Hungry for More: Romantic Fantasies for Women - just published! With stories by Tiffany Reisz, Greta Christina, D.L. King and more. 21 fantasies, from "Kitchen Slut" to a cougar to Craigslist sex to BDSM to bukkake to watching two men get it on, and more!
Every day in May (a few dates at the end will be filled in ASAP - email pleaseantho at gmail.com with your URL and mailing address - US only for the free book - if you want to be part of the tour) a new blogger will post about Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission. Join us! Links will be updated below as they're posted. (Note: some of these blogs are NSFW.)
I wanted to share all my book trailers at once - I hope to be able to afford to do more in the future! Details TK ASAP about the May Please, Sir virtual book tour - 3 spots are left. To be part of it and get your free book (US only), email your URL and mailing address to pleaseantho at gmail.com with "virtual book tour" in the subject line. Spanked has proven the most popular, at over 180,000 views, (and my thanks to Goldfrapp and their record label for reinstating it on YouTube) and the most sales of all my Cleis books, though I have very high hopes for Please, Sir!
Recently, Laura Boyd of boudoir photography site ownyoursexy.com took some photos of me in her studio. Visit her site to see more of her work and click here for the rest of my Flickr set of her photos. She liked my torn fishnets.
I went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
I'm impressed that there are signs all over to use the hashtag #latfob on Twitter and to log in on Foursquare:
I really enjoyed AWP, and BEA is my favorite part of the year, but there is really something to be said for a festival that is so welcoming of anyone. You don't need special knowledge of the authors, don't have to be up on all the latest literature. The room was packed for Memoir: All The Single Ladies yesterday, featuring Amy Alkon (I See Rude People), Julie Klausner (I Don't Care About Your Band), Giulia Melucci (I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, which has a blurb by Mario Batali!) and Sascha Rothchild, whose memoir How To Get Divorced by 30: My Misguided Attempt at a Starter Marriage I bought and am enjoying. (She signed it, "Congrats on avoiding these steps!") I live Tweeted a lot of it so won't recap it all now.
From the Facebook invite I made, but apparently John Freeman is stranded by ash, sadly. Just go to the Ticketmaster booth at UCLA and tickets are totally free, no service charge. Love that. Panel is today, April 25, 3-4 pm. After, I'll be signing copies of The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories.
Yes, Sir and Spanked were in the most gorgeous displays I've ever seen, complete with beautiful paddles.
Rulers, all the better to spank you with my dear...
I'd be hard pressed not to want to lick anyone wearing this stuff! It comes in an elegant bag with a risque quote on it and smells like coconut and fig and is meant to be for the bath but you can just wear it and smell edible all the time!
In the Please, Sir book trailer, you both see Tess Danesi and hear lines from her story "I Breathe Your Name," including "So you want to play rough, Tess?" I thought you might appreciate this short excerpt from her story, but do be sure to read the whole thing:
He lifts me and presses my back hard against the marble wall, still cool despite the heated water. My legs, crossed at the ankles, are tight around his waist. His hands are flat against the wall, my fingers interlaced together behind his neck. My chin falls into the hollow of his shoulder, my tongue trailing up to his ear, licking up the plump water droplets that define my path. I feel his cock stiffening against my pelvis and thoughts of him buried inside me make me nearly feral. I bite harder than I’d planned into his soft earlobe. He doesn’t jerk away; he doesn’t even move, but he whispers words that I barely have time to comprehend, “So you want to play rough, Tess?” before he’s pushed me tighter against the wall with his hips. One of his large hands guides his cock into my ready cunt. A deep sigh, of relief, of satisfaction, is the last sound I make before both his hands are on my neck.
Fixing me in his dark gaze, his deep voice speaks softly, nearly drowned out between the dual cascades of water and the pulse beating a steady rhythm in my ears, “You should know by now, Tess, I repay pain with pain.”
Even as his hands tighten on my throat, I can’t take my eyes off his. I’m not sure what I hope to see in his stare. Sometimes he can go so cold that even while his eyes are fixed on mine, I know he’s looking beyond me, looking somewhere into the darkness that resides so close to the edge of his surface civility. And sometimes, like now, I know he’s watching me intently to gauge my reaction, and as my breathing gets more and more impaired as he cuts off my respiration, to determine when to stop.
