Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Political - strike, war, abstinence, SF mayoral election

Amy Sohn on the WGA Strike:

Despite the media’s stereotyping of us, half of the WGA members are unemployed at any given time. This means they don’t make the minimum for health benefits and many of them are hence uninsured. Many of them have families, which means their kids aren’t insured. We are not a rich union. We are a middle-class union. This was actually the point that children’s TV writer Sarah Durkin was trying to say when Carr interviewed her at 30 Rock...

Marc Cherry, whom I interviewed for the Desperate Housewives tie-in book I wrote, lived off residuals from “The Golden Girls” for years before he created what went on to be a bonanza for ABC. As described eloquently on “The Brian Lehrer Show” last week by screenwriter Adam Brooks, residuals are an investment in the future of a writer, an acknowledgment that the money that tides us over between projects will allow us to write things that may be more successful than anything we have written before. One of the AMPTP’s first proposals was to eliminate residuals. A horrifying rollback.

Vince Beiser interviews writer/director Paul Haggis for The Progressive about the strike, the war, and his new film, In the Valley of Elah:

Q: Let’s talk about In the Valley of Elah. You started trying to make it in 2003 and had a hard time.

Haggis: Right after we invaded Iraq, I put a sign on my lawn that said “War is not the answer.” That sign was either defaced, ripped up, or stolen every week. I had to replace that sign twelve times. When I ran out, I put up a sign that said “We support our troops, bring them home now.” That one disappeared about ten times. And that’s in Santa Monica, one of the most liberal communities in America!

Even here at that time, every second car had the American flag on it, every second car had a bumper sticker that said “Support Our Troops.” None of those bumper stickers meant “support our troops.” They meant, “support the war.” It was stunning to see how thin the veneer of progressiveness is in this community. When we’re threatened, it’s very easy to appeal to our basic natures.

The radical rightwing pegs Hollywood as a leftist town, which is completely wrong. There are a lot of actors, writers, and directors who talk a liberal agenda of some sort . . . but all the studio bosses, for as long as there have been studios, have all been as far rightwing as you can possibly imagine. And now all the studios are owned by multinational corporations, which are not usually bastions of the left. So all the actors, writers, and directors—or at least a great majority of them—live in fear because we’re all insecure, we all want that next job, we all want to be loved, and we don’t want to piss off some studio chief who won’t hire us for the next movie. That’s why you hear this story that we’re all on the left, but when there’s a demonstration, you count how many actors actually come out. If there’s a half dozen, that would be a big day.

Here's the preview, and there's more on YouTube:

"Still a Puritan Nation? Most '08 Candidates Support Abstinence Education," Alison Bowen, Alternet

An end to abstinence-only sex education was at the top of the list when 600 self-described feminists met in New York recently to rally their ranks and craft a platform for U.S. presidential lobbying.

Abstinence-only -- for which President Bush proposes a 2008 budget of $204 million -- has avid supporters and wary detractors, who want to find a more comprehensive way to present sex education.

In March, three members of Congress introduced a bill to authorize federal funds for states' comprehensive sex education that offers menu of options from abstinence to contraception and abortion. The Responsible Education About Life Act -- or the REAL Act as the bill is known -- was sponsored by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.; Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; and Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.

Annalee Newitz on why she voted for Josh Wolf in the San Francisco mayoral election:

There were the sure-to-fail futures represented by good candidates
with no hope of winning, and then there was the dark future of creepy
joke candidates like Chicken, whose mockery of the voting process was
probably part of why so few people turned out for the election. Why
vote when running for mayor had been turned into a joke?

So I voted for the best possible future I could find, the future in
which, eventually, smart young people who care about freedom of
expression online become mature politicians who understand new
technologies and the socioeconomic conditions associated with them.

Maybe Wolf won't grow into that politician, but somebody like him
will. And that person will probably understand things like how to
organize Internet access for low-income city residents and why
entertainment companies shouldn't be allowed to sue people for
hundreds of thousands of dollars because they've been file-sharing.
That person will also understand how easy it is to violate people's
privacy online and will push for regulations that prevent companies
and governments from dipping into private digital data supplies.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Naked at Marc Jacobs with Funky Brown Chick

My awesome friend Funky Brown Chick (who is reading at January 17th's Blogger Sex Night and who I've gotten to agree to write me something that I think is going to be totally HOT!) visits the Marc Jacobs store and interviewes three topless cute boys, and she is topless (but does not show us her boobs, sorry) in part of this as well:

She also can write sentences like, "For a moment, imagine that websites can have sex with each other. If YouTube was to stick its penis into a dating column, together they would have a little baby called Blabbermash." so be sure to check out her blog and her Nerve blog too! Apparently, Blabbermash is doing a big PR blitz cause I got a form letter spam type of email asking me to write about it, but I'll let Funky Brown Chick do that for me.

Am I A Sex Addict? Are You? My latest HuffPo piece

My latest Huffington Post piece (yes, it's been a while) asks, "Am I A Sex Addict? Are You?" and looks at the crazy sex addiction test that's online and various bits of news about sex addiction. Be sure to check out the already lively comments.


Win this cupcake necklace from Rachel of Sugar Toppers!

From now through December 7th at 5 pm EST, you have the chance to win this necklace below, made by Rachel of Sugar Toppers over at our cupcake blog, Cupcakes Take the Cake

Win this cupcake necklace!

Enter by clicking here and telling us in a comment what cupcake-related item you most covet for the holidays - see details in the post.

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Get a FREE Sex and Candy bookmark!

My latest book Sex and Candy: 22 Succulent Stories is on its way from the printers! Yay! It's been in the works for a looong time and I'm very excited to see the final book, plus it's one that I think will appeal to people who maybe aren't as into some of the kinkier titles - and it makes a great holiday gift. It'll be listed as available on Amazon as soon as their copies arrive, which, as I said, should be in the next 2 weeks.

I also have some Sex and Candy bookmarks for you; I'll be bringing them to all my upcoming events, but if you're not in New York and would like one, email me and the first 25 people will get one, free!

And here's a little treat...the Table of Contents, publisher's blurb, and my introduction.

And please come to our party on December 14th! (See flyer below) Free cupcakes from Kumquat Cupcakery (flavors to be posted soon, but trust me, they're yummy!) and much sweetness.

Sex and Candy: 22 Succulent Stories
Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Foreword by Shar Rednour
Introduction: Sugar Rush by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Six Layers of Sweetness by Donna George Storey
Turkish Delight by L. Elise Bland
Cinnamon Secrets by Radclyffe
TimeReleaseDessert by SékouWrites
Phone, Sex, Chocolate by Catherine Lundoff
Old-Fashioned Fudge by Tsaurah Litzky
Mulled Wine by Dominic Santi
Sugar on Snow by Sacchi Green
Just Like Candy by Michele Zipp
Forbidden Fruit and Honey by Salome Wilde
Other Girls by R. Gay
Cling by Tenille Brown
Banana Afternoon by Jolene Hui
Sugar Mama by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Green Chili Chocolate by Bianca James
Rosehips Are Red by Cheyenne Blue
Kneading by Shanna Germain
Peppermint Delight by Michelle Houston
The Fat Box by Jen Dziura
Window Shopping by S. Lynn Taylor
Two Scoops of Gelato by Sage Vivant
Cupcake by Stan Kent

What's sweet, sensual, arousing and guaranteed to have you coming back for more? Sex and Candy: 22 Succulent Stories, the latest erotica collection from Rachel Kramer Bussel! Starting with Six Layers of Sweetness, Sex and Candy takes you on a tour through Turkish Delight, Green Chili Chocolate, and Old-Fashioned Fudge, then lets you savor Peppermint Delight, Two Scoops of Gelato, some well-placed Twizzlers, and, of course, cupcakes. These stories will make your mouth water and the rest of your body scream for release. Feast your eyes on this delicious dessert anthology, featuring a revealing foreword by Shar Rednour, co-producer of the sugar-fueled porno Hard Love and How to Fuck in High Heels, along with stories by acclaimed erotic writers including Shanna Germain, L. Elise Bland, Tsaurah Litzky, Donna George Storey, Michele Zipp, and Stan Kent. By the end, you'll be licking your lips and searching your cupboards and bedroom for a sweet snack of your very own.

