Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bloggers wanted: Fast Girls: Erotica for Women virtual book tour

In August I'm going to do another virtual book tour, this one for Fast Girls: Erotica for Women. All info about the book is below. If you'd like to be on the tour, send your URL and mailing address to fastgirlsantho at with "Book Tour" in subject line. You will get a free copy of the book and will post about it, either a review, interview, excerpt or musings, and will post the cover, Amazon link and blog link. Click here for an example of how it works. Looking for a range of blogs, and men/non-female identified folks are welcome. The cover says "Erotica for Women" but really it's erotica for everyone, by female authors, with female protagonists. Anyway, email if you're interested. Books will be sent via media mail in mid-June.

I also ordered 7,000 (I know, I got a little carried away) postcards from for Fast Girls: Erotica for Women. If you'd like one, send your US mailing address (sorry, can only afford to send to US) to fastgirlsantho at with "Postcard" in subject line.

Fast Girls: Erotica for Women is edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and will be published in July 2010 by Cleis Press

Pre-order Fast Girls: Erotica for Women from:

Kindle edition




Cleis Press

Table of Contents

Introduction: Fast Is a (Sexy) State of Mind (see below)

Temptation Kayla Perrin
Waxing Eloquent Donna George Storey
Five-Minute Porn Star Jacqueline Applebee
Winter, Summer Tristan Taormino
Playing the Market Angela Caperton
Panther Suzanne V. Slate
Communal Saskia Walker
Fireworks Lolita Lopez
Flash! Andrea Dale
Waiting for Beethoven Susie Hara
Confessions of a Kinky Shopaholic Jennifer Peters
Let’s Dance D. L. King
That Girl Cherry Bomb
Oz Isabelle Gray
Married Life Charlotte Stein
Princess Elizabeth Coldwell
Chasing Danger Kristina Wright
Whore Complex Rachel Kramer Bussel
Lessons, Slow and Painful Tess Danesi
Speed Bumps Tenille Brown

Introduction: Fast Is a (Sexy) State of Mind

I like the fast girls best/they do whatever they wanna do. —Sarge, “Fast Girls”

I named this book after a song called “Fast Girls” by an indie pop/rock band called Sarge*. That song is a feisty, punk-rock ode to a hot girl who is captivating in all kinds of ways.
I’m sure you know a girl like that. Or a woman. Or a lady. Or a butch. Or a femme. Or…you get the idea. She’s the kind of babe who takes no prisoners, who owns her life and her sexuality and not only doesn’t apologize for them, makes sure you notice her and what she’s all about.

Two definitions of “fast,” according to Merriam-Webster are “wild” or “sexually promiscuous,” and while that is the seed of what I was angling for here, I didn’t just want to read about slut after slut after slut. I wanted to read about women who in some way defy the conventional norms-whatever those are in this day and age. That doesn’t mean being shocking for shock’s sake, but following their passion, seeking out what it is that they need to be truly pleasured.

What I love about these fast girls is that even as they are bold, daring and dynamic, they have a thing or two to learn about sex and themselves.

Consider Susie Hara’s fifty-one-year-old protagonist in “Waiting for Beethoven” as she gets it on with a younger man. In current pop culture terms, she’s the cougar, the aggressive older woman seeking her sexy prey. But she is actually nervous and uncertain, as well as aroused. “And now there was no point in telling him she wasn’t going to come when she could already feel a wave of pleasure rolling inside her, kind of a pre-coming feeling, but different than usual; she couldn’t really tell what was her clit and what were the walls inside her and what was contracting and what was releasing and then she realized she must be coming because her body had taken over and been taken over in this luscious finger symphony so she just gave in,” writes Hara, in a description of female orgasm that I think will be familiar to many.

In this book, fast is as much a state of mind as a state of motion. It’s not about trying to slut it up to impress anyone, but about finding what works for you. I was intrigued to find that playing with prostitution, or whoring, came up as a theme in many submissions, as did threesomes with one woman and two men. It makes sense that fast would be associated with women who mix cash and sex, as happens in Angela Caperton’s “Playing the Market,” where the new economy mixes with the world’s oldest profession. In my “Whore Complex,” whoredom is more a state of mind, a go-to fantasy that leaps from the bounds of dirty talk to real life with some unusual consequences. There’s also exhibitionism, such as in Jacqueline Applebee’s “Five-Minute Porn Star,” and submission--there’s a lot of very hot female submission and BDSM play in this book.

These girls are fast when they want to be…and slow at other times. They want to crack their lovers’ secret codes, find out what makes them tick, as happens in Charlotte Stein’s “Married Life.” I like this story because the wife is not just passively accepting her humdrum sex life, but she doesn’t want to have an affair or get a divorce. She wants her husband, the man she loves, but she wants him openly, honestly, freely and when they both give a little of themselves and bravely bare their souls, they find true happiness.

These girls don’t give it up for just anyone. Even the ones who get around have a reason for choosing their lovers, and it’s those reasons, those images, that resonate with me. Here’s Tristan Taormino in “Winter, Summer,” rhapsodizing about the woman she’s about to seduce (or perhaps, who’s about to seduce her is more accurate):

She’s the boy I have dreamed about and jerked off to too many times to count. The one who won’t leave my fantasies, who cruises me in my bedroom, who seduced me months ago in another lifetime with her voice, who plays pool and drinks beer, who grabs my ass in crowded bars just to fuck with my boundaries and catch me off guard, who makes my brain get wet and my pussy explode.

Exactly. Though there are women on the prowl here, women who go after younger men, women who pounce, women who pursue, there are others who are excited about being the object of another’s affection, lust and desire. For them, being fast means courting the man or woman (or more than one person) they are searching for.

These fast girls speak to me on many levels. I admire them, respect them, marvel at them, raise my eyebrows at them, want them. But most of all, I’m excited that they’ve broken free of whatever messages we all receive about how a woman is “supposed” to act and instead they are bent on acting however they damn well please. And that’s my personal definition of a fast, not to mention foxy, girl.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City

* To hear more of Sarge, click here.

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Such an honor: Jauntsetter of the week!

Travel website Jauntsetter picked me as their Jauntsetter of the week! Check it out, and my new haircut. Big thanks to Jessica Rubio for connecting us.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Richard Thompson, Stacy Morrison and Marion Winik walk into a bar…

Actually, I would imagine none of them know each other, but they have all been living in my head. I, however, did walk into a bar, Kingswood, last night, after having a moment of dyslexia (thinking it was between Greenwich and 9th, not 6th) and having to take a cab rather than let the West Village further confuse me. At the door, a cute guy named Lawrence said, “Rachel, right?” I, of course, was suffering from manesia and didn’t remember him, though he was very nice and I got inside and Nichelle told me he’s Sarah Ultragrrl Lewitinn’s brother. (Sorry, Lawrence!)

