Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Good Housekeeping debut on why I love clutter

Yes, that's my byline on Good Housekeeping's website, for my essay "I'm Happy With My Clutter, Thank You Very Much." I am, and I'm also very happy to be published somewhere I never thought I'd be, given that I'm so far from being a housekeeper. I also wrote about moving three times in three years for Omni, a new imprint at Medium, with my essay "What I Want in a Home vs. What I Need."

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What a difference 13,000 miles makes

Last week was a challenging one, to say the least. It pushed me to my emotional limit, not because anything majorly awful happened, but a combination of intense deadlines, upcoming international travel and general anxiety had me breaking down in tears several times. I just kept wondering, Can I do this? I even considered canceling my trip to Thailand because I wasn't in a frame of mind that seemed conducive to travel. I wanted to curl up in bed and not leave.

But I got through the worst parts, thanks to my very patient boyfriend, made my Qatar Airways flight, and have spent the last few days exploring Bangkok and catching up with one of my oldest friends. I met my deadlines, and even decided to write a little while I'm here because with the time difference (it's 11 hours ahead of EST), I can go out during the day and then, when I'm physically tired and ready to not be walking around any more, I have been catching up a bit in the evenings, in a way that doesn't feel anywhere near as stressful as last week did.

So far the highlights have been eating at the Hello Kitty House cafe, visitng the stunningly gorgeous Wat Arun and Wat Pho, surviving my taxi and tuk tuk rides (I am afraid of cars and try to avoid them), running through a rainstorm and eating something for breakfast that I'm not sure the name of, but it's fried and vegetarian and delicious. My friend wisely told me to get a SIM card and being able to go online, use Google Maps and not feel like I'll ever be totally lost has made a world of difference.

So did the 20 or so hours it took get here. On my flights, I had plenty of time to think about what I'm doing with my life, what I want to be doing, what I don't and how to make changes and manage my workflow and not feel as trapped as I did last week. I'm not saying I figured it all out in the air, but I have felt much calmer, more centered and also more productive during my time here. I have gone from being utterly afraid of what my professional future might hold to feeling extremely grateful for the opportunities that are coming to me, and the chance to truly think about how to make opportunities happen. With that said, I'm now going to go enjoy my trip, but wanted to share a few photos.

Nature competed with the man made structures for my favorite things I saw


the intricacy of the artwork on these structures was stunning

watphocute Cute

coconut water
Coconut water straight from the source helped keep me from overheating and was so delicious, I'm sure I'll be having it again while I'm here.

my "I hope I don't die in this tuk tuk" face

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

See you on Instagram

I have a jumble of feelings as I get ready to fly to Thailand for a much-needed vacation, even though I haven't finished all the work I needed to (thank you, upcoming 21 hours of travel). Excitement, fear, guilt, missing my boyfriend even though I haven't quite left yet. This week kicked my ass in all kinds of ways, but even though I didn't do everything I wanted to, I wrote more than I ever have in my life, filing 23 pieces, pushing myself in ways I didn't think I was capable. I decided to take this trip in part to visit one of my oldest friends, and partly because my dearest hope in the entire world is that soon I won't be making international travel plans cause I'll be too busy with being a mom. Who knows if that will ever happen or I'll just be crazy vacation girl forever, but right now, I'm heading off into the unknown, trying to put a rough week behind me. I probably won't be posting too much here, but I do plan to post photos on Instagram. See you there!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Want to be a sex blogger? Take this online class by Epiphora and JoEllen Notte

I've emphasized my love of online classes before, based on the ones I've taught for LitReactor, but today I want to share news about this class on The Business of Blogging About Sex, taught by two women who know this from many years of experience, Epiphora, whose blog's tagline is "where sex toys go to get judged" and JoEllen Notte, aka The Redhead Bedhead. I will also be contributing a segment on writing erotica. They'll cover topics such as setting up a blog, posting, making money and getting readers. While I haven't taken the class myself, I can vouch for both of them being smart professionals who certainly know what they're talking about, and you can read testimonials by people who've taken the class. This is a class I wish I'd had access to before I started blogging.


Here's the class's official description:
Whether you're brand new to sex blogging or want to take your current blog to the next level, The Business of Blogging About Sex will kick you into high gear. Each week will focus on a different topic, giving students the skills they need to be well-rounded sex bloggers. Epiphora and JoEllen will teach you how to set up your site, pinpoint your niche, publish captivating content, obtain products for review, build a loyal following, use social media to your advantage, and much more. Since dildos can't pay your bills, they'll also spend a week discussing avenues for blog monetization, including affiliate links, banner advertising, and sponsored posts.

