Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

My visit to LACMA

I went to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) yesterday. Here are a few photos - the Rothko was for my friend Twanna, who loves can't stand Rothko. I liked the Barbara Kruger elevator in BCAM, the last section we visited, which was full of over-the-top modern art, like Jeff Koons' exhibit of 3 signed basketballs floating in water.

I'm watching the sun come up from the 30th floor of my beautiful hotel room, that has almost everything (except E!). Gotta get back into writing mode today, especially because I check out tomorrow. Excited to hear people are coming to tomorrow's reading, but want to make sure it gets the proper buzz, otherwise I'll feel a little silly for being out here, though I can't deny that a sunny day instead of the snow is rejuvenating, as has been the entire luxury of this trip. I'm still getting used to my new laptop, realizing little things, like the fact that the keys are faster to type with.

And yes, there is something a little not the point about taking photographs in a museum. For me it's a way to remember art that particularly piqued my interest.

me with a Rothko

"Cold Shoulder" by Roy Lichtenstein

"Untitled (Comb) by Vija Climens

not sure of titles, but the juxtaposition was jarring

There'd be no way to capture an entire elevator shaft on my camera, nor, do I think, we are meant to. I am a big Barbara Kruger fan, though of course, the question of whether art is another commodity like the ones she lists is, well, open to debate. It came on the heels of a very interesting discussion about art and law and fair use, whose intersection, though I dropped out of law school, fascinate me.

Bonus link and quote by Barbara Rose about performance artist Orlan, who I was impressed that my museum mate could remember about an hour after I first brought her up.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

New hotel room view

I left the Kyoto Grand because I had accidentally only booked it for one I'm somewhere much more glam, on the 30th floor!


Book trailer for Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex

I'm SO happy with the way this book trailer, my 8th (I'm working on getting them all up on my site in one spot, but the previous trailers have been for Spanked, Do Not Disturb, Peep Show, Fast Girls, Orgasmic, Please, Sir and Passion). Below the trailer I've posted the authors who contributed to it!

Trailer contributors (in order of appearance):

Christen Clifford
"After Ten Years"

Giselle Renarde
"Meet Me In The Kitchen"

Andrea Dale
"Wasn't It Good"

Shanna Germain

Elizabeth Daniels
"Dining In The Dark"


Marina Saint
"Eat Me"

Jeremy Edwards
"No Blame, No Shame"

Heather Lin
"Seven-Letter Word"

Kay Jaybee
"The Advantage of Working
From Home"

Vampirique Dezire
"A Forced Witness"


Rachel Kramer Bussel

Kirsty Logan

Anya Levin
"Continuing Education"

Helia Brookes
"Over The Line"

Donna George Storey

Trailer by What That Noise Productions.

Here's a screen capture from my iPhone from the Blip version (we used TubeMogul to put it up in as many places as we could):

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Rejected by Brevity: "Wannabe Housewife"

I still have a very love/hate relationship with posting personal, revealing things here, but if I'm ever going to be a writer (I guess I already am, but I mean, in a bigger, better way), I have to stop caring about the judgments. So I submitted this to the journal Brevity, a venue I'm determined to crack and learn how to write succinct essays. It got rejected, but since it's set in LA, on the trip before the last one, I thought I might share it here. I didn't go back and re-edit it for this blog, or even reread it. I am grateful for the rejection for forcing me to study and analyze the writing there and try to come up with something that will work. I have a few essays and stories lurking on the edges of my mind.

I will say I spent so much of last year lamenting missing people, lamenting the things I did wrong in so many relationships. I think there is a value in figuring out where I can be a better person, where I've hurt people, but I also think there's a way that can become an endless loop that just makes you feel awful. So I was trying to capture a moment I still remember so well - I wrote my tattoo essay in that hotel room - where I was really happy and hopeful. And I still am, I just am trying not to focus all that hopefulness outside of me and onto other people, and onto the parts of my life I can control and have a say in.

California is such a weird state for me; the Bay Area is like the ex capital for me (more on that later, but let's just say, I'm so glad I'm single), and weird things happen to me in Los Angeles. Hopefully not this time around!

