Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch the Best Sex Writing 2012 book trailer above

Read the introduction to Best Sex Writing 2012 here
Buy Best Sex Writing 2012 at Amazon or for the Kindle or Nook

Friday, September 19, 2014

See you in Portland, Maine September 23 and 24

My Tuesday September 23rd 7:30-9 pm erotica writing workshop at Nomia in Portland, Maine is on its way to selling out, so get your tickets now by calling 207-773-4774 ($25/person, limit of 20 people). And for Banned Books Week, I'll be discussing erotica, porn and Fifty Shades of Grey with Nomia owner Gina Rourke at Portland Public Library on the 24th. I'm looking forward to both events and if you know anyone in or near Portland, Maine, please let them know. See also my interview in Maine Today about erotica writing and the genre as a whole (yes, you can write erotica about anything, and I'll be showing you how).

September 23, 7:30 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, Women in Lust, 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 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.

September 24, 7 pm - 9 pm
The Guilty Pleasure of Erotic Literature, Portland, Maine

Join local sexuality educator and owner of Nomia’s Portland’s first women owned and operated sensuality boutique, Gina Rourke and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel in a conversation about the role that erotica plays in literature, in the lives of readers, and in society. Bring your questions, your book recommendations, your opinions about Fifty Shades of Grey and join a Banned Books Week discussion about “The Guilty Pleasure of Erotic Literature.” This discussion will be held on Wednesday, September 24th a 7:00pm in the Rines Auditorium.

This program is sponsored by the Portland Public Library’s City of Readers Team and Choose Civility chapter who work to create meaningful conversations and dialogue at the library. Interest in erotica spiked after the publication of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James in 2011. Fifty Shades of Grey has spent over 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has brought patrons into the Library looking for similar titles, a genre libraries are not known to specialize in. City of Readers leader Jim Charette is curious to learn what it is that patrons most enjoy about 50 Shades, and what else to recommend, while also wondering what critiques might be offered of the book. This event explores the larger genre of erotic literature from the perspective of both reader and writer.
Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, 5 Monument Way, Portland, Maine

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sexy Chicago scavenger hunt and my erotica writing workshop September 28th

I'm looking forward to returning to Chicago on September 28th and lo and behold, there's a fabulous sounding Filthy Scavenger Hunt at the Field Museum being put on by Sex Geekdom Chicago that I plan to attend! Thanks to Cooper of podcast Life on the Swingset for the heads up. Here's part of the official description:
Sex Geeks Unite!

We're going to be scouring the Field Museum looking for filthy, suggestive, and legitimately educationally sexual objects and exhibits. Your mission is to wander the glorious halls of one of the greatest museums on Earth, armed with your trusty cell phone, and take pictures of naughty things. The most creative and interesting may win something awesome.
It goes from noon to 4, followed by coffee, and then you can head over to Early to Bed for my erotica writing workshop there from 6:30-8! Even more awesomeness? Early to Bed is celebrating 13 years (!!) in business. Follow them @earlytobed on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news. Also, isn't it great that they offer a $5 discount on 2 tickets when you bring a friend (or date)? That's incentive to find a writing buddy and come to the class together.

September 28, 6:30-8 pm
Erotica 101 writing workshop, Chicago

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. $20/person or $35/two people. Register online.
Early to Bed, 5044 North Clark Street, Chicago, 773-271-1219

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Portland, Oregon erotica writing workshop tonight (9/18)!

Tonight the final stop on the West Coast leg of my month of events is at Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Avenue in Portland, Oregon from 6 yo 8 p.m.; more details below, but you can register online or at the door using cash or credit card. After that, I'll be heading home to New Jersey followed by events in Portland, Maine, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York and my first online only erotica writing class with LitReactor starting October 16th. A few other events are in the works. Get my calendar information on my website and sign up for my monthly newsletter on the left hand side of my site's main page. I greatly appreciate you telling people in the above cities about my events if tehy might be interested.

Usually I teach at a store or conference or college, where some organization or entity has booked me. Tonight's event comes through meeting Annamarie of Kinky Sexy Geeky at CatalystCon East in March (speaking of which, the next one is March 27-29 in Arlington, Virginia and the call for panel submissions is open!). She was kind enough to help me set up this event, and she runs a series of Portland, Oregon events that I encourage you to check out, such as Talking Kink and Portland Queer Munch.