The party was quite the scene. It could've been overwhelming, but there were lots of familiar, friendly faces. So I met Lilit Marcus, my editor at The Gloss, said hello to Marty Beckerman and surveyed the crowd of, oh, most of the NYC blogging scene and was talking to Amelia, my editor at The Frisky, when someone taps me on the shoulder, and it’s my ex. I was totally caught off guard; I expected to run into him on the Lower East Side, while at The Meatball Shop or walking to The Slipper Room, not at some crazy media party. I was surprised that our mutual friend, who is much closer to him than to me, didn’t mention she was going, though I also failed to ask her. So I just stood there trying to figure out what to do. It jolted me how good he looked, and also that I didn’t fall apart. I’m more teary now than I was in the moment. And there were a million things I could’ve made small talk about, like his friend’s 600-page book that’s been getting lots of buzz, restaurants I’ve visited, any number of shared little jokes but all of it seemed pointless. All I kept feeling was the rejection radiating from him, and none of that was mitigated by his smile or his text last week telling me to “stay awesome.” This may sound obnoxious, but I have a lot of friends, I don’t need more. Or maybe I do, but he’s not among them. I just don’t operate that way, and am still trying to sort out my thoughts about my own role in that relationship. I wish I were able to handle having a friendship with him, because he's a good friend, a great one even, better than a boyfriend, dare I say, at least better than a boyfriend to me. Maybe I'd have been better off never trying to go there, but I couldn't have known that.

After at comedy I met this girl who’s I think 24 and had dated this guy for “not that long” – a year and a half. I almost laughed because my barely three-months blip should be nothing, not compared to all the things people around us have gone through, and yet suffering isn’t really subjective like that. As Stacy Morrison writes, "Everyone has pain in their life. It all counts the same."

Which brings me to…I’ve been reading Stacy Morrison’s memoir Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce. She was with her husband for 13 years and their son was under one when he decided he wanted out of the marriage. Obviously my almost-three-month relationship came nothing close to that, but why I wanted to read it is that I thought we had the potential for something long-term. I put more of myself than maybe I should have into the relationship and wanted to see what (now former) Redbook editor Morrison had to say.

In what could have been a morose, bitter tale, she simply told their story and how they’ve negotiated, haltingly, at times angrily, being co-parents. At the very end she writes:

I will never be a hundred percent sure why Chris and I broke up. But I am finished with those questions, even though strangers and new friends can’t help but ask them, even now, because they still need their magic, their prayer, their proof, their certainty that if they can put the end of our marriage in a box, they can keep divorce from coming to them. I’m done with certainty, at least in this one area of my life. It took me more than a year before I could accept all this vagueness as being the most I, and we, would ever get to know about the end of Us. I didn’t get the answers I thought I neededæthe answers that would keep us together, the answers that would make me look good, the answers that would hide all the messy, unhappy stuff that lives inside even the very best of marriagesæbut by being unafraid to see the ugliest of things, I have laid my whys to rest. They won’t haunt me anymore.

Then, I also got from the library Marion Winik’s book of essays-as-commencement-speech-advice, Rules for the Unruly: Living an Unconventional Life, after reading an interview with Dylan Landis, and it made so much sense (except for the prince part):

Even if things seem to have worked out for me at this point, I certainly remember what impatience feels like; for me, it was always combined with a deep longing for love. Put them together and you get a wicked case of desperation, which was the fuel that sent me zooming around like a nut for so many years. I know every cure for this that doesn’t work, and one thing that does. It’s sometimes called faith, though you might just call it extremely embattled optimism. Because it’s definitely not a tranquil faith, a religious faith, or even a faith that anyone would recognize as faith. The feeling I’m talking about is a fierce, messy thing, a faith with gritted teeth and ADD. It has one prayer: Someday my fucking prince will come.

Poor dear brokenhearted people, I’m telling you because I know. You can’t make someone love you. You can’t make someone stay. You can, unfortunately, make them feel sorry for you and want to flee. And anyway, you don’t want the love you have to chase down and hog-tie. One day, it will show up on your doorstep. All the love you can handle, waiting for you with a bouquet.

And that will just be the beginning of your story.

It's really not that I mind being single; part of me loves it because I like making my own schedule and I also have plenty of demons to fight that are easier to do alone, or at least, I'm used to that. At the same time, I like being able to become someone slightly different when I'm with someone in that full immersion way. I like learning about what makes people take, observing them, getting inside in some way. That is ultimately what I'm after and while that rejection felt and continues to feel pretty fucking awful, I know that there is nothing I can do about it except move on, starting immediately.

There's some lines in "Love Lee" from that new Bettie Serveert album I like a lot:

I came across some monsters
That I never knew I had
And once I got to know them well
They didn't seem so bad
But they altered my life

I don’t want to be “in love with my loss” as Morrison writes about one woman. I just want to learn from it, and I learned last year that out of sight out of mind is the best way for me to handle rejection. Not out of sight, oh wait I’m going to suddenly be nice to you after breaking your heart. It’s not that I blame anyone for wanting to get away from me—I do plenty of the time—but when it’s so abrupt, it’s better for me if it’s final because otherwise I’m too caught up in the person in extremely unhealthy ways. I already care(d) too much about T, to my detriment, and that’s what I heard at the end: you are too much, too intense, too needy. And maybe I need to work on that or maybe I need to look for someone who appreciates that passion. I know that the kind of relationship I want is one where we are mutual fans of each other, in addition to being friends and lovers. I want someone I can support and vice versa and am an avid follower of the couples I know who model that.

I’m thinking about this song “Beeswing” by Richard Thompson that Mary Lou Lord sings, and at the end, he picks up from what the girl of the song has said to the narrator, and he looks back with regret and sings:

Oh she was a rare thing, fine as a bee's wing
And I miss her more than ever words could say
If I could just taste all of her wildness now
If I could hold her in my arms today
Well I wouldn't want her any other way

I’m not comparing me or my ex to a bee’s wing, or to the girl in the song. I'm not that fragile (I hope), though maybe I'm not as tough as I want to be when it comes to emotions. But I think the through line, from Marion Winik to Stacy Morrison to that final line of the song is about the fact that there’s no one else we can be but ourselves. The girl in the song had said that to the narrator, "And you wouldn't want me any other way," but he tried to change her and she, wisely, escaped. Of course it would be a sad life to never have anything about you altered by anyone else; then we might as well live locked away in a hut all alone. But there are things you can change, things that are worth exploring, and other things that are essential to who you are. That difference is one I struggle with all the time but think that maybe the whole point of that relationship was for me to stop looking outward for validation and start looking inward a bit more.

For me, part of why the rejection hurt me so much, aside from what at the time felt like its suddenness, though in hindsight I can see was building and probably there from the start, was that it felt like, “Here are all these things that are wrong with you.”

And some of those are things I can and am working on, but the heart of it are not things I can work on because they are just, well, me. I sometimes think it would be so much easier if we could just change, magically morph into whoever someone else wanted us to be, if that would lead to this mythical thing called happiness, but at the end of the day (a very long day, admittedly), I wouldn’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want me. In some other universe, I could do that chitchatting thing, but it’s sortof meaningless right now. Maybe I wind up sharing the minutiae on Twitter or in my journal or just to my fluffy new pillow (yes, I do talk to my pillow sometimes). I try not to have regrets but certainly if I’d known that was the trajectory of our relationship there’s a lot I would have kept to myself; I never would’ve shared as much of myself physically and verbally as I did and part of me wants to say I will be that much more cautious going forward.

But who knows? I have no idea who I will wind up dating next. I have hopes and ideas and possibilities but I can’t make assumptions about what anyone thinks about me and right now I’m focused on righting a lot of wrongs of the past year outside of my personal life and taking care of my health and home and finances and friendships and family and repairing so I can enjoy myself rather than hate myself to the extent that I have in the recent past. That’s what I’m trying to privilege and when I have those low moments and think that contacting my ex will help me through them, I know I have to resist, to fight them because that’s a pretty disastrous road to head down.

