Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Friday, February 26, 2010

Group photo

Group photo from February 2010 In The Flesh by Anya Garrett; more photos here.

Back row: Kevin Sampsell, Rakesh Satyal, Suzanne Portnoy, Michelle Churchill, Jami Attenberg
Front row: Justin Taylor, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Julie Klausner

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Snapshots from Seattle

No way to fully capture the trip (or rather, trips), plus I have less than 48 hours at home before going to Minneapolis (NOT a smart move in any way on my part, and I'd cancel if I weren't doing a fantabulous book party on Tuesday night that better be crowded for the free music/sex toys/cupcakes). I just don't travel that well, not for such extended periods. I had fun, but ate too much and was a bit mopey and didn't write. Working on changing that, starting now.

You can now get autographed copies of Best Sex Writing 2010 at Powell's in Portland by mail order or in the store, and at Elliott Bay in Seattle.

Saw this on my way to Elliott Bay on Tuesday:

After a day full of cupcakes, I ate at Barrio in Capitol Hill and it was AMAZING:


Queso fundido


Goofing off (with a little help from iPhone app The Best Camera) with Carrie of Bella Cupcake Couture, who was my tour guide, and Jody Hall, owner of Cupcake Royale, who's done, you know, a few little things like be invited to the White House to talk about health care. Such amazing people and if I lived in Seattle, you'd see me with my laptop at Cupcake Royale's Capitol Hill outpost A LOT.

They gave me a t-shirt that says "Rock out with your cupcake out." Then I bought one for my baby cousin.

S'mores cupcake at our Trophy Cupcakes meetup!
Trophy Cupcakes not only made the amazing cupcakes with my face on them but also hosted a cupcake meetup yesterday that was well-attended, fun, and gave us some insider scoop on running a Seattle cupcake business. And fed us with s'mores cupcakes that had a graham cracker bottom! This frosting was seriously to die for. Marshmallowtastic.

At Bluebottle Art Gallery, to be owned April 1st by my friend Jessie Oleson of Cakespy, I not only got some Matthew Porter monkey magnets but lusted after this painting called "Miss Petits Gâteaux" of a topless girl with cupcakes by Julie West, whose work I now covet.

There was a lot of being tired/nauseous/emotionally overwhelmed/missing people in hotel rooms, thinking about the past and the present and the future, thinking about both the book A Spy in the House of Love and the reality.

The view around 6 am looked like this from my room at the Westin.

I pack heavy stuff.

You might've's snowing in New York. My friend Heidi likened it to powdered sugar. I'm so thrilled to be back.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

My erotic writing workshop - only 2 more chances in New York this year!

I don't plan to teach any more erotica classes in New York, so please come if you're at all interested - as I said, students are going to get priority for my anthologies (all submissions are read and responded to, but I would love to publish my students' work) and I have my biggest anthology yet coming up (80+ stories!). So tell your friends - I've been enjoying the workshops, and this is a new structure for me so it's really pushed me to go beyond the basics. I hope students are enjoying it too and what comes out of the classes has been fascinating. Listen to the podcast here to get a sense of what we do there. Everything is a learning experience and I somehow sense these do better in other cities where there aren't so many offerings, hence no more in 2010 as I try to be serious about being a businesswoman and not just doing everything willy-nilly, but you can't ask for a better atmosphere than Shag. And there will be free cupcakes! And after I can go give my new baby cousin his "Rock out with your cupcake out" t-shirt.

You can sign up same day, just call the store.

108 Roebling at N. 6th
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Sat Feb 27, March 6

Erotic Writing Workshop Series with Rachel Kramer Bussel(Part 1 of 4 part series)

Erotica writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel will share the ins and outs of erotic writing, covering everything from erotic love letters to submitting work for publication. Over the course of four weeks, attendees will do exercises designed to flesh out their erotic storytelling, utilizing various props, locations, and points of view to provide a range of options in terms. Bussel will share what she and other erotica editors look for from submissions, sharing favorite stories via handouts and readings, with a focus on having students use all their senses to craft original, creative erotica in various forms. Resources for submitting erotic writing will also be covered. Bring laptop or pen/paper for in-class writing exercises. Each class will be different, so attendees can take one or all classes.


2 classes – $36

1 class - $20

Please call SHAG at 347.721.3302 to register.

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Last day in Seattle, cupcake meetup tonight 5-7

It's sunny in Seattle - I haven't posted nearly everything I've been up to, but follow TwitterFoursquareFacebookTumblr for some photos as they're easier to upload than here. I fly back tomorrow, teach erotica at Shag Saturday, fly to Minneapolis Sunday morning. NOT recommended in any way and I'm bummed that I booked it that way, but will survive.

I'll have a new call for submissions to announce soon and will need LOTS of stories very fast (they are going to be short so it'll be easy and I'm all about the rolling submissions to reward the smart early birds) so stay tuned for that hopefully next week. The sooner they're done, the better is my new motto so a reminder again: Passionate final deadline is March 15th but it's filling up fast.

My lesbian pregnancy erotica story "Swollen," another one that was a loser a few times, just got accepted to the Sacchi Green anthology Lesbian Lust, out this summer. Yesterday I ate so much I very much wanted to come back to my hotel and puke, but I lay down instead. Not recommended, but the food at Barrio and the cupcakes at New York Cupcakes and Cupcake Royale definitely are!