Sugar Rush
by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Sweet. Creamy. Gooey. Luscious. If you ask me, sex and candy have a lot in common. Both can make us lose our minds a little, getting into a frenzy where all we care about is tasting it, swallowing it, having it that very moment. Sex and candy make us reckless, wanton, hungry, horny. As Michele Zipp puts it, “The desire for candy as a child is like the lust for sex as an adult. It’s craved, it satiates, it even calms.” For me, quite often, sugar makes me ravenous for someone else to share its sweetness with, or at least, makes me want to lick someone else after I’ve gotten done licking the frosting off a cupcake, savoring a Kit Kat or Nestle Crunch, or devouring a smooth soft-serve ice cream cone on a blazingly hot day.

When publisher Alison Tyler asked me if I’d like to make my dream of a sugar erotica collection come true, I was actually sitting in my favorite bakery, sugar Sweet sunshine, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, enjoying a delicious vanilla cupcake. I often go there on weekends to write and people watch, and sometimes I don’t even need to sample their delicious treats to absorb the thrill of being surrounded by sugar (though I do often satisfy my craving for a cupcake or slice of crumbly, cinnamon-and-sugar-emblazoned coffee cake). The air simply sings with it, and I think that’s the reason I’ve witnessed many people heading there while on a date.

Sugar is sensual, and when we indulge in it, we really do indulge. I’ve never been one for raisins in my salad or pears in my main course; I firmly believe that dessert is for dessert. I like to take my time when I eat sweets, giving them the proper attention they deserve, kindof like sex. I don’t love quickies because I’d rather roll around in bed all day, or for as long as I can, going back for more and more and more. I like to savor a mouthful of ice cream, letting the creamy goodness slide along my tongue and down my throat. I like to suck on candy canes for as long as I can, savoring that sweetly spicy taste. I love dipping my finger into a bowl of cookie dough batter, tasting the tang of salt and sugar and the occasional chocolate chip. And, surprise surprise, all of these treats make my whole body ache. When I’m alone, indulging my sweet tooth, I always long for a lover to come and kiss his way down my back, his tongue making me melt just like the sugar disappears on my tongue. I long for a gorgeous woman to part my legs and lick me to ecstasy as the sugar soars in my bloodstream. A surefire way to make me melt is to bake for me or simply offer me a sweet treat, preferably consumed directly from your fingertips. Maybe it’s because I have a decided oral fixation, but I’m certainly glad I’m not the only one.

In the scrumptious stories collected in this book, you’ll read about everything from Turkish Delight to cinnamon rolls, pudding to cotton candy, taffy to Twizzlers. These tales are funny and quirky, sensual and tasty. Some are the equivalent of slowly savoring a lollipop or peppermint stick, sucking and sucking until your tongue turns colors. Others are the kind you want to gobble down immediatelyæthe candy bar that you can’t wait until you get home to try, or the ice cream of SékouWrites’s “TimeReleaseDessert,” melting before you’ve had a chance to truly savor it, making you need to eat it in a hurry.

The authors here have gone all out in their quest to show you just how much pleasure can be wrung out of some “Old Fashioned Fudge.” They take you all the way to Italy for some delicious gelato and to New York for some of Magnolia Bakery’s famed cupcakesæbut Stan Kent’s story would’ve been way too racy for Sex and the City. I can guarantee that you’ll never look at a luscious, shiny candy apple in quite the same way after reading Radclyffe’s sizzling “Cinnamon Secrets.” Sacchi Green’s protagonist in “Sugar on Snow” gets asked a vexing question: “Which would you prefer, ravishment or eating?” But these lusty guys and girls know that you can have your dessert and get eaten tooæin fact, they excel at wooing their lovers with sugary delights.

Donna George Storey opens Sex and Candy unfolding “Six Layers of Sweetness” that will arouse and move you, making you yearn to peel back the layers of your desireæand to ask her to make you a Venetian. Then enjoy the guided tour through all manner of candy, baked goods, chocolate, and a few surprises, concluding with my personal favorite, the cupcake, which appears twice, in Jolene Hui’s “Banana Afternoon” and Stan Kent’s closer entitled, simply “Cupcake,.” the word itself a naughty double entendre (if you’ve ever said to someone, “I’d like to taste your cupcakes,” you’ll immediately see what I mean).

To me, sex and candy are two of life’s most perfect delights. Combining them, whether you’re feeding your lover a bit of brownie, getting beaten with a big lollipop, licking ice cream off someone’s chest, smearing frosting all over yourself, or teasing someone by sucking suggestively on a popsicle, can truly make your head spin.

I suggest settling down with some of your favorite candy or sweets, whatever they may beæthis is a book meant to both satisfy and whet your appetites, and I’m pretty sure you’ll finish each story even hungrier, and hornier, than you were when you started.

Rachel Kramer Bussel

New time, 7 pm, December 14, for Sex and Candy party

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rant Rhapsody this Wednesday!

To be totally superficial for two seconds...there are lots of hotties on this lineup! Also, Brooklyn! Not sure what I'm gonna read but probably one of my new erotica stories, maybe "The Depths of Despair," from the fortchoming Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica. There's a short excerpt here. Some of you have seen John Blesso and Andrew Boyd read at In The Flesh (if you haven't, see Part 1 and Part 2 of Andrew's recent Best Of In The Flesh appearance).


That's right, WEDNESDAY! This month, we deviate from our norm to
present this, our "tweener" reading. 'Tween lost weekend and the
weekday grind, 'tween L-Tryptophan and red candy cane, 'tween the
missionary meal and exhibition-ary zeal, err.... you get the idea.
We get it all together at Freddy's Back Room once again, for the last
RantRhapsody of 2007. The beer is cheap, the stories are free, and
the company is top-notch, 'natch. Please join us for the edifying,
amusing, anecdotal, analytical, political, polemical, and poignant
musings of the following angry and/or euphoric writers:

John Blesso, Author, Sharehouse Confidential
Rachel Kramer Bussel, Editor, He's on Top and Shes on Top, and host of In the Flesh
Andew Boyd, Author, Daily Afflictions and PoMo to Go
Orli Van Mourik, Blogger, Neurontic and Contributor, Discover Magazine

Hosted By Brooklyn Rail Contributor, Mark W. Read

When: Wednesday, November 28, 7:00-9:00 pm.
Where: Freddy's Back Room, 485 Dean St., Brooklyn (co. of 6th Ave).
Subway: Q to 7th Av., 2,3 to Bergen St., N,R to Pacific St., 4,5 to
Atlantic Av.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

What it feels like for a girl...who wants to make another girl come

Recently, Jezebel quoted The Assimilated Negro's post about making girls come, and found his whole approach rather lacking. He had written, in part:

It's the ultimate equalizer. If you can get them all flushed and winded and out of control and trembling and just ..... mmmmm. You feel like the Lebron James of labias who just went baseline and dunked on her dome, and you want to stand there and taunt, "Take that!! What say your years of feminist empowerment theory now, beeotch???"

I responded:

I give TAN points for caring about getting girls off cause, well, obviously, plenty of guys don't, and whether he cares because it makes him feel all powerful or for some other reason, that's fine.

TAN has a follow-up post called "It's a Thin Line Between Love and Misogyny" if you want to catch up. (Also, I still have no idea who Lebron James is, and haven't bothered to look it up - sorry.)

So here's my take, starting with an anecdote from a party I attended last night:

I didn't go to the party expecting anything at all amorous to happen, which is sometimes when the hottest things wind up going down. There was a girl there who I've thought was hot since I first met her, but as much as I've flirted with her, it's all been totally lighthearted, and I can safely say that while I've admired her body, I've never had a full-fledged, think-out-every-detail fantasy about her, mostly cause I figured nothing would ever happen. In part because she's involved with someone, and in part because there are people who are just adept at the art of flirting. As my friend G. says, "I flirt with my cat." For them, flirting is just what comes the most naturally, with men or women, and often, regardless of whether they actually want to make out with the person. For me, though, I really only think flirting is worth my time if I have something to back it up. If I'm flirting for a reason, if you will. It's not that I expect it to go anywhere, but if it did, I'd be ready.

