Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

My BDSM erotica anthology Please, Sir is only $1.99 on Kindle this week

Get your kinky stories while they're cheap! $1.99 all this week for lots of hotness in one of my favorite of my BDSM erotica anthologies, Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Female Submission.


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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Porn star jessica drake's educational video line wants to improve your sex life


This week's Philadelphia City Paper sex column is on porn star jessica drake and her educational video line jessica drake's Guide to Wicked Sex. I met her several years ago at CatalystCon West and was incredibly impressed with what she was doing by merging porn and sex ed, and this column is the result of that. Want to read my column archives? They're here. Want to pitch me a new column topic? Email me at rachelkb at gmail dot com with "City Paper" in the subject line and a detailed pitch, including URL, description, etc. As you can see from the archives (hopefully), I'm interested in a wide range of people, events, fetishes, identities, sexual practices and more.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Humor erotica overview at Salon: iWatch, the white and gold dress and parody smut

My latest at Salon, on all kinds of humor erotica, including Apple iWatch erotica by Leonard Delaney, Pounded In The Butt By My Own Butt by Chuck Tingle, Fifty Shades of Grey parodies by Andrew Shaffer and others, Rob Gronkowski fan fiction by Lacey Noonan and much more.


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My interview with Maria Bello on sexual identity labels and her new book Whatever...Love Is Love

I interviewed actress, activist and author Maria Bello about her new book Whatever...Love Is Love: Questioning The Labels We Give Ourselves for my DAME sex column Shameless Sex. As always, if you like it, please spread the word! Here's the archives of my column.


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Patience will never be my virtue

It's 3:13 p.m. I'm sitting at my desk, getting ready to transcribe an interview I conducted, after having just raced down the stairs to get the mail, after hearing it dropped into the mailbox. Every day when I'm home, I eagerly anticipate the moment the mail is delivered. I've always loved snail mail, but being a full-time freelancer has upped the ante. Knowing I may or may not receive a check means I'm all the more eager. I justify checking my email incessantly for news of my royalty statement, for while I'm transitioning away from books as my primary income source, because it's so utterly unpredictable, the amount of that statement will still determine so much about the course of my next few months: what bills I can pay, whether I have disposable income or money to set aside for savings.

For most of my life, I would have chastised myself, usually silently, for being so eager. It's unattractive, something I learned in my single days. The more interest I showed in a potential boyfriend or girlfriend or lover or whatever, most of the time, the less interested they were in me. I never really learned to play it cool, and finally, after some rough times, I just embraced wearing my heart on my sleeve, wrote it big and pretty on my arm to remind myself I was always going to have thin skin and a be a romantic and was never going to manage that cool girl aloofness that seemed so fashionable.

With business, too, I know I should be far less emotionally volatile. Or maybe that should be "should." It's something I strive for, but the truth is that's not me; that's some other girl. Recognizing that I will always only be myself, and not that other girl (whether she actually exists or is just a vision in my mind is unclear), has been challenging. I don't necessarily like my impatience, and certainly in all areas of my life that impatience is boomeranging back on me, taunting me that no matter how impatient I am, I will have to wait for the things that are worth waiting for. That's a large part of my life these days: waiting. Hoping. Working. Learning. The thing is, it feels personal, every time I, say, get my period, or don't hear back about a work project.

It's easy to let my mind roam wildly, to wonder what will happen if X outcome occurs, or Y or Z, and logically I can recognize that this is largely wasted time, until I actually get the outcome on these big life decisions, like parenthood and housing and earnings, and that a better use of my time would be to simply tackle each one to the best of my ability with the current information and resources at hand. So the logical side of me is attempting to do that; I'm cleaning and trying to purge my belongings in case I have to move; I'm trying to eat/be healthier in case I miraculously get knocked up; I'm trying to save money in case my books sales are nil. But I will probably always run to the mailbox. I can't purge the essence of me from myself, but I can learn how to incorporate my less practical impatient side with the reality of adulthood. It's a bit yin and yang, which might look like mornings watching reality TV and afternoons at my desk, or doting on friends' and family members' kids in case I never get to have my own, or whatever. Hopefully it looks like pitching like crazy when I have those freakout financial moments. Mostly, it looks like working toward getting to an internal place where any of the umpteen possible outcomes are okay, because I know I will be okay when that moment I've been so endlessly impatient for finally arrives.

Starred Library Journal review of Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica

Want to know how to make my day as an editor? Sing the praises of my book, including my authors, most of whom I've never published before (but hope to again)! Thank you, Library Journal, for this starred review of Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica. I'm eagerly awaiting more store names to add to the list of who stocks it, and this will help with convincing stores this is a hot and sexy book! I was right that a story from the point of view of a sex toy, "My Life as a Vibrator" by Livia Ellis, is a crowd pleaser, which I already knew, but it feels good to see that a top publication agrees with me.

Here's review, in text and jpeg form:
Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica. Cleis. Apr. 2015. 240p. ed. by Rachel Kramer Bussel. ISBN 9781627781251. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781627781350. EROTICA
Cleis here offers yet another inventive anthology, this time focused on the concept of sex toys. This collection runs the gamut within the first seven pages, with Jillian Boyd’s humorous, sweet “Dare You To,” wherein a soon-to-be-wed couple blow off marriage-planning stress with a series of escalatingly naughty dares. Some plots go according to plan, such as Zee Giovanni’s “Lost and Pounded” tale of a missing dog bringing two strangers together, while others have a touch of conflict; E. Bellamy’s “The Superman Dildo” tells of a jealous lover who struggles with his new girlfriend’s favored toy. A majority of the selections seem to involve heterosexual trysts, such as Malin James’s “The Prototype,” in which a young couple test out a new invention between the sheets, and J. Crichton’s “Icy Bed,” which is anything but cold, as a couple use a webcam and a few other handy tools to make the miles apart seem shorter. Things wrap up with Livia Ellis’s long-awaited anecdote “My Life as a Vibrator,” a playful exploration of pleasure from an unconventional perspective. VERDICT Though a broader depiction of diverse pairings and partners would have been appreciated, these quickies make excellent work of embodying the sexy, silly attitude that often accompanies creative toy use in the bedroom. Readers will have fun perusing for solo and partner play inspiration.

