In the Flesh is a monthly reading series held the third Thursday of every month at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by erotic writer/editor Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Sex Writing series, Do Not Disturb, Spanked, Dirty Girls, etc.). From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Themed nights have included True Sex Confessions, Revenge of the Sex Columnists, GLBT Night, and Comedy Sex. Readers have included Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Susie Bright, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Stephen Elliott, Martha Garvey, Gael Greene, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Tsaurah Litzky, Suzanne Portnoy, Sofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Veronica Vera, Zane and others. In The Flesh debuted in October 2005. Contact rachelkramerbussel at for bookings, press, or questions. Click here In The Flesh: Los Angeles. “…writer and host Rachel Kramer Bussel welcomes eroticism of all stripes, spots and textures to the Happy Ending lounge on the Lower East Side.,” New York Times UrbanEye newsletter, August 15, 2007 email rachelkramerbussel at for booking or other information or interview requests

Sunday, August 19, 2007

An erotic interlude: my new book Crossdressing

Since it's a few weeks until the next In The Flesh, and I have a new book out, I wanted to share a little info about it with you. I have to say, I'm really thrilled about this book and think that even those who are not "into" crossdressing will enjoy (aka get off on) many of the stories here, because as I reread them while proofreading, I realized that they're about discovering who you are, what turns you on, and especially sharing that with someone else. That is something I think we can all relate to and while that doesn't necessarily mean the stories will yank your chain, they will at least give you food for thought.

You can also read some of my erotica on my website.

Crossdressing: Erotic Stories
is out now! This is the new/final cover, and below is more info. I'd love to hear what you think of the book. I have to say, totally biased's really HOT!

Here's some more info:

From femmes who channel Marlene Dietrich in the sexiest of suits to men who love nothing more than the feel silky panties stretched tight against their skin, these characters boldly indulge their fantasies of being a girl — or a guy — for a night. Drag queens get dolled up for a night on the town, a dyke packs a special surprise beneath her dress, and a devoted husband puts his dress-up skills to the ultimate test in this seductive new collection.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Veronica Vera
Introduction by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Temporary • Tulsa Brown
Just Like a Boy • Debra Hyde
Halloween • Helen Boyd
More Than Meets the Eye • Stephen Albrow
Tough Enough to Wear a Dress • Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Sweetheart of Sigma Queer • Simon Sheppard
Tori's Secret • Andrea Miller
Like a Girl • Alison Tyler
Michelle, Ma Belle • Marcy Sheiner
Beefeater • Lisabet Sarai
Phone Fatale • Stan Kent
I Need a Man • Andrea Dale
A Cute Idea • Rachel Kramer Bussel
Higher and Higher • T. Hitman
Birthday Girl • Jason Rubis
The Princess on the Rock • Elspeth Potter
Down the Basement • Ryan Field
Some Things Never Change • Melinda Johnson

Crossing Boundaries and Bending Genders
by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Crossdressing spans such a wide range of possibilities, erotic and otherwise, that the only thing we can safely say brings the mélange of its practitioners under one umbrella is that they dress (sometimes or all the time) in the clothing of another gender. In an age when gender is becoming increasingly fluid, deconstructed, questioned, and sometimes abandoned, we can begin to see the idea and reality of crossdressing in a new light.

This book focuses on the erotic pleasures of crossdressing, while also touching on the life-changing, mind-melting, earth-shifting experiences that can come from actively playing with one's gender. For some characters, crossdressing means transgressing, transforming, subverting the rules to enter another body in order to enter another world, literally or figuratively. Sometimes it gives them permission to go where they'd be unwanted otherwise. For other characters, playing with their attire lets their minds create the fantasy creature they've always longed to be. It means acting, homecoming, freedom. Sometimes, it's a fun, risqué adventure, a break from the ordinary, a chance to see what might happen if you slipped into a dress or suited up. Would you be the same person? Would you feel the same? Would you get turned on in the same way? These questions and more get tackled in Crossdressing, though the answers are as varied as we are.

