Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

But I kill dreams in the chase/I slap love in the face

I buy the MP3 version of Mary Lou Lord's album Live City Sounds so that I can play my boyfriend her cover of "Thunder Road," since we're going to see Bruce Springsteen, and I know he's a huge fan. We'd just been talking about Springsteen's use of plain girl names, and there's one, "Mary." We sit on the couch and listen and then we make out and the album keeps going and it's an effort to keep myself in the moment, because every song is a time capsule of so many moments. Finding her music was this way out of the stultifying life of the law that never fit me well, though New York City totally did.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to treat myself to a day away, an adventure all by myself, to see Shawn Colvin in Wilmington, Delaware. She and I are circling near each other in the Washington, DC area. I'm speaking at MOMENTUMCON, at the end of a busy month that involves SXSW and a family wedding in Chicago and a lot of assorted projects. That need to escape, though, is something I'm not sure I can do in a day. I'm working as hard as I can to be utterly present, in the now, rather than the past, but that trip seems like such a clear marker, of that old me and the new me. Last year I almost didn't go to DC. I had a complete and utter freakout that involved throwing butter in the street and melting down and then while I was on the bus got an email that should've been pretty much the biggest red flag I've ever seen, but instead I pretended that it wasn't, pretended all sorts of things that haunted the rest of the year. I only now am starting to let go of all the emotions that were stirred up then, all the flaws of mine that seemed to glow from my iPhone screen, and continued to as I wandered amongst the cherry blossoms.

I have a date this year for the conference, and the cherry blossoms. There's a part of me that loves the coupley-ness of that, the domesticity that we keep playing at for a few hours or a few days at a time. It's as welcoming and warm as it is alienating and surreal, and sometimes the collision of those opposing forces feels like it's happening inside me. It's not so much a single/couple split but a freedom/anchoring split. There is a part of me that doesn't want to be beholden to anyone or anything, to literally be able to, as the song says, pick a day and be in a new destination, which is what I'm going to do, and have been doing. I know I have a ways to go in terms of easing out of being that girl I was last year, so empty and needy and fearful and eager to please, back when I thought there was some special way I could be or act that would get me what I wanted. I know now more surely than ever that all those things I thought I wanted from the person who sent me that email, who sent me a photo of the cherry blossoms blooming, all that supposed validation, isn't something I can ever get from anyone else, even the kids I dream about. I don't have names picked out, but I have a vision of the life I want. I see it when I hold my friend's baby warm against me, when her daughter points at my computer screen and counts the cupcakes she sees. I see it when I look at the 10-day-old in the photo nestled against another friend, when I send him a stuffed purple block with a cow on it.

Live City Sounds opens with a Magnetic Fields cover, "I Don't Want to Get Over You." Either version, the original, or Mary Lou's, has this almost over joking tone even though it's about that agony of knowing you have to get over someone but you know you're not even going to try because there's no point. It's from 69 Love Songs which featured songs like "I Think I Need a New Heart." For such an awfully long time, I could identify with both of those sentences. My heart was so stuck in the past that every time I tried to yank it into the present, it was stubborn and angry and mocked me, letting me get as far as I possibly could, like a kid on one of those leashes. There I'd be in the present, thinking I was looking and moving forward, when really I was just readying myself for a hard crash back into the past, and we'd collide so hard I'd be useless for days and weeks at a time. Now, I don't think you could pay me to cry on command on a subway train. Well, you could try, but I don't think even conjuring up the darkest moments would do it. It's more a hollowness, a what if, an uneasy truce with the truth of the situation. And sometimes get the fuck out of town, but hopefully manage to keep my dreams within easy reach.

I take too many planes
I know too many names and I
Forget them
I wanted to know if dreams
Would lie
You said they would try and I
Said let them
You just let them
But I kill dreams in the chase
I slap love in the face
Ricochet in time to the music
You just pick a day and I’m in
A new destination

Shawn Colvin, "Ricochet in Time"

Monday, February 27, 2012

"My Date Told Me to Wear More Makeup" - my latest essay at The Frisky

I'm back in writing mode and am hoping to keep having more work to share soon. Here's my latest, from The Frisky, one of my favorite websites: "My Date Told me to Wear More Makeup." With a visual, and both are actually self-portraits. I've been using the one on the left on Facebook and my new Moo business cards:

A snippet:
Read the whole thing

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Inside Beaner Bar

I pretty much live at Gimme Coffee in Williamsburg (the coffee is so good and has fueled much writing), to the point that I just suggested they sell cupcakes, but I liked the art at Beaner Bar, and it's right near Waffle and Wolf, where I'm still eating my way through my well-worth-it Groupon.