Wannabe Housewife
by Rachel Kramer Bussel

I’m shopping at a Vons at a strip mall in Burbank, California. It’s the middle of the day, and we’re in the middle of a heat wave, the kind where simply crossing the street makes you forget everything you ever liked about the sun and think of it as an evil force you must escape from by any means necessary. In this case, that means a grocery store, plus, I need water. Everything about this is surreal; I live in Brooklyn, I have a 9-to-5 job. Most salient, though, is the fact that I don’t cook, yet suddenly, surrounded by endless aisles of foods I didn’t even know existed, along with some I did, I have this urge to cook⎯not for me, but for him, the boy who’s hotel room I’m borrowing for the day.

I say boy but really he’s a man, of course, but I like saying boy. His hands remind me of a boy’s, small and soft and sweet, unlike the rest of him. He can be sweet, but he can also be tough, prickly, hard to read. Even though he has one of the biggest penises I’ve ever seen, his hands are my favorite part of his body. I held one in mine as we fell asleep the night before in the giant hotel bed, the best kind.

As I stroll past the industrial size packages of beef jerky, I start to think about what he might want to eat, what might be helpful after a long day. I start to imagine myself rushing home to him with groceries, spending the day in an apron, in a kitchen. Not a specific kitchen, not his, or mine, but a fantasy one, in a big suburban house, not either of our Brooklyn kitchens.

Maybe because I’ve never spent a day, or even a night, whipping myself into a frenzy to cook anything, I find this image sexy. I like the idea of him off working and me home, alternating writing and cooking as seamlessly as one might cracking one egg, then moving on to the next⎯if one were good at cracking eggs.

Even though I’m going back home tonight, I say yes when asked if I want a Vons club card. You never know; maybe I’ll be back, right here, in this very same strip mall. Maybe I’ll even be staying with him.

I wind up buying the giant bag of beef jerky for myself, and a gallon of water for him. It’s hot out there, even though we’re in a luxury hotel. I don’t want him to get dehydrated.

We don’t have that kind of relationship, one where we worry about each other’s health, at least, not officially. I feel like such a girl, but, well, I am one, even at 34; maybe I’ll always be. I want to be the girl to his boy, no matter how many women’s studies classes I took deconstructing those notions. I want him to want me to feed him, comfort him, love him. That is what Vons makes me think about, when I’m not marveling over things like s’mores Goldfish crackers and Scrabble Junior™ Cheez-It®s, and wondering when the last time I actually shopped in a supermarket was.

Later that night, on my way to the airport, I ask the cab to drop me off. I was given five sandwiches for free, and, while delicious, even I can only eat so many spicy cold cuts. I’ve saved the spiciest one for him. This is my version of being a housewife; I rush out of the cab and tell the clerk his name and room number. I’ve scrawled my name on the label so he knows who it’s from, texting him to let him know I’m dropping something off. I leave as the clerk is picking up the phone to dial, slipping into the backseat, thankful we’re mere minutes from the airport.

I never hear back from him as to whether he got the sandwich, whether he liked it, and I’m too prideful to ask. “Maybe he never got it,” a friend suggests, and I picture the clerk, who’d seemed kind and professional, putting the phone down the moment I’d departed and helping himself to the soppressata.

I don’t ask in part because I don’t want to ruin the fantasy, to release myself from all I’ve invested in that sandwich. I still don’t know how to cook, despite an hour in the air-conditioned grocery store. Maybe it’s time I learn.

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Listen to me read hamburger erotica, hold a dripping penis candle and talk sex

Click here to listen to me and Shameless author Pamela Madsen last night on The Dr. Susan Block Show - photos coming soon! I held a red penis candle from Lucky Mojo and read part of "Eat Me," the hamburger erotica story by Marina Saint (aka, um, me) in Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex and we chatted about erotic massage and other topics.

I also got to meet the very sexy Pleasure Mechanics who, well, were very hot in their mechanics uniforms and, I believe, will be on hand (ha!) live on Tuesday night at Coco de Mer. I totally want to know about their foot massage. Their videos offer guides to fingering, butt play, prostate massage and more. Plus their outfits! Could inspire a ton of erotica stories...just saying.

