell's essay "Lost in Space" in Behind the Bedroom Door is a must-read for kinksters and if I don't get to republish it in Best Sex Writing 2010, I will cry.

You can also hear Paula Derrow, Pari Chang, and Anna Marrian read from Behind the Bedroom Door at the March 19th In The Flesh.

From KGB Nonfiction curator Kelly McMasters:

Tuesday February 24: KGB Tuesday Night Nonfiction offers you a belated
valentine with readings from the anthology BEHIND THE BEDROOM DOOR

KGB Tuesday Night Nonfiction
7-8:30pm, Free!
KGB Bar, 85 East 4th St
(btw Bowery and 2nd Ave)

BEHIND THE BEDROOM DOOR: Getting it, Giving it, Loving it, Missing it

Readers: ***Pari Chang, Stephanie Dolgoff, Julie Powell, Abby Sher,
Martha Southgate, and Betsy Stephens, along with editor Paula


What's Behind the Bedroom Door?

We may not admit it, but we're all curious about what goes on in other
people's bedrooms. After all, we live in a world saturated with sex,
which makes it tough not to wonder how we measure up—and even tougher
to talk about our experiences honestly. In this frank, poignant
collection, twenty-six acclaimed writers go Behind the Bedroom Door
and lay bare the messy, mind-blowing, often hilarious encounters that
make up a woman's sexual history. Telling the truth about sex—how we
like it, how often we get it, how it affects us—isn't easy. This
eye-opening anthology tells the truth about women's intimate lives,
shattering some deeply entrenched myths about what goes on in the
bedrooms of real women along the way. Find more information here:

And not about sex, but because I'm so jonesing to read Powell's new memoir Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, here's a video from YouTube of her visiting a butcher shop:

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Kristen Schaal and Rich Blomquist book deal

Fun fact: Christina Amini is also Susie Bright's editor at Chronicle.

From Publishers Marketplace:

Comedian and Flight of the Conchords star Kristen Schaal and boyfriend Daily Show writer Rich Blomquist's THE SEXY BOOK OF SEXY SEX, a book of sexual advice and history -- covering everything from orgies ("the more the hairier") to the latest slang ("Dirty Sanchez, Greasy Monocle, Clever Octopus") with passages of titillating erotica sprinkled throughout, to Christina Amini at Chronicle, in a pre-empt, for publication in fall 2010, by Daniel Greenberg at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (NA).

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I guess because of The Oscars or something, reprinted an old column I wrote for The Frisky about movie dates! No extra money (Turner Broadcasting Systems owns both CNN and The Frisky) but still very cool.

Also, Andrew Sullivan mentioned Best Sex Writing 2009 and Fleshbot ran the Do Not Disturb trailer. Twas a happy media day.

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Call for Submissions: Best Sex Writing 2010

Call for submissions: Best Sex Writing 2010
To be edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, selected by
guest judge author and therapist Esther Perel (author of Mating in Captivity)
Publication date: December 2009
Deadline for submissions: May 1, 2009

Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is looking for personal essays and reportage for inclusion in the 2010 edition of the Cleis Press series Best Sex Writing, which will hit stores in December 2009. Seeking articles from across the sexual spectrum, covering (in no particular order) alternative sexuality, reproductive rights and sexuality, sex education, sex and technology, sex work, sex and aging, sex and parenting, sex and religion, sex and race, sex and class, sex and disability, BDSM, polyamory, transgender issues, gender roles, etc. These topics are just starting points; any writings covering the topic of sex will be considered. Personal essays will also be considered. I like work that looks at sex in new and unusual ways (see Stacey D'Erasmo's "Silver-Balling" in Best Sex Writing 2009 for a prime example), that challenges us to think about sex and our own sexuality, is thought-provoking and possibly disturbing. I want sex journalism that's found in the most unexpected places and is as topical as possible. No fiction or poetry will be considered. No fiction or poetry will be considered.

Previous editions of the annual series have featured authors such as Brian Alexander, Violet Blue, Susannah Breslin, Susie Bright, Stephen Elliott, Gael Greene, Michael Musto, Scott Poulson-Bryant, Mary Roach, Tristan Taormino, Virginia Vitzhum, and others. See Best Sex Writing 2008 and 2009 for examples of the types of writing being sought (tables of contents at and I'm especially looking for reported pieces that are political, timely, intelligent, surprising, and insightful about sex in American culture (and its many subcultures). Think topics in the news such as Obama and sex, Nadya Suleman, abstinence education, breastfeeding etc., to give a few examples.

