Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prove your love of cupcakes tomorrow on Twitter!

Join @cupcakeblog in our (okay, it's really my) quest to make #cupcakes a trending topic! As always, get your daily cupcake fix at Cupcakes Take the Cake. And don't hold my bad grammar against me - I meant "Get your Tweeting fingers" but my mind's been a little distracted.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"My Favorite Sexual Outlaws" in Best Sex Writing 2010

To say the process of wrapping up the contents of Best Sex Writing 2010 (available for pre-order now!) is a relief would be way too huge of an understatement, so I won't go there. We're launching very soon, and I had a brainstorm this weekend about busting out my flipcam and doing a very DIY, in-my-budget (aka FREE) book trailer and just getting some behind-the-scenes info. For now, though, I am just hoping this book does better than the previous years so I can justify keeping working on it because it's my favorite out of everything. Editing erotica is fun but...when you've been doing so much of it, it can get a little tedious. Plus I'm just naturally geared more toward nonfiction, but I also know that I can't go where my heart leads me, but where book buyers lead me.

So, you know, shoutout to the universe that I hope people recognize the genius in this book. Since I've been editing the series, I've published the likes of Gael Greene, Michael Musto, Tristan Taormino, Violet Blue, Mary Roach and others, and it's been a huge honor. Now it's time for sales to pick up already because it's too much of a shame to see these books go unread.

Okay, off my sad royalty statement soapbox and onto the good stuff...we will have review copies in December and if you are a long lead publication, we can get you a PDF, just drop me a line (rachel at doesn't work yet so use whatever address you have for me or rachelkramerbussel at - I'm really hoping to do a big push on this one). I'd love to see those interested in BDSM, non-monogamy, race, moms (there are two mom-specific pieces, Diana Joseph's and Rachel Sarah's - maybe next year I can get some dads to fess up about sex??), sexual orientation, safer sex, sex worker - aka, all the topics covered here - really get behind this book and explore it/review it/spread the word. And when the new site launches I'll have guidelines up about next year's edition; we're going more for stellar personal essays like Mollena Williams' and Michelle Perrot's and Kirk Read's going forward. Plus readings! Definitely New York, San Francisco and Minneapolis, other cities if I have any potential readers there and can swing the time.

I can't wait to get my camera out and start filming the New Yorkers like Betty Dodson and John DeVore, if I get their permission, and, say, Diana Joseph while she's in New York, and whoever else I can find. I'm aware that I'm probably more enthusiastic than the reality actually calls for, but fuck it - that's been my MO from the start and I can't turn back now. I know nothing, literally, about making videos, but for this one, I'll learn. Am hoping I have the cash/time to make a real video, burlesque-sexy-style, for Peep Show, which comes out just in time for my birthday, but all that is just icing on the cupcake, as it were, first I need to get my ass in gear and actually finish the three anthologies I'm scrambling to turn in. Then I can be all video crazy.

Introduction: My Favorite Sexual Outlaws by Rachel Kramer Bussel

The Girl Who Only Sometimes Said No Diana Joseph
Secrets of the Phallus: Why is the Penis Shaped Like That? Jesse Bering
The Vagina Dialogues Johanna Gohmann
Sex Laws That Can Really Screw You Ellen Friedrichs
What Really Turns Men On John DeVore
It’s a Shame About Ray by Kirk Read
BDSM and Playing with Race Mollena Williams
Remembering Pubic Hair Paul Krassner
Sexual Outlaw Betty Dodson
Go Thin or Bust: How Berkeley’s Mayer Laboratories won the battle of the thin condoms Rachel Swan
‘Sex Surrogates’ put personal touch on therapy Brian Alexander
What’s The Matter With Teen Sexting? Judith Levine
The Anatomy of An Affair Michelle Perrot
The Portal Janet Hardy
Bite Me! (Or Don’t) Christine Seifert
Hot. Digital. Sexual. Underground. David Black
Loving Lesbians by William Georgiades
Lust and Lechery in Eight Pages: The Story of the Tijuana Bibles Chris Hall
The Trouble With Safe Sex Seth Michael Donsky
Piece of Ass Monica Shores
The Future of Sex Ed Violet Blue
A Cunning Linguist John Thursday
SWL(actating) F Seeks Sex With No Strings Attached Rachel Sarah
Toward a Performance Model of Sex Thomas MacAulay Millar
The Client Voyeur debauchette

Best Sex Writing 2010 Introduction: "My Favorite Sexual Outlaws"

If there is a theme to this year’s anthology, I’d like to think it’s one of being a sexual outlaw, echoing the title of Betty Dodson’s essay. Because it’s the outlaws who, I’d like to think, are getting the most out of sex. That’s not to say that we should all be off having unconventional sex for the sake of being an outlaw, but rather that instead of listening to and blindly adhering to the conventional wisdom about sex, we need to create our own.

We see this theme in the pieces here about sex work, which defy the “sex worker as victim” trope to evoke new ideas about sex work and the people who engage in it as well as those who purchase sex. In “It’s a Shame About Ray,” Kirk Read is actually the one left wanting, when his client, Ray, knows exactly what he wants, and gets it. Read is left a bit wistful, wishing Ray had occupied him for a full evening rather than a mere two hours. In many ways, debauchette experiences the same thing when she’s hired by a voyeur. “The intensity reminded me what it felt like to want, and not have. He hadn’t touched me, but in all the silence and focused attention, I’d slowly let go of my resistance, transformed from defensive affectation to open, raw lust,” she writes.

John DeVore, one of the few straight men writing a regular sex column (for, challenges his fellow males to fess up to not necessarily lusting after Megan Fox—or at least, not exclusively lusting after Megan Fox. Paul Krassner takes us back in time to an era when Brazilian bikini waxes weren’t the norm, lamenting the loss of pubic hair. For William Georgiades, stepping out of the straight male norm and into Northampton, Massachusetts, where “I soon found that the only people who were making sense to me were the die-hard gay grrrls.” He navigates the tension between being a straight man, a breeder, and falling for women who sometimes, maybe, wanted him, in “Loving Lesbians,” one of several essays here that defy our need to put labels neatly around sexuality. (Betty Dodson says it much more emphatically, giving herself this advice when it came to the dreaded “S/M” label: “Embrace the label to destroy its power over you.”)

One of the most cherished tropes about sex is that monogamy, and marriage, are what will make us happy. That the two are intertwined is a given even in an era when acts like BDSM and alternative sexualities are more accepted. That’s why a piece like “The Anatomy of an Affair” by Michelle Perrot (a pseudonym) is so powerful. She’s claiming her marriage and her sexual autonomy, stating:

I don’t want 1950s-style advice about “date nights” and lingerie and role-playing. I don’t want to “spice up my marriage.” I want rough sex. Dirty, spit in his mouth sex. Wet, disgusting, nasty talk about pussies and cum and fuck-me sex. The kind of hate fucking where afterward you can’t move. And the bottom line is that I don’t want that kind of sex with my husband, this man I love.

Each of these authors has inspired me to think about sex in a new way, to not accept the norms, whether it’s Diana Joseph defending her slutty self to both herself and her son, Judith Levine reassuring us that sexting is not the evil of teenage life it’s thought to be, or Rachel Sarah weighing in on the erotic allure of breastfeeding. Noted sex and tech expert Violet Blue schools us on where our country needs to go if our sex education is truly going to serve the people it needs to, while Jesse Bering giving us a science lesson all about cock (okay, he calls it the phallus or the penis, but cock is my personal favorite word for that particular body part).

