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

Thursday, July 16, 2009

True Sex Confessions Night TONIGHT!

Thanks to all the great local publications who've covered this reading and to my friends/helpers (they will be passing out all the candy/chips/cupcakes/index cards to write your confessions on): Desiree, Diva, and Tess!

The always fabulous (subscribe! it's free!) New York Times UrbanEye newsletter said:

the In the Flesh series at Happy Ending features the monologist Mike Daisey, the memoirists Mike Edison (“I Have Fun Everywhere I Go”) and Nancy Balbirer (“Take Your Shirt Off and Cry;” ex-roomie of Jennifer Aniston) and others sharing their true sex confessions. As always for the wholesome part of you, there will be free cupcakes.

Time Out New York said In The Flesh is "like foreplay for the mind--no strings attached."

New York Press totally gets it:

Part of the In The Flesh reading series, tonight’s event will feature eight guests sharing some of their most intimate secrets. Well, they’re not exactly secrets, since most of the folks performing—including Take Your Shirt Off and Cry author Nancy Balbirer and monologist Mike Daisey—have either published their stories or slept with loudmouths who’ve told everyone all the juicy news already. Still, it will feel illicit to hear them talk about their naked foibles.

The Bottom Line: Give the Internet a break and check out some hot and heavy material with other people.

And New York Daily News gave us a shoutout!

Thanks as well to MurphGuide for the listing.

And if you've never been to Happy Ending Lounge (yes, it's a former massage parlor), it's a gorgeous, sexy, fun space. Also, a small space - I cannot stress enough how much I recommend arriving by 7:30. It will be crowded, but it's worth it, I promise.

Questions about In The Flesh? Email me at rachelkramerbussel at - I book generally by invitation only, though I have a few spots left for In The Flesh offshoot Quickies: Short Erotica, Friday, August 7 from 7:30-8:30. For that, send me a short writing sample of what you'd read want to read and a bio.

July 16th at 8 PM (doors at 7; we recommend arriving by 7:30 for a seat)
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue,
Between Forsyth & Eldridge. Look for the hot pink awning that says "XIE HE Health Club."
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

In The Flesh is bringing back our most popular segment, True Sex Confessions Night! Featuring monologist Mike Daisey (21 Dog Years, If You See Something Say Something), memoirists Nancy Balbirer (Take Your Shirt Off and Cry: A Memoir of Near-Fame Experiences) and Mike Edison (I Have Fun Everywhere I Go), Melissa Gira Grant (, Megan Carpentier (, Blaise K (How I Learned Reading Series), Wickham Boyle (Pleasures, The Erotic Edge) and Maria Diaz (contributor, The Lust Chronicles). Hosted and curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Sex Writing 2009, The Mile High Club, Spanked). Free candy, cookies, chips and 100 mini cupcakes by Baked by Melissa will be served. Audience members will have the opportunity to anonymously share their true sex confessions throughout the night (via index cards that will be read aloud between readers). Free copies of the word game SexySlang will be given away.

In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the country's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. 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. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Laura Antoniou, Mo Beasley, Susie Bright, Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Stephen Elliott, Valerie Frankel, Polly Frost, Gael Greene, Andy Horwitz, Debra Hyde, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Edith Layton, Logan Levkoff, Suzanne Portnoy, Sofia Quintero, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Grant Stoddard, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, Dana Vachon, Veronica Vera, Susan Wright, Zane and many others. The series has gotten press attention from the New York Times’s UrbanEye, Escape (Hong Kong), Flavorpill, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Observer, Philadelphia City Paper, Time Out New York, Flavorwire, Gothamist,, and Wonkette, and has been praised by Dr. Ruth.

