Posts Tagged ‘rachel kramer bussel’
So when I saw this call for erotica submissions from Rachel Kramer Bussel, I wondered what it would look like for me to write some bisexual erotica. What would that mean for my main character/narrator voice, for “Sinclair”? What would I write about? Where would my edge be?
I talked it over with rife, months ago, and he had a great idea of a butch who picks up a fag at a fag bar and proceeded to have a one night stand. I wrote it up, and Rachel included it in her new book, Twice the Pleasure: Women’s Bisexual Erotica! It seems like a kind of unlikely place for a butch/fag pickup story, but hey, maybe someone will stumble on that one-of-these-stories-is-not-like-the-other kind of piece and discover something new about themselves, in one way or another.
Twice the Pleasure comes out in April, but you can preorder it now! Rachel is doing a buy-one-get-one book sale for the book, so you can buy this one and get any other book of hers in addition. Here’s an excerpt from my story.
- Right Red Flagging
Tonight, I see him as soon as I enter the room, eyes adjusting to the dankness that still feels full of cigarette smoke, even though it’s no longer legal to smoke indoors, and he sees me. He’s at the bar sucking on a long neck beer, wearing a snap down worn through cowboy shirt and jeans, and we make eye contact. In gay boy world, that means we may as well have been dating for three years and have just walked into the hotel room after our prom. I order a beer, too, and wait at the curve of the bar.
He watches me while not looking like he’s watching me. I notice a red hanky in his back right pocket and as he brings the beer up to his mouth for the last swig, I slip off my bar stool and make my way toward the back hallway, the bathrooms, and the door to the back patio. I lean against the wall in a dark patch of the path, thumbs hooked into my belt loops. He follows a moment later, sauntering slowly into the hall and stops, seeing me.
“Hi,” I say. He grins, a crooked half-smirk that darkens his already deep set eyes. He’s more plump than muscle but still has a good shape, firm and solid.
“Hi,” he says.
“So,” I say. He waits. I curl my finger without moving my hand from my hip, and he takes a few steps toward me. I can’t tell who he thinks I am or what he thinks I expect, but he seems willing to find out. When he is just a foot or two from me, and I can smell his sweat and make out the stubble on his chin, I reach out for his upper arm and grip it. “Are you going to kiss me, or what?”
This book has a lot of other great contributors, whose stories I regularly enjoy, like Lori Selke, Giselle Renarde, and Shanna Germain. I haven’t read it yet, but I suspect it’s a great collection, and I’m looking forward to reading the whole thing.
As usual, series editor and reading series host Kathleen Warnock is hosting the New York City release party on December 15th at her Drunken! Careening! Writers! series at KGB Bar in the East Village. (When I have the Facebook invite and such I’ll let you know.)
Meanwhile, though, here’s my introduction to this year’s Best Lesbian Erotica. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, there are a lot of great (dirty!) stories included by many of my favorite writers. Pick it up if you get a chance. I really hope you like it, and I’d love to hear what you think after you get a chance to read it.
I know what I want.
I knew exactly what I was looking for when I read the submitted stories for this anthology: dirty, smutty, smart about gender, smart about power, packed full of sex with the bare necessary descriptions of setting and context, and, oh yeah, good writing. It doesn’t have to be dirty in my personal favorite ways—with sultry accoutrements and costuming like stockings and strappy sandals, or with strap-ons and lots of fucking, or with blow jobs and dirty talk. I like stories where the characters are so turned on and lusty that I feel it too, even if it is not my particular kink or pleasure. I like stories with unique descriptions and rolling prose and insatiable narrators and rising and falling action. I like stories where I want to recreate the action for myself, when I am inspired by the delicious positions and settings and words.
Yes, and the words, let’s not forget the words. That’s what these kinds of books are all about, really. If you wanted a quick, easy turn on, you could load up any of dozens of queer porn sites—there is no shortage of real, good queer porn out there these days. But for some of us that is too crass, and a well-done turn of phrase gets us swooning and biting our lips and rubbing our thighs together even more than a dirty video.