I don’t hate my ex; I’m not even mad. He did what he needed to do to take care of himself, and that’s what I’m attempting to do too.

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Listen to this: Pharmacy of Love by Bettie Serveert

I'm loving the new Bettie Serveert album Pharmacy of Love. "Deny All" is the first track. Other personal favorites: "Love Lee" and "Change4Me."

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With Nichelle at B5 Media party

photo by Nick McGlynn for Random Night Out

Nichelle Stephens and I last night at Kingswood (I had to take a cab cause I got lost) for the B5 Media party. See lots of photos here. They publish 3 great sites: The Gloss, Crushable and Blisstree. Was filled with media/Internet people, many of whom I hadn't seen in a very long time. Great conversations, gift bags with the very excellent If You Knew Suzy. Oh, and my most recent ex. More on that here soon.Tthen went on to sneak into my seat at the front of Sweet to almost pee from laughing so hard at the musical-themed show. Only 2 more left before Slipper Room closes, don't miss them if you're nearby.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Host mode

See more of Anya Garrett's photos from May's True Sex Confessions Night here, including the foot and breast massage snaps (thanks, Luna, who gave amazing massages, impromptu, to me and Diva). You have 7 more chances to catch In The Flesh before it ends! Next 2 are June 17th, GLBT Night, and July 15th, Media Sex Night!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Foot massage sexiness

Foot breast massage fun. I got a foot massage too (I'm not in this photo) and it was HOT. Thank you, Luna!


Goodbye In The Flesh - 7 more chances to attend!

There are 7 more In The Flesh Reading Series nights left before I end it! It's been wonderful, but it's time to move on and not waste so much time and money and energy that I don't have. June's lineup is below. And unless you want me to hate you, don't suggest I keep it going. I've tried, trust me. Unless I find a sponsor who can pony up $225/month and a really dedicated intern who is there every month to help with PR and lugging crap all over the city, this decision is final. As it well should be. 5 years is more than enough and I need to focus on my life and making money, not losing it.

In The Flesh logo by Molly Crabapple

There is no RSVP requirement, but if you'd like to RSVP and/or spread the word on Facebook, click here for the True Sex Confessions event listing. See also the In The Flesh Reading Series fan page on Facebook.

June 17, 2010, 8 pm - 10 pm
(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 goes gay for you! Our annual GLBT Erotica Night is back. Featuring Porno Bingo host and former porn star Will Clark, novelist Dario Dalla Lasta (The Three Red Lines), performer Cas Marino, PANIC! reading series host Charlie Vázquez and Girl Crush: Women's Erotic Fantasies contributors Annabeth Leong and Julia Peters. Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Editor, Peep Show, Bottoms Up). 100 free copies of Sexis Magazine will be distributed. Free cupcakes by Baked by Melissa and chips, cookies and candy 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,,, Serious Eats, Tasting Table and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth.

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 over 30 anthologies, including the kink-themed Spanked, Bottoms Up, Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma'am, He's on Top, She's on Top, Rubber Sex as well as Peep Show, The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories, Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, Tasting Him, Tasting Her, and the non-fiction Best Sex Writing series. Her books won 3 2009 Independent Publisher Awards. 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. Rachel conducts nationwide readings and erotic writing workshops. She has hosted In The Flesh since October 2005.

photo by Anya Garrett

Will Clark, a Wisconsin native but diehard New Yorker since the early 90s, has been entertaining for the past 20 years, first as an actor, after having earned a Masters degree from Northwestern University, and then in adult films (1995 – 1999, 2003, 48 films) and stripper at clubs around the country (1996 – 2005, 2007) then touring with his own one man show “Altered Ego” (2002 – 2005, New York, Chicago,
Provincetown, New Orleans). Since 1997, he’s worked non-stop as an MC and producer at over a thousand events featuring LGBT celebs raising money for LGBT non profits. Currently, he can be seen at his weekly “Porno Bingo” event in NYC at Pieces. This spring, he returned to his acting roots and was featured in the off Broadway smash, “When Joey Married Bobby” at the Roy Arias Theatre. You can read his blog at

Dario Dalla Lasta is a graduate of Pepperdine University and Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, CA (he just wants you to know he’s well-educated and once frolicked on such star-drenched sands). On the roller coaster ride of his life so far, he’s been a lawyer, a divorcee, a music industry pundit, an actor, a go-go boy, and a fetish model. For the past five years, he’s been hitting the queer scene as DJ Dario Speedwagon, spinning “cock rock and pussy pop” throughout Brooklyn and NYC. Dario resides in Williamsburg with his boyfriend Michael Bailey and their adorable dog Chavez. The Three Red Lines is his first novel, but he’s completed a second one entitled The Force of Destiny and is currently begging publishers to read the damn thing.

Annabeth Leong's erotica has appeared on the Oysters and Chocolate website and in several anthologies, including Girl Crush from Cleis Press and Coming Together: As One. Visit her blog at or follow her on Twitter at

Cas Marino is an actor, singer, writer, producer and artist living and playing in New York City. He's best known for his stage work in the NYC International Fringe Festival, acclaimed revivals of "Torch Song Trilogy" and "La Cage Aux Folles", as well as cabaret and independent theater performances in and around the city. His film work can be seen in the upcoming independent shorts, "Honey" and "Tu & Eu" due out soon. Now having added Celebrity Blogger to his curricula vitae with his regular contributions to, Cas is the self-proclaimed "voice of the socio-sexual intelligentsia, if not the fashionistas and the glitterati," all for a good hearted glimpse into the thoughts and actions of one man living his life proud, and out loud, in New York City. Cas’ blogs bring that one-on-one camaraderie to his fans as he discusses the adult themes of love, loss, and low-carb living with great frankness and warmth, plenty of adult language and imagery, and above all, great humor. To read Cas’ blogs, visit

Julia Peters is the nom de porn of a very nice lady who lives and works in New York City. Her fiction has been published in Playgirl, Girl Crush, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, From Porn to Poetry 2, and others. She has also been published online at Clean Sheets (, where she was a fiction editor. This is her first published work of erotica in quite some time, and she's so happy she's howling at the moon, which would do the wolves who raised her proud.

Charlie Vázquez is a radical Bronx-bred writer of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent. His fiction and essays have been published in anthologies such as Queer and Catholic (Taylor & Francis, 2007) and Best Gay Love Stories: NYC (Alyson, 2006). His writing has also appeared in print and online publications such as The Advocate, Chelsea Clinton News, New York Press and Ganymede Journal. Charlie hosts a monthly reading series called PANIC! (in the East Village), which focuses on original queer fiction and poetry. He will be reading from Contraband tonight, his second novel, which was just published by Rebel Satori Press.

You will be hearing from:

Girl Crush: Women's Erotic Fantasies

The Three Red Lines

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sex column: My "Trendy" Post-Breakup Celibacy

My new sex column is up at Sexis Magazine: "My 'Trendy' Post-Breakup Celibacy"

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Central Park cupcake picnic June 12th!

Make sure to join us for one of our funnest events of the year...

What: Cupcake Picnic At Central Park

When: Saturday, June 12, 2010 2:00 PM

Cedar Hill in Central Park
79th and 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10001

Hello Cupcake Meetup Members,

For those of you who have been dying to share your cupcake creations with everyone, this is the meetup you want to attend.

Cupcakes Takes The Cake will be celebrating our 4th annual picnic at Central Park. We will be at Cedar Hill which is near 79th Street and 5th Avenue on the east side of the park. Take the 6 to 77th Street and walk west to 5th Avenue.

