Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Come on my face jokes, crossdressing and coming out at Philadelphia's Erotic Literary Salon

This week's Philadelphia City Paper sex column is all about the monthly Erotic Literary Salon hosted by Dr. Susana Mayer. Erotica writers, published or not, this is a wonderful place to have your work heard by an appreciative crowd! Next one is November 18th and details are in the column. If you like my column, I'd love it if you clicked "like" at the top and shared it. The more people who read it, the longer the paper will allow me to write for them, and I have lots of column ideas cooked up! Thank you.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Good days, bad days, travel fears and Hello Kitty conning anyway

I often get nervous before trips, not so much about flying, but all the rest of it, especially when it's somewhere I don't know well, like Los Angeles. It's one thing when I attended CatalystCon West, because I mainly stayed within a two-block radius of the conference hotel. I don't know what has sent me into such a tailspin before this one, but I postponed my flight and seriously considered canceling. I didn't, because I had a feeling missing out on Hello Kitty Con would disappoint me more.

Partly, I feel guilty, like I shouldn't be going, because the whole reason I let myself book this trip was because I was offered the opportunity to teach an erotica writing workshop, which would have offset some of the cost of the trip. I had been toying with going but had thought it too wasteful. This week I found out the organization who'd contacted me is canceling the workshop and it's unclear whether I will get my fee. So even though I thought I had my RKB Enterprises, Inc. businesswoman hat on, I felt like a business failure for one thing. For another, I have other work and I didn't pitch stories on Hello Kitty con ahead of time so don't have anything lined up to write about.

But even more, I just felt homesick at the thought of leaving home. Maybe because I've been in Philadelphia twice recently and am in and out of New York a bunch in November, maybe because the fall leaves I can see from my kitchen are beautiful, and because I will surely miss streams of adorable trick or treaters. Maybe it's because my boyfriend has just been so rock solid supportive the past few weeks with all my mood swings and assorted ups and downs. Maybe it's because, while I do love Hello Kitty, LA is in no way my city and when I called my hotel to ask how to get there via public transportation, I was put on hold for essentially five minutes (with occasional dips back in to speak to me) while they Googled the directions. I despise that. Even though I may end up taking a cab, I love places that have decent public transport. I love cities like Portland, Maine, or Seattle, where I can walk and actually get somewhere substantial.

The last two days I just felt down, about assorted things, and then I realized that yes, not everything is going fabulously, but lots of wonderful things are happening too. You don't only get all good or all bad, just as you can't be in two places at once. So I am off to the city of angels and Hello Kitty, to eat cat (or pseudo-cat) shaped foods and look at palm trees and miss my guy and who knows what else. Maybe it's the not knowing, the unplannable, that sets me, someone who ultimately likes routine and control, on edge. I will see, and I'm sure I'll be posting photos on Instagram and Twitter.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Open bar NYC book party for Sex & Cupcakes and bloggers wanted for virtual book tour

4 big pieces of news: my essay collection Sex & Cupcakes is now for sale on iBooks as well as Kindle (both are just $4.99 and if you buy on Kindle and send me your receipt by October 31st, I'll send you any of my other Kindle books free; click here for details), there's an audiobook version coming out and I want to celebrate with you November 17th in New York City! The official book party, sponsored by my publisher Thought Catalog Books, takes place Monday, November 17th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sweet Revenge, 62 Carmine Street, which if you haven't been to is a delightful and delicious little restaurant with cupcakes, food and drinks (also be sure to go for brunch: their red velvet waffles are to die for!). It's open bar from 6-7 and the first 25 attendees will get a free copy of the ebook. No need to RSVP, just show up, bring friends if you like, and cash for cupcakes (they also take credit cards). It's fitting that the party is in New York because so much of the book takes place in New York, though I also hope to do an event in my home state of New Jersey as well!

What else? The virtual book tour kicks off in a few days and I need a few more bloggers to join us! You get a free copy of the book and can post an excerpt, review, do a giveaway, riff on some of the ideas in the book, whatever you like. The open dates are listed on Tumblr and you can email me at rachelkb at with "Tour" in the subject line and your URL and what type of post you plan and any preferred dates, and I'll send you a copy and sign you up.


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Monday, October 27, 2014

2 sex books for just $4.99 through October 31st

Through October 31st, if you are a subscriber to my newsletter, you can get any of the books below (Kindle edition) FREE when you buy my new essay collection Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays. Why am I doing this? Because this is possibly my most important book, one that gives me the title "Author" after a decade of being an anthology editor. It's a big leap, one that has the potential to make big things happen.

Nonfiction has always been my true love, even though I plan to write erotica forever, but getting the chance to dig into the topics nearest and dearest to my heart and my daily life was an honor and I want to do everything in my power to make my first book written by me succeed. The good news is that because of the magic and awesomeness of e-publishing, I actually earn more per purchase of my $4.99 ebook than I do when you buy my other books. That's not to say I don't want them all to succeed, but the reality is some books have found their audience, and some absolutely have not. I could be discouraged and disheartened, or I could get out there and try something new, and the latter is what I've chosen. I put my heart on the line and on the page with Sex & Cupcakes and that's why I'm offering this free special gift to you. So if you want to take advantage of it, make sure you've subscribed to my newsletter (which you can do on the left-hand side of, then buy Sex & Cupcakes from Amazon and forward me your receipt by October 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST by emailing rachelkb at with "Amazon" in the subject line AND make sure you tell me both the Kindle ebook you want AND the email address to send it to (cannot be an address and must be the one associated with your Amazon account or the gift won't go through).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, which is always right on the surface (as you'll read in my essay "Wearing My Tattooed Heart On My Sleeve"), for helping me become something I've long wanted to be: an author. Want to help my little ebook that could do even better? Please rate it on Goodreads and/or leave a review on Amazon (1-2 sentences is fine, Amazon boosts books with lots of reviews). If it does well I promise there will be more sales and newsletter subscribers get special free book offers and special deals each month too.


Free book options: Anything for You: Erotica for Kinky Couples; Baby Got Back: Anal Erotica; Best Bondage Erotica 2011; Best Bondage Erotica 2012; Best Bondage Erotica 2013; Best Bondage Erotica 2014; Best Sex Writing 2008; Best Sex Writing 2009; Best Sex Writing 2010; Best Sex Writing 2012; Best Sex Writing 2013; Between the Cheeks; The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories; The Big Book of Submission; Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories; Caught Looking: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists; Cheeky Spanking Stories; Crossdressing; Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories; Fast Girls; Flying High: Sexy Stories from the Mile High Club; Going Down: Oral Sex Stories; Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex; He's on Top: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance and Female Submission; Hide and Seek: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists; Hungry for More; Instruments of Pleasure: Sex Toy Erotica; Irresistible: Erotic Romance for Couples; Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women; Only You: Erotic Romance for Women; Orgasmic; Passion; Peep Show; Please, Ma'am: Erotic Stories of Male Submission; Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission; Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission; She's on Top: Erotic Stories of Female Dominance and Male Submission; Smooth; Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica; Suite Encounters: Hotel Sex Stories; Surrender: Erotic Tales of Female Pleasure and Submission; Tasting Her: Oral Sex Stories; Tasting Him: Oral Sex Stories; Twice the Pleasure: Bisexual Women's Erotica; Women in Lust; Yes, Ma'am: Erotic Stories of Male Submission; Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission

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Friday, October 24, 2014

On personal essay writing and being written about

Unless you are a hermit who lives alone and never interacts with someone, I venture it would be impossible to write personal essays without including other people in them. After all, our relationships with other people, be they friends, family, lovers, even strangers, are so much of what drives us as humans. While I know that intellectually, there is still always a part of me that's nervous about releasing a personal piece into the world, and even more so knowing the people I've written about will be reading my work. It's hard not to want to apologize, even though for me, writing has always been an essential part of my makeup, my way of operating in the world.