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3 upcoming in person erotica writing workshops: State College, Philadelphia and Portland, Maine

In addition to my online erotica writing class I'm teaching for LitReactor May 5-June 2 (as of this posting, there is 1 spot left), which you can participate from anywhere in the world, I'm teaching 3 upcoming in person erotica writing workshops in State College and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, respectively, and Portland, Maine, one of my favorite cities, and after that I'm switching my teaching mainly over to online, save for CatalystCon. My website has my upcoming calendar listings and I'll be updating it as I confirm any other events. Click through on the dates/titles for registration, except for Nomia, who you can call to register. I'm especially excited about the Philadelphia workshop since I write a weekly sex column for Philadelphia City Paper, and will be previewing the conference in my May 7th column. Each workshop attendee will get a handout with market information and erotica writing resources.

April 27, 7 pm - 9 pm (rescheduled from February)
State College, Pennsylvania

Professional erotica author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of over 50 anthologies such as The Big Book of Orgasms, Flying High and Best Bondage Erotica 2014, will take you through the ins and outs of modern erotic writing, from getting started, finding your voice, and incorporating your surroundings, pop culture, and personal experiences into your stories to crafting a range of characters and settings and submitting your work. In this supportive, welcoming workshop environment, you’ll learn how to write vividly about everyday scenarios as well as outlandish fantasies, and make them fit for particular publications in the thriving erotica market. This workshop will address the recent boom in erotica inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey, provide examples of well written erotica, and will include multiple writing exercises. You’ll be given a handout listing major markets and further reading suggestions. No previous writing experience required. Please bring laptop or pen and paper.

May 8, 3:15-5:15 pm
SEXx Interactive conference, Philadelphia

I'm teaching this 90-minute workshop as part of the weekend of programming for SEXx Interactive. Find out more and register here (you can register for individual sessions or an entire day or weekend).

June 2, 7:30 pm - 9 pm
Nomia, Portland, Maine
Seating is limited and we expect this workshop to fill up FAST! Please call the shop at 207-773-4774 to reserve your spot. $20 per person. More info on Facebook.

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2 spots left in my May-June LitReactor online erotica writing class


Updated April 22nd: Class is now sold out! Want to find out when I'll be teaching next? Sign up for my newsletter on the left side of this blog or on the left side of my website at

My next Litreactor online erotica writing class runs May 5-June 2 and there are 2 spots (of 16 maximum) left. That means it's most likely going to sell out soon so if you are interested, check out the link above for more information, and if you have questions, email me at rachelkb at gmail dot com with "LitReactor" in the subject line and I will do my best to answer them.

Over the 4 weeks, we will cover a variety of aspects of erotica writing, as well as go over the market for erotica and prepare a story that is ready to be submitted to a current market. You will also get the chance to ask me and your fellow classmates any questions about erotica publishing you like, give and get critiques, and get exclusive market information from publishers and editors as well as Q&As with authors (both traditionally published and self-published) and with anthology editors.

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The orgy I forgot I got mostly naked for

A reporter who was interviewing me for a story wrote and asked if I could comment on this orgy I wrote about for The Village Voice (link NSFW because of boobs) 2006. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I would probably have forgotten it even happened if she hadn't asked. Here's a snippet from that very old column:
I reached for Shira while Dan massaged me, and soon the three of us were entangled—I on top of her, he grinding against me—still with our underwear on. I lost track of where everyone else was, intent on rubbing against her soft, wet skin (she'd taken a quick shower earlier). I asked if I could spank her and she graciously accepted, though with various couplings in a small space, it was a challenge to find the proper angle.
This incident taught me two things: 1) I have a horrible memory. 2) My life is so much different these days, in all kinds of ways. My two current sex columns are far more heavily journalism based than me getting naked. I don't go to orgies, unexpected or otherwise. I'm focused on improving my life in gradual increments, rather than just me-me-me now-now-now, as I was until very recently.

I know saying I forgot I attended an orgy may sound like I'm jaded or blasé about sex, but I actually think it's more a function of my writing career. I don't know exactly how many pieces I got published last year, or will this year, but the pace of one weekly column and one column every other week means I'm constantly planning ahead, trying to time them to current events or movie or book releases. I'm bombarded with research for various articles and essays, have stacks of books to read for work or pleasure, spend way too much time reading online rather than digging in to substantive writing. So I consider my forgotten orgy my brain's attempt to stay focused on the here and now, rather than live in the past.

For far too long, I lived in not the past, but the what-if. I was so focused on what I lacked, my every flaw, that those were all I saw. I'm talking years this went on, the depths of which I haven't quite gotten myself to lay bare on the page yet. So having come out the other side of that, I still marvel every day that I fell for someone who loves me for me, gigantic flaws and all. Who puts up with my being disorganized and overprotective and away from home so often. Who has seen me at my absolute worst and never once judged me. Who goes out of his way to build me up, to remind me that I'm on the right path, to work with me rather than against me. I've gotten used to it after over three years, but there are moments when it's still a shock to my system, when how I live now awes me with its adultness.

That's not to say my twenties and early thirties lacked fun; they had plenty of it, along with the dropping out of law school and bankruptcy and volatile relationships and crappy jobs and self-sabotage. It was a mix, but it was mainly focused on the immediacy of daily life. There wasn't a thought to the future. I don't think I ever really considered that my Village Voice column might end as abruptly as it did. Now, I wouldn't say I expect each column to be my last, but I wouldn't at all be surprised if one day I got an email or phone call saying as much. I'm prepared for those eventualities, even though I'd be disappointed.