Some of the pieces here may unnerve you: Mollena Williams’s extended meditation on “BDSM and Playing with Race” is thoughtful, honest, brave and at times, disturbing. I’ve included it because this is one of the most taboo topics, along with the realities of safer sex that Seth Michael Donsky uncovers. Williams calls humiliation a “delicate balancing act,” and while the specific type of race-based play she’s talking about takes that to an extreme, I think sex itself, and sexual fantasy, are so often very delicate balancing acts where we are trying to make sense of the insensible, or perhaps, the opposite, letting ourselves lose our senses only to find something that defies logic, sense, smarts, and instead stems from the body. “For me, humiliation is a broad-brush full-bore way for me to feel the worst of how I feel about myself, give it away to someone, and have them hold it. Once someone else holds it up for me, mirrors it back, shows me the depth of my own feelings, my self-deprecation, I can see it for what it is,” writes Williams.

Each of these writers brings a powerful way of looking at sex to this book. I’d love to hear what you think and welcome your suggestions for future editions of Best Sex Writing—feel free to contact me at and read more about the series and my guidelines at

I’d also like to add that some people have commented that the erotic covers on these books trick people into thinking there will be more arousing material than what’s actually inside. To me, though, as an ultimate voyeur, reading about other people’s turn-ons, unearthing their sexual secrets, seeing how the other halves live, is not just educational or entertainment. It enhances my sex life because it leads me to new possibilities. These authors, the smart, daring, provocative sexual outlaws, have taught me about biology, nonmonogamy, cybersex, and so much more. I hope these essays and articles speak to your brain, as well as other organs, and at the very least, clue you in that sex is a lot bigger, broader and more complicated than you ever expected.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

in NYC

This whole Vineyard fiasco is a sign of many things, but one of them is that I was right to stop posting on this ludicrous blog, because then there is the need for constant updates. Try the Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook for all that if you must. Long story short, all signs pointed to this not being a good weekend for me to go away so I'm home trying to take care of errands and enjoying the quiet of not having anyone expect me anywhere and to finish a book that is so overdue it's not even funny. Lots of work to bang out in the next few weeks but am taking things one day at at time. Proud of myself for making, for once, a healthy decision. Gotta remember why I loved Hugh MacLeod's book Ignore Everybody so much - certainly, I could stand to ignore people who make me feel like I'm an awful person. I do enough of that myself.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy weekend photo post

I'm not really back blogging here, I don't think, but I hate leaving on such a bitter note. I actually now feel good about the weekend, hurricane possibilities and all. I get to hang with my little cousin, see my family, chill at the beach, do some Vineyardy things.

So here are some things that do make me happy - this has been a stressful week but ending on an up note. Working on some exciting stories and bigger projects too and trying to turn in anthologies so I can work on new ones. Also went to the gym 5 times today and pre-bought 24 personal training sessions (2 half hour ones/week). I'm reading this light but fun mystery Killer Workout and there are little tips in there and one of them was that even if you can just find 10 minutes a day, do that. So I'm carving out time when I can. Plus I have friends coming in front out of town and other plans to look forward to, just have to be patient and try to not be so stressed out.

Onto the photos:

In Chinatown outside the J/M/Z train there was a cart selling tofu and it was delicious! And only $1. I thought it would be all crispy and tough but it was light and tender and had hot sauce on it (that was optional). I even got another.

Tofu from a street cart = yum!

My local deli makes this amazing kale/shitake mushroom salad that whenever they have it I get a giant container. I go there pretty much every day because I'm actually pretty boring with my food - I get 2 eggs on whole wheat in the morning and usually just eat the eggs. Anyway, when they have this, it makes my mouth very happy:

Kalte shitake mushroom salad

I went to Veneiro's the other night to chat about books with Julie Klausner, whose memoir I Don't Care About Your Band comes out in January (and who reads at In The Flesh February 18th). She seemed shocked that I'd only been there maybe once or twice. They key lime tart was very, very tart. I ate maybe half of it. The crust was thick enough to help ease the tartness. And I like tart, but a little went a long way.

Veneiro's key lime tart

Thank you to whoever sent me this $100 bill in the mail. That pays for 1/10 of my training sessions. I really appreciate it, even though it feels very strange.

In my post office box

I saw this on the W train and felt like there had to be a story there:

As seen on the W train

Me and my grandmother. I think this was taken at my cousin's baby shower and the "baby" is going to be 4 in November, so...

I love her, I really do, even when she's being crazy to me. She's a wonderful grandmother and I understand the impulse.

with my grandmother

Labels: , , ,

They will never forgive you/so you may as well not try

"Cry Like an Angel"

S. Colvin - J. Leventhal

The streets of my town are not
what they were
They are haloed in anger, bitter
and hurt
And it's not so you'd notice but
it's a sinister thing
Like the wheels of ambition at
the christening

So I went out walking on the
streets of the dead
With a chip on my shoulder
And a voice in my head
It said you have been brought here
Though you don't know what for
Well the mystery train is coming
right to your door

And I hear you calling, you
don't have to call so loud
I see you falling and you don't
have to walk so proud
You can run all night but we
can take you where
You can cry like an angel

I don’t have the time or really the inclination to belabor the reasons I am now dreading spending time on Martha’s Vineyard this weekend with my family, but suffice it to say, yesterday was rough. I know I’m not “supposed to care what other people think of me,” but yes, I’m weak, I do. And to know that I am always going to be a giant failure in the eyes of some family members no matter what I do is painful, especially when it’s screamed into the phone at me. I get it – I’m fat, unmarried, babyless law school dropout. Trust me, I know ALL of those things and the only one I don’t give a shit about is the marriage thing. Not my deal. But the rest – and lest you think I’m exaggerating, she didn’t use those exact words but pretty much said all those things to me last year – I soooo get it. Beyond get it. I live that every day and just make my peace with doing things one day at a time .With acknowledging when I fuck up and trying the best I can. But do I want to hear people asking about my relationship status? My apartment? My fill in the thing I’m failing at now? Or why I can’t take a day off (but I could if I really wanted to)? Not on your life. But I will, in part cause it’s horrendously hot and muggy in New York, and because I want the next two weekends for me. They are mine and I’ve earned them.

My grandmother is an amazing person. I’m the first to tell anyone that. She’s 86 but you’d never know it. She saw the Beatles in concert. She dyed my hair purple. She is wonderful and loving and awesome, and yet, I just can’t handle the toxic pressure she and other people in my family put on me. I get it – I’m a horrible person for not spending my summer on Martha’s Vineyard. So fuck it – I’m a horrible person. End of story. Yesterday I let that totally get in my way and I have way too much to do to let the guilt of all that ruin me. I will do what I can. It’s the Fair this weekend, an event I always looked forward to as a kid – ferris wheel, rides, gross but fun food, and my little cousin will be there. If I could do 15 hours in Minneapolis, I can do 24 hours on Martha’s Vineyard.

I am wondering, though, if the Martha's Vineyard Gazette needs a copy editor - from their website yesterday:

I put the first video, Shawn Colvin singing "Cry Like an Angel," because that lyric in my subject line is what I first thought of when dealing with all this family bullshit.

I will never forget listening to this complication CD, I think it was Safe & Sound. I think it was 1998. There was this breathless, wispy voice singing this song, “Polaroids.” I didn’t now who she was, what the song was about, anything, but that song changed my life. Not the course of it, perhaps, but I must’ve listened to Mary Lou Lord sing “Polaroids” hundreds of times then launched a full-scale investigation into who this woman was. I learned a lot. I learned she loves broccoli. I learned about Kill Rock Stars. I learned about Kurt Cobain. I learned about Lester Bangs. I learned about being an artist, about taking the beauty you admire in one artist, a pure admiration, and creating art out of it.