Ground Kontrol, Portland, Oregon

Ground Kontrol, Portland, Oregon
taken before I got third place in the high scores!

I got my tiger lily tattoo on my right arm at New Rose Tattoo in Portland, Oregon (since I am also going to Portland, Maine next week, I feel I keep having to clarify which one, so may just use PDX as shorthand). I have some wonderful friends in Portland, and have had wonderful readings here, including last week's at She Bop (photo below). Tuesday, while deciding to walk about a mile to Union Station, I discovered that my route would take me by the famed Ground Kontrol arcade. I've wanted to go there for years and am even on their mailing list. I got to play my favorite game, Q*bert, for a little while, and may stop back again today on my way to Q Center. My point is, I have an affinity for Portland, and am very much looking forward to tonight's class.

I've been teaching erotica writing for at least 4 years, possibly a bit longer, and the more I do it, the more I learn about the opportunities available for writers, the many ways to draw inspiration, and the possibilities for connection and creativity. I teach because I don't want to hoard the information I've acquired about the genre, and because I love to see people who may start out tentative or nervous or unsure for various reasons about what knowledge of erotic writing and inspiration they possess being to own their own unique vision and bring it to life on the page. Right up there with someone reading a beloved book I've recommended in life highs is someone telling me my classes inspired them to write. Not publish per se, though that is wonderful and I hope happens as well if someone wants it, but to write. Writing is always there, always accessible, as long as you have a pen and paper. It's been such a wonderful outlet for me, and I hope I can pass that on to others. Erotic writing especially is a way for many people to explore sexuality, their own and/or their characters', in a safe way where they control the action, no matter how outrageous the story. Portland, folks, I hope to see you tonight. As I said, you can register at the door between 5:30 and 6 p.m. sharp with cash or a credit card.

In another town? Hope you can attend one of my upcoming events! Want me to teach erotica writing in your town? Email me at rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com with "Workshop" in the subject line. More information on my workshops is on my website.

September 18, 6-8pm
Erotica 101 writing workshop, Portland, Oregon

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. The workshop is tailored to help get you published and highlight timely calls for submissions.

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. $25/person; register at Brown Paper Tickets.
Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Avenue, Portland, Oregon

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Thank you, CatalystCon

I started this last night, saying I was too tired to do full justice to CatalystCon in one post, and in the midst of a book tour (see you tonight at 7:30 at The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco!), I still am this morning, except to say that I am so glad I attended. It was a busy long weekend, and a lot to take in. I talked to old friends and made new ones, had the honor of sharing rooms with two groups of wonderful attendees in my writing workshops, learned and asked questions and talked about everything from slut-shaming to kilts to theater to sex work to purses to The Story of O to Hello Kitty. I realized sitting in a panel on sex-positive parenting how smart the people in the room were, and I don't necessarily mean book smart, though they are that too. I mean heart smart, compassionate, dedicated to creating an open and free and equal world for their children, and, by extension, all children. The level of knowledge I encountered, along with bravery, a willingness to ask questions, to raise attention to things people may not have known, to foster discussion, to be kind and share, to say hello to strangers, to engage, was something I don't truly have words for, but was wonderful. I thought about aspects of sex and relationships I'd never thought about before, and I'm sure will be thinking about for along time.

I connected like-minded people and did my best to pay attention, by which I mean some of my games on my phone lapsed and I didn't read blogs but I read tweets and then memorized names and faces so I could follow up on all the thoughts sparked by the conversations I heard. There were moments where I was so tired I could've cried, but by the end, all I could think was that I wished it were one day longer.

More even than previous Catalysts, I felt like I learned that I am on the right path, doing what I am meant to be doing, surrounded by people passionate about their areas of interest. I met people who were brave enough to hear about Catalyst and not necessarily know anyone who'd be there but come anyway and learn. I encourage you to submit panel ideas starting tomorrow, September 16th, for CatalystCon East, to be held March 27-29 in the Washington, DC area. I hope to be there, and once again have my mind blown and walk away inspired and awed. That may sound hokey, but it's true. Hopefully I will have a chance to pause and capture a bit of why I enjoyed it so much.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Snapshots from Portland She Bop reading and see you again at Q Center September 18th

