Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Friday, July 29, 2011

2 Fringe Festival shows I've got opening night tickets for

I haven't had the time or money to look at what else is going on at Fringe. August is a very busy month but I'm excited for these two shows. I met Andrea Alton (Molly) at Cheryl B.'s wake, and as we ate pizza after I was like, "Why haven't we been friends before?" She's awesome and I'm excited for her show. The other one I literally clicked on "A," thinking I'd go through the alphabet at the Fringe site, only to realize that would send me into a tailspin of wanting to leave New York because there's too much to see and do. I like the premise, and I caught W. Kamau Bell's one-man show last year (click here for my review) and was impressed. Click through on images to go to the Fringe Festival site.

The F*cking World According To Molly

Molly Dykeman Productions
Writer: Andrea Alton
Director: Mark Finley
Choreographer: John Paolillo
Molly “Equality” Dykeman is a poet/security guard at PS 339 and a lovable train wreck who is having her first poetry show. Will bed bugs, Percocet and sissy kids get in her way? Michael Musto (Village Voice) says "She's a scream!"
1h 10m Local Brooklyn, New York
Solo Show Comedy

All Atheists Are Muslim

Zahra Comedy
Writer: Zahra Noorbakhsh
Director: W. Kamau Bell
Choreographer: Coke Nakamoto
Can Zahra have her Atheist and stay Muslim too? Yup, it's just your regular everyday tale of boy-meets-girl-meets-1000's of years of religious doctrine. You may even discover you’re more Muslim than you think.
1h 0m National San Francisco, California
Solo Show Comedy

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I wrote something

I know there are plenty of problems with me, this piece, I know there are always people ready to tell you not to write for free, or not to write about X or Y, but so be it. I'm taking life and writing one day at a time. I have so many things I want to write about, or think I want to write about, and lists upon lists upon lists and clearly, this year has taught me that money is not the motivator, success, approval - I turn those away again and again. I'm trying to change my ways on all fronts, truly, to become someone totally different who I can like and admire, because I have not been someone I like or admire for quite a while. Anyway, just a preface that could go on forever. I'm not proud of myself or my behavior or my faults, but I also, especially this month, have realized that ignoring them and not facing them won't make them go away. Maybe nothing will, but sometimes writing, calling yourself out in public, helps. I'm hoping to write about Cheryl's memorial last weekend, which I've been pondering bigtime. So many things it brings up, about her, about how we are perceived and want to be remembered.

Sometimes I just have to remind myself, on the personal and professional fronts, I can't change the past, and every second I wish I could is a wasted second. I can only live in the now, can only try to live up to my ideals, not anyone else's. I wrote on Twitter that so much of 2011 is, for me, trying to tune out the outside noise, and there's a hell of a lot of it. It's all too easy to get caught up in trying to win other people's approval and breaking out of that bad habit has been tough for me, but I know it's vital. I know I have to work on repairing the damage I've done in the last few years and figuring out how I can meet my goals, and what those goals are. Some are clearer than others, but they are getting clearer. The path to them isn't quite yet, but it will be.

"My Do Not Call List" at The Nervous Breakdown

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yay! Yay! Yay! Obsessed gets 4 stars from RT Book Reviews

I'm in with the bigtime authors in the must-read RT Book Reviews and they liked Obsessed! I'm so thrilled. They gave it 4 stars!

In the 20 novellas in this collection, obsession is the name of the game. The pages sizzle and the words smoke. Readers will love the variety and the intensity of assignations, ranging from a foreign city to a small cottage under a hurricane onslaught, with a varying mix of locales in between.

Two standouts include: “One Night,” by Kayla Perrin, in which a lonely assistant sets out to seduce her boss for one magical night in Paris. In “Storm Surge” by Teresa Noelle Roberts, two lovers find extra magic in the coming hurricane. (CLEIS, Aug., 248 pp., $14.95)

Order Obsessed from:


Kindle edition (available August 15th)

Barnes & Noble



Cleis Press


August 25, 7-9 pm
Join editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and Obsessed contributors, along with The Lost author Caridad Piñeiro, and Tied Up Events for a fabulous book party celebrating The Lost and Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women! Free cupcakes, snacks, posters and toy giveaways and more! Free goodie bags from The Pleasure Chest! Featuring readings by Rachel, Caridad and Obsessed contributors Logan Belle and Jennifer Peters. Free, 21+
Fontana's, 105 Eldridge Street, NYC
The Pleasure Chest

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Obsessed out on Kindle August 15th! that Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women, which I promise more excerpts from, will be available for Kindle on August 15th. Party is August 25th!

If you missed them, the excerpts so far:

"Silent Retreat" by Donna George Storey

"Spellbound" by Garnell Wallace

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Never Have I Ever" sex column

My latest column is pretty personal. It's called "Never Have I Ever". As always, if you like it, spreading the word via the buttons at the top of the column or posting it is always much appreciated!

Going back to those never have I ever fantasies, some of them are as extreme as running a marathon, something I’m pretty sure I’d never do. There’s a small part of me that wants to explore them, but so many variables would have to align in exactly the right ways. Maybe they will someday, but right now I know, similar to how I have to work on my core so I can be stable for running, I have to get the rest of my life—my health, my finances, my home, my writing—in order if I’m going to approach sex in a way that enhances my life. Again, I know this isn’t everyone’s path, but when life gets too out of control, my instinct is to pull back, especially from interactions with other people where there’s a high likelihood that I or they might get hurt emotionally. It feels selfish in some ways to make me the sole priority in my life (I realize how crazy that sounds even as I’m typing it), but it’s the only thing I feel I can dedicate myself to.

That commitment to self-improvement is certainly something I haven’t done in quite the methodical way I am now. I’ve tackled bits and pieces—declaring bankruptcy here, hiring a personal organizer there, finally going to the dentist after five years—but this year, this crazy year of being 35, I’m finally forcing myself to face a lot of realities I’ve been too stubborn or sad or wishful to look at head-on before. It’s certainly not easy and my favorite vices—food, sex, shopping—are ones I’m also trying to leave behind. Obviously, I still have to eat, I’m still a sexual being and I still need to make purchases, but I mean leave behind using them in self-destructive ways, especially sex, because I don’t want to drag anyone else into my madness.

Read the whole thing

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Message of the day

Via Danielle LaPorte, whose cards I'm very excited to start sending out. In other news, I got a Nook! I'm excited to start reading with it and my first purchase was Caryn Rose's novel B-Sides and Broken Hearts (only $4.99!).

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Lost is out today, our party is August 25th!

I just ordered big posters from PosterBrain for our big Obsessed and The Lost book party on August 25th! I hope to see you there, where you can eat lots of free cupcakes, hear steamy readings and win prizes, like a signed poster, plus goodies from The Pleasure Chest will be given away.

But what I wanted to tell you is that you can now purchase, in paperback or ebook (out August 1), new paranormal romance The Lost by Caridad Piñeiro! I'll be reviewing it here soon, but definitely check it out and join us to get your book signed!

Amazon B& BAM Borders powells Target Walmart Indiebound

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Hell House comes alive in YA novel Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

This book is so so good. I think the trick to writing a YA novel like this is you can't come across like you have all the answers (okay, any novel, really). You can't make fun of your characters. You can condescend to them. You have to live them, you have to make the reader empathize with them even if they don't know what they're talking about. I didn't grow up in a tiny town with nothing to do and had no idea what Hell House was until a few years ago when Julie Klausner acted in the play (make of that what you will, you don't learn a lot about these things in Teaneck or Berkeley). But Lacey wanting to play "Abortion Girl?" I'm so with her. I like Lacey Anne Byer as a character a lot. The first paragraph I quote below, if we take it away from the context of Hell House, well, what teenager hasn't wanted the spotlight? What adult for that matter, whether on a small scale or a big one?

Melissa Walker nails a lot of things, and one of them is teen alienation, even for good girls. It's gripping and I'm only sad I don't have more time to devour this ASAP. Here's the review in the New York Times, which they wisely gave to Carlene Bauer, author of Not That Kind of Girl, who could bring her evangelical upbringing into it.

See also: USA Today, "Young adult novels explore religion:"

The novel was inspired by an article Walker did for ELLEgirl magazine on Hell Houses, haunted houses often run by fundamentalist Christian churches. Their emphasis: people who don't accept Jesus as their savior are condemned to hell.