In addition to instruction and personalized feedback from Epiphora and JoEllen, students will be treated to tidbits of advice from over 30 successful industry leaders, plus a photography tutorial and critique from ace blog photographer Penny of Penny For Your (Dirty) Thoughts. Finally, attend two private video hangouts with Epiphora and JoEllen, where you'll meet their pets and they'll answer all your blogging questions with brutal honesty.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What happened the last time I got hate mail

To find out, check out my first article for Contently, "5 Ways to Use Hate Mail to Your Advantage." I learned a lot from the writers who shared their hate mail stories with me (not all of them made it into the final piece) and it helped me get some perspective on my unexpected hater. I was especially pleased because I've been reading Contently's great, well, content about freelance writing and hosting a writing portfolio on their site with many of my clips, which makes it handy to pass on to editors I'm pitching. I recommend it, and they were great to work with on this piece.

This also puts me on track to meet my goal of writing for one new publication per month (on average) in 2015. I have a lot more I'd love to blog about but I'm getting ready for my first trip to Thailand, where I plan to spend as little time as possible using my phone (save to take photos) or computer, and also writing two pieces a day for Salon, which may not sound like that much writing but takes up a good amount of my time. I will hopefully have a little time to post before I leave about my upcoming events and assorted other thoughts. Right now, I am trying to stay on top of the news and my writing assignments and spend time with my boyfriend before I head off yet again.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Why rope is better than handcuffs for bondage, according to Emily Bingham

Check out "Confessions of a 'rope fiend'" at Philadelphia City Paper to find out all about why memoirist Emily Bingham loves rope bondage so much.


Here's a snippet:
Bingham’s evolved from being the one solely on the receiving end to doing the trussing herself and says now she “enjoys doing the binding as much as I enjoy being bound.” Rope, especially made from hemp or jute, is her favorite tool. Handcuffs just won’t do. Bingham gets practically poetic about her favorite equipment. “There’s a wonderful texture to the natural rope that feels lovely on the skin, especially when the person tied up struggles and the lines of rope creak like the mast of a ship.”
Read the whole column

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What does "orgasm equality" really mean?

That's the question I tackled in my latest DAME column, "Is Orgasm Equality As Simple As Tit for Tat?" where I looked at recent statements by Nicki Minaj and Amy Schumer about how women should demand and go after an orgasm, and explored a few reasons why it may not be so simple. Want to read more? Check out my DAME Shameless Sex archives.

Here's a snippet of this one: "n situations like this, it’s as if, rather than demanding orgasms, they are being demanded of us. Or, as author Jenny Block puts it in her forthcoming book O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm, we’ve made orgasm less of a joyful endeavor and more of a power play, a symbol of achievement first and foremost." Read the whole thing here

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Princeton and nearby folks, come to my boyfriend's play Bottle Factory this Thursday, Friday and Saturday

This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 16, 17 and 18, I'll be in Princeton, New Jersey seeing my boyfriend's debut work as a playwright, Bottle Factory, put on by his company Chimera Productions. You can watch a video about it and get tickets and more info on their IndieGogo page. They are raising money to cover the costs for theater and prop rental so even if you can't make it, if you have any extra cash and want to support a wonderful company bringing great productions to the stage, I encourage you to. Yes, you can also get tickets at the door (8 pm every night at The Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street), but I encourage you to get your tickets on IndieGogo if you can.


I'm proud of him and also deeply curious because I've only allowed him to tell me the bare bones of the plot. The best way to get tickets is though their IndieGogo campaign, which you can also donate to if you want to support local, live independent theater. I've been to their last three shows (they do one a year) and all have been excellent and deeply moving and thought provoking. I always walk away intrigued, confused, and wanting to discuss and process what I've seen, and lucky me, I get to with someone who's been living and breathing it for months.

So if you're near Princeton or know anyone who is, please let them know! It's an intimate space and from what I've heard, this one will have extra resonance for theater goers, but can be appreciated by anyone.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Why my dad isn't my financial role model

I wrote my first piece for DailyWorth, an essay titled "I Learned How NOT to Handle Money From My Dad." It's a pretty personal piece, but one I felt was important for me to write as part of my journey in figuring out my money. I'm usually not one to read comments, especially when I'm being vulnerable with my writing, but the comments so far over there have been very interesting and prove my theory that when you share from an intimate, personal place, others will too. Here's the beginning:
For my bat mitzvah, my dad gave me a check for a thousand dollars, a gigantic sum for a suburban teen in the ’80s. It was extravagant, and I was appropriately giddy, plotting exactly what I would use it for. Until it bounced.

That’s one of many examples of the ways my father, while offering me unconditional love, failed me as a financial role model.
Read the whole thing

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Thursday, July 09, 2015

The best gift my boyfriend ever gave me

I got some good news this week about something I'll be writing, which I will share when it's published, but in a nutshell, it's about sex (shocking, I know!). Specifically, sex with my boyfriend, aka the person I plan to spend the rest of my life with. This is by far the longest relationship I've ever been in; last week we celebrated three and a half years together, and it's therefore also the relationship I've written about the most.

Over the years, I've covered whether my having two Hitachi Magic Wand vibrators is bad for our relationship and what I've learned falling for a fat man, as well as multiple pieces in my ebook Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays. But it doesn't really get easier to tell the person you love, "By the way, I'm going to be writing about our sex life for a national publication." Or about other aspects of our life. Yet that's what I do, both to make a living, and because it's an intrinsic part of who I am, how I make sense of and process my world, how I figure out what I think and how I share and connect my experiences with others'.