I'm off to the airport to get to Los Angeles but wanted to share two photos from last night's reading at She Bop in Portland, Oregon and let you know there's now a huge stack of signed books and I will go back and sign more next week when I'm in the neighborhood for my September 18 erotica writing workshop at Q Center. Advance tickets are preferred but you can get them at the door as well. Details below. Thank you to everyone who packed She Bop! It was a pleasure and a lot of fun.

shebopreading
Readers Emily Bingham, Stella Harris, me (Rachel Kramer Bussel), Laurel Isaac and the appropriately baseball-attired Tiffany Reisz (her jersey says "Reisz" on the back and she read from her baseball erotica story "Bringing the Heat" Hungry for More)

Before the reading I wandered around and found a macaroni and cheese restaurant, which I of course had to try (the veggie had spinach and broccoli and was awesome, especially with hot sauce) and then in walked sex geeks Queeraschino Cherry and The Redhead Bedhead, who reviews sex toy stores and runs the newly launched Portland Academy of Sex Education. I was wishing I had company and like magic, there they were!

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September 18, 6-8pm
Erotica 101 writing workshop, Portland, Oregon

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. The workshop is tailored to help get you published and highlight timely calls for submissions.

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. $25/person; register at Brown Paper Tickets.
Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Avenue, Portland, Oregon

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CatalystCon West is here - see you in Los Angeles!

I've been a whirlwind of activity since I got to the West Coast on Friday night, so if you want to see photos and little updates, you can follow me on Instagram (rachelkramerbussel) and Twitter (@raquelita) and Tumblr. Today I'm heading to Los Angeles and then you can get all the details of my other events at my website (one update I have to add there is the Portland Public Library 9/24 Banned Books Week talk is now 6:30-8:30 pm). I'll be doing events in San Francisco (9/15), Portland, Oregon (9/18), Portland, Maine (9/23 & 9/24), Chicago (9/28), Milwaukee (9/30), New York (10/24) and my first online only erotica writing class, an in-depth 4-week workshop you can take at your schedule anonymously anywhere in the world, starts October 16th via LitReactor. That class has a max of 16 people and is almost half full, so check it out and if you have questions, you can ask me at rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com with "LitReactor" in the subject line.

But what I wanted to tell you about is CatalystCon, which starts tonight with its film series showing the documentaries Slut ("'Slut: A Documentary Film' features the stories of girls and women who have been the victims of sexual bullying and slut shaming in the United States and Canada.") and Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story ("In Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story, former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Kristin’s journey in search of the American ideals that she protected have a whole new meaning as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman."). I've attended and participated in I believe 4 CatalystCons so far, 3 on the East Coast (held in March) and 1 on the West Coast. Every time, I've been so utterly impressed by the content of the workshops and panels, the care taken to be inclusive and welcoming, especially of sex workers and those of non-mainstream sexualities, and to present a smart, nuanced, powerful event that I walk away from energized. Every time. The energy is palpable and I believe it's in large part because organizer Dee Dennis and her team pull from a wide range of sexuality communities. CatalystCon isn't about just one thing, yet the umbrella topic is sexuality. The tagline is "Sparking communication in sexuality, activism and acceptance."

Going to Catalyst has helped me get toward the place that I see my role in the erotica and sexuality communities. I didn't and don't really think of myself as a traditional activist, but what I'm passionate about is my genre, erotica, and helping people get published and realize the full potential of their desire to write erotic material. I've grown into teaching and am so honored by the groups I get to work with, like the one Tuesday night in Seattle who blew me away with their helpful comments to each other and overall support and willingness to share information and resources. I've made wonderful connections at Catalyst, and with most people I meet there, there is already some baseline framework of how we either know each other or know people in common, or have commonalities of what our interests are. I don't mean that at all to sound like it's cliquish, but rather, the opposite. People go to Catalyst because they have an interest in sexuality and want to know more.

Before I tell you about the two workshops and two panels I'm doing, I want to tell you a little more about what makes this conference so special. Firstly, there are three meetups tomorrow before the keynote: a shy/newbie meetup, a sex worker meetup, and a networking meetup. How cool is that? I am so impressed with all of those, and if I am still able to think after teaching for 6 hours, I plan to hit up the networking one. There's morning yoga ("downward doggystyle") taught by the wonderful Stacey Swimme (I saw wonderful because she's a friend I admire and think is awesome, though I didn't even realize she taught yoga until just now). There are panels on everything from "Fantasy Girls: The Perils Women Face In Geek Culture" to "Infidelity Is More Than Cheating," Living With An STI" and "Sex & Parenting: Sex Positive Parenting in a Sex Negative World." The closing keynote plenary address is by the women of Club 90, Annie Sprinkle, Candida Royalle, Veronica Hart and Veronica Vera, stars of "The Golden Age of Porn." And so much more!