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Hot cover of my new book Surrender: Erotic Tales of Female Pleasure and Submission

In a few weeks, like just in time for Valentine's Day, my new book Surrender: Erotic Tales of Female Pleasure and Submission will be out. Even more excitingly, the cover was shot by the wonderful Barbara Nitke, whose work I've been a huge fan of for many years, and whose memoir I still hope Judith Regan or someone else very smart and wise resurrects because I still want to read it! There will be a Kindle edition too, I'll keep you posted and will post the Table of Contents when I find it in my inbox, busy few days ahead in LA. When I get home, one of my projects to tackle is finally recording some audio of my stories on my new voice recorder. I have the batteries and instructions and just need to get over my fear.

Want to find out how to get your free copy to review on There are only 20 available (I'll take this part down once those are spoken for). See this Tweet - and follow me on Twitter if you want to be part of these giveaways going forward. I so appreciate all my dedicated Amazon reviewers, new and old.

Order Surrender from:

Kindle edition (coming soon) (Barnes & Noble)




IndieBound (find your local independent bookstore)

Cleis Press

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Hello Kitty and NSFW stickers on my new MacBook Pro

Bought the Hello Kitty sticker last night in the Sanrio store in Japanese Village, where I also snapped the $300 stuffed animal below! The NSFW sticker was given to me by Violet Blue at our reading at Booksmith!

And while I'm Hello Kitty geeking out, check out some other things I saw there:

Hello Kitty press-on nails

Hello Kitty hair dryers and curling iron

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Free champagne & cupcakes, 4 authors & 4 hot off the press books!

Free champagne & cupcakes! Plus a fabulous segment of female writers writing about sex in different ways. You don't want to miss it, I promise! Please tell your Los Angeles friends if you's a handy Facebook link. I put the Best Bondage Erotica 2011 cover because it's my favorite (and 2012 will be just as hot, out around my 36th birthday this November!), but Gotta Have It will also be for sale.

February 1, 7 pm
Join award-winning author and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel (Gotta Have It, Orgasmic) along with erotic romance novelist Eden Bradley (The Lovers), and memoir writers Pamela Madsen(Shameless) and Oriana Small, aka Ashley Blue (Girlvert) for a night of hot readings and free champagne and cupcakes in this beautiful setting!
At Coco de Mer, 8618 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

I know our photos are above, but here are bigger versions.

Eden Bradley

Rachel Kramer Bussel

Pamela Madsen

Oriana Small (aka Ashley Blue)

and just for fun, me and Oriana last year at the West Hollywood Book Fair:

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

My sexy new laptop case

While I was splurging, I decided to buy this. My goal is to streamline all of the stuff I lug around. Not on this trip, when a very kind Virgin America staffer named Elmer helped duct taped my luggage, but when I get home. How pretty is this? I'm in LA, may have to change hotels because I mistakenly booked one night, but it'll be an adventure. I'm just so happy to be in one city in the sun for a few days and to finally focus on the writing I need and want to do. I love traveling and exploring and seeing old friends and exploring new things, but the pace of the last few days was a little crazy for me. I wasn't up or out very late but I fell into bed exhausted, and I have 3 days to promote the hell out of this reading Tuesday night (at Coco de Mer!) and not take the subway and just have some room for my brain to mellow out. And learn the quirks of this computer. Also: the Gotta Have It trailer is debuting very soon! So proud of it.

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Last night at Booksmith, in photos

I have to run a few errands, like buying a case for my pretty new laptop (though I must admit, Tantek showed up and pulled out his 11-inch MacBook Air last night and it was so light, I wondered if that would't have been the better option), then catch a plane to Los Angeles - I'm on the Dr. Susan Block Show tonight, and I want to get me and all my huge amount of belongings settled into my hotel and just write. No dates, no ice skating, no phone calls, at least, for one day. I've been running around nonstop and have been feeling physically off. I Tweeted that the reading would be a success if I didn't cry. I didn't, at least, not on the outside, not there. At Booksmith I was proud of myself for reading that totally fraught story and so happy to hear my fellow authors. The after where I was a little sad, where I could recall exact phone calls made from exact streets, plans and dreams and fantasies, that was, well, after. That's another story for another time, but I was happy to remember some of the good parts, the ones that make anything not-so-good worth it.

photo of me before the reading by Violet Blue via Flickr - to be totally vain for a moment, I love this photo!