About the editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel ( is a prolific author and editor. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, hosts In The Flesh Reading Series and has edited or co-edited over a dozen erotica books, most recently Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, Tasting Him, Tasting Her, Spanked, as well as Best Sex Writing 2008 and Best Sex Writing 2009.

Requirements: Story must have been published (or slated to be published) between September 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009, online and/or in print (book, magazine, zine or newspaper) in the United States. No unpublished work; reprints only.

Instructions: Please send your double-spaced submission (up to 6,000 words) as a Word document or RTF attachment to bestsexwriting2010 at – you may submit a maximum of TWO pieces for consideration. You MUST include your full contact information, a bio, and previous publication details as per below.

If for some reason you are unable to send a Word document or RTF, send your submission in the body of an email. Put BSW2010 in the subject line. Include your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and exact publication details (title of publication, date of publication, and any other relevant information). ONLY SEND WORK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REPRINT.

Editors may submit up to three submissions from their publication, following the guidelines above. Please make it clear that you are the editor submitting work for consideration from your publication, and have the author's contact information available upon request.

Email address (for queries and submissions): bestsexwriting2010 at
Payment: $100
Deadline: May 1, 2009
Expect to hear back from me by October 2009 at the latest.

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Author interview with Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories contributor Amanda Earl

This is cross-posted with the Do Not Disturb blog.

This is the first in a series of author interviews with the contributors to Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories. Stay tuned for more!

How did you come up with the idea for your story “Welcome to the Aphrodisiac Hotel” in Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories?

I love hotel lobby bars; whenever I'm in one I always eavesdrop on conversations. I find it fascinating that they are meeting places for strangers, there for conferences or other gatherings.

Were you inspired by any particular hotels?

In Ottawa, there's a hotel downtown, which is part of the Westin Hotel chain and is attached to a large mall, the Rideau Centre and a conference centre. It has a great lobby bar with a fantastic view of a famous landmark hotel, the Chauteau Laurier.

Is there a part of a hotel that you think is the sexiest?

The lobby as in my story, but also the elevator. Lots of possibilities for play there, especially if you have a room on the top floor of a tall building.

What's been your favorite hotel experience (x-rated or not)?

I once had a threesome at the Westin with my husband and a man I'd met on line. We all fucked in the big bed. I sucked my husband's cock while the other guy did me doggy style. We had a view of the Canadian Parliament Buildings. It was both arousing and inspiring.

What do you think a hotel needs to make it a "sexy hotel?"

I hate to sound obsessive, but it needs a really good lobby bar for clandestine encounters and hook ups with strangers. The Ritz Carlton in Montreal has a very sexy lobby bar with good snacks and great martinis. It also has a tea room for more delicate assignations.

Is there a specific hotel you've stayed in which you recommend, and/or a hotel you want to stay in, and why?

Isn't there a hotel in New York that will send up sex toys to your room? That would be fun. I also recommend the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid New York. Some of the rooms that are not part of the main building have spiral staircases and fireplaces. Then after your wild sexual escapades you can go take a walk around the beautiful lake.

What's next for you?

In the spring, I have a story called "Ghost Swinger" coming out in the on line anthology Swing! put out by Logical Lust and edited by Jolie du Pre. Another story, "the Juice Extractors" will appear in the Ultimate Art of Erotica, 2009, published by Crystal Dreams. I believe that book will be out by the summer. I also blog over at my erotica blog:

And here's a little sneak peak at Amanda's story, "Welcome to the Aphrodisiac Hotel," which opens Do Not Disturb, but do be sure to get the book to read the whole thing.

I’ve always had a thing for hotel lobby bars. They act as a buffer between business and pleasure. Sometimes business is pleasure. I shiver with desire in the shadow of a group of bankers or politicians sipping their scotch, the scent of money and power folded into every crease of their navy blue suits. Do these men have mistresses or escorts waiting for them in their luxury suites? Maybe a bellboy will kneel for them after he takes their luggage up to their rooms, for a little money in his palm. Or perhaps basking in the afterglow of a strategic win is all they need, sitting in this bar, nursing their drinks. They never seem in any hurry to leave.

These establishments have their own sets of rules--check your morality at the door along with your suitcase. When you visit a hotel lobby bar, anything can happen. What I like about them is their illicitness, the fact that they are just steps away from elevators that carry clandestine lovers up to hotel beds where so many other people have fucked or cried or indulged in decadent room service dinners. Or maybe it’s their transitory nature…places where strangers pass in the night for one brief encounter that could change their lives forever--or at least for right now.

The woman sitting at the wrought iron and marble table for two near the window and sipping a dry martini with two olives is a sales rep, most likely for a pharmaceutical company. There are numerous drug sales reps in hotel lobby bars at any given moment.