Frankly, while I'm writing, I can't let myself think too much, if at all, about what anyone else will think. That always stops me in my tracks. But that doesn't mean that after I've written I don't care. I'm sure it's not easy to be written about, and especially so when you are repeatedly written about, whether you are the only one who knows it's you or not. It's an ongoing conversation I have in my relationship, but the bottom line is I couldn't really be partnered with someone who wanted to monitor every single thing I write, because that would, on a practical level, impede my ability to make a living, and on a much more personal level, make me feel stymied and controlled.

I do my best to ethically walk that line. I'm sure sometimes I fail at that quest. But what I always think about is: is this about more than me? That sounds grandiose on one level, but on another, I try to look at what about our culture and the larger forces at work am I talking about. I didn't set out to write an essay called "My Boyfriend's Fat" because that is a statement and a fact and alone isn't worthy of note. The whole thing came about because of the question posed to me by my cousin about his fatness and if there is anything that riles up this country, it's fat people. They are such objects of scorn and pity and I knew it was worth delving into because the question threw me off. I wanted to have an easy and pat answer and I didn't, and any time people are questioning me about things that I'm not sure about how to handle, I know it's rich material for some kind of writing. I've also tackled body image and size and desire in my fiction, most notably in "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (click to read it free) in my erotic romance anthology Obsessed.

Do I write things that may make their subjects uncomfortable? Of course, but probably that's true of any writer, nonfiction or otherwise, at some point. If you don't ever dare to say anything potentially off-putting, what are you really saying? I don't have a perfect answer or a one-size-its-all solution for myself or anyone else. It's a constant risk and I've had to embrace the fact that I may put out work that nobody relates to or likes, and that's okay. I also know that the subjects of my essays are, in almost every case, not the target audience. These aren't open letters; they are essays. When I wrote about not wanting to have sex at night, my boyfriend already knows that. It's everyone else who doesn't necessarily. Do I mine my life for things to write about? Yes, and no. I don't sit down and say to myself, What happened today that would make a good essay? Rather, those ideas leap out at me, bold and in my face and not to be ignored. Hopefully in my book Sex & Cupcakes I've opened up myself just as much as anyone else, ideally more. A personal essay or memoir is never the final say or the "real" truth, it's one person's truth, at one moment in time. The words themselves are final but our thoughts and feelings are not.


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why does my vagina shut down after 8 p.m. and other sex timing questions in this week's column

My Let's Get It On sex column this week is called It's Sex O'Clock, time for a weekend romp and is about how I balance being part of a couple where one person wants sex at different times of day than another person, and how other people do as well, along with some suggestions on compromises. If you like it, I'd love it if you'd pass it on, comment, mention it on Twitter and/or like it at the top! I have tons of ideas for future columns and hope to keep writing it for a long time, but know much is riding on how many people are reading these first columns. That being said, I welcome ideas for future columns, nothing is off limits. Email me at rachelkb at with "Column" in the subject line and your ideas. Thanks for reading!

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Can't sit still - on loving my home and loving traveling

I woke up from a nightmare I can only vague recall at 4:30 a.m., and considering I'd passed out while barely mumbling sentences to my boyfriend around 10, I decide to wake up and get some work done, because the bit I do remember from my nightmare was that it was about work. I've taken on a lot this month, between writing my weekly sex column, debuting my essay collection Sex & Cupcakes, teaching my first online erotica writing class for LitReactor and assorted other projects, plus travel. It's the travel that seems to throw me off the most, because you never really know what your schedule will be like when you're away from home. Even when you make plans, they are subject to change, and time to yourself or to work often seems harder to carve out. It doesn't have to be far away to throw me off.

I just spent two days in Philadelphia, attending an event I was covering for my column, meeting with friends and businesspeople and my Philadelphia City Paper editor, enjoying a lobster roll and walking around on Tuesday, racing through the rain on Wednesday. It was a lovely little visit (thank you, Bolt Bus, for making it so cheap to get there), but it also takes me out of my routine. Next week I'll be in Los Angeles to attend Hello Kitty Con (yes, really!) and teach a live writing workshop. I'm so often torn because I love traveling but I actually love being in my cozy home even more. We've given it many touches that make it ours, and it's one that I feel utterly relaxed in.

There's a tension between the fact that I can't seem to sit still, that I'm constantly hopping on a train or a plane to somewhere, and that when I do get home, it feels so glorious. There are times when I look at my calendar (which is actually more like the calendar in my mind, because while I do use the calendar function on my phone, I don't currently have a paper calendar) and get excited about the trips I have planned. I like filling in dates and having trips to look forward to. Yet sometimes I dread the idea of being away from home, from all that makes up my routine. I'm slowly getting used to the fact that I'm half homebody, half traveler. It's confusing sometimes, trying to figure out which one I want to be at any given time. But it's also made me treasure my time at home, where we plan our meals and watch "our shows" and I make the exact same amount of coffee every morning, drinking it out of the exact same mug.

I don't think a whole month goes by where I don't go somewhere, even if it's just to New York, a city I love but often find exasperating and stressful. It's not that I couldn't wake up at 4:30 and forage for food and listen to the rain anywhere, but more that it feels right when I'm home. I don't have to be as on as I do when I'm away, navigating plans or directions. I follow a lot of travel bloggers, and for many of them travel is their way of life to the point that home seems, to my reading, almost beside the point. I don't think I could ever do that. I love traveling because I always get to come home, and this home specifically, where I've lived since April, is a very special one.

I'm already making plans for 2015, vacations which I feel very lucky to be able to afford for now (it's been a very up and down year, and I have no idea what the future holds in that regard), teaching at events like CatalystCon (I just submitted a panel proposal as well, and encourage you to do so ASAP; the deadline is November 4th and this is an incredible, inspiring conference) and hopefully teaching at more sex toy stores and doing other events. I am the kind of person who doesn't mind airport layovers because I love people watching; I love the sense of excitement that builds just before a trip, and can even get it vicariously by watching others about to embark on a journey. But as I sit in my kitchen on a wet, rainy day, having just sent my guy off to work, there's no place else I'd rather be at this moment. Maybe there's nothing wrong with not knowing how to sit still for more than a few days or weeks, as long as I can appreciate being wherever I am at any given moment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Get on my mailing list for exclusive giveaways and deals

Since I just switched to Mail Chimp, I wanted to share this - I give away books and offer special deals like this month's buy one get one free offer exclusively to subscribers, so if you like my work, you'll want to sign up.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm not edible, I'm monogamous

I just got this email regarding my newsletter, which you can sign up for on the left-hand side of (I am very excited about using MailChimp, which is making me want to send a newsletter every day but I promise to keep it to two a month, max!), and it amused me enough to post it:
every time I get your monthly letter I found you more edible. Are you married?
I'm not married, although that line between married and unmarried often feels murky. Technically, legally, no, I am not. But as my boyfriend and I attended a wedding this weekend, of course we discussed it. "We're fake married," I said. "No, we're married, we just haven't done the paperwork," he said. Fair enough. That is a gigantic, huge distinction in the eyes of the law, and that is a separate topic. But in my heart, yes, I'm married. I take a lot of surveys and hate when the distinction is "single" vs. "married," though most of them now have a spot for domestic partnership.