Hearing that first song, when I was stuck in the least artistic environment possible, touched something in me and I never want to forget that. Because I wouldn’t know Shawn Colvin or Elliott Smith or so many other artists if it weren’t for Mary Lou. I still don’t totally know what “Polaroids” means, but I don’t have to, because I could still listen to it forever. And that's what I'm gonna try to think about rather than letting my family's obnoxiousness spill into my head and take it over.

And one last quote from the brilliant Ms. Colvin: "May we all find salvation/In professions that heal." I remember Mary Lou quoted that in her liner notes and I also think about it quite often.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We interrupt this blog hiatus to pimp a book

Or flog one. Or spank one. Anyway, I am needing time off from blogging here to write but had to share this.

Graydancer did a great job of reviewing my anthology Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories in 3:22. Not just because he said flattering things about it, though I am touched what he said, but this format is so personable and easygoing and I feel like it has way more of an impact on a potential reader than a few lines amidst many. I'm inspired to bust out my flip cam - also allows you to read out loud the passages you love. I sense a book vlog coming on!

Graydancer praised the story "Ass Worship" by Jerry Arthur and that touched me a lot because...I wrote it. I write under various pseudonyms for various reasons, this one's a new one, but the review made me realize one added bonus: if someone praises your pseduonymous story, you know they really like it. Thank you, Gray, for not only such a thoughtful review but inspiring me as to the possibilities of video reviews. And for the record - I sent Gray a copy of the book, the same way I do promotions with all my books, mostly on Twitter, giving away free copies to those who promise to review them on Amazon.

Ass Worship
by Jerry Arthur

Ass Worship, $2,000

That’s what the tag read on the photo staring down at us from the wall, the one of a formerly pale-white, decidedly female bottom now blazing red, streaked with tiny welts popping up from the surface. Unlike a painting, this wasn’t simulated or imagined; no touching up could have replicated the vibrancy of this butt, which took up a huge amount of gallery space, the lone piece of art on this particular wall, as if it couldn’t be bothered with having to share the spotlight, or perhaps to give the many congregants room to fully consider its implications. It was clearly an ass that had been beaten for a good while, and while it was up to the viewer to interpret what that meant, my old friend Vlad clearly meant it to convey pleasure—or at least, the kind of pain that’s worth whatever you have to go through to get it.

Vlad had done well for himself. This was no out-of-the-way art show in some neglected part of town that required a long subway ride from Avenue C to Brooklyn, followed by a walk down a deserted side street, but a real gallery in Chelsea, with not just wine and cheese, but a whole fruit platter, gourmet cheese selection, cold cuts, crudités, pastries and champagne. Oh, and art that cost more than my monthly rent.
The invitation had arrived in my inbox with a note that said anyone who might be offended by explicit images might want to skip this one. None of us had seen much of Vlad recently, and we weren’t sure whether he’d been working in his darkroom or gotten an out-of-town assignment. While we were all tech nerds who stayed up late into the night playing video games and IMing with each other about the latest iPhone apps, and updated our blogs at least five times a day, Vlad was more secretive, preferring to work in private and then unveil this photos when the time was right. He might give a very esoteric hint, but I’d learned long ago that these were mostly red herrings designed to make him sound more mysterious than he was. He felt that the more you talked about what you were doing, the more you took away from its magic. Most of his work had a political bent, focusing on the environment, with big slabs of beef juxtaposed over fields of grass, or an American flag with a giant cock in red, white and blue on it—he’d also done a pussy version, and gotten some underground attention for his efforts.

But despite the explicit nature of that work, Vlad himself had always seemed somewhat asexual to me, like sex was something he observed but didn’t ever really participate in, even when he was, technically, doing it. We knew he had a few girls who doted on him, and there was a rumor once about an older man, but he wasn’t the type to engage in locker-room talk. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t expecting to be confronted with, well, perversion, kink, nudity that held no pretensions of metaphor or obfuscation. This new collection of photographs was there for one purpose only: to turn people on, to suck us into the photographer’s lair, seduce us with body parts that were clearly overripe, hard, wet, round—begging, really.

Read the rest in Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thursday, August 20th In The Flesh - be there!

This Thursday. Be there. We have free lip gloss to give away, along with sex toys, cupcakes and more. Unfortunately, Desiree can't make it but she will be joining us at a future date. Don't miss the hotness. I just may read one of my extra-dirty stories written under my secret male pseudonym.

In The Flesh reading series logo by Molly Crabapple

August 20th at 8 PM (doors at 7; we recommend arriving by 7:30 for a seat)
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue,
Between Forsyth & Eldridge. Look for the hot pink awning that says "XIE HE Health Club."
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

In The Flesh makes August even hotter with these real-life sex stories and steamy erotica tales. Featuring art star Reverend Jen, author of Live Nude Elf: The Sexperiments of Reverend Jen, D.L. King, editor of the lesbian erotica anthology Where the Girls Are, Lisa Beth Kovetz, author of the new novel Lux’s Practical Erotica Adventures, Ravenous Romance author Sèphera Girónand David Henry Sterry, editor of the Soft Skull Press anthology Hos, Hustlers, Callgirls and Rentboys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex, along with contributors Jennifer Blowdryer, Zoe Hansen and Audacia Ray. Hosted and curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel (The Mile High Club, Do Not Disturb, Spanked). Authors' books will be available for sale from Mobile Libris. Free candy and cupcakes by Baked by Melissa will be served and free lip gloss from Topco as well as sex toys will be given away.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the country'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, Mike Daisey, 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, Flavorwire, Gothamist,, and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth.

Jennifer Blowdryer was delighted to meet other people with funny names when she moved to NYC in 1985. Spider Webb and Annie Sprinkle introduced her to the mutual exploitation hack erotica circuit, and she proudly launched Smut Fests at a lap dancing parlour in 1988, forcing performance art patrons to pass through a metered turnstile, and mix with the strangely open minded perverts of the greater new york area. Find her online at,, and on Twitter as @valfreedom

photo by Stacy Lanyon

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, two of which (Up All Night and Glamour Girls) have been Lambda Literary Award finalists, most recently The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories, Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, Best Sex Writing 2009, Tasting Him, Tasting Her, and Spanked. Her writing been published in publications such as Clean Sheets, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Beast, Fresh Yarn, Huffington Post, Mediabistro, Newsday, New York Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Tango, The Village Voice, 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.

photo by Hilary McHone

Sèphera Girón is the author of over 15 published novels, both fiction and non-fiction. Her fiction ranges from erotic horror to erotic romance. Her non-fiction books include House Magic: The Good Witch's Guide to Bringing Grace to Your Space as well as the Kama Sutra Seductions Deck. Sèphera is working on an occult series for Ravenous Romance as well as writing the daily horoscopes. When Sèphera isn't writing or reading tarot, she's involved in community theatre with her teenaged dancer son.

Zoe Hansen grew up in London, where she befriended Boy George, who put her in his “It’s a Miracle” video. In 1984, armed with $200, she left London for New York City’s Lower East Side. She started in sex work answering phones for an escort service and eventually doing out calls. In 1999, she opened her own brothel, Sterling Ladies, which was the first of five brothels she opened during the next three years. She is now working on her first book, a memoir entitled My American Dream - Going Down in Gotham, and living in the East Village.