I'm almost 40 and trying to be a mom and because of that, and because I want some of the safety and protection of not always living in the moment, of robbing tomorrow to do everything-all-at-once today, I am far more careful. I don't focus on the past, save for when I think it can teach me a lesson about the present or future. So I'm all forgetting anything, orgies included, that will help me live my best life now, sans FOMO (I'm in full FOGO mode these days). Part of me actually hopes, much as I adore my town, to move farther from New York so I am less tempted to go into the city, because this is where my work and my home and my love is. I'm actually purging belongings, as much as this hoarder is capable of, in case I do need to relocate. So maybe my brain is doing the equivalent, putting memories somewhere hard to reach, or even impossible to access, to protect me and keep me living for today, not what might have been, or what was.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

About that time I flirted with a 74-year-old man and other thoughts on silver foxes

I'm making my debut at Lady Smut today with, "How I Started Lusting After Silver Foxes, about a certain airplane encounter that changed how I look at older men. Check it out!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why I picked it: "My Life as a Vibrator" by Livia Ellis in Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica

This is the first in an occasional new blog post series called Why I Picked It, where I'll share why I picked a particular story for one of my 50+ anthologies (yes, my site's books page needs updating - I'm on it!). I'm starting with "My Life as a Vibrator" by Livia Ellis, the closing story in my new anthology Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, out now in print and ebook.

Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica


This was the closest approximation I could find online to the pink vibrator telling the story, though I imagine the narrator vibe is a bit of a lighter shade of pink

Ellis was a new (to me) author, and this story, out of the many submissions I received, stood out because, well, it was from the point of view of a vibrator! How could I not be intrigued? Here's the opening paragraphs:
From "My Life as a Vibrator" by Livia Ellis

I come into existence on a Thursday in a factory in the Guangdong province. My first sensation is of touch. The firm yet well-seasoned hands of my maker, Hui Zhong, have smoothed and stroked my pearlescent pink silicone shell. Although I will never know, I can guess from the brief time we spend together that she is a woman who takes immense care with everything she turns her attention to. I particularly like the brilliant red of the scarf that covers her steel-wool hair. The intense scrutiny of her glaucoma-wrecked eyes misses nothing. I know truly for the first time what it is to live when she slips the pair of C batteries into my innards and gives my bottom a trial.

I whirl, I jiggle, I shimmy, I shake. I do what Hui Zhong built me to do—I vibrate. For the first time, by doing what I was built to do, I make someone smile. I please her and I please her well.
I loved how this unique viewpoint added such a humorous and interesting voice to the story and the book as a whole. It made me think about sex toys in a new way and allowed the author to approach telling her story from a different angle than you'd get it if was told by any of the human characters, who wouldn't be present for the toy's entire journey.

Plus it featured two women having sex with each other, which I wanted more of in the book (there are many heterosexual stories, as well as a few bisexual ones, one transgender man and one gay male erotica story, if I recall correctly).

It also is in first person present tense, which most of the stories in Come Again are not, though "Vegetable Love" by Susan St. Aubin, "Prickles" by Elizabeth Coldwell and "Gift" by Dena Hankins are. Here, I think it works so perfectly, because we get to follow the vibrator from China to the toy's eventual home (I almost wrote "her eventual home," which shows how closely an object as narrator can affect a reader).

You can read all of "My Life as a Vibrator" and the 23 other stories in Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, available from:


Kindle ebook

Amazon UK

Kindle UK

Barnes & Noble (

Nook ebook




IndieBound (find it at your local independent bookstore)

Cleis Press

The only brick and mortar store I know currently has it in stock, and signed copies at that, is Red Emma's in Baltimore. It's on its way to Charis Circle in Atlanta and Early to Bed in Chicago. Want to see it on your local bookstore and/or sex toy store's shelves? Ask for it! I will blog, Tweet, Tumble, Facebook and generally promote any store carrying the book that I know about. If you see the book at a local store or I missed any places you can buy it, email me at rachel at and I will update this post and the book's website!

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Watch Abiola Abrams interview me about work and writing and being a spiritpreneur!

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of chatting on Google Hangouts with my friend Abiola Abrams, for her Spiritpreneur School video series. She is an amazing writer, host and go-getter, about we discussed various things related to writing, blogging, making money, career, dropping out of law school and success. I quoted her recently in my how to have the best date ever column. You can follow her on Twitter @abiolatv to find out more about what she's up to. Watch our discussion on her site.


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Want free kinky erotica? Rose Caraway's podcast has it!

The audiobook of The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales, was just released, and narrator Rose Caraway is sharing free stories from this book of BDSM erotica on her podcast, The Kiss Me Quick's. Up right now for your listening pleasure are:

"Dear Sir" by Kay Jaybee


"Toasted Marshmallows" by Tilly Hunter

Purchase the entire audiobook right here.

(fyi, I know the cover is squished, but I want to make it clear this is the audiobook!)

Also, through at least Friday (possibly through Sunday), the Kindle and Nook ebook versions of The Big Book of Submission are on sale for just $1.99. That's $1.99 for 69 stories! And Audible is having an April sale where if you buy 4 audiobooks, you get a $10 credit to use toward your next purchase (it takes a few days to go through). Happy listening!

For a taste of all 69 stories, you can read excerpts on the book's Tumblr.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Who cares how often you have sex?"

Not me, and that's what I wrote about in this week's Philadelphia City Paper sex column. I quoted from Emily Nagasaki's new book Come As You Are, which has some interesting thoughts on how our sex drives do and don't work. Check it out online (in print tomorrow) and read the archives here.


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I'm not a storyteller but I'm playing one Thursday night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I guess I am a storyteller, in that I write fiction, but live? On stage? I actually dread it. Freeze up. Become totally petrified and want to run away, but sometimes, like this Thursday night, those are the things you do in life anyway. In this case, since I will be in New York and don't plan to do any other events there this year, it seemed worth getting over my fears. I hope it'll be funny, but I know in 15 minutes or less it'll be over. I'm either talking about being a hoarder when I lived on Metropolitan Avenue, just a few blocks away from Brooklyn Brewery, or something way, way more embarrassing. Come to the show to find out! Thursday, April 16th, Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N. 11th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (L to Bedford). Hosted by Tom Shillue, starring me, Avital Isaacs and Andre Medrano.

"Tickets are generally $10 each, but for Comedy Week, we've discounted the ticket to $5 each, meaning if you buy two $5 tickets, that adds up to the price of 1 ticket ($10). Each guest must have their own ticket for entry. Tickets purchased at the door will be $12 per person and the 2-for-1 offer will not be valid." Purchase your tickets online at Eventbrite.