Bring homemade or store-bought cupcakes to share. Or bring picnic stuff (blankets, napkins, knifes, water)

Picnic starts at 2PM and ends at 4PM unless it rains.

Kids are welcome! Dogs and loud music are not.

Learn more here:

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My breasts on display in Brooklyn

I promise to get a better photo at some point, but this is the casting of my breasts, as decorated by Paigey Pumphrey, who I met on Friday at the kickass jewelry company FancySexyMe's party at Shag, which had a runway show, very hot dancers and more. You can see this casting on permanent display at Shag in Williamsburg (a tattoo-like me is on the left shoulder, on the right side of the photo but you can't really see it). I love the tassels! And the whole thing.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Congratulations to me (and Violet Blue and Jessica Valenti): IPPY Winners!

We all won Gold IPPY (Independent Publisher) Awards!

Violet Blue's anthology Sweet Life: Fantasies for Couples (watch the sexy book trailer here) and my Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories both tied or the GOLD IPPY Award for Erotica for 2010! Woo-hoo!

Best Sex Writing 2010 took the Gold IPPY Award for Sexuality/Relationships.

And Jessica Valenti won for The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women (Seal Press) for Women's Issues.

Synchronicity: Best Sex Writing 2010 includes both Violet Blue's "The Future of Sex Ed" and an excerpt from Jessica Valenti's and Jaclyn Friedman's Seal Press anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Choking smut free, just because

My next Secrets of a Sex Writer column will probably be called "Rough Sex and Pain Sluts," unless I change my mind. So on that note, and because I'm not having sex these days but am thinking about it, and also really hoping you buy Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission, here's about half of my story "Your Hand on My Neck." Free, no less.

Order Please, Sir from:




Cleis Press

Kindle version

Your Hand on My Neck
Rachel Kramer Bussel

Your hand on my neck is all it takes to make tears race to my eyes, to put my body on red alert, to let me know that I’m about to go insane. It’s that simple…yet of course, your fingers going for the jugular will always be more complex than I can ever truly describe. It’s the fastest way to get my attention, to snap me out of whatever place my mind has wandered, back to where it should be: on you. Forget about when you raise your hand to spank me or reach for my nipples to pinch them or even when you grab my arm to shackle my wrist to your bedposts, all of which you know I adore; your hand on my neck is what makes me unbearably, almost impossibly, wet.

Is it because you were my first? Is it because I trust you more? Or is it because those tears that rush forth, the gasps that claw their way to the surface, the panic that bubbles just below the surface, speak to me in a language deeper than words ever could?

Sometimes, because you know me so well, because you know what it does to me, you do it while we’re sitting across from each other at a restaurant. To an outsider, it probably looks like a light caress, like your hand could just as easily be stroking my arm, your thumb caressing my inner wrist, or smoothing my hair, or tracing my lips.

And you could be doing any of those things, but you’re not: You’re wrapping yourself from thumb to forefinger around the expanse of my neck, pressing just enough to make my lips go slack, my breath get short. You’re telling me so much without saying a word, and my first instinct is to do what I do in bed: bend my head back, elongate my neck, shut my eyes, give more of myself to you.

But we’re in public, so I wait, and soon the moment passes. A couple can hold hands, under or even above the table, or play footsie, with no problem, but the intimacy of choking is probably pushing the envelope, even in Manhattan. Still, I think about it, even while waiting for my burger and fries, about how it feels when you press harder, when my throat constricts and the gasps become sobs and I want to thrash and struggle so I can feel you clamp down harder.

That’s what happens when we’re at home, alone. We’ll be making out, giggling, me lying next to you, rubbing the wiry, warm fur on your chest. One minute I’m kissing whatever part of your skin is closest, and the next you’ve flipped me over. Any clothes I might’ve been wearing disappear real fast. Your fingers are hard, strong, insistent, all ten finding my most vulnerable places and staking their claim. Actually, that may not be totally true. Five slam down against my neck, and I arch it and my back up to meet you, while other fingers slam hard inside me. Usually, I like to talk, but I have nothing to say now, even if I could make more than strangled noises.

I want many things at once, but I know you have only so many hands, so many ways to torture me, so I have to wait and see which of your methods you’ll choose today. I’ve never told you this, but no one else has ever made me want them to squeeze me right there so powerfully. I won’t lie: I’ve been choked before. I’ve had a hand over my mouth, had my head shoved into a pillow, been muffled and gagged by other men. But no one has ever made me want it like this. I wonder sometimes if there’s some secret button inside me, invisible to everyone but you, that you know to press, to lean on, that makes me so wild, because I swear that when you put your hand there, when your eyes go from easy to a little angry, when your voice goes gruff and deep and a little mean, when your hand becomes, for these sweet moments, the sexiest of weapons, I would do anything for you.

Maybe I don’t have to tell you, maybe you can see it in my eyes, because without my having to ask, you climb on top of me, keeping your hand firm so all I can really move is the rest of me, from my neck down, yet those parts don’t matter as much. It’s all in my head, literally, all the blood and passion and lust and masochism and need. That, plus my oral fixation, means that when you wrap your legs on either side of my face and present your cock to me, I open as wide as I possibly can. Your balls hit my chin and your half-hard cock slides against my tongue, and I shift what little I can to make my mouth as wet and tight as possible for you. Your hand tightens on my neck while your other one grabs the back of my head and lifts it up to meet you, positions me where you need me to be.

There’s really no other way to say what we’re doing: you’re fucking my face, my mouth, slamming into me over and over. You tilt my head so the tip presses against my cheek and I drool and struggle to keep up. You briefly let up on my neck and I breathe in deep, wish for a smack across the cheek, a hard, stinging one, but I don’t get it. That’s the kind of request I find hard to make, because to ask for it is to admit to a level of perversity from which there’s no return, though perhaps that’s a silly distinction because here you are choking me with such precision, then molding my mouth to your cock. My pussy almost hurts, I’m so turned on, but I don’t want you to fuck me, not with your dick, not now, because that would take away from what you’re going to give me very soon: your come all over my face.

You know I want that, know I love when you beat your dick against me, shove your balls in my mouth, but you make me wait, perhaps because you know how bad I need it. You tease me, the insides of my mouth your personal sex toy as your rub the head there, denying me all of you all the way down. Your hand cups my neck while you rub your cock up and down my face, in my mouth, wherever you want. “Do you want my come, you little whore?” you ask as you jerk yourself off above me, your hand doing the job I should, rightfully, be doing. If my arms weren’t bound above my head, I’d be reaching down and touching my clit, maybe slapping myself lightly there, pushing my fingers inside, anything for relief from the intensity that’s overtaken me down there. Instead, I just press my legs tightly together, squeeze my inner muscles, try to inch closer before I feel that first hot drop hit me. I open wide and you slide inside, practically melting into me, your fingers seeking out my hard nipple and twisting it around as you explode. You manage to pull out before it’s all gone, to moisturize me with a cream so rich Lancôme could never hope to compete.

I only think about it later, after we’re done, when your come is drying on my skin, how much I loved you choking me, not being able to breathe in the usual way, only moving the parts of me you wanted me to.

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.