I didn’t always know what I wanted. When I was coming out in the late 1990s, though there was a serious lack of queer porn in the video stores, there were plenty of people paving the landscape for what would become the blossoming queer porn of the 2000s. Diana Cage, On Our Backs magazine, Good Vibrations, (Toys in) Babeland, Annie Sprinkle, Susie Bright—and, of course, Tristan Taormino. It was Tristan’s 1998 Best Lesbian Erotica anthology that for me clicked something into place, something I could no longer pretend wasn’t there. I would hide the book in the back of the shelves at the bookstore where I worked so it wouldn’t get purchased, and I’d sandwich it between two others and sneak it into the stock room to read when it was slow. I wore creases into the spine with Toni Amato’s story “Ridin’ Bitch” and Karlyn Lotney’s story “Clash of the Titans.” I was genuinely confused as to why I liked these stories so much. What was this affect they had on me? Why did I love them so much? What did it all mean?
I began to find other books, short stories, and essays that helped move my budding baby dykery along: Nothing But the Girl—oh, swoon. That essay by Anastasia Higgenbotham in Listen Up: Voices From the Next Feminist Generation. Cunt by Inga Muscio. Breathless by Kitty Tsui. And the Herotica series, which was erotica for women before Rachel Kramer Bussel’s prolific erotica editing career.
I bought one of the Herotica books at a little indy bookstore—now gone—on Capitol Hill in Seattle when I visited one summer, before moving there. But it proved to be too threatening to my boyfriend who, enraged some night after yet another argument about my sexuality, stabbed that book and two other lesbian erotica books with the wide-handled screwdriver which I’d used to masturbate since I was a teenager.
These books are filled with three powerful things: 1. women, who are 2. empowered, 3. about their sexuality (which, by the way, does not involve men). Even the books themselves are threatening.
These books of lesbian erotica are not fluff. They are not nothing. They are not frivolous or useless.
For queers coming out and into our own, they are a path.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve managed to snag myself a lesbian bed death relationship, going out of my mind with desire and disconnection. I stopped writing, because the only thing that I was writing was how miserable I felt, how much I wanted out of that relationship—a reality I wasn’t ready to face. I decided that to work off my sexual energy, I would either go to the gym or I would write erotica. Well, I ended up writing a lot of erotica, rediscovering this tool of self-awareness and self-creation that had led me to smut in the first place, and I began writing myself back into my own life, back into the things that I hold most important: connection, touch, release, holding, witness, play.
My first published smut story was in Best Lesbian Erotica 2006. Between the time I wrote it and the time the book came out, I was beginning to end the bed death relationship, in no small part because I’d reminded myself of the value of the erotic, of my own inner erotic world, of erotic words. Between the time I wrote it and the time it came out, I started Sugarbutch Chronicles, which has carried me through these last five plus years, often being my sanctuary, support circle, best friend, and confidant.
Writing these stories, for me, has not been frivolous. They have not been nothing. They are not fluff or useless.
For me, they were a path back to myself when I got lost.
When I was lost, I had no idea what I wanted, aside from the basic daily survivals: work. Eat. Pay bills. Sleep. Shower. But when I wrote, when I connected with my own desire, I felt a little piece of me bloom and become in a bigger way. I felt more like myself.
I turned again to the great books of smut to help me find myself, to help me find a way back to a partner, a lover, a one night stand—hell, even an hour with a Hitachi was sometimes enough. The Leather Daddy and the Femme. Mr. Benson. Switch Hitters: Gay Men Write Lesbian Erotica and Lesbians Write Gay Male Erotica. Back to Basics: Butch/Femme Erotica. Doing It For Daddy. And Best Lesbian Erotica, always Best Lesbian Erotica. I still eagerly buy it every year to see what the guest editor’s tastes are, to see what the new trends are, to read the emerging new writers, to get my rocks off.
I rediscovered what I wanted through reading smut and writing it. Through carving myself a path in connection with a lineage of sex positive dykes and sex radicals and queer kinksters and feminist perverts.
After six years of writing and publishing erotica, I am thrilled to be a guest editor for the series which sparked me into queerness in 1998, thrilled to be choosing stories for the same series that published my very first piece, “The Plow Pose,” in 2006, which helped spark me back to myself. It is so exciting to be contributing to this queer smut hotbed that Cleis Press has helped nurture all these years, and I’m so glad to continue to be part of it in new ways.
I know what I want, now. And lesbian erotica, or as I prefer to call it, queer smut, has helped me not only visualize what is possible, but create a path toward getting what I want.