Nancy Balbirer's memoir, Take Your Shirt Off and Cry, was published by Bloomsbury in April. She is the author and star of the critically acclaimed solo show I Slept With Jack Kerouac and Other Stories, the co-creator of the cult reading series, Cause Celeb!, and has co-starred on Seinfeld and MTV’s Remote Control. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is the co-owner, designer and doyenne of the West Village boite, Pasita. She lives with remarkably few regrets in Manhattan with her husband and daughter.

photo by Rob d'Entremont

Wickham Boyle, known as Wicki, wears many hats: writer, journalist, consultant and theater producer. As well as writing about sex and all things erotic, Boyle has written numerous articles on finance, parenting and travel for The New York Times, Savoy, National Geographic, Budget Travel, Real Simple, Gotham, Grace and the Downtown Express. She was one of the founders of Code Magazine, and editor-in-chief of Thrive, a magazine launched in late 2006 dedicated to the baby boom generation. Her essays can be heard on the AARP radio stations during their Prime Time show. Her erotic stories can be found in numerous collections published by Dutton, including the groundbreaking Pleasures and The Erotic Edge.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is an author, editor, blogger and reading series host. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations and a former sex columnist for The Village Voice. She’s edited numerous anthologies, two of which (Up All Night and Glamour Girls) have been Lambda Literary Award finalists, most recently The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories, Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, Best Sex Writing 2009, Tasting Him, Tasting Her, and Spanked. Her writing been published in publications such as Clean Sheets, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Beast, Fresh Yarn, Huffington Post, Mediabistro, Newsday, New York Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Tango, The Village Voice, and Time Out New York, and in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006. She has hosted In The Flesh since October 2005.

photo by Hilary McHone

Megan Carpentier is a freelancer writer whose work has appeared on, Wonkette, The Daily Beast, Glamour's blog Glamocracy, Foreign Policy's Madame Secretary blog, Ms., the Washington Post and Radar. Most of that was not about sex. Before she was an underemployed writer, she was an over-educated, mostly-inebriated lobbyist with a bad attitude and a foul mouth.

Mike Daisey has been called “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by the New York Times for his groundbreaking monologues. His first film, LAYOVER, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and a feature film of his monologue If You See Something Say Something will be released this year. He’s been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, a contributor to WIRED, Slate, and Salon, a web contributor to Vanity Fair and Radar Magazine, and his work has been frequently heard on the BBC and NPR. His first book, 21 Dog Years: A Cubedweller’s Tale, was published by the Free Press and he is currently at work on a second book. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award and two Drama League Awards, and has been the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, three Seattle Times Footlight Awards, and a MacDowell Fellowship. He lives in New York City with his director and collaborator, Jean-Michele Gregory.

Maria Diaz is a freelance pop culture and geekery writer based out of New Jersey and once in a while, New York City. She writes the blog for b5media and is a contributer to British women's blog BitchBuzz. "Room 3025" from The Lust Chronicles was her first published story ever. She is currently working on a fiction zine of dark, sexy stories called Musical Beds. Her personal blog is at

photo by Amber Wolf

Mike Edison is the former publisher of High Times, a Hustler and Penthouse scribe, the former editor-in-chief of Screw magazine, and author of the memoir I Have Fun Everywhere I Go, plus 28 pornographic novel. In addition, he is known for his eclectic music career, and has collaborated frequently with noted wildmen Jon Spencer and GG Allin. He currently fronts his long-running gospel-blues-punk experiment the Edison Rocket Train, as well as his larger group, the Rocket Train Delta Science Arkestra. He lives and works in New York City.

Melissa Gira (“jee-rha”) Grant writes about sex & the internet at her award-winning blog, Sexerati. She is a contributor to Black Book and Gawker, and a columnist for $pread magazine. Her essays and reporting appear in Dirty Girls, Best Sex Writing 2008, Valleywag, RH Reality Check, and in Make: magazine & The Frisky. She lives in Brooklyn.

Blaise Allysen Kearsley (also known as Blaise K because she is lazy) is the creator, curator and host of the How I Learned Reading Series at Happy Ending. She is also a writer, photographer and veteran blogger (who doesn't really blog anymore, actually). She has appeared at PS 122, Lolita, Bowery Poetry Club, Freddy's, Lucky 13 and Collective Unconscious. Between her writing and photography she has been featured in Nerve, Vice, Gawker, Gothamist, The Morning News, The Black Table, Jetpac magazine and Playbill, among others, as well as in the books Mortified and Cringe. She believes 2009 might be the year she finally finishes writing her novel, but she also has a lot of YouTube videos to catch up on. You can still stalk her former blog persona at (Bazima rhymes with vagina.)

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