Also, the heart in the apple on the cover? Genius. Read it!

From Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker:

Last year I watched Julia Millhouse play a pregnant teenager. When the lights went up in the nursery, where they staged her scene, she said her lines with so much emotion that people in the audience started to cry. I'd see them come through the lobby after the show and hear them talking about her performance. I want that spotlight. I want to be able to affect people that way too.

I've grown up with Hell House all my life, but Dean's cousins in the next county over think it's something weird that religious nuts do. It's not. It's a way to show people the right path. My dad always plays the devil--he thinks it's funny to be the children's pastor and the Antichrist. And Pastor Frist's Jesus bathes Hell in white light at the very end, leading the audience into Heaven (also known as the church library, all done up in white sheets and cotton clouds), where they get decision cars. Most people fill out the cards and agree to at least explore a Christian life. It's a magical weekend and an incredible outreach, especially for young people who don't have a path to Christ like I've grown up with. Mom always reminds me how lucky I am to have that.

I'm sitting with Starla Joy and her sister, Tessa, who's finger-coming her wavy brown hair as we wait to hear about this year's production. Tessa played and EMT last year in the drunk driving scene, and she got to say, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Kerner, your daughter is dead." Everyone thinks she'll get a big part this year since she's pretty much the senior girl with the most rank here. Even in church--especially in church--there's a social hierarchy.

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Project of the week: Card Sending

I have nine gorgeous cards from Danielle LaPorte (keeping "french-kiss life" for myself). I have two plotted out, but the rest? Not sure yet. I'm about to get a Nook and move into ereader land, though I will probably always buy books, but I will really always buy greeting cards. I love them. I also got some Dylan's Candy Bar ones that are full of colorful lollipops. So fun. If you want a postcard for my new book Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women (US only), email obsessedantho at with "Postcard" in the subject and your name and mailing address in the body. I make almost daily trips to the post office and I love it (even paying bills, which I mostly do online, is more fun with "Celebrate!" stamps, and I love Forever stamps because someday I will unearth a stash of hundreds of stamps and it'll probably be 2040 and I can, hopefully, still use them).

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Sex Diary: "The Married Woman Breaking Her No-PDA Rule"

I'm the editor of the Sex Diaries at and this week's is The Married Woman Breaking Her No-PDA Rule." Enjoy! And if you're a New Yorker interested in writing one, email me at sexdiaries at - thanks!

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

35 going on...

So many new beginnings (like running! 3 miles today and yesterday) going on and also a bazillion deadlines. I've been lazy, partly because of the heat, which I get some relief from when I'm in bed directly in front of my big fan, but not when I'm anywhere else, and writing with my laptop across my legs while I'm lying down isn't the way I get my best work done. But sometimes sitting at a café isn't either.

In terms of blogging, well…I obviously get something out of it, but am also wary. I know that the road to not writing a word is to care what other people think, and I had this moment of "what have I done?" reading comments on a site I just submitted a very personal piece to (fingers crossed on that!). Really, though, it's my own internet tendencies that's made me wonder if I shouldn't do what I did back in, I think 2004, and delete this entire blog and start over. Part of me wants to, that's for sure. One the positive side, I've met amazing people, and I'm honored that anyone is reading at all.

On the other, well, there can be a disturbing passive-aggressive use of blogs, which I myself am fully culpable of, and the entire reason I'm feeling more wary and wondering if I should heed Adair Lara's advice and so many other writing teachers I've read about taking the time to craft your thoughts and your meaning rather than just regurgitating your day. I guess the bigger question is what the point of personal writing, for me, is. Is it sharing, and who is it sharing with? I'm aware that I could say "I ate eggs for breakfast" and someone might get offended by that, and when we get into more…personal territory, that issue is amplified. I know as a reader that things that have nothing to do with me can still manage to upend me and of course the obvious answer is not to read things that are bad for you but if only life were as simple as all of us acting perfectly all the time.

So, I don't know. I do want to write about birth control and the current fight for free reproductive health care, as well as my fitness and mental health care adventures as well as more frivolous topics like my ongoing quest for the perfect bag. And I probably will; I just don't know if this blog is the appropriate venue. 35 has been a very rocky year for me, starting pretty much right after I turned 35, full of chaos and bad choices and confusion. Good things, too, but those are the things that stick out and I'm trying to figure out how to go toward the rest of my life not making those same mistakes and trying to right as many of the wrongs I've brought upon myself as I can. I don't know if I can in all cases, and, frankly, feeling like I'm on a constant self-help quest is not always so fun, which is why I also went to a midnight screening Thursday night of Friends With Benefits and today saw Horrible Bosses and am gorging myself on books and am going to buy a Nook so I can read on the treadmill. I know that these changes I'm trying to implement are and were imperative and I had to get to a point where my life as it was was simply untenable. I just don't quite know how to be the new me just yet. Working on it.

Thank you for reading. I really do mean that. I was at a reading the other day and talking about a book (Amanda Cockrell's excellent PTSD/divorce/war/religion YA novel What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay, which I highly, highly recommend, my review is here) and the woman I was talking to said, "Oh, I read your blog, I'll see it if you blog about it." Which was flattering but also reminded me that, well, uh, people are reading. And sometimes knowing that actually unnerves me to such a large degree I don't know how to handle it. I guess for me it's easier to write and pretend nobody's reading. That's not my end goal as a writer, but sometimes it's a little too much reality for me.

Even though I may morph this blog into something new (all photos perhaps? or a book blog? and then what platform to use?) and am feeling like I need more structured blogging, like with my cupcake blog, where there are clear boundaries, I'll see how it goes. Right now I'm grateful for every sentence I get out that goes where I want it to. Lately finishing any single pieces has felt impossible and I think it's because I've been operating from this place of fear: fear of what other people will think about me, fear of what I will find if I attempt to write the truth. I'm trying to go past that place and simply do it anyway, as the Courtney Martin book says.


Adele, "Someone Like You"


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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Boas, rings, books and cupcakes at Shag, yummy guacamole outside Knitting Factory

Last night I stopped by Williamsburg, Brooklyn sex and art store Shag to drop off more copies of my books - THANK YOU, Brooklyn, for buying my books! I love getting those checks every month telling me that my neighbors are reading my smut. Buy local! Also, I can't stop into Shag and not get immediate lust for jewelry and other beautiful things. It was a hard week, so I bought myself a ring (see below). And Leah Foster's cupcake art (made of cupcakes) is hanging there. Woo-hoo! Then I stumbled upon Gorilla Guac outside Knitting Factory and bought my dinner of chips and guacamole for $5. Brooklyn happiness.

For extra happiness, please visit Cupcakes Take the Cake, where I just blogged shark cupcake pops and pretty flowers. I would totally take shark cupcakes or cake pops to my family next weekend on Martha's Vineyard. Well, more cake pops than cupcakes cause I plan to take SeaStreak and the water can be rough. All my next 3 trips are family-related (Vineyard, Oregon, Vermont), then in September I go to Vegas for the Erotic Authors Association Conference. Excited, but urgently need a silent weekend away that I won't be getting for a while. Maybe for my birthday. Seems quite fitting. First, though, I have to earn it. Making strides toward that and setting weight, home, finance and book goals. I would love to look on back on this year as the year I changed so many of my self-destructive ways. You can get so good at those ways that they seem to a twisted mind like mine like the only way, and there's always another way. Always.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Interview with me on sexuality and feminism up at

A new interview with me is up at on feminism and sexuality and Judaism. Thank you, Chanel Dubofsky!

If my answers aren't that insightful, apologies - I feel like my brain hasn't been working very well lately and trying to have coherent thoughts is, um, impossible? Close to it, but I'm powering through. I have one piece out that I don't want to jinx, but was a very exciting first step in moving toward where I want to be, and other things in the works if I can manage to focus. Here's looking at you, Wellbutrin! Just kidding...I mean, I am starting it and, again, I had wanted to write more about that but the words failed me. Ideas I have, but what comes out is a sloppy mess. Hopefully, this weekend will be productive. Actually, scratch that. It will or I will be in big trouble. Hi, deadlines, I promise to treat you better, I've been a bitch. Sorry!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Want to read: With a Little Luck by Caprice Crane

Caprice Crane, when she's not writing screenplays or for TV, writes fun, lighthearted romantic novels (not romances, but I'd call them romantic). I started this book and then put it down for some crazy reason and now will have to ransack my apartment to find it or get another copy.