D. L. King is the editor of Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica and the up-coming anthology, The Sweetest Kiss: Ravishing Vampire Erotica, both from Cleis Press, she is also the publisher and editor of the erotica review site, Erotica Revealed. Some of her most recent work can be found in anthologies such as Girl Crazy, Swing!, Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am, Frenzy, Best Women’s Erotica, Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica and Best Lesbian Erotica. You can find her also in the soon-to-be-released anthologies, Like a Sacred Desire: Tales of Sex Magick, from Circlet Press and Broadly Bound, from Phaze. She is also the author of two novels, The Melinoe Project and The Art of Melinoe.

photo by Stacie Joy

Lisa Beth Kovetz is an award winning writer and producer. Her first novel, The Tuesday Erotica Club, was published by Sourcebooks, Inc. in April ’06. By 2008 the novel has been translated into 17 languages, with the sequel to be published in April 2009. The feature film rights to the book have recently been optioned by Cinergi Pictures Entertainment. Her second novel is Lux’s Practical Erotica Adventures. Currently, Ms. Kovetz is a senior producer/writer at CUNY-TV, the cable television station of The City University of New York where she creates documentaries and short form episodic magazine format segments. Kovetz is currently working on a half hour documentary on anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a documentary about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Audacia Ray is a media maker and activist who is passionate about sexual rights. She is the author of Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing In On Internet Sexploration (Seal Press, 2007) and is the award-winning director and producer of the porn feature The Bi Apple as well as the producer and star of the comedic film short Dacia’s Love Machine. Audacia is a former sex worker who was an executive editor at $pread magazine for three years and is a co-founder of advocacy organization Sex Work Awareness. Dacia has been writing her personal blog, Waking Vixen, since 2004.

Reverend Jen is a performer, painter, playwright, columnist, underground movie star, open mike host, ASS Magazine founder and elf. She lives in the world's only Troll Museum above a shoe store on New York City's Lower East Side with her Chihuahua, Reverend Jen Junior. She is a columnist for and a former sex columnist for Her books include Live Nude Elf: the Sexperiments of Reverend Jen, Sex Symbol for the Insane and Reverend Jen's Really Cool Neighborhood.

David Henry Sterry is a bestselling author, Huffington Post regular, award winning actor/comic, book doctor, teacher, activist, and a man who hasn’t worn matching socks in years. He is writer of and performer in the one-man show "Chicken", based on his bestselling memoir Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent (ReganBooks: 2002), which has been translated into nine languages, and is being made into a series by Showtime. He is an editor of a new anthology by Soft Skull Press: Hos, Hustlers, Callgirls and Rentboys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex.

You will hear from the following books:

Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex

Live Nude Elf: The Sexperiments of Reverend Jen

Lux's Practical Erotica Adventures

The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories

Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica

Teacher's Pet by Sèphera Girón

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Orgasmic and Naked - my two new calls for submissions

I'm actually in the middle of a bunch of other editing and writing, but wanted to share these new calls (please note: female writers only this time around) to get you thinking ahead. These are public so feel free to pass them on and it's part of my mission to publish lots of new writers - new to me and new to erotica, so send away. I want a range of voices, styles, stories, characters.

Public Calls for Submissions

To be edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and published by Cleis Press in Fall 2010
Deadline: November 1, 2009

Female authors only as this is a book of women’s erotica. This book of erotica by women will focus on the theme of female orgasm and stories should be told from a female POV, in first, second or third person. There should be at least one female orgasm in each story. How they happen is up to you. I’d love to see a wide variety of stories that include sex toys (broadly defined), clitoral stimulation, G-spot exploration, female ejaculation, dirty talk, various sex positions, exhibitionism, voyeurism, oral sex, BDSM, varying locations, couples trying something new, etc. These are just some ideas to use as starting points. Female orgasm doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be the entire focus of every single story, but should be woven into the story and not be an afterthought. Please be creative and send me your hottest stories. I will consider a few stories along the lines of a woman having trouble orgasming and then learning how to climax, but those will not make up the majority of the book. I want unabashed, lusty, exciting, bold orgasms.

For an idea of the kinds of stories I like, please see any of my anthologies, especially The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories, Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories (both Cleis Press) and Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women (Seal Press).

All characters must be over 18; no incest or bestiality.

Payment: Contributors will receive $50/story and 2 copies of the anthology on publication.

How to submit: Send double spaced Times or Times New Roman 12 point black font Word document (.doc, not .docx) OR RTF of 1,500-5,000 word story. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) required. Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address, and 50 word or less bio in the third person to orgasmicantho@gmail.cmom. If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you'd like to be credited as. I will be accepting stories on a rolling basis so the sooner you submit, the better. Cleis Press has final approval over the manuscript so you can expect a final answer by May 2010 at the latest, but you will hear from me by January 15, 2010.

I’ve been seeing numerous recent submissions that do not conform to my guidelines. They are there for a reason. Please read and follow them or risk your submission being rejected or returned for reformatting. If you have any questions, please contact me at

Call for Submissions

To be edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and published by Cleis Press in Fall 2010
Deadline: January 1, 2010

Female authors only as this is a book of women’s erotica. This book of erotica by women will focus on the theme of being naked in some way and should be told from a female POV, first, second or third person. How you interpret that is up to you; literal nudity, being emotionally naked, voyeurism, exhibitionism, body piercings, sex toys, tattoos, dressing and undressing, orgies/mass nudity, etc. Those are just the tip of the naked iceberg. All sexual orientations welcome though the book will primarily focus on heterosexual stories.

PLEASE do feel free to go outside the box, as it were. Naked doesn’t have to mean literally “without clothes” and a woman doesn’t necessarily have to be naked, or “naked,” for a story to work. The more creative, the better. As an editor, I look for stories that work individually and as part of a whole, so sometimes have to reject pieces that are too similar to others I’ve received, even when both are excellent. Please keep this in mind as you explore this topic and use the word/concept/idea of “naked” as a starting point for your story.

For an idea of the kinds of stories I like, please see any of my anthologies, especially The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories, Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories (both Cleis Press) and Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women (Seal Press).

All characters must be over 18; no incest or bestiality.

Payment: Contributors will receive $50/story and 2 copies of the anthology on publication.

How to submit: Send double spaced Times or Times New Roman 12 point black font Word document (.doc, not .docx) OR RTF of 1,500-5,000 word story. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) required. Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address, and 50 word or less bio in the third person to If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you'd like to be credited as. I will be accepting stories on a rolling basis so the sooner you submit, the better. Cleis Press has final approval over the manuscript so you can expect a final answer by July 2010 at the latest, but you will hear from me by March 1, 2010.

I’ve been seeing numerous recent submissions that do not conform to my guidelines. They are there for a reason. Please read and follow them or risk your submission being rejected or returned for reformatting. If you have any questions, please contact me at

About the editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel ( is the editor of over 25 anthologies, including Bottoms Up, Spanked, The Mile High Club, Do Not Disturb, He’s on Top, She’s on Top, Tasting Him, Tasting Her, Crossdressing, Dirty Girls, and is Best Sex Writing Series Editor. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, wrote the Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice, and has hosted and curated In The Flesh Reading Series in New York since October 2005. Her writing has been published in over 100 anthologies, including Susie Bright’s X: The Erotic Treasury, Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and Zane’s Purple Panties and the New York Times bestseller Succulent: Chocolate Flava II. She has written for Cosmopolitan, The Daily Beast, Fresh Yarn, Mediabistro, Newsday, New York Post, Penthouse, Time Out New York, Zink and other publications.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, August 10, 2009

So long Lusty Lady blog, it's been fun

I've always thought the best way to write is in a selfish way, for yourself, as your first, best, only audience. Of course there is a wider audience, but of late I've realized that I've been hampered in what I write here and elsewhere by this specificity of this mini audience. It's one thing to vaguely know who's reading, it's another thing to know exactly, whether it's crazy folks, lovers, exes, family members, whatever. I just can't do it anymore, not when I have a blog with 20 times the traffic that actually makes money, bazillion deadlines, and real-life issues. Not to mention, as should be pretty obvious, nothing to say. I can't stress over what to say or how to say it on this blog, and that's what it's become, just another kill-me-now to do list item. I wind up thinking less about myself and what I might want to say than who might be reading and how they might interpret every stupid little thing I write and that is exhausting.

