Archive for June, 2010

A Peep at Our Summer Schedule

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 by donnageorgestorey

I’m sure you’ll all agree we’ve had an amazing run of essays since F-Stop debuted on Valentine’s Day this year bringing us all the way into the lazy days of summer.  A number of fascinating and very talented artists have expressed interest in exposing themselves here with us in the future, but with vacations and barbecues and the languid heat of the season, we’re expecting the goodies to roll in sweet and slow from now on.  But do check back, browse through the archives or better yet, consider sending us some prose, poetry and/or pictures of your own!  We’re easy.

To all readers of F-Stop, thanks so much for your support and hoping you have a sweet, lazy, as-naked-as-you-want-to-be summer!

Kirsty Logan: Naked on the Internet

Posted in Writers with tags on June 20, 2010 by Shanna Germain

Most people in my life don’t know that I’m naked on the internet. It’s not a big secret – if they were to ask, I’d be honest about it. But they never do ask, of course: I suppose I just don’t seem like the type of person who would have got their tits out on camera. I’m not entirely sure what such a person would be like, but I don’t think it’s me.

When I was 18, I did about ten nude photo shoots over the course of six months. They were pretty tame; art students or amateur photographers rather than porn barons. The photos are probably still out there, but I don’t really think about them. The woman I am now, at 26, is not the same girl I was at 18. I have seen the photos and I know logically that those are my nipples and my ankles and my hips, but to look at they could be any of the thousands of other naked girls on the internet. The only reason I know it’s really me is that the girl in the photos has my face and my tattoos.

I recently confessed all by writing a personal essay about my nude modelling, which you can read at The Rumpus. I linked to it on my website and social networks, which are read by my friends, family, acquaintances, students in my adult learning classes, and fellow writers. It was my ‘coming out’: telling them without having to actually tell them.

The decision on whether to include photos was a tricky one. I wanted to confess; I wanted to show that I had no reason to be ashamed or secretive about this aspect of my past. Including pictures made it seem like I was trying to titillate, but I included them anyway; a decision I’m still not sure about. The photos made me feel naked – not in the sense that they show my skin, but in the sense that I was admitting to the world that I had liked to be looked at, and perhaps I still did. The photos said that this 26 year-old woman wasn’t so different from the 18 year-old girl after all.

Back then, I wanted attention. I wanted people to look at me and think that I was worth their time. Taking my clothes off seemed like a short cut: everyone wants to look at nude 18 year-olds. Now I don’t get naked for attention, but I do wonder whether my writing is based on the same need for recognition. Perhaps I still need people to say that I am worth their time. And because it takes longer to read a story than to look at a photo, maybe I feel that I am progressing.

I am a 26 year-old woman creating worlds with words, and I am an 18 year-old girl with goosebumped skin and a lens trained on my breasts, and I am a child stamping her foot and screaming look! look at what I made! look at who I am!

All of this is hard for me to admit. I am a feminist. I am educated. I am trying to make a living by being terribly clever and writing terribly clever things, and so I do not like to admit that I am just a scared and needy teenager underneath it all. But then, aren’t we all? Everyone is scared that they are going to get ‘found out’. That someone will come up to them one day and say: “You don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?” Because we all do know what we’re doing, but at the same time we have no fucking clue. Life is a series of bluffs.

I admit everything in my writing – everything – because if I reveal myself then no-one can do it for me. If I say: “Yes, I am totally fucking clueless and this whole thing is a just guesswork,” then no-one can catch me out. I confess! My ivory tower is full of empty biscuit wrappers and crumpled pieces of paper! I am a fraud!

It’s all a defence. It’s the strength of walls. I can’t be found out if I’ve already told everything. So yes, I am an attention-seeker. I need people to read what I have written and tell me that it was worth their time. But who doesn’t? Would we really scrawl on the walls of our cells if we knew it was all going to be washed away by the rain before anyone could see it?

I do this for me, and I do this for you. I am building a life, and I am building myself. I do it this way because I don’t know what else to do.

Learn more about Kirsty Logan at*

Rachel Kramer Bussel

Posted in Writers with tags on June 12, 2010 by donnageorgestorey

Photo by Laura Boyd

FS: As a long-time columnist, editor, erotica writer and sexy model, you’ve “exposed