This one is NSFW (not safe for work), though it's YouTube so there's no nudity. There is: spanking, bondage, handcuffs, hot wax, ice, face slapping and sexy doms and subs. Just like in the book! (These may not all be in the actual book but most of them are; I know that my story and Tess Danesi's - she looks really hot in the trailer too! - are about choking.) I'm sharing the info below the trailer again because...this is my favorite of all the many books I've edited and I truly hope you'll buy it and savor every hot page.
And for fans of the cover photo, shot by Christine Kessler, check it out: Exquisite Restraint not only makes the beautiful custom corset you see on the cover, but is a fan!
Anticipation Shanna Germain Because He Can Elizabeth Coldwell Avery Says Sommer Marsden The Sub Fairy Mercy Loomis I Breathe Your Name Tess Danesi Long Time Gone Heidi Champa Power over Power Emerald Knot Here! Yolanda West Veronica’s Body Isabelle Gray The Negotiation Remittance Girl A Night at the Opera Evan Mora Mommy’s Boy Doug Harrison No Good Deed Alison Tyler Masochist on Vacation Aimee Pearl Lil’ Pet Brat, aka Lily Guangli Kissa Starling Pleasure Keeper Charlotte Stein Welcome to the World Ariel Graham Stroke Lisabet Sarai Sunday in the Study Justine Elyot Walking the Sub Salome Wilde Just What She Needs Donna George Storey Your Hand on My Neck Rachel Kramer Bussel
Introduction: Risk and Reward
If you ask me, submission is an art form. It requires dedication, focus, commitment and desireæand there’s no single way of doing it. It’s about unlocking something within yourself so you can reach beyond your normal limits, exposing your body and soul in order to go somewhere you cannot get to alone.
I had a lover who always told me that the key to life is “High risk, high reward.” The same is true about kink, and this is evident throughout the stories in Please, Sir, which explores female submission and male dominance from the sub’s point of view. When these characters take risks, they are rewarded…even when those rewards look like “punishment.” They are rewarded in all kinds of ways, from being bound to being praised to being choked, spanked or put on display. They are rewarded by being tested again and again.
The women in these stories approach submission in different ways. Some, like Tess Danesi’s protagonist in “I Breathe Your Name,” live on the edge of fear and get off on pushing the limits with their masters, though they don’t always know where their boldness will take them. Some of these women are drawn to the charisma of a born leader, one like Krav Maga instructor, Dominic, in Emerald’s “Power over Power.” Jackie, his student, has been watching and fantasizing about him, but when he finally acknowledges her sexually, she is caught off guard:
I trembled, wanting to touch him but feeling frozen. Still looking at the ground, I nodded.
With characteristic efficiency of motion, he reached with one finger and pulled my chin up. A shudder ran through me as I felt his poweræthe power I saw in every move he made, that he exuded at the front of the class, that he spoke when he told us what we were capable of, that coiled and expelled from him whenever he slammed any part of his body into the punching bag. This was the power that lived unquestioned within him, so seamlessly that it was as though it wouldn’t exist without him.
Others don’t expect to be getting kinky at all, like the “Mommy’s Boy” in Doug Harrison’s story, where tables get turned in a most delightful way. In Lisabet Sarai’s “Stroke,” a woman risks getting kinky at work in order to realize her dream:
I just stood there, petrified by mingled fear and excitement. If anyone discovered us, I'd lose my job. I'd never work as a nurse again. Five years of education down the drain. But this might be my only chance. The chance to make my fantasies real.
The lesson there, and in all of these stories, is that there is risk involved in submission. I don’t mean the physical risks, but the emotional ones, the ones that require a leap of faith, a knowledge that what you are doing may unnerve you, confuse you and scare you, even while it makes you wet and eager and ready for more. As we see in Shanna Germain’s opening story, “Anticipation,” merely thinking about what he might do next, playing with power in one’s own mind, can yield profound results:
I can no longer breathe, much less make a noise of want. This is what he does to me, every day: whips me into a frenzy of words that makes me miss him more than I have the power to say, that makes me so wet that if he were here, I’d fuck him right now, bent over this table, with all these people watching, groaning his name with every thrust. I’d be begging him to fuck me, beat me, make me come with the kind of orgasm that makes everything else disappear.
I have to go, back to the work that calls, the work that keeps me here in this foreign and fuckless place, but I don’t want to.