Her latest is With a Little Luck. Official description:

Los Angeles radio DJ Beryl “Berry” Lambert, whose name means luck, doesn’t much believe in it—although, thanks to her dear old gambling dad, she’s a bit superstitious, certain that everything happens for a reason. She keeps a four-leaf clover in her wallet, never takes off her horseshoe necklace, and won’t tempt fate by walking under a ladder or opening an umbrella indoors. Ever.

When it comes to love, though, she could use a little luck. Two disastrous relationships back-to-back can mean only one thing to a woman who knows that everything good or bad happens in threes: A third Mr. Wrong is imminent. But fellow DJ Ryan Riley goes against the odds. Their on-air battle of the sexes is a hit for the station and sparks some serious heat after hours. Ryan is funny and sexy, and he thinks Berry’s quirkiness is cute. Is their romance doomed by the numbers—or is a girl who leaves nothing to chance finally ready to gamble?

And she's on tour with it:

Wednesday, July 27 - UES New York

07:00 PM
Caprice will be reading from and signing her new book "With a Little Luck" at
Barnes & Noble
150 E. 86th St.
New York, NY 10028
Wednesday, August 03 - The Grove, LA

07:00 PM
Caprice will be reading from and signing her new book "With a Little Luck" at
Barnes & Noble
189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Thursday, August 04 - Books Inc. in the Marina - San Francisco

07:00 PM
Caprice will be reading from and signing her new book "With a Little Luck" at
Books Inc. in the Marina
2251 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
Friday, August 19 - The Book Cellar - Chicago

07:00 PM
Caprice will be reading from and signing her new book "With a Little Luck" at
The Book Cellar
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625

Caprice is also stunningly gorgeous. Here's a photo I found on her website taken by Adam Bouska of the NOH8 Campaign.

I have to juggle something around but am hoping to go to her reading on Wednesday!

How can you not love a woman who passively aggressively blogs red carpet photos of a movie she wrote that got rewritten?

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Coming soon to your e-reader: "Fishnet Queen"

Female domination fishnet erotica story "Fishnet Queen" and 3 others of mine are coming soon to your e-readers! I'm backlogged on stories, fiction and non, but it's possible I may even write an original to sell as an ebook. For now I'm wrapping up a virgin story, a running story, an ice hotel story, a sex toy story and a few others I hope see print. Will let you know if they do.

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I've never seen Star Wars, hate weddings and love America

Okay, not really, though I've never seen Star Wars and I'm not a fan of the marriage industrial complex but am excited for my cousin's wedding in March.

I did write my first piece for Slacktory called "I Only Know the Super Bowl, Star Wars and Settlers of Catan Through Cupcakes" and it'd be awesome if you clicked and liked and passed it on cause I'm proud of it and got tons of great art (Yo Gabba Gabba cupcakes, anyone?) and, um, I make fun of myself. Wayne Rooney, eat your heart out.

I know sports exist, but in a vague, very peripheral way. If it makes it into the gossip pages, then I’ll hear about it; I know of David Beckham, but mostly in the context of him being married to Posh Spice. I don’t know when the Super Bowl, Wimbledon or World Cup fall, and only because March is in its name do I know about March Madness. It’s not even that I don’t like sports, I’m just ignorant.

Read the whole thing

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Must read: John DeVore, "How to Deal With Bitterness"

Do feel free to just read John's column, my original point of this post, or skip to the end where I quoted him. My blatherings just popped out. It's 7:35 a.m. and I haven't had my coffee yet, so forgive me.

I always think John DeVore does a great job with his latest Mind of Man column, "How to Get Over Bitterness," and when people ask me, "Why aren't more men writing about sex?" He is someone to look at as an example and inspiration (I published one of his columns in Best Sex Writing 2010 and hope I get that chance again). This one was especially relevant to me, not so much because I'm bitter; I feel lighter and lighter every day, in my feelings toward others but, most especially, myself. I'm the kind of person who needs the very lowest of low moments to recognize what I have to be grateful for and, well, there have been a lot of extremely low moments in the last two years where I couldn't see a way out, a future, I thought I should just give up and I'm not sure what because despite my self-sabotaging efforts I love what I do, but I kept going and amazingly, there were kind people waiting on the other side who believed in me no matter what.

When it comes to relationships I know I'm nowhere near ready for one, and maybe I won't ever be, and I'm okay with that. I have so much growing up to do, remedial adulthood that I never learned, and whereas before I used to just yell at myself about it, in my head, and feel stupid and guilty that I was so "behind" in the game of life, now I'm finally ready to just accept myself where I am, supremely flawed but open, ready, not waiting for the next steps to be given to me or someone else to save me from myself (as if, right?) but ready to take them, with plenty of trail and error. But in the professional realm, I can't go it alone, I do need other people or I'd be, uh, blogging for free (not that there's anything wrong with that!) and not advancing or being able to afford all the things I need to afford. Speaking of which, and I know I've utterly gone off course, for those who want to read about money from a very different perspective, check out the work of Tara Gentile (is it any wonder I'm about to look into ADD medication? I can't seem to stay on one topic. Ha!).

It's a slow process and much of it for me is about recognizing where I've veered off course and trying to correct that, slowly but surely. And, soon, drugs, but that is another post (which is in the works, about mental health care and money and value). I do believe in trying everything that might work until you find something that does. The impatient side of me, which is pretty much 100% of me, hates that so many of the things that help me move forward are simply slow and daily practices. They are meeting, again, remedial adulthood goals, ones that I actually had to type into a list of "2011 goals" like "turn off the light before you go to sleep." And "don't bounce any checks." But again, I'm trying to be lighter on myself, to recognize that while I'm a remedial adult in so many regards, there are other things that come easier to me and I need to value and nurture those. That's why I fell for Priscilla Long's The Writer's Portable Mentor, because she is not just giving writing "tips" but lifelong writing practices, like building your lexicon. I'm not just taken with the idea, I need it for a project I'm working on whose language I'm not immersed in yet. She is not saying, "You're a bad writer," but "you need to grow as a writer and here are some ways you can." I almost always hear the former when I get a rejection, and am trying to be the kind of person who hears the latter, and seizes those opportunities.

So two passages I especially liked from John's column:

The story of your life is not the story of what your heart got, but what your heart didn’t get and how it kept on beating.


Recently, I have been afraid and exhausted and wondered if I will ever be in love again. I have laughed at that ridiculous thought, because it doesn’t matter if I’ll ever find love again. Love has tackled me before, many times, and I am thankful for first kisses in the middle of snowy roads and promises that were whispered at midnight, even if they were never kept. What will happen next for me? I have no idea, but I’ll probably blog about it. Life is a minefield: you take a step and there’s an explosion full of fire and smoke. You take another step and there’s another explosion, but this time candy rains down.

I also like that he takes what I guess could be called criticism and answers back, not with bitterness, but with our greatest tool, honesty.

Read the whole thing

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Silent retreat sex in "Silent Treatment" by Donna George Storey in Obsessed

Another Obsessed excerpt for you. Personally, I think I'd get kicked out of a silent retreat, but maybe I'd really like it. I don't know. I do want to go on a retreat, and maybe have quiet/solitude but not total silence. I'm very impressed with this story by a favorite writer, Donna George Storey, read the whole thing in Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women!

As she writes on her blog, "My story, 'Silent Treatment,' is about a silent retreat in the moments, where a couple learns all the wonderful ways to communicate when you can't speak. Silence can be golden, baby!"

From "Silent Treatment" by Donna George Storey:

We both paused to admire the night sky, then I felt him turn to look down at me. I caught my breath. I could swear I heard words through his unmoving lips. It’s a beautiful night. You’re beautiful. There’s a reason we’re together here.

Or is that only what I wanted to hear?

Did it matter? We were in a place where the real me decided what happened, not the voice of common sense yammering, “You should make him work harder for forgiveness after what he did,” and “If he fucks you over again, you have only yourself to blame.”

I reached out and brushed his hand, nothing more than an unspoken way to reassure him that I forgave his long, hurtful silence. I wasn’t surprised when he wrapped his fingers around mine and squeezed.