Here's where I tell you what I'm up to, and I wouldn't be on a marketing panel if I didn't give you links to all the panelists. I did these two extended workshops at CatalystCon East in March and have to tell you that I've thought of them often because the people attending CatalystCon have a lot of passion for what they do and stories to tell, fiction and nonfiction. So far it's the only place I've taught my Sex Writing 101 workshop (though I hope to teach it elsewhere) and it's great to have 3 hours to really dig in to these topics. I hope to be sharing more of their work and am looking forward to the workshops and panels. Follow my marketing panelists on Twitter at @cunningminx, @ReidAboutSex and @charlieglickman and my erotica panelists, whose book covers you can see below and who'll be selling and signing books right after our workshop, at @shawnajkenney, @JoanPrice and @rebekahwsm.

See you at Catalyst. Come say hello! I'll be going to as many panels and events as I can (I have learned the hard way not to skip panels unless there's a good reason cause you miss out on a lot). And I know so many wonderful people who will be there: erotica writer Stella Harris, who I read with last night at She Bop, erotica writer Olivia Archer, who wrote "Kitchen Slut" in my anthology Hungry for More, blogger Lori of Kink, etc... and tons more awesome people. Can't make it? Follow the #ccon hashtag on Twitter (and each panel has its own hashtag), follow Catalyst on Facebook and stay tuned to their website for the announcement about CatalystCon East, which will happen soon.

September 12, 9:15 am-12:15 pm
Erotica 101 writing workshop, Los Angeles before CatalystCon

In this three hour workshop Rachel Kramer Bussel, professional erotica author and editor of over 50 erotica anthologies, such as The Big Book of Orgasms, Cheeky Spanking Stories and Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission, 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. The class will also cover branding yourself as a writer, using and selecting a good pseudonym, and using social media to promote your work and do outreach. She’ll also talk about submitting your work and keeping up with the thriving erotica market, including anthologies, ebooks, magazines and websites. Please bring paper and writing implements or a laptop to use for in class writing exercises. A bibliography with erotica resources will be provided. $45 (or $79 with pre-CataystCon Sex Writing 101, see below).
The Westin Los Angeles Airport, 5400 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

September 12, 1:30-4:30 pm
Sex Writing 101 workshop, Los Angeles before CatalystCon

In this three hour workshop, writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel will cover all you need to know about writing about sex, including blogging, first-person essays and journalism. You’ll learn how to ethically write about your love life, what editors are looking for, where to find experts on sexuality topics, and how to stay abreast of current sex news. Whether you’re looking to write a sex blog, column, articles or books, you’ll find out how to pitch, how much money you can expect to make, and how to maximize your editorial opportunities. The class will also cover branding yourself as a writer, using and selecting a good pseudonym, using social media to promote your work and do outreach, and how to pitch stories. Rachel has been a sex columnist for The Village Voice, Penthouse and The Frisky, and has written about sexuality for Cosmopolitan, The Daily Beast, Glamour, Inked, Salon, xoJane and many other publications. A resource list covering markets for sex-related pieces will be provided. $45 (or $79 with pre-CatalystCon Erotica 101, see above)

**Attendees who would like the opportunity to get feedback from Rachel on one piece of their own writing (3,000 words or less), to be submitted prior to the workshop can purchase this as an add on to either of the above workshops. Fee: $20
The Westin Los Angeles Airport, 5400 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

September 13, 9:30-10:40 am
Shameless Self-Promotion: Marketing 101 for Activists panel, CatalystCon

With Charlie Glickman, Cunning Minx, Reid Mihalko and me (follow along with the hashtag #cconself on Twitter)
Got a sex-positive cause you want to promote but remain unsure how to market yourself, your group or your organization effectively? Got the passion and drive but missing the marketing degree and the communication plan? Join this panel of expert sex-positive educators and activists as they share marketing tips designed to help you gain credibility, generate content and promote your ideas effectively. Attendees will learn how to use basic marketing tools such as speaking, blogging, social media and ebooks to build a following and promote themselves effectively.
The Westin Los Angeles Airport, 5400 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