I'm loving the new Georgetown Cupcake in SoHo

And will be checking out their Thin Mint Crunch cupcake on Thursday and blogging about it. Yum! This is their mint cookies and creme. They're located at 111 Mercer Street; my first NYC home was 240 Mercer Street, so it feels kindof full circle.

"Um, Rachel"

I'm sitting in Beaner Bar sharing coffee and catching up with one friend when I get a text from another one. "Um, Rachel" it says. I show it to my friend. "Maybe she's mad at you," she suggests. I wait for the followup, expecting something awful. Instead, she's just telling me that my ex, or rather, the hot genius lady's husband who I used to fuck, is at her place of employment. She is a little freaked out by this, but I'm not. It doesn't phase me; I didn't know, and didn't need to know. I'm not mad, but it feels like I'm watching myself in a movie. I'm so grateful to be with a friend who doesn't judge me at all, who knows how weird this time is, with or without text messages. It's weird too that just as I finally start to get to that place of feeling nothing, I've been given all these wonderful professional opportunities; they feel connected, in some strange way, like a sign that if I grow the fuck up, focus on what I have, what I can produce and be, rather than what I can't, zero in on what I'm meant to be working on, gain the courage to change the things I can instead of chasing after those I spent way too much time wishing they were into me, the universe will reward me.

I'm grateful for how little I felt, ashamed of those moments when I still am too weak, too fragile. I hate myself when that happens, when I can't just roll with the punches. I was glad the text came now, when I'm a little stronger, fiercer, when I'm trying to protect my heart, but not protect it too much. There was a time when I'd have either asked her to do some reconnaissance, or burst into tears. Now, I can laugh, mostly, shrug it off. That's all hers, always was, always will be. It has nothing to do with me. I accept that I'm not as young, pretty, smart, kinky, perfect, and I'm okay with that. All that envy just dropped away; its toxicity was starting to seep into way too much of my life, and for nothing. I have no choice, and rather than wasting time regretting all my extreme idiocy, I'm trying to be in the now, regardless of all the TMI, self-inflicted and otherwise. You could tell me he's running for president, he's in your house, whatever, and I'd be okay. No cause for alarm. I get it.

The part that's harder is, after dating so many people who ultimately just weren't that into me, who found it so easy to walk away, having to realize that not everyone is like that. Some people actually like me for me. They aren't comparing me to someone I'll never in a million years be able to hold a candle to, they're not trying to change me or tell me what to do, they're just themselves. There aren't a million games or hoops to jump through.

I don't know if I'm up to that challenge, for simplicity is its own kind of challenge. I don't fetishize codependency and inseparability; the opposite, in fact. I am very much a loner, and for every moment of sociability, I need its opposite. At the first hint of too much togetherness, I crave nothing more than complete solitude. I miss Hawaii not just for the warmth and the beauty, but the quiet. When shit hits the fan here, I think about whether I could make it there, whether we'd be a good fit. I don't know about me and Hawaii any more than I know about the future of my relationship. One day at a time. I just know that that text felt like at test, like a sign...hopefully a good one.

And not to at all compare a breakup to drugs, but yes, I've written about this a lot, and it reminds me of Cat Marnell's Whitney Houston memorial/drug essay in that I will keep writing about it not because anyone tells me I fucking shouldn't (that's also pretty much a sure way to make me never shut up about it) but because I'm done and truly don't care anymore. I'm working toward getting there, because there are infinitely more interesting topics. I'll move on to those soon. Have a few new pieces in the works that I'm excited about, and lots of ideas percolating. Slow and steady.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kindle and Nook editions of Irresistible: Erotic Romance for Couples now for sale for $9.99

Kindle and Nook readers, you can now purchase Irresistible: Erotic Romance for Couples for $9.99!