But my own response shook me. My pussy contracted like a fist, as if he’d touched me there instead, and a jolt of electric pleasure made my nipples so hard I was almost afraid they’d poke holes in my shirt.

I guess I did still want to fuck him.

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Video game lovers: come to Brooklyn for Son of Pong by John DeVore

Can I just say that I love my neighborhood? Because I do. I love that there is so much right outside my door. Like a 24-hour bagel shop (Bagelsmith, I recommend the everything wheat, and the lox) and The Brick Theater, where tonight I'm going to see my friend John DeVore in his one man show "Son of Pong."

You can read more about in his post listing top 5 reasons to attend:

1. I tell a story about video games! My dad was a video game junkie. He would sit in his underwear in front of our TV in the basement, and play for hours. His addiction started with Pong and continued until his death. I hated video games because as a kid, I saw no reward in meaningless toil. If you told me then that I’d grow up to be like him, I would have barfed.

“Son of Pong” is a story about growing up. A story about why people play video games. A story about how the grins of the father shall be visited upon the son. I’ll even tell you how it starts: I’m a grown man dying in an emergency room and the cellphone game “Angry Birds” saves my life.

Get your tickets here. It's also part of video game festival Gameplay, through July 31st, if you didn't read John's post.

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"Because of You"

"Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson was playing in the deli yesterday morning. They are often playing Kelly, Taylor, Miley, Beyoncé. I'm a Kelly fan.

And while I will always stop and listen to this song, I think my biggest takeaway from this insane year has been the opposite: that you can't rely on anyone else for either happiness or blame them for unhappiness. You make your own, and I've made plenty of both. I don't mean that to sound misanthropic, but if I ever needed a reminder that I can't be a good friend when my life is at rock bottom, well, last week brought that. I need to take care of myself first and foremost and sometimes, maybe even often, that is a selfish act, but it's also one of sheer survival. I'm learning that saying no is sometimes the most powerful thing I can do, and constantly saying yes when I mean no makes me resentful.

I'm also learning just how much of each of my parents, the social and the antisocial, I have inside me. Both sides run deep. I keep longing for a free weekend to go to, if not a silent retreat, a retreat, one where there is more silence and stillness. And because of how I've structured my life, I don't have that free weekend til mid-September but you know what? That's not that far away.

The other day, I found out that a deadline I thought was ages away was actually last week and my first thought was, "I can't handle this." I think that a lot, like when I switched purses and go to the gym and realized I didn't have a lock because it was in my old purse. It's my go-to reaction, my instinctive freakout. I'm so used to thinking "I can't" that I don't pause and go into problem-solving mode. There will always be little snags, things you have to do that seem to pop up out of nowhere, and I find myself bogged down by the minutiae and sometimes it grinds me to a halt. All my enthusiasm dies in an instant and I become convinced I can't do not just that specific task but really anything. There are a lot of deep breaths and perhaps, soon, some drugs.

But back to Kelly. I was listening to that song as I bought my seltzer and water and two eggs on whole wheat and I realized that that is how it works for a lot of people but that I am so over giving away my power like that. I have done it what feels like a million times and I see that I am the only one responsible for being happy, and that that has to come from somewhere so deep and strong that it can't be cracked by anyone else, and also can't be given by anyone else. I'm not saying I'm going to hole up and be a hermit, just that I know I have a tendency to overvalue what other people, close and not close, think of me, and I am trying to separate from that, to be able to be whole and together like I was one particular night in January that is etched on my mind. I was so proud of myself for not crying (one of what I sometimes think is this hallmark of adulthood) and yet maybe I should have just let myself go a little bit in order to come back to myself stronger and more aware.

Taylor Swift has that song "Back to December," and for me it's back to all sorts of random episodes, like that January one, some much closer in time, where I hate something I did, where I see how I could've acted kinder or smarter or whatever, and of filing that away and figuring out how to apply it int he here and now, I think if I reconfigure whatever low moment in my mind enough I'll discover some new nuance to them, and I'm trying to banish that way of thinking. I was tempted to say my dad does the exact same thing, because he does, but again, that may be true but I'm 35 and there's absolutely no reason for me to repeat my parents' mistakes. There is literally nothing I can do to chance one second of the past and by focusing on it I lose out on the present. I see that and yet it's a very hard habit to stop. I wish I'd done x, written y, and I don't quite get it together to do, say, z today, and sometimes I need a giant reminder that whatever action I take today is action, forward motion, and even if I only get 1 or 2 of 10 items on the agenda done, those are 1 or 2 I didn't have before. Sometimes bravery, even when you think you can't, when you're sure whatever you propose or write or say will be rejected, is what it takes. I'm trying to live up to that. And I know that the more I do it, the less needy I will be, and the more I can say, not with a note of disdain, but with a note of pride, that I did it because of me.

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Because it's a favorite: Gotta Have It trailer

I don't know if I'll be making any more book trailers; I'm in business-minded, money-saving mode, but the part of me that's not that, that's just someone who enjoys creating things, loves making them. So here's one of my of my editorial life goals is to make a book whose book trailer I can get onto Amazon. Might have to be non-erotica, but that's on the agenda!

Anyway, I really love the Gotta Have It trailer, and the book itself. I'm proud of myself for trying something new with both. I'm waiting to see if sales pick up (they're good, just not my bestseller). I'd love to do more short shorts, though, having been working on one for a while myself, they are often harder than they look. And as part of my positive thinking agenda, I can say that I'm very proud of this book (all of them, really), regardless of sales. I love working with such a range of international authors and getting to hear the stories read, via video and in person. I'm trying to remind myself every day, especially when an individual story or whatever it is gets challenging that I've met lots of challenges before.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Obsessed excerpt: "Spellbound" by Garnell Wallace

I'm thrilled to share the news that Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women is officially out, and is shipping from Amazon and Cleis Press. More links and ebook coming on August 1st. For now, in honor of the first review, which I've posted below, here is an excerpt from "Spellbound" by Garnell Wallace, an author I'm publishing for the first (but hopefully not last) time. More excerpts are coming soon.

Garnell Wallace

My name is Kia Monet and my family thinks that I’m under a voodoo spell. It is the only way for my Haitian-born parents to explain why I’m wasting my life in the slums of Port-au-Prince with a low-budget filmmaker instead of being a trust-fund trophy wife in California.

If I was under a spell, it was Jonah’s smile, Jonah’s voice reciting French poetry in the dark during a respite from his magnificent cock. His cock is black magic; an evil one-eyed sorcerer, powerful enough to turn me into a quivering mass of nerves with just one twitch. I like to sleep with it buried deep inside me, its comforting pliability lulling me into the blissfulness of sleep. Even his long, tapered fingers buried deep in my pussy can bring on multiple experiences of what we French call la petite mort, or the little death, when you are so inflamed with passion at the moment of surrender it feels like you are about to surrender your soul as well. I’ve died a thousand times in Jonah’s arms in the time we’ve been together. With each rebirth, I feel more alive, more like the person I am meant to be. I am bewitched and have no desire to be cured.

Here's the Table of Contents again:

Silent Treatment Donna George Storey
One Night in Paris Kayla Perrin
Concubine Portia Da Costa
Love and Demotion Logan Belle
Mephisto Waltz Justine Elyot
Then Emerald
It’s Gotta Be Fate Jennifer Peters
Hooked Ariel Graham
Aftershocks Bella Andre
Secret Places Adele Haze
Loser Charlotte Stein
Here In Between Kristina Wright
Spellbound by Garnell Wallace
Raven’s Flight Andrea Dale
Raindrops and Rooftops Elizabeth Coldwell
Topiary K. D. Grace
I Want to Hold Your Hand Rachel Kramer Bussel
Storm Surge Teresa Noelle Roberts
Undercover Kink Louisa Harte

Do join us at the book party on August 25th in NYC! Here's the Facebook invitation if you want to spread the word.

August 25, 7-9 pm, FREE

Join editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and Obsessed contributors Logan Belle and Jennifer Peters, along with The Lost author Caridad Piñeiro, and Tied Up Events for a fabulous book party celebrating paranormal romance The Lost and Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women! Free cupcakes, snacks, giveaways and more! Free goodie bags from The Pleasure Chest!
Fontana’s, 105 Eldridge Street, NYC
The Pleasure Chest

Want a postcard? (US only) Email obsessedantho at with "Postcard" in the subject and your mailing address in the body.