I notice her the moment she walks in. I muse over whether she’s a blatant or merely accidental exhibitionist.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

"sexy babysitter, prom queen, and dominatrix"

I think this quote from by the talented Lillian Ann Slugocki (The Erotica Project, etc.) needs to go up on my website:

Rachel also curates a sexy, literate reading series, In the Flesh, at The Happy Ending Lounge on the Lower East Side. She's been doing this since October 2005. As someone who has attended as both author and patron, it is delicious fun. She's a great impresario; a combination of sexy babysitter, prom queen, and dominatrix. It's low key and intimate. Everyone is welcome.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

The moment you've all been waiting new book trailer!

Well, it's really the moment I've been waiting for! THANK YOU to everyone who appears in the trailer (not sure if I am supposed to name everyone, but I can publicly thank comedian Brandy Barber and writers/bloggers Audacia Ray and Twanna A. Hines) and also Stacie Joy for her photography. (If you were in the video and want to be named, just let me know!)

My director, who also did the Spanked trailer (which is now at almost 100,000 views on YouTube - take that, Vimeo!) and is always fabulous to work with, also deserves many, many thanks. Enjoy, and if you like it, please reblog and consider getting a copy of the book. Contributor Tess Danesi (of NSFW sex blog Urban Gypsy and I will read our stories on March 19th at In The Flesh Reading Series and we'll be showing the trailer on the big screen.

Read the introduction here and keep checking the Do Not Disturb blog for author interviews and more. Still working on booking a NYC book party, ideally in late March in a NYC hotel. Stay tuned on that score and for April's virtual book tour for Do Not Disturb and The Mile High Club.

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The Bookstore by Red Grooms

Quiet in Yonkers

It's calm, quiet and cold in Yonkers. Only 20 minutes from Grand
Central. Going to an art museum for the first real singles group I've
ever joined. Am tired of the very sad nonexistent dating life I have
so am trying to "get out there" in some small way. And see art.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My life in note form

At the Sex in America panel with seemingly every sex need in New York.
More later.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My new book is here!

I don't know about you, but e-books will never personally hold a candle for me to the experience of unpacking a box of my books. There is a sense of pride and ownership and hard work rewarded, of happiness and joy and accomplishment I so rarely feel. There's this object that I created out of my own imagination - yes, with the help of my authors (someday I will write a book by myself, though I may be 85 like my grandfather!). My point is, it feels amazing, to know that it actually exists. For reals. Yes, I edited two e-books and I know they are rising right now, and that's great. But for me it's not the same; you don't get an author copy, you don't really see the final product in the same way. I was thrilled to meet someone who was reading my book Yes, Sir on her Kindle yesterday though (see photos below). It's not that I'm a Luddite, even though in my mind I'm extremely tech unsavvy; things are constantly happening on my blogs that I don't know how to fix or even describe. It's frustrating but I can only do so much.

And Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories is now in stock on Amazon too! You can read the introduction here and very soon we'll be debuting the hot book trailer.

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2/19 (TONIGHT): The Biggest In The Flesh Ever

If you've never been to In The Flesh, or have and liked it (or even have and didn't like it), you SO don't want to miss tonight's extra-special massive lineup and special guests Susie Bright and Maxim Jakubowksi. We've also got 80 mini Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes, Ferrer Rocher chocolates, candy cane cookies, mini peanut butter cups, chips and giveaways galore (including sex toys)! We'll go from 7:30-10.

Questions: email me at rachelravenous at (fastest email to reach me)

See you tonight!

February 19th at 7:30 PM
(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

Susie Bright reads at In The Flesh 2/19

The legendary author, editor, activist and sexual provocateur Susie Bright joins us from Santa Cruz, California to celebrate her beautiful new hardcover anthology X: The Erotic Treasury (Chronicle Books), which includes a story set at In The Flesh which you will hear! Joining Susie will be contributors Paula Bomer, Ernie Conrick, Martha Garvey, Nicholas Kaufmann, Tsaurah Litzky, Marcelle Manhattan, Lisa Montanarelli, Chelsea Summers and host/curator Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Sex Writing 2008, Spanked). Special guest Maxim Jakubowski, editor of the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, also joins us from London. Note special start time (for February only): 7:30 pm. Doors open at 7. Arriving early is highly recommended. Books will be available for sale by Mobile Libris. There will be a Q&A with Susie and book signing after the reading.

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, Zane 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, New York Observer, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth.