And tonight if you're in Seattle, join us at Trophy Cupcakes! The cupcakes won't have my face on them like the gorgeous, one-of-a-kind beautiful ones they made for me for free on Tuesday for the Elliott Bay reading, but there will be some freebies. 5-7, Trophy Cupcakes (Wallingford), 1815 NW 45th Street, Suite 209. Can't wait!

my Anya Garrett photo cupcakes by Trophy Cupcakes!

the display at Elliott Bay

pre-eating (I am kicking myself for not shooting video of the process)

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My first vlog - welcome to my hotel room

I'm officially in love with the new iPhone, I can't believe I've been lacking one all this time. No more. I move to a new hotel tonight (travel tip: if you used Priceline's name your price and like your room, you can keep the same rate - I didn't know that so rebooked, but it's okay because I bid $70 instead of $88 and still got a 4-star hotel!) and first am off to be taken on a whirlwind tour of foodie Seattle.

Last night's reading was AMAZING. Posted a bit about it elsewhere but will have to do justice to it properly later. Elliott Bay was a wonderful host and everyone asked amazing questions and I got to read all of "It's A Shame About Ray" by Kirk Read and I was just so wowed. Plus, the cupcakes!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm in Alison's Wonderland

I mean, my fairy tale-inspired science experiment story "Let Down Your Libido" is going to be published in Alison Tyler's Harlequin Spice anthology Alison's Wonderland, out this summer. Via her blog (click there for big version - my name's on the back cover, woo-hoo!). I will post my own book cover for them both once it's finalized and when I'm finally done with it. I know, it's been a looooong time coming (you don't even know the minute fraction of that saga, trust me).

Below is the table of contents. I'm still sorting out themes for the rest of 2010 for In The Flesh. August will be Sex on the Beach and perhaps I can have someone read from this book (or maybe I can!).

The Red Shoes (Redux) by Nikki Magennis
Fool’s Gold by Shanna Germain
The Three Billys by Sommer Marsden
David by Kristina Lloyd
Managers and Mermen by Donna George Storey
The Clean-Shaven Type by N.T. Morley
The Midas F*ck by Erica DeQuaya
Sleeping with Beauty by Allison Wonderland
Unveiling His Muse by Portia Da Costa
Always Break the Spines by Lana Fox
An Uphill Battle by Benjamin Eliot
Moonset by A.D.R Forte
Mastering Their Dungeons by Bryn Haniver
A Taste for Treasure by T.C. Calligari
The Broken Fiddle by Andrea Dale
The Cougar of Cobble Hill by Sophia Valenti
Wolff’s Tavern by Bella Dean
Slutty Cinderella by Jacqueline Applebee
Kiss It by Saskia Walker
Let Down Your Libido by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Dancing Shoes by Tsaurah Litzky
Gold, On Snow by Janine Ashbless
After the Happily Every After by Heidi Champa
Cupid Has Signed Off by Thomas S. Roche
The Walking Wheel by Georgia E. Jones
Rings on My Fingers by Alison Tyler
The Princess by Elspeth Potter

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Interview with me about The Cougar Book and "What Pretty Girls Do"

I wrote the story "What Pretty Girls Do" inspired by the Kirsty MacColl song "What Do Pretty Girls Do?" and it finally found a home in the e-book and print anthology The Cougar Book

See the interview at publisher Logical-Lust.

Does your writing turn you on?

Once in a while it does. The more personal stories, the ones inspired by a lover or a crush, often move me. Others turn me on more mentally than physically. It’s often in rereading my work, whether live at my reading series, In The Flesh, or to myself, that the power of it truly hits me. I sometimes go into a little writing trance and forget exactly what I’m writing, perhaps as a way to protect myself from fearing publishing truly filthy thoughts or feelings.

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Great Best Sex Writing 2010 review at

I'm at the Apple Store so no time to format this correctly, but do see the entire great review of Best Sex Writing 2010 at

Best Sex ventures into some spicy arenas. There’s the story of the sex worker who finds herself hot and bothered by an anonymous and handsome stranger whom she describes in, ‘Client voyeur.’ About her customer, a man with a strange fetish, the author writes, "He approached me, but I kept my eyes averted, taking him in through my peripheral vision. He walked toward me and moved his hands near my waist, pausing for a moment before drawing them back, and the anticipation, the frustration was excruciating…My heart was pounding, and I as thinking, Just touch me. His attention and the retrained sexual energy had me desperate for physical contact…I’d slowly let go of my resistance, transformed from defensive affectation to open, raw lust…I stood there, half naked, waiting, throbbing.”

Many essays deserve particular recognition for pushing the envelope. There is, ‘The anatomy of an affair,’ in which the essayist, writing under the pseudonym, Michelle Perrot, describes in snarly detail her desire to have, “rough sex. Dirty, spit in his mouth sex..the kind …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.” Janet Hardy takes a good hard look at her sexuality and her vagina in ‘The portal,’ explaining that despite having had girlfriends, she finds herself also liking men. “And since they don’t have [vaginas], we use mine,” she writes.