As to the other question, technically, legally, no, I am not edible (sorry, cannibals). But it's a funny line, because certainly with my book cover for Sex & Cupcakes I was aiming for a sexy cover, to lure readers in. The inside is a little bit more serious and thoughtful. There's sex, and cupcakes, but there's also a lot about how sexuality intersects with the rest of my life, how there's a mountain of stereotypes attached to you the minute you publish erotica or anything about sex, and sometimes I play with and into those, as with my book cover. I don't mind that I've taken sexy photos and used them as part of my articles or "brand," to use today's modern buzzword, because that is also part of who I am. If I dressed every day in a very austere manner, it would seem more jarring to me. But I'm basically myself on the page and in person, and I want that to come across in my writing.

Clearly this person did not read my essay "Monogamishmash," which reads in part:
Now, when I get a crush on someone, or even the inkling that a crush might start, or a fantasy, I know that it's starting from a solid foundation. I don't need the outside relationship to feel happy or fulfilled in my life overall; I want it to enhance the wonderful life I already have. To me, that is a key difference, whether I take advantage of it or not. I know our love is secure, and that nobody can "break us up."
If he'd read it, he would have seen that the only person who gets to "eat" me these days is my guy. Will that change someday? Possibly. Whether we are married or not, that question is separate. But it's a line I toe, and think about; would it be better for my author image to pretend to be single? I don't seriously consider that because there would be no way I could pull that off when I keep wanting to write about my relationship. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting question, one that wasn't so simple to answer. I may not be edible, but hopefully I'm likeable.

Read "Monogamishmash" and more in Sex & Cupcakes, out now for $4.99 on Kindle.


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Monday, October 20, 2014

My heart tattoo, almost three years later

I got this tattoo almost three years ago, in November 2011, two months before the fateful first date that brought me to my current boyfriend.


I tell the story behind the tattoo in my Thought Catalog Books ebook Sex & Cupcakes in the essay "Wearing My Tattooed Heart On My Sleeve," the bulk of which I wrote soon afterward. Here's a snippet:
I don't hate my heart for failing me, for leading me down so many dead ends, for being too impulsive when she should be cautious, patient, watchful. Well, that's not entirely true; today, while I'm in a good mood, I don't blame my heart. I can forgive her her fanciful whims, her childlike earnestness, her belief that next time will be better. I've spent so long hating my heart's lack of reason, wanting to slice her up, banish her back to a simple biological role and let my head make the big decisions, but I can't. That's not who I am, not deep down, and now, not on the surface either.
That too was rejected from Modern Love in The New York Times (I can be stubborn and persistent, but I've given up on that hallowed section for now), but was a major turning point for me. I didn't know who I was looking for exactly, when I sat in that chair, I just knew I was going about love the wrong way. I knew it wasn't supposed to be something where you gave 100% and never felt secure. I knew it was supposed to improve my life, not make me feel so off balance and uncertain.

I started 2012 adamantly not looking for love, or at least, that kind of love. I want to fix my stumbling career, I wanted to explore. I booked a trip to Hawaii for a week by myself, on my piddling budget, using frequent flyer miles and a very cheap AirBNB rental, amazed that I, who was struggling on the personal and professional fronts, could do that. But that first date happened just before my trip, so I wound up in a romantic, beautiful setting alone, but not single. There's been so much that's happened since then, paths that my wayward and sometimes impulsive heart has led me, that I didn't know were possible. This weekend we went to a wedding and as we were sitting at the bar talking to a fellow friend of the bride, she said, "How long have you two been married?" I immediately said, "Oh, we're not married," because it just seemed like such a foreign thing to say, and yet it wasn't, not really. That happened once in our first year of dating, checking into a hotel for a staycation, and I laughed about it. Then I wasn't sure exactly where our relationship was heading.

This weekend, hearing it felt like a compliment. My thoughts on marriage have changed and grown as I've learned from those around me, though I still think its benefits are too often wielded like an evil weapon that can boomerang back to hurt people whose only crime is love, but that's another story. I used to tease my cousins that they were an "old married couple" and now I've become part of one. We each have seats on the couch, we have little rituals and nicknames not just for us but for aspects of our house. We say hi to the squirrels and groundhogs and occasional cat that wander into our backyard. I'm sad I won't get to give out Halloween candy to the umpteen little kids in our neighborhood. When I sat down at Sanctuary Tattoo in Portland, Maine, I wanted that physical pain to take away my emotional pain. I wanted to give myself a way of reclaiming my heart and not trying to shut it off. But I wasn't sure at all what that would look like.

The farther I get from that moment, the more I realize how clueless I was. This, the real life everyday silly mixed with serious, opposites attracting kind of love, wasn't something I could plan for. It sometimes still stops me in my tracks. My life is very different from what it was that day I sat down in the chair. My routine is different, my location is different, my work is different and my job is different. I joke sometimes that I write so much about my boyfriend because most days he's the only one I see or talk to. Except when I'm in New York or traveling, I'm not usually meeting up with friends. It's a quieter life, a homey, cozy one. And I love all those little things, that together add up to something far greater than the sum of its parts. My heart isn't immune to getting hurt, to emotional ups and downs, but I also know I can weather them better than I knew in 2011. I'm more sure of myself, more certain that the kind of unconditional love I was looking for actually exists, no matter what flaws or obstacles or issues I have.

I joke when I visit that Portland, Maine is my home away from home, and it feels that way. I feel very me when I'm there. I feel welcomed and peaceful, and who knows? Maybe someday it will be my actual home. I like carrying a little bit of it around with me, where everyone can see it.

Liked this post? Check out my new essay collection ebook Sex & Cupcakes, available now on Kindle for just $4.99.


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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fear, writing and doing it anyway with my essay "My Boyfriend's Fat"

Writing about other people can be such a tricky endeavor; you might think it's old hat to me, but it never is. In my new essay collection Sex & Cupcakes I included an essay that got rejected from Modern Love in The New York Times called "My Boyfriend's Fat." It's one I'm proud of but also have been worried about putting out into the world, precisely because it's both personal and about the most important person in my life. Having been featured as a "character" in short stories, I know that it's probably not a barrel of laughs to be the focal point of a personal essay by your significant other. And yet. I did it. It was important to me and for me a way to express both love and frustration at the way our culture talks about fatness and bodies and "health."

So far, the four reviews of the book that are up on Amazon and a blog, all mention the essay.