When these characters don the clothes of another gender, or another gender role, they find not just their bodies but their minds altered in powerful ways. What was once forbidden is now acceptableæor maybe it's still taboo but even hotter because of it. When they literally step into someone else's shoes, their bodies, minds, and libidos can explore passions they might not dare voice otherwise. Whether it's the bra, panties, and garter tucked away under the charcoal-gray business suit or the bound breasts flattened under a drag king's snazzy attire, clothes, as more than one character here can attest, do "make the man"æor woman, though the person inside those clothes creates his or her power from within as well.

In Stephen Albrow's "More Than Meets the Eye," his businessman protagonist has a secret under his suit that's his private treasure, until he chooses to share it: "My Brooks Brothers shirt is thick enough to cover up my white satin bra and garter belt, but not so thick that I can't feel the garter belt's lace trim as I run my fingertip over my abs. Just knowing this little bit of Suzy is there is enough to calm my nerves." Part of his narrator's delight is in fooling those around him. Yet revealing Suzy to her special lover is a bold thrill that yields untold rewards, and it's this push-pull of discovery and secrecy, of flaunting and hiding, of male and female that makes the story come alive.

These stories are not just about crossing genders but about living with the duality of one within the other, mixed together, mingling—the experience of living as one changing how a person lives as the other. Ashley Laine, the sensual, seductive drag queen narrator of Tulsa Brown's exquisitely rendered "Temporary," reveals the fear that haunts her at being found out: "When his thick fingers began to creep under my panties, I edged away, afraid to ripple the surface of his fantasy." Yet she proceeds, risking rejection for the joy of bringing that duality together into her erotic life. You can feel the shivers Rory delivers to her with the words "Oh, girl"—two simple but powerful words that encapsulate the crux of both Brown's story and this collection as a whole. When these characters--men, women, and those in between or neither at all--are finally able to be recognized for their chosen selves, the thrill goes far beyond the sexual.

Yet sex, desire, lust, and longing are front and center throughout, even as more complex gender dynamics come into play. In Debra Hyde's "Just Like a Boy," we learn that simply turning oneself into a "boy" is not enough for her narrator. She longs to be the boy of her childhood dreams, not "an androgyne in boy's clothes." Yet her venture into male territory isn't only for her but for her lover, Matthias, as well. Hyde draws out the tension in this dominant/submissive relationship, where power gets exerted in twisted, yet intriguing, ways.

The power of uniform gets invoked in Lisabet Sarai's humorous "Beefeater," in which a young British woman mocks familyæand traditionæto dress in the garb of the Yeoman Warders guarding the Tower of London. The secrecy of her mission, combined with the defiant naughtiness of their endeavor, had me rooting for them with all the fervor of anyone who's deliberately disobeyed, half-hoping to get punished.

Crossdressers themselves aren't the only ones here with a tale to tell. In T. Hitman's "Higher and Higher," Pete pretends to be his naughty alter ego, Nate, when he hires Roni, a "dudette" who shows Pete a few tricks as she turns one, worshipping him in ways nobody else ever has. His internal dilemma, caught between sheer arousal and propriety, between who he thinks he should desire and who he actually does, gives us a peek into how those who lust after crossdressers of any variety also struggle to embrace their wants.

Foreword by Veronica Vera

In Crossdressing, you'll find men in panties, butches in dresses, girls looking like boys, drag queens, drag kings, and those who can't be tidily summed up by their outer appearance. You'll find men who want to be men, only prettier, and women who don't have penis envy per se, but don't always want to be the little lady. In short, you'll find people across the sexual-orientation spectrum fucking with gender and gender rolesæand simply fucking.

At one point, looking at herself in the mirror, Brown's drag queen says, "Some people might call this a fantasy, but it was my deepest truth." Here you get hot fantasy, fiction, and the kind of truth that really matters, the kind that gets under our skin, under our clothes, under our disguises to a place that speaks to us deep in our erotic souls. Whatever you're wearing right now (or not), I hope you'll join me on this tour across stages real and imagined, where the limits of gender-bending are in the eyes of the beholder.