Anyway, one minute I'm taking in the gloriously filled apartment and trying to say hi to everyone and ogling cupcakes, and the next I'm on a couch with three other girls, making out with one while another strokes my exposed cleavage. Then someone's tilting a bottle of champagne towards us, and I wonder if it'll just get spilled all over our bodies. I want to take a sip, but am kinda serious about this not drinking thing, so my friend next to me does. We make out some, and then gradually our positions change. My other friend comes by periodically to say, "This is the cute couch!" But then, even though I kindof know people are watching us and can hear them, I tune that all out because the girl, who I'll just call, shockingly, Girl, is demanding my attention. She's even more beautiful right up close than she usually is and I realize that she actually wants to make out, that it wouldn't just be my idea and her reluctantly following. And once I realize that, I just lose myself in her skin. She's warm all over; I keep dipping my fingers into what can only be described as perfect cleavage, cleavage that while, being an opening, a space, is a space I keep wanting to touch almost more than her breasts, a space that seems made for my fingers to sink into. I lift her silky hair and kiss her neck, then lightly brush my tongue over it. I dig my fingers into her back and then she starts making these little noises, kindof like sighs, or maybe they are sighs. All I really know is that every time I hear them, I just want to keep hearing them, and I dig my nails deeper into her skin, once in a while tugging on her hair, running my hands down her back. There's a little while where I'm not doing anything ostensibly sexual, just kneading her back, but I can feel my fingers going into her skin and keep hearing those sighs and by then I'm breathing heavily too, and I shift so I'm straddling her, and I start to realize that this could get very dirty very quickly. I mean, it already is, and I deliberately don't move so my knee is between her legs, pressing against her, because who knows what I'd find there. We break it off soon after and she leaves, and the thing is, even "just" that, some stolen kisses, some copped feels, my hands in her back, tangled in her hair--they were some of the hottest moments I've experienced this year, if ever. And it was mostly those moans that did me in, that let me know that if I got her alone and we could do whatever we wanted, I could make her do more than moan.

And I think that feeling, you could call it power or dominance, but you could also call it lust. But I like it and I'm not ashamed of it. It's intoxicating, and it's also arousing. I think that part is misunderstood. Maybe it's that I tend to be a lot more toppy with girls and bottom-y with guys, but I wouldn't stayed on that couch with her all night (okay, probably if clothes started coming off we'd have been kicked off the couch, but you get my point). Those noises were music to my ears and that was enough. I wouldn't have wanted her to start touching me and be all tit-for-tit reciprocal, because that would've detracted from it for me, in that moment. I wouldn't have been able to concentrate. But I didn't stop thinking about her the rest of the night, not in a OMG-I-want-to-bang-her-kind-of-way, but more in a wow-that-was-one-of-the-best-sweetest-sexiest-nights-I've-had-in-too-long.

In my very first Village Voice column, written what feels like many lifetimes ago, I wrote:

The slut can never get enough; she's consumed by her sexual desire until that is all she is. But what happens when my sexual desire takes the form of wanting to be the fucker rather than the fuckee? It puts me in a slightly awkward position, one that is not always easy to articulate. What does it mean to get off on the idea, image, or reality of being the sexual doer? All too often people perceive that position as the lesser one, with the doer only being used to satisfy someone else's pleasure.

I think for me, part of that power of making anyone come, or come close, or just make those little sighs, is to have them need me. That is probably the thing I'm most a sucker for in any relationship. In that moment, they need me and want me, and that probably sounds more power-mad than I mean it. But it is powerful, heady, important, that feeling of being able to make someone feel something different than what they feel when they're alone, different than what they felt before your bodies connected. For me, orgasm is more of a challenge than anything else. It's not all that simple and I actually don't love being on the other side of that equation most of the time because it often winds up being about something kindof icky and awkward, like the other person has to make me come or they're a failure. I don't see it that way, from either side; I think female orgasm is important, of course, but, say, last night, that wasn't going to happen by nature of the circumstances, but it was still hot, it was still enough to fuel my fantasies, it was enough to let me know that it was mutually pleasurable and not just some silly show. Even though it was "just" a lot of things, it was perfect in and of itself. And I can still hear those little sighs in my head.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My first hardcover

Lots of firsts in my erotica writing career of late...the first time my story was the first story in an anthology ("Live From New York" in Where the Boys Are: Urban Gay Erotica) and now my first story, "Devil's Worship," in a hardcover book, edited by the amazing Zane! Speaking of which, if there are any NYC contributors (or people who'd be willing to travel here) to Succulent: Chocolate Flava II, I'd love to have you read on February 21st at In The Flesh, along with Sex for America editor and contributor, respectively, Stephen Elliott and Nick Flynn. Write me at rachelkramerbussel at for details. And yes, I'm working on getting Zane herself but that looks like a no go, but I'm not giving up!

I'll probably do a giveaway on my blog in February of Succulent: Chocolate Flava II and run a teaser of my story. I've been anxiously awaiting the cover and can say it doesn't disappoint!

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Looking for true erotica for anthology proposal

For a book proposal I'm working on, I need some perfect (meaning finished, don't need much editing, hot, sexy, out there, outrageous, true, etc.) stories of true erotica - basically they should be true stories about sex that read in an erotica way, kinda like Lux Nightmare's play piercing piece from In The Flesh (or some of the other True Sex Confessions we've had). This is NOT a call for submissions, as there's no book yet, but if you or someone you know has a totally on topic, perfect essay, please do send it to me as a double spaced word doc with a title and your full contact info. I'll send more details when I have them; I've been working on this proposal for over a year so my fingers are crossed, I just want to make it as perfect as it can be.

Oh, and I need these ASAP - by Friday, November 39th at noon at the latest, but sooner would be good. If you're unsure, query me about the topic as I don't want to repeat topics, but the more unusual/creative/original and sexy, the better.

Naughty or Nice?

Am at the Danbury Mall shopping up a storm (40% off some great dresses at Express and black and white shoes that I plan to wear to a black and white party on Friday) with my grandmother, after a very nice Thanksgiving with my grandfather and family. Then, it's typing till my fingers bleed for the next little while.

Anyway, there's a new book with my story "Flirting With Santa" out called Naughty or Nice? proving that, yes, even a Jewish girl can write Christmas erotica. You can also win a FREE copy at December 20th's In The Flesh Reading Series or by visiting Alison Tyler over at Lust Bites. And read more about the book at Alison's new blog Got Naughty?

And if you read the intro to my book Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, you'll see that I'm naughty AND nice. At least, I hope so. And if YOU want to do something nice for me, as, maybe, a belated birthday gift or early Hannukah gift, I'd love it if you'd leave a review of one of my books on Amazon, if you liked it (if you didn't, feel free to blog about that!). If you do, drop me a line with your mailing address and I just may send you a little gift.

Also, any day now, I'll have my book Sex and Candy: 22 Succulent Stories in my hot little hands. In the meantime, check out the Sex and Candy blog. Yum! You can pre-order it now, click below:


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More True Sex Confessions on YouTube

Photos from November's In The Flesh are coming soon, too. Now, in addition to the video of Lux Nightmare below, we have more, all shot by Richard Blakeley. Below, in order, is me (Rachel Kramer Bussel on sex and babies), Anna David (reading from her novel-in-progress), Kimberlee Auerbach (reading from her memoir The Devil, The Lovers and Me: My Life in Tarot), Isobella Jade (Coming soon! I'm trying to figure out the problem with this one - on being a nude model), and comedian Rachael Parenta (on blowjobs and figuring out what it means when a guy asks you to come over for "tea"). For those who are wondering, Selina Fire asked not to be filmed. Enjoy! And if you like them, please favorite and rate them well.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Read this: Knock Yourself Up

I just finished reading Louise Sloan's Knock Yourself Up: A Tell-All Guide to Becoming a Single Mom and highly recommend it if anyone's at all thinking about that.