It’s impossible to highlight every essay in this collection, each of which stands strongly alone, but together they paint a deeper, more colorful and diverse picture of our base natures. For those who worry that there isn’t enough vanilla to warrant reading Best Sex, rest assured there is something here even for the demure. John DeVore writes a delicious ode to desire, sensuality and women with curves in ‘What really turns men on.’ (Women with curves make my junk bark. There is something so shockingly vulnerable, feminine, and grounded about a woman with back, hips, a lil' paunch...sensuality is a time machine that slows things down so you can greedily savor every nanosecond.") And Paul Krassner reminds us that not all genitals look like they belong to a porn star...nor should they in his essay, ‘Remembering pubic hair.’ ("My own resistance to the plethora of bald p*ssies stems from my preadolescent days when pubic hair was such a big taboo that I became obsessed with it."

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First Best Sex Writing 2010 reading, Eugene, Oregon

We had a lovely reception last night at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon, where I read the introduction to Best Sex Writing 2010, Janet Hardy read "The Portal" about cunts, I read Kirk Read's AMAZING essay "It's a Shame About Ray" and Kerry Cohen read her essay "The Anatomy of An Affair" and talked about her now-open marriage. We had a Q&A following the reading that covered everything from sexual outlaws to The Vagina Monologues and sexuality and morality. We had a pretty good crowd because of the Eugene Weekly review -fingers crossed for good turnouts tonight in Portland and tomorrow in Seattle. I don't think most readings feature free cupcakes plus we're a pretty feisty, powerful group.


Loose Girl author Kerry Cohen, The Ethical Slut co-author Janet Hardy and me

February 22, 7:30-8:30 pm

Best Sex Writing 2010 reading
Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and contributors Kerry Cohen, writing as Michelle Perrot, reading from "Anatomy of an Affair," about the affair she plans to have and the difference between married sex and an affair, and Janet Hardy, reading from "The Portal," about cunts and their relationship to sexuality. FREE and free cupcakes!
Powell's Books
1005 W. Burnside, Portland, Oregon
Info: 503-228-4651

February 23, 7:00 pm

Best Sex Writing 2010 reading
Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and contributors Kerry Cohen, writing as Michelle Perrot, reading from "Anatomy of an Affair," about the affair she plans to have and the difference between married sex and an affair, and Janet Hardy, reading from "The Portal," about cunts and their relationship to sexuality. Free and free custom cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes.
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 South Main Street, Seattle, WA 98104

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Affair sex vs. married sex from "Anatomy of an Affair" by Kerry Cohen

Hear Kerry Cohen (writing as Michelle Perrot) read from this piece and talk about the aftermath tonight, tomorrow and Tuesday in Eugene, Portland and Seattle. I'll post my Q&A with her ASAP because it's fascinating and I'm SO proud to have published this original, not-seen-anywhere-else piece in Best Sex Writing 2010. I hope we get a big showing from poly people because I think outspoken, proud people who are willing to grapple publicly with what it means to reject our fucked up culture of compulsory monogamy are truly sexual outlaws, which is the theme of the anthology. Actually, scratch that - it's the general public who needs to hear voices like Kerry's, to understand that you can be married, be a good mom, be a smart, savvy person and still opt out of monogamy and (OMG!) be happy.

From "Anatomy of an Affair" by Kerry Cohen:

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.

For a number of years, of course, I assumed I would forgo this sort of sex. It was worth it to keep my marriage intact. Marriage is about compromise. It’s about some degree of sacrifice. Honestly, if what I would have to sacrifice were something other than the sort of sex that most fills me, I’d be happy to oblige. But sexual desire is so intensely personal, so completely something you don’t control. I can’t just decide that I will no longer crave that sort of sex, and our desires don’t always fit well with the monogamy our culture demands.

The running psychological theory is that we eroticize what has shamed, hurt, or frightened us, that our “lovemap cartographic systems,” as described by John Money, the famous John Hopkins psychologist, are learned. If that’s true, it could be argued that I spent my childhood feeling helpless, unable to control the ways in which my parents emotionally wounded me. As the years went by I tried to control the world where it felt out of control. I pursued men vigorously. I yelled at them when they hurt me, tried to force them into being who I wanted them to be. These were the men I had the best sex with, the ones who wanted to make clear who was really in charge once we got in the bedroom, the kind who made me go blind mid-orgasm, who told me my pussy was so wet and their cocks were aching with need for me, who smacked my ass while we did it from behind. These were the kind of men I never would have married. I wanted to get married, to share my life with someone.

I chose my husband because he was not one of these men.

Read the entire essay in Best Sex Writing 2010, which is for sale from publisher Cleis Press and:



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Great Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories from a site that knows a good spanking!

I love that a site that really knows its spankings, Spanking Authors, loved my anthology Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories, writing:

This collection of stories celebrates the pleasures of a quivering bottom turned rosy red by hand, crop, whip, or paddle. Some are written from the perspective of the spanker others the spankee. Each chronicles the experiences of those who crave discipline or those discovering for the first time how good being spanked can feel, each vivid tale trembles with erotic pleasure.

This has a bit of something for everyone; M/M, F/M, M/F, F/F whether you are a spanker, spankee or just someone curious about spanking this book offers a view into actions and reactions of the spankee and spanker and how they emotionally interact with one another some may surprise you with their emotional intensity. It’s a fun, exciting, kinky and for many a very erotic book.