Some years ago, before the birth of my crossdressing academy, I was invited to a costume party. I was dating a cop from Canada and he'd given me the shirt off his back, so I decided to go as a police officer. I found a pair of navy-blue trousers and wore black leather boots, but I still felt like a lady. It wasn't until I put on a tie that things changed. That skimpy, phallic fabric dangling from my neck caused a physical sensation. I no longer had firm breasts, but a broad chest that swelled with authority. I stood taller, I felt stronger. As if by magic, I, the queen of femininity, felt like a man. And people's response to me was different, too. They gave me more space; they were more reticent and submissive. Before the night was over that visiting policeman felt my long arm of the law in places that certain states still called illegal.

That experience impressed me with the erotic power of crossdressing and to this day remains vivid. Since then, as the dean of Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls, I've seen many times over how a tight corset can free the most shy from the confines of their inhibitions, or a lace nightie turn one who is well-armored into a delicious morsel of vulnerability.

When invited by Rachel Kramer Bussel to write the foreword to this book, I was tickled pink. Too often, the art of crossdressing is presented in limited form, stripped of its sexual potential--but potential and limitless options are what crossdressing is really all about. The media will focus on the visual make-over--everyone likes to see the "before and after--as long as the action stays on the surface and doesn't penetrate. How many times have I answered questions about the sexual orientation of my students as "the line between who is gay, straight, bisexual is a very blurry line, especially when you dress up and play with gender"? The eroticism of crossdressing is a subject that needs to be freed from the closet.

Leave it to Rachel, the Lusty Lady herself, to open this door. Rachel champions life with an erotic edge, and she also believes in the power of good writing. The combination is provocative, even subversive, just like crossdressing. In Elizabethan times, "sumptuary laws" were written to keep the masses in check. A man could not wear women's clothes, nor could a woman wear a man's. No one could wear clothing above his or her station, for fear that dressing too fine would give a person fancy ideas. A mingling of the classes could change the face and the figure of society, even lead to revolution. These laws were short-lived because they were impossible to enforce. When it comes to our imaginations and libidos, we humans are just too messy and chaotic. Reader beware, because the stories in this book can shake your status quo, excite you in ways you might not have thought possible, shred your resolve to ribbons. We all have invested our clothes with intangible qualities and they can take possession of us.

Here you will find literary temptations, guidelines for crossing erotic borders, with clothing and props that expose even as they camouflage. What you will not find in these stories are long inventories of outfits with no payoffs. When these characters pack, their purpose is not just to fill up a suitcase.

There are those who may deem this book politically incorrect (to me that's part of its charm). They prefer to keep sex and gender as two separate categories where never the twain shall meet. It is an attempt to make kink more conservative, and transgender more acceptable and less threatening, not only to outsiders but to those who themselves identify as transgender. Some will say, "Crossdressing is not about a different sexual orientation but about a different gender identity." But these stories invite all of us to experience ourselves as transcending gender, in practice or as literary voyeurs. Each one of us has the physical capacity--enough holes, appendages, and extensions--to give and to experience pleasure from any other.

I've always believed in the intimacy of sex, whether the scenario involves those who know each other well or total strangers. Stories such as these that delve into the minds of the players, as well as describe their actions, outfits, and accoutrements, bring us closer together, help us to understand one another, and increase family values--our human family values. We connect with the forces of creation alive within each of us. And we evolve. While you are reading these stories, whether alone or with a lover, if you are inspired to masturbate, as well you might be, enjoy the pleasure of your orgasms and know that by your pleasure you make the world a more enchanting place.

For your homework, why not form a reading group and get together with some friends and explore these texts in depth? Just remember to dress for the occasion.