She's got some excerpts up on her site (and for those authors out there looking for models to build your own professional author site, her main site,, is an excellent example. There are also TOTALLY CUTE baby photos, including some of her son with a birthday cupcake! I mean, really, the cuteness is too much. Sloan's doing a reading next Wednesday (so am I, at Rant Rhapsody, or I'd totally go):


Group Reading for Charity, Barnes & Noble Greenwich Village
with Sue Shapiro, Ian Frazier, Alec Wilkinson & Kimberlee Auerbach
a percentage of book sales benefits Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
Time: 7 pm
Location: 396 Sixth Ave. at 8th St.
Cost: Free!

Below is part of the publisher's blurb about the book:

Louise Sloan was ready to have kids at age 28—but her partner wasn’t. Ten years later, after yet another birthday and yet another breakup, she realized she’d better get serious about single motherhood, before her fertility ran out. So began a heartbreaking and hilarious journey that led her to cyberstalking an anonymous sperm donor, running around town with liquid nitrogen tanks full of semen, being mistaken for a horse breeder, nearly getting another girl pregnant—and finally, to being called Mom.

In Knock Yourself Up, you’ll learn what it’s really like to go through the process of becoming a single mother by choice, from the women who’ve done it. From exploding semen vials to shocked parents to sex and dating while artificially inseminating, Sloan candidly shares her experiences and those of 43 other women.

And there's a great Q&A with her at The Urban Muse:

You've gotten some strong reactions from a lot of readers. How do you handle criticism?
Oh, yeah! The reactions to my Q&A were surprisingly mean, and just today I saw a thread on a right-wing website that was even meaner! They actually posted a picture of me when I was pregnant (taken from my book website)--I think it was meant to illustrate that I'm so ugly that of COURSE I had to knock myself up. When I was writing the book, I was totally freaked out by the prospect of criticism. I woke up many mornings with a stomachache at 5 am, feeling uncomfortable about the vulnerability I was exposing in my writing, and afraid of the right-wing bashing I knew I was gonna get and (worse) fearful of snarky, bad reviews and personal attacks from mainstream media. It was pretty awful inside my mind those early mornings, actually. But I thought, you know, I set out to write this and if I focus on protecting myself, the book won't be as good. So I just have to ignore my many fears and insecurities and just try to write this as well as I can.

My review:

Knock Yourself Up is a fascinating, helpful guide to the wide world of single motherhood, as told by the funny and thorough Louise Sloan. I'm 32, and while not yet ready to take the plunge, I wanted to learn more about what might potentially be in my future. There are a lot of issues Sloan disucsses that I'd never considered, such as donor complications, talking to your child about where they came from, and the actual ins and outs of getting pregnant via artificial insemination (the image of the nitrogen tank will certainly stay with me!), and information about things like the Sibling Donor Registry, by which siblings of a given sperm donor can find each other.

To her credit, Sloan shares plenty of her story about being a single lesbian, fresh from a breakup, going through the insemination process solo in order to have her son, Scott, both the highs (taking her son to swing dance class!) and lows (dealing with hemorraghing at the hospital alone, for one). But having the perspectives of so many other women, including their horror and success stories, is what makes this book so valuable. The interviewees talk about everything from the intersection of race, stereotypes, and single parenthood, to how they're perceived by potential dates, neighbors, and peers, the positives of being on their own as well as the loneliness and pitfalls.

The title may be pithy and punchy, but the stories and issues included in Knock Yourself Up let women know that becoming a single mom is doable, but isn't a piece of cake by any means. In some ways, Sloan is a cheerleader for single motherhood, encouraging other women who think they can and want to do it to go for it, but she also very carefully lays out the costs, risks, and cons right along with the pros. From sex and dating as a pregnant woman and single mom, to dealing with well-meaning but often out-to-lunch family members and friends, as well as birthing options and more, this book offers plenty of food for thought for potential moms, especially what to look out for when it comes to choosing a donor, having a support system, and health concerns.

The fact that Sloan found so many of her interviewees via the group Single Mothers by Choice, and the camaraderie many of the women talk about sharing with that group, is comforting. I found the fact that Sex and the City got mentioned multiple times here a bit strange, though perhaps it's simply now a code for living a relatively posh, single city girl lifestyle, as contrasted with one's life as a single mom. Various kinds of single motherhood (from one child to multiple) are put forth here, along with an excellent resource guide for more information. This is an excellent book which I plan to consult again if and when the time comes that I decide to become a single mom.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Pictures of me

With the crazy hot and super talented artist Nikki Cook and the lovely Tobi Elkin...both of whom you will likely encounter if you come to the Shooting War party tonight.

This one's with my friend Nichelle at Saturday's Cupcakes Take the Cake Meetup at Buttercup Bakeshop. Nichelle organized it; both of us brought the cleavage.

How To Play With Needles class November 28th

Just caught this on Waking Vixen - fyi. I will also be reading on Wednesday, November 28th at 7 pm at Freddy's Back Room as part of Mark Read's Rant Rhapsody series, along wtih In The Flesh alums Andrew Boyd and John Blesso. For the record, needles of all kinds scare me. Spankings, I like. But I loved Lux's piece.

Wednesday, November 28th at 7 pm - 9 pm, $25
at Arena Studios, 407 Broome Street, Suite 7A, NYC (part of the Audacia Ray-curated Modified Eros)

How To Play With Needles
When thinking of needles, most people remember of going to the doctor and getting shots. Ick! The last thing that they want to do is play with needles. But once one gets over that fear, playing with needles can be a lot of fun. Play piercing can give you a big endorphin rush. Endorphins are those sensations that your body makes to give you a natural high. Long distance runners experience a runner’s high that is very similar. Needles can leave you a different sort of breathless.

In this class you will learn about tools, supplies, safety, technique, preparation and aftercare. Wanna try needles? We’ll have a hands-on portion for bottoms, tops and switches. Bring a partner, or come alone and we will match people up. Let’s enjoy the endorphins together!

Lolita Wolf loves to play, play, play but is also an activist and an educator, who has shared her knowledge at groups and events around the country. She is a TES Emeritus Board Member, former chair of LSM, Honorary Member of GMSMA, Board Member of Leather Leadership Conference and active with NCSF and Leather Pride Night. She has authored two books: CBT In A Nutshell and Spanking For Pleasure. She blogs about relationships, sex and BDSM/Leather as well as her life in NYC at

Shooting War reading and party tonight

Today is the official release of the graphic novel Shooting War, set in Iraq in 2001, written by Anthony Lappé and illustrated by Dan Goldman, and starring a hipster blogger named Jimmy Burns. I reviewed it in the current issue of Penthouse, and last year interviewed illustrator Dan Goldman. (I also interviewed the Grand Central Publishing editor of Shooting War, Jaime Levine, for Mediabistro.) See for more info on the book and its webcomic origins. (I'd also recommend checking out that site to any authors for how to make a creative, engaging book promotion website that covers all the bases, an increasing necessity to spread the word about your books.)

You can win one of three copies of Shooting War from Fantasy Book Critic.

Signing and Q&A:
Barnes & Noble, 4 Astor Place, NYC 7:00 PM

The Bryant Park Project (NPR) 7:45 AM, EST
Listen live or on Sirius 134 or iTunes

U.S. Book Launch Party
Sutra Lounge, 16 1st. Avenue (between 1st & 2nd St.), NYC
No cover, Drink specials ’til midnight
DJ Chris Annibell from Afrokinetic
Co-sponsored by
8:00 PM - ?


Upcoming events: Book parties, erotica panel, cupcake blog anniversary, and In The Flesh!

I have a bunch of events, which you can find out more about on my website or just see the RSS calendar on the left-hand side here. I promise much fun at the parties and will try to pack as much info into our just-under-an-hour December 1st seminar as possible.