This Irresistible read features loving couples turning their deepest fantasies into reality, resulting in uninhibited, imaginative sex they can only enjoy together. You’ll delight in discovering all the exciting erotic possibilities, from serving tea naked to a very intimate massage to a reminder that sometimes best friends make the best lovers. Engage in a little sexting in A.M. Hartnett’s sizzling “Safe for Work” office tryst, and follow a kinky candidate for public office—and his lusty wife—in "Hypocrites." Cole Riley’s moving “Same As It Ever Was” shows that makeup sex can be worth fighting for. Dirty talk leads to lustful surprises and inspiration for the neighbors in “The Mitzvah” by Tiffany Reisz. As editor Rachel Kramer Bussel notes, the lovers in this daringly romantic anthology are “able to open up in the ways they do is precisely because they have another person to rely on, coax them, challenge them, tease them and seduce them into traveling down a new sexual path. Whether that means outdoor sex, kink, a trip to a strip club or a very sensual massage, we get to see how the layers of trust that have been built up get used to stoke the fire that burns between them.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bloggers wanted for virtual book tour

Want a free copy of Best Sex Writing 2012? If you're a blogger, join the March virtual book tour. Email bestsexwriting2012 at with "Tour" in the subject and your URL and mailing address in the body and you'll be assigned a date and sent a book!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Watch me on The Morning Blend

I promoted the staycation and other tips on spicing up your sex life and had a fabulous time on Milwaukee's The Morning Blend on Friday - click to watch!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sex diary, sex tip and Best Sex Writing 2012 West Coast and NYC tour dates

A lot of info all at once, and at the bottom, some art I loved at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where I want to go back and spend hours upon hours, it was so incredible, and up top, Valentine's Day appropriate, neon hearts at the restaurant Elsa's in Milwaukee. I'm back, but am planning a return trip to Milwaukee when it's warmer. $98 flight on Frontier Airlines and so much awesomeness. You can read about my erotic writing workshop at Northwestern in The Daily Northwestern. I also did one at The Tool Shed, which has an amazing selection of sex toys.

This week's sex diary involves a busted Hitachi Magic Wand, foreign guys and bad communication, and an expat exploring a new city. (I'm the editor; if you want to write an anonymous sex diary, email me at sexdiaries at

I gave a Valentine's Day sex top to Blisstree.

And in April I'll be going on what is probably one of my last proper book tours unless I suddenly win the lottery or write some kind of blockbuster, so I'm going all out, to old favorites like Powell's, which deserves its own essay about the piece that's only in Best Sex Writing 2012 because of Powell's, Elliott Bay, and Booksmith, and Bookshop Santa Cruz, where I've never been, and the bookstore where I spend the most money and score the most incredible finds, Housing Works. There will also be assorted interviews along the way and hopefully a cupcake meetup in Seattle and attending theater and I'm also reading at Writers With Drinks April 14th. But these are the Best Sex Writing 2012 events, where I'll get to meet a lot of my contributors. And do readings with Susie Bright! See you there. Whether you can or can't make these if you've got a blog, I'd love to have you join the March virtual book tour for Best Sex Writing 2012. These dates are left - email bestsexwriting2012 at with "Tour" in the subject and include your URL and mailing address and you'll be assigned a date. Thank you!

Free cupcakes at all readings!

April 6, 7:30 pm
Powell's, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland, Oregon

Free and free cupcakes! Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and contributors Tim Elhajj, Kevin Sampsell and Lidia Yuknavitch. 503-228-4651.
Facebook invite

April 7, 7 pm
Elliott Bay Books, 1521 10th Avenue, Seattle, WA

Free and free cupcakes! Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and contributors Kevin Sampsell and Lidia Yuknavitch. 206-624-6600.
Facebook invite

April 9, 7 pm
Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco

Free and free cupcakes! Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, guest judge Susie Bright and local contributors Greta Christina, Tracy Clark-Flory and Thomas S. Roche. 415-863-8688.
Facebook invite

April 12, 7:30 pm
Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA

Free and free cupcakes! Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, guest judge Susie Bright, and local contributors. 831-423-0900.
Facebook invite

April 25, 7 pm
Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, NYC

Free and free cupcakes! Featuring editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and contributors Ellen Friedrichs, Lynn Harris, Amanda Marcotte, Joan Price, and Rachel Rabbit White. 212-334-3324.
Facebook invite

Milwaukee Art Museum art:

Nancy by Chuck Close - more info below, and the Nancy Graves piece was adjacent to it

Object Disguised 4 Times by Nancy Graves

St. Dionysus by Kehinde Wiley

Bluffs by Tara Donovan (made of buttons!)