Susie Bright is the editor of X: The Erotic Treasury as well as the author and editor of multiple best-sellers on the themes of sexual politics and erotic literature, including The Best American Erotica series, Full Exposure, and The Sexual State of the Union. She blogs on sex and politics every day at ad hosts the weekly audio show In Bed with Susie Bright at

Rachel Kramer Bussel is an author, editor, blogger and reading series host. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations and a former sex columnist for The Village Voice. She’s edited numerous anthologies, most recently Best Sex Writing 2009, Tasting Him, Tasting Her, and Spanked. Her writing been published in publications such as Clean Sheets, Cosmopolitan, Fresh Yarn, Huffington Post, Mediabistro, Newsday, New York Post, Penthouse, San Francisco Chronicle, Tango, and Time Out New York, and in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006. She has hosted In The Flesh since October 2005.

Paula Bomer is a writer from South Bend, Indiana who now lives in New York. Her fiction has appeared in Best American Erotica 2002 and 2003, Nerve, Open City, Fiction, The Mississippi Review, The First City Review, The New York Tyrant, juked, Storyglossia, Word Riot and elsewhere.

Ernie Conrick is the penname of Richard Connerney, a religions and philosophy scholar who recently returned from India as a Phillips Talbot Fellow studying the influence and impact of religion on Indian life and society. He is the former senior editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and the author of Safe in Heaven Dead. One of his previous erotic short stories, “The Queen of Exit 17,” was published in The Best American Erotica, and had the distinction of being Hunter S. Thompson’s favorite story from the series.

Martha Garvey’s fiction has been published in The Best American Erotica, Exhibitions, Glamour Girls, Strange Pleasures 3, Salon, Clean Sheets, Bust, and November 3rd. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times and Killing the Buddha. She is also the author of two pet health books, My Fat Dog and My Fat Cat.

Maxim Jakubowski is a writer and ex-publisher who lives in London. He edits and pens erotica, being responsible for The Mammoth Book of Erotica series and several novels and short story collections including recently American Casanova, Fools for Lust and Confessions of a Romantic Pornographer, and the Rome Noir anthology being published in the USA this week. In civilian life, he is better known for his crime and mystery books and runs London's annual TCM Crime Scene festival, as well as being a regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper. He has been known to frequent hotel rooms and has no website. Read into that what you will.

Nicholas Kaufmann is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of General Slocum's Gold and Walk in Shadows, and the editor of Jack Haringa Must Die!, a fundraising anthology benefiting the Shirley Jackson Awards. His short fiction has appeared in Cemetary Dance, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 3, City Slab, The Best American Erotica 2007, Playboy, X: The Erotic Treasury, and elsewhere. Nick lives in Brooklyn.

Tsaurah Litzky writes erotic fiction because she has a perpetual case of steamy stockings. She hopes her stories will steam your stockings, too. Tsaurah's erotica has appeared in over sixty-five publications including Best American Erotica eight times. Simon & Schuster published The Motion of the Ocean, Tsaurah's erotic novella as part of Three the Hard Way, a series of erotic novellas edited by Susie Bright. Her prize-winning course "Silk Sheets: Writing Erotica" is now in its eleventh year at the New School in Manhattan. She has recently completed a collection of short stories, End Of The World Sex.

Marcelle Manhattan launched the popular blog "Sexegesis" in 2007, combining sexuality with gender politics. She first appeared at In the Flesh as a spectator, and later as a reader with "Shaved," something of a hit on YouTube. Marcelle is currently on blogging hiatus while working on a novel version of her blog, and can also be seen bi-monthly at Bar On A with the comedy writers' troupe "Inner Monologues." She holds an M.A. in Literature but dropped out of her Ph.D. to write smut, among other things, in New York City.

Lisa Montanarelli's erotic fiction has appeared in Best American Erotica 2004, Best American Erotica 2005 and Whipped, among others. She has co-authored three nonfiction books, including The First Year – Hepatitis C: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, which she revised and updated in 2007. She also holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from U.C. Berkeley.

Finding herself uninspired to write her doctoral dissertation, Chelsea Summers began writing her award-winning blog ( in March 2005. Since then, her work has appeared in GQ, Penthouse, and Singular magazines in the United States and in Scarlet, a couple magazines in the UK, on a bunch of big websites, and in several erotic anthologies. Currently, Chelsea is working on a novel and a host of other projects. Chelsea lives and writes in glamorous New York City. She has gleefully abandoned the world of academia for the writing life.

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I'm in The New York Times

Okay, well, it's my book, Best Sex Writing 2009, and it's in the New York Times book blog Paper Cuts, but still, VERY exciting! They excerpt Daphne Merkin's piece "Penises I Have Known" - please check it out.

Speaking of this, stay tuned - in the next few days I'm going to post 10 Author Promotional Tips based on things I've learned/done/observed.

Read the introduction here

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I don't often cover pillows but...