The essay that hit me the most from a personal point of view is entitled, ‘My Boyfriend is Fat.’ As the wife of a portly middle aged man (ok, he’s fat), I felt for Rachel, and understood every word she wrote. The stupid comments that people make, the judgements that people (who should often know better) make. Although our circumstances are different in someways there were so many things she said through the words on the page that simply made me go, yes, that’s it! Why DO people say that? What does give people the right to judge?

Alyssa on Amazon:

I also liked 'My Boyfriend's Fat' because she talked about the judgement and comments that people make in our society aimed at those who don't fit the "skinny" group. This essay itself had so much emotion and it stuck with me as I myself am overweight.

Ilovebooks on Amazon

They are all entertaining, but I found myself really struck by the essay she wrote about her overweight boyfriend. It was about the prejudices he faced as an overweight man and her attraction to him. I had an overweight family member and I just related a lot to what she had to say about this.

Wendy W on Amazon

I was especially drawn to her compassion for her boyfriend's weight "issue." I put issue in quotes because the people who are making an issue out of seem to be those who are NOT either Rachel or her beau.

Is it wrong to link to those reviews as if they alone validate my desire to write about that topic, or rather, is it wrong for me to want and crave that feedback? I hope not, because I do genuinely crave it. When I've been sending the ebook out to reviewers I've said something like, "I hope you like it, but even if you don't I want to know your thoughts." And I do, even though I also brace myself, because I don't think there's a way to separate judgment about the writing from judgment about, well, your choices, if you're writing memoir or essays. That's the risk you take by going there.

I wrote that essay not for my boyfriend as target audience but for everyone else who's expressed "concern" to me about his size, and for people who make judgments about fat people. I didn't write it from some World's Most Enlightened Person perspective about the topic, because how could I? I grew up in this same culture and have plenty of body issues myself. But even when we don't want to be changed, the people in our lives changed us. I love that that's the essay, along with "Monogamishmash," being highlighted by readers. I already got an email from a stranger via the Thought Catalog Books site (where, it should be noted, "Fuck" gets its full four-letter glory but on Amazon has to be F***" commenting on the title. Those are the essays that are all about my vulnerabilities and some of the conflicts of both my relationship, but hopefully, something a little more universal.

I was uncertain about publishing this fat essay, about naysayers and judgment, and more protective than usual because it's not my life on the line, exposed. The dance between public and private is an ongoing issue in my relationship. It's such a delicate line sometimes and clearly I so often fall on the public side. But for the last two years and nine months, I've learned to treasure all the private, often ridiculous, sometimes sappy moments that are just ours. To me those make what I do share all the more important. It sounds so lofty even as I type this, but I don't just write to purge or for catharsis, although I do believe writing is inherently selfish for me. I write to connect and learn and find out what other people think.

So if that intrigues you, all 9 essays are just $4.99 with the click of a button. I'll post more about the tattoo essay soon too. My heart surprises me all the time and even though the essay about it remains what it is, an essay is never the end of the story, but a moment in time, frozen in words on the page (or screen, as it were).


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Friday, October 17, 2014

Sex and Cupcakes, my debut essay collection, is out now!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't equally nervous and excited about the just-released ebook Sex & Cupcakes: A Collection of Juicy Essays, from Thought Catalog Books. It's out now on Kindle (only $4.99!) and coming soon to iBooks. It features some classic favorite essays and several newer ones that I believe collectively capture a bit of what I'm about, sexually, romantically and otherwise. There's even some writing tips thrown in. Yet now that it's actually for sale, now that I've sent it to several people and used all sorts of qualifiers because I'm so nervous about what they think, I realize how deeply personal the writing is. I knew it, of course, but I can sometimes dissociate from that aspect, almost forget about it, when I'm in the writing zone. I wrote some of these from wonderful places and some, like "Wearing My Tattooed Heart on My Sleeve," from darker, more painful places. The pain from my tattoo was nothing compared to the emotional pain leading up to it. So that's there too. It's a constant challenge, trying to get at our emotional truths, being as honest as possible while also protecting the people you love, or once loved, or may love. But I do know, as per The Four Agreements, that with this one, I did my best.


The book got its first review from the wonderful Jenne at Clitical! She wrote a wonderful, thoughtful review, but I'll highlight one sentence that stands out the most, about the essay I am the most nervous about putting out into the world, "My Boyfriend's Fat." Jenne wrote:
What really struck a cord with me, was that it was obvious that these words were written from the heart.
Here's the thing: even when I am writing filthy erotica or personal essays about sex, those words are also written from the heart. I hope that is clear to everyone reading this book, but I've also had to accept that if it's not clear, that's okay, because it has to be. Jenne's review means a lot to me and I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

My latest sex column is on college campus Sex Weeks

Here's my second Philadelphia City Paper sex column, on the recent controversy over The University of New Mexico's Sex Week. Please check it out and if you like it, I'd love it if you'd like it at the top via Facebook and/or share it (we are using hashtag #cpsex on Twitter), to help my column continue. I'm also open to suggestions for future columns; email rachelkramerbussel at with "Column" in the subject line. I've got lots more planned and next week I'm going to Philly to cover the Erotic Literary Salon.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2 spots left in online erotica writing class, in person class Friday, October 24th in NYC

There are 2 spots (of 16 maximum) left in my LitReactor erotica writing class that starts this Thursday, October 16th; I'm excited about my first (written) lecture and teaching this small group of online students and giving them the best advice I've got about getting published. You can find out more about the goals, assignments and plans for the class.

Next Friday October 24th at 7:30 p.m. I teach erotica writing in New York on the Upper East Side for New York Academy of Sex Education. It's $25/person in advance and you can sign up here.

More soon about my debut essay collection ebook Sex and Cupcakes and more!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Los Angeles erotica writing workshop November 2nd

First of all, while I'm sure today's kids will get used to this, for me being able to go online on an airplane is still exciting and new. Yes, I'm on yet another plane, this time to Florida to visit family, and soon I will be making what I think is my last airplane trip of 2014, to Los Angeles, to attend and hopefully write about Hello Kitty Con, interview someone for my new sex column and teach my Erotica 101 workshop for members of Sex Positive Los Angeles. That workshop will take place Sunday, November 2nd from 3-5 pm and you can sign up via their Meetup group. SPLA is part of nonprofit Sex Positive World. Questions about signing up for this workshop? Email me at rachelkramerbussel at with "SPLA" in the subject.

And a reminder that in 3 days my LitReactor online erotica writing class starts. I've got lots of great stuff in my lectures and assignments and the latest from publishers on what they're looking for.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Talking erotica parties, sexy writing, audio erotica and more on podcast Life on the Swingset

I got to chat with 3 of the 4 the smart, sexy, awesome hosts of podcast Life on the Swingset, Ginger, Technogeisha and Dylan (sadly, Cooper couldn't make it but he is fabulous too) about all sorts of topics related to erotica, from writing and reading to narrating it and much more. Look at how cute they are:




It's a wonderful podcast and I love that they are hosting a November trip to resort Desire in Cancun, Mexico. I was honored to be part of this intimate discussion in which I learned a lot about the impact of erotica and even got an idea for how to use erotica as entertainment. Happy listening!