The greatest thing he's ever given me isn't the Georgia O'Keeffe print of my favorite of her paintings, or the stuffed animal he won me one an epic Jersey Shore boardwalk date, or the other stuffed animal that I sleep with that he surprised me with, or the time he impromptu booked us a staycation at our favorite NYC hotel. It's been rolling with the fact that I write about my life, and by extension, his life. I try to do so with as much respect and honesty and openness as I can, but still, I know that dating me is not the same as dating someone who doesn't expose herself and various intimacies pretty much all the time.

He doesn't just roll with it, but encourages me to write, even when it's about topics that might make him uncomfortable, even though it's almost always about things he would never share publicly in a million years. He is always genuinely happy for me when I hit a career milestone, or even when I sort through all the fear and shame and neuroses in my head, which is sometimes so thick I can barely get a word onto the page and simply share whatever it is that's been circling up there, and get something out into the world.

The longer we are together, the deeper that gift resonates, because even though I don't use his full name in my writing, anyone who knows me at all well knows who he is. Yet anyone who knows me well also hopefully knows how much writing means to me, and that I would not truly be myself with it. I'm sure that doesn't necessarily make it easier to be in my boyfriend's position, and I can't emphasize enough how grateful I am that he has never told me, or even asked me, not to write something. He's never taken up my offer to vet something beforehand and has always trusted me, which is just one of the many things that makes him amazing.

This is a constant process of negotiation, though, on my part, of figuring out a) what's important enough to me to want to write about, b) what's marketable and where and in what form and c) what's mine to discuss and what's not. I don't necessarily have hard and fast answers, but I feel like it's not a coincidence that my freelance writing has soared while in this relationship, because I've had that freedom, and on a day when I am brainstorming what I will write about us in bed, I wanted to acknowledge that.

Want to know more about the ins and outs of writing very personal nonfiction about your sex life, and get my advice on how to do it ethically and profitably? I'll be talking about that and much more at my CatalystCon sex writing workshop on September 11th in Burbank, California. If you won't be at CatalystCon, stay tuned by signing up for my monthly newsletter for an upcoming online version of that class. To those who are also navigating the tricky terrain of being true to yourself in your writing while also respecting others in your life, I wish you much success, internally and externally.

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Would you go on 52 dates in a year, on purpose? Meet the woman who is!

In this week's sex column for Philadelphia City Paper, I profiled single Philadelphia lady Melissa Toler about Project 52 Dates, which finds her going on 52 dates in 2015. Her reasons for embarking on the project and what she's learned about men and herself are not what I expected. Want to read more? Check out my column archives, and feel free to email me at rachelcitypaper at gmail dot com with future column topic suggestions.


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Monday, July 06, 2015

Sexy airplane reading is yours for just $1.99 this week with my book The Mile High Club

Portable plane sex on my Kindle:


I'm taking two flights today, from Philadelphia to Boston, then Boston to Martha's Vineyard, and I've downloaded my erotica anthology The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories to reread (and yes, I have a few others downloaded and packed). Get it while it's hot - the $1.99 sale runs through this Thursday! Here's where you can buy it on the cheap:




Google Play

Want to listen to a free sample? Let Lucy Malone, The Mile High Club audiobook narrator, serenade you. Buy the $1.99 Kindle version and get the audiobook for just $3.99!


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Friday, July 03, 2015

The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories is just $1.99 on Kindle!

Happy 4th of July (okay, 3rd) - I just found out that my erotica anthology The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories is just $1.99 on Kindle! I don't know how long the sale will last but probably for a week, so download it now. FYI if you've read Flying High then skip this one as they are the same (it got reissued under a new title), or give it as a gift. I love this book and will be downloading it to reread when I fly on Monday!


Funny but true: I wrote "Urgent Message" right around when wifi on planes was new and only offered by a handful of airlines. Now it's become much more commonplace. I don't think that affects the quality of the story, about a plane passenger sending and receiving dirty emails with a partner who's on land, but it does show you how fast these aspects of technology change.

Here's the Table of Contents:

Introduction: Flying High

34B by Bill Kte’pi
Instrument Flight Rules by Zach Lindley
A Brief Respite by Desiree
Get On, Get Off by Jeremy Edwards
The Scream Queen by Sommer Marsden
Wild Child by Matt Conklin
Bermuda Triangle by Vanessa Vaughn
Top Banana by Craig J. Sorensen
Nasty Little Habit by Donna George Storey
Urgent Message by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Obedient by Teresa Noelle Roberts
Aisle Seat by Stan Kent
Game in the Sky by Elizabeth Coldwell
When Your Girlfriend Wears a Very Short Skirt by Thomas S. Roche
Planes, Trains and Banana-Seat Bicycles by Alison Tyler
Flights of Fancy by Geneva King
The Girl Most Likely by Kristina Wright
Bert and Betty by Ryan Field
Wing Walker by Cheyenne Blue

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