At Jonathan Adler

Barbie bound

Barbie bound
Originally uploaded by
From last night at Babeland SoHo

Addition: One fabulous book, three covers

My friend Mary Pols just posted about her reaction to seeing the girlified British version of her memoir Accidentally on Purpose. I've been raving about Toni Jordan's excellent OCD-themed first novel Addition. Here are three version of the cover (top is the U.S. version) culled from her site.

Personally, I don't think the U.S. version does the book any favors or represents it very well. It makes it seem more chick lit-y than it is, and I say that as someone who likes chick lit. It's very intense in its look at mental illness, but is also about love and sex and family and relationships, but the protagonist's relationship with numbers and counting is the paramount one here. I like the toothbrushes best, but that's having read the book already.

Cover of Addition by Toni Jordan

Cover of Addition by Toni Jordan

Cover of Addition by Toni Jordan

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YourTango wants your fetishes

YourTango editor Nicole Perri asked me to pass this on. The pieces will be paid but you'll have to talk to Nicole about the specifics of that.

Call for submissions

Do you have a fetish? YourTango is looking for personal essays from people with sexual fixations on objects, ideas or body parts. We want to get inside your head and learn what you think and feel about your proclivity and how it affects your relationships.

Your preference can be common or unknown—cross-dressing, erotic asphyxiation, plushies, pony play, etc—all are welcome. You can be an intense fetishist—you need to incorporate your preference into every sex act in order to experience pleasure—or someone who enjoys the activity but doesn't require it for pleasure.

We're not looking for erotic writing or graphic descriptions of what goes on in your bedroom, although the essay will probably need an overview of how a particular preference works. Instead, we want to understand the psychology behind your desire.

Some questions to get you started:

When did you discover you had this preference? How did you begin to incorporate into your sex life? When did you first suggest it to a partner, and how did that person react? If you're single and dating, how do you introduce the idea to a new lover? If you're married or in a long-term relationship, how have you incorporated it into your sex life? Has the fetish ever caused disagreements or fights between you and a partner? Has it brought you closer to someone? What are your emotions surrounding your fetish? Would your love life be different if you didn't have this preference?

We also welcome pitches from fetish newbies or one-timers—you don't need to be a knowledgeable insider to tell an insightful, interesting story. Write about doing something you'd always thought about but had never tried, or the time a date asked you for a sex act you'd never heard of, or attempting a wacky idea with your partner just for the heck of it. Did you like it, or decide it wasn't for you? What did you think and feel before, during and after the act? How did you talk about it with your partner? Did it bring you closer together or further apart, or neither? Did you learn anything from the experience?

Send pitches to Nicole Perri, Thanks!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Me and Susie Bright at Babeland

Monday, February 16, 2009

Susie Bright and free cookies

Plus a giant basket of treats and Ferrer Rocher all for YOU free
Thursday at 7:30 at In The Flesh Reading Series. A sweet and sexy
feast (cupcakes too of course)!

Book lust: Room 23

Yes, I want it.

Room 23

From the publisher:

ROOM 23 depicts a year in the life of a private penthouse suite in a hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The year is 2008. The protagonists: Hollywood's characters and elite. The host: Diana Jenkins. The photographer: Deborah Anderson. The photographs glamorously unveil the story of what takes place behind these closed doors in provocative and intimate images.

some of the guests in ROOM 23 are:


James Blunt

Roberto Cavalli

George Clooney

Cindy Crawford

Minnie Driver

Dennis Hopper

Rachel Hunter

Sir Elton John

Kid Rock

Heidi Klum

Ray Liotta

Lindsay Lohan

Kelly Lynch

Tamara Mellon

Jonny Lee Miller


Tatjana Patitz

Christian Slater
Sharon Stone
Donald Sutherland
Cheryl Teigs
Tony Ward

and many more...

28 x 35,5 cm, 11 x 14 in.

384 pages hardcover with jacket

text in english german
french spanish italian

March 2009

Some of Diana Anderson's photos from the book:

from Room 23

from Room 23

From the Los Angeles Times:

A friend gave Jenkins a photo shoot with Anderson, who is well known in town for her erotic photography and whose work had given her an international reputation for classy sensuality. The two hit it off and decided that they had to do a project to benefit a cause that, as it turned out, they both had deep feelings about.

"Room 23" was the result. Anderson's concept was as simple, elegant and sexy as a good black dress -- a year in the life of an upscale hotel room.

Jenkins went to work providing the celebrities' contacts, and over the course of months Anderson worked out of a single suite at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills with a skeleton crew of assistants. It made for an intimate and unique perspective on these well-known personalities.