You pull out and then shove your fingers into me, hard, claiming me, before finding something better to do. You turn me over and shove my face into the pillow. I breathe into it as you hold me down. This is more impersonal than when you choke me, and I’m not sure which I like better. You can’t slap my face or spit in it or see it like this, but you can make sure I know my breathing--or not--is up to you. You can let go and know I’ll stay there, still, waiting for you to lift my head. You can attach the brand-new spreader bar, the one you told me about in great detail but have thus far withheld, to my ankles. I never used to think not moving my legs was such a big deal; my wrists, yes--they’re as sensitive as my neck, and even the lightest of scarves gives me goose bumps. But like this, facedown, like I could be any girl, any body, my wetness right there for you to see, or stuff, or slap, I get it. I get what it means to let you have me on your terms.

I get that you know how good it’s going to feel when you once again force your cock inside me, because I’m so tight. I get that it’s not really about my neck at all, not even about my pussy. It’s about not having a say, having to wait for every breath. It’s about going to that place where nothing else matters except where you’ll touch me next, if you’ll touch me next. It’s about going to a place where I have no control--of my movements, my thoughts, my tears. Those start to soak the pillow, and you lift my face to look at me, keeping me twisted there when I try to burrow back in. You don’t rush to untie me, thankfully

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I’m not really sure what else to say about the breakup. It came in the midst of extreme brokenness, which meant halting my therapy sessions, and a lot of other stressful things, like family visits, but in the end, I’m doing okay. Or okay-ish. I think he was never all that into me, probably didn’t think of himself as my boyfriend, didn’t like our sex life as much as I did, and I was a little too infatuated to realize it. So my bad. I am trying to be cautious going forward but not cynical, because if my fatal flaw was liking him too much…I’m kindof screwed. Right now I have so much on my plate and though I’ve toyed with the idea of joining a dating site, that’s never been something I’ve felt comfortable with.

Now that I've met you
would you object to
never seeing each other again
cause I can't afford to
climb aboard you
no one's got that much ego to spend

So don't work your stuff
because I've got troubles enough
no, don't pick on me
when one act of kindness could be
-- Aimee Mann, "Deathly"

I keep going back to that Aimee Mann song "Deathly," as I often do after a breakup. I've dated a lot of shitty guys, which I'm sure says more about me than them, but I always thought the whole "So don't work your stuff" was about, like, the guy who cheated on me with hookers and those types. But I think the so-called "nice guys" have stuff too. And of course, I do too. I'm not perfect or even all that good at relationships. I try but I have to figure out how to try harder. It's ironic because I said, to myself and others, "The only thing wrong with him is that he's never been in a relationship before." I don't know if that's really true (either part of that statement) but as it turns out, not having been in a relationship (supposedly) before is a dealbreaker. I should have heard that and ran, but I didn't, and now I'm dealing with the consequences. It's getting much easier, but still, it's not exactly a barrel of laughs.

Instead, I’m trying to hit the gym as much as I can, unbury myself from the stress, guilt and weight of all these unfinished writing projects, am getting a haircut (where I’m going to instruct my hairdresser to give me something new, bright and different), just ordered some new dresses from ModCloth (I have a little cash) and am looking forward to Book Expo America, where I’ll be giving away free Please, Sir buttons and books on May 27th, and speaking on a panel the next day at 2 at Backspace Writers Conference. Plus my first houseguest in many years arrives next week, and I also have to test out mattresses so I can buy my first adult bed (I know, I'm hopelessly behind on being an adult, but I'm trying). Been trying to spend more time alone, wandering, writing, reading, exploring. As long as I don’t go anywhere near my ex, I’ll be okay. I think.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How hot is the cover of Best Bondage Erotica 2011?

I discovered this cover for Best Bondage Erotica 2011 on Amazon yesterday and was totally blown away. Wow. Just wow. It doesn't come out until December (I haven't even turned it in yet, but I'm basically done and it's as hot inside as this cover is) but I'm so excited. There will definitely be postcards. And if I can find a way to swing it, readings. Maybe in dungeons? For sure, a book trailer, if only so I can get beaten on film again. I'll share the table of contents in a few months when it's finalized. Updated.

Introduction: The Joy of Restraint

The Long Way Home Elizabeth Coldwell
His Little Apprentice Jacqueline Applebee
Foreign Exchange Evan Mora
The Ingénue Janine Ashbless
Reasoning Tenille Brown
Subdue Dusty Horn
Relative Anonymity Emerald
Closeted Emily Bingham
Vegas Treat Rachel Kramer Bussel
The Cartographer Angela Caperton
The Apiary Megan Butcher
Wired Lisabet Sarai
How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back Andrea Dale
The Lady or the Tiger Bill Kte’pi
Sealed for Freshness Jennifer Peters
Stocks and Bonds Rita Winchester
Helen Lay Bound Suzanne V. Slate
The Rainmaker Elizabeth Daniels
Do You See What I Feel? Teresa Noelle Roberts
Truss Issues Lux Zakari

Introduction: The Joy of Restraint by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to find, when putting together this anthology, that about 75 percent of the story submissions involved the submissive’s, or bottom’s, point of view. When it comes to bondage, the feeling of giving in, surrendering, allowing oneself to be placed at someone else’s mercy, comes alive on the page, and these authors certainly know how to vividly depict that appeal. Though there are stories here from a top’s perspective, told by dominants who delight in the thrill of watching a lover squirm, struggle and submit, most of the stories here go the other way.

Take “The Rainmaker,” by Elizabeth Daniels, in which Amy, a bit uncertain, allows herself to overcome her fears and get tied up:

Darkness and the ropes enfolded Amy like a chrysalis. Her mind was clear, finally at peace. After months of agonizing over every step of foreplay, after sex that consisted of checklists and flow charts compiled from hours of research, for once, she did not need to think or plan. Like extradark chocolate, such dependence was not something she would want every day, but for the moment, it was a bite of bitter bliss.

I especially appreciate the stories here that illuminate the leap of faith one needs to make to allow someone else to bind him. In “Truss Issues,” Emy repeatedly tells Samir that she’s not into bondage, doesn’t want to be tied up and yet, somewhere inside, she knows that isn’t totally true. “To her surprise, her body didn’t sync up to her beliefs. She felt a warm liquid rush flood her cunt… Cursing her body for its betrayal, Emy nestled her teeth in her lower lip and forced her breathing to remain calm, to not come out as a needy whimper.” What happens when she surrenders teaches her that she doesn’t have to give up all of herself to enjoy the sweet friction and emotional journey that submission to bondage can incur.

In the lesbian scene in Dusty Horn’s “Subdue,” the narrator finds herself, finds the core of her submission and learns how to be patient.

After what seems like eons without touch, her hot hand on my chin is electrifying. She lifts it up and back, pressing something against my smooth exposed throat. Tugging firmly up on the hair at the nape of my neck, she wraps the rest of the mystery object against the top of my spine where my still body meets my busy mind.

“This is mine,” she hums to me as she slides a metal clasp into place. “This is not your collar. It’s mine, for you to wear.”

The collar bulges around my neck, a leather halo engorged with blood.

Other stories stand out for their unique scenarios. In “The Ingénue,” by Janine Ashbless, a young woman finds a bound man outside in the yard, and goes to investigate this curious vision. “How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back,” by Andrea Dale, puts a kinky twist on a beloved fairy tale. In “Sealed for Freshness,” Mitchell pays for his disobedience with a flogging against his plastic-wrapped skin, while in “Stocks and Bonds,” some historical role-play at a Renaissance Festival leaves Kerri begging for mercy.