For a refresher on what's in the book, here's the table of contents and introduction:

Introduction: Getting Spanked Again (and Again)

A Thousand Words by Donna George Storey
The Hardest Part by Alison Tyler
A Firm Understanding by Elizabeth Coldwell
Prime Time by Teresa Noelle Roberts
Ass Worship by Jerry Arthur
The Purple Balloon by Tess Danesi
Sorority Sister by Dominique Dunbar
Days by Simon Sheppard
Bossy by Sommer Marsden
Oscar and Holly by Bill Kte’pi
Lonnie’s Licks by Tenille Brown
The Swinging Spankers Club by Stan Kent
Reenactment by Zille Defeu
Confessor by Craig J. Sorensen
The Spanking Machine by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Stuffing the Ballot Box by Andrea Dale
Tease for Two by Maddy Stuart
I’m Going to Grab Your Hair by N. T. Morley
Flaming by Jean Roberta
Helping Those in Need by Gwen Masters

Introduction: Getting Spanked Again (and Again)

This being my fourth book on the subject, by now it should be clear that I love spanking: giving, receiving, fantasizing about, and watching it.

So what’s different about this collection? For one thing, there are more male authors represented, a trend I fully support. For another, the tales are more imaginative; yes, there are first-timers and dedicated spankophiles, but there are also swingers and Renaissance Fair attendees living out long-held fantasies in highly unusual ways (see Tess Danesi’s “The Purple Balloon” for details). There are spankings here that aren’t all good or all bad, just as ones in real life don’t always conform so easily. Is the narrator of Dominique Dunbar’s “Sorority Sister” grateful for the spanking she got from Claire Spencer back in the day? Was that a pleasurable experience or one that teetered on confusion? Dunbar mixes things up so we’re not totally sure.

Alison Tyler also alludes to the push/pull of spanking, even for the most die-hard fan. “But now that I’m here, I’d rather be anywhere else. Name the place, and I’d rather be there: in line at the DMV; waiting in the doctor’s office; sitting at the back of coach on a packed flight. I’m scared, more scared than usual, because he’s taking his time…” She perfectly captures the way many submissives want what they know will hurt, want it and don’t want it at the very same time—something that good tops play into.

The same thing happens in Teresa Noelle Roberts’ kinky math nerd tale, “Prime Time,” in which the narrator finds herself tongue-tied as she’s given a challenging assignment. “My stomach flip-flopped. The bedroom spun. My heart raced in panic that I couldn’t convince myself was pointless. I fought back the urge to cry, fought it so hard that I started trembling.” You might think, upon reading that sentence, that she doesn’t really want to be spanked, that she doesn’t fantasize and obsess over her need, but you’d be wrong.

I’m also very glad this book has a fairly even mix of spankers and spankees, though of course some people can manage to be both at different times. The rush of delivering a spanking to one who wants and needs it is explored here in many scenarios, from Simon Sheppard’s wistful “Days” to the age-variant relationship in Bill Kte’pi’s intriguing “Oscar and Holly.” And in Maddy Stuart’s “Tease for Two,” two women get off on sharing the power of delivery, and learning from each other, as well as mutual delight in a job well done: “George’s technique was that of someone who had spanked a thousand exposed asses, but the overflowing smile and the sparkle in her eyes belonged to someone who was discovering it for the first time.”

Whatever kind of spankings you’re into--even if, like the characters in Donna George Storey’s “A Thousand Words” and Jerry Arthur’s “Ass Worship,” you’re not sure what you’re intoæI hope you’ll find it within these pages.

And spank you very much for reading.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City

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Portland, I heart you

Portland has been nonstop - stayed at Hyatt Place, because I was antsy about coming to a residential neighborhood at 1 am sans phone, and had a lovely time. For $85 I got a giant room with couch and bed and there was a pool - obviously if I forgot my phone I didn't think to bring a bathing suit, but anyway, then I took the light rail to the Apple Store, got a new phone that is so fancy I barely know what to do with it, went to Saint Cupcake for a meetup, hung out with my friend Douglas who showed me some of the many food carts in Portland and we caught up.

Hello Kitty greeted me in the mall (I am a Jersey Girl at heart so of course my first stop was in a mall to get a new phone)

Then my friend Irena picked me up - I spent almost all of the summer of 1999 hanging out with her and her then-girlfriend having the time of our lives. Now she lives in a house that reminds me of a friend's in Silverlake, completely with cute little dog and guest room and we go to catch up and hang out with her wife and talk baby names, good (and bad) tattoos, cupcakes and life. And eat at Mio Sushi, where I was introduced to sushi pizza! Yum.

Tonight our pro-affair, pro-cunt sexual outlaw Best Sex Writing 2010 mini book tour with me, Kerry Cohen (Loose Girl) and Janet Hardy (The Ethical Slut) hits Tsunami Books in Eugene from 7-8, Monday night we're at Powell's on Burnside at 7:30 in Portland and Elliott Bay in Seattle at 7 on Tuesday (the latter 2 with free cupcakes). You don't want to miss it, I promise. I'll be talking about the book and what I think it means to be a "sexual outlaw."