"There was a lot of personal interaction behind the lens," said Anderson, whose earlier work includes a book called "Paperthin," a contemporary take on 1930s-style Parisian erotica. " 'Room 23' allowed me the freedom to tell a story in vignettes."

The book will be unveiled tonight at an exclusive celebrity fundraiser at the very same Peninsula Hotel where the photos were taken.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Comfort food

Comfort food
Originally uploaded by
At a dumpling place. Garlic sauce is very good. Tried to go for mac n
cheese at S'MAC but was full. Trying to get some writing mojo going.
Wish me luck cause these days I do need it.

Thought my iPhone erased its camera; it just hid it.

The Playgirl van

How did I not know this existed? As seen at Havermeyer and 7th,
Williamsburg, Brooklyn. See my Flickr for a few more.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Jaws humor

Jaws humor
Originally uploaded by
Dedicated to Nichelle and Twanna, my fellow Jaws viewers last summer.

Kinky hot sauce

First ingredient is cayenne pepper. Hot and perfect. At California
Tortilla. Found some great-sounding Thai and Mexican places on Yelp
but am trying my best to avoid all things Valentine's Day. Will
definitely be back for museums and cupcake tasting, but will avoid
evil bus company. See my Tweets for that drama.

Head still full of heaviness and kinda achey but have had a fun time
in DC and glad I came. I need out of NYC at least once a month.

Art I like

Art I like
Originally uploaded by
"Two Models in a Window With Cast Iron Toys" by Philip Pearlstein

Half of Nam June Palik's Electronic Superhighway

Worth the hassle for sure

Big Hope

Big Hope
Originally uploaded by

Bus ride from hell

My 10:00 bus that left at 11:15 just got to DC close to 5. Will
describe bus he'll late; time for cupcakes!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Obama and Lincoln in 5,900 cupcakes

Click to see screenshots from Zilly Rosen's 5,900 cupcake art installation at the Smithsonian Art Museum - to be taken down tomorrow and eaten!

In case you missed these Spanked videos...

Out of all the books I've edited, Spanked is pretty much my favorite (for now, anyway). I'm so proud of the contents and the trailer and the response we've gotten to it, so for those who are also interested in spanking, I wanted to share some video content here.

The Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica book trailer (and my new book trailer for Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories debuts next week, when the book's out!). The readings are from, of course, In The Flesh Reading Series. One of my many goals for 2009 is to get a Best Of clips file made from In The Flesh; there's been some great stuff since we started taping. Obviously I want to wait until after Susie Bright appears for that! The introduction to Spanked is on the Spanked blog

M. David Hornbuckle reads from his Spanked story "Still Life with Infidels #56."

I read from my story "The Depths of Despair" (there's a way better audio version over at Nobilis Erotica read by Danielle A. Neslon if you want to hear the whole thing)

Madlyn March reads from her story "Reunion" part 1:

and part 2:

And the next spanking anthology, Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Erotica, hits bookstores in August! (The table of contents hasn't been finalized yet, but when it is, I'll share it.)

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My book recommendations video from Booksmith

How much do I love San Francisco indie bookstore Booksmith? They took me around their store and I blabbed about which books I love...and hate. And they wound up giving me the copy of Kemble Scott’s novel SoMa for free! Check it out, just in time for Valentine’s Day (a holiday I’m trying to remain as oblivious to as possible).

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On bromances and romantic friendships

Interesting perspectives, and so glad people are talking about the fact that, well, sex is not everything.

"Bromance: Drawing the lines of male relationships" by Stacie Foster, Daily Orange:

The real-life Joey and Chandler, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick of "Gossip Girl," are also forced to dodge rumors about their alleged homosexuality. The two share an apartment and are often seen together publicly, but they've also both been romantically linked to A-list celebrities (A-list women celebrities). In Chace's case, he's dated country superstar Carrie Underwood, and Ed's been spotted kissing both Drew Barrymore and co-star Jessica Zhor. Obviously, Chace and Ed share a bromance, not a romance. Try to tell that to the media, though.

My question is, why haven't Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox Arquette or Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini drawn the same criticism? It's not fair to question the pay disparity between actors and actresses, like many have, and ignore the social disparities.

I say kudos to Brody Jenner for trying to set the stereotype straight. Bromances aren't morally wrong, and they certainly aren't innately homosexual. Jenner may not be the most insightful Hollywood celebrity, and "Bromance" may be more about a paycheck than changing American culture, but Brody still made the leap. I respect him for that.