Some, like Kissa Starling’s heroine, are brats, and enjoy pushing their masters to the limit. Some don’t deliberately provoke anyone, but wind up bent over anyway. However they come to their submission (and come from their submission), their journey is one charged with the spark of passing power between two people, of welcoming the risk of submission and all it entails.
I like the women in this collection, and not just because they remind me of me when I’m reveling in being slapped across the face, forced to the ground, utterly at my chosen lover’s (or master’s, or partner’s or top’s) mercy. It’s not just the actions here that are familiar, but the reasoning, the way they crave and cringe in the face of the power they are claiming, and the power they are giving up. They are smart enough to know that kink is not about simply embracing one’s fears, but grappling with them, battling with them, taking risks and seeing if, in fact, they yield very sexy rewards.
LA Times Festival of Books tickets go on sale today. My panel, Hot Off The Press: Writing About Sex is this Sunday, April 25, 3 pm, moderated by Rachel Resnick featuring me, Susie Bright, Stephen Elliott and Granta editor (!! have you seen their vagina purse sex issue cover?) John Freeman. Looking forward to it; Saturday is also the book fair and...the Grilled Cheese Invitational! If I get on my flight and make it through the week...you never know with a girl like me.
Peep Show is a scorching hot read. Usually in anthologies or story collections, there is one or two bad reads, but that is not the case for Peep Show.
I enjoyed most stories in this collection but some of my favorites were:
Showtime by Susan St. Aubin Clean and Pretty by Donna George Storey Busted by Kissa Starling Indecent by Lolita Lopez People in Glass Hotels by Jennifer Peters I've Only Got Eyes for You by Rachel Kramer Bussell Audience Participation by Elizabeth Coldwell
This is a great book if you love to watch, want to watch, fantasy about being watched or want to be watched. Peep Show takes readers into both sides of the story, people who love to watch and people who love to be seen. Rachel Kramer Bussel did an excellent job selecting stories that not only complimented each other, but also showed off the hot and sultry exhibitionist and voyeuristic worlds. Peep Show is a book that will get you hot and bothered. It is an irresistibly, naughty read that entertains.
Emerald's story "Shift Change" is from Best Women's Erotica 2010 edited by Violet Blue. She'll be reading a juicy expert of this tale of a customer and some very special Apple Store employees tomorrow night at In The Flesh Reading Series. Don't miss it! All free, plus free cupcakes and candy! I recommend arriving by 7:15/7:30 to get a seat, and you can also sit downstairs and listen, drink and chat. Please spread the word to your favorite nerd(s), sex or otherwise.
Here's the beginning of the story:
There were no other customers at the Genius Bar, and as the “Genius” behind it, his denotation as such announced by his shirt, plugged in and switched on my laptop, I took a closer look at him. Upon first glance I hadn't found him particularly attractive, but as I watched him he began to seem right on the line between classic tech geek and an understated sexiness. His expression was serious as he watched the screen, its bright light reflected in the lenses of his glasses as he typed and clicked and probed and whatever else the Apple Geniuses do when someone brings in a problematic computer.
The more I watched him, the more mesmerizing he became. He wasn't the kind of guy I usually found myself attracted to, the kind that turned my head on the street and brought an unsolicited “fuck me please” forward in my brain. He was the kind that was necessary to watch like this, instigator of a quieter kind of attraction that came out only when all the characteristics that showcased his sexiness--focus, intensity, knowledge--came together for display. Even when he spoke, he did so with concise, no-nonsense syllables in a tone neither dull nor distant. Everything about his professional focus and action seemed to flow, but in a very structured manner. Like liquid through a straw.
And suddenly I wanted him to direct that attention at me.
And here's another excerpt from "Shift Change" from Emerald's blog:
“I walked up to him, and he turned to me, never breaking eye contact as he dropped his cigarette and crushed it out with his boot. I didn’t break stride until I was touching him, my lips devouring his, the smell of cigarette smoke fresh in the cold fall air. His response held no hesitation, and his arms wrapped around me, his hands roaming from my ass up to my neck through my hair. I normally hated cigarette smoke, but I loved the way he was touching me so much that at that moment it barely fazed me.”
