Friday, April 6, 2007

Eating Cake is Better Than Having It Too: Lusty Lady Licks Us Good

If you haven’t heard of Rachel Kramer Bussel, then you’re likely not reading enough erotica. Rachel, who's also known as Lusty Lady, is the queen of all things erotic, edible and edibly erotic. She’s the author of too many short stories to count, much less name; the editor of books like Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 2 and Glamour Girls; and a contributor to blogs, newspapers, magazines and nearly every other form of readable media out there.

We invited Rachel for cupcakes and diet Coke, and not only did she accept our invite, she let us pester her with a million questions about writing novels, tasty cakes and her newest books dominance-themed collections, He’s On Top and She’s On Top.

(And after the interview, read an excerpt from Teresa Noelle Roberts' short story, “Mark of Ownership,” which is included in She’s On Top. And don't forget to leave a comment--that will automatically sign you up for the free giveaway. Winner gets their choice of He's On Top or She's On Top!)

Lust Bites: What was the idea and/or reason behind doing He's On Top/She's On Top?

Rachel Kramer Bussel: I wanted to look at the eroticism of BDSM and dominant/submissive relationships in a context that wasn’t just about physical prowess. Too often in the media and public imagination, kink is about whips and chains and being harsh and cruel. I’m not saying it can’t be those things, but to me the erotic aspect of BDSM is the give and take, the way the top gives the bottom something they crave and gets something in return. I wanted these books to be ones kinky and non-kinky people could jerk off to and maybe gain a bit of understanding from.

LB: What was the story that surprised you most from the He's On Top/She's on Top collections?

RKB: Teresa Noelle Roberts’s “Mark of Ownership” in She’s on Top, because it had this quality of emotional tenderness while talking about a topic, cutting, that is not my personal cup of tea. It got to the heart of what I wanted to explore in these anthologies, which is how power, within the context of BDSM, isn’t absolute. The story shows how sometimes being the top is the toughest role to play because you have to watch out for your sub’s well-being as well as your own, and sometimes, perhaps, at the expense of your own.

LB: Why He's on Top/She's on Top? Isn't that a bit unfair on those of us who aren't that bothered about who's on top but care mostly about who's on the bottom?

RKB: Funny you should ask, because I am in the process of editing Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission and Male Dominance and Yes, Ma’am: Erotic Stories of Male Submission and Female Dominance, which will tell these stories from the bottom’s point of view (to be published by Cleis in early 2008).

But what was interesting to me is that even though technically these are tales from the top, I found that a good top has to be aware of what their bottom wants. The stories that most connected with me were ones where the tops took total pleasure in messing with their bottoms, while also showing a level of compassion and protection over them. I’m a switch, or rather, I can top or bottom depending on who I’m with and the dynamics of the relationship, and I found myself getting into some stories from the top’s point of view while in some I saw myself as the bottom in the story, but in all of them, there was something that I found arousing and thrilling.

LB: What's your biggest turn-on in a story?

RKB: It’s different in each one but usually there’s a point where the story just hooks me in. Sometimes that happens immediately, and sometimes it takes a while, but at whatever that point is I need to keep reading, even though part of my mind has already formed its own imagery and is running with the story on the page. I’m aroused both physically and intellectually and can’t wait to get to the end so I can start all over again.

LB: You're working on your first novel, right? How is that the same/different from the work you've done before?

RKB: Writing my novel, Everything But…, (to be published by Bantam next summer) is nothing like anything else I’ve ever written before. It’s a whole new level of work and madness, but it’s also giving me the freedom to play around with various characters and have my protagonist, Grace, experience a lot of different feelings and sexual situations, some familiar to me personally and some not. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s about a virgin’s erotic awakening and how she goes about pursuing sexual fulfillment and trying to find true love.

LB: What's your favorite cake?

RKB: There are so many to choose from! I am a total cupcake aficionado, but I don’t only eat cupcakes. My favorite cupcake sounds boring but really is divine—vanilla/vanilla—but my favorite cake would have to be this chocolate zucchini cake I once had. I don’t have the recipe and have lost touch with the friend who made it, but it was super yummy. I’m much more of a cake than a frosting person, and think most cupcakes have too much frosting, but I also think you can’t really go wrong with a cupcake.

LB: What's the question that no one's ever asked that you wish they would?

RKB: Wow. I don’t know if I know. Maybe “What sleeps with you in your bed?” I think I will just leave that question there and perhaps someday I will answer it.