Loose Girl author Kerry Cohen ("Anatomy of an Affair")

The Ethical Slut co-author Janet Hardy ("The Portal")

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rakesh Satyal serenades In The Flesh with a cover of Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me"

This is one of the best things I've ever seen at In The Flesh and had the crowd roaring (and singing along) - Rakesh Satyal serenades us a cappella with a cover of "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift - the whole song! Thank you so much, Rakesh! You can hear how much the crowd loved this and it's one of the priceless moments we share at In The Flesh that just can't be replicated.

Let's make this was so freaking hilarious. YouTube clip is here.

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Eugene Weekly reviews Best Sex Writing 2010 and plugs Sunday night's reading with me, Kerry Cohen (aka Michelle Perrot) and Janet Hardy!

The fury comes in specifically in one of the strongest non-personal pieces, Judith Levine’s brilliant “What’s the Matter with Teen Sexting?” Hey! That’s a great damn question! Why are (some) adults so freaked out about teen sexuality? How could anyone prosecute kids as sex offenders for sending nude photos of themselves to their friends or partners?

Well, perhaps it’s because they never read Thomas MacAulay Millar’s “Toward a Performance Model of Sex,” which takes the women’s sexuality=cow milk equivalence and knocks it back into the Pandora’s box of misogyny. Admittedly, Millar’s is a long, meandering, top-heavy argument that spends too long with the buildup and not enough time at the climax, but combined with Ellen Friedrichs’ “Sex Laws That Can Really Screw You,” the essay provides a powerful backing for reconceptualizing sexual agency.

In between these more reported, factual pieces come the first-person experience snippets. Some of these, like Perrot’s, are both literary and erotic; some of them, like Diana Joseph’s “The Girl Who Only Sometimes Said No” and Kirk Read’s “It’s a Shame About Ray,” contain moving portraits of their writers or the people closest to them. Joseph’s piece in particular illustrates sensitive, painful clashes between parent and child, between different conceptualizations of female sexuality, between the mom’s experiences of a sexual life and the junior-high-aged son’s callous dismissal of girls’ ability to define themselves. “The Girl Who Only Sometimes Said No” leads the book, and it’s gorgeous; few of the following pieces live up to its promise, and some are flat-out poorly written even if the information contained in them has value in a society that doesn’t really understand how to talk about sex and sexuality.

Brooklyn Ink podcast takes you inside my erotic writing workshops at Shag in Brooklyn - if you're on the fence about attending, listen to this. I have 2 more (see previous post), February 27 and March 6. Students get high priority with my anthologies - I'm about to announce two more which there'll be lots of spots in. Plus I'm bringing cupcakes. The last 2 workshops have been small but fascinating.

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My events: Portland, Eugene, Seattle, NYC, Minneapolis

Sorry if these are out of order - I'm in Portland, off to the Apple Store to buy a new iPhone. Yes, that's how the last few days have been. It's probably in my apartment but I went to work, went back home to look for it, couldn't find it and almost missed my plane...which was then delayed by 2 hours thanks to JetBlue so I made it. Follow along in real time once I get a new phone on Twitter.

Cupcakes Take the Cake Meetup
Saturday, February 20, 2-4 pm
Saint Cupcake
407 nw 17th ave @ flanders
portland oregon 97209
Note: Special discount rate just for us. Say you're part of the cupcake meetup and you'll get dots for $1 for dots and full-size cupcakes for $2 each.

Cupcakes Take the Cake Meetup
Thursday, February 25, 6-8 pm
Trophy Cupcakes (Wallingford Center)
1815 N. 45th Street, Suite 209
Seattle, Washington
This one even has a Facebook page.

Cupcakes Take the Cake Meetup
Sunday, February 28, 3-5 pm
3338 University Ave. SE.
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Note: Seattle reading starts at 7, not 7:30. Be there for the Trophy Cupcakes cupcakes with my photo on them!!!

February 21, 6-7 pm

Reading from Best Sex Writing 2010 (Cleis Press)
featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and contributors Kerry Cohen, writing as Michelle Perrot, reading from "Anatomy of an Affair," about the affair she plans to have and the difference between married sex and an affair, and Janet Hardy, reading from "The Portal," about cunts and their relationship to sexuality. FREE.

Tsunami Books
2585 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97405-3132

Info: 541-345-8986

February 22, 7:30-8:30 pm

Reading from Best Sex Writing 2010 (Cleis Press)
featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and contributors Kerry Cohen, writing as Michelle Perrot, reading from "Anatomy of an Affair," about the affair she plans to have and the difference between married sex and an affair, and Janet Hardy, reading from "The Portal," about cunts and their relationship to sexuality. FREE and free cupcakes!

Powell's Books
1005 W. Burnside, Portland, Oregon

Info: 503-228-4651

February 23, 7:00 pm

Best Sex Writing 2010 reading

Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and contributors Kerry Cohen, writing as Michelle Perrot, reading from "Anatomy of an Affair," about the affair she plans to have and the difference between married sex and an affair, and Janet Hardy, reading from "The Portal," about cunts and their relationship to sexuality. FREE.