There was sun, snow and water right out the window, and it was beautiful. And below is what I saw when I looked up.

This greets you when you either look down from street level, or right when you walk in from the parking garage:

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Bisexual cupcake enthusiast interviewed at Autostraddle

Thank you so much to Chloe at the awesome, bookmark worthy queery smart sexy site Autostraddle for interviewing me for NSFW Sunday! This is how it starts: "." Read the whole thing!

From the interview:
Bondage specifically is a really interesting topic. First of all, you can incorporate so many different material items. You can pretty much tie someone up with anything, so as erotica, I think that’s interesting. And the other part — what I’m most interested in, both personally and in writing — is the psychological side. Bondage especially lends itself to writing about the kinds of reasons that people want to be restrained or want to restrain someone else. When people can do that really well, it speaks to people who are into bondage, but it also speaks to a wider meaning, because it taps into so much more than just our sexual side — it taps into ideas about power and giving up power and who you’re willing to do that for and why.

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

My final SexIs column and see you in Milwaukee!

I'm off to Milwaukee for to tonight's Erotica 101 class at Tool Shed Toys, then Northwestern tomorrow. Here's my final SexIs column, "How To Turn Me On." I've loved writing it and would ike to write another column, NOT about my personal life but about sex and culture, if you're hiring!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Bound by the surprise of our glory days

So I booked this trip back in November, with only a vague inkling of knowledge that I had to get out of New York. It was less about visiting Honolulu as going somewhere warm that wasn't my home. My city had started to feel too cloying, too claustrophobic, too much. I didn't even know then how much more so it would start to feel, only that I would probably thank myself later. I didn't know I would start to feel like I was spiraling somewhere I didn't want to be, learning things I have no business knowing, intoxicating, alluring and glittering with promise as those things may be.

I was so intent on that escape I didn't think much about whether escape is ever truly possible, I just knew I needed out. Maybe in the back of my mind I thought this transition from hurt to whole, from wishing I had something and someone I don't to simply grateful for this body, this brain, this heart, this life, would be seamless, wrapped up with an exotic excursion. I didn't realize many things, one of them being that that Adele song I played about a hundred times last year, "Someone Like You," would be playing all over Oahu, every day, pretty much everywhere. I heard it at cafes, in stores, blasting out of a trolley. I heard Kiana covering it on the street on Kalakaua.

Maybe I played it so many times myself, more than any other from that album, hoping to discern its essence, hoping to get to that place the Adele in the song is, where she can see her ex years later and truly wish him the best, instead of having the most bittersweet moments like I seem to do. I seemingly only listened to the ex part of the song, instead of the title, because when did in fact remind me of my ex, not because they share the same name, but plenty of other similarities, in enough ways, I was sortof shocked that that could even be possible. It made me wonder if I could handle any of those reminders, made me realize my infatuation with that song was more than a little misguided.

In fact, I didn't really want to meet someone like him, in any way. I would've told you I wanted to meet someone the opposite of him, and on closer inspection, they are not really so similar, except in the most surface of ways, ways someone who doesn’t know them would pinpoint. And the truth is beneath the surface, the searing jealousy, so fierce it takes my breath away at times, beneath the extreme inadequacy I feel when faced with it, there is an even deeper, stronger undercurrent of all the reasons I fell for this person, the reason his presence is almost like white noise in the background of my mind.