The stories in this book reflect my taste, my favorites, my personal hot spots, certainly, but also the best-written stories from a large pile of well-written stories by some of my favorite authors, like Kiki DeLovely and Xan West. There are some less-well known writers in here whose work you may not be familiar with, yet, but who will leave an impression on you, writers like Anne Grip and Amy Butcher. I found dozens of moments of signposts, signals directing me toward myself, words illuminating my own meridians of ache. With each story, with each act of lust, with each dirty command or submissive plea, I rediscovered my own want.
I hope you find some of what you want within these pages, too.
I just received a copy of the newest erotica anthology, Gotta Have It, which includes my work, this time it is The Dirty Things She Says which is a piece in a lot of dirty talking dialogue that’s only about two pages long. All the pieces are extra-short, which is why they’re called “sudden sex” stories in the title—they’re short-short stories, which in my opinion make the erotica extra-condensed and hotter than usual. Not nearly as much wading through character and plot. And personally, I like that kind of thing in erotica.
Well, I mean, I still think the literary elements are important, but generally I think people spend way too much time being sure to establish those things in an erotica story. Most of the time, why are we reading the erotica? To be turned on, to get off. Of course, that’s just my opinion—plenty of other people really want to have context and plot and non-sexual build-up. But have you ever read Micro Fiction, or another short-short anthology? It’s a brilliant example of how literary you can be in very, very few words, embedding plot and character into every phrase, having each sentence hold two or three or four levels of meaning for the story. I still find them fascinating.
And the good stories in this anthology do that, too.
It includes some of my favorite erotica writers, including Cecilia Tan, Kiki DeLovely, Teresa Noelle Roberts, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Kristina Wright, D.L. King, and Maria See, and I’m sure once I read through it I’ll have a few more favorites to add to the list. So, I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.
Rachel Kramer Bussel edited this anthology (I haven’t mentioned that yet), and put together another one of her brilliant and fun book trailers for it, this one including video or audio of many of the contributors reading a piece of their own story.
Lots more information about Gotta Have It is over on Rachel’s Gotta Have It official book website, including a copy of her introduction, the table of contents, the author’s short bios, and announcements about readings.
Cleis Press, who published this anthology (and who publishes all of the best erotica anthologies, in my opinion, and I don’t just say that because they’re putting out my forthcoming lesbian BDSM anthology), has a special going on: “To celebrate this February 14th, receive 14% off all orders! Enter discount code HEARTS14 on your web order to receive your discount.” So pick up Gotta Have It over at www.cleispress.com, or at (or order it from) your local independent bookstore (assuming you want them to be around next year).
Please, Sir edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago and I was thrilled to see it. Right away I noticed how luscious and vivid the cover image is … Rachel always has great covers, but it’s one of my favorites. Her bright, open eyes and the colors of her skin and corset (!), digitally smoothed no doubt, but stunning.
And Cleis Press does such a nice job with these titles of Rachel’s. She’s got like a million published by now, I’m sure you’ve seen them if you’re an erotica reader, which you probably are, since you’re reading this site. Most of them are pansexual—written from various orientations, gay, straight, bi—and focused around a particular topic or theme, like shoes or spanking or short-short stories or, in the case of Please, Sir, “erotic stories of female submission.”
They are strictly from the perspective of the female submissive, and so the stories are written by women. Most of the contents are heterosexual, with the dominant in the story being a guy. They are not so gender-forward or radical, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t lovely: they are. And that doesn’t mean that a queer like me didn’t enjoy the book: I did, very much.
It’s kind of like Kate Bornstein’s WALL-E theory—that it’s possible to superimpose your desired gender combination into stories and songs and art, even if it isn’t what the author initially intended. And in this case, it’s not so hard to consider that this “guy” is a butch who goes by male pronouns (at least for this scene), and to read it with a queer eye, imposing my own desires and orientation and gender identities on top of the dominants.
Reading it this way makes the stories really hot, actually. Whereas it’s still kind of a challenge for me to read stories of male dominance and female submission, since I suspect so easily and quickly the ways that dynamic is prescribed and unquestioned, when I imagine it a butch and femme, or more of a queer dynamic, I can quickly see the dynamic as a parody of itself, an intentional play upon the prescribed roles, and that is, for whatever reasons, precisely what I like.
