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

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gawker, New York Observer, and becoming a "real New Yorker"

Sheila McClear over at Gawker hyped our resident fameballs, Neal Boulton and Rex Sorgatz (pictured below via Gawker). Please come out to hear what I'm sure are going to be wild tales from them and all our readers.

In The Flesh gets Gawked

And Meredith Bryan plugged this week's In The Flesh in her 8 Days a Week column in The New York Observer:

Meanwhile, horny yet perpetually flaccid hipsters flock to a True Sex Confessions Night on the Lower East Side, where, explained buxom brunette host Rachel Kramer Bussel, “people can give their own true confessions on index cards and I read them out loud.” Ms. Bussel, an editor at Penthouse, started writing erotica when in law school at N.Y.U. Also: “I have a blog about cupcakes.” Of course you do!

And perhaps most excitingly, my little reading series is #182 of a Meetup group's 1001 Things To Do To Make Me a "Real New Yorker" - join the group here.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Join the Facebook group and updates!

Please Join the Facebook group for In The Flesh updates (you can join my personal monthly newsletter at my website - those go out at the beginning of each month and also have reminders.

Here are the 2009 In The Flesh dates:
January 15, February 19, March 19, April 16, May 21, June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18, October 16, November 20, December 18

So far all I know is February 19th is Susie Bright, still sorting out if March or April will be Virgin Night but I definitely need "virgin" (first time) readers! Email me at rachelravenous at with a bio and writing sample of what you'd want to read. As soon as I sort out the dates, I'll be booking.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Top 10 Reasons why you want to come to True Sex Confessions Night on December 18th

In The Flesh logo by Molly Crabapple

1. True! Sex! Confessions! I mean, doesn't that sound hot enough?

2. Free cupcakes! Free candy! Free chips! Free condoms (courtesy of Rachel Sarah)! Free hot sexy storytelling! (I can't promise the cupcakes will be from Kumquat Cupcakery like the ones below, but they will be yummy for sure.

3. Christen Clifford talks about her parents' sex life December 18th

It's kindof hard to squick me, but I must say, playwright Christen Clifford did with her one woman show (What I Know About) My Parents' Sex Life (or, Fuck Me Like It's 1945). You really must see the whole thing to fully absorb it, but she's gonna do a short excerpt from it for us!

4. Kiki T. reads a True Sex Confession December 18th

Kiki T., astrosexologist - maybe you can find her during the intermission and ask her to read your palm (and, like, buy her a drink while you're at it)

Here's what she said about me this week (I'm a Scorpio):

Negotiations with you and sweetie are going to get tough in many ways. Besides seeing another side to that someone you didn’t think could exist, it’ll also bring out a feeling inside of you that you hate. All in all, an emotionally stressful time that’ll have you needing to spend a lot of money on useless things.

5. Neal Boulton reads at True Sex Confessions Night December 18th

Don't you want to see for yourself why Gawker's always covering Neal Boulton? He was the recent subject of this Page Six Magazine profile (and his wife will be in the audience!). The bisexual editor of Bastard Life is sure to have something juicy to share!

6. Rex Sorgatz knows all about being microfamous, and about, well, the sex lives of the microfamous.

photo by Rachel Sklar via Flickr

7. Rachel Resnick reads at True Sex Confession December 18th

Rachel Resnick is the author of the new memoir Love Junkie, which I adored. You can read more about it at her site, including a Q&A with stuff like:

How do you know if you're a love junkie?

You can tell if you’re a love junkie if you meet someone new, and instead of a spark, you get the whole meteor shower. It’s like you’re shooting up that skin-tingling, electric feeling of love, right into your heart. And “love” wakes you up. Now this could maybe be a sign of chemistry between two people—if you’re healthy. But love junkies aren’t healthy. You’re a love junkie if you have a core of neediness and dependency that’s waiting to grasp onto someone. You want someone to rescue you, take care of you—the way your parents should have (and probably didn’t). You have a big gaping hole that the wind howls through, and that distorts our perceptions of the world and especially of the destructive lovers we choose.


Me! I am not sure exactly what I will share, since I've already read once about having sex without a condom, not to mention my airport hookup tale. I guess it's possible something crazy-hot will happen to me between now and then, but I doubt it. Right now, good money would be on my first caning, which happened on my last trip to London.

9. Mobile Libris will be on hand to sell books like these...and get them signed!

The Celestial Sexpot's Handbook
Cover of Love Junkie by Rachel Resnick

Spanked cover

(Best Sex Writing 2009, which you can read about in the post below, is hot off the press and I'm hoping to have a copy or two on hand.)

10. You can share your own true sex confession and I will read it out loud. I'll be passing out index cards on each table and you just write yours down and turn it in. It's a lot of fun and the craziest things come out of people's mouths!

So do yourself a favor and BE THERE!

December 18th at 8 PM
AT HAPPY ENDING LOUNGE, 302 BROOME STREET, NYC (look for pink awning that says "health club")
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue,
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

Hear the latest round of our popular True Sex Confessions—and share one of your own! Featuring Rachel Resnick (author of the memoir Love Junkie), Neal Boulton (editor of, Kiki T. (astrosexologist for, playwright Christen Clifford (reading from (What I Know About) My Parents’ Sex Life), and blogger Rex Sorgatz ( Hosted and curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Dating Drama columnist,, Editor, Best Sex Writing 2009, Spanked). Audience members will have the chance to anonymously share their True Sex Confessions on index cards to be read aloud. Free candy and cupcakes will be served. Books will be for sale from Mobile Libris.

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Best Sex Writing 2009

If you like True Sex Confessions Night at In The Flesh, you'll be sure to like my latest book, which will be in bookstores and on Amazon and other online retailers any day now.