I will write more about how Booksmith is the best place ever to do readings; if you want to watch last night's, Click here. Thanks to everyone who showed up, to the guy who had me sign his birthday card with my lips, to the Sarge and Reputation and Wild Flag fan, to all my friends and to the Booksmith staff, who not only hosted a wonderful evening but really know their books. Thank you to Violet Blue, Susie Hara, Dusty Horn and Donna George Storey, who all breathed life into their stories that, much as I love the written word, it just doesn't have in the same way on the page. Dusty sold sexy calendars to benefit Lyon Martin Health Services (see photo below and, incidentally, I'll spank you anytime!). One of the highlights for me was chatting afterward with them about all manner of books.

Donna George Storey, Susie Hara, me, Dusty Horn, Violet Blue

Thanks, Josh, I hope you had a fabulous birthday! You were very cute - I kindof wanted to pinch your cheeks and make out with you, but in a friendly way. I was happy to sign your card with my eyeliner (before I was given a lovely purple pen) and lipstick.

Pin Up calendar as sold by the sexy Dusty Horn

I bought these at Booksmith (and they gave me the tote bag for free, which I will wear proudly). Looking forward to reading The People Who Watched Her Pass By by Scott Bradfield, Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin and Stuff: Compuslive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost and Gail Streketee.

And welcome to my hotel life world (which, I will say, has been greatly improved by the use of Skype):

Since editing Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, I always take these. I've liked the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, but think they don't need to make the staff where crazy uniforms. I booked this via Quikbook for $93/night!

I kicked these off my bed getting comfortable. Oops!

Thank you especially Booksmith, everyone at Cleis Press, especially Kat for driving me to Emeryville, and Violet Blue, for whom I promise to return for a proper vacation and longer stay and mayhem and fun!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Why you don't want to be my hotel roommate

Or maybe you do...honestly, when I'm in a hotel, I'm kindof extra selfish and decadent. This one was fabulous, I have one in San Francisco tonight and then back to my go-to spot in LA, where I plan to chill in the garden and enjoy the sun and actually have some quality time to make love to get to know my new laptop.


Tonight tonight tonight! The BIG night at Booksmith - be there or watch the livestream!

Tonight tonight tonight! 3 dozen free cupcakes from Mission Minis which if what I'm hearing is true are going to go fast! It's also being covered by Litseen.

January 28, 7:30 pm

Me and superstar author and editor Violet Blue read along with Orgasmic contributors Susie Hara, Dusty Horn and Donna George Storey!

Free cupcakes!

Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA

Official Booksmith link

I think I will read "Espionage" from Best Women's Erotica 2011, a personally challenging story, because I don't know when I'll get the honor of reading with Violet again. And because it's good for me to challenge myself, to read a story that's maybe about something deeper and more important than just sex or kink. Or maybe that's just my imagination, but I think I will read it in my velvet and leather lace up the back show off my tattoo sexy new Kardashian for Bebe dress.

I was going to tell you why it really sucks when you spend a lot of time and effort and do a reading and the store doesn't have the books that they were supposed to, but I think you can figure out why that sucks. What I have to do is be open and remind myself that that is a learning experience to micromanage and double check and make sure make sure make sure for the future.

Not complaining about anything...truly. I had to wake up at 5:30 am to test Skype and now have to try to fit a ton of stuff into my various suitcases. But first, a luxurious bath! I could so get used to this bathtub thing.

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Read my spanking story "The Perversion Process" in... Perversion Process

Totally flattered: an Xcite spanking e-book I'd submitted to, originally titled Ultimate Spanking, is now called Perversion Process (after my story!). Must check it out. Speaking of e-books, there may be some in my future! And, well, yours, if you want to buy them. Will let you know when I have some news.