Elliott Bay Book Company
101 South Main Street, Seattle, WA 98104

February 27, 2-4 pm
Erotic Writing Workshop Taught by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Shag, 108 Roebling (at N. 6th), Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Acclaimed erotica author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel (Bottoms Up, Spanked, Peep Show, The Mile High Club) teaches an erotic writing workshop covering characterization, point of view, selling your work and more. Bring pen/paper or laptop for in-class exercises. Includes handouts and free cupcakes.
Admission: $20
Info: 347-721-3302

March 2, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Best Sex Writing 2010 book party

Join Best Sex Writing 2010 editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and local contributor Diana Joseph, author of I’m Sorry You Feel That Way, for a reading and book party. The book collects the best sex journalism and essays of the year on topics ranging from teen sexting to penis size to the world's thinnest condoms to voyeurism, swinging, Tijuana bibles, sex work, crazy sex laws and Twilight as "abstinence porn," all centered on the them of sexual outlaws. Co-sponsored by Smitten Kitten; books will be available for sale and sex toys will be raffled off. Music by erotic bluegrass band Courtney McClean and The Dirty Curls; free cupcakes by Cake Eater Bakery.

Bedlam Theatre
1501 S. 6th St., Minneapolis

March 6, 2-4 pm
Erotic Writing Workshop Taught by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Shag, 108 Roebling (at N. 6th), Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Acclaimed erotica author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel (Bottoms Up, Spanked, Peep Show, The Mile High Club) teaches an erotic writing workshop covering characterization, point of view, selling your work and more. Bring pen/paper or laptop for in-class exercises. Includes handouts and free cupcakes.
Admission: $20
Info: 347-721-3302

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Thursday, February 18, 2010


It's been a week of death, birth and breakups around here - a lot more going on too but I'll have more to say about that, possibly when I make it to the West Coast on Friday night. I just wanted to pay tribute to my aunt, Viktoria Holm Kramer. She was an amazing woman and I loved her and feel very lucky to have known her. This is us at Thanksgiving last year - I spent many a Thanksgiving and holiday with them when I was in college.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Michael Musto reads at Love and Lust Night February 18th

February 18, 2010 at 7:30 PM - note early start time (doors at 7)
(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

Published authors from New York, Portland and London offer up their post-Valentine's Day take on Love and Lust at In The Flesh Reading Series. Join Jami Attenberg (The Melting Season), Michelle Churchill (I Thought I Grew Up), Julie Klausner (I Don't Care About Your Band), Michael Musto (Village Voice gossip columnist, author, Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back), Suzanne Portnoy (The Not So Invisible Woman), Kevin Sampsell (A Common Pornography: A Memoir), Rakesh Satyal (Blue Boy) and Justin Taylor (Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever). Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Sex Writing 2010, Peep Show). Authors' books will be available for sale. Cupcakes by Baked by Melissa will be served.

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. The series was named Best Reading Series by New York Press in 2009. 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.

Jami Attenberg is the author of the short story collection, Instant Love, and two novels, The Kept Man, and The Melting Season, which is forthcoming from Riverhead Books in January 2010. She has contributed to a number of publications, including The New York Times, New York, Print, Salon, and Nylon, as well as the anthologies Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone and Love is a Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts.

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

Michelle Churchill is an author, blogger and real estate maven. Her first book, a memoir entitled I Thought I Grew Up, was released in May 2009. On Barnes & Noble’s web site Rising Star List and consistently in the Top 500 in Women’s Biography, I Thought I Grew Up is an Award-Winning Finalist in the National Best Books 2009 Awards. She is a single woman living, loving and working in New York City. Michelle is working on her first novel.

Julie Klausner is a comedy writer and performer whose first book, I Don't Care About Your Band, from Gotham Books, will be released in February of 2010. She's appeared in many shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and on VH1’s Best Week Ever, where she was also a staff writer. She has written for Saturday Night Live’s “TV Funhouse” and The Big Gay Sketch Show, and her prose has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, McSweeney’s, Salon, Videogum, and others.

Michael Musto writes the popular “La Dolce Musto” column in The Village Voice as well as the breathless blog “La Daily Musto” on He’s a regular commentator on shows like Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Theater Talk, and is celebrating the release of his fourth book, a collection with some new essays called Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back.

photo by Ivylise Simones

Suzanne Portnoy is a London based erotic memoirist and the author of The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker and The Not So Invisible Woman. Her stories have been published in Ultimate Decadence (XCite Books), Scarlet Magazine and Desire. An entertainment publicist for fifteen years, when not writing about her own sex life, she can usually be found accompanying celebrities to store openings or taking one of her two teenage boys to football practise. She once had a portfolio of lovers but recently has settled down with one.

Kevin Sampsell has been the publisher of Future Tense Books since 1990. His fiction has been published widely in literary journals like LIT, McSweeney’s and Opium, and on popular sites like Nerve and Failbetter. His non-fiction essays and reviews have appeared in various newspapers and magazines. His books include Beautiful Blemish and Creamy Bullets as well as his latest work, A Common Pornography: A Memoir (HarperPerennial). He works as Small Press Champion (his actual title) for Powell’s Books. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

photo by Barb Klansnic

Rakesh Satyal is the author of the novel Blue Boy, a gender-bending comedy about a young Indian American boy's fascination with the Hindu god Krishna. He is an editor at HarperCollins, where he works with such authors as Paulo Coelho, Clive Barker, Armistead Maupin, and Paul Rudnick. A member of the planning committee for the annual PEN World Voices Festival, he sings a popular cabaret show in the city. He lives in Brooklyn.