September 14, 12:30-1:40 pm
Moderating Envelope-Pushing Erotica panel, CatalystCon

Envelope-Pushing Erotica: How Sexy Stories Can Change The World (follow along with the hasthag #cconerotica on Twitter)
Erotica can be more than just entertainment and titillation; it can help redefine what’s considered sexy, give readers an expanded way of looking at sexuality and reach readers in ways nonfiction may not. Each of the authors on this panel approaches the topic from a different angle: Shawna Kenney, as editor of Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers, explores the depths of literary erotica, senior sex expert Joan Price, as editor of Ageless Erotica, demystifies sex over 50, and Rebekah Weatherspoon, whose tagline is “Where The Happily Ever Afters are Always In Color,” as author of BDSM-themed erotic novels such as At Her Feet and Blacker Than Blue. We will discuss what it means to push the boundaries of erotic fiction, the marketplace for erotic books, incorporating diverse types of stories and characters and the meaning of erotica in readers’ lives. Moderated by Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of over 50 anthologies including The Big Book of Orgasms and the Best Bondage Erotica series.
The Westin Los Angeles Airport, 5400 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

agelesserotica
Ageless Erotica edited by Joan Price

booklovers
At Her Feet by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Bonus for reading all the way to the end: the first person at CatalystCon who asks me for this I Am A Frostitute sticker (that I bought at Seattle's Cupcake Royale) gets it:

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

5 sexy excerpts of what you'll hear tomorrow at She Bop in Portland, Oregon

Please join me, Tiffany Reisz, Stella Harris, Emily Bingham and Laurel Isaac tomorrow, September 10th at 7:30 for a free erotica reading from 4 of my books at She Bop, 909 N. Beech Street, Portland, Oregon, and if you can't make it, tell your friends (that's easy to do on Facebook). Here's 5 snippets of what you'll be hearing, and if there's time I may sneak in a bonus reader favorite story from The Big Book of Orgasms. Can't make the reading? Order online from She Bop.

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erotica-reading-sept-2014 (1)

(not pictured: Laurel Isaac)

hungrycover
Hungry for More

A tiny bit of "Bringing the Heat" by Tiffany Reisz - read more at her website.
They stepped into the room right across from the shower stalls. Through the other side of the curtain, Jada could peer in and see everything. It seemed to be some kind of therapy room. A padded leather table only about four feet high constituted the only furniture in the room. A plaque on the door read “Evan Christopher, Sports Therapist.”

Flak started to strip out of his uniform. Jada winced at the black bruise that covered the left side of his back where the fastball had struck him. Other than the bruise, however, Flak’s body was flawless—broad shoulders, well-muscled and sturdy, and yet not an ounce of fat on him. A young man’s body. The trainer, Evan, was sexy in his own right too. Slightly taller and about five years older, Evan wore wire-rimmed glasses on his handsome, intelligent face and had a seductive five o’clock shadow on his sculpted lower jaw.


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The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories

Here's an excerpt from "The Jeffrey Factor" by Stella Harris:
Jeff let him adjust to the sensation for a moment, sliding the vibrator in and out slowly, twisting and rubbing it against his inside walls, but only teasing the spot where he really wanted it.

The vibrator switched on and Shane moaned around the gag in his mouth; even on the lowest setting the sensations lit up his nerves. His nipples peaked and tightened and he thrust his hips upward, hoping against hope for friction he didn’t find.

Jeff laughed again. He claimed not to have a sadistic side, said he didn’t enjoy dishing out pain, but Shane considered this cruelty all the same.
bboscover
The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales (read 69 excerpts, one from each story, right here)

Here's a little bit of "How to Fail" by Laurel Isaac:
All I could think was how I must be doing something wrong. I must have forgotten some technique I usually use, or there must be something wrong with my body that the feeling good wasn’t kicking in. Maybe if I waited a little longer it would start to. Maybe this was how it always was in the beginning? If only he’d slow down I might be able to figure it out, but the paddle abruptly landed squarely in the middle of my right cheek. The throbbing felt like it had shocked me right in half. I let out a sob. And there it was again, and again. If only I had a minute, I might be able to…but the strokes kept landing, bludgeoning, deafening.
And here's a little from a male POV story I wrote called "Reverse Psychology:"
See, I’m not a sadist by nature—I wouldn’t hurt a fly. Really—I’m the kind of guy who goes out of my way to give directions or help little old ladies across the street. I’m a service sub, the worshipping sort, but I I fell madly in love with a woman who happens to be a masochistic domme. Sasha likes pain, but for her it has nothing to do with being a “bad girl” or any of that. If I dared to call her names like slut or whore during sex, she’d lock up my cock for a week.