So while I will be posting links to items I write, such as my upcoming sex column for Carnal Nation and whatever other tidbits I'm lucky enough to place, any personal blogging won't be happening here, at least for the next few months.

I remember back in I think 2005 I clicked "delete blog" and you know what? It felt fucking fantastic. I of course reinstated it and all that bullshit from 2003 and 2004 is Google cached (I think), and because I've backed myself into a "professional" (let's all laugh loudly at that notion, cause I'm the least professional person ever) corner, need this blog to serve at least as a place to promote my little books and whatnot. Part of me wishes I could erase it and start over, but then again, I feel the same way about my life.

So since I can't do either, I'm just gonna go forward the best way I know how. With, like, my journal (cue Samara O'Shea). I'm still on all those social networking sites I've been on and will be of course cupcake blogging daily and doing In The Flesh and all, so I'll be around. Just not here. To those who have been reading, occasionally or often, THANK YOU. I hope to have some substantive writing to share in the next months/year.

Labels: ,

Join us Wednesday for the world's longest cupcake kebab!

WHEN: Wednesday, August 12, 8:00pm - 11:00pm
WHERE: New York City’s Crash Mansion, 199 Bowery
WHAT: Our first-ever themed night of world records. And the theme? Fooooooood! Though recent appearances on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and at the Pitchfork Fest in Chicago have been fun, we are bonkers with excitement about this upcoming event.

“Food records” doesn’t necessarily mean shoving hot dogs down your throat. Past records we’ve documented include Tallest Carrot Cake, Most Names Written On A Dry Piece Of Spaghetti and Fastest Time To Open A Can Of Alphabet Soup And Spell ‘PANTYHOSE’. Be creative. To join the bill and set a food-related record (or beat one from our site), email


* Longest Cupcake Kebab - Nichelle Stephens and Rachel Kramer Bussel of Cupcakes Take The Cake ( and Nora Vetter of Nibbles by Nora

* Most Times Changing Order While Ordering Chinese Food Without Getting Hung Up On - Matt Vescovo

* Most Crustless PB&J Sandwiches Made By 10 People In 1 Minute - Hilary Hodge & Friends

* Tallest S’more - Clint Cantwell

* Most Tortillas Frisbeed In 30 Seconds - Alexandra Young

See this site for more details

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, August 09, 2009

"More Than a Mouthful" and other sales

I am at Think Coffee trying to get some writing done; am making myself stay here until I complete a few important tasks. I've been devouring the latest Romance Writers of America newsletter and Jill Dearman's book Bang the Keys for inspiration. The bottom line is that most anyone talking about writing talks about persistence and, um, writing. So that's what I'm trying to do. I need to write a story about a houseboy and the intro to Please, Sir and am working on an article for New York Press about local reading series. And a few dozen other things.

But really, I keep going back to write what you know. What I know is...complicated, to say the least. Hot and dirty and crazy and complicated. It would make good fiction and sometimes I have to pinch myself that it's my life. At the same time, writing about your life changes it, makes it into something so meta that I think you can lose yourself in the words rather than the sensations. I'm doing plenty of personal writing and what comes out often shocks me, in a good way. It wakes me up. It's so instantaneous, I don't have time or room or reason to censor myself. And that's a good thing. Maybe someday my journal entries will find their way into something else, but for now, I like holding them close to my chest, like peeking at them, like letting myself go to places I've never been, in my head at least.

But anyway, I wanted to share some recent sales. One is a story called "More Than a Mouthful" to the forthcoming anthology The Mammoth Book of Threesomes and Moresomes, edited by Linda Alvarez. You can, um, probably guess what it's about. My story "What Pretty Girls Do" (inspired by the Kirsty MacColl song "What Do Pretty Girls Do?") will be published in Jolie du Pre's The Cougar Book anthology. That one I'd submitted to various anthologies over the last year or two and I'm so glad it finally found a home. I like using music, or just a random lyric or two, as inspiration. And a story whose title was not my idea (I just wouldn't tend to use those words, but I'm proud of the story), "Let Down Your Libido," will appear in Alison Tyler's Harlequin Spice anthology Alison's Wonderland in July. It's based on Rapunzel.

I will post some story excerpts soon. I keep trying to revive old stories when really there's a whole new story forming in my head. More than a story, a potential novel, even. I don't know if it's too...depraved for who I have in mind for it, but we shall see. I have about 4 novel ideas in my head so I will sign off but leave you with a sexy shoe photo from Pumps Pumps Pumps (via Alison Tyler). Because I am in the market for sexy slutty shoes, plan to shop next weekend. This week I'll be giving my new sneakers a workout at NYSC where my awesome Ashley makes me sweat and grunt and make me wonder why I pay her, until I feel the sweet soreness of my muscles afterward.


Eat cupcakes and sandwiches with us today!

Delicious Sandwich Social/Cupcake Picnic today! 3-5 pm, Prospect Park.
See for details and upcoming events like
this Wednesday's cupcake kebab world record attempt.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The purple door

I helped the fabulous Hitha Prabhakar paint her new apartment today,
which is only fitting since painting her apartment is how we became
friends. This purple door is my handiwork.

Best moment was her face in an O of horror after I managed to
basically smear my ponytail in grey paint. We both got a few years
temporarily added to our ages by said paint. Was so much fun I wish we
could do it every weekend. Was like painting therapy because though we
disagree about politics for the most part, Hitha is the best for girl
talk, advice, and endless laughs. And now every time I visit I get to
see my painting handiwork (walls are a rich, sexy grey).

I do

I do
Originally uploaded by
Have a fantasy, that is. Or rather, many.

Most immediate crisis resolved, enjoying gorgeous sun and off to do
one of my favorite things: paint a friend's apartmeNt.

Because sometimes there are no words

Or the words make it all too pathetically real. Someday when I'm past this place in my life I will write about what it feels like, or maybe I will now, but not much in my life is blog appropriate. Or rather, this blog appropriate. Ironic in some ways but so be it. I think all these lost weekends are going to add up to something, or maybe I'm utterly delusional. Or both.

I did wind up doing the Durex interview (see last photo) with Twanna where perhaps some secrets were revealed. We should have the video from it soon. No friends/paparazzi were around to snap us on the bed, but I heard that I blushed.

Labels: , ,

Friday, August 07, 2009

Durex condom commercial shooting at Astor Place

I was supposed to be interviewed but am not sure I have the guts for it.

Rachel & Julie

Or rather, my 2005 interview with Julie & Julia author Julie Powell:

After making all the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, would you say it’s an art?
Cooking can be an art. I think that the role of the recipes in MtAoFC, and why it continues to be useful even though the recipes are kind of dated and belong to a specific time and place is there’s such an emphasis on the techniques, and they're such lucid techniques. It's like being given a paintbox or a lesson in oil painting or pastel. There are rules that apply to different materials and different techniques that you can then apply. To make it a true art, you have to go off on your own and find your own way of interpreting, it’s more like a toolbox than anything else. It’s a wonderful book, I find the book itself is a piece of art as literature, it’s an enormously well-written book. What they don’t talk about much is Julia’s skill as a writer and one thing that I think she does best is in the format of this very formal book, it’s not Nigella Lawson carrying away about her personal life, it’s not any number of cookbook writers who really put themselves at the center of their book. It’s a very formal book; it’s designed like a cooking class and moves from the simplest techniques to the most complex, but within that pretty formal format she somehow manages to imbue the thing with her personality and you can just hear her saying it, it’s her voice on the page. I think that’s an underrated skill. People don’t understand how hard that is, it’s a large part of the reason people feel so personally involved with her, she pops off the page as well as popping off the television. Ultimately it’s the tools for an art in the book. You can’t master any art out of a book but you can get the tools to begin.

