Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
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

Friday, October 10, 2014

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.

between-the-sheets_0


Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica book trailer

Buy Spanked from:

Amazon

Kindle

Bn.com

Nook

Powell's

Indiebound

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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