6PM Crossdressing book party

6PM Reception, 7PM Program, $10. With Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel & authors Helen Boyd & Veronica Vera, pictured below

Veronica Vera, reading at True Sex Confessions Night April 18th

"Explore the erotic thrill of crossing the gender divide and mixing things up in these sultry stories about slipping into something more comfortable. From a femme who channels Marlene Dietrich in the sexiest of suits to a high-powered male executive whose tearoom trick is thrilled by his lingerie, these characters boldly indulge their fantasies of being a girl . . . or a guy . . . for a night," according to Crossdressing. Rachel Kramer Bussel is senior editor at Penthouse Variations, host of the In The Flesh Erotic Reading Series, and wrote the popular "Lusty Lady" column for The Village Voice. Helen Boyd is the author of My Husband Betty, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary award, and the follow-up memoir, She's Not the Man I Married. Veronica Vera ( is the author of Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls: Tips, Tales and Teachings from the Dean of the World's First Crossdressing Academy and Miss Vera's Crossdress for Success: A Resource Guide for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. Miss Vera's Academy is in New York City.

December 1, noon
Erotica panel at 20th Annual Independent and Small Press Book Fair
[12:00pm - 12:50pm] In the Flesh: Writing and Publishing Erotica moderated by Rachel Kramer Bussel
With Polly Frost (Deep Inside), Tsaurah Litzky (Erotica Professor, The New School), and Sofia Quintero (Divas Don't Yield, Contributor, Iridescence and Dirty Girls).

The New York Center for Indpendent Publishing is located in the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen Landmark Building at 20 West 44th Street (bet. 5th and 6th Aves) in midtown Manhattan.

December 6, 6 pm - 9 pm
Cupcakes Take the Cake Third Anniversary Party!

RSVP here (and sign up for our monthly Meetup!)

The number #1 blog about cupcakes is celebrating three years of "All Cupcakes, All The Time" with a sweet bash. It's not a costume party, but we encourage you to put on a little frosting because the best cupcake-inspired outfit will win a prize.
There will also be a raffle and CUPCAKES!

Sponsors include: Crumbs, Carolyn's Kitchen, Kumquat Cupcakery and Sugar Sweet Sunshine.

December 14, 7 pm - 8:45 pm
Sex and Candy: 22 Succulent Stories party - Books will be here by then, probably early December, I'll post when they're available for sale, on Amazon or from me. Free cupcakes at party from Kumquat Cupcakery, who makes the perfect size minis right in Williamsburg. Super yum! So yeah, excerpts and details when I actually have the book in my hands; for now, my publisher has a MySpace site and a blog dedicated to sex and candy.

December 20

(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue,
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

Celebrate the sexy holiday spirit with erotic writing from Judy McGuire (How Not to Date), Abiola Abrams (Dare), M. David Hornbuckle (The Salvation of Billy Wayne Carter), Marcelle Manhattan (Sexegesis), and Molly X reading erotic haiku. Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Sex Writing 2008, He’s on Top, She’s on Top). Door prizes include copies of Alison Tyler’s Naughty or Nice: Christmas Erotica Stories. Free candy canes and cupcakes will be served.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Stephen Elliott, Valerie Frankel, Polly Frost, Gael Greene, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Edith Layton, Logan Levkoff, Suzanne PortnoySofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Dana Vachon, Veronica Vera, Susan Wright, and many others. The series has gotten press attention from the New York Times’s UrbanEye, Escape (Hong Kong), Flavorpill, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth. This is not Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending Reading Series.

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Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan - from my Crossdressing blog

I've decided to start dedicated blogs for some of my new books, in part to promote them, in part because I've found there's an ease and focus to a niche blog, like Cupcakes Take the Cake, that I just don't have with this sometimes unwieldy one, not to mention I'm still recovering from being sick and my brain is fog and I have insanely massive deadlines coming up. One big one and multiple tiny ones. This past week I've really been moving quite slowly, miscounting, forgetting, just like there's a thick fog over my brain that can't seem to clear. My body's rebelling against me, giving me acne and then yesterday making me puke up my tea. I'm not sure what's going on and have slept way more than enough; now it's time to get a move on and fight this annoying cold-like thing, and get back to what I'm meant to be doing.

So yeah, 32's been a bit hectic for me, though not all bad. Lots of good conversations with my friends, some lovely dinners at places like Babbo and Lunetta (Smith Street), and I even managed to do 1 squat at 185 pounds last week at CrossFit (I was trying singles for the first time). But it does mean this blog and my inbox are not necessarily getting the attention they deserve for a bit. This also means I may not be replying to email until December, unless it's urgent. So this is a timely post below (I'm Not There opens Wednesday), and you can keep checking it out at for more updates.

Via Ain't It Cool News, a clip from Todd Haynes's forthcoming biopic of Bob Dylan, I'm Not There, with Cate Blanchett playing Dylan, which opens Wednesday:

Rolling Stone says:

Not content with just one actor to portray Dylan in the act of inventing and reinventing himself, Haynes hired six and hit the jackpot with Cate Blanchett. She burns through Haynes' head-trip odyssey like an illuminating torch. Blanchett's soon-to-be-legendary performance is not a stunt, it's some kind of miracle. Playing the skinny, androgynous Dylan in his electric years — when his hair stood on end to match his fried nerves — Blanchett extends the possibilities of acting. You won't see a better example of interpretive art this year by man or woman.


Friday, November 16, 2007

LA and NYC Cupcake Meetups Saturday, November 17th

Both branches of our cupcake Meetups are meeting tomorrow, Saturday, November 17th. Please RSVP at the links below!

Los Angeles Cupcake Meetup, Noon (24 members have RSVPed yes so far!)

at Hot Cakes Bakes
4119 South Centinela (@ the corner of Washington Blvd)
Los Angeles, CA 90066

This is a local Mar Vista bakery, which serves up cupcakes, cakes and macaroons. It's not as popular as the other shops, but we like to try them all, big and small. There's street parking and some spots behind the building too.

Here are some pics from the Hot Cakes Bakes site:

NYC Cupcakes Take the Cake Meetup, 2 pm (48 people have RSVPed yes so far!)

at Buttercup Bakeshop
141 West 72nd Street
New York, NY 10023

Cupcakes Take The Cake is going to the Upper West Side for our next meetup. We are visiting Buttercup Bakeshop. There will be raffle for a prize. I am not sure what the prize will be yet, but it will be cupcake-related. :)

Photos from the Buttercup site:


Lux Nightmare on play piercing at True Sex Confessions Night

I'll have more videos and photos from last night's awesome True Sex Confessions Night at In The Flesh, but wanted to put this up for now. Shot by Richard Blakeley of Lux Nightmare talking about play piercing. Lux is also the co-author of a piece, "The Pink Ghetto (A Four-Part Series)," which I'm publishing in Best Sex Writing 2008, out in early December.

Here's what blogger Tess D of Urban Gypsy had to say about Lux's piece:

Damn Lux Nightmare.

I don’t really know this woman, nor, to my shame, have I kept up with her site,, but after her reading last night at In the Flesh, I fear she has planted an evil seed in my brain. Now, the way my mind works is once an idea gets in there, I can’t rest until I follow it through. What idea did she make sound so fucking super hot, intimate and arousing? Oy vey. Get ready. Needles. Piercing. Play piercing. I am so fucked.

Filled with erotic imagery, Lux read a piece that hypnotized me with its passion and beauty. Her delivery made it clear she was transported back to that first time as she read and she took me along with her. She talked about the needle piercing her flesh, penetrating her, how it hurt - but not so much, how it aroused her and made her feel connected to her lover. Damn, damn, damn. Writing this is making me hot. This feels so wrong, and yet, so insanely right. I’m lucky though, I guess. I don’t know a soul (well I know one, but he’s sadly unavailable to my debauched desires) who I’d trust to stick a needle in my tit.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tonight! In The Flesh!

Get out of the rain, hear sexy stories, and feast on candy, cupcakes, blue corn chips, wasabi peas, and more - snacks galore! And some extra free copies of Colette Gale's debut novel Unmasqued: An Erotic Novel of the Phantom of the Opera - we have something like 17 FREE to give away!