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Happy publication day, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica

Today is the official release date of Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, which is racking up some great reviews on Amazon! So much work goes into an anthology, from reading dozens of submissions, selecting the stories, which in this case had to balance gender of protagonists and a variety of toys, both the types that exist, fictional ones and household items, then editing, copyediting, cover copy and now the happiest stage, sending books out to reviewers, paying authors and promoting the finished book. I have big dreams for this one, but one book promotion at a time. I hope you'll check it out and spread the word, and I will be sharing all over (@comeagainbook on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook) when I hear of stores stocking it. Right now I know indie bookstore Red Emma's in Baltimore has signed copies, it's on its way to indie bookstore Charis Circle in Atlanta, and Early to Bed in Chicago will be ordering it soon.


You can buy it there in print or at your local bookstore or sex toy store (ask them for it and they will order it if they don't have it in stock), as well as on Kindle, Nook and iBooks. I'm hosting a Facebook book release party online until midnight EST and at the official site, there's more info about the book and Q&As with some of the contributors. Happy pub day to my second favorite book I've ever edited!

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On saying yes in order to say no

Last week, I did something exceedingly hard for me: I turned down a wonderful opportunity to participate in an event where I would have been paid and gotten comped hotel and meals. It would have given me a chance to connect with other writers and see a new city and teach, all things I love to do. But this year, my goal is to work smarter and to live smarter, not just to say yes to anything and everything without a thought to the consequences.

I was originally intrigued by the invitation because it's in Southern California, and I will be in Southern California the weekend preceding this event for CatalystCon West. "South" is south, right? Well, not exactly. Not only was this event five days after CatalystCon ends, it wasn't exactly next door to Burbank. Plus, after checking flights, I realized I will likely fly out to Catalyst the Wednesday beforehand, which would mean 10-12 days away from home, a month following what will probably be an international vacation of that length that I'm hoping to take in August.

The very idea of all that travel was starting to stress me out, which was my first sign. Then I wondered if I'd be pregnant by then (universe, PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN) and whether I wouldn't be more comfortable with a shorter trip. Then I thought about how, even though I love the theoretical ability to "work from anywhere," the truth is I do my best work in my home these days. I think more clearly, make my umpteen to do lists, have access to books and papers and creature comforts.

But still. I felt guilty, because I'd already expressed interest to the organizers and the person who connected me to them. As many good reasons as I had to turn it down, there were also good reasons to say yes. The more I considered it, though, the more I realized that by saying no in this case, it freed me up to say yes to other things. Maybe that week I'll pitch my heart out and land an amazing byline. Maybe that week I'll work on promoting my fall books, or start a new project. Maybe that week I'll reconnect with my boyfriend after being away probably far too much for his liking. Who knows? I just sensed that even though it had a lot of pluses on its side, it wasn't right for me at that exact time.

Saying no in order to leave my options option is something I want to do much more of this year. I've committed to my upcoming erotica writing workshops in State College (April 27) and Philadelphia at SEXx Interactive (May 8), and will be doing events in Portland, Maine June 2nd at Nomia and June 3rd (the latter is being finalized any day now, I hope), and after that, I am mainly focused on building my business in the way that works best for me. I've done events, more than enough of them, and I've even gotten a book deal based on an editor seeing me do a reading. But that is not where my heart is. My writing heart is at home, and that's where I need to focus if I ever hope to have a freelance career with longevity, let alone become a mom. Yet standing up and saying that, especially when it means turning down what feel like exciting opportunities, is unnerving. There's a part of me that thinks, But if I say no to this, will I ever get asked to do anything again? That's the voice I'm trying to silence as much as possible, because sometimes, it's not about being asked, but about making our own opportunities. So here's to those, and whatever the future holds.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Kindle BDSM erotica sale alert: The Big Book of Submission is just $1.99

Updated: I just found out about this from this Tweet (thank you, Roni Loren!) and wanted to let you know: The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales is only $1.99 right now for Kindle. You can listen to a free sample of the audiobook at Audible. The sale will last for a week (which I think means it ends on Sunday, but I'd buy by Friday just in case). You can also read free excerpts of all 69 stories.


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What happens when you write about fat people positively

Last week, my DAME column was titled "Yes, Fat Women Are Sexy".


Not my most imaginative title, but I never said I was good at coming up with them (I'm better with short story titles, like "Secret Service," about an oral sex restaurant). It's certainly not the first time I've written about fatness. I wrote "My Boyfriend's Fat" in my essay collection Sex & Cupcakes and also wrote about that same topic in a YouBeauty essay, along with "Why I'm Hot for Fat Guys" for Nerve. An old column about my own body image issues was reprinted at Jezebel.

So I'm not unfamiliar with what happens when you write about fat people, but I'm still appalled at the go-to reaction, which is basically one giant word used to obscure prejudice: HEALTH. In a public Feminism on Facebook group I'm part of, I shared the DAME link with these words: "My latest column DAME Magazine is on fat women, sexuality and body image." The very first comment left on it was: "Hi Rachel, I hope you included a list of the health risks that come with being overweight xx Including those you could pass on to your children xx"

Needless to say, this caused a lot of responses, accusations of trolling and debates about what exactly is appropriate when talking about fatness. I think it's interesting just how predictable some variation of this argument is, as if fat people, or even "not fat" but "not skinny" people don't have it drummed into their/our heads exactly what the health consequences may or may not be about our body size.