Justin Taylor is 26 years old. He is the author of Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever (HarperPerennial). His fiction and nonfiction has been published by n+1, The Nation, The Believer, Brooklyn Rail, Slate, NPR, Time Out New York, and Best American Essays 2007, among many other journals, magazines and websites. In 2007 he edited acclaimed short fiction anthology The Apocalypse Reader, compiling new and selected stories about the end of the world; and guest-edited an issue of McSweeney’s (#24), for which he produced “Come Back, Donald Barthelme,” a symposium on the author’s life and work. He co-edits The Agriculture Reader and is a regular contributor to HTMLGiant: The Internet Literature Magazine Blog of the Future. He teaches at Rutgers and is at work on his first novel.

You will hear from the following books:

The Melting Season
by Jami Attenberg

Peep Show: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists
edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

I Thought I Grew Up
by Michelle Churchill

I Don't Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated
by Julie Klausner

Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back
by Michael Musto

A Common Pornography: A Memoir
by Kevin Sampsell

Blue Boy
by Rakesh Satyal

Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever
by Justin Taylor

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My 4 new book covers!

Just got my new book covers in from Cleis Press - all are fall releases (only one, Orgasmic, has been turned in, though Naked is almost done and as I posted, Passionate is getting there and I'm eagerly awaiting submissions. Haven't seen covers for Best Bondage Erotica 2011 or Best Sex Writing 2011 yet (just typing "2011" feels weird though!). While I'm away this weekend I'll post about The Art of the Erotic Love Letter - I'm writing this one, my first nonfiction book, and will be seeking input. And I have to say, even 30+ anthologies in seeing my name on a book's cover never gets old, and, I predict, never will.

(Yes, Passionate is now called Passionate.)

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Because Facebook comments are the new blogging, or, Marry Him, the article vs. the book

HarperStudio, the very smart, diverse, web-savvy imprint of HarperCollins that just signed new media types like Baratunde Thurston, Kevin Rose, Ryan Tate, Melanie Notkin of Savvie Auntie and author Jill Kargman, known for Momzillas, among other novels, asked on Facebook (and their blog) what readers think about Newsweek's "We Read It So You Don't Have To" feature, in this case, about Lori Gottlieb's new book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Wrong (currently 106 on Amazon), based on her 2008 article in The Atlantic.

From Fast Company:

HarperStudio will publish just two books a month and offer authors 50-50 profit sharing, rather than a traditional 7% to 15% royalty.

I wrote:

Very interesting - I truly tend to think all publicity is good publicity; like even if people aren't going to buy the book, the fact that they know about it is preferable to never having heard of it. I actually thought the book was both better and had a different argument than the (IMO) offensive article. Not 100% behind it but it gave me a lot of stuff to think about whereas the article made me want to scream.

As for Newsweek, I hadn't seen that - pretty impressed with their rundown, especially namechecking the Cristina Nehring book which obviously doesn't have the populist appeal of Gottlieb's but was (from what I read, which wasn't, admittedly, the whole book) an interesting take on the topic of love and romance. I also like that Newsweek can cop to being wrong about the whole marrying vs. getting killed by a terrorist madness that Susan Faludi debunked back in the day.

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Help Loving Day earn $25,000 from Pepsi Refersh

All you have to do is click here and vote every day through February 28th by clicking a button to help Loving Day get a $25,000 grant from Pepsi Refresh.

Here are the goals of Loving Day:

* Educate the public about history in order to fight racial prejudice
* Establish a tradition of Loving Day celebrations
* Create a common connection between multicultural communities
* Build multicultural awareness, understanding, acceptance, and identity

Here's Loving Day founder Ken Tanabe talking about their mission:

From my 2006 Village Voice interview with Loving Day founder Ken Tanabe:

Loving Day falls just six days from Juneteenth. Any relationship? Juneteenth celebrates the liberation of slaves in the U.S. It's not officially recognized by the government or a Hallmark holiday, but it's huge. Churches, families, social groups, and organizations get together. I thought, "That's the way to do it." I wanted to take something historically negative and make it into a positive, to structure it around an event people can use every year to be reminded of this case and celebrate it.

Interracial couples have been legal for some time, but these are old wounds. People have a hard time talking about this subject because it seems so personal. They don't see it as part of the civil rights struggle.

Do you think it's about sex?
It is and it's not. The laws were about marriage, but often also about sex. The laws would talk about unlawful fornication, adultery, concubinage, and cohabitation. Sex is a part of the conversation.

Do you have to be part of an interracial couple to attend Loving Day parties? The way I like to think about that is: If you wanted to march with Martin Luther King Jr., did you have to black? No. The holiday or idea is open to anyone who's against discrimination on the basis of race. It focuses on the relationship side of it, but it's really about racism and being against it. Also, these laws prosecuted everybody—regardless of face. People who value freedom and equality are offended and outraged at the idea that the law could discriminate this way.

