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

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

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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:
GROWN-UP FUN
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

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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

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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 rachelkramerbussel.com.

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)...in 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.

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Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica


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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:

Amazon

Kindle ebook

Amazon UK

Kindle UK

Barnes & Noble (Bn.com)

Nook ebook

iBooks

Kobo

Books-a-Million

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 comeagainbook.com 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

and

"Toasted Marshmallows" by Tilly Hunter

Purchase the entire audiobook right here.

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(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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