Here's what Violet Blue says in the introduction to Best Women's Erotica 2010:
Finally, bringing the fantasies nearer to reality is the book’s closer and showstopper, “Shift Change” by Emerald, which makes sure that for us, a trip to Apple’s Genius Bar will never, ever be the same. And the wait will seem just a little more endurable with the fragments of Emerald’s multipartner story floating wishfully—and giddily—through our heads the next time we have to “take a number” to get a minute with a Genius.
Click here to listen to "Shift Change" read by Best Women's Erotica 2010 editor Violet Blue on her podcast Open Source Sex.
In The Flesh logo by Molly Crabapple
There's no need to RSVP, but for those who'd like this information in another format or to spread the word, Nerd Sex Night is also on Facebook. See also the In The Flesh Reading Series fan page on Facebook. Free candy includes mini Kit Kats, mini Peppermint Patties, mini Hershey's candy and Reese's Peanut Butter cups, along with 200 free Baked by Melissa cupcakes and chips, cookies and more! We're opening up the downstairs for those who want to drink and mingle while you listen. It's a not-to-be-missed evening.
IN THE FLESH EROTIC READING SERIES NERD SEX NIGHT April 15, 2010, 8 pm - 10 pm AT HAPPY ENDING LOUNGE, 302 BROOME STREET, NYC (B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue, http://www.happyendinglounge.com) Between Forsyth & Eldridge. Look for the hot pink awning that says "XIE HE Health Club." Admission: Free Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676 http://www.inthefleshreadingseries.com
Get geeky at Nerd Sex Night! Featuring Mike Albo (The Underminer), memoirist Elizabeth Bard (Lunch in Paris), Emily Cavalier (food writer, Mouth of the Border), sexual health researcher Laura G. Duncan, erotica writer Emerald (reading her Apple store erotica "Shift Change" from Best Women's Erotica 2010), chef and food stylist Akiko Moorman, author Stephen Elliott (The Adderall Diaries). Hosted and curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Peep Show, Bottoms Up, The Mile High Club). Free samples of Astroglide lube will be given out. 100 free copies of Sexis Magazine will be given out. Free cupcakes by Baked by Melissa along with chips, candy and other snacks 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, NBC New York, New York Post, New York Observer, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Flavorwire, Fork in the Road, Gawker, Gothamist, Jezebel.com, Nerve.com, Serious Eats, Tasting Table and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth.
Buy tickets here. I totally want to go! Even though it's trivia night. When I was writing for The Village Voice and she was working as a mermaid, I gave her a Best Of, the exact title of which I forget but it had something to do with Darryl Hannah. I haven't seen her perform in a long time, which says more about my lack of going to burlesque type events than anything else, so I'm looking forward to it.
by Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz Beauty and the Beast
Monday, April 19 at 8:00PM
at Abrons Arts Center 466 Grand Street (at Pitt) New York, NY 10002 Lower East Side F or J/M/Z to Delancey/Essex; B/D to Grand Street
No children under the age of 18 permitted.
After receiving standing ovations in Zagreb, Liverpool, Zurich, Berlin, and Amsterdam, Beauty and the Beast finally comes to New York City for one night only. This innovative collaboration between British TV actor and Disability Arts celebrity Mat Fraser and New York Downtown Art Queen Julie Atlas Muz has inspired audiences to laugh, cry and question who is truly beastly and who is beautiful.
$20 tickets; $50 VIP tickets for reserved seating, signed poster, gift bag, plus a rose to throw.
Exploding any notion of Disney schmaltz, this version of Beauty and the Beast is meant exclusively for adults, no children under the age of 18 are permitted.
As the Beast, Fraser uses his physicality to demonize the desires of humankind, & performs the majority of the show nude culminating in a tender and eye-opening bath in a golden tub. Muz plays Beauty revealing the unconscious obstinacy with which girls are brainwashed by the old fairy tales and yes, by the end of the show is also nude.
Both Fraser and Muz are touted for their theatrical irreverence and have performed internationally as independent artists in theaters clubs and Art Festivals for over a decade. Fraser’s social activism & anti-PC humor coupled with Muz’s feminist glamour & sexuality create the apex of inclusive (meaning disabled and non-disabled artists) performance art theatre, where the message of accessibility is integrated in a engaging, funny, charged and truly joyful play.