And here's that Amazon review by Ilovebooks - thank you for those who signed up to review it who already have your copies! Stay tuned for Women in Lust in the fall.

What does it mean to be sexually obsessed? That's the question Rachel Kramer Bussel and her contributors aim to answer in this latest Cleis Press erotic anthology. The collection features 18 stories by such well-known erotic names like Donna George Storey, Kristina Wright and Teresa Noelle Roberts. Caridad Pinero, author of the Calling series, touches on some of the many meanings of obsession in her foreword.

My favorite stories include "Mephisto Waltz" by Justine Elyot, an author who works with the Black Lace erotic publishing company. It concerns a piano teacher and his student. I don't know, I just think there is something intrinsically hot about someone instructing you in the ways of love. The narrator also has an appealing voice in this story--an entirely believable virgin who is unsure of herself in music and love. And the story is erotic without being overly raunchy, which is a difficult trick to pull off. I liked this story in addition because it was about real characters, who you could envision in any scenario, not only an erotic one. I'd like to see a whole novel dedicated to these two characters.

Then there is "Here in Between" by Kristina Wright. This is another story with real-life characters. A woman gets a flat tire and finds herself flat on her back with a handsome stranger. The dialogue here is fantastic, and the ending gives one hope that these strangers will one day become more to each other than just ships passing in the night.

Spellbound by Garnell Wallace just gets points for having the best first sentence I think I've ever read in a short story: "My name is Kia Monet and my family thinks that I'm under a voodoo spell." After reading this story, you may want to book a flight to Haiti. Garnell Wallace's strength is her knack for describing even the smallest erotic detail.

Other highlights include "Raindrops and Rooftops" by Elizabeth Coldwell and Rachel Kramer Bussel's own contribution "I Want to Hold Your Hand." What happens when a partner loses weight and you liked him better thin? Or when you go to a movie for reasons other than what's playing on screen? Some pretty sexy stuff, that's what.

Overall, a nice collection of stories to keep you even hotter than usual this summer...

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"french-kiss life"*

I’ve been reading a lot—well, I always am, but a lot of what could be called self-help, even though some of it is about writing. I read a lot of sites that talk about your message, your following, building those to drive a career, a following. The thing I’ve struggled with, over and over, is how to write honestly about my life on this blog when that message is not always, or even often, a fit in terms of promoting my books. Nor is this blog title. The last thing I am these days is “lusty.” I feel like sex, or rather, the idea of it, is all about other people’s desires and I misplaced mine in my travels, perhaps, left them on an airplane.

I know they’ll be back, but right now my desire is for so many other things that feel more pressing than sex. I’m speaking just for and as myself, obviously, but I think part of what feels like reclaiming control of my life, because it certainly has felt out of control, is figuring out how to put sex in its proper place. Sex (by which I mean both sex and relationships and other people in general) is not going to fix all the things I don't like about myself. It has its uses and value, of course, I'd be the last one to deny that, but it is not some panacea and I have treated it like one for way too long and that concerns me. I'm willing to take a break from it so that I can properly appreciate sex with myself or others in a way that's healthy, not escapist.

I seem to take one step forward and then at least a few back. Like last week, when I finally got up the courage to call a psychiatrist. I was so proud of myself, but then discovered the one I want to see doesn’t take my insurance, and the only one who seems to is a proponent of Wealth Therapy and while that might be something to pursue someday, I want to go with the first pick. And then I bounced a my accountant. Someone sent me this Hyperbole and a Half comic, "This is Why I'll Never be an Adult," and I so relate. Adulthood is a pain in the ass. I feel so bad at it and yet I know I have to just do it, trial and error, even things that most people maybe do in their twenties and I'm just now tackling. That instinct to run away and stop when it gets hard is how I've landed in so many of my big and little dramas.

Anyway, then some other drama went down and I kindof lost my shit. And while I was losing it, I didn’t have any sense of perspective. I cried into my pillow, I cried into my clothes, I cried into a ton of napkins and I cried into my dinner and I had to try to unpack exactly why I was crying, and I’m still sorting that out. I know what triggered it, but there are so many deeper questions I have to confront and ask myself, and those aren’t going to be solved in the span of a night or a week. They’re a lifelong project.

I’ve always shied away from anything hard. If I couldn’t foresee the finish line, if my mind had to have faith and trust that there was a finish line, I pretended it didn’t exist, or made it such that it didn’t exist. I wanted to know exactly how things were going to go, whether I'd win or lose, succeed or fail, I wanted everything mapped out and clear and I was so afraid to trust myself that I wound up lashing out, in a way, against those who trusted me. "I'll show you not to have faith in me, not to believe in me." Yet there are still more doors opening, more opportunities, and I am slowly learning that being grateful is also part of adulthood. Closing doors gently instead of slamming them, and opening them gently too, instead of flinging them so firmly they hit me on the way in.

And now I feel like I’m at a place where I am actually a little closer to being open, like my tattoo says, to both those opportunities and to the awareness that I do have to treat this whole adulthood thing like I'm starting from the beginning. Maybe it took a total meltdown to get to a place where I had to admit that I don’t know much of anything, where I had to accept that the progress I thought I’d made over a certain situation was an illusion, maybe a necessary illusion, but an illusion nonetheless. I’m tired of living behind so many illusions and shame and secrets. I decided to stop saying “yes” if people asked if I’m okay if the real answer is no. I decided to just own that I cry and I can’t predict how long it’ll last or where it’ll erupt.

And of course, because that’s how these things go, as soon as I told one person I was on the brink of tears, one person who’d seen me but didn’t know, she admitted that she was too, and so was someone else, and I had no idea, and wouldn’t have known. None of us were trying to tell each other how to feel or “cheer each other up” or pretend that there’s something wrong with being sad. That was so beautiful to me, to just acknowledge it and live it and let it sit and simmer instead of rushing in to eradicate it with food or drugs or sex or whatever your coping mechanism of choice is.

*And then I discovered Danielle LaPorte, whose tagline for her site White Hot Truth is "Because Self Actualization Rocks," and was really blown away. I just ordered her 10-card set, and one of them says this:

I plan to keep that card all for myself, as a reminder of how I want to approach each day, not with the dread or guilt or fear I seem to approach most of them with, but with the idea that this is a chance to start over, always, and that I have the power to steer the course of my days. I don’t think LaPorte means that every day will be free of tears or badness/sadness. That’s unrealistic. But I want to learn to find the moments of growth and strength even when I’m, like Justin Bartha’s character in All New People (which is a comedy and has its flaws but of course I related to this part) when he simply asks G-d for help. Which I did, but I also asked myself for help, even though I don't purport to have any divine or even undivine answers. At the end of the day, my answers will have to be enough, as flawed and human and stumbling and maybe sometimes brilliant as they are.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Sexy book covers with my stories: One Night Only and Best Lesbian Romance 2012

Will share more when the pub dates are closer but I’m excited that my story “Rock Star Rewards” will be published in Violet Blue’s anthology One Night Only: Erotic Encounters (a post-concert female domination story) and the lesbian French fry in Paris story I’d blogged about, “French Fried,” will be in Radclyffe’s Best Lesbian Romance 2012. Just saw the covers on Amazon and wow wow wow! I was in a little writing...I don't know what to call it, but it was not good, for a while, but am finally getting my nonfiction and fiction mind back and I hope there will be more news to share soon. In both areas I'm trying to push myself to be rigorous and fearless and use everything at my disposal, especially when I think, "I can't." I think that all the time and the only thing standing in my way is that very thought.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rue Rachel in Montreal

My friend and fellow cupcake blogger Nichelle Stephens snapped this photo of Rue Rachel in Montreal!

Leopard print at SMUT

Armor, which sortof worked, at SMUT last night:

Priscilla Long writes in The Writer's Portable Mentor, a book that I wish I could tuck away with me and escape for a few days with:

To develop our own voice, we write truthfully, and in detail. We strive for extreme accuracy. We use our own material, whatever we discover that to be. We write about whatever is central to who we are in this world. We work out our own thoughts in our own words, not to please, not to impress, but to discover what it is is that we have to say.

From models we take strategy, structure, and technique. The fact that we are working our own most urgent material acts as counterweight to the model and ultimately allows us to pull it away altogether, with only scents or hints of the model extant in the new work.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Penis Gagging, BDSM, and Rape Fantasy: The Truth About Kinky Sexting"

Check out my latest SexIs Magazine column, "Penis Gagging, BDSM, and Rape Fantasy: The Truth About Kinky Sexting" - I didn't hold back!