Obviously, I want to see the movie, preferably this weekend. But really, I'm eagerly awaiting (aka, salivating over) getting my hands on a copy of her new memoir Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Seattle: Go see The Last Cargo Cult by Mike Daisey

Sadly, New York doesn't get this show until December! So long for something getting such great (and intriguing) reviews, that say things like:

As I promised, this isn't a review of The Last Cargo Cult. I won't tell you why I was handed $20 by the usher as I entered the theater, what happens on the little island of Tana, what the John Frum Movement worships or what exactly fiat currency means. These are all part of the amazing journey of Mike Daisey's The Last Cargo Cult, a monologue which is set to have an extraordinary life including three weekends of workshops in Seattle, a premiere at Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, a run at the Playmakers Repertory Theatre in Chapel Hill, and a prime-time spot in December at the Public Theater.

Buy tickets here.

Official blurb:

Nationally acclaimed monologuist and erstwhile Seattleite Mike Daisey returns to Seattle to workshop a new monologue, The Last Cargo Cult, where he tells the true-life story of his time on a remote South Pacific island whose inhabitants worship America at the base of a constantly erupting volcano. Their religion is explored alongside our own to form a sharp and searing examination of the international financial crisis. Daisey wrestles with the largest questions of what the collapse means, and what it says about our deepest values. Part adventure story and part memoir, he uses each culture to illuminate the other to find, between the seemingly primitive and the achingly modern, a human answer.

From The Seattle Times:

Ah, what some people will do for their art.

It wasn't enough for acclaimed monologuist Mike Daisey to suddenly drop everything, and make the 20-hour air journey to Tanna, a South Pacific island in the archipelago of Vanuatu.

No, for his new show "The Last Cargo Cult" (opening tonight at Richard Hugo House) he also boned up on macroeconomics.

"We went on vacation in Mexico, and I'd be lying on the beach reading this big stack of books on the subject," recalls Daisey, an ex-Seattleite and the prolific
auteur of such other one-man shows as the acclaimed "21 Dog Years: Doing" and a "Great Men of Science" series.

So what does a remote isle have to do with Wall Street derivatives?

Trust Daisey, an intellectual omnivore, and his director-collaborator (and wife) Jean-Michele Gregory, to connect the dots.

Inspired by the world financial crisis, and the odd history of "cargo cults," the New York-based Daisey says he's really exploring the thorny relationship between human beings and money.


Cargo cults, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, are "Melanesian religious groups characterized by the belief that material wealth ... can be obtained through ritual worship."

See for more info.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Bowling and burger cupcakes at Chelsea Piers

Yesterday I went bowling at Chelsea Piers. Somehow, I scored 2nd with 62 points (or was it 64?) but the point is, it was fun. Daytime fun! I felt so old seeing the bowling alley like this:

Then, in what was just the start of cupcake adventures, I found cupcake burgers at Ruthy's Bakery and Cafe! Click through to see more.

Labels: , ,

you only live a day/but it's brilliant anyway

A friend sent me this Slog link. Elliott Smith would've been 40 yesterday. There was a time during law school when I listened to his music every day, on repeat, all day and night. When I walked to Brownie's to see him. Once, I met him backstage at Bottom Line at a Mary Lou Lord show, mostly watching them talk. I think I handed him her set list.

But the other day, Saturday, when I'd spent all day covered in dirt, looking for my keys, hating being in New York and not Minneapolis, hating myself, I thought of him. Thought of "I don't think I'm ever gonna figure it out." I was looking over his lyrics and remembering what I related to so much about his music. It wasn't so much the despair but the gut honesty. The not prettying it up. The voice that would sound choked up even when it wasn't, necessarily.

But the more I think about him, and depression, and despair and my own innate pessimism, the more I think that, to go back to Elliott's songs, that's the "easy way out." It's what infuriates me about other people, when they complain about being stuck but so clearly are not. I have to actively remind myself that I have choices, that all the mistakes that have gotten me to this place, well, not that they can be undone, but that I can work on them, find a way to at the very least, apologize for them, and at best, not make them again. It's like this cheesy but so true magnet I sent my ex, "Always Make New Mistakes." That's a far cry from the thought that ran through my mind, the Elliott line, the truth, on Saturday: "I don't think I'm ever gonna figure it out."

With me, I keep getting reminders that people believe in me, believe in my writing. They have faith where I don't and they use it and their power to advance it. Sometimes I so want to argue with them. I don't see it, don't get it, can't conceive of being the one who sees it through. I get so mired in my own fear of failure that I don't even try and looking back, that's what happened with law school, that's what's happened more times than I can count even if I'd wanted to.

So the Elliott Smith song I go to is Independence Day." I remember talking about it right after he died with a friend who knew him. We were trying to find some solace, some something, and we did, mostly in that line I quoted in the title. It's so amazingly easy for me to forget that, to get so caught up in, say, my own defeatism, or worrying what someone else thinks about me, or whatever, that I completely lose sight of what I'm doing, where I'm going, what my goals are. I get so bogged down in the depressing details I forget that there is brilliance now, and, I hope, tomorrow.

For something interesting on Elliott by one of the writers I think has done the best work on him, Corey duBrowa, see this Magnet piece on his most overrated songs (I think he is trying to say these are overrated). Yes, "Independence Day" is on there, plus MP3s and links to their cover stories on him.


FREE copies of Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories tonight at Quickies!

Please come hear me, Stephanie Schroeder, Dana Rossi, Fidencia Solomon, Rachael Nachtway and others tonight, 7:30-8:30 at Happy Ending Lounge, for the debut (and perhaps, denouement, if that's the right word) of Quickies! It's an offshoot of In The Flesh Reading Series and readers have 6 minutes to read.

TONIGHT!! Friday, August 7th
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue,
Between Forsyth & Eldridge. Look for the hot pink awning that says "XIE HE Health Club."
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

Because I suck, I have done zero publicity so the first 5 attendees I will give a copy of my new book Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories and there will be free food.

To be perfectly honest, I don't care who comes, this was a good lesson to me in learning to say no and that I cannot possibly organize two readings a month. But please come out, I promise to read something dirty and rumor has it someone is reading Anais Nin.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The hotness: Best Women's Erotica 2010 cover

Remember my erotica story inspired by famous Williamsburg coke bar Kokie’s? (Which I keep misremembering as “Kokee’s,” making it very hard to Google, but do check out "Please Snort Me" at Vice for more on it.) It’s gonna be in Best Women’s Erotica 2010! That’s all I’m gonna say about the story right now, other than that the title is “Secret Service” but it is not about cocaine or the Secret Service. But it is damn hot, and I got to namecheck Kokie’s which made me feel all reporter-like when I had to check the spelling.

It’s edited by Violet Blue, the cover (via Violet's blog) was shot by Samantha Wolov, and Cleis Press will publish it in December. I promise to read from my story December 17th at In The Flesh Reading Series.