For her, it’s about the sensation, the intensity, the feeling. She says getting flogged is cathartic, being spanked releases endorphins, having her nipples bitten makes her blood boil. And because I love her and want to please her, I do as she says. It’s a different kind of submission than any I’ve ever known, but I like obeying her, and knowing how turned on she gets. It’s like reverse psychology, where you tell someone to do something and hope they do the opposite. With us, though, I do the opposite of my impulses, for her. Sasha makes sure to show me appreciation—when she’s not ordering me around.
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Best Bondage Erotica 2014

Here's an excerpt of "Pegged" by Emily Bingham:
“Do you trust me?” I ask, straddling his lap.

He looks at me with the dark pools of his eyes over the rim of his thick glasses, the hint of a shy grin on his lips. Slowly, he nods, almost as if it pains him to admit it. I take his curly head in my hands and lean in to kiss him. The boy is talented with his tongue, his mouth so inviting that at times it’s easy to get lost in. Part of me wants to be greedy; roll over and let him have his way, splay me open and worship the folds between my legs as long as he likes.

I resist the urge, wanting tonight to be about him and taking him where he wants to go. It’s his turn to be small and defenseless for an evening. I want to be so kind to him that it becomes cruel.
Reader bios and Twitter handles, so you can Tweet to them how much you liked their stories, and She Bop is @SheBopTheShop:

Rachel Kramer Bussel is a writer, editor, event organizer and consultant. She's edited over 50 anthologies, including Hungry for More, The Big Book of Submission, The Big Book of Orgasms, Cheeky Spanking Stories, Fast Girls and edits the Best Bondage Erotica series. She writes widely about sex, dating, books, pop culture and hoarding, teaches erotic writing workshops at colleges, conferences and sex toy stores and Tweets @raquelita.

Emily Bingham is an ethical slut, story teller, consent activist, and rope instructor, she writes smut so she can have an excuse to say filthy words on stage. The only thing she loves more than words is rope. Her stories appear in a number of Cleis Press anthologies. @RopeQuean

Stella Harris is an erotica writer, BDSM educator, and sex & intimacy coach. She teaches for a variety of sex-positive organizations in Portland in addition to leading and organizing her own public classes and offering private instruction. Publication highlights include several anthologies by Cleis Press and a series of tantalizing and informative articles on kinkly.com. @stellaerotica

Laurel Isaac is a queer writer of sex stories and personal essays. She’s currently exploring small-town queer life in Southern Oregon.

Tiffany Reisz is the international bestselling author of the darkly comic Gothic erotica series The Original Sinners, a genre she made up entirely on her own. Tiffany lives in Portland, Oregon, with her boyfriend, her cats and her delusions of grandeur. @TiffanyReisz

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Saturday, September 06, 2014

Greetings from Seattle, where I'm in bed with books and a cookie

I'm savoring the chilly air while wearing the hoodie my boyfriend got me in my hotel bed in sunny Seattle. It looks like it'll be a gorgeous day out and I'm excited about today's 3 pm reading (see below), the first of my month of events. But first, I'm taking a little time to enjoy the quiet in the room and my head. It's been a stressful and hectic few weeks, with new opportunities dangling before me but not finalized yet, and the logistics of coordinating flights, train rides, events, hotels, housing, but now that I'm here, I feel more focused and ready.

I'm on a working vacation, and want to make sure I do justice to both parts of that. I may not do everything I'd get to if I were purely on vacation, but for me little pleasures can go a long way. Last night my flight out of JFK was delayed for over an hour because a sick passenger had to disembark after we'd pulled away from the gate, but before we took off. So I landed at 10 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m. and then was keyed up when I sank into my hotel bed. The Doubletree gave me a warm chocolate chip cookie on checkin, and I savored half of it, the chocolate melting onto my tongue. I ate it in little pieces, then ate the rest this morning. I don't have a photo of the cookie because I was too intent on getting it in my mouth, but it was delicious.