"Lustless love affairs: Girl crushes, bromance and other unsexy relationships" by Kate Carraway in Eye Weekly:

Romantic friendships require all of the focused care of a traditional romance, and related kinds of co-dependent intimacy and intensity. In a social context where fewer people get married, or get married young, and where more lose their relationship to divorce at some predictable point, the resulting emotional void demands the building and maintenance of magical pal-doms. I have maybe five romantic friendships among my first string. With them, my phone voice changes. They play with my hair. We are in love. Romantic friendships aren’t the same thing as regular, close friendships: my best ladyfriend and I aren’t at all romantic. We make fun of stuff on YouTube, play tennis and say goodbye by bumping fists, as detached and harmonious as adolescent next-door neighbours. My solid friendship with an ex-with-benefits isn’t romantic either, owing to our extreme competitiveness, mostly about our respective Jeopardy! prowess and the ongoing question of whether journalism or engineering is harder.

The collective, dreary absorption in getting laid means that the richness and radness of no-fucking friend-romances are usually undervalued, especially those between women. Girl crushes are often understood as precursors to lezzie stuff, even though most straight ladies grew up amid a close set of shrill, clutching girlfriends fed by a dramatic romance unfamiliar to most straight adult couples. Devotion to women-friends is a whole other thing when it’s felt by girls putting off babies and baby-daddies for a while longer. Although it’s sometimes maligned for its frattishness, bromance has of late gotten some kind of cred and been personified by reality douchemaster Brody Jenner, whose MTV show (yeah, Bromance) has men competing for his bud-ship. Outing man-love as a cool and appropriate thing is great, but I like bromance better when it’s about one unthreatened guy friend ironing the other one’s button-downs, just because, rather than glorifying wing-men.

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Yes, Lucky Charms soft serve ice cream is as delicious as it sounds

Lucky Charms soft serve ice cream, Momofuku Milk Bar

Unfortunately, my photo doesn't bring out the green color quite enough, but nonetheless, the new soft serve cereal flavors at Momofuku Milk Bar are amazing. Well, I didn't try them all (Cap'n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles and cereal milk infused with Corn Flakes) but I did taste Cap'n Crunch and ate most of this Lucky Charms one ($4).

I didn't finish it because it was so rich, I didn't need to. What I've always loved about Lucky Charms is the combination of sweet and salty. I usually eat the marshmallows or the cereal bits, one at a time. In this ice cream, they're all mashed together into luxurious very creamy ice cream, and you get a taste of Lucky Charms you don't even get when you let it soak forever in milk. The Cap'n Crunch was good but I doubt I could get through too much of it; if you love Cap'n Crunch, though, obviously try that. You can also get these cereals, and other treats like charred marshmallows, as toppings, so yes, you could get Fruity Pebbles soft serve...with Fruity Pebbles on top.

Plus, they served it with a spork - that made me smile!


It's quite the scene there, whether on a weekend afternoon or rainy New York night, even just before closing at midnight (that's when I went on Wednesday, the first day they were serving these cereal soft serve flavors - Fruity Pebbles was sold out). It's entertaining to people watch and eavesdrop as customers marvel over the crazy creations. Next time I go with someone, I want to try a gigantic (they only seem to do cake slices in gigantic) slice of their banana cake, which looked amazing. I think this photo below is of a different cake, but that gives you a sense of the magnitude; unless you're super super hungry, best to share.

Cake at Momofuku Milk Bar

Of their soft serve, Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch and Serious Eats (and my SXSW foodblogging panel March 17th!) said:

"When I eat this (the salty pistachio soft serve) I feel like I'm cheating on my wife."--SE: NY's Zach Brooks, considering how much trouble he was going to be in when his wife found out he went to the Momofuku Bakery friends and family soft opening without her.

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Making money off Madoff

We knew this was coming, right?

From Publishers Marketplace:

Author and former Self editor Alexandra Penney's book, based on her blog as the Bag Lady at The Daily Beast about learning to live without all the money she lost in the Bernie Madoff fraud, to Ellen Archer at Voice, by Ed Victor at Ed Victor Ltd..

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March 19th In The Flesh lineup

And of course don't miss Susie Bright on February 19th, 7:30 pm start time!

And April 16th's Virgin Night is also going to be awesome! Lineup TK.

March 19th at 8:00 PM
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue,
Admission: Free, 21+
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

March brings an eclectic mix of true sex stories, erotic romance, hotel sex, a graphic novelist and a former Jehovah’s Witness to In The Flesh! Featuring Paula Derrow, editor of the anthology Behind the Bedroom Door, along with contributors Anna Marrian and Pari Chang, graphic novelist Koren Shadmi, author of the fabulously titled In The Flesh, memoirist and former Jehovah’s Witness Kyria Abrahams (I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed), first-time novelist Victoria Janssen (The Duchess, Her Maid, the Groom and Their Lover) and Tess Danesi and In The Flesh host/curator Rachel Kramer Bussel reading from Rachel’s latest anthology Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories. The Do Not Disturb book trailer will also be shown. Mobile Libris will be selling copies of the authors’ books. 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, Susie Bright, 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, Zane 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, New York Observer, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth.