Be prepared to feel outrageous love in this funny, moving, sexy, wanton, playful, intelligent and thought provoking show as Fraser and Muz reveal their fantasy world, and perform beastly & beautiful acts of love for you.
My copies of Please, Sir arrived right before I left; it'll be in stores any day now, and in online stores, so please buy it. I'm calling it "My most important book out right now." I'm spending more money to promote it than any of the others and think it's simply gorgeous. So if you've never bought one of my books, please consider buying this one. Soon the kinky, sexy, red-hot trailer will be posted and in May there's the virtual book tour.
My post title is sortof facetious; buy any Cleis Press title and I get royalties (I do on most of the others, save for the first, I-was-young-and-naive-and-didn't-insist-on-royalties Up All Night), but Cleis is the most direct route to getting me paid, plus has the biggest selection. I will have a few copies for sale this Thursday at In The Flesh if you want an autographed copy.
One of the best parts of AWP was meeting contributors to my books: Lana Fox, who has a story in my October anthology Orgasmic, and R. Gay, whose work I've been reading since before I was editing books and is one of the best erotica writers around (and the editor of this summer's Girl Crush anthology featuring my story "Great Lengths"). It was so wonderful to meet her.
I'll be interviewing cover photographer Christine Kessler (who's also shot a few of my other Cleis Press books and has a sexy book of her own, Nylon Girls out) this week. If you have any questions for her about this cover, let met know at rachelkb at gmail.com (put "Kessler" in the subject line) and I'll ask her.
And because I'm sick of my own cowardice in censoring this blog, here's an excerpt from my story "Your Hand on My Neck." If you like it, buy the book. And yes, there is choking (and spanking and kneeling and bondage and a Wartenberg wheel and more, in the book trailer). For more excerpts and ongoing Please, Sir author interviews, see the official blog.
And yes, for all Amazon links, I get a tiny kickback, but I don't care where you buy Please, Sir from: directly from me at In The Flesh, directly from Cleis, an indie bookstore, Amazon, whatever. It's all good. My goal is to have this one sell out fast. Apparently, my female sub erotica sells best and if it does well, I can hopefully do more...and afford more book trailers. We're finalizing the music right now (I get to call someone whose music got me through law school) and I'll be posting it as soon as it's ready.
From my story, "Your Hand on My Neck," which closes Please, Sir:
Last week, you gave me a special gift: two hands there, each taking half, the pressure greater than one alone could handle. Your dick got even harder as you slammed into me, your weight shifting into your arms, making it hard for me to swallow. The shallow sound of my breath was loud in my ears as I willed you to twist a little. I longed for clothespins, imagined them standing upright on my nipples. You pulled one hand away to slap my clit, and I turned my head to the side, beckoning to the sheet, asking it for something I couldn’t ask of you. You knew, though, and tightening your grip on my neck, you slapped my cheek, the sting ringing in my ear. Slapping my face requires much more precision than spanking my ass. A stray slap down there can be corrected easily; a misplaced stroke can stop everything up above. Maybe because you’ve hit my sweet spot countless times, you know where on my face I crave it most, that fleshy apple bulge of my cheekbone, the part that makes me flinch, my teeth clamped. I look up at you through filmy eyes; I can’t look too directly because that would be too much, for both of us. There has to be a veil for me to let you do this. It’s why you’d stroke my neck across the table at a restaurant, or even lightly pinch my cheek, but would never in a million years slap me like this. Even a tap on the ass can be tolerated in public, but not this. This is more depraved somehow, and we both know it. My lips start to tremble and you lift your hand from my neck to cover them. You wind up covering part of my nose, too, and I force the panic to wind its way back down my throat before you slap my cheek again. Your dick is still inside me, but I wouldn’t say you’re fucking me with it, more like holding me in place, making sure I know you could fuck me at any time.
You switch hands and smack my right cheek, and I make sure my eyes are adamantly shut so I don’t see the blows coming, don’t know what’s going to happen, because that would ruin it a little bit for me. I feel you pull out and fear it’s over, fear you’ve tired of me, are bored by what’s increasingly becoming less of a game and more of a need. But instead your hand lingers on my face, seeing how much of it you can cover. I arch up against you, my back curving, straining to be covered by you. You give me what I want, pinching my nose, just for a minute, but long enough to make my insides seize up. You let go but then your face is right next to mine, the stubble I adore so much brushing against my cheek. I think you’re going to whisper something to me, but instead you bite me there, the fleshy part of my lower jaw. Not hard, but I’m sure it’ll leave an imprint. My clit is aching, but I can’t think about that too much because you grab my hands in yours and then tickle me under my arms. You’re not supposed to do that; tickling is off limits, but you do it anyway, followed by a sharp slap across my face, first one, then the other cheek. I want to ask you to do it harder, but I just think it, wondering if you’d be insulted were I to make such a request.