I was looking for stories that spanned the world of bondage, and boy did I get that! Here, you’ll find rope and handcuffs, as you might expect, but you’ll also find cling wrap, Ethernet cables, stocks and bonds, silk ties and other implements whose creators probably didn’t intend them to be used in kinky play. There’s bondage at the office, bondage onstage and under a red turtleneck sweater dress. There are bondage beginners and seasoned pros, men and women who offer up their wrists, ankles, necks and other body parts to those just itching to play with them.

This is a book for anyone who wants to know what’s so arousing about being tied up. Whether you’ve ever experienced bondage or not, these authors boldly take you along as they negotiate what they are and aren’t willing to give up, and illustrate the blissful beauty that can take place, inside and out, when you make the choice to give up some of your freedom and mobility in order to access the world from a new perspective.

If what drew you to this book was the stunningly sexy image on the cover, I can assure you that the stories you’ll find inside is just as hot—possibly even hotter. They are about so much more than simply what one looks like while tied up: for instance, what it feels like to wait, longing for release while also hoping the joy of restraint never ends. That push/pull is at the heart of bondage, and that is what you will experience along with the characters, those brave subs, brats, bad girls and naughty boys who offer themselves up so their masters and mistresses—and you, the reader—can savor them, one click of the handcuffs at a time.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City

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Cover of Uncharted TerriTORI by Tori Spelling

Yes, I'm a fan of Tori Spelling's books (and obviously not the only one because she's cracked the New York Times bestseller list and is at the top of Amazon's Rich & Famous Bestseller List, which I didn't even know they had!), and looking forward to reading Uncharted TerriTORI. Cover via Amazon.

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Bust reviews Best Sex Writing 2010

Bust reviewed Best Sex Writing 2010 and here's what they had to say:

The third annual edition of Best Sex Writing, edited by notable sex expert Rachel Kramer Bussel, bills itself as a “thinking person’s sex book.” And with essays covering ground from the personal to the historical to the medical (with hardly any writing and bosom-heaving at all) it seems an apt description. In a book about the world’s oldest subject, a few ideas feel fresh, such as John DeVore’s groundbreakingly sexy willingness to admit that model-obsessed male culture has whitewashed the messiness of human desire, and Betty Dodson’s fear that all her feminist sex education has irradiated her erotic life of primal raunch. There’s just a dab here of the overly PC prose that often plagues sex-positive writing with a cringeworthy earnestness, but voices like that of hilariously blunt Diana Joseph, who writes about hearing her son refer to a female peer as a slut, make this collection worth the asking price.

Order Best Sex Writing 2010 from:

Kindle edition

Cleis Press

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I promise you this is not the week to fuck with me

It really, really isn't. I love that our blog is so popular, but hate that it seems to occasionally draw an extra-angry, extra-clueless-about-the-internet readership.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Saltie and singledom

I've been struggling with not only what to say, or not say, about the breakup that I haven't said, but also what I think about it. I was doing a lot better, then not as well. Now I'm still pretty resigned about it but also sad. I had high hopes and am mostly trying not to be too cynical. I don't tend to do personal ads, but I'm kindof writing one in my head. That relationship definitely helped me clarify the types of people I want to date and the traits I'm looking for much more clearly, and for that I'm very grateful.

I am a loner to a large degree, and I do kindof like having my weekends to myself, my time, but I also want to be in a relationship. A real one, not a fake or half-hearted one. But we'll see how things go.

I've also been so tempted to get in touch with him, but I try to submerge that desire in...books, gym, sometimes chocolate. I have so much work to finish and last weekend was the last, finally, of five weeks of being at least partially out of town. My next trip will be to Austin at the end of June for a cupcake meetup, and there are a few other little things in the works, but for now I'm taking things one day at a time, and trying to walk as much as I can. And eating at the crazy delicious Saltie, where I highly recommend the Clean Slate:

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Congratulations to IPPY Award finalists Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories and Best Sex Writing 2010

I'm thrilled to announce that two of my books are finalists for the 2010 IPPY (Independent Publisher) Awards, to be announced during BEA. Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories (click to watch sexy book trailer and read introduction) is a finalist in the erotica category, and Best Sex Writing 2010 is a finalist in the Sexuality category. Congratulations to all the finalists, especially my fellow Cleis Press editor Violet Blue on her erotica anthology category finalist Sweet Love: Erotic Fantasies for Couples.

Last year, I won 3 gold medals at the IPPYs: Best Sex Writing 2009 won the gold in the sexuality category, and Tasting Him: Oral Sex Stories and Tasting Her: Oral Sex Stories tied for the gold in erotica!

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"Are Your Breasts Real?" - my new biweekly sex column launched at Sexis Magazine!

My new column! "Secrets of a Sex Writer: 'Are Your Breasts Real?' and Other Questions Not to Ask a Sex Writer"

“Are your breasts real?” I was asked this while sitting in Happy Ending Lounge following my monthly reading series In The Flesh. True, the questioner held a postcard featuring me dressed in lingerie, holding the Njoy Eleven between my breasts, promoting a public casting of my breasts I’d had done earlier in the year. Also true: I’m a real woman, not some erotic robot without feelings. I was stunned that a stranger would ask such a personal question (and no, he wasn’t drunk), yet after writing about sex in fictional and journalistic ways for the last ten years, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Read the whole column at Sexis Magazine (and get your free copy of the print edition at the May 20th In The Flesh Reading Series

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

From Lemondrop to Tumblr and back to Lemondrop: Excuses for not drinking

What I love about Tumblr is how fast you can see what people react to; it's instaneous. They can just click "like" or reblog or comment and what's interesting is what people respond to.

I posted a short response about not drinking that spawned lots of reaction and...a post on Lemondrop (very cool site owned by AOL), quoting me, Lena Chen, Maria Diaz and Amber L. Rhea. It's not that surprising since I was responding to a post on Lemondrop about a woman who had to feign excuses for not drinking, lest everyone know she was pregnant. I didn't even know about it until, ironically, last night I was out with a friend at Spuyten Duyvil in Williamsburg, and she bought me two sparkling wines (yes, I broke my no more drinking in 2010 rule but it was in the name of girl talk) and she told me that AOL is her homepage and she clicked on a headline about "social drinking" and found my name! Love the small worldness. Thanks, Lemondrop and their interesting commenters. It's a fascinating site.

Here's the entirety of my original post, titled "Maybe instead of commentary on pregnancy this is about how fucked we are around alcohol:"

I despise the "You don't drink?" question when meeting new people. It seems to come with a tinge of "What the fuck is wrong with you?" Maybe I'm projecting, but still, it definitely comes with a tinge of, "You are not like the rest of us." I mean, really - pregnant or not, can we just drink or not drink on any given night and not have it be a bfd?

From Lemondrop:

"I had my 10-year high school reunion when I was only a few months pregnant. It was at a local bar and everyone was drinking, so I ordered a club soda with lime and told people it was a vodka tonic. I also wore a babydoll shirt to cover my growing pooch."
-- Sara, 30, Roanoke, Va.

"When I was eight weeks pregnant, I went to a wedding and drank water out of a Miller Light can all night. I also avoided my best friend Shannon for six weeks because I knew I couldn't hide it from her." -- Ashley, 34, Atlanta

I don't think there's some culture war between drinkers and non-drinkers (nor do I think those two groups are totally discrete, people are often one or the other in their lifetime) but it's interesting how it's perceived and how different locations (one commenter writes from a college campus in the South) affect their treatment.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Hello Kitty Must Die makes me laugh (when I kindof want to cry)

I don't want to use this blog as a crutch, but maybe that's sortof a futile hope. I miss my ex a lot, in a lot of ways. We didn't get that much time together in the last few weeks and I miss what we had before that, the nights when we weren't out til crazy late, or we were, but we stayed up even later talking. I miss his voice and his bed and the way he'd carry my bags.

