Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Because I was too lazy to write an essay about ending In The Flesh

From an email I just sent:

"It's been a good lesson, in the things I'm good at, like curating, and things I'm bad at, like business."

Or, in the immortal words of Liz Phair, "It's nice to be liked/but it's better by far to get paid."

Please come out tonight for 500 free cupcakes, pop song cabaret, bondage burlesque, sexy readings and so much more. If you'd told me when I started writing erotica that Laura Antoniou would ask me if she could read, or a million other things that've happened in the last five years, I never would've believed it. I'm the type of person who so easily sees all the things I did wrong, the places I didn't send the press release, the things I didn't do to get the word out, the errors, the excesses, but today and tonight and maybe, OMG, even into the future, I'm trying to see the bright side, the positive, to look forward, not back. In The Flesh has taught me so much about writing and hosting and what I enjoy about my work, and the difference between being a writer and a performer (I will always be the former, the latter I will leave to the folks who are much better at it).

And thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of you who graced the In The Flesh stage since October 2005. I really am incredibly honored.

I hope to see you tonight, and, yes, broke ass as I am, I'm taping it for those who can't be there. I'm very proud of myself for pulling the plug, because I'm such a people pleaser I could've easily gotten caught up in what I "should" do, according to people who know nothing about me, rather than the actual right decision. I have no regrets, but am excited to try to live differently, and hopefully better, in 2011, to not say yes so much, to focus on my strengths, beyond just shoving food at people.

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 Last In The Flesh event listing. Note early start time of 7:30. See also the In The Flesh Reading Series fan page on Facebook.

December 16, 2010, 7:30 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

Both floors of Happy Ending Lounge will be open for this event. We recommend arriving when the doors open at 7 for a good seat.

After 5+ years, over 200 readers, countless cupcakes and sexy moments, In The Flesh Reading Series is ending. Join us for a free, festive, sexy, cupcake-filled last hurrah, with erotica, memoir, burlesque and 500 free cupcakes to celebrate! Featuring erotic writer Laura Antoniou (The Marketplace series), memoirists Nancy Balbirer (Take Your Shirt Off and Cry), and Michele Carlo (Fish Out of Agua), burlesque performers GiGi La Femme (Revealed, Wassabasco) and Stormy Leather (Webster Hall, The Box), photographer and photocomic CulutrePOP creator Seth Kushner, memoirist Stephen Markley (Publish This Book), In The Flesh alum and famed letter writer Samara O'Shea (Note to Self, For the Love of Letters), Lambda Literary Award winner Rakesh Satyal (Blue Boy) and romance novelist Kama Spice (Sehra's Honor). Hosted and curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Bondage Erotica 2011, Passion, Orgasmic, Fast Girls). Prizes include sex toys from EdenFantasys, vibrator We-Vibe, porn DVDs from director Tristan Taormino Rough Sex 2 and Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio, books Oysters & Chocolate: Erotic Stories of Every Flavor, Mastering Your Man from Head to Head and Sexy Slang's Bedroom Challenges: 69 Ways to Spice up Your Sex Life and free Sliquid lube giveaways, including Sliquid Swirl in Green Apple and Pink Lemonade, 120 pillow packs of Sliquids Organics Natural, plus sex toys the Sqweel and the Pin-Up. Hosted and curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Bondage Erotica 2011, Passion, Orgasmic, Fast Girls). Giveaways include copies of SexIs Magazine and 500 cupcakes by Baked by Melissa.

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 Mike Albo, 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, Julie Powell, 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, Daily Candy, 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.

Laura Antoniou is the author of the best selling Marketplace series of erotic novels, now published by Circlet Press and coming out in exciting e-book formats. A long time member of the smut world, she has edited over a dozen anthologies and an assortment of magazines, written far too many short stories under far too many pseudonyms to remember. In 2010, she even started re-releasing her gay male porn, written originally under the name Christopher Morgan. A popular sexuality educator, she has traveled the world teaching a variety of relationship workshops and delivering keynote speeches to generally horrified (yet amused!) audiences. Her website is; she is on Facebook ad Fetlife as well and invites new friends.