You'll be hearing from these books:

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sarah Palin Erotica site outlasts its 15 minutes of fame

Just like its namesake!

They're doing a Daily Palin segment at Washington City Paper's sex blog, oddly called The Sexist. So if you want your Palin fix, bookmark them.

I've just gotta love the press my little site got on such a smidgen of content and a good idea that I'd have fleshed out more if given more time and different circumstances. Still, it was fun. I had good instincts and still adore the stories there. From a very odd moment in our political history, one I'm oh-so-glad we left behind.

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My name in Publishers Weekly, and Mistress Matisse is not a feminist

This is kindof a "I never thought it would happen to me..." story because Publishers Weekly has never reviewed any of my books. I had thought with Dirty Girls, my first book with pre-publication galleys, they would, but they didn't. Guess if that's what I want I've gotta stop with the erotica. Am I bitter? Okay, a little. I hate that erotica, and books by small presses, are so marginalized.

I wish mine sold better, and I wish certain megachain bookstores had erotica sections. I wish a lot of things but can't change them in any way, except as to making decisions about what type of stuff I publish. For now, all I know how to do is erotica, but I do want to branch out, while keeping editing books (and keeping learning how to properly promote and market them). I feel like with every book, it's a huge opportunity to learn how to do it right, do it better, learn what money is well-spent, and what isn't. So I'm in the process of figuring all that out, and seeing where it takes me.

Anyway, Yes Means Yes has not only sold out of its first printing (10,000 copies!!!!) in like 2 months, but just got a starred review in PW. Congratulations Jessica and Jaclyn. There's at least one piece in there on my shortlist for Best Sex Writing 2010. It's really a coup for these editors, but I was happy to see my piece get a mention.

Here's the review (via Jaclyn Friedman's email):

Yes Means Yes! : Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape
Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti. Seal, $15.95 (256p) ISBN 9781580052573
Activists and writers Friedman and Valenti (
He's a Stud, She's a Slut) deliver an extraordinary essay compilation focusing on the struggle to stop rape in the U.S. and the importance of sexual identity and ownership. Early on, Thomas MacAulay Millar and Rachel Kramer Bussel explain how the "no means no" concept (sexual consent equals the absence of no) must be rejected in favor of a "yes means yes" mentality: the idea that consent means affirmative participation in the act itself, a broader definition that better protects women while encouraging power over—not fear of—personal sexual identity. Other topics include body image and self-esteem issues as well as incest, the dangers faced by female immigrants and the public perception of rape; in "Trial by Media," Samhita Mukhopadhyay looks at the Duke Lacrosse rape case and finds the media acting in the tradition of slavery by commodifying the young, female African-American body. Though surprisingly entertaining throughout, with no shortage of wit or humor, unexpected topics (Friedman on enjoying sex, transsexual writer Julia Serano on the mixed cultural messages that lead "nice guys" to sexual aggression) keep the book dynamic. Sure to empower and inform, this is an important and inspiring read for assault survivors, educators, activists, experts and those on a path to self discovery. (Starred)

I was intrigued by Mistress Morgana's post about her not being a feminist, and thankful for it. It reminded me to live up to what I believe in, which is to be as broad-minded as possible. I hate the idea of only writing "to" or "for" others who identify as feminist, and I think it's obnoxious, condescending and disturbing to assume that other people, especially women, somehow, in some essentialist way "are" feminists just because they...[insert supposedly feminist action or belief]

I quoted Mistress Matisse because her column said what I was trying to say, but so much more eloquently. Here's part of her post:

People ask me, "Are you a feminist?" And I usually say something like, "Do you think I am?"

Sometimes they say, "Oh yes, definitely!"

And I smile and say "All right then, I am."

Sometimes they say "No! Women like you are antithetical to feminism."

And I shrug and say, "Then we don't have anything else to talk about, do we?"

It's a way of identifying and can't be placed onto someone. Also, um, news flash: feminists and non-feminists can, and often do, agree on lots of things. A super simplistic way of saying it from my addled almost-flu-ed out mind, but I wanted to say it. I would never want to be thought of as foisting my views on anyone else and honestly don't really care whether any given person identifies as a feminist. I think sometimes so much wasted time and effort is spent trying to get people to simply say the word, rather than focusing on what we do agree on. I need to reread my copy of Paula Kamen's excellent book Feminist Fatale for more on that.

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