This one time, it was so funny, I had like 3 or 4 big bags and then this one tiny one with mini cupcakes. I rearranged things or maybe he had something in his hand and I took the cupcake bag, the only one I'd let him carry, so I had them all and we started walking again and he was like, "Can I please have my bag back?" It totally made me laugh; still does.

Yeah, I'm still in the WTF? stage, I guess. I am trying to steer my thoughts in other directions, and this weekend wrote part of a crazy story that has nothing to do with me or him, but was about this couple doing something wild after being together for a long time. But it's little things that I'm sure will remind me of him for a long time; hell, Tasti D-Lite still reminds me of K.

Maybe it's better for it to have been so sudden, so abrupt, so we didn't drag out either the relationship or the breakup. I do see the logic in that. And I certainly have a lot of work to do and things like finally buying a bed and getting my apartment in order so I can have guests, and peace of mind. And I'm mostly gung ho and throwing myself into those things...except when I'm not. Except when I wish we could just rewind a little bit. Maybe if I didn't have umpteen things going on (and I am wrapping them up as fast as I can and then will reassess if I want to do any of them anymore) I'd throw myself into online dating, or just dating. But I don't really want to go on a zillion dates. There's someone I like who likes me, but I don't know if it's a dating situation or just a sex situation or what. There's a cute boy (or, well, two) in another city but I really have had my lifetime supply of dating people who don't live where I live. So I don't know. But missing my ex is not really about whether or not I like or am attracted to anyone else. Those can both exist at the same time.

Other things, like, life, are still going on. My new sex column "Secrets of a Sex Writer" debuts tomorrow at Sexis Magazine (topics coming up include rough sex, bisexuality and erotica editing). Tomorrow night I'm going to porno bingo, and I signed up for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in October, where I'll be walking 39 miles in 2 days! That's trippy and I did it in part to have a goal and force myself to meet it, not my strongest suit, and to have something to look forward to. We'll see how that goes. But right now, I'm kindof sad and trying not to cry. I may have to scrap that plan and just cry and then see where I am. I bought a novel, Hello Kitty Must Die, last night that is over-the-top and I have a feeling is only going to get more so, but I like its brashness, its wackiness, its lust for violence and noncomformity.

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Peep Show favorites

Peep Show got a great shoutout at, which highlighted some stories:

Peep Show is a top-notch assembly of eighteen sexy stories that center around the delicious theme of watching or being watched. As Bussel says in the introduction of Peep Show, “There’s a sense of the forbidden in many of the stories you’ll read here, whether money changes hands or not.”

What surprised Modern Love when reading this anthology wasn’t just how arousing illicit peeking can be; it’s the originality of many of the stories and settings, and the sense of respect these peeping Toms and Thomasinas have for their fetish.

Many notables stand out. Glass, by Nobilis Reed, is perhaps the most complex, with consensual voyeurism layered upon the unexpected. Without giving anything away, the story involves at least two women and two men, and if you include the reader, there’s a lot of peeping going on.

Sleeping Beauty by Malcolm Ross is as much about watching your naked wife sleep, as it is homage and expression of love and desire. "Some people might think that the only ones with sexual secrets are those having affairs, or single folks with wild lives that involve a different bed parter every night. But me? I'm a happily married man with a dirty little secret: I like to watch my wife, Inez, sleep...watching her at rest turns me on, makes my d**k come alive," confesses the protagonist about his passion and appreciation for his wife's vulnerable form.

In Missing Michael, M. March captures the angst and guilt of losing a love one and the guilt of moving on; be prepared for a surprise when you find out who’s stealing glances from afar.

And Sommer Marsden does a fine job of describing a husband’s longing for sexual satisfaction and the return of his pregnant wife’s appetites in Satisfaction Guaranteed. "The pregnancy was almost over, but by god, it felt to him as if she'd been pregnant for years...he still missed her. His wife. Them. Together. He missed the morning sex when they avoided kissing because it was just better to use those morning-breath mouths..." elsewhere, Marsden writes in the beginning of the story.

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Some Girls kiss and tell very, very well

I know that was a cheesy rhyme, but I will have to write at another time about how amazing Jillian Lauren is. You should go read her book, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, right now. And catch her on her book tour (this Thursday in NYC at Sex Worker Literati at Happy Ending Lounge, 302 Broome Street, 8 pm, for a start). I'll be there, bearing cupcakes (for Jillian, but she will probably share). Follow her @jillylauren on Twitter. Currently #98 on Amazon!!

FYI, I'd never heard of her before about a month ago when I picked up Bust (which has a great review of Best Sex Writing 2010 which I will post soon) and saw an interview with her by Shira Tarrant. I was intrigued, but the book wasn't out yet. Then that Monday, two days later, I got a copy in the mail, like magic, and was riveted, and emailed her to tell her how much I loved and was moved by the book, and we got to meet at the LA Times Festival of Books.

You can watch her appearance on The View here and read an interview with her at The Gloss here. There was a fabulous profile of her in LA Weekly and I will be blogging on a related note (about what happened when I went to Digg that piece) in "I Don't Care About Your Husband" (an homage to Julie Klausner in the title) soon.

I wrote this review on Amazon:

Some Girls is about, on the surface, Lauren's time spent in a harem in Brunei, but dig just marginally beneath that surface and you will see that this is a memoir that tackles major moments in both her life and one's that many women struggle with. Lauren leaves home at 16 to head out on her own at NYU, but soon finds the life of the theater and, later, escorting, more her style. She is young, brash and carefree, but Lauren never makes it as easy as "I was rebelling." She transposes her freewheeling time against her search for meaning--and her birth mother. Her descriptions of life in the palace, the over-the-top, almost sickening shopping sprees, and encounters with Prince Jefri vividly, including rivalry, jealousy, desire and boredom.

Some of the most moving scenes here, though, having nothing to do with the harem, even if they were informed by her time there. Her quest, and eventual success, in finding her birth mother is at the core of what it means to find oneself, and the ways that meeting falls short of Lauren's expectations are poignant. When she writes of her accidental pregnancy, the boyfriend who wasn't interested, and how she chose to deal with that, she starkly highlights the humanity within the debate around abortion in a way we truly need to see more of in our society. And when Lauren finds tattoo culture (fun fact: Ed Hardy once had a magazine called Tattootime, which becomes Lauren's bible), she writes of having found her people, and promptly gets a major tattoo that even her tattoo artist advises her against.

I found myself repeatedly marveling that the protagonist is only, at most, 19 or 20 when most of the scenes here take place. Lauren displays a maturity beyond her years in her self-assurance (though, again, beneath the surface much more than toughness bubbles up) as well as in the writing and self-reflection. This is a memoir in the truest sense of the word, not a dashed-off "I did this for a year" but a piece that flashes back and reveals her childhood piece by piece, showing why she had this restless yearning to travel so far and get involved with the Prince, even dreaming of having his child at one point. She complicates prostitution and her role in it, while never disowning or disavowing that word or the reality of what she did, and in doing so, has written an outstanding story that is both a fast, at times glamorous read, and one that is very likely to make you cry which, in my book, makes it a winner.