It's hard to leave behind my all or nothing thinking, hard to leave behind anything I've held onto my whole life, to admit that, but it's true. Every time I heard that song this past week, it reminded me that I can avoid my city, I can avoid the incessant, ubiquitous reminders, but it doesn't negate the fact that what I treasured most about that relationship is encapsulate in the word written on my arm. It's easier to rely on that surface sheen of darkness because to go deeper and recall those glory days, that cookie I ate for dinner that tasted like the best thing in the world, the way the next day I could see us reflected back in windows, could feel the vibrations from all the way across that city, their city, my city.

I'm so wary these days, so prickly, so uncertain, that the second I saw those similarities, I wanted to take a step back, say no thank you, not me. I'm not done yet, still too tender inside, too rare, too soft. It's like that song "Ladyfingers" by Luscious Jackson except I don't have any hard shell around me; I have nothing to cling to for protection, for safety. WYSIWYG. And yet. Maybe it's possible to appreciate those glory days for what they were while making new ones. Maybe one door is still ajar, just enough to let a sliver of light in, and the other is inching open a little bit more than that, almost despite me.

Except I don't want anything to happen despite me, I don't want to start anything if I can't do the only thing that made those glory days worth it, which is give all of myself, every last bit of me, even when it meant trembling in a hallway, or wandering through a strange city, or wishing I could be the book landing on the floor of my stairs with a thud so strong it echoes in my head all these months later. There will probably always be a part of me that wants to be that book, wants to be that girl who watched and felt it fall, who fell, in her way, for the umpteenth time, right along with it.

The door is ajar just enough to let me take a lot of shuddering breaths as I sit here crying in the lobby of a hotel while flight attendants are packing up and dance music is playing and I could be anywhere in the world, and clearly I haven't given it that nudge to click it closed all the way. I've held on to it because there is still a little bit of that magnetism, that sense that everything else can be gone in a flash, stripped away in service of something even more powerful, even grander.

I thought that in order to move forward, to open that next door, I had to go back, back to before that moment on the street in Greenpoint, tremulous voice and all. Except there is no going back. I can't be that girl again, no matter how much I wish I could, and that girl may have been more innocent but there were a lot of transformative, brilliant things she couldn't have even imagined existed and I don't want to be so cynical I disown those moments, because that's not who I am. I've tried to embrace cynicism as a way of life, as a survival tactic, and it's never lasted long, certainly not long enough.

In my optimistic moments I'd like to think I'm better for that twisted mix of glory days and their opposite, wiser, something, but you don't get a stamp on your heart like a passport you can flip through, a been there, done that badge. There's no Foursquare for love. I spent so long trying to figure out how to be someone else, how to be someone better, more worthy, more special, because I wanted it to be like a puzzle and once I solved it I'd get that prize again, that chance to be that book, to be that girl on the phone, the girl clutching her beautiful bruises close. Maybe, though, there's nothing to solve, no magic trick, nothing else I have to do but be me, which is a mixed blessing if ever there was one, something simultaneously simple and devilishly difficult. How to be a girl I hate and love in the extreme, how to ask someone else to handle those warring factions within me. But maybe I don't have to ask. Maybe I don't have to do anything, don't have to travel far, literally or figuratively, to get to that place., except look, and listen, and be open. And like another of my beloved Adele songs, I suppose I can be my own savior, and still open that door, even if I have no idea what's on the other side.

I just asked if I have to bring anything else on my date that I wish were happening right now, and I was told just to bring my fabulous self. So I will.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Daily gratitude: This, Hawaiian edition

Crossposting from my Tumblr, where I try for daily gratitude, along with one of my favorites of the hundreds of photos I've taken here in Hawaii, of Waikiki Beach at sunset. I plan to come back in November for my birthday, if not sooner. This has been a beautiful, much-needed vacation.

Daily gratitude: This

Just this feeling of total serenity I’ve had here. Not every second but for the most part I tapped in to enjoying this island and my time, whether I was soaking my feet in a hot tub, watching the sunset, eating cupcakes or an amazing acai bowl, or delicious food cart snacks, having my photo taken with a topless male model, seeing a bacon cupcake underarm tattoo, in a car going zero to sixty, on the beach, at the mall, drinking coffee, reading, walking or geeking out over cacti or adorable children or the sun like I’d never seen any of them before. It feels like it’s been much longer than a week and I’d easily extend another week if I could. I mean, the worst things that happened were having my bank card blocked by a fraud attempt and seeing a “Romney - Believe in America” sign (wtf? I sure as hell believe in my fucking country).