A couple stories stand out: the one by Kissa Starling, about the brat, the woman in a little girl role acting out by flirting with other guys while her Daddy is observing her, then punishes her, ultimately asking her what it was she really needed, why she was acting out. There were a couple rather complex concepts explained in there that I connected with. (I didn’t love the end, where it seemed like the girl didn’t actually learn anything but was going to simply continue acting out, but the rest of it had some good stuff.)
I really appreciated Rachel’s introduction, too. Here’s a snippet:
Introduction by Rachel Kramer Bussel: Risk and Reward
If you ask me, submission is an art form. It requires dedication, focus, commitment and desire and there’s no single way of doing it. It’s about unlocking something within yourself so you can reach beyond your normal limits, exposing your body and soul in order to go somewhere you cannot get to alone.
I had a lover who always told me that the key to life is “High risk, high reward.” The same is true about kink, and this is evident throughout the stories in Please, Sir, which explores female submission and male dominance from the sub’s point of view. When these characters take risks, they are rewarded…even when those rewards look like “punishment.” They are rewarded in all kinds of ways, from being bound to being praised to being choked, spanked or put on display. They are rewarded by being tested again and again.
Hot, eh? This whole book is like that, intentional and beautiful in its descriptions of submission and surrender. Sometimes I don’t get enough of that perspective in my own work, I get so involved in topping and in describing the topping and dominance that sometimes, it feels strange that anybody would not want to be the top, or be the dominant, since that is so clearly what I want and what I like. It feels deeply validating to be reminded that there are people out there who need to submit in similar ways to how I need to dominate, that our desires run parallel and complimentary, that we fit into each other. This book is a really lovely validation. I’ll certainly pick it up again and thumb through it on occasion, finding more gems of stories, connecting to new ones each time I read or re-read.
Kristen and I brought it on our camping trip a few weeks ago, and read a few stories aloud to each other, which was a lovely way to spend an evening curled up in a tent. I also love reading erotica aloud on road trips (though Kristen can’t read while in a car, and I tend to drive, so we don’t do that often).
As if that isn’t enough to encourage you to check out this new publication, here’s the amazingly sexy book trailer that Rachel put together:
Yeah, okay, so that’s all that needs said.
Check out the rest of the Please, Sir blog tour on pleasesirbook.wordpress.com, and buy it at your local, independent, feminist, queer activist bookstore, or, if you must, on Amazon.
Someone emailed me recently with a question about starting to play with spanking, and after looking around online for a bit, I didn’t find much, so I jotted down my basic thoughts on the subject.
Here’s the question:
I was wondering if you know of any good resources for spanking. I have a friend who wants to get spanked and I said that if he wanted to, I would do it. Any tips? Handouts? Diagrams?
This is what else comes to my mind:
- Where to spank: Spank the fleshy parts of the ass & thighs, make sure to avoid the parts that are bonier like the little triangle coccyx bone right above the butt crack, the spine, or the kidneys. Basically, steer clear of the low back. Some people like to have sensation on the upper back and shoulder blades (though that perhaps is for later)
- Start light: Start light with pats rather that swats or hits, jiggle the flesh even, warm it up, gradually increase pressure. Generally when I start I go light and fast, then work up to the big hits later, with full big arm strength, taking pauses and breaks between to press my body close, run my palms along the flesh to sooth it, and whisper sweet things
- Hand vs Ass: So much of the pain is psychological, not about actual damage. It can hurt, but there are hundreds of teeny bones in the hand, and compared the big pelvis and femurs down there by the ass & thighs, the hand will get harmed way before it could do any real damage to those bones. Which is not to say you can’t bruise—you can—but that’s not the kind of damage I mean. Be sure to be reassuring vocally (or with pleasurable touches) as you’re getting heavier, and warm up slowly
- Spanking to Sex: I tend to start spanking closer & closer to the genitals toward the end, working in some fingering in between spanks. That can be a nice way to segue from the spanking back to the sex play, and also when someone is turned on they can take a whole lot more sensation, so I tend to be able to hit harder then
- Positions: Try a couple different positions: leaning over a bed with feet on the floor, on all fours, across your lap on the couch, hands high leaning against a wall. People have different preferences when both giving & receiving, so try out a few different things
- Toys: My hand usually gives out before her ass does. Consider a little paddle maybe like this one, you can go for longer. ones that are flat and wide tend to be “thuddy” and ones that are thin tend to be “stingy”—usually people prefer thuddy ones, especially if they aren’t so experienced. Same rules apply for paddles
Readers, help me out here. Anything else? Any tips and tricks for taking or giving a spanking? Do you know of any online beginning spanking resources that I’m missing? How did you get into spanking? What’s your favorite way to get spanked? What are your favorite toys to get spanked with? Leave it in the comments!