And now on to the excerpt from “
Mark of Ownership” by Teresa Noelle Roberts:

This wouldn’t be the first time I’d drawn Ben’s blood. We’d done needle-play a couple of times, starting with one simple play piercing and working up to a fairly elaborate design, laced with colored ribbon, circling his nipples. Each time, I’d been left almost as shaken as he was, riding an endorphin rush of my own and flying so high it was hard for me to pull myself back to self-control and guide his flight home. It wasn’t the blood itself, although the effect of the ruby droplets against his chocolate skin was mesmerizing. It was the rush of absolute power, that someone would lie down and let me open the envelope of his skin.

Absolute power on my side, absolute trust on his, for those moments.

I’d never cut him before, but we’d talked about it, excitedly, almost obsessively.

It was as close as we ever came to talking about love.


That's all folks! Thanks for stopping by. Take another cupcake on your way out, and leave a comment at the door--you just might win your very own copy of He's or She's On Top!


Portia Da Costa said...

Fascinating stuff! Bravo Rachel! Bravo Teresa!

May said...

I will bake vanilla cupcakes today, in the Lusty Lady's honor. :)

The excerpt's wonderful!

Erastes said...

Very interesting stuff thank you so much for this, I love seeing how writer's think and work. Good luck with the novel, I'm sure it will do really well!

Amy S. said...

Excerpt was great! Added both book to my to buy list!

Alison Tyler said...

Awesome interview... Hats off to you, Shanna, and thanks to Rachel for letting us eavesdrop. I love getting a deeper look into other editors' processes. And I'm beside myself about the prospect of reading a full-length novel by the divine Ms. RKB.

But now I'm really curious... who here is a cake person? And who is into the frosting?



P.S. Must admit, I'm all about the frosting.

tetewa said...

Good luck on your book and I enjoyed the exerpt!

kristina lloyd said...

The anthos sound great - and, yeah, I agree: while the paraphernalia of BDSM can be interesting, I suspect for a lot of people, it's the psychodynamics and emotions running through powerplay that make it hot.

Alison, I'm afraid I don't really like cake or frosting. I'm more into bitter olives and, um, salty nuts.


TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Thanks for the compliments on the excerpt. That was a tough story to write, both in terms of the emotional dynamics between the characters and in terms of making a rather scary, out-there kink emotionally approachable. Glad it seems to work!

Cake or frosting? Both, please!

Anonymous said...

The books sound great - but I love the picture best - is it 'Boobs with cupcake' or 'Cupcake with Boobs'? Beautiful!

I'm a cake person, personally - wouldn't eat the icing by itself, too sweet.

I could eat a lot of raw cookie dough though, I wonder where that puts me?


Kate Pearce said...

Not a cake person at all, having been force-fed too many as a kid by my mum who loved to make them!
But I am fascinated by the subject matter of these stories and plan to read the books as soon as I can get my little hot hands on them.

Lovely excerpt-great post!

Shanna Germain said...

I like just a little cake, and just a little frosting. It's the pairing. But none of that all-sugar stuff.

My fave? Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.


:) s.

the bluest light said...

The books sound great. And I'm a frosting person, but cake's good too. Particularly raw cake mix.

And my favourite is white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.

Maria said...

I'd really like to read She's on Top soon. I like what Rachel had to say about the idea behind the books; books that are completely whips and chains have never been favorites of mine.

Shanna Germain said...

Oh, Teresa, I just read your whole story in She's on Top. Shit, you've made me cry. See how you are?

Now I must go try to write something...ack. Always hard to do after reading great work. What a lovely piece.

Best, s.

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Shanna, I take that as a great compliment!

Now I'm all frustrated because my books have probably arrived at home, but home is 300 miles away so I can't read all the other great stories including yours.

Theron said...

Rachel is the best! Cupcakes, sexuality and everything in between - she's there for us...come to think of it, cupcakes and sexuality are pretty closely connected...but you get my drift.

Anonymous said...

What a rush, just the description of the elaborate design of the ribbon and nipples. I got flushed just thinking about it. Great choice of excerpt. If a few senteces can do that I can't wait to get my hand s on that book!


Sue said...

"What sleeps with you in your bed?" How can you tease your fans like that Rachel? A question is foreplay but the answers going to get us off. Looking forward....

Nikki Magennis said...

Hi Rachel,

Just wanted to say thank you so much for stopping by. We are honoured to have you! Can't wait to read the novel.

(And May - mmm, cupcakes. You're spoiling us...)

Jason Ellis said...

I'm waiting for more stories about cupcakes and sex. Someone has to be writing about this! In the meantime, I'll make do with Rachel's wonderful anthologies.

Rachel said...

On the non-fiction front, I just wrote a little piece on "Why Cupcakes are HOT" for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Will do my best to add more cupcake erotica to the world ASAP. And THANK YOU to all the Lust Bites ladies for having me visit!

Stephanie said...

The excerpts are too tantalizing; I really cannot wait to read these books. Please, please bring on the cupcake erotica!