My upcoming week, which involves a friend’s theater show, a hot date, saying goodbye to some of mg favorite New Yorkers before they move, speaking in Milwaukee and at Northwestern, being on live TV, digging in to a fun new assignment where I get to hear about other people’s sexcapades and break into a new print venue, is all great, but feels so far away. Heady but intimidating, and I’m not quite ready for anything remotely approaching intimidating just yet. I want to take as much of the spirit of this trip home with me. I can’t be the girl I was in January, the instantly reactive, out of control childish person I was starting to become. Maybe I needed to shock my system to shake it up, and I certainly needed to escape my claustrophobic city. But now I need to learn to live there, with all my and its imperfections and memories and blessings. Because more than anything I feel blessed to have had this week, to remember my strengths, to be reminded that I don’t have to go out of my way to impress people, just be open. So while I’m leaving Hawaii tonight, I hope it’s not leaving me, and not just because I’m bringing my comfy slippers (one of my vocabulary lessons - slippers, not flip flops) back to Brooklyn. And I already have an inkling of coming back for my birthday. But one day at a time. Actually, one moment.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

So much spanking erotica now in audio form too!

Now you can listen to all the spanking erotica you want from my books Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica and Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories on Audible! Click on images below to buy the audio from Amazon and more information below, because I love spanking erotica. More details soon on my next spanking erotica book!

Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica

Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories

Buy Spanked from:






Audible audio version

Cleis Press

Table of Contents

Introduction: “A Fantastic Kind of Pain”

Spanking You Rick Roberts
Perfect Bound Shanna Germain
Betty Crocker Gone Bad Alison Tyler
Laser Tag Madeline Glass
A Rare Find Donna George Storey
Game, Set, Match Sage Vivant
Tied Down Andy Ohio
Through a Glass, Sharply Elizabeth Coldwell
Reunion Madlyn March
Riding the Storm Thomas Christopher
The Breeding Barn L. Elise Bland
Pink Cheeks Fiona Locke
Page by Page Laura Bacchi
Fiscal Discipline Simon Sheppard
Pre-Party Thomas S. Roche
Still Life with Infidels #56 M. David Hornbuckle
Indulgences Tenille Brown
Logan Rosalind Christine Lloyd
Daddy’s Girl Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Depths of Despair Rachel Kramer Bussel

Introduction: “A Fantastic Kind of Pain”

Just as I have a seemingly endless capacity to bare my ass and get it smacked soundly or make a squirming bottom hover on the edge of erotic oblivion with loud, ringing, stinging whack after whack, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading stories about spanking. There was a time when I wasn’t sure I could say that; after all, just how much is there to say about bending over and letting a firm hand connect with a pertly offered-up bottom? Or striking a pretty pair of buttcheeks so well the person beneath you moans in ecstatic agony? Well, as I’ve learned while editing this collection, there are an infinite number of ways to talk about the pleasures of getting spanked or spanking someone. While the actions may look alike, we all experience them differently and have different motives for indulging in this beloved kinky activity.

Me? I get off on just thinking about bending over for that special someone. Maybe I’m wearing panties, and only part of my bottom is visible. Maybe I’m not, and my spanker can see everything, including my wetness. I get wet at the mere idea of offering up my entire body to a lover to play with, tease, spank, and arouse. I’ve also had plenty of eager bottoms spread before me, offering asses that just begged to be spanked, whether they speak words to that effect or not. But for me, and for many others, spanking is about much more than just the physical. It’s about what that sensation creates inside of us. Spanking breaks down our barriers in ways even sex sometimes doesn’t; it stirs up emotions; it makes us whimper or cry, or be proud of just how much we can take. It’s primal and powerful, not to mention incredibly popular. I was thrilled to see spanking make an appearance on Showtime’s Californication, where the bratty, bossy bottom of a secretary demands that her boss spank her for any office infraction. “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” indeed.