Naked before me in the middle of our living room, blindfolded and tied to a chair, her delicate toes gracing the insides of my favorite shoes, her beautiful ass raised high in the air. I had left any sense of my integrity at the door.
Yeah, I felt like shit. But I couldn’t take anything back. Not a fuckin’ thing. And the thought of this made me whack her hard with that skateboard, landing just underneath her ass on the meaty part of her thighs. She cried out this time, without a saucy backup line to follow. The cry teetered between pleasure and pain, a perfect balance of both. I needed to do it again. Swinging the board up high, I aimed at the dead center of her buttocks and caught it just right. This caused the entire chair to move, and the flesh on her ass sprang back and forth again. A rush of air escaped from Logan’s lungs.
- from Logan by Rosalind Christine Lloyd
Rachel Kramer Bussel’s new anthology Spanked is out and making the blog rounds on a blog book tour – and today is my day.
I have all sorts of elaborate notes for an article that includes my review, but I was at the Femme Conference in Chicago all weekend and am today so exhausted and catching up on work that I will not have time to write all three parts.
On the plus side, one of the reasons that I’m so exhausted is because I was up until past the sunrise on Saturday night (Sunday morning), and had the opportunity to flog the cutest cheerleader wearing a gorgeous pinup-style bathing suit over the edge of a hotel bed.
So until I can get a little more caught up, consider this the introduction to the upcoming series of posts on reading pansexual erotica anthologies, smut, and this spanking anthology in particular. The other parts go like this:
- The Suspension of Heterosexual Belief
- The Ick Factor
- Review of the pansexual erotica anthology book “Spanked”
Since I don’t have much to review today, Rachel says I can give away one copy of the book, so here’s what you gotta do to win it:
Leave me a comment and tell me either:
- a great place you were spanked
- a great implement with which you were spanked
- somewhere you’d like to be spanked
- something with which you’d like to be spanked
UPDATE: I really didn’t mean to make this so damn bottom-centric. Actually as the results came in, I kept thinking, where are the tops? Then I re-read and realized oops, it is quite pointed toward bottomy answers. So, you of course can also respond by saying:
- a great place you spanked someone
- a great implement with which you spanked
- somewhere you’d like to spank someone
- something with which you’d like to spank
I guess I am a little bottom-centric at times, oops. But I don’t mean to be! I was dashing this off as fast as I could while at work today and didn’t write through all the options. It’s just cause I was salivating at the idea of reading some great bottoming stories … but of course, top perspectives on the spanking stories are so welcome too!
So, leave me your comments and I’ll get a guest judge to help pick the hottest answer tomorrow.
Don’t be shy; just give me the first one that comes into your head. It doesn’t have to be long – just a few lines of the key details.
I just received my copy and I’ll be reading through it in the next week or so … perhaps I’ll try to write some spanking stories this month to get into the spirit of it all, too. Muse reminded me of Bully, a story from a year ago, and though it’s a flogging story I think it still counts as spanking. Well, it’s percussion play, regardless.
Spanked Virtual Book Tour
1 – Alison Tyler
2 – The Cherry Red Report
3 – Thomas’s spanking exploits
4 – Zille Defeu’s Fetish Fantasies
5 – The House of Richard Windsor
6 – Funky Brown Chick
7 – Baser Instincts
8 – Life in Motion
9 – All Things Spanking
10 – Viviane’s Sex Carnival
11 – Jamye Waxman
12 – Babeland
13 – NYC Urban Gypsy
14 – Femdom Spanking Blog
15 – Spanking Abby
16 – BadBadGirl
17 – Ellie Lumpesse
18 – Sugarbutch Chronicles
19 – Breathing In and Breathing Out
20 – Essin Em
21 – Pursed Lips
22 – Mixing It Up
23 – Domestic Spanking Blog
24 – Nobilis Erotica
25 – Naked City
26 – All About George
27 – Lolita’s Predictions & Predilections
28 – Sexy Prime
29 – Naughty and Spice
30 – MeiLin Miranda
31 – AlwaysArousedGirl