Nancy Balbirer's memoir, Take Your Shirt Off and Cry, was published by Bloomsbury in April. She is the author and star of the critically acclaimed solo show I Slept With Jack Kerouac and Other Stories, the co-creator of the cult reading series, Cause Celeb!, and has co-starred on Seinfeld and MTV’s Remote Control. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is the co-owner, designer and doyenne of the West Village boite, Pasita. She lives with remarkably few regrets in Manhattan with her husband and daughter.

photo by Rob d'Entremont

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 Fast Girls, Orgasmic, 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

Michele Carlo is a writer/performer and comedic storyteller who has lived in four of the five boroughs of New York City and remembers when a slice of pizza cost fifty cents. Her stories have been published in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood’s Lost & Found: Stories From New York, Chicken Soup For The Latino Soul and SMITH Magazine. Her memoir, Fish Out of Agua: My life on neither side of the (subway) tracks, was published this summer by Citadel Press.

Since 2005, GiGi La Femme has been named one of New York City’s sultriest striptease stars and is also the co-producer of the monthly show Revealed Burlesque at the Under St. Mark’s Theater. A Golden Pastie Award winner for Best Booty Shaker 2009 and Miss Coney Island 2010, the multi-talented bump ‘n’ grinder, go-go girl, chanteuse and pin-up model has traveled the nation performing signature acts such as "Spanking", "Princess Leia" and "Sweet Leaf". She is also the host of Wasabassco Burlesque at venues around New York, New England and Washington, DC.

photo by Greg Brophy

Seth Kushner shoots portraits of celebrity-types for such publications The New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Businessweek, L'Uomo Vogue and others. Seth's first book, The Brooklynites, was published by powerHouse Books in 2007. His next book, Leaping Tall Buildings, will be released in 2101.
Currently, he co-edits GRAPHIC NYC ( and is working on CulturePOP, his photocomix series on
Seth resides in Brooklyn with his wife, baby boy, and too many comics.

Stephen Markley is an Ohio transplant, who graduated from Miami University in 2006. After an eight month, 12,000 mile cross-country road trip that left him completely broke, he made the daring decision to move to Chicago. As far as he knows, he is the only person from that school in this city. He writes for's blog KickingTires and his freelance work has appeared in the Chicago Reader, RadarOnline, the Populist Progressive, 10,000 Tons of Black Ink, Private Investigator's Magazine, Midnight Times, and the Weber Studies Journal. Most importantly, he is an author. His first book, Publish This Book, can be found on and bookstores everywhere.

Samara O’Shea has written two narrative non-fiction books—one on the art of letter writing and the other on the importance of keeping a journal. On her website,, she offers to write letters and wedding vows for those struggling to find the right words. This is Samara’s fourth time reading at In the Flesh. She is honored to have been a part of this wonderful reading series. Samara will be reading from her unpublished book, Don’t Make Me Defriend You, about losing her cyber virginity.

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

Kama Spice has lived in the East and the West and merges both in her stories. She considers herself a pro-sex feminist who likes to explore the point where spirit and eros converge to create power. Kama is published in various genres and has two erotic romance novels with Ellora's Cave, with a third forthcoming.

Sweeping in from the the plains of Oklahoma, Stormy Leather has breezed through the ranks of the New York City burlesque scene to find herself both in demand and in the spotlight. A regular by request at top clubs, including The Slipper Room, Webster Hall, and The Box, Stormy has been blowing away audiences with a whirlwind of elegance, ingenuity, and seduction. Her repertoire of original material is a cyclone of genres: fan dancing, tassel twirling, sexually ambiguous drag, rock n' roll, and even rope bondage and hot wax fetishism. A Stormy Leather strip tease showers you with sex and talent, leaving you breathless, winded, and wet. Playing in a storm has never been so much fun...

You will hear from the following books:

Best Bondage Erotica 2011

Fish Out of Agua

Publish This Book

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