“You don’t want to gag a woman with your penis unless you have some serious issues with the way you see women.” So says Kirsten Powers, ex-girlfriend of sex-scandal star Congressman Anthony Weiner, in a piece for The Daily Beast. She is referencing his sexting relationship with a Las Vegas blackjack dealer. The transcript of their texts was posted by Radar Online, including one bit that prompted Powers’ musing: “You will gag on me before you c** with me in you” and “[I’m] thinking about gagging your hot mouth with my c***.”

This column is not about Weiner. I’m pretty over political sex scandals and am inclined to think that someone like Weiner wanted to get caught, consciously or unconsciously. The only positive thing I can say about such scandals is that they do help shed light on just how unenlightened we are about topics like monogamy and BDSM. Here we have an example of a woman making a blanket statement about something she clearly doesn’t know the first thing about, simply because it offends her.

You know the phrase, “Taken out of context, I must seem so strange?” That goes double for pulling random bits of erotic conversation, texted or otherwise, and analyzing them as if they told a whole story. Without the motivation of the person sending and receiving them, you really don’t know anything, and yet it seems that a default anti-BDSM reaction is acceptable. Our public squeamishness over the fact that some people can eroticize pain, degradation, and being ordered around, safely, consensually and pleasurably, is nothing more than a prejudice that needs to be eradicated.

Read the whole column, and if you like it, please spread the word - social media buttons at the top, or whatever your preferred method. Thank you!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sex Diary!

This week's sex diary: "The 24-Year-Old Assistant Who Likes Having Her Face Licked"

If that didn't get you to click:

TOTALS: Two acts of actual sex; three make-out sessions, two hand jobs to orgasm; two orgasms with a vibrator, two blow jobs to orgasm.


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Monday, July 11, 2011

"Ladies Who Lust" - my introduction to Women in Lust

Women in Lust is so sexy I almost can't even stand it. I have a feeling I'm gonna want to order like 200 copies and pass them out on the street. I won't, because I am trying to be all serious businesswoman here, but I can say that I'm extra excited about it, not just because of the hot cover, or getting to publish new (to me) authors, but because it represents a lot of things I've gone through in my life and identify with, and that I think other women (and men) will to, along with being damn fucking hot. I recommend reading it somewhere you can get off. There's food porn, sex with strangers, travel porn, trysts, BDSM, oral sex, biting, a cowboy, masturbation, cutting and so much more. I feel like it's a birthday present to myself.

I'm excited to be so excited about my work again; it inspires me in all the puzzle pieces of randomness I'm cobbling together that I should bring that fervor to everything, or else not even bother. I linked to Amazon above but will have more purchasing links (and yes, there will be a Kindle edition). The official pub date is November 15 but it will likely be in stores earlier, and stay tuned to @raquelita on Twitter (me!) for free book offer for Amazon reviewers closer to the pub date. Trust me, if you only read one of my books, this is the one to get. Not that I don't love them all, but...there's nothing held back here and I'm thrilled with how daring and bold these characters get.

Ladies Who Lust

Lust. It’s one of those four-letter words that trips off the tongue. When I say it out loud, it makes my lips want to curve into a smile. Lust is more than simple arousal; it is the force that makes us not just turned on, but craving a certain person (or people).

I used to write a sex column called “Lusty Lady,” named after the famed strip club, but somehow lusty, rhyming as it does with busty, sounds a bit like a joke, an added bit of humor, which is how our culture often treats sex. Lust, though, is different; it’s intense, overpowering. While in real life we may not always act every time lust calls to us, in fiction, we can abandon the safety of propriety and seek out lust and sex wherever we find them.

The characters in Women in Lust may vary in the objects of their lust, and how they go about acting on their urge, but what connects them is that pure impulse for a lover. Sometimes he is someone she knows well, is married to or dating; in other stories, he is a stranger, and is sexy precisely because he represents the unknown. Women also lust after other women here, as in Kayar Silkenvoice’s Japanese happy ending massage story, “Cherry Blossom,” and while we only hear one side of the story, I’d like to think the working woman is doing more than just her job. In addition to the culture clash, there’s the joy of throwing caution to the wind while on vacation, using travel to broaden one’s sexual horizons. Whether watching a lover playing guitar, using a webcam, going out for a smoke or simply embracing a chance encounter, these women seize the opportunities presented to them, and savor the lovers who teach them about themselves and help them open up to new sensual possibilities. Sometimes that means looking at the man they live with in a new light, and other times that means something much naughtier. Either way, their lust is a valued part of their lives, not a pesky afterthought or to-do list item on “date night.”

The objects of their lust are not always the “right” person. In “Rain,” a woman falls for her best friend’s boyfriend, one of the ultimate dating taboos, but she goes for it. Sometimes the desire itself, the way it can be used to tease and taunt, as in Charlotte Stein’s “Guess,” is maddening, but we embrace our lusts even when they are maddening, even when they make us do things we might otherwise consider reckless.

For every woman here who can locate her lust on the map of her body, who zeros in on her target and goes for it, there is another who is opened up to her lust by a lover, whether it’s Jen Cross’s narrator pondering what it was, exactly, her orally generous long-ago lover got out of being between her legs. The first words of Shanna Germain’s powerfully kinky “Beneath My Skin” are “I’m afraid,” to which her lover, Kade, responds, “You should be.” Fear can be a powerful motivator and, crossed with lust, can lead to explosive results.

Whether discovering the joy of a younger man, not to mention some delicious pudding, in “Comfort Food,” by Donna George Storey, or taking sex and bondage into the great outdoors in “Something to Ruin” by Amelia Thornton, these women indulge in new ways of getting off and pushing the limits of their lust. Thornton writes: “Despite my longing, there was still part of me that wanted to protest, to tell him to cut me loose, to run wildly through the forest back to the safety of our picnic blanket, but to me that is the beauty of rope: to desire escape but to willingly be imprisoned, to feel the pressure of something that prevents my movement, yet to know there is no place that I feel safer than when trapped like this.” She captures the excitement of giving in to a dominant lover, even when there is a small part of the narrator that is unsure, for that is precisely the part that fuels her desire. This story captures the true power that lies in submission and the many joys it can bring. In “Her, Him and Them,” by Aimee Pearl, the narrator submits to various lovers who question her and push her not only to be the best sub she can be, but to figure out why, exactly, she likes the thrill of submission and service.

I hope these stories inspire some lusty days and nights for you, as they’ have for me.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City

Introduction: Ladies Who Lust

Naughty Thoughts Portia Da Costa
Guess Charlotte Stein
Her, Him and Them Aimee Pearl
Bayou Clancy Nacht
Smoke Elizabeth Coldwell
Bite Me Lucy Hughes
Ride a Cowboy Del Carmen
Queen of Sheba Jen Cross
Hot for Teacher Rachel Kramer Bussel
Unbidden Brandy Fox
Something to Ruin Amelia Thornton
Guitar Hero Kin Fallon
Ode to a Masturbator Aimee Herman
Orchid Jacqueline Applebee
Cherry Blossom Kayar Silkenvoice
Rain Olivia Archer
The Hard Way Justine Elyot
Strapped K D Grace
Beneath My Skin Shanna Germain
Comfort Food Donna George Storey

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I can't resist this killer SMUT lineup, can you?

I'll be in the audience on Thursday night for SMUT, and performing on Saturday! I'll make sure to read something extra dirty...been writing stories about runners, ice, wedding threesomes and more, so I have plenty to choose from. Yes, I am cutting back on readings, but this is a very special event and OMG what a lineup. A-MA-ZING. Via Greg Walloch. I have been seeing Desiree Burch perform for years, though somehow have yet to see her do a full solo show. Must fix that ASAP. If I won the lottery I'd go to Edinburgh myself, but maybe another year. She is fabulous and I'm truly honored to be part of this lineup. Also gives me an excuse to dress up and make myself blush onstage, and in a venue I've never been to, always good things.

Don't miss SMUT: A Reunion (3 NIGHTS ONLY!) hosted by Desiree Burch. Greg Walloch will be performing on 7/14 with Erin Markey, Cara Francis, and Adira Amram & The Experience.