(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey,
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

True Sex Confessions are back, with a wild mix of memoirists, sex bloggers, and comedy. Audience members will have the chance to anonymously share their own confessions as well. With Anna David (Party Girl), Kimberlee Auerbach (The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot), Selina Fire (author of the blog The Real Sex in the City), nude model and memoirist Isobella Jade (Almost 5’4”), altporn pioneer Lux Nightmare (, and comedian Rachael Parenta (Chicks and Giggles). Hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Sex Writing 2008, He’s on Top, She’s on Top). Free candy and cupcakes will be served.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Stephen Elliott, Valerie Frankel, Polly Frost, Gael Greene, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Edith Layton, Logan Levkoff, Suzanne PortnoySofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Dana Vachon, Veronica Vera, Susan Wright, and many others. The series has gotten press attention from the New York Times’s UrbanEye, Escape (Hong Kong), Flavorpill, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Gothamist, and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth. This is not Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending Reading Series.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, conducts interviews for and, and wrote the popular Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice. Her erotic stories have been published in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and she’s edited numerous erotica anthologies, most recently Hide & Seek, Crossdressing, He’s on Top: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance and Female Submission, She’s on Top: Erotic Stories of Female Dominance and Male Submission, and the non-fiction collection Best Sex Writing 2008. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Cosmo UK, Gothamist, Mediabistro, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York and Velvetpark.

Flashing lights

Kimberlee Auerbach is a writer and storyteller who has performed her comedic monologues throughout New York City at venues such as The Original Improv, The Kraine Theater, and The Bitter End. Her one-woman show played to sold-out houses at the New York International Fringe Festival, and she has competed in several Moth GrandSLAM Championships. Her memoir, The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot, was released by Dutton on August 2, 2007. Get more information or become her friend at

Kimberlee Auerbach reads at True Sex Confessions Night November 15th

Anna David has written celebrity cover stories, first-person essays, and reported pieces for The New York Times, The LA Times, Vanity Fair, Playboy, Cosmo, Premiere, Parenting, Us Weekly, Razor, Redbook, Self, Details, Stuff, TV Guide, Women’s Health, Teen Vogue, Variety, The New York Post, LA Confidential and Maxim, among others. She’s been quoted in newspapers and magazines across the country. In addition to answering viewers’ sex and relationship questions on G4’s Attack of the Show, Anna appears regularly on Today, Hannity & Colmes and Showbiz Tonight (CNN). She has also been featured on various other shows on Fox, NBC, MSNBC, ESPN, MTV News, CNN, E!, and VH1. An essay of hers appeared in this summer's Dutton anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and she produced the reality television pilot of her Playboy story "Sex and Two Cities" for TBS. Party Girl, which was released in May, 2007 from HarperCollins, is her first novel. The book is being translated into Russian and Italian and Sony Television has bought the television film rights. Anna's second novel, Kept, is in the process of being sold now.

Selina Fire is a lifelong New Yorker whose passion is sex. She is a writer, sex-positive activist and organizer. She writes for Penthouse Forum, and blogs her purely prurient Sex in the City: The Real Version, at

Isobella Jade started off as a muddy sneaker-wearing, upstate Cross Country runner and became a nude model by age nineteen, and then grabbed her bootstraps posing for magazines and ad campaigns such as Conde Nast, Stuff magazine, Women's World, Univision, MTV, Braun Razor and Marshalls, and then became an author regardless of grammar in her memoir Almost 5'4": Confessions of an Unconventional Model, all before she was 25 years old. She has been featured on Gawker, Media Bistro, Mac Life magazine, Page Six, Advertising Age and Yahoo!, and is a wizard of self promotion and yet she is always the girl next door with coffee stained jeans and wobbling in her highest heels no matter the weather, and always gives the homeless singers on the 2 train a dime or dollar when she has one.

Lux Nightmare has been obsessed with the Internet since 1994, obsessed with computers since 1987, and obsessed with sex since 1982. Career highlights include founding and running That Strange Girl (the first altporn site to feature both male and female models), interning at Nerve (back when it was cool), and keeping the masses educated about sex for the past ten years. She currently serves as editor of, a blog about sex and culture.

Rachael Parenta recorded her cell phone voice mail message in the third person. Some people say that is crazy. However no one has complained about her bio being composed in the 3rd person. Apparently that is perfectly socially acceptable. A number of people have suggested that Ms. Parenta found the courage to challenge social norms at Emerson College where she earned a B.F.A. in Performing Arts. Others feel that’s just the way stand-up comedians, such as Rachael, behave. Who knows? But, the third person seems to work for Rachael Parenta as she has performed her stand-up all over the country, contributed, had several plays produced, and appeared on the Richard Simmons Show in 1983.

Rachael Parenta reads at True Sex Confessions Night, November 15th


My controversial, nipple-baring Dirty Girls book cover

Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, out in February from Seal Press

I had no idea that the book cover for Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women (which will be out in April, but has its very own blog!), which I've been drooling over since I first saw it, would be so controversial. But apparently it is, as it's been singled out by erotica author Mathilde Madden over at Lust Bites:

And, look, while we’re celebrating male beauty can I just say, what the fuck is up with the book covers of erotica books for women that they have naked chicks on the covers? This book cover baffles me. There, are more like this, of course - girlie covers of erotica books - but this one seems so very FHM. Could they not find a picture of someone the gender the majority of women fantasise about the majority of the time?...

I mean god forbid a women's erotica book should be sold by *gasp* objectifying men. I know some women are into women. And sure women are pretty (though not as pretty as men.) But we know this isn't what this is about. In fact, whenever I see a cover like that I feel damn certain the book isn't really aimed at women at all. And it's not as if the world is short of pretty pictures of women - for those who like looking at pretty pictures of women.

I could let this go, and it’s not that I’m personally offended, because I didn’t pick the cover (though I do love it). But I think there’s a bigger point that needs to be made: when you read erotica, you can read it in numerous ways, and two of the varying ways are as either party in the story. Let’s say there’s a man and a woman in a given erotica story (and TRUST ME, in Dirty Girls there’s plenty of sex that involves more than two people, and not all of them heterosexual). I like the fact that I can identify with, for example, my own protagonist in “Icy Hot,” who seduces a stranger on a boiling hot day in a bodega, all over a bag of ice. But I could also, even though he’s really the object and not the subject of the story, identify with the guy who has this woman practically jumping on him and following him home so he can tease her with ice cubes all over her body. As readers, we get to identify with either, or both, of those people.

I’ve plenty of submissive types tell me they loved He’s on Top and/or She’s on Top, because even though the stories were told from the tops’ POVs, they also encompassed the bottoms’ needs and desires. I read both ways, depending on the story, but I have to say, I personally tend to be drawn to images of women, even though I’m attracted to both men and women.

Also, the book’s subtitle is “erotica for women,” and the stories are written by women, and it’s being published by a feminist press, so if you ask me, putting a man on the cover would’ve been totally antithetical to what the book is ostensibly about. I actually would probably feel really uncomfortable having a man on my book cover…unless my book’s main character was a guy.

This reminds me over another crazy-hot cover, Violet Blue’s Best Women’s Erotica 2008, (pictured below) for which I broke my self-imposed no-reading-erotica-on-the-subway, and it was so worth it. I’ll post more about it when I’m done, but buy it and treasure it for Violet’s intro, which is worth the price of the book alone, it’s that hot but also heartfelt. Anyway, I was studying the cover because I think it’s incredibly hot. Book covers have tough jobs; they have to grab the reader, they have to encapsulate what an entire book is about with a single (usually) image. It’s a tough balance, especially with erotica, because clearly, if someone is turned off from that image, if the model is too ____ for their taste, they may walk away from a book whose insides would make them rush off to get their hands down their pants (or up their skirts) ASAP.

Violet Blue's Best Women's Erotica 2008

I don’t think it’s a conspiracy to keep hot, shirtless men off book covers, but more a business decisionæthat women want to see women. Now, I’m not saying there can’t be a sexist angle to this. I was talking about something related to this subject recently, though can’t recall exactly what it was, and someone said, “Well, women are just hotter, right?” I think that’s insulting to everyone; there are, of course, standards of beauty, but I think there are multiple standards. It’s why the whole CWILF/FLILF thing kinda irks me, because basically what’s being put out there is that nobody on earth would ever want to fuck/fantasize about these men. Well, news flash, somebody does. But I think what book covers are trying to tap into is a fantasy of someone we’d like to be, or get to know.

