In the years since, Bussel's reputation, notoriety, kudos, and credentials have blossomed, due to her unique, clever literary voice, sex-positive, post-feminist sensibilities ... did I mention she's got great tits? Anyway, she's contributed to more than 100 anthologies, written for the Village Voice, and developed an interesting relationship with cupcakes.
Bussel is the editor of Up All Night: Adventures in Lesbian Sex, Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z, and the co-editor of Caught Looking: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists. She's also a senior editor at Penthouse Variations, and her two new Cleis Press books, He's on Top: Erotic Stories of Male Domination and Female Submission, and its companion, She's on Top: Erotic Stories of Female Domination and Male Submission, are selling like hotcakes. Kinky, buttery hotcakes.
Her blog, The Lusty Lady (lustylady.blogspot.com), details her obsessions with sex, cupcakes, politics, and music, and hosts New York's monthly erotic reading series In the Flesh. Amazingly enough, she managed to sneak in a few moments to talk to Adult FriendFinder about online dating, as well as her most recent projects.
CL: What advice would you have for our female Adult FriendFinder members?
RKB: I would say first of all, know what you want. Don’t just go on the site and then say, "Oh, I want that one and that one and that one.” Think a little about what you need, what you want, and what you’ll settle for. If you are looking for a quick hookup or a casual fling or a relationship, that’ll affect the way you conduct yourself online.
Also, I know it might be challenging, but sometimes the people who seem a little quirky (in a good way, not a scary way) may be the most interesting. The ones who are the all-out hottest looks-wise may be arrogant or too busy to respond. Please note: I’m not saying all traditionally good-looking guys are like this, just that if you see one guy who looks like Brad Pitt and one guy who looks like your cute but kinda geeky neighbor, don’t overlook the neighbor.
CL: How about the guys? Is there something besides the obvious physical stuff that attracts you to a male profile?
RKB: For me, one of the first things I look for is that you can spell. Spelling errors really stand out to me, so run a spell check. Try to set yourself apart from other people with whatever makes you quirky or unique; to me, that’s hot, not just that you have a huge cock or whatever. I do much better when I actually am corresponding with someone than just from viewing a profile; I respond to wordplay and banter and cleverness. So spelling and creativity count a lot for me.
I don’t necessarily have one single physical type (though I do like bald guys and bigger guys), so I’m open on that score. I really like meeting or connecting with people online who I wouldn’t necessarily think are the kind of guy I’d be into but finding out something about them that intrigues me and makes me want to know more.
Photo by DA Photography
CL: We have quite a few members who are interested in D/s. Are your two new books, He's on Top: Erotic Stories of Male Dominance and Female Submission and She's on Top: Erotic Stories of Female Dominance and Male Submission, tailored more for the curious or the converted?
RKB: I’d say there’s appeal in each volume to both novices and those curious about BDSM, as well as more hardcore players. The stories range from sweet and sensual to very intense, but I fully believe you don’t have to be kinky to enjoy them, and that goes for any erotica.
I think there’s this idea that if you’re a woman and you read some lesbian erotica, automatically you’re a lesbian or bi. And while I think erotica has the power to introduce us to whole new worlds of sexuality, it doesn’t make you one way or another. It’s fantasy, and I think anyone can get into the fantasies I’ve presented in these books.
Also, the range goes from intense physically to more about control and mindfuck. In the story “Thrill Ride” in He’s on Top, the man “tops” his wife by making her drive a car. This works because she’s petrified of driving, but also turned on by being scared and doing it anyway. So that’s a little more subtle. Some people, and some characters in the book, are into roleplay and punishment (or "punishment”) and some simply get off on the more physical sensations, as in my story “Late for a Spanking” in He’s on Top. So I’d say the books are pretty equal opportunity and good for anyone with any level of interest in kink.
CL: How do gender dynamics come into play in D/s situations?
RKB: Some people like to play up gender roles in BDSM, but I think it’s really varied. Not all men are tops, nor women bottoms. I believe that male submissives are a greatly underrepresented group in society. From my own personal experience topping guys, as well as anecdotal evidence, there are a lot of men who want to bottom. But they don’t know how to bring it up and are concerned about how they’ll be thought of, both generally and by their lovers, if they do. At the same time, sometimes going against gender roles in that way can make play all the hotter.
CL: You strike me as more of a bottom, even though you look pretty cruel in some of your pics.
RKB: I don’t know that I’d say I look cruel! At least, not deliberately. But you’re right; I’m probably 75 percent bottom, 25 percent top, but I don’t tend to think of it in those terms. I wouldn’t call myself a switch, either, because for me it really depends on the person I’m with.
Some people can get me into that sub space in seconds, and after that they can pretty much do whatever they want to me. I had this really hot and unexpected date a while ago where I wound up getting slapped across the face and ordered around and had to ask for everything I wanted, only to be continually denied it, and by the end I was just ready to agree to anything to get to touch the guy’s cock. It was super-hot, and in fact the hottest sex I’ve ever had, I think in part because he just stayed totally in control the whole time.
I’ve also topped men and women and can get off on that role as well, but again, only if the other person is really into it. I really love spanking people because it’s so tactile and visual and you get to hear your hand hitting their skin and their breathing change, and to me the posture of someone bending over with their ass in the air is just too sexy for words. So I’d say it really depends. I think it also is such a tricky balancing act, because in the moment, I might want someone to really smack me around and make me cry and beg and just use me, but then afterward I want to be able to talk and connect and cuddle with them.
CL: This is going to date me for sure, but I'm fascinated by how you, umm, straddle the line between author and personality. What's changed in the world of publishing that would allow men to see your mouthwatering mams in magazines without compromising your status as a writer, editor, and educator?
RKB: I wouldn’t really say I straddle the line so much as I bring my own personality into my work as an author and into the self-promotion. Although there probably is a bit of a “persona” in the sense that I’m much more likely to be found doing something geeky like playing Boggle or Q*bert than actually having sex, which is kind of a rarity in my life nowadays. I think, though, that the things that would make other people feel strange, like posing nude, don’t bother me as much. Or I try to have fun with them while I’m doing them, and then forget about it.
I’m sure for some people, it does compromise me; I think there are people for whom if you even write about sex, therefore you’re tainted with that label, let alone posing in the buff. But I have to give humanity a little more credit than that and hope that most people are able to look or not look at my bare breasts and judge the other work on its merit. To me, they’re not really related. I do photo shoots because they’re fun, because they let me feel pretty, because someone I respect wants to take my picture. I do them to capture a very specific moment in time.
CL: You work harder than Lindsay Lohan's attorney. What's your next book project?
RKB: Well, thank you! I have a bunch of books coming out soon ‒ in August there’s Crossdressing: Erotic Stories, which I have to say I got really turned on while proofreading. It’s not even my particular fetish but the stories are so creative and outstanding and alluring, you’re just sucked into them. Then we have Hide and Seek: 21 Tales of Exhibitionism and Voyeurism.
Then in November comes my first non-fiction anthology, Best Sex Writing 2008, where I’ve collected the best writing about sex, widely defined, from places like Out, Playboy, New York, Heeb, and other publications. I’m so proud of that one; it’s gonna shock and probably offend and scare people, but most of all, make them think about sex in entirely new ways. And I’m always cooking up new ideas. If anyone’s in New York, come check out my reading series In the Flesh (http://inthefleshreadingseries.blogspot.com) every third Wednesday of the month at Happy Ending Lounge. It’s a lot of fun, and I always bring free candy and cupcakes 'cause the Jewish mother in me wants to feed everyone I meet.