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Friday, October 10, 2014

I wrote about Jennifer Lawrence's breasts, nudity, consent and owning our stories for TIME

For TIME Ideas, I wrote "Jennifer Lawrence's Breasts Aren't Sending Mixed Messages." I saw a few reactions on Twitter saying something to the effect of "breasts can't send messages." Well, according to the piece I was responding to, they can, and women have to pick shameful or salacious. I disagree.


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On having a sense of humor about my work, or I've got "crazy ex-girlfriend eyes"

As I was preparing to teach my 4-week LitReactor erotica writing class Between the Sheets, I of course did some vanity searching on their site, because I'm narcissistic like that. So while I was doing that I came across my Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica book trailer, the very first one I ever made (embedded below) in a list titled "10 Hysterical, Sexy, Awesome, Ridiculous, Scary Book Trailers" written by Joshua Chaplinsky (from 2012, over two years ago, it should be noted). How could I not want to read it? This post is not meant to slam that list because a) I like LitReactor and am excited to work with them and b) I have a sense of humor.

So why did my book trailer make the list? Here's their take:
The trailer for this spankophilic anthology is the very antithesis of erotic. It features the book's scantily clad editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel, who comes across more awkward than sexy. She proceeds to extol the virtues of all aspects of fanny tanning, including the use of spatulas, journals, paddles, rulers and hands. Yup. Guess that about covers the full spectrum.

Then the trailer switches gears, giving us a dose of insipid prose layered over a montage of the most unenthusiastic spanking ever filmed. It illicited nary a tremor from the ole' tallywhacker. Cardboard cutouts would have given a better performance. If only Kristen Schaal had starred in this trailer...

Then there is the final, haunting shot of Ms. Bussel and her crazy ex-girlfriend eyes, mechanically dropping her own book on someone's lifeless posterior like a gavel. They say you should never fuck crazy, and in this case, I don't think I'd even read it.
I took a break from listening to the new Ryan Adams album to re-watch the trailer, and you know what? I do kindof have crazy eyes at the end. All I can think about watching it is how nervous I was, because I'm not an actress, and there were so many variables going on because I don't know anything about making videos, even though the friend who directed it does.

Also, because I knew I wanted it on YouTube, I couldn't make it too too sexy, so no nudity or anything. The post mad eme think about the purpose of doing book trailers, something I could afford back when I had a full-time job and that I'm trying to get back into in a budget-friendly way. I don't necessarily think my book trailers for the niche genre of erotica have helped sell tons of books. Who knows, really? But I had fun making it. I felt like I accomplished something wholly different than the also challenging task of editing an anthology. Maybe it is more funny than sexy, but the book isn't, and if any of the 253,163 people who've viewed the trailer have clicked through and read more about the book, I've done my job.

Were I making it today, I'd probably employ better YouTube tools like embedding a clickable URL. I'd probably do so many things differently, but to me, that's the beauty of it. I didn't know what I was doing, but I did it anyway because I wanted to see what would happen. Most days I still don't feel like I "know what I'm doing." I don't have all the answers, and to be honest, sometimes I feel like I should. But I am that awkward girl, just as I'm someone who can write about being spanked until they cry in an erotica story. That's actually at the heart of my essay collection coming out next week, Sex and Cupcakes: that I'm all those things at once.

Smut writer, nervous nellie, crazy, bold, willing to flop if it means trying something out, and also being able to laugh at myself. One thing I always tell aspiring erotica writers, though it's true about all writing, is that once you put it out into the world, you cannot control how people react to it. And, frankly, you shouldn't want to. Your job is done. Same with a book trailer or any creative project. That's my lesson when I saw that post. I'm not Kristen Schaal. I'm not a natural on screen or on a stage. I still tremble when I do readings, but I do them anyway. I've found that I love teaching because it's an interaction, not a performance. Whenever I've shot a book trailer, I've had to go over the lines so many times that they probably do sound a little robotic.

But I've also discovered that I'm never trying to make the slickest, sexiest, fanciest book trailer. I'm not those things. I'm someone who wants my indie erotica books to have as wide a reach as possible, who is excited to be finalizing Best Bondage Erotica 2015 and work with so many authors I've never published before. I'm wearing sweatpants and a Brooklyn Industries hoodie I treat like a blanket because it's so soft, one I had to get because when I went on my last trip I forgot something warm. I'm that bundle of awkward/weird/shy/outgoing/bold/provocative and umpteen other things and those are what you see, in my words, in my videos. For better or worse, I can't do that thing where I try to pretend to be someone I'm not. So, from my crazy eyes to your screens, thanks for laughing along. Here's the video and a little bit more about a book about a topic near and dear to my heart...and other body parts. And because I'm also a total people pleaser, it now occurs to me that I wrote that I have a sense of humor and maybe I took this too seriously. I do that too, but it did genuinely make me laugh because I agree with some of it. Maybe one day I'll try my hand at a totally hot erotica book trailer. For now, you've got this.

Bringing this all the way back around (something I also think works well in erotica stories!), there are 3 spots left in my LitReactor erotica writing class, which takes place entirely online, meaning you can do it on your schedule any time over the four weeks from October 16-November 13. And while we will be discussing business practices, pseudonyms, the best publishers to submit your writing and building your author brand, we probably won't discuss book trailers in my writing class. But we might! I'm open to answering any and all questions about the creative and business sides of erotica. See you next week at LitReactor.


Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica book trailer

Buy Spanked from:






Audible audio version

Cleis Press

Table of Contents

Introduction: “A Fantastic Kind of Pain”

Spanking You Rick Roberts
Perfect Bound Shanna Germain
Betty Crocker Gone Bad Alison Tyler
Laser Tag Madeline Glass
A Rare Find Donna George Storey
Game, Set, Match Sage Vivant
Tied Down Andy Ohio
Through a Glass, Sharply Elizabeth Coldwell
Reunion Madlyn March
Riding the Storm Thomas Christopher
The Breeding Barn L. Elise Bland
Pink Cheeks Fiona Locke
Page by Page Laura Bacchi
Fiscal Discipline Simon Sheppard
Pre-Party Thomas S. Roche
Still Life with Infidels #56 M. David Hornbuckle
Indulgences Tenille Brown
Logan Rosalind Christine Lloyd
Daddy’s Girl Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Depths of Despair Rachel Kramer Bussel

Introduction: “A Fantastic Kind of Pain”

Just as I have a seemingly endless capacity to bare my ass and get it smacked soundly or make a squirming bottom hover on the edge of erotic oblivion with loud, ringing, stinging whack after whack, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading stories about spanking. There was a time when I wasn’t sure I could say that; after all, just how much is there to say about bending over and letting a firm hand connect with a pertly offered-up bottom? Or striking a pretty pair of buttcheeks so well the person beneath you moans in ecstatic agony? Well, as I’ve learned while editing this collection, there are an infinite number of ways to talk about the pleasures of getting spanked or spanking someone. While the actions may look alike, we all experience them differently and have different motives for indulging in this beloved kinky activity.