When I see the Dirty Girls cover, I see a woman who’s bold and daring enough to stare right back at the camera, even with her clothes off. To claim her nudity, her sexuality, to defy that dreadful phrase I had to read ad nauseam as a women’s studies major, “the male gaze.” I say that not because that gaze doesn’t exist, but because I think that in some circles, feminist/women’s studies almost privileges it too much. We are in an era where we all get to gaze, and this woman is gazing right back at whoever’s looking at her. She’s sexualized and sexual.

One of the women I asked to blurb the book (I’m waiting for her blurb right now!) is Burning Angel superstar Joanna Angel, because I think she embodies that particular form of out-there exhibitionism. It’s a pretty bold, in-your-face, unapologetic, horny, yet also soulful and sensual way of being. Or, as I write in the introduction to Dirty Girls, which you can read in its entirety here:

The women writing here don’t apologize for being dirty. They know who and what they want and they go after the objects of their affection in all kinds of different ways. Reading this collection_whether from start to finish or skipping around to your favorite authors or the most eye-catching titles_will give you a glimpse into what makes women wet, what makes us feel and act dirty, what makes us slick our lips and spread our legs. Maybe, just maybe, their stories attempt to answer Freud’s infamously infuriating query: “What do women want?” To judge by the twenty-seven tales you hold in your hand, they want to be worshiped, they want to be ordered around, they want to be sent spinning into ecstasy and then come crashing back down. They want strangers bearing ice cubes on a hot day, and to be a party favor passed around among guests. They want hot vacation sex, visits to peep shows, and a man who’ll lick stinky cheese off their boots. They want power, and they want to give up power. They want sex at the office and in the great outdoors and on trains and airplanes. They want sex with the whole United States of America (or, at least, part of it). They want to be wooed, seduced, flirted with, taken. They want men, women, and sometimes both at the same time.

And hey, while we’re on the topic of hot book covers, I must throw in one more, for Rubber Sex, out in May, cause I’m seeing it for the very first time:

Cover of Rubber Sex

See also Smart Bitches Who Read Trashy Books, on book covers.

I’d love to hear what you think (here or at rachelkb at about this topic, what your favorite erotica book covers are, and what makes you pick up (or put own) a given erotica book. And whatever you like about a book cover, I wish you happy reading once you get to what's inside.

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Yes, this is me

No, I'm not sure how old I am here. More, um, adult photos, coming soon.

Yes, it's me

Two sensuous women

Backstage at The Sensuous Woman:

Margaret Cho and Molly Crabapple, via Molly's Flickr

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Say What You MEAN

These are being sold on Etsy - they're the perfect anti-gift! (via AVN blog)

They're "hand-embroidered and sewn deliberately with hostility and mean-spiritedness in mind."

These are the ones they have in stock:

Assface (lime on aqua fabric)
Ballsface (aqua on brown fabric)
Bitchass (grey on lavender fabric)
Dickbomb (aqua on orange fabric)
Deadshit (brown on red fabric)
Douchelord (magenta on lime fabric)
Dumbfuck (aqua on red fabric)
Jerkface (aqua on grey fabric)
Fuckass (black on aqua fabric)
Fuckstick (red on aqua fabric)
Polesmoker (grey on lime fabric)
Punkass (magenta on grey fabric)
Sanchface (hint: post-dirty sanchez) (brown on aqua fabric)
Slutmouth (red on lavender fabric)
Twatbomb (magenta on pink fabric)
Whoremouth (magenta on lavender fabric)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Readings this week: Desire and True Sex Confessions

So my voice may be a little quieter than usual due to this ongoing cold, but I am doing two readings this week. First up is tonight, Wednesday, December 14th, 7 pm, at KGB Bar for Lisa Solod Warren's anthology Desire: Women Write About Wanting. It's my third time reading the piece, one I wrote just about a year ago, and, well, I think then I can safely retire my 31st birthday and all its attendant memories. Well, ah, if only it were that easy, and the sex was the least of it. It's still so trippy to me, and I'm glad I wrote my essay before that relationship combusted; it's like my own little time capsule. Mind you, I still worry about the exact same things, just in new and more twisted ways, though I don't worry about it too much. Below is a video clip of me reading from this essay in April at In The Flesh; I'll try to read from a different section of the essay tonight. Then, of course, tomorrow is a very food-filled, free-book-filled, and awesome-lady-confession-filled In The Flesh at Happy Ending Lounge, 302 Broome Street, 8 pm.

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Cuddling at 32

So, to catch up, I turned 32 on Saturday. I did not go to a strip club because I've been pretty sick with whatever this thing going around is. I slept most of Saturday and then the very kind Jahfurry invited me out to Planet Thailand with a bunch of people, so I ate steak and scallops and tried to make conversation before going back home and collapsing. Also, um...I'm not dating the SF boy anymore, and I'm kindof seeing someone here in New York. I guess it's not really "kindof" but I keep calling it that. I've now told three people that we're "kindof" dating, then tried to amend that, mostly because I hate that weird labelling that goes on and don't want to jinx anything and just, I don't know, I feel ridiculous for even having to update that here, and yet it's sortof necessary. But anyway...

Sunday I got some work done and then went over to the boy's apartment. I had books to read for review and he had work to do, and I was still kinda not feeling so well. He made dinner and then I washed the dishes, and then I cleaned his oven. I can't really type that phrase without it sounding somewhat dirty, cause that's just how I am. It did actually turn me on somewhat, not like I was panting with lust as I scrubbed the oven, but more like I enjoyed the process of watching it go from grimy to white and sparkly, and moreso, that it felt very girlfriendy to be doing it. I do, in fact, clean the kitchens of people I'm not dating or even interested in like that, but it's more fun when I also get to make out with them. Then I went to his room and he slept and I read and we cuddled.

I would occasionally put my head down and just listen to him snoring in my ear. There's something really intimate to me about that, to be next to someone when they're sleeping, to get to watch them or just hear them when they're pretty much conked out. If I moved a little bit, he'd reach out and grab me and pull me closer, and I was just totally happy to be there like that. It feels a little silly to be all dorky about cuddling. Like, shouldn't 32-year-olds be thinking about more important things, like babies? And oh, I am. I'm reading Knock Yourself Up and eating crackers with my almost 2-year-old cousin Adam and drooling over cute babies online. But I've also chilled out a bit on the baby front, because these days, I can barely take care of myself. I feel like that will happen in good time, and now is a time for, well, me.

A while ago, Andrew Boyd read at In The Flesh from a piece called "How to Cuddle." It wasn't a silly how-to, but a really sweet and sexy piece whose details elude me but that I hope gets published someday. It was, as I recall, about the ways sex and cuddling are alike, and yet are different. I had a lover once say, "Cuddling is the best part of sex," and it was very interesting, because he's not the kind of person you'd ever think would say that.

For me, it's not an either/or thing, but made me realize, yet again, that I really don't want to have sex with anyone I can't also cuddle with and talk to. And by that, I mean really cuddle with and really talk to. I remember an ancient 90210 (I guess they're all ancient now) where I forget if it was Kelly or Andrea or Brenda yelling it, but I think it was Kelly to Brandon, "Sex doesn't bring people together; it just tears them farther apart." (And that may not be the exact quote, but is the gist of it.) At the time, I was probably a virgin, and didn't really know what she was talking about. Now, well, I do. I've had more than enough moments where I thought I was having sex with someone not as a way to be closer, but that that would be a natural byproduct of sex, and it just wasn't. After we started sleeping together, I felt more skittish, nervous, slutty, what have you. There were more things to worry about and question, more potential faux pas, more ways I could somehow manage to fuck things up. There was this huge gap between the supposed intimacy we were sharing and real intimacy. I had an experience like that this summer, where I went to sleep in someone else's bed, by myself (they slept on the couch), and felt more lonely than I could remember being in ages. I hate that feeling, where even when you're as physically close as can be, you know their mind is somewhere so far away from yours.

I like to think that I'm pretty low maintenance relationship-wise, and I think I've written this before, but I'm really not. If I'm going to go there with someone, it seems pointless to do so only halfway, to share their body but not their mind. Sometimes I think maybe that's too much to ask, and yet without it, I feel like I may as well be on my own. I'm not much of a free-for-all cuddler. I've been to two cuddle parties and had a decent time, but that kind of touching isn't something I can relax into easily. That's not to say it takes me forever, but I usually know within minutes of meeting someone whether I'm interested in making out with them or not. Sometimes I change my mind but usually that's how it goes, and these days I don't make out with anyone I can't see myself cuddling with.