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I'm not the girl with two laptops, except when I am

It's been a whirlwind of a trip, in almost every way. Yesterday I walked briefly on Sproul Plaza, remembering what it was like when I visited the campus, when I was sure that's where I had to get an education, wondering if, with my giant bag and dress and fishnets and sneakers, I looked like a college student. I went to Walnut Creek and Emeryville.

I bought a MacBook Pro (13-inch) and learned how to Skype. I found out I'm going to be on The Gayle King Show today, calling in at 10 am EST via Skype to talk about sex and social media. I also met with the folks at Cleis Press, had a fabulous reading at Good Vibrations in Berkeley, sampled mini cupcakes in sea salt caramel, peppermint patty and French toast/maple bacon,and ate dinner at T-Rex, which I highly recommend if you're in Berkeley. This time I didn't want to throw up on BART, though my stomach was a bit off yesterday as well. I blame the travel and stress. I learned how to use Skype and had a lovely time luring someone else into downloading Skype. I luxuriated in my hotel room at Hotel Durant (thanks Quikbook, who I know it must seem like I'm being sponsored by, but no, I'm really just a giant fan of the site, and that's how I am when I'm a fan).

So now I have two laptops. I got the new one because I've been wanting/needing to, but it was a rush because of Skype. I got it right after seeing The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, a show about the use of underage labor and horrific working conditions at Foxconn, a factory with 430,000 workers in Shenzen, China. I'm not going to summarize that show here, but you should see it. It's funny (the monologue as a whole, not the reality of workers leaping to their deaths from atop a factory) and brutal and the dichotomy between the almost movie set-esque quantness of Emeryville and the sleekness of the Apple Store, and my new computer, crossed with the conditions I heard about was discomforting. Of course it was. I had read a lot about the topic beforehand, but hearing about it firsthand, and hearing what we didn't hear (there was a line that chilled me, perhaps the most out of all of it, about if he told us the worst of the stories, "you'd close your fucking ears" - I put that in quotes even though it may not be exactly what was said, but I think it was). Coming on the heels of a story about a worker whose hand was fused together building an iPad, yeah, that's pretty chilling. It made me want to know and, I will fully admit, not want to know. I'm still pretty awed by the fact that there were no photos shown, nothing but words, but the images I was left with were frightening and sad and again, that dichotomy, that reality that even the LED screens lighting up the stage were likely made in the places being talked about. Yes, that stayed with me, and will stay with me, even as I try to make sure I can justify this laptop's purchase for something more vain than a TV appearance, for the kind of writing I want to get back to.

I felt spoiled walking into that store after hearing those stories, spoiled handing over my credit card and walking out with this sleek new box, and now I'm a girl with two laptops, except, trust me, I'm not that girl. I've never in my life had two computers open next to me at the same time.Still trying to figure out what to say when I call Apple.

This trip feels surreal in more ways than I can say, and the fact that my body hasn't been so cooperative, that I'm a little groggy even when I'm wide awake, even when I'm basking in the sun while noticing my friends checking in to Snowpocalypse, maybe softens some of the surreality, some of the sense of what have I done with myself since I left this town in 1996. I know I've done a lot, I know I'm almost completely unrecognizable to the girl I was then, but still, it's a strange feeling, and yet I love the community of friends who came out to the reading, that one of my readers drove in from Davis, that I can afford the luxury of my hotel, that I'm going to meet with my virtual assistant today for breakfast. I'm grateful, I guess, humbled, learning. Sometimes I need to be forced to take a step back and appreciate what I have, what my life is, and also, perhaps, what it isn't. I get so used to seeing the glass half full, but I'm starting to reevaluate that.

With Gotta Have It contributors Donna George Storey (left, "Anal-yzed) and Denise Hoffner (right, "Concensus") at Good Vibrations, Berkeley

peppermint patty cupcake

deviled eggs at T-Rex Barbecue

Brussels sprouts (with squash and bacon bits) at T-Rex Barbecue

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What I got on Sproul Plaza