Me? I get off on just thinking about bending over for that special someone. Maybe I’m wearing panties, and only part of my bottom is visible. Maybe I’m not, and my spanker can see everything, including my wetness. I get wet at the mere idea of offering up my entire body to a lover to play with, tease, spank, and arouse. I’ve also had plenty of eager bottoms spread before me, offering asses that just begged to be spanked, whether they speak words to that effect or not. But for me, and for many others, spanking is about much more than just the physical. It’s about what that sensation creates inside of us. Spanking breaks down our barriers in ways even sex sometimes doesn’t; it stirs up emotions; it makes us whimper or cry, or be proud of just how much we can take. It’s primal and powerful, not to mention incredibly popular. I was thrilled to see spanking make an appearance on Showtime’s Californication, where the bratty, bossy bottom of a secretary demands that her boss spank her for any office infraction. “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” indeed.

And those who bestow spankings, whether with hands, paddles, hairbrushes, or other devices, relish that power to bring pleasure and pain mixed together, to completely undo the person they are spanking with just a few (or possibly many) whacks.

The authors included here get just how intense spanking can be. Reading these stories took my breath away, and, even more so than my previous collections (Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 1 and 2), made me instantly horny. They’ve tapped into the beauty of spanking in a way that newbies, seasoned spankophiles, and those who are simply curious will be able to understand in an instant.

Rick Roberts opens this anthology with “Spanking You,” a story I’ve read and reread numerous times, mesmerized by its rendering of a man so entranced by the vision he makes when he spanks his girlfriend, you imagine he could do it all night, every night, and never tire of it. He even offers up a little bit of a how-to for those would-be spankers looking for the courage to simply turn him or her over and begin this sensual process:

I used to tease you at the beginning of every spanking. As you’d kneel before me on the bed, not a stitch of clothing on your tan body, I’d fake the first blow—stopping just short of your ass, letting the air kiss your skin—and then place an affectionate caress onto your behind. By removing the certainty of whether the next sensation would be soft or a stinging slap, I’d keep you centered in the moment, keep you waiting and vulnerable, and your anticipation for the spanking grew. I would look down at you and smile, knowing that your desire for the first slap on your ass was growing unbearable by the moment.

Part of the thrill of spanking someone is being able to dangle what they most desire before them, to see them there waiting, panting, asking for it with body and soul, to know (or at least, fantasize) that they can’t get off any other way than by the “punishment” you are about to deliver. Elizabeth Coldwell paints a portrait of a true top in “Through a Glass, Sharply,” when she writes, “You have never really known power until the man you love is at your feet, naked or very nearly so, helpless and vulnerable, while you remain fully dressed and completely in control.”

Madlyn March describes a first-time spanking in a way that will be familiar to any who have gasped, trembling, as they realized they not only can take, but crave, a whole lot more spanking than they’d initially expected:

I remembered how it felt when Mimi did it to me. At first, you’re surprised someone’s hitting you, even if you’ve asked her to. Then you’re excited. Then you’re in pain, but it’s a fantastic kind of pain. Each slap makes you want more, as much as you can take, until you can’t take any more, and you’re shaking, more than ready to have an orgasm, the kind that can only be gotten from a woman diving headfirst into you with her wet tongue licking rapidly.

Any time an author can make me hot for something that in real life actually unnerves me, I’m sold. I’m not usually a fan of Daddy/girl stories, but in Teresa Noelle Roberts’ excellent story, simply entitled “Daddy’s Girl,” she renders that role-playing relationship and its spanking potential perfectly, dissecting her characters’ motivations while maintaining the magic they each hold so dear about their arrangement.

For some people, spanking is playful, almost silly--sexy in a way that makes you laugh as you come. This spirit is alive and well in L. Elise Bland’s “The Breeding Barn,” where a cheese paddle does double duty on the ass of an unsuspecting but happy boy bottom. And for the woman who goes by the name “Pink Cheeks” in the story of the same title, her fantasy comes true, to the letter, though in a setting she’d never have expected.

What I love most about this book is that while there are plenty of naughty boys and girls, that potentially clichéd setup never gets boring, because the authors take you right there, into the heart of a punishment spanking, letting you know that, on some level, each of these naughty boys or girls doesn’t just deserve but needs to be spanked for his or her own reasons. The authors play around with these tropes, recreating the act of spanking until it morphs into something endlessly entertaining, just as a good top can keep a bottom on the edge, smacking harder and harder, then backing off, drawing out the play.

While I’ve subtitled this book, “Red-Cheeked Erotica,” what happens on the surface of the skin is just the beginning when it comes to spanking. There’s an elegance, a poetry, a beauty to spanking that is much more akin to making love than fucking. It’s a rhythm, a beat, a gracefulness, a way two people can connect without saying a word. These elements come together in M. David Hornbuckle’s simple yet powerful “Still Life with Infidels #56,” in which a planned kidnapping is set against the sparse backdrop of a steel mill as two recently reunited lovers attempt to recover what they’d lost.

The thrill of erotic spanking is nothing new, even if each time can make even the most experienced bottom feel like a blushing virgin all over again. James Joyce wrote a series of spanking-loving letters to his beloved wife Nora in December 1909 (and for a lesson in the art of sensual, utterly kinky yet romantic erotica, look up Joyce’s naughty letters online). I cannot legally quote him here, though believe me, Joyce was a full-on spankophile according to these missives, understanding precisely what it means to submit (and to willingly struggle).

As I already told you, when it comes to spanking, I simply can’t get enough. I hope these stories turn you on, inspire you, and spark your own imagination about just how hot a spanking from someone who knows exactly what he’s doing can make you.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City

Want to listen to it? Here's the audiobook complete with free sample when you click through.

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

My new weekly sex column Let's Get It On debuted in Philadelphia City Paper!

Big October news: I'm returning to my sex column roots with a new column called Let's Get It On in alt weekly Philadelphia City Paper, to run every Thursday. The first one is called "Are you a slut?" and is about The UnSlut Project, slut shaming and how we define and use the word. I've got lots of great topics planned but am also open to new ideas - feel free to email me at rachelkb at with "Column" in the subject if you'd like to suggest a topic. On Twitter we are using #cpsex as a hashtag to discuss each week's column. Very excited a decade later to be writing a new column and I will share more thoughts on that later. For now I will tell you that my column is running on a trial basis and I would love more than anything to have it continue, so if you could click, share, comment, I'd greatly appreciate it. I hope that doesn't sound too desperate, because I'm not desperate, I just am honored to get back to my love of nonfiction writing and have the opportunity to respond to timely sex news events and share my personal experiences and get virtually naked.


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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

10 sex and erotica questions with me, 4 spots left in my LitReactor online writing class

Rob W. Hart did a great interview with me over at LitReactor, where I'm teaching Between the Sheets (I almost typed "behind the sheets," though I'm not sure quite what that would be), a four-week online only erotica writing class where we'll go in depth into the genre, give and get feedback from me and fellow classmates and submit work to publishers, plus a whole lot more. This one's different from the in person classes I teach not only because we'll be delving much more deeply into the creative and business sides of erotica, but also because you can take it on your schedule, logging in whenever is convenient, use any username you select and get access to the class for a little while once it's over. Yes, the price is $325, but you will get a great amount of information geared toward getting your writing polished and sold.