SMUT - featuring “Art that should carry a Parental Advisory label, with some of New York City’s best writers and performers” (New York Times)

3 Performances ONLY! With:

Corn Mo (Jimmy Kimmel, Bonaroo, Austin City Limits)

David Rees (Get Your War On, Huffington Post)

Greg Walloch (The Moth, USA Network)

Adira Amram & The Experience (UCB, Funny or Die)

Clay McLeod Chapman (Pumpkin Pie Show/ SCKBSTD)

Erin Markey (LOGO/PS 122)

Nathan Phillips (NPR, BBC)

Becky Yamamoto (UCB/Ars Nova)

Daniel Ajl Kitrosser (Primary Stages, The Lark)

Cara Francis (New York Neo-Futurists/The Flea)

Rachel Kramer Bussel (Author of Surrender and Gotta Have It)

Audacia Ray (Editor, $PREAD Magazine, Founder, Red Umbrella Project)

Hosted by the original curator and emcee: Desiree Burch (Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Carolines).

The weekly Monday night performance series—a hit of Galapagos Art Space from 2003-2006 that saw the likes of Mike Daisey, Mike Albo, Marga Gomez, Rachel Kramer Bussel, David Rees, Greg Walloch, Adira Amram, Christen Clifford, Baron Vaughn, Joseph Keckler, Erin Markey, James Braly, Audacia Ray, Cecelia Tan, Physical Plant Theatre of Texas, Opium Magazine, Vivid Video and scores of others—has its 5th Year Reunion July 14, 15 and 16 at 9PM at 59E59 Theaters. These three performances will help raise funds to send the show overseas to Edinburgh, Scotland this summer, to be part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest open arts festival in the world.

SMUT: Art That Should Carry

A Parental Advisory Label

59E59 Theaters

JULY 14, 15, 16 @ 9PM

Tickets: $18 - available at the door or at

I also encourage you to check out the rest of the East to Edinburgh Festival lineup!

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Via Piccsy. Smart one, that John Green.

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My weekend in photos, plus killing the old me to make room for the new me

Friday night I went to the Funny Girls on Film Festival in SoHo - I hope there's another because I only got there Friday night but all of it looked amazing. Jessica Delfino gave out vagina cookies and showed several music videos, including "I Wanna Be Famous," below, and a super sexy new song that will make you want to eat Italian food, or at the very least, eat Italian ladies. Or both!

East Village graffiti - more than any other neighborhood, this is probably where I hang out the most, and get my nails done (and some heavenly mini massages)

I discovered that a mere quick walk away is the East River Ferry and the Brooklyn Flea, and took the ferry with my cousins, including a super happy water-loving one-year-old, to DUMBO and a water park and then to Governor's Island, where I snapped this cannon.

Have a lot of things percolating that I hope to share soon. Oh and my summer anthology Obsessed: Erotic Romance for Women (party August 25th!!!) is here (here, meaning in my hands) and those who signed up to review it on Amazon, your books are already in the mail, they'll be in stores soon. Want good karma and a free super-sexy book in October (again, before they're in stores)? Sign up to be a Women in Lust Amazon reviewer now. I'll send books as soon as I get them in early October, you promise to review by November 30th. I think of that as my birthday book because I will be 36 on November 10. Email womeninlustantho at with "Amazon" in the subject line and your name and US mailing address in the body. We won't be able to respond to every email but books will go out in October, and remember, if you get one, you MUST review it by November 30 or bad karma will be yours forever. I'm about to start copyediting this one and am reminded about how adventurous, gutsy, sexy and powerful these characters are. They are women who go after exactly what they want, and not just in bed. Plus this cover - so hot it's on the Cleis Press catalog cover too! Matching the font to her lipstick=brilliant.

I feel that birthday looming every day and I am finally ready to get back on track with all the goals I want to achieve by then! Not blog appropriate because sortof like books, as I'm learning, the minute you spill the beans is the minute you lose control. Plus most of them are just about daily behaviors I need to change/improve and searching for ways to live a better, healthier, happier, more productive life. I am inclined toward...the opposite, and it's gotten me into lots of pickles, and while I love pickles, especially spicy ones, at 35 I'm feeling too old to live with those same behaviors and baggage constantly dragging me down.

I am ready for something new, and dreaming big, and if I fail it's because I tried and failed, not because I gave up because I despise myself. I'm over that. This month/year are constant reminders of all the Big Fails I've racked up, but also a chance, every day, to create and atone and accept that past and move on, because I do have so many things I want to achieve. No point talking about them because if I've learned anything the last two years, it's that if you want to do something, you do, and if you don't, you don't. For me that is all too true.

I tell myself lies all the time about how I will spend my time, and the proof is in how I actually do spend my time. I got off track while everyone around me sailed ahead and I see now where I misplaced my priorities, let the wrong emotions take over, let all my doubts overtake me until I thought, "Failure is inevitable." And it was, because of that thought. Vicious but totally sensible cycle. [Note: For those who look around and say, "But you have so many books out, what failures?" I can only say trust me, lots and lots of big, costly failures. This is the one I feel most awful about because it was the biggest mainstream acknowledgment I've ever had, and a book about sex that will be read by umpteen more eyeballs than my books ever will. I can't go back in time, but I can make sure I never turn down a magnificent opportunity again due to fear, self-doubt, worry about what other people will think, etc.] But that doesn't mean I can't start over and make new successes, redeem myself, not in anyone else's eyes, because I have nothing in me to care about what anyone else thinks of me at the expense of what I think of myself. That was my fatal flaw, and only in hindsight do I see that so clearly.

So, onward...I also tried to find a weekend I could escape NYC and didn't come up with much, between two family trips, various meetings and shows (like All New People and The Talls at Second Stage Theatre), and trying to get my home in order, which make the decluttering process sound a lot easier than it is. Being here for most of the summer is good, perhaps, because my usual style is to run away from my problems. This summer is about facing them, every single day. Baby steps. Tiny tiny tiny baby steps, but baby steps nonetheless.

I can tell you that one of the things I'm hoping to debut in the next few weeks is e-book versions of some of my favorite of my many erotic short stories. They will be $1.99 or less and I will even appear on at least one of the covers (okay, my leg). Obviously other things are priorities right now but this is something I've been wanting to try. I haven't had much luck in the e-book department in the past or in anthologies I've been part of but this seems like an easy and relatively cheap experiment. Will blog when they're ready. Umpteen thanks to my assistant Inara de Luna, without whom that project would be totally dead in the water.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Want to read: The Accidental Creative

I read about The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice by Todd Berry in a guest post of his, "The Fallacy of Compartmentalization," which I found via Justine Musk and was totally intrigued. Lately, after a long period of dormancy, I'm finding myself filled with creative ideas again, and my ongoing challenge is seeing them through. I revert to seeing the flaws, the failures, or the overwhelmingness of the tasks ahead, and get sidetrack from the high of just using that creative burst to move forward.

From the post (bolding his):

The principle that I’d blown right past in my pursuit of creative invincibility was that each commitment I made, and each project I decided to take on, required something more of me than just my time. Each required my energy. And because I was not being strategic and purposeful about the number and nature of simultaneous commitments I was making, I soon found myself in energy debt. I was creatively inverted and no longer had enough energy to generate the ideas I needed just to keep my head above water.

When you are planning your life, you need to account for every commitment you make in every area.

Official description:

Have better ideas, faster, without the stress and burnout.

It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us, regardless of our role, have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand.

Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his consultancy and his popular podcast, Henry has created a practical method for discovering your personal creative rhythm. He focuses on five key elements:

* Focus: Begin with your end goal in mind.
* Relationships: Build stimulating relationships and ideas will follow.
* Energy: Manage it as your most valuable resource.
* Stimuli: Structure the right "inputs" to maximize creative output.
* Hours: Focus on effectiveness, not efficiency.
This is a guide for staying inspired and experiencing greater creative productivity than you ever imagined possible.

Book trailer:

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Sale! "Our Own Private Champagne Room" to be published in Best Erotic Romance 2012

Checked my email after I landed in NYC and found the news that my story was officially accepted to the Cleis Press anthology Best Erotic Romance 2012, edited by Kristina Wright. It's my first time being in one of her books and I'm thrilled, plus what a killer lineup! Love Emerald's story title "Honey Changes Everything." This book is out in December. Woo-hoo!