And those who bestow spankings, whether with hands, paddles, hairbrushes, or other devices, relish that power to bring pleasure and pain mixed together, to completely undo the person they are spanking with just a few (or possibly many) whacks.

The authors included here get just how intense spanking can be. Reading these stories took my breath away, and, even more so than my previous collections (Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 1 and 2), made me instantly horny. They’ve tapped into the beauty of spanking in a way that newbies, seasoned spankophiles, and those who are simply curious will be able to understand in an instant.

Rick Roberts opens this anthology with “Spanking You,” a story I’ve read and reread numerous times, mesmerized by its rendering of a man so entranced by the vision he makes when he spanks his girlfriend, you imagine he could do it all night, every night, and never tire of it. He even offers up a little bit of a how-to for those would-be spankers looking for the courage to simply turn him or her over and begin this sensual process:

I used to tease you at the beginning of every spanking. As you’d kneel before me on the bed, not a stitch of clothing on your tan body, I’d fake the first blow—stopping just short of your ass, letting the air kiss your skin—and then place an affectionate caress onto your behind. By removing the certainty of whether the next sensation would be soft or a stinging slap, I’d keep you centered in the moment, keep you waiting and vulnerable, and your anticipation for the spanking grew. I would look down at you and smile, knowing that your desire for the first slap on your ass was growing unbearable by the moment.

Part of the thrill of spanking someone is being able to dangle what they most desire before them, to see them there waiting, panting, asking for it with body and soul, to know (or at least, fantasize) that they can’t get off any other way than by the “punishment” you are about to deliver. Elizabeth Coldwell paints a portrait of a true top in “Through a Glass, Sharply,” when she writes, “You have never really known power until the man you love is at your feet, naked or very nearly so, helpless and vulnerable, while you remain fully dressed and completely in control.”

Madlyn March describes a first-time spanking in a way that will be familiar to any who have gasped, trembling, as they realized they not only can take, but crave, a whole lot more spanking than they’d initially expected:

I remembered how it felt when Mimi did it to me. At first, you’re surprised someone’s hitting you, even if you’ve asked her to. Then you’re excited. Then you’re in pain, but it’s a fantastic kind of pain. Each slap makes you want more, as much as you can take, until you can’t take any more, and you’re shaking, more than ready to have an orgasm, the kind that can only be gotten from a woman diving headfirst into you with her wet tongue licking rapidly.

Any time an author can make me hot for something that in real life actually unnerves me, I’m sold. I’m not usually a fan of Daddy/girl stories, but in Teresa Noelle Roberts’ excellent story, simply entitled “Daddy’s Girl,” she renders that role-playing relationship and its spanking potential perfectly, dissecting her characters’ motivations while maintaining the magic they each hold so dear about their arrangement.

For some people, spanking is playful, almost silly--sexy in a way that makes you laugh as you come. This spirit is alive and well in L. Elise Bland’s “The Breeding Barn,” where a cheese paddle does double duty on the ass of an unsuspecting but happy boy bottom. And for the woman who goes by the name “Pink Cheeks” in the story of the same title, her fantasy comes true, to the letter, though in a setting she’d never have expected.

What I love most about this book is that while there are plenty of naughty boys and girls, that potentially clichéd setup never gets boring, because the authors take you right there, into the heart of a punishment spanking, letting you know that, on some level, each of these naughty boys or girls doesn’t just deserve but needs to be spanked for his or her own reasons. The authors play around with these tropes, recreating the act of spanking until it morphs into something endlessly entertaining, just as a good top can keep a bottom on the edge, smacking harder and harder, then backing off, drawing out the play.

While I’ve subtitled this book, “Red-Cheeked Erotica,” what happens on the surface of the skin is just the beginning when it comes to spanking. There’s an elegance, a poetry, a beauty to spanking that is much more akin to making love than fucking. It’s a rhythm, a beat, a gracefulness, a way two people can connect without saying a word. These elements come together in M. David Hornbuckle’s simple yet powerful “Still Life with Infidels #56,” in which a planned kidnapping is set against the sparse backdrop of a steel mill as two recently reunited lovers attempt to recover what they’d lost.