My response on that thread reads: "Reece, I'm pretty sure any fat person has been told more than enough that they are not only going against our restrictive society's beauty standards but also by their health care providers what they need to do to be healthy. I write a sex column so that isn't my job. I was talking about society's expectations of what's sexy and what's not and how these women are reclaiming fatness as part of sex appeal for themselves and the broader culture. Also, see"

I think that sums up my position, but I encourage you, especially if your first reaction to "fat" is negative, to think about why, exactly, that is. I somewhat hate the title I gave my DAME column not only because it's obvious, but because why should that need to be said? Why can't we recognize that "sexy" comes in as infinite variety as people do? Yet I'm proud of it and glad it's fostering discussions like the one on Facebook, because we need to start thinking more critically when we talk about "fat." And be "we," I of course also mean me. I'm in the process of getting rid of a lot of my clothes that no longer fit due to the weight I've gained since moving to New Jersey, while also trying to live and eat healthier and, if I get the one thing I truly want in this world, trying to get pregnant. It's a lot to ponder when it comes to "fat" and weight and who the hell to look good on a daily basis, when I do venture outside of my home, or even when I just don't want to sit around wearing sweatpants day in and day out. I'm not suggesting it's easy to suddenly switch our thinking from one that tells us "fat is bad" to a more nuanced view that takes in true health and genetics and so many other factors. But in the last three plus years of dating and loving a fat man and seeing how he is often treated by the world at large and in person, I have come to care very much about this topic. And do I also care about his health? Of course! How could I not, especially if I want to have children with him? But I care for his physical health along with his mental and emotional health, and those of other fat people. That's why someone like April Flores inspires me so much, and why I was thrilled she let me interview her and use her photo with my column. She's been "fat" and "thin" and has come to a place of peace and happiness with her body, which is something I wish for everyone. Including me.

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Buy 4 audiobooks, get a $10 credit at Audible in April (and The Big Book of Submission is on sale)

Audible has a great promotion going on through the end of April: buy 4 audiobooks, get a $10 credit. Not only that, but my latest audiobook, The Big Book of Submission, is on sale for just $9.97, so you could buy 4 others and get it free. Here are my 5 favorite of my audiobooks (I already told you which one of mine NOT to buy).

The Big Book of Submission

The Big Book of Orgasms

Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex


Best Bondage Erotica 2014

Yes, this promo is real (I've already taken advantage of it):


Of course my top 3, linked to the above and below images, are narrated by Rose Caraway, because she has been the most wonderful person to work with, and the only narrator who has gone out of her way to promote my audiobooks both on her The Kiss Me Quick's podcast and by making specifically tailored images for them, and her talent, professionalism and dedication show in the audio and in the sales figures. Simply put: I'd love to work with her on all my audiobooks. Since that's not possible, the ones she has worked on are the ones I continually encourage people to check out, and I would love to work with her again (hint, hint!). I can't say enough good things about her, and the best part is you can just click on any Audible book, hers or another reader's, and get a free sample listen to help you decide for yourself. One of the main criticisms I've seen of my 3 69-story anthologies, all narrated by Rose, is that they are too short and there's not enough story. Well, if you only like novels or very long stories, these aren't for you! If you are like me and have a short attention span and love short and snappy and sexy and variety, then maybe they are. I hope to have the opportunity to edit another book of 69 short stories someday, because it's a fun process and I get to work with so many more authors than I usually do. (Right now my only call for submissions is the one for Best Women's Erotica 2016, open to women authors with a June 1 deadline, though earlier submissions are strongly encouraged!).

Orgasmic is one of my favorite anthologies I've worked on and has a story I highlight in my erotica writing workshops: "Chemistry" by Velvet Moore. As someone who almost failed chemistry in high school (I could do the math but the science eluded me), I fell extra hard for this chemistry fetish tale, and it's just one of 25 amazing stories in the book, all centered around female orgasm.

I heard Audible founder and CEO Don Katz give a great talk on Saturday at TEDx Navesink about investing in their local community in Newark, and it's great to be a Jersey girl working with a Jersey company (who, yes, is owned by Audible). With that, I'll take a moment to post this graphic again, because I love working with Rose:


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Friday, April 10, 2015

Getting excited for TEDx Navesink tomorrow

Tomorrow I'm staying local and going to TEDx Navesink, where I will hear people like Audible founder and CEO Don Katz (and we know how huge an impact Audible has played in my career), who recently said in a Q&A:
To have well-composed words professionally intoned and interpreted by a skilled actor adds an intellectual and emotional dimension that actually enhances the experience of a text. Scientific research we commissioned two years ago to gauge the neurocognitive and behavioral characteristics of listening to words indicated that subjects obtain an equivalent, if not superior, level of comprehension through listening to a book versus reading it. This has huge implications for learning at all levels of the spectrum, and beyond our Immersion Reading product, which synchronizes text and audio on Kindle tablets and has been roundly embraced by parents and educators, we have only begun to crack the surface of the potential here.
The other person I'm excited to hear speak is Abby Daly, Founder and Executive Director of nonprofit Bridge of Books Foundation. Here's info on their mission from their site:
Bridge of Books’ mission is to provide an ongoing source of books to underprivileged and at-risk children throughout New Jersey in order to support literacy skills and to encourage a love of reading.

Our goal is to get as many books as possible into the hands of New Jersey’s at-risk and underserved children. We generally acquire books through book drives and individual donations.
You can donate to them from their site.

What's especially of interest to me is that the theme for tomorrow is "Accelerators," and I've actually slowed my life down a lot since moving from Brooklyn to New Jersey, while trying to accelerate what was a stagnating career. I can safely say that the professional opportunities that have come my way in the last two years of living in Monmouth County have proven it is a much better fit for my work life, not to mention my personal life, both of which have thrived here where they floundered in New York. So I look forward to listening and learning. I'm not necessarily going to live here forever, but I am proud to be a Jersey girl, and even though I'm largely a homebody, I want to get more involved in my local community, so I'm starting tomorrow.

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3 audiobooks, 3 bestsellers: Thank you, best narrator ever, Rose Caraway


I don't have enough words to express how grateful I am to Rose Caraway for being such a brilliant narrator of my audiobooks for Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex, The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories and The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales. When I saw Rose pays my rent, I'm not kidding; her audiobooks make up a large percentage of my royalties, which are what allow me to work from home and cobble together what still often feels like a crazy, pinch-me, how-did-I-get-here career for a woman who dropped out of law school with no plans and no money. She brings such dedication to her work, making sure everything is perfect, creating fun, wonderful graphics and truly bringing a level of professionalism to the recording and promotion of these audiobooks like you wouldn't believe.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you, and to encourage you to listen to her The Kiss Me Quick's podcast. Another reason she's awesome: she sent her anthology The Sexy Librarian's Big Book of Erotica around the world to get signed by her international group of authors and is giving that signed copy away! Who does that? Nobody else I know. I love the passion and excitement she brings to all her projects. I promise to share the free stories she will be posting from this latest collection of BDSM erotica, as I've done before.