There are 4 spots left in the class (the maximum number of students is 16) and I'm getting up-to-the-minute information from publishers about exactly what they're looking for so I can keep you updated and give you the best shot possible of getting published. The question I loved the most was: "What's the worst advice you hear authors give writers?" Read the interview to find out! Also check out Rob's latest Path to Publication column about his series which starts with the novel New Yorked.


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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

My parenting fears all in one essay

Over at SheKnows Parenting, I wrote a very personal essay, "Why hearing 'you'll be a great mom' scares me," about something I was told this summer and the thoughts it brought up.

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Monday, October 06, 2014

My essay collection Sex and Cupcakes will be out next week!

I'll post the cover as soon as I get it, but I wanted to tell you that my first book written all by me, my ebook essay collection Sex and Cupcakes, will be published by Thought Catalog Books next week and I'm on the cover! I'm bursting with excitement to share it with you. I'll come back to this post to share the cover and buying links very soon but I really hope you'll spread the word; this is a big deal for me, both because it's mine mine mine, and because the royalty payments are higher.

Here's a sentence from the tattoo essay I especially loved: "The skin where the pink word lives is raised and itchy, a constant reminder of what I've done to it, what I'm asking it to do for me. My tattoo heart is on its way to healing, just like my real heart is."

Here's what's in it, a mix of older and brand new essays all about sex, cupcakes, politics, dating, tattoos, love, body image, monogamy, a career in sexuality, technology and more:

Sex and Cupcakes by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Introduction: Writing What You Know When You Write About Sex

I Have Trouble With Orgasms
I’m Pro-Choice and I Fuck
What Kind of Submissive Are You?
Wearing My Tattooed Heart On My Sleeve
My Boyfriend’s Fat
I Don’t Want or Need an App to Measure My Sex Life
Sex and Cupcakes
Champagne Sex

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Friday, October 03, 2014

BDSM, sex addiction, gender and pop culture: my first piece for

I wrote my first piece for, an article entitled "Women, Kink and Sex Addiction: It’s Not Like the Movies." Please check it out and I hope to be writing more for them soon!

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$2.99 Kindle erotica ebook sale on Fast Girls and Crossdressing

I love when my books go on sale, especially a book like Crossdressing: Erotic Stories that I am very proud of and I think says a lot about queer identities (and even straight ones that don't conform to our culture's ideas about what heterosexuality should look like) but are out of print (publishing powers that be, I'd love it to come back in print after all these years!). For now, though, it's only $2.99 on Kindle through October 31, as is Fast Girls: Erotica for Women on Kindle. Both are ones I highly recommend. More info below on each. And both Crossdressing and Fast Girls are available as Audible audiobooks, both narrated by Lucy Malone!

Fast Girls: Erotica for Women
(click here to watch me naked in a bubble bath in the book trailer)

Official blurb, table of contents and introduction:

Fast girls don’t mind being the girl everyone is talking about, as long as all eyes are focused their way. They are wanton, daring, shameless, and bold. Fast Girls celebrates the girl with a reputation, the girl who goes all the way, and the girl who doesn't know how to say "no." Featuring writing by Tristan Taormino, Kayla Perrin, Donna George Storey, D. L. King, Kristina Wright, Saskia Walker, Jacqueline Applebee, Tess Danesi, and others, Fast Girls is a racy, provocative collection of erotica by the cream of the crop of female erotica writers. They take readers on unexpected journeys, from a bedroom with every toy imaginable to a sex club, a communal shower, on set with a personal porn star, and more. These characters revel in their sexual excesses, boldly doing what others only dream about. Race through Fast Girls once, and you will come back again and again.
Table of contents:

Introduction: Fast Is a (Sexy) State of Mind

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

Crossdressing: Erotic Stories

Official description:
>From femmes who channel Marlene Dietrich in the sexiest of suits to men who love nothing more than the feel silky panties stretched tight against their skin, these characters boldly indulge their fantasies of being a girl — or a guy — for a night. Drag queens get dolled up for a night on the town, a dyke packs a special surprise beneath her dress, and a devoted husband puts his dress-up skills to the ultimate test in this seductive new collection.
And my intro along with the table of contents

Crossing Boundaries and Bending Genders

Crossdressing spans such a wide range of possibilities, erotic and otherwise, that the only thing we can safely say brings the mélange of its practitioners under one umbrella is that they dress (sometimes or all the time) in the clothing of another gender. In an age when gender is becoming increasingly fluid, deconstructed, questioned, and sometimes abandoned, we can begin to see the idea and reality of crossdressing in a new light.

This book focuses on the erotic pleasures of crossdressing, while also touching on the life-changing, mind-melting, earth-shifting experiences that can come from actively playing with one’s gender. For some characters, crossdressing means transgressing, transforming, subverting the rules to enter another body in order to enter another world, literally or figuratively. Sometimes it gives them permission to go where they’d be unwanted otherwise. For other characters, playing with their attire lets their minds create the fantasy creature they’ve always longed to be. It means acting, homecoming, freedom. Sometimes, it’s a fun, risqué adventure, a break from the ordinary, a chance to see what might happen if you slipped into a dress or suited up. Would you be the same person? Would you feel the same? Would you get turned on in the same way? These questions and more get tackled in Crossdressing, though the answers are as varied as we are.

When these characters don the clothes of another gender, or another gender role, they find not just their bodies but their minds altered in powerful ways. What was once forbidden is now acceptable⎯or maybe it’s still taboo but even hotter because of it. When they literally step into someone else’s shoes, their bodies, minds, and libidos can explore passions they might not dare voice otherwise. Whether it’s the bra, panties, and garter tucked away under the charcoal-gray business suit or the bound breasts flattened under a drag king’s snazzy attire, clothes, as more than one character here can attest, do “make the man”⎯or woman, though the person inside those clothes creates his or her power from within as well.

In Stephen Albrow’s “More Than Meets the Eye,” his businessman protagonist has a secret under his suit that’s his private treasure, until he chooses to share it: “My Brooks Brothers shirt is thick enough to cover up my white satin bra and garter belt, but not so thick that I can’t feel the garter belt’s lace trim as I run my fingertip over my abs. Just knowing this little bit of Suzy is there is enough to calm my nerves.” Part of his narrator’s delight is in fooling those around him. Yet revealing Suzy to her special lover is a bold thrill that yields untold rewards, and it’s this push-pull of discovery and secrecy, of flaunting and hiding, of male and female that makes the story come alive.

These stories are not just about crossing genders but about living with the duality of one within the other, mixed together, mingling—the experience of living as one changing how a person lives as the other. Ashley Laine, the sensual, seductive drag queen narrator of Tulsa Brown’s exquisitely rendered “Temporary,” reveals the fear that haunts her at being found out: “When his thick fingers began to creep under my panties, I edged away, afraid to ripple the surface of his fantasy.” Yet she proceeds, risking rejection for the joy of bringing that duality together into her erotic life. You can feel the shivers Rory delivers to her with the words “Oh, girl”—two simple but powerful words that encapsulate the crux of both Brown’s story and this collection as a whole. When these characters⎯men, women, and those in between or neither at all⎯are finally able to be recognized for their chosen selves, the thrill goes far beyond the sexual.