The thrill of erotic spanking is nothing new, even if each time can make even the most experienced bottom feel like a blushing virgin all over again. James Joyce wrote a series of spanking-loving letters to his beloved wife Nora in December 1909 (and for a lesson in the art of sensual, utterly kinky yet romantic erotica, look up Joyce’s naughty letters online). I cannot legally quote him here, though believe me, Joyce was a full-on spankophile according to these missives, understanding precisely what it means to submit (and to willingly struggle).

As I already told you, when it comes to spanking, I simply can’t get enough. I hope these stories turn you on, inspire you, and spark your own imagination about just how hot a spanking from someone who knows exactly what he’s doing can make you.

Rachel Kramer Bussel New York City

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Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories

Introduction: Getting Spanked Again (and Again)

A Thousand Words by Donna George Storey
The Hardest Part by Alison Tyler
A Firm Understanding by Elizabeth Coldwell
Prime Time by Teresa Noelle Roberts
Ass Worship by Jerry Arthur
The Purple Balloon by Tess Danesi
Sorority Sister by Dominique Dunbar
Days by Simon Sheppard
Bossy by Sommer Marsden
Oscar and Holly by Bill Kte’pi
Lonnie’s Licks by Tenille Brown
The Swinging Spankers Club by Stan Kent
Reenactment by Zille Defeu
Confessor by Craig J. Sorensen
The Spanking Machine by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Stuffing the Ballot Box by Andrea Dale
Tease for Two by Maddy Stuart
I’m Going to Grab Your Hair by N. T. Morley
Flaming by Jean Roberta
Helping Those in Need by Gwen Masters

Introduction: Getting Spanked Again (and Again)

This being my fourth book on the subject, by now it should be clear that I love spanking: giving, receiving, fantasizing about, and watching it.

So what’s different about this collection? For one thing, there are more male authors represented, a trend I fully support. For another, the tales are more imaginative; yes, there are first-timers and dedicated spankophiles, but there are also swingers and Renaissance Fair attendees living out long-held fantasies in highly unusual ways (see Tess Danesi’s “The Purple Balloon” for details). There are spankings here that aren’t all good or all bad, just as ones in real life don’t always conform so easily. Is the narrator of Dominique Dunbar’s “Sorority Sister” grateful for the spanking she got from Claire Spencer back in the day? Was that a pleasurable experience or one that teetered on confusion? Dunbar mixes things up so we’re not totally sure.

Alison Tyler also alludes to the push/pull of spanking, even for the most die-hard fan. “But now that I’m here, I’d rather be anywhere else. Name the place, and I’d rather be there: in line at the DMV; waiting in the doctor’s office; sitting at the back of coach on a packed flight. I’m scared, more scared than usual, because he’s taking his time…” She perfectly captures the way many submissives want what they know will hurt, want it and don’t want it at the very same time—something that good tops play into.

The same thing happens in Teresa Noelle Roberts’ kinky math nerd tale, “Prime Time,” in which the narrator finds herself tongue-tied as she’s given a challenging assignment. “My stomach flip-flopped. The bedroom spun. My heart raced in panic that I couldn’t convince myself was pointless. I fought back the urge to cry, fought it so hard that I started trembling.” You might think, upon reading that sentence, that she doesn’t really want to be spanked, that she doesn’t fantasize and obsess over her need, but you’d be wrong.

I’m also very glad this book has a fairly even mix of spankers and spankees, though of course some people can manage to be both at different times. The rush of delivering a spanking to one who wants and needs it is explored here in many scenarios, from Simon Sheppard’s wistful “Days” to the age-variant relationship in Bill Kte’pi’s intriguing “Oscar and Holly.” And in Maddy Stuart’s “Tease for Two,” two women get off on sharing the power of delivery, and learning from each other, as well as mutual delight in a job well done: “George’s technique was that of someone who had spanked a thousand exposed asses, but the overflowing smile and the sparkle in her eyes belonged to someone who was discovering it for the first time.”

Whatever kind of spankings you’re into--even if, like the characters in Donna George Storey’s “A Thousand Words” and Jerry Arthur’s “Ass Worship,” you’re not sure what you’re intoæI hope you’ll find it within these pages.

And spank you very much for reading.

Rachel Kramer Bussel New York City

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