Here's one of my favorite images, for the free recording of "Forced Orgasms" by Shoshanna Evers in The Big Book of Orgasms. Listen to it:

Listen or download this sexy story at:
Or subscribe in iTunes:
or Stitcher:

(FYI, she also narrated the audiobook my essay collection Sex & Cupcakes, which I recommend, but in terms of my bottom line, I won't get royalties on that for 10 years, so I am focusing on the whole earning a living thing here.)

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Why I'm paying $100/story to authors in Best Women's Erotica 2016

Since issuing the Best Women's Erotica 2016 call for submissions, I've been asked about two aspects of it I'd like to address, namely money and word count. I know from having been published in prior editions that the payment to authors in the past has been higher, so I wanted to share how I came to the $100/author payment. I'm not privy to anyone's business details but my own, of course, so this is solely about my experience with this specific book. This is my first and possibly only time editing the series (I don't have a contract for any future editions, though of course I hope I will be asked to edit it again).

Using my entire advance, I can afford to pay for 25 stories at $100 each. I'll leave you to do that math. What that means for me as an editor is that I will pay the contributors the entirety of my advance (I may contribute a story as well if there is room, but have room to purchase 25 stories, without paying myself extra for me), so I will not see any income from this book until the book earns over $2,500 in royalties, so the earliest I will see any money from it is, I believe, July 2016. (I don't know the exact pub date, but am now being told the book will be for sale before Christmas 2015, rather than early 2016 as I had originally thought, but I will confirm this once I know for sure.) As a full-time freelancer, this is the most I can afford to pay. Otherwise, if I spent more, I would be paying out of my own pocket, which I do not by any stretch of the imagination have the funds for. If, and I tend to far prefer to deal in reality than "if" land, but if I am ever in the position to be editing the series and given a bigger advance, I will adjust the author payments accordingly. Only you can decide if that potential payment is sufficient to submit to this book, or any book or publication. If it's not, I completely understand. But since it's been mentioned at least twice that I've seen on Facebook, I wanted to address how I came to that number.

I also hired a lawyer for one hour at $250 to look over my contract, which then helped me to negotiate the best terms I could get, so I have actually invested my own money into this project in the hope/belief that it will be worthwhile. I include that information to let you know that I care deeply about my own value as a worker and about the value of my books, and about my authors, and did not take on this project lightly. I am cutting way, way back on the number of anthologies I edit per year; it used to be 6-8, and that did not make sense for my schedule or for my book sales. I do hope to have other calls posted later this year, but as I said, right now this is the only call I have up and the only new book I'm slated to edit as of now.

Which brings me to word count. I arrived at my 1,500-3,500 word count after doing a calculation of how many stories I can afford to buy and how many I will need to fill the book and not go over or under my assigned word count. This was my best estimate. When I've edited books of extremely short fiction, 1,200 words or less, namely Gotta Have It, The Big Book of Orgasms and The Big Book of Submission, the short word count was the point, and I was able to pay $20/story to 69 authors (actually, 68, excluding myself). I hope that to be able to edit another collection of short short erotic fiction again because I've found those fun to work on and I would far rather say yes more times to submissions than no. But that remains to be seen.

I consider my role here an experiment. Will I enjoy it? Will I produce a book readers want to read? Will I produce the book I envisioned in my head when I was asked to edit it? Will I produce a book my publisher is happy with? Will I contribute something new and interesting to a giant, sprawling genre that's already filled with new and interesting books?

I've been reading the Best Women's Erotica series since it started, and have contributed to multiple editions under the editorships of Marcy Sheiner and Violet Blue. I am a fan of the series and look forward to reading the submissions that have already stacked up my inbox, and the ones that will be coming in. Beyond that, I don't have any expectations regarding content, save that I hope to be awed and dazzled by what I read.

My first allegiance, as I see it, is to my readers. Of course I also want to do as well as I possibly can by my authors and my publisher, but without readers, I will stop creating books, because there would be no point. So, in addition to the above considerations I've given to the authors, I am thinking about the readers as I dive into this project. And now I will go continue printing out the dozens of story submissions I've already received. I look forward to reading many more, as long as they arrive by the deadline of June 1 (yes, submissions received on June 1 will be considered, but I strongly recommend submitting earlier).

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My Portland, Maine erotica writing workshop June 2nd at Nomia

I'm going back to Portland, Maine for this erotica writing workshop June 2nd at sex toy store Nomia and an erotica reading June 3rd, time and location to be announced very soon, for Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica and Best Bondage Erotica 2015. I had originally envisioned a tour for Come Again and had several sex toy stores interested but between the cost of travel and my authors being spread all around the world, I've narrowed it down to a few events, and this will be the first! I love meeting the authors in my books in person and look forward to the opportunity to do so. Stay tuned for details on the June 3rd event, which I will post on this blog and my website and @comeagainbook on Twitter and as soon as they're finalized.