Someone recently wrote about me:

"...she writes like sex truly IS the center of her existence -- and yet she's vulnerable-seeming and almost innocent in her lusts." At first I read that and got kindof defensive, because sex isn't really at the center of my existence. It's at the center of my writing, to be sure, and I probably blur the line between my life and my writing way too much, but am I obsessed with sex? I don't tend to think so. There are moments when I am, when, physically, that desire tends to overwhelm all others. Once, I stayed over at S.'s, and we wound up falling asleep and not getting around to the sex. In the morning, on our way in and out of the shower, he apologized about that, and I felt really sad that he would think that's the only reason I wanted to be there. In hindsight, obviously, I can see that that's how he relates to women and that really would be the only reason, in his eyes, I would be there, but it wasn't mine. I'll just leave that there; suffice it to say, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, in trying to puzzle out what the hell I've done with the last year of my life, I've just had to accept that as much as I am over him, I'm also not in some ways. I still don't just feel neutral or nothing, I still kinda freak out when I hear his name. I feel like people think I'm some kind of bomb waiting to go off around him, and, well, maybe I am. I don't know, though I'm probably much more likely to burst into tears than start screaming and throwing things, that I just do in my head. Actually, the whole thing just makes me sad, and maybe a little nauseous, but what I've tried my best to do is not repeat the same mistakes. Not imbue other people with qualities they may not actually have. Not fall so hard that it's impossible to pick myself back up. That's a tough one for me because I fall pretty hard. Not always, certainly, but often.

So like with a lot of things, and much easier said than done, I'm just taking it one day at a time. I don't want to be the girl with crazy unrealistic expectations, but I also don't want to be so pessimistic I doom any relationships to failure before they start. As I tried to turn the pages of my book as quietly as I could, I was just really conscious of enjoying the moment, the slowness of a Sunday afternoon in someone else's bed, where it wasn't about sex, but wasn't altogether not about it either.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Me with Vanessa del Rio!

With Vanessa del Rio!

At the Taschen party for the release of Vanessa del Rio's autobiography Vanessa del Rio: Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior. I interviewed her for Penthouse a few months ago and she was awesome; the book is beautiful, as befitting its fancy, limited edition status (and price of $1,000!). They were also showing some videos of Vanessa in action, and she had this little dog with her, I'm assuming her dog, who was dressed to match her awesome outfit. Photo by Veronica Vera.

Tonight: Modified Eros and The Fuck Monkeys Unite

I'll be celebrating my birthday, as I said, with friends, Mexican food, and strippers, but there are two very awesome events tonight I encourage you to check out (and obviously mark your calendars for Thusday, November 15th, True Sex Confessions Night at In The Flesh)

See Waking Vixen post for more info and naked photos.

Date: Friday, November 9th, 7-10 pm
Location: Arena Studios, 407 Broome Street, Suite 7A, New York, NY


See also:

No Philly spanking workshop/Birthday plans

I'm not going to Philly tomorrow for Red Hot Philadelphia to do the spanking workshop (but I encourage any Philly readers to check out what else they've got going on!). I realized that doing an event I wasn't getting paid for, schlepping around when I'm still kinda sick (have had an ongoing sore throat/headache/cold thing going all week that keeps tripping me up), and getting spanked by strangers was just NOT how I want to spend my birthday. Yes, tomorrow I turn 32.

Tonight I'm celebrating with awesome friends, Mexican food, and strippers. Hot. Today also marks 5 weeks of no Diet Coke. Hard to believe; if you'd told me that a year ago, I would've totally laughed in your face.


Tomorrow I'm going to see the erstwhile Liz and Lisa, aka, the lovely and brilliant Elizabeth Mitchell of Ida and You Are My Flower fame and Lisa Loeb at Symphony Space at 11 am for a kiddie concert. So can't wait and, despite the name of this silly blog and whatever other stuff I do, I'd infinitely rather go to a kids music concert than do a spanking workshop (though the original plan was to do both). I am toying with the idea of some workshops in 2008, but probably more on the erotic writing end (there's one I'm teaching at Babeland on January 27th, so mark your calendars).

Just Kidding Club Day!

Symphony Space favorite Elizabeth Mitchell returns, bringing along special guest Lisa Loeb, offering the sweet original songs, classic folk tunes and varied classic covers (everything from Velvet Underground to Bob Marley) that make her a favorite year after year! She and her band move upstairs after selling out three shows in the Thalia - get your tickets early! "I love it…handmade music filled with unexpected twists and turns. Soulful and sincere." (Dan Zanes) All ages.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sarah Leavitt's My Mom Got Sick and Died

From Maisonneuve:

Graphic memoirist Sarah Leavitt may draw within boxes, but she lives outside them. For six years, she kept a journal in pictures of her mother’s final years with early onset Alzheimer’s. “I had to record this strange experience.” She crafted a chapbook in the summer of 2005 and enrolled at the University of British Columbia where one of her instructors told her she’d found her medium in the graphic novel. She scrapped the prose project she had planned and went on to submit the first illustrated MFA thesis that UBC’s creative writing department had seen in its 42-year history. Leavitt is now seeking a publisher for her graphic memoir, My Mom Got Sick and Died, in which she writes candidly—sometimes heartbreakingly so—about her mother’s death, and through comedy and grief, reveals intimate details that speak to the strength of love.

Megan Stewart: At what point did you begin writing and illustrating the story of your mother’s experience with Alzheimer’s?

Sarah Leavitt: I started writing about my mom in my journal in 1998, when we first saw signs that she was ill. It was such a strange experience to watch my mom slowly lose her memory and her ability to speak and move. When I was with her I would draw sketches of our interactions and make notes of the strange things she said—like she would lose words or make up new ones or just say things that did not make sense. I tried to record the moments that broke my heart most as well as those that were funny or joyful.

MS: The text and illustrations in your graphic memoir are all done by hand, and could be called coarse and makeshift, but the effect is inviting, even conversational.

SL: Coarse? Makeshift? Hmmm. Do you mean sketchy? Not slick? Simple? That's how I have always drawn and written. And I think that is why the graphic novel is the form that I'm working in. It's a very instinctive or immediate way for me to work. I am always drawing, doodling, sketching—and also writing notes about things I see and think. So the graphic novel is like a polishing of this.

Read the whole interview


Light Bright boobs!

From Boinkology, made with the Light Bright emulator. The very cute and charming Richard Blakely at Boinkology is challenging readers to make the best Light Bright boobies you can. Deadline is December 1st!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ian Svenonius, Ian MacKaye, Tama Janowitz, Katha Pollitt and me

We're all doing panels on December 1st at the 2007 Independent & Small Press Book Fair!

A proper writeup soon, but mine's at noon and is called "In The Flesh: Writing and Publishing Erotica," and it's got me moderating, with New School erotica professor Tsaurah Litzky, Deep Inside and "Sex Scenes" author Polly Frost, and Divas Don't Yield author and contributor to Iridescence and Dirty Girls Sofia Quintero.

We'll be talking and doing a Q&A all about getting your erotica published!


Missed Connections comics anthology call for submissions!

Cartoonist Julia Hertz wants your artwork about Missed Connections for her anthology I Saw You: Missed Connection Comics, to be published by Three Rivers/Random House. Deadline is December 1, 2007. Details below. (via The Daily Cross Hatch, which you should be reading daily, it's that awesome)

Visit her blog about the book to see the list of contributors thus far and visit her Flickr page to see some of the artwork that will be in the book.

While Craigslist offers a variety of public services from apartments to one night flings, the Missed Connection ads offers a tender insight into a world of people who run around the city making eye contact with strangers and falling instantly and madly in love. And what better way to pay homage to such unrequited love than to exploit it in a comic book?

“I Saw You…” is an illustrated anthology of Craigslist, newspaper and weekly's missed connection ads edited by Julia Wertz of the Fart Party.