You take my silence for disinterest and do, indeed, slap me harder. Maybe it’s my imagination but you jab your cock into me when you do it. I’ve only slapped someone’s face in real anger, not like this, so I don’t know what it’s like, but I hope it makes you hard, I hope hurting me gets you off the way lying beneath you does to me. I don’t want to ask because as much as I may imagine what you’re feeling, I’d prefer you to show me with your body rather than your words.
I blog and update so many sites that I sometimes forget where I've posted what. I've just attended my first AWP conference and was blown away by the amazing people and talent I met and saw. I'm still in Colorado, one last day of 4 cupcake bakeries (meetup today in Denver from 12-3) in Denver and Boulder, plus I'm on some super killer deadlines so sadly can't get to all my thoughts and notes right now, though there are a lot. My panel on Exploitation and Empowerment in sex writing brought up a lot of ideas for me and I connected a lot of dots about all the bullshit cliches about sex writing and realized that the idea that it should be "empowering," especially when talking of sex work but other sex writing too, is much like the impulse to make every abortion a happy story so as to stick to the pro-life party line. Read Jillian Lauren's amazing, amazing new memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem for someone who goes there and is very humanly honest--about family, sex work, sex, abortion, and identity. She was who I was thinking of when I mentioned the pro-choice party line connection.
Anyway, I really don't have time at the moment but I'll leave you with some snapshots, including my notes. I was the only one who handwrote them and I did this at the very last minute and perhaps the biggest lesson I learned, the one I maybe need to get tattooed on my freaking skull/tongue/brain/body, is that I don't have to do things the way everyone else is doing them. That sometimes, my slipshod, crazy, harried, carrying-4-bags-frazzled lifestyle works. Of course, often it doesn't (I just deleted a few paragraphs to spare you the many ways it doesn't), but in this case, it did. And I hate making mistakes, but I love learning from them, so I put my copy of Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Submission, up in front of me, Christine Kessler's corseted cover girl sexy and bold and unapologetic.
When I spoke at CUNY in December, I was so intimated that I thought that would be arrogant. No one wants to see your book; you don't want to look like you're bragging, like you're selling, like you're "too much," I thought. Then at the Truth or Trash memoir panel, I saw Rachel Resnick (Love Junkie) and Melissa Febos (Whip Smart) with their shiny, pretty new books proudly in front of them. They weren't ashamed. The books were part of them, part of their story; Rachel's pink cover got referenced by moderator Kerry Cohen. The books added to their talk, not subtracted. So I learned from CUNY and I did that. I could point to it and say (not a direct quote): "I made that." It felt good to have something physical to share, an object, my wares, my product, what I sell, whether I have it in my hand or not. Mostly, though, I felt good that I had learned something in these few months, especially as I have the LA Times Festival of Books and the Backspace Writers Conference coming up. I posed with the book at the Shewrites meetup when a woman wanted to ask what I like best about writing. I realized that that's the whole point of being here. Well, and to discover the brilliant work of Christian Campbell whose poetry I can't wait to read. Maybe not the whole point, but part of the point. That's an image people will remember. It's something they can look at and say, "Okay, that girl, the one quoting Lena Chen and reading about breakup sex, she edits books like that." So score one little point for me.
So here are those notes:
As for these notes themselves, you kindof had to be there, but I will at some point try to connect the dots, from the panel I attended the day before on women memoir and the idea that writing about yourself makes you an "attention whore" to what I said about how I wandered away from NYU Law School into this crazy world or sex writing.
I live in Williamsburg so this is an exciting event for me. Yay Brooklyn! Maybe I can bring some cupcakes from one of my new favorite bakeries, Cupcakeland. Also, Kong Magazine is launching soon, with story of mine and a piece from Best Sex Writing 2010.