June 2, 7:30 pm - 9 pm
Erotica 101 Writing Workshop, Portland, Maine
Rachel Kramer Bussel, professional erotica author and editor of over 50 erotica anthologies, such as The Big Book of Orgasms, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Please, Sir and Please, Ma'am, will take you through the ins and outs of modern erotic writing. Learn how to get started, find your voice, and write against type. You'll discover how to incorporate everyday scenarios as well as outlandish fantasies into your writing, and make them fit for particular magazines and anthologies. She'll also talk about submitting your work and keeping up with the thriving erotica market (including anthologies, ebooks, magazines and websites). 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. Please bring paper or writing implements or a laptop to use for in class writing exercises. A bibliography with erotica resources will be provided. $25/person. Seating is limited to 20 people and we expect this workshop to fill up FAST! Call Nomia at 207-773-4774 or visit store to register.
Nomia, 24 Exchange Street, Suite 215, Portland, Maine, 207-773-4774.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

"Yes, Fat Women Are Sexy" is my latest at DAME

It's one thing to write something in the plain old Times New Roman font I use in a Microsoft Word document, and another to see it in bold type on a website I contribute to. My first instinct when I saw "Yes, Fat Women Are Sexy" was to think, Duh. I mean, obvious town, right? But it's still something that needs to be said and reinforced with word and image, and the women I spoke to and quoted, namely April Flores (about her soon to launch site Fat Girl Fantasies), Substantia Jones, Kitty Stryker and Brittany Gibbons, are doing just that. Please check it out, and see the full archive of my DAME columns here. Suggestions for future topics related to women and sex? Email me at rachelkb at gmail dot com with "DAME" in the subject line.


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Self-care, burnout and making the best choices for my business in 2015

Updated April 8th At the CatalystCon opening keynote panel, we were all asked what we do for self-care. I was stumped. I’m sure I said something that probably sounded sane and rational (I don't recall exactly what I managed to get out), but the truth is, self-care is hard. Yes, I worry about burnout, about waking up in the middle of the night with dreams about an assignment I haven’t finished yet (which does happen when I’m in that situation), about the way I bite my nails or can’t keep off my phone to the detriment of my relationship. I am concerned about those things, but what keeps me from taking better care of myself, meaning more time away from both my literal desk and my mental obsessing about work, is money.

I’m more worried about not having enough money to pay the immediate bills, and not having enough money to raise the child I am trying to create inside me, than taking a walk every day or treating my body as more than a vessel for typing and thinking. It’s such a hard balance, one I feel I get worse at juggling, rather than better. I know I used to juggle a lot when I had a full-time job, but working for myself, combined with living with a partner, has upped the ante.

I want to spend more time being a better girlfriend, but lurking in my mind, always, and not at the back of it, is whether I can be a good or even halfway decent financial partner. I have zero job security. My books could all sell zero copies in any given quarter. My two sex columns could end tomorrow (yes, in my experience, that’s how it happens one day you have a column, the next day you don’t). Everything is constantly potentially in flux. That's why it's hard to know where my job ends and I begin, and vice versa, and why I get the desire to be an adult preschooler.

On Monday, I took the day off to go to New York to see a friend I hadn’t seen since October. We chose the date based on her schedule, which turned out to be fortuitous because it was absolutely gorgeous out. My initial plan to get a manicure and pedicure at my favorite First Avenue nail salon that I’ve been loyal to for many years was dropped in favor of walking from Penn Station to Union Square, both saving money on subway fare and letting me get some much-needed exercise. I did a little consulting work on the train in and then decided to give myself permission to be off. Of course, I paused at the library to recharge my phone and my energy, and two assignments I hadn’t even pitched showed up in my inbox, which made me feel I was doing a smart thing.

Then, after a lovely day, I got home and found out one of my steady gigs is ending. It’s not the end of the world, but it does mean being more diligent about pitching and pushing myself. It’s a good reminder to never rest on my laurels and to always be asking myself both what I want to achieve professionally and how to get there. I’ve been doing a lot of that this year, starting with my promise to myself not to write for free, and it’s actually paying off. I’m finding that when I step back and don’t take every single offer without even thinking more than two seconds, when I cut back on going to New York, which I only plan to do in the next few months for a family reunion and Book Expo America (I'm signing Wednesday, May 27th, details TK!), I am choosing to believe in myself and my potential. I’m acknowledging that I do indeed work hard, that I start soon after 7 most days and go until 5, and that I need to use that time to my best advantage.

Often, rather than figuring out how I can advance my career, I look around wistfully at those who have jobs I envy and think, I wish I did that. Maybe I do wish that, but I’ve chosen this path and its rewards far outweigh its negatives. I love that right now, even if it doesn’t last forever, I can afford the $29.50 to go to New York to see my friend, to bask in the sunshine, the $10 I spent on greeting cards. I can afford to do events like my upcoming Portland, Maine gigs (details TK), where, yes, I’ll be teaching one class, and paid for it, but doing one reading to promote my new book, which I won’t be paid for directly except if people buy the book from me. I have a ton to be grateful for, and that’s what I want to model, both for myself and, should the universe smile upon me, my future children. I don’t want to spend my limited time on earth thinking about what ifs or feeling sorry for myself or worrying every minute I’m not working about where my next dollar will come from.

This year, my self-care is about recognizing the things about my career I can’t change, the things I can, and putting into practice strategies and choices to make sure I can continue to do this for as long as possible. It’s also meant recognizing that maybe “as long as possible” will be only a few more weeks, or months, or years. Maybe I’ll move to some new city and find a job I actually want to go to, and pare down my freelancing to an article here and there. Who knows? I need to be prepared for that, and to keep learning and building and growing my business, and my self-esteem, and my stamina and fortitude in handling the highs and lows of a very unpredictable businesses (two, really, if you count freelance writing and book publishing). That took me a bit longer than a minute or two to come up with on a panel, but now I’m prepared if I’m asked again!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

69 BDSM erotica stories in The Big Book of Submission now for your listening pleasure!

I couldn't be more thrilled that Rose Caraway has narrated the audiobook of my BDSM erotica flash fiction anthology The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales. (click that title to read excerpts from all 69 stories!)


It's my third book of 69 very short stories, each 1,200 words or less, and the third of them that Rose has narrated. I'm not just saying that because the two she previously narrated, The Big Book of Orgasms and Gotta Have It have sold so well they pretty much made up half of my entire last royalty check. I'm saying it because she has singlehandedly brought my erotica offerings to a whole new audience and it's such a huge honor to get to keep working with her and innovating. I think she'll be bringing you more free listens from this hot offering but for now, you can get a sample of The Big Book of Submission audiobook on Audible.