A Cute Idea
Rachel Kramer Bussel

It started out as a cute idea, inspired by my boyfriend Neil's close-to-perfect ass. He was naked, his tall, slim body bending over our dresser, burrowing around to try to find the pair of boxers he was sure was buried deep inside, even though he hadn't done his laundry in weeks, maybe months. We'd reached a détente where I left him alone about the state of his dirty clothes hamper as long as he eventually got, or bought, clothes that wouldn't make me crinkle my nose in alarm. He'd done pretty well over the last few months, though he was nowhere near approximating my weekly clothes wash, and he simply laughed when he found my voluminous collection of sexy, lacy, very delicate, expensive panties, garters, stockings and bras drying in our bathroom.

As I looked at his ass, which is, inarguably, the sexiest part of his rock-hard body (though there was plenty of close competition from his solid chest, strong arms, which he uses to carry me when I'm too tired to walk to the car at night, and, of course, amazing cock), the part I loved to grab, fondle, squeeze, and sometimes spank, an idea came to me. I heard him muttering to himself and knew he was probably out of briefs and even out of boxers, which were a far second in his choice of intimate apparel. "Hey honey, I have an idea. Why don't you put on a pair of my panties? Maybe those new pink ones, with the bows," I said, remembering our devilishly fun time shopping for the sexy pair, which I'd modeled for him in the dressing room.

He'd snuck in when nobody was looking, then been so turned on he couldn't stop staring at me. I had swapped the basic, boring thong I'd been wearing for a pink, lacy, frothy concoction, which featured little bows along the edges that were there purely for decoration. With my shaved, sleek pussy visible through its sheer mesh front (I'd put them on over my little cotton thong), he just had to come a little closer and lick me to orgasm. "I can't resist you in those," Neil had groaned before lunging for me. I giggled quietly but was getting aroused myself. He'd wanted to do it with the panties on, but I'd hissed, "We still have to pay for them!" and so I'd taken them off, he'd feasted on me, pulling aside the thin fabric of the thong to get at my sex, leaving me quaking as I clung to the walls of the booth while a saleswoman pounded on the door. "Miss, you've been in there a long time—we have a line."

"Just a sec," I'd called out, my voice going higher as his tongue plunged deeper. I came, spasming against him, then hurriedly put my clothes back on, walking out with a blush splashed across my cheeks. We'd sheepishly hurried out of the dressing room, and I'd bought that same pair in every color they offered, filling my already overstocked panty drawer to the brim. In fact, my undies took up so much room that some had to go in his drawer, but I knew Neil didn't mind.

He turned to me, though, with a quizzical expression. "What did you just say?" Even though he'd tried to only twist the top half of his body around, I could see his dick bobbing before him. It was hard, and I gasped in anticipation. This was going to be fun.

"Just that if you're having trouble finding your boxers, which you seem to be, I think you'd look really good in one of my new pairs of panties. You know, the ones that made you so horny you had to go down on me in the dressing room. The ones that let you see my pussy through them. What about me? What if I want to see your cock through your panties?" I said, emphasizing the last word and giving it every ounce of humor and taunting it deserved. There's just something about "panties" that makes you long to tease a person who's wearing them, to stare at the outline of them beneath their pants or skirt, to imagine them bunching together between their legs. "Briefs." "Boxers." "Panties." The first two sound solid, secure, upright. The last, silly, a laughingstock, but erotic nonetheless. Now I was determined to see my idea to fruition.

"Here, I'll show you," I said, fishing out the pink pair and moving so I was standing in front of him. I brushed them gently against his cock, watching it respond to the silky-soft fabric. "You're going to look fabulous and totally fuckable."

"Oh, God, Jen," he groaned as he slid into the panties. Perhaps because I'm tall, topping out at just under six feet, and have a sturdy, athletic body even though I'm pretty slim—but let me tell you, those panties fit his body like they were made for him. His hard cock pressed against the sheer fabric in front, outlining it and making it seem even bigger. The little bows, which had been a darling touch on me, looked both incongruous and seductive on his manly frame. The whole thing was ridiculous on one level and ridiculously hot on another. I couldn't really say why, only that once I saw him in my panties, I was hooked. The contrast between the pink, girlish color and his hard, strong cock was striking and all the more alluring because of it. Knowing that the panties turned him on and made him squirm just a little made me happy because I was the one who could tip the balance...