This is how she signed my book in LA:

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Talking feminism, feet, high heels and "Bad Shoes" with Leora Tanenbaum

See my interview at The Gloss with Bad Shoes author Leora Tanenbaum on feminism, high heels, ballet slippers, armadillo shoes and more.

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Monday, May 03, 2010

About the breakup

Because some of you have asked what happened, and because I need to sort it all out, I wanted to give a little recap of my personal life. This isn’t everything, but is a little insight into how I deal with people, and emotions, and breakups. It’s not everyone’s way, but it’s mine.

I started dating a friend of a friend at the beginning of February. I was in a relationship that was past its prime and we both agreed that it was very much over. Me and the new guy had three dates in three nights—the first two at Village Tart, where we also spent another handful of evenings. It was very intense from the beginning which I don’t think either of us were suspecting.

It wasn’t a perfect relationship—what is?—but was going very well, I thought. We spent a lot of time together and had really great sex (again, this is all my take on it) and I met some of his friends and he met some of my friends. The week before last we had some communication drama and then he was away and mostly without email for a week and it was very strained and hard for me. I said in a sortof bravada way that I’d be okay if we broke up, and sometimes I wonder if thinking that, planning for it in some small way, presaged it. And then I think that our week apart helped ease me into the concept. And then I think maybe dating other capricious men helped me, though it really hasn’t all that much. That sort of hot-cold, I-like-you-now-I-don't thing is very hard to get used to.

Anyway…on Thursday we saw each other for the first time in a week and it was not exactly the usual making out. We had a pretty heavy talk, and that is not my strong suit, but I thought it went okay. At one point I said something like, “It sounds like you’re trying to say you don’t want to see me anymore” and he said he wasn’t, but there was sortof an air of unhappiness to his side of the conversation. I thought we’d resolved it, though, and then we were sitting at this café while the staff tried to close and after maybe ten minutes of us just sitting there, holding hands and leaning against each other and talking quietly, he said, “I have this feeling that we should break up.” It was very strange because by that point it was the last thing I expected and he almost sounded like some force was telling him that; he seemed surprised too.

I didn’t know what to say, because what do you say to that? There’s nothing you can say; if someone’s decided they don’t want to date you, they’ve decided. I was mostly intent on just leaving before I started crying.

And then I decided to unfollow him on our various social networking sites. There are tons of fawning women who I didn’t exactly relish when we were dating and now that we're not I really have no need to see where he is at all times or who's flirting with him or whatever. I'd be too tempted to check incessantly otherwise, as I learned from past experience.

Yesterday I went to pick up some stuff I’d left at his place, and I thought I was okay, after three days to think about it all, but I almost fell down the stairs in my haste to leave and then burst into tears on the street when I got outside.

I’m torn between explaining it and just doing my best to move on, lickety split. It doesn’t seem worth devoting all the hours I devoted to another recent relationship, analyzing and overanalyzing and all of that. A long time ago I had this massive crush, the biggest one I’ve ever had, on this guy I was friends with. I was so smitten with him and he just wasn’t into me at all and all my friends were like, “It shouldn’t be that hard.” And they were right.

It’s not that I expect relationships to be simple, either; sometimes they can be so simple that there’s no substance. But at the end of the day, I can’t make someone want to be with me; all I can do is be myself and connect with people as openly as I’m capable of. I didn’t filter or censor or try to protect myself in this relationship and maybe that came back to bite me in the ass because if I got there, I am really sad and hurt. I never would’ve expected someone like him to just suddenly announce he wanted to break up like that, especially after we had such a long, involved conversation.

Is there a part of me that wishes my life had the fairy talesque quality of someone dumping me then wanting to get back together, a la Penelope Trunk (who just got married, in rain boots, to her farmer, who dumped her a bunch of times)? Or the protagonist of Pamela Ribon’s new novel Going in Circles, in which a man leaves his wife of five months then decides he wants her back? Sortof. My fantasy is more along the lines of us starting over, having that first, wonderful date again, feeding each other at Village Tart and being silly and serious and sweet and sexy and starting with a clean slate, because those first dates were really magical. I thought he was smart and special and hot and very different from the people I'd dated before.

But life doesn’t work that way. Maybe someday we can be “friends,” but I’m somewhat doubtful. The whole “we can still be friends” line has always felt like the worst sort of consolation prize, like, “I’m gonna fuck and fall for and be with someone else, but we can still chat about the weather.” It’s different if you’re friends with someone first, but we weren’t. Of course I miss him and there are a lot of things that I wish I’d said or done; at the end it seemed like he wanted to share every problem he had with me, and I wished I’d been more vocal about being bothered by certain things but now, what’s the point?

I know that I don’t handle rejection very well, but who does? Even when you know it’s not all about you, it still hurts. I was interested in someone before I met this person and I told them, basically, and they were dealing with some personal things and couldn’t even conceive of dating me, and part of me understood, but part of me was still hurt by that. I get that we’re all capable of hurting each other and it’s funny because part of our disagreement while we were both away was over something where I know he didn’t mean to upset me, but he did. And I want to say that the intention is what matters, but at the end of the day, I think actions count more, because they are what you feel, what you respond to. I was seeing someone for a while where I’d get showered with attention, and then not hear from them for a long while, and that I think is what helped me realize that this time, I can’t belabor that process, I can’t feed into the heartbreak of it. It doesn’t mean I’m not sad or I’m just blasé about it; I’m not at all. But I need to work on myself and be ready for my next relationship. Of course I have questions and I’m sure at some point we’ll talk, but I know right now I’m not ready to handle that.

There’s this line in “You Blink” (ha - I originally typed "You Bling") by Elizabeth Elmore, a gorgeous breakup song if ever there were one. “I salvage what I can…” – I think what I’m trying to salvage is my life. It’s not that I let it go, per se, but I have a lot of things I want to work on and that need mending and work, and if that romantic relationship is over, I just don’t have the emotional energy or time to try to pick it up. I learned a lot from the relationship and thought it had a lot of potential, thought it was moving forward and we were learning about each other and ourselves, and maybe we were and maybe I was totally delusional, but there are so many what ifs that are just pointless to wonder about at this point.

Updated: Art always helps me process and learn things, sometimes about myself, sometimes just to help me see something in a new way. I found this poem "The Order In Which Things Are Broken" by Desirée Alvarez, which seems fitting, since one of the things that attracted me to my ex was that he was a poet, not that I got to read much of his work, but more that I thought that showed something about his soul, his person, his mind. "The loose spooling of two people fast unravels..."

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My new sex column and 20% off sex toys at EdenFantasys

I'm thrilled to announce that this Wednesday launches my new sex column "Secrets of a Sex Writer" at Sexis Magazine AND that EdenFantasys is now a sponsor of In The Flesh Reading Series. Each month we'll give away 100 copies of the print edition of Sexis plus gift cards for free sex toys. And whether you come to In The Flesh or not, you can get 20% off your order by using the code "cupcake"! I'm so excited about this partnership and honored to be part of their roster of columnists, which includes Nina Hartley, The Bloggess, Em and Lo, Sinclair Sexsmith and other vary talented folks!

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Kindle version of Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission is available now

The paperbacks are getting released a bit sooner (as soon as stock is in) than the Kindle editions, so for those Kindle readers, I wanted to let you know that Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission is now for sale in Kindle form at Amazon!

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