I have so many long-overdue posts and links I want to share but...alas, no time. I'm perhaps more slammed then I've ever been and am barely keeping up. I leave for Denver Thursday night and in the meantime have umpteen deadlines. I'll bet there until Sunday midnight, then flying home for a crazy week which includes a photo shoot and In The Flesh.
So, yeah, I try...I tweet links and little things if you want to follow me there and I Flickr (yes, I'm making it a verb) and maybe on the plane/this weekend I will be able to properly share everything.
One cool thing: my books are part of the Naked Reader Book Club over at Sexis Magazine, and they are doing some amazing content to go with it. Also, there will be 100 free copies of Sexis at Thursday's In The Flesh (Nerd Sex Night!).
It was a slow start—maybe two books a year—but in the ’90s, things began to accelerate with the publication of Susie Brights’ Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World, a collection of essays the funny, intelligent and beloved Bright had written as the editor of On Our Backs magazine.
“That was where we crossed the line,” Newman says. “We say we got kicked out of the sisterhood. We got kicked out of the sisterhood again and again.”
Now that our culture embraces porn stars as celebrities and has celebrities that want to be porn stars, it’s easy to forget why the term “sex-positive” came into parlance.
This was the time of the sex wars,” Newman explains. “Sex-positive feminists against the rigidly conservative feminists, who basically saw pornography as a tool of the patriarchy so if someone published pornography they were just imitating the patriarchy. [Two influential figures], Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon were huge voices in feminism, and it was about anti-pornography. So, certainly, what we were doing was crossing the line because we were publishing pornography in their eyes.”
I made a list on the subway on the way to the hotel before our book trailer video shoot for Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission, which I believe is shipping from the warehouse right now. (I still need bloggers for the May virtual book tour - you get a free book in exchange for blogging about it (US only for free book), email pleaseantho at gmail.com to be part of it.)
Of course I have to check out and can't find my handwritten list, but my kinky ingredients went something like this:
We did all those and more; I loved having this special massage candle wax poured on my chest. We had a cast of friends and strangers and while I thought my hotel room was on the tiny side, my director said she loved it and I think it's going to be my hottest trailer yet and the one with the most props. We had floggers, paddles, a ruler, lots of cuffs, a leash, plus some stuff we didn't get to use, like nipple clamps (not very YouTube friendly).
The funniest part was that every time it would get really hot, we'd have to stop because she'd gotten what she needed for the shot. There were many collective sighs in the room and I think it was a fun, sexy atmosphere, and people were willing to pitch in when needed for various shots. I'm so excited to see what it's gonna look like and already dreaming up the next trailer, for Fast Girls. I know some folks would love to be in a Please, Ma'am trailer but these shoots costs me many hundreds of dollars, out of my own pocket, which, frankly, I don't usually make up for in book sales (eventually, yes, but it's more of a promotional tool). So I do it on a case by case basis. I just finalized the table of contents for Orgasmic and hope to do a video for that, but it all depends on cash, which means it depends on people buying my books!
Eagerly awaiting my next royalty check, both to have money to live on and to see which books are hits and which are misses (trust me, it varies very, very widely, some we may as well never have published and some go into reprint very fast). I'm trying to make sure that anyone remotely interested in this topic buys Please, Sir. We'll have free buttons at In The Flesh and BEA, I have postcards on me at all times and will have them at AWP and LAT Festival of Books, I'm doing two signings at BEA and the trailer and a May month-long virtual book tour. And just putting my faith into this book because I love the cover so much. Plus if I don't have faith in my book, who will? You'll be hearing lots more about all the sexiness inside, including cybersex, spanking, the opera, bondage, a walk in a (kinky) park, erotic asphyxiation and much more. Get a taste here.
There are a handful of things I know about her, my biological mother. Her maiden name was a common Latina name. She was married to someone whose surname was “Hancock” and she was 27 when she gave birth to me at a hospital in Montgomery, Alabama at 12:08 AM one morning in December of 1976. I know where she lived at the time and I know she was born in Georgia. All of this information is included in the document that’s been sitting on my kitchen table in New York for the last few days—a copy of my certificate of live birth.
Six years ago, I sent a letter to the Alabama Center or Health Statistics requesting the birth certificate, and it came back along with a copy of my adoption decree. Until now, this is the most active thing I’ve done to find my biological parents. Until now, I’ve been ambivalent about it.