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I just listened to a wonderful podcast by the Pleasure Mechanics on "Overcoming Distraction For Better Sex". I have ADD and have had prescriptions at various times, but haven't taken anything for it for about two years. I go back and forth in terms of whether it's worth the effort to try to get back on meds while I look into various ways to streamline my attention naturally. I think this podcast offers lots of useful advice both regarding sex and ADD and other areas of your life.

I'm deciding which of these 4 books I'm reading (I'm a book juggler) to pick up right now:

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I've been reading blog posts by Evoë Thorne at Whole Sex Life, who I'm reading with today at 3, and have been so immensely impressed with the honesty with which she writes about so many sex and relationship topics, from married sex to difficult conversations in long-term relationships. Here's the details about today:

September 6, 3:30-4 pm
Free erotica reading in Seattle
Readings from The Big Book of Submission, The Big Book of Orgasms and Hungry for More with me and local contributors, including Evoë Thorne, Brandy Fox and others.

Center for Sex Positive Culture Annex, 1608 15th Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119

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I better go get ready so I have time to talk to the reading from downtown Seattle. See you at 3, and here's the handy link for all my upcoming events, including Tuesday night's Seattle erotica writing workshop, the SheBop reading extravaganza, my classes and panels at CatalystCon, reading with Rose Caraway, Portland Public Library Banned Books Week talk and more.

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Friday, September 05, 2014

Why free time is never wasted, or why I'm excited to fly to Seattle today

When I set out to plan a West Coast book tour around sexuality and activism conference CatalystCon in Los Angeles, where next Friday September 12th I'm teaching two three-hour writing workshops, I had assumed I'd do an event a day and be home in a week, or maybe 8-9 days. Instead I fly to Seattle today, September 5th, and with a redeye home from Portland, Oregon, will get back to New Jersey on September 20th (then leave again soon after for Maine). That's how the event scheduling worked out.

I had a few people I wanted to see in Seattle, but mostly I planned to write and catch up on work I'm in various stages of finishing. I have a few fiction ideas I want to get to and am pretty sure the atmosphere of a new cafe and environment will help me, especially for the call for coffee-themed erotic romance stories. I don't mind the free time, but the whole extended trip has been making me a little nervous in terms of all the logistics.

But then last night I discovered that Elissa Washuta/, author of the memoir that's packed and waiting for me to finish reading on the plane, My Body Is a Book of Rules (remember my list of 3 books I want to read? It's now grown, but that's at the top) is reading Monday night at 7 at Elliott Bay Books. What a wonderful coincidence! I don't get to readings much these days other than my own, although my local bookstore River Road Books does host them occasionally. So this is perfect and I'll get to meet some other writers attending who I wouldn't have met otherwise. I'll post more about the book when I'm finished; I can tell you now that if you see it in a bookstore you should pick it up and hold it and look at it. From the size to the paper to the text, it's a little different than your average book, and that's before you even start reading it.

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It feels like fate that the free day I'd already set aside for writing now will culminate in hearing a writer I've wanted to meet, which seems like a good sign that this book tour will be a positive one. I almost said a "success" but I'm not really sure how you measure that. My goals? Professionally, to have successful events, remember to get the authors at my readings to sign my books, to inspire the students attending my workshops to finish and send out their stories, and to get inspired. Personally? To walk a lot, to explore, to see old friends and make new ones, and hopefully come home a slightly better person than I was when I left.

I'll take this last moment to ask that if you know anyone in Seattle, you let them know about my two upcoming events:

Tomorrow's free erotica reading, September 6th, 3-4:30 p.m.

With me, Brandy Fox ("Organically Grown"), Evoë Thorne ("Squirt") and others. Books will be available for sale and signing.
Center for Sex Positive Culture Annex, 1608 15th Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119

September 9th, 7-9 pm, 18 and older
Erotica Writing 101 Workshop
This is also at Center for Sex Positive Culture Annex, 1608 15th Ave W in Seattle and it's $23 in advance (with fees it's $25.42) and $30 at the door, so if you are interested, it's best to sign up ahead of time. Click on the ticketing link above for a fuller description. I'm fresh from BDSM Writers Con and have been doing lots of research so I've got lots of great new information to share with you about places to send your writing as well as lots of wonderful writing exercises. Looking forward to my first Seattle writing workshop!

I'm honored to partner with the Center for Sex Positive Culture and Foundation for Sex Positive Culture and am looking forward to meeting contributors to my books and students who I hope will be future contributors! Questions about my events? Email me at rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com with "Tour" in the subject line.

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