More on this book soon, but here's the table of contents and my introduction. The cover photos is by the brilliant and kinky Pervy Girls photographer Christine Kessler.

I'm doing a particularly big push on this because this is the kind of thing I live for: brainy, smart, provocative sex writing that isn't about titillation but the true depth and reality of actual sex and sexual issues. I'd really like to see this series kick ass in sales and get people talking because I think it covers such wide ground, from things you'd expect from a sex writing anthology to plenty you wouldn't. Anything you can do to spread the word would be much appreciated. I'll post again when the books are actually in stock. Many thanks to MSNBC sex columnist Brian Alexander for his thoughtful introduction and careful reading and selection. Oh, and the BSW 09 blog isn't active yet, but will be very soon.

Best Sex Writing 2009
edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Introduction: Sex is Everywhere
One Rape, Please (to Go) Tracie Egan
Searching for Normal: Do Dating Websites for People with STIs Liberate or Quarantine? Lynn Harris
Father Knows Best Amanda Robb
An Open Letter to the Bush Administration Mistress Morgana Maye
The Pleasure of Unpleasure Kristina Lloyd
What's "Normal" Sex? Brian Alexander
Unleash the Beast "Josephine Thomas"
Is Cybersex Cheating? Violet Blue
Sex Offenders!! Kelly Davis
War Games: No WMDs but Military Police Find "Dangerous" Dildos in Iraq Tom Johansmeyer
In Defense of Casual Sex Tracy Clark-Flory
Soulgasm Dagmar Herzog
Sexual Problems: A Common Side Effect of Combat-Related PTSD Don Vaughn
Penises I Have Known Daphne Merkin
Sex Is the Most Stressful Thing in the Universe Dan Vebber
Silver-Balling Stacey D'Erasmo
Sex Dolls for the Twenty-First Century David Levy
Dear John Susannah Breslin
Oldest Profession 2.0: A New Generation of Local "Providers" and "Hobbyists" Create a Virtual Red-Light District Keegan Hamilton
How "Swingers" Might Save Hollywood from a Federal Pornography Statute Alan Levy
Why Bathroom Sex Is Hot James Hannaham
Kids and Comstockery, Back (and Forward) in the Day Debbie Nathan
The Immaculate Orgasm: Who Needs Genitals? Mary Roach

Introduction: Sex Is Everywhere

Sex is everywhere--in our bedrooms, classrooms, courtrooms, and offices, as well as on our TV and movie screens, streets, and newspapers. This was a big year for sex, from prostitution (Eliot Spitzer, Ashley Dupré, Deborah Jeane Palfrey) to teen pregnancy (Jamie Lynn Spears, Bristol Palin) and beyond.

You don’t have to look far to find sex, but you do have to get a bit bolder when looking for writing and thinking about sex that doesn’t play to the lowest common denominator. The essays and articles here explore the big, bad (and good) world of sex in many forms, from online personals sites (for those with STIs) to impassioned arguments for casual sex (and bathroom sexæsometimes one and the same, sometimes not), as well as affairs, purity balls, penises, cybersex, and more.

As I said earlier, sex is everywhereæincluding on the battlefields of Iraq. We may think of sex and war as mutually exclusive terrains, but as Don Vaughn’s story about sexual dysfunction and combat-related PTSD and Tom Johansmeyer’s “War Games,”—which looks at one contractor’s and two female soldiers’ penalization for possessing porn and dildos, respectively—make clear, the two are intricately linked. In fact, there’s no area of our lives where sex doesn’t play a role, even (or perhaps, especially) religion. In “Soulgasm,” an excerpt from Dagmar Herzog’s excellent book Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics, she looks at what Christian sex educators are saying about sex (from oral to anal to vibrators), and their advice may very well surprise you.

Our current mores and rules about sex didn’t spring up out of nowhere, as Debbie Nathan shows in her exploration of early twentieth-century vice czar Anthony Comstock.

The personal stories here are ones I think may best illuminate how complex, individualistic, confusing and profound sex can be. In “One Rape, Please (to Go),” Tracie Egan boldly starts out, “I blame my recurring rape fantasy on the fact that I’m a feminist.” If that’s not enough to keep you reading, I’ll give you a clue as to what happens next: she hires a man to pretend to rape her, but what she gets in return is not quite what she bargained for. Similarly, in Dan Vebber’s “Sex Is the Most Stressful Thing in the Universe,” the goal of finally having sex becomes exalted to the point of mania, with a little help from his overly neurotic girlfriend.

I’d like to give special thanks to Miriam Axel-Lute and the Sex Positive Journalism Awards (aka, the Sexies). Their project was launched in order “to recognize the times when journalists stick to the standards of their craft in the face of such challenges and produce good, informative journalism that spreads accurate sexual information, stays fair in covering highly charged topics, and celebrates healthy sexuality as a positive force in people’s lives.” “War Games” by Tom Johansmeyer, was one of their runner-ups for Sex-Themed Publications, and all of their winners are worth reading (see

There were many extraordinary pieces I was not able to include in this book. Please visit for links to some of these pieces and to read more about the latest in sex.

With Best Sex Writing 2008, many people said they’d expected something far juicer from the racy cover. If you’re looking for the latest jerk-off material, please check Cleis Press’s website for their many fine erotica offerings; this is not one of those books, though some of these stories may titillate you or spark your erotic imagination. I always recall that the brain is the biggest sex organ. Learning about sex can inspire us to be better, more knowledgeable and more empathetic lovers, family members, and citizens.

I hope this book will open your mind and make you think about your own sexuality, as well as your neighbors’, politicians’, and best friends’. It’s given me plenty of food for thought and I’m grateful that sex continues to challenge us to think, explore and appreciate its many nuances.

Rachel Kramer Bussel