What I love about the cover, aside from, um, EVERYTHING, is that she’s on a chair. Whenever I teach Erotica 101 (which I’d love to do more of NYC, hint hint), my first exercise is to write for 5 minutes about sex in a chair. Or on a chair. Or with a chair. Anything goes as long as a chair’s involved. I guess it could even be from the chair’s POV. I love hearing what people come up with. Think about it: you could be tied to a chair, rubbing up against one, sitting at a desk, on a barstool flirting with a bartender…or, like the model in this photo. YAY!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"blowing up words til there were none"

Ida still makes some of the most fucking beautiful music I've ever heard. Now, unlike when I was in law school and they played all the time, getting to see them live is the rare treat (October 3rd!!). But the old songs and the new ones are in constant rotation.

I was going to say I like the constancy of that, at a time when my emotions are a bit scrambled and mixed up, but actually, the songs take on a different meaning whenever I listen.

Labels: ,

Want to read: My Tiki Girl

School Library Journal just ran an article about gay and lesbian teenagers in YA novels, and among the ones they mentioned was My Tiki Girl by Jennifer McMahon, whose cover makes me swoon. From the article:

“It’s like [Dahlia]…emits some kind of electricity, like static that gives you shocks, raises the hair on your skin, shoots sparks. You can’t be near her without picking up on it. And you feel like maybe it’s dangerous….” Maggie, 15, shut herself away after a wreck killed her mother and left her a limping “Frankenstein girl” in Jennifer McMahon’s My Tiki Girl (Dutton, 2008). Now caught up in Dahlia’s bohemian life, Maggie’s crush on the teen is soon reciprocated, and turns to sexual exploration. Rich imagery and free-spirited prose convey Maggie’s emotional struggles over body image and self-acceptance, along with themes of popularity, grief, mental illness, and homophobia.

Here's a tiny excerpt from the author's site (read more there):

All the girls in tenth grade hate Dahlia Wainwright. They say she's a witch and that if you touch her, you're cursed. They say she’s so fugly the boys have to put a bag over her head to bone her. But as far as I can tell, Dahlia doesn't waste her time with boys. And the truth is, the girls hate her because she's prettier than any of them and it's not that all dressed up with blue mascara kind of pretty like Sukie Schwartz or Heather Tomasi. It's the kind where she could be covered in mud or stung from head to toe with bees and her beauty would still turn heads. The girls hate her because the boys all want her. The boys hate her because they can't have her. So Dahlia hangs out alone between classes, sneaking out to the soccer field to rest her back against the goal and smoke. Today, during lunch period, she’s right where I knew she’d be: braced against the white goal frame, the net behind her like a spider web, while she watches to see who might wander in.

I had walked into the cafeteria and the first thing I saw was Sukie Schwartz holding court at a long, rectangular table. I heard the buzz of their talking, laughing, teasing, and it mixed together in this sickening way with the gray meat smell of overdone hamburgers, perfume, sweat, new sneakers and floor wax. I hurried to the nearest exit before Sukie could catch my eye, and now I’m hobbling my way out to the soccer field where a single girl stands smoking and reading.

I say hobbling because I am a Frankenstein girl. The bones in my right leg are held together with screws and a metal rod. I walk with a stiff-legged limp. I used to use a cane, but don't anymore. My father says I still should, that I haven't healed completely from my last surgery, but he’s not the one who has to deal at school. I mean, the movie monster limp is bad enough, right?

Labels: , , , , ,

"to let my body break all disciplines"

I read an excerpt from the novel The Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo on Sunday at The Smitten Kitten, but only later, flipping through the pages I'd tabbed, did I realize I had neglected to share one of the sexiest parts. The story is about a young woman who comes to London from rural China, who is learning to speak English. Her English improves as the book progresses but there is always a roughness to it, and in some ways that's what adds to the beauty of this passage. Normally I don't think you need to call parts of a woman's body a "cave" or a "flower" or some other drippy synonym but I also think it's important, vital, in fact, to find your own voice and language that's accessible for you, and for your characters. Not everyone is all about "cock" and "pussy" and in fact, that might be offputting for some people. Figure out wording that goes with the story, makes sense, and is still erotic.

From A Concise Chinese-English Guide for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo. - from the passage for "prostitute" (each section starts with a word and its dictionary definition).

While I am standing there watching, I desire become prostitute. I want be able expose my body, to relieve my body, to take my body away from dictionary and grammar and sentences, to let my body break all disciplines. What a relief that prostitute not need speak good English. She also not need to bring a diction with her all the time.

Now her turn, her power on him. She seduces him. Her hands with scarlet fingernail fondle his delta, a place like a hill covered by the grass. His bird is growing bigger and stronger. And he cannot help to devour her pink nipples, to kiss her snow white neck, and to whisper into her ears. Her body is a ceremony, a power station, a light house. And the neon lights spread the magic colour on her skin.

He becomes impulsive. He lifts her short silver skirt, then I see her delta. She has very lush bush, like bush growing by the river in the tropical zone. His fingers travel through her bushes, and disappeared into her cave. Her face now is lighted. Her mouth is half opened. Waiting and arousing. His fingers come out from her cave. He kneels down, starts to kiss her bush and sucks her cave. Her juice is shining on his face.

The great decadence is attracting me.

The great decadence is seducing me like a magnet.

The music goes to the end part. Big melody. Almost disturbing.

To me, the standout line of this is, “to let my body break all disciplines.” That is exactly how I feel of late, though I probably wouldn’t have worded it that way, but I feel like I need/want to be pushed out of my comfort zone when it comes to sex, to go somewhere new and possibly scary but hot precisely because of that. To let go of not grammar, like our narrator, but my mind, my overthinking, my ridiculous and, I can’t help but think, very female fears.

They’re not ones I can share, lest I a) sound completely insane and b) jinx anything. But I can say they are ones that have little to do with sexuality and so much to do with fear of rejection. I have to work to overcome that sense of “Am I too intense? Too needy? Too much?” I fear it all the time and the fear lurks around the edges of my desire, waiting to prey on it, attack it, eat away at it slowly until it may as well not exist. I think it’s so easy to worry that we will get hurt, or slighted, or make a misstep, that it sometimes stops us, or rather, me, from going forward. So I loved this passage for that line, loved the whole book, really, as bittersweet of a love story as it is.

Labels: , , , , ,

Quickies with free cupcakes this Friday!

Happy Ending Lounge and I are experimenting on expanding on In The Flesh with Quickies: Short Erotica. First one is this Friday, 7:30-8:30, readers will have 6 minutes to read, and there will be cupcakes. Free, 21+, please come out to help me make sure we have more audience members than readers! Lineup TBA, and I sense this may be the first and last cause I have NO energy to plan/host/pimp more than I'm already doing, as is perhaps apparent by this last-minute plea.

Friday, August 7, 7:30-8:30
Happy Ending Lounge, 302 Broome Street, NYC

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"The One Night Stand Cure for Heartbreak"

That's the (tentative) name of an essay that was due...Saturday. Must finish tonight. I think I know what I want to say, but I keep getting sidetracked, and also, keep debating scrapping it and starting over. Am gonna stick it out and hope I can make it right. Blogging it to hold myself accountable.

Sex shoes

I saw these shoes on Alison Tyler's blog and was entranced.

I don't think they'd be my exact sex shoes, but high heels turn me on. Just putting them on is often enough to get me going.

And I know I'm not the only one.

Labels: , ,

"There's pacing to do" - writer's block and beyond

With the amazing Diana Joseph at The Smitten Kitten
Me with I'm Sorry You Feel That Way author Diana Joseph at The Smitten Kitten

I fear this post may get sappy, but so be it. [Interjecting from having finished it, I can safely say, nothing to worry about there - I will gush over Diana more later, I promise!]