Is there a specific goal you're trying to achieve? The goal is for the
Loving decision to become a part of our civil rights history and be as well recognized as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. We need to make this part of our household language and everyday vocabulary. We know about Brown, Plessy, and lunch counter sit-ins, but relatively few know about Loving.

Do you get hate mail? Yes. Here's one of my favorites: "Pathetic site, what's next? Marrying your dog? You can't mix humans with black filth." One of my top five referrers was a white supremacist website advocating laws against interracial couples. It had burning crosses and Confederate flags. I was totally shocked.

Click here to vote for Loving Day to win a Pepsi Refresh grant.

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Men love sex, women hate blowjobs, news at 11

Here's what Lisa Rinna said in a recent interview at Momlogic

There's one more thing I want to add about sex: Men love it. They love to get pleasure. It's really that simple. If you want to make your partner happy, then go there! Go there a lot. I'm telling you: Not only will you get whatever you want, you'll almost always have a happy man on your hands (so to speak). I know that giving oral sex turns a lot of you off, but you can get creative with your hands, too, ladies. It's quick and easy; just add a little lotion and voila: happy man! Trust me, it will change your relationship and your life!

Why is it that it's so so often portrayed in mainstream and women's media that giving head is such a turnoff? Why, too, that if that's so, women are just encouraged to do it anyway. I'm not denying that men love sex, but geez...women do too. It's insulting to me both as a woman and a person who loves, in a word, cocksucking, that this is such a common assumption.

It's not that I think all women should share my enthusiasm but it just seems like if we were encouraging, say, men to get involved in making blowjobs more pleasurable for their women and women finding ways to get off, like using a vibrator on themselves while it's going on, their be more happy blowers and blowees.

I'd like to share a tiny snippet from the story "Fellatio: A Love Story" by Scarlett French in my anthology Tasting Him: Oral Sex Stories, which, along with the companion volume Tasting Her, won the 2009 Independent Publisher Award for Erotica, because it perfectly dramatizes the woman who is afraid/mistrustful of/dislikes oral sex, yet comes around, as it were:

Fellatio: A Love Story
Scarlett French

He never asked me to go down on him, not once, even though I know he loved it. He knew how I felt, knew I couldn’t, knew that the messages I’d picked up from porn were that men thought Yeah, suck it bitch. I think I’d even heard those very words usedæand that was in some stupid mainstream film. It wasn’t that I’d had a bad experience, it was simply about the messages I’d picked up from popular culture. We had talked about it. He told me that if a man is disrespectful in his thoughts toward his partner during a blow job, then he’s disrespectful in his thoughts during the missionary position. He told me it’s about the man, not the act. It was a logical argument and I agreed with him in principle but it didn’t change how I felt. So he never asked, never hinted, and he never scrimped on going down on me.

And it was because he never asked, never hinted, and never scrimped, that two years later I found myself in a bookshop one Friday night, holding Violet Blue’s
Ultimate Guide to Fellatio, skimming its contents. You’ve got to understand two things about me: one, I try to be a fair person, and two, I’m contrary. So, because he kept giving to me all that time, and because he never once tried to make me do what I didn’t want to do, I found myself wanting to confront my negativity about blow jobs. And because these things proved his respect and love for me, I found myself buying that book.

Then later:

His eyes widened as my face approached his hard member. I brought my tongue out slowly and licked my lips deliberately before making that first contact with his shaft. The skin was soft on my tongue. I liked the way it felt. I licked all the way up from the base to the tip. It didn’t taste bad at all, not even the precome, and I’d always been squeamish about tasting come. I kept my tongue out, curved it, and pushed it down the shaft again, then back up. He made a strange sound that was somewhere between a whimper and a growl. His eyes rolled back a bit and I felt a surge of excitement ripple through me. I encircled the head with swirling licks until I felt myself wanting to take his whole cock in my mouthæmuch like when I wanted him in my cunt so bad I’d physically ache. To my surprise, it was with that same urgency, that same desire. I licked the whole shaft, covering it with my saliva. Then I smiled at him, licked my lips, and kept my eyes on his as best I could as I sunk my mouth down over his whole cock, devouring it from tip to base. As I took him all the way into my mouth I felt my pussy surge with wetness, my muscles clenching involuntarily. I breathed through the gag reflex when I felt the tip of his cock in the back of my throat and pushed a little farther still, to get all of him inside my mouth. He moaned from in his gut and his face took on a beatific expression. “Mmmm,” I mumbled, my mouth absolutely full of his cock. I knew the sound would cause subtle vibrations against him, but I also wanted him to know that I liked what I was doing.

If you'd like to check out Violet Blue's oral sex tips on her website, and/or buy her book The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio.

From Violet Blue's description of the book:

In The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio learn an exhaustive catalogue of tips, tricks and techniques with which you can cultivate your own mind-blowing technique. New to fellatio, or want your lover to try it? I provide practical advice for the real world. Find thorough explanations of pleasure-based anatomy and how to get yourself off when your mouth is, er, full. An entire chapter is devoted to the art of “deep throat,” the technique of completely swallowing a man, with solutions to overcoming the gag reflex — and what to do once you’ve got him all the way in. Take your oral techniques further with sexy fellatio games, putting a condom on with your mouth, rimming a man, using oral sex in roleplay and power exchange, how to have a fellatio threesome, dealing with jaw cramp, and more.

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