Introduction: Simply the Best

What Happened in Vegas Sylvia Day

First Night Donna George Storey

Another Trick Up My Sleeve Heidi Champa

Drive Me Crazy Delilah Devlin

Once Upon a Dinner Date Saskia Walker

He Tends To Me Justine Elyot

Guest Services Angela Caperton

Memories for Sale Andrea Dale

Blame It On Facebook Kate Dominic

The Draft Craig J. Sorensen

To Be in Clover Shanna Germain

Honey Changes Everything Emerald

Cheating Time Kate Pearce

Our Own Private Champagne Room Rachel Kramer Bussel

Till the Storm Breaks Erobintica

The Curve of Her Belly Kristina Wright

Dawn Chorus Nikki Magennis

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Love, race and family tonight with the brilliant Diane Farr and Ken Tanabe

You really don't want to miss this meeting of two truly brilliant minds and open-hearted, amazing people who are working to make the world a better, less racist place. Ken Tanabe is the found of Loving Day and Diane Farr is the author of Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After, which is about both her love story with her Korean husband and follows stories of various interracial couples as they navigate their families old and new. And yes, this will finally inspire me to finish up my interview with Diane and get it online by hook or by crook. She had so many amazing things to say and I want to share them.

Venue: Barnes and Noble Tribeca
Address Line 1: 97 Warren Street
City: New York
State (if you are in the U.S.A): New York
Country: United States

You may know Diane Farr as an actress on "Rescue Me" and "Numb3rs," or as a host on "Loveline." Her new book, "Kissing Outside the Lines," is her "unapologetic - often hilarious - look at the complexities of interracial/ethnic/religious/what-have-you love." She shares her own story of creating a family with someone from a race and culture different from her own, as well as the stories of other multiracial couples from different corners of the U.S.

Join Loving Day for this entertaining and informative event! Diane Farr will be there in person to discuss "Kissing Outside the Lines." There will also be a Q&A session moderated by Loving Day founder Ken Tanabe.

Diane Farr at Barnes & Noble Tribeca
Wednesday, July 6th at 6:30pm
97 Warren Street, New York, NY 10007

Can’t make it to the event? Your purchases from Barnes & Noble online (and at the store) between July 6-10, 2011 can benefit Loving Day. For online orders, check the box labeled “Check this box if this is a Bookfair Order”. Then, in the field labeled “BOOKFAIR ID NUMBER,” enter 10519932. Your purchases in the store or over the phone will also benefit Loving Day if you provide our Bookfair ID number 10519932.

Loving Day fights racial prejudice through education and builds multicultural community. A growing global network of annual Loving Day Celebrations commemorate the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage in the United States. For more information about Loving Day, please visit
Hosted By:
Diane Farr and Loving Day
not required

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Call for submissions: Bisexual women's anthology

Another new one. Hotel erotica is now closed and this one and the erotic spanking anthology are open. Please support my books so I can keep editing more anthologies - this will be my 50th!

Call for Submissions
Bisexual Women themed erotic anthology (title TK)

Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
To be published by Cleis Press
Deadline: September 1, 2011 (earlier submissions preferred)

Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is looking for erotic stories featuring bisexual women in all their diversity. The more creative, memorable and hot, the better. Please avoid clichés, or if you're going to use them, turn them on their heads. I will leave the definition of "bisexual" up to you; the final anthology will feature a range of characters, settings and scenarios, from those in monogamous relationships to those in open relationships, single women, bicurious, etc. Plots centered around identity politics are not desired; these are erotic stories first and foremost. Please keep in mind that with an anthology centered around a theme such as this, my job as editor is to create a widely varied collection, so the more unique your story, the better its chances. Stories can be told in first, second or third person POV, but should focus on the experience of a bisexual woman (whether she identifies as "bisexual" or not). Though less desired, stories from the viewpoint of the partner of a bisexual woman will be considered. Authors of all genders and sexual orientations are welcome. Please see any of my previous anthologies, such as Orgasmic and Fast Girls, for an idea of the kinds of stories I'm looking for.

Payment: Contributors will receive $50/story and 2 copies of the anthology on publication. Contract is for one-time rights.

How to submit: Include story title and byline at top of first page. Send double spaced Times or Times New Roman 12 point black font Word document (.doc only, NOT .docx) OR RTF of 1,500-4,000 word story. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) required. Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address, and 50 word or less bio in the third person to If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. I will be accepting stories on a rolling basis so the sooner you submit, the better. Cleis Press has final approval over the manuscript so you can expect a final answer by February 2012.

I’ve been seeing numerous recent submissions that do not conform to my guidelines. They are there for a reason and submissions not meeting these guidelines will not be considered. Please read and follow them or risk your submission being rejected or returned for reformatting. If you have any questions, please contact me at

About the editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel ( is the editor of 38 anthologies, including Gotta Have It, Surrender, Best Bondage Erotica 2011, Bottoms Up, Spanked, The Mile High Club, Do Not Disturb, He’s on Top, She’s on Top, Tasting Him, Tasting Her, Crossdressing, Dirty Girls, and is Best Sex Writing Series Editor. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, writes a column for SexIs Magazine, and hosted and curated In The Flesh Reading Series in New York for five years. Her writing has been published in over 100 anthologies, including Susie Bright’s X: The Erotic Treasury, Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and Zane’s Purple Panties and the New York Times bestseller Succulent: Chocolate Flava II. She has written for Cosmopolitan, The Daily Beast, Fresh Yarn, Mediabistro, Newsday, New York Post, Penthouse, Time Out New York, Zink and other publications.

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Something I saw instead of the Jamie Reid exhibit

Lessons lessons lessons

So many lessons to keep on learning as I try to be a better person, like someone who goes to the address of the gallery printed on their website, in this case, Isis Gallery. I went somewhere else, tried to find 66 Charlotte Road, and my immediate reaction to realizing I'd gone to the utterly wrong place was to tell myself how stupid I am. I tell myself that a lot, sometimes out loud like today, usually much more quietly. I forget sometimes how much hate I walk around with until it unleashes itself so virulently. It's something big I'm trying to work on, and it's so much easier to fall into the mode of thinking everyone, and certain someones especially, have these perfect lives where they don't make mistakes and everything goes swimmingly. Much easier to do so than to take a good hard look at my errors and flaws and failures and ask myself what purpose they've served, what purpose they keep on serving, and how I can work on doing better, which means not being perfect, as I long to be, but being me, flaws and all, but still trying my best.

It's a roadblock I keep on coming up against, over and over and over, and maybe that's the lesson; until I die I will be making mistakes. My first step this morning was to utterly loathe myself; that's so familiar, so default, so easy. And it's true; I made a juvenile, bad traveler error. I didn't map out where I wanted to go and plan accordingly, I relied on Googling "Isis Gallery" rather than looking at their site directly. I'm still angry with myself, but had to laugh at the fact that it's been almost a year since I got my "Open" tattoo and even as I contemplate another one, I am actually not very open at all. I'm not open with myself about making mistakes, and I am too easily distracted from my goals by...well, everything.

I had to step back and remind myself that I'm grateful to even know about the exhibit because of a beautiful story I was graced with the honor of reading for an anthology, one I very much hope I will be able to publish. I forget about those small everyday honors because they've become so commonplace. I try to be the "business me" and forget about the fact that so much of what I do is actually personal. That I'm lucky indeed for every story I get to publish, every author I get to work with, and every anthology that my work appears in, and even for the opportunities I've frittered away. I forget that as much as I might fuck up, I also am always learning. Not always learning things I want to learn, not always learning things that make me happy, but I always have the choice to move forward, or to do like I tend to do and either move backward or stay the same. I still want to be a girl I can look in the mirror and be proud of. Not there yet, but working on it, and realizing more and more that what anyone else thinks of me matters not a whit. That is a tough, tough lesson for a people pleaser, but it has no relation to what I think of myself and perhaps an inverse one as I get a little too high off other people's approval. Again, lessons. Which I always have the option of learning from. Always.

So yeah, in addition to figuring out my way from the underground to the overground and what it means when they ask if you want your coffee "black or white" means, I have a lot to consider from this trip. And maybe Jamie Reid will come do an exhibition in the United States. And if not, there will be a next time. Maybe not in the same shape or form, but a next time nonetheless. So until then...

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