Rachel Kramer Bussel and I have worked together since early 2013. We’ve met several times, which is amazing in and of itself because she lives on the East Coast and I am all the way over here on the West Coast. Together, we’ve put two of her anthologies on Audible’s Erotica Bestseller List: Gotta Have It and The Big Book of Orgasms. And, very soon her Big Book of Submission will be making it’s mark on this list as well. Oh, yes. I can feel it. Can’t you? So, subscribe to The Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast, because as my Lurid Listeners already know, she and I totally like to share. It was also a special treat to have Rachel contribute her story, Book Swap in my anthology, The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica. To simply say I ‘enjoy’ working with Rachel just isn’t enough. I really enjoy working with her. I very much enjoy it! (Yep, that’s right. I used really and very, friends.) You know, I have said this before, but I don’t think I can say it enough. I have learned over the years that I just click the best with people who have the same work ethic as me, the same goals and honest joy in not only promoting Erotica AND it’s many talented authors, but building a greater–more knowledgeable sex positive community as well. So, it goes without saying that when Rachel asked that I narrate her Sex and Cupcakes (a non-fiction collection of personal essays), I was touched. Honored. Rachel is stopping by for a quick visit today with a few extra words, just for us, about her latest publication; Sex and Cupcakes: A Collection of Essays.
I’ve wanted to write my own book for as long as I can remember, and even though I’ve come close, I was always too scared. Last year, I decided I wanted to finally fulfill this dream, after editing over 50 anthologies, and Thought Catalog was incredible to work with, allowing me the freedom to structure my debut as an author in my own way. I’ve long wanted to explore the dichotomy between writing about sex and cupcakes, between the Carrie Bradshaw myth and what it’s really like to write about sex day in and day out. I wanted to make it current, which meant looking at my present relationship and talking about some of the hard things, the places where I struggle and where I’m questioned. I wanted to write a book where I didn’t have to try to be anyone but myself, where I got to be that flawed, uncertain but passionate person I am in my personal life, the kind who loves too hard at times but gets the word “heart” tattooed on her arm anyway, because she’s a romantic, the kind who went through so much heartache and dating drama to get to where I am now.
It’s been interesting to see that for the most part, when people who also write about sex have read Sex & Cupcakes, they’ve gravitated toward the title essay. It’s the longest one, and the book’s anchor. Since the book got published, I’ve returned to writing a lot of sex journalism and essays, with my two sex columns in Philadelphia City Paper and DAME, and that feels like my first true writing love. I stumbled into erotica when I was losing my way in law school, and it’s a field I’m well suited for, but I’ve always written nonfiction, even back in high school when I was writing letters to the editor to various magazines and newspapers. So Sex & Cupcakes felt like bringing that desire to share (some would say overshare) aspects of my life with aspects of sex and my own dilemmas and questions about it. It’s scary, even when you’re used to writing personal pieces, to put that side of yourself out into the world, and Rose was the only person I wanted to record these intimate essays for audio.
I think this is a wonderful time for people to be sharing their voices about all sorts of sexual topics, not just sex columnists. With the rise of online publishing as well as podcasts, blogs, etc., there are so many ways to share our sexual stories. I see this book as the start of a conversation, one that is constantly changing and growing and advancing.
Rachel Kramer Bussel