You might also like:

The Big Book of Orgasms

Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex

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Fictional sex with Rob Gronkowski and Monica Lewinsky

Yes, I went there in my new Philadelphia City Paper sex column which is up online two days ahead of its newsstand version. In "Sex with celebrities, and other fantasies," I wrote about celebrity erotica and fan fiction, which of course is how I got my start, and why I loved the lesbian Secretary of State story "Madam Secretary" by Jaye Markham that I published in my anthology Hungry for More. Like the column? I'd love if you'd click "like" at the top and/or share it in any other ways; it makes a big difference to the longevity of the column. Missed my previous columns? Here's the archives.


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YouBeauty feature on beauty secrets women hide from our partners

I'm very proud of how this piece turned out! It's called "What’s Too Personal About Your Beauty Routine To Share With Your Partner?" at YouBeauty. If you like it, there are sharing links at the top of YouBeauty's site and I'd of course love if you commented or passed it on. Of course, most of my interviewees wanted to remain anonymous, so many thanks to them and my experts Hitha Prabhakar, Shar Rednour, Nadine Jolie Courtney (who you can watch now on Bravo's Newlyweds: The First Year) and the wonderful makeup artist Kim White.


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Sunday, April 05, 2015

My new book Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica is out!

My new anthology Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica is out now!


Well, it's in stock on and literally on its way to other stores right now. I have a spiffy new website new website for it and launched it with Q&As with several of the authors (more are coming): Jillian Boyd, author of "Dare You To," the opening story about an engaged couple having some fun with toys, including nipple clamps with bells on them; Malin James, author of "The Prototype," one of a few stories about fictional sex toys, and Katya Harris, author of "Surprise," and I will keep her tale's sex toy, fittingly, a surprise. Stay tuned for events, including the online Facebook book release party, a June 3 reading in Portland, Maine, and hopefully a mid-September reading in San Francisco.

I've been posting some photos on Twitter (@comeagainbook) and Facebook featuring images of toys similar to the ones in the book, like this:


Here's the cover:


and the back cover:


and the table of contents in its final form:


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Thursday, April 02, 2015

My Pennsylvania erotica writing workshops: State College and Philadelphia

My State College, Pennsylvania Erotica 101 writing workshop has been rescheduled and will now take place Monday night, April 27th from 7 to 9 p.m. It's $20, which also gets you my erotica market resources handout. Register on Eventbrite or else at the door.

Then I will teach a 90-minute version of my workshop at the SEXx Interactive conference in Philadelphia on Friday, May 8 from 3:45-5:15 p.m. I'm looking forward to doing an event in the city where I write my sex column (I will also be doing a conference preview for my column and interviewing some of the speakers, including one I'm most excited about, keynote speaker Feminista Jones). I also highly recommend hearing Morgan Thorne speak on asexuality, which I just did at CatalystCon. Register here for SEXx Interactive.

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My May-June LitReactor erotica class is has 9 spots left

Just a heads up that my next 4-week Between the Sheets erotica writing class at LitReactor, which has a maximum of 16 spots, has 9 spots left.


I wanted to give you some notice even though it's a few weeks away, because once it sells out, which it's expected to (the previous two did), then the class will be full. They cap their classes in order for students to get the maximum learning out of them, and that makes perfect sense to me. The class becomes its own little group, part of which I facilitate, part of which happens spontaneously. The full details about the class are here and if you have any questions about what will be covered or if you'd benefit from it, feel free to email me at rachelkb at with "LitReactor" in the subject line.

My personal two cents is: you don't need any prior writing, including erotica writing experience. What you do need is time. I'd estimate 5 hours a week, but probably 8-10 hours is better. After all, if you are paying $350 a week, you ideally want to get the most of out it. That being said, you also have the option to just read along and not do the weekly assignments, but they are designed to get you writing and sharing with your fellow classmates and getting/giving feedback, all of which I think is extremely useful in seeing what works and what doesn't in your own writing, and that of your peers. The way I teach is largely to encourage people to submit their work, not because that's the only thing you can do with erotica, but because I think it gives you a concrete goal to aim for, and if you are looking to get published, that's the only way it's going to happen (sorry, no one is going to magically find your writing on your laptop, because how would they know it's there?). You won't be required to submit your work or do anything else, but I will be giving an extensive overview of the current erotica market, including Q&As with authors (traditionally published and self-published), editors and publishers and sharing what I've been told about what publishers are looking for right now.

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How to have the best date ever

Today marks the 6-month anniversary of my sex column Let's Get It On in Philadelphia City Paper with my best dates column, including my outing myself as a full-on nerd whose top dates included Boggle and going to the boardwalk. Thank you to my interviewees, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, authors of the new book 40 Days of Dating (pictured below) and Abiola Abrams, author of The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love.


It may be small in word count (it used to be around 700 words and is now 550 words) but I'd like to think it's mighty in content and reach; after all, one of its topics, OrgasmQuest, spawned tons of media, including its subject's appearance on Dr. Drew's TV show. To me that was a prime example of what I try to do with all my work: make it accessible to a wide range of people, not just those in the "sex world." I know it could end any moment now, so I am doing everything I can to make it interesting, timely and worth reading. I'm trying to apply that same attitude toward my life; if it ends tomorrow, I want to be proud of myself. I don't expect my column or my life to end tomorrow, but really, who knows about either?

If you want to see the column stick around for lots more months (and maybe even years!), please read it, like it at the top, Tweet it, spread the word. And I am always open to suggestions for future column topics (keep in mind my tiny word count!) at rachelkb at gmail dot com with "City Paper" in the subject line.

I think one of the key differences between writing this alt weekly column now and my old Lusty Lady column in The Village Voice from 2004-2007 is that I'm being told that my readership matters. I get told if a lot of people read it and if few people read it. Another key difference for me personally is not living in the city in which the print paper is published. I used to feel honored and uncomfortable in equal measures to be taking the L train home to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and see people reading my Voice column. That was a paper I grew up reading, back when it wasn't free; my friend would bring it back from Manhattan to our suburban New Jersey high school. Now, I live in suburban New Jersey and am quite a different creature than my 17-year-old self. The other difference, and probably the biggest one, is that this is weekly which means the day my new column comes out, I'm filing next week's. It's meant lots of planning ahead and at times has been a challenge, but a welcome one.

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