Yet sex, desire, lust, and longing are front and center throughout, even as more complex gender dynamics come into play. In Debra Hyde’s “Just Like a Boy,” we learn that simply turning oneself into a “boy” is not enough for her narrator. She longs to be the boy of her childhood dreams, not “an androgyne in boy’s clothes.” Yet her venture into male territory isn’t only for her but for her lover, Matthias, as well. Hyde draws out the tension in this dominant/submissive relationship, where power gets exerted in twisted, yet intriguing, ways.

The power of uniform gets invoked in Lisabet Sarai’s humorous “Beefeater,” in which a young British woman mocks family⎯and tradition⎯to dress in the garb of the Yeoman Warders guarding the Tower of London. The secrecy of her mission, combined with the defiant naughtiness of their endeavor, had me rooting for them with all the fervor of anyone who’s deliberately disobeyed, half-hoping to get punished.

Crossdressers themselves aren’t the only ones here with a tale to tell. In T. Hitman’s “Higher and Higher,” Pete pretends to be his naughty alter ego, Nate, when he hires Roni, a “dudette” who shows Pete a few tricks as she turns one, worshipping him in ways nobody else ever has. His internal dilemma, caught between sheer arousal and propriety, between who he thinks he should desire and who he actually does, gives us a peek into how those who lust after crossdressers of any variety also struggle to embrace their wants.

In Crossdressing, you’ll find men in panties, butches in dresses, girls looking like boys, drag queens, drag kings, and those who can’t be tidily summed up by their outer appearance. You’ll find men who want to be men, only prettier, and women who don’t have penis envy per se, but don’t always want to be the little lady. In short, you’ll find people across the sexual-orientation spectrum fucking with gender and gender roles⎯and simply fucking.

At one point, looking at herself in the mirror, Brown’s drag queen says, “Some people might call this a fantasy, but it was my deepest truth.” Here you get hot fantasy, fiction, and the kind of truth that really matters, the kind that gets under our skin, under our clothes, under our disguises to a place that speaks to us deep in our erotic souls. Whatever you’re wearing right now (or not), I hope you’ll join me on this tour across stages real and imagined, where the limits of gender-bending are in the eyes of the beholder.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City
April 2007

Foreword by Veronica Vera
Introduction by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Temporary • Tulsa Brown
Just Like a Boy • Debra Hyde
Halloween • Helen Boyd
More Than Meets the Eye • Stephen Albrow
Tough Enough to Wear a Dress • Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Sweetheart of Sigma Queer • Simon Sheppard
Tori’s Secret • Andrea Miller
Like a Girl • Alison Tyler
Michelle, Ma Belle • Marcy Sheiner
Beefeater • Lisabet Sarai
Phone Fatale • Stan Kent
I Need a Man • Andrea Dale
A Cute Idea • Rachel Kramer Bussel
Higher and Higher • T. Hitman
Birthday Girl • Jason Rubis
The Princess on the Rock • Elspeth Potter
Down the Basement • Ryan Field
Some Things Never Change • Melinda Johnson

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Thursday, October 02, 2014

My online writing class and New York City erotica workshop 10/24 and reading 11/5

After my whirlwind September, I'm settling back into October which is a busy month for writing, with my new weekly sex column debuting a week from today and various articles in the works, though I have a few events coming up. The first is my online erotica writing class, which runs for four weeks, from October 16 to November 13, and will give students a chance to dive deep into the world of erotica. There's much more detail about each weeks topics, assignments and class goals at LitReactor. Yes, this class is more expensive than the in-person ones, but you will get much more individual feedback from me (and other attendees) and the chance to develop characters and plotlines and work on submitting short stories and possibly longer works. If you have always wanted to write erotica but haven't had time, this class is excellent because you can take it any time over the four weeks, using any name you like.


Next I'm returning to the New York Academy of Sex Education October 24th, held on the Upper East Side inside sumptuous sex toy store The Pleasure Chest.

October 24, 7:30-9 pm
Writing Erotica for Pleasure and Money, New York City (for New York Academy of Sex Education)

Whether you're writing to that special someone, penning longtime fantasies, or want to earn cash for your dirty words, this workshop is for you.

You are sure to find growth with the very prolific, award winning erotica author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. She will take you through the ins and outs of modern erotic writing. Learn how to get started, find your voice, and write against type.

She will talk about incorporating everyday scenarios as well as outlandish fantasies into your writing. Rachel will teach you how to groom your writing to fit particular magazines and anthologies. And how to submit your work and keeping up with the thriving erotica market (including anthologies, ebooks, magazines and websites.) Materials needed: Please bring a laptop or paper and pen. $25/person. Advance registration required.
The Pleasure Chest, 1150 Second Avenue, New York City (Upper East Side, accessible by 4/5/6/N/R/F trains), 646-470-5129


Then on November 15th, I'll be reading with D.L. King from her soon-to-be-released anthology The Big Book of Domination (here's a handy link if you want to pre-order it; it pubs November 11) at Purple Passion, a wonderful shop in Chelsea that has fetish clothes, sex toys and lots of BDSM paraphernalia (much like the items on the cover of the book!), along with a cozy downstairs space excellent for readings.

November 15, 4-6 pm, free
The Big Book of Domination reading

Join D. L. King and friends Laura Antoniou, Rachel Kramer Bussel, David Wraith and more for an evening of pre-dinner, pre-theater, pre-orgasmic erotica. Come hear some of the best authors in the business read in this New York City launch of The Big Book of Domination. And because we know how much you like a party, there will be delectable food and drink. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Whatever you have planned for later, what better way to begin your evening than with hot erotica.
Purple Passion, 211 West 20th street, New York, 212-807-0486

Official blurb about the book:
Not every woman likes to submit. An increasing number like to be on top. And their partners love it! D. L. King, editor of 2013's award-winning Under Her Thumb, curates a scintillating collection with The Big Book of Domination. Filled with surprises and unexpected twists (yes, that kind, too!), this book proves that when lust and desire take control, all bets are off.

Dominants and submissives are not so very different — they both crave that frisson of power. The Big Book of Domination brings you erotic stories to get your heart pumping, like the story of a reporter who likes to experience everything first hand. It’s been said that clothes make the man — can putting on the right clothes transform an ordinary man into a charismatic dom? When Glenn finds the leathers in his friend’s closet, his trip to the bars nets him the perfect boy . . .

Dominance and submission is a dance D. L. King knows well, and The Big Book of Domination rocks your world with stories of sensuous games with male dominants, training and discipline by female dominants, and all manner of sensuous games and pairings.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Talking erotica, true sex stories, my new sex column, pen names and more on Full Disclosure podcast

On Monday night in Chicago, Eric Barry interviewed me for his Full Disclosure podcast. Visit that link for more information and to subscribe and/or listen below. It was a great, meandering, over an hour long chat about all sorts of things, from the reasons we tell true sex stories (which I will be telling many more of when my new alt weekly sex column debuts next week - more on that next week) and some of the pitfalls of it, how much masturbation goes with erotica, sperm wars and more. Thank you so much to Eric for having me on!

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