Diana Joseph brings that out in me. She'd told me she might be coming to my workshop, but I wasn't sure, and she wasn't there at first, but when she walked in, I was thrilled but also nervous. One of my favorite writers is taking my writing class? The one upshot of an insanely stressful and exhausting weekend was I didn't have much stress left for the class, and I think it went well, despite forgetting the handouts I'd had in my luggage that never made it onto a plane on Friday night.

Anyway, afterward, I told her how much I loved her book, I'm Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing but True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother, and Friend to Man and Dog, on Sunday after my Erotica 101 class, and how excited I am she's reading at In The Flesh in September (and is going to be in Best Sex Writing 2010, but that is its own nightmare right now, so we'll just glide over that), and it was this mutual admiration society. I felt like we could talk for hours on end. I meant it when I said her book changed how I see nonfiction writing, the possibilities for it. Whether I’m up to the task of dissecting those around me, let alone myself, the way she does, I don’t know. I want to because I have so much to say, so much that would be either good comic fodder (cue…looking all the hell over for my keys, burning a pair of underwear in the new vacuum I bought, wanting to cry but laughing instead at the absurdity that is my life) for a novel, or something else. It’s all hatching, waiting, while I lie in “bed” (aka, my overcluttered couch) and think about how this might make a good piece of writing. How someone somewhere might identify with, rather than just pity, me in the state of affairs I’m in. But all too often I don’t.

It’s late, I’m tired, I’m this, I’m that. Mostly, I’m scared. I think the fear winds up trumping everything. I’m so so used to failing that sometimes they just wash right over me. Missed a flight? Oh yeah, used to that. Bounced checks? Used to it. I hate being used to it. I hate expecting myself to fail, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yet of course I must like it on some level, to find comfort in it, to find comfort in not writing over writing. I think I'm also scared to talk about what's really in my head, the things I fixate on that I don't totally understand, that I long to figure out on paper like some protracted math problem, adding, subtracting, multiplying until my thoughts piece themselves together into something neat and tidy. Instead, I try to puzzle out what I imagine people want to hear, some approximation of what other people are doing, what other people are selling, rather.

Diana Joseph recently wrote on her blog a brilliant take on the perils of writing (do be sure to read the whole thing, it's worth it):

For me, the worst part of writing, the ugliest part, happens when I'm starting something new. I don't like writing the first draft. The sitting down, the sitting still, the hard work of ignoring that mean voice in my head that says hey, you, this is stupid, this doesn't make any sense, this has already been said by people a lot smarter, funnier, prettier, and more interesting and profound than you could ever double dog dare to be, and besides, the bathroom is filthy, the laundry has piled up, there's a funky smell rising out of the drain in the kitchen sink and there's pacing to do! You haven't paced enough today! Get up and pace, and while you're at it, check the batteries in the smoke detector.

And then, of course, the kicker:

You suck you suck you'll never write anything good because you suckity suck.

There’s a line in my second-favorite essay of hers in her memoir, the first one about her son, the one that brought tears to my eyes because it was free of all the folksy “being a mom is the best thing in the entire world” sentiment you get in a lot of parenting writing. Or rather, the love she feels for her son didn’t have to be beaten into the reader’s head. I don’t have the book in front of me because I lent it to someone but she’s talking about the three statements she always comes back to regarding her son, and one is, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” That’s how I felt this weekend, to/for myself, to Minneapolis, to my friends. There is no excuse for a 15-hour trip. There is no excuse for all my constant failures, the way they seem to race themselves to see which can be the biggest, which can win some imagined race to the very, very rock bottom. Of course, it could be worse, but as I felt the scrape of some object against the back of my thigh, the burn of it as I scrambled all over Saturday, dust sticking to me in the heat, defeat finally taking hold in my key search quest, I couldn’t see it, couldn’t figure out what was next, what new way I could self-destruct.

I have a few things I’m proud of, things that are in the works, things that are making me feel like I am not regressing, but they are so few, so minor, next to the great failures, they are hard to see. I want to claw my way out of them, somehow, some way, because I don’t know what will happen if I don’t. But meeting Diana gave me so much hope, that one can create something greater than ourselves out of words, but not just words, the raw material of our lives in all their messiness, their imperfections.

Check out the unusual but perfect for the book trailer for I'm Sorry You Feel That Way:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, August 03, 2009

AWP in Denver in April

Just got word that I'm going to be on a panel at the AWP Annual Conference in April called "Exploitation, Empowerment, and Everything In Between: Women on Writing Sex" along with Kathleen Rooney, Rosemary Daniell, Ruth Setton and Jacklyn Marceau, hosted by Ashley Emmertt. I needed a spot of good news after the drama(s) of the last week. Plus I can do some cupcake exploring in Denver. More details when I have them. Not that I'm in any position to really think about April right now, but still, makes me look forward to 2010 even more.

Labels: ,


I read a lot of YA novels, in part because I can actually finish them, in part because suck me in (some of them, anyway), they’re fun, and they also help me look at my own life, not my teenage life, but my life now. I just discovered a new (to me) author Elizabeth Scott, who has a great publishing-related blog, and the first book I read was Perfect You.

In it, Kate’s miserable because her best friend is now thin, blonde and won’t talk to her, her dad has quit his steady job to sell vitamins at the mall (and roped her and her brother into selling them), her annoying grandmother is interfering with her family, and she likes this boy, Will. It’s not really a problem because he likes her too, except that he has this reputation as a player. She constantly second guesses herself around him, and takes playing hard to get to an extreme, because she’s not playing. She likes him but is so afraid to tell him that she tells him all kinds of other things.

This made me think about how scary it can be to tell someone even something as simple as that you like them, let alone your sexual fantasies. I’ve been on the telling and hearing end of a few of those lately and in each of the situations I was struck with how much we open ourselves up in revealing these really personal sides of us. It’s why something about, say, the Fetlife checklist, or any checklist, really, doesn’t suit me. I don’t have a checklist, I don’t have some set criteria. I don’t know “what I want” with someone until, well, I do, until the moment. I’m going to be deliberately vague because while I’m realizing more and more, I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a “sex writer,” but it is what I do, and probably do best, I can’t unearth every detail of what I’m dealing with. It’s too close, too personal, and too not all about me.

But what I did want to share was how, for me, every time I’m with someone it’s a revelation. I don’t know what’s going to happen, what I’m going to say or think or feel, and I don’t want to. Those revelations are what drove me into writing about sex in the first place, the way what turned me on shocked me, and in some ways, does so even more now because you’d think I’d know what I want, after 16 years of having sex. I do, but it’s constantly changing. I told someone something recently that was almost incongruous; it was definitely not what I planned to say. It’s not that it was so tremendously deep, but it revealed layers to what I’m attracted to about them, about our dynamic, that I didn’t know were there.

Moreso than the response I got, my own response to what I wrote, shook me up. And that’s a good thing. I like learning about what turns me on, and what turns other people on. I like that it’s not all fixed and done and repetitive. It’s new and thriving and exciting and yet, like Kate in the story, sometimes I think it’d be easier to go the safer route. Keep it to myself, pour it into a story, fiction, rather than Go There. Because the more you reveal, the more chances someone has to mess with your head. There was a moment where I almost erased what I’d written. I got scared that the other person would laugh at me or judge me or hate me or be tired of me. I still have those fears. It’s good though, because it reminds me of the cost of revealing our innermost desires, of how sacred they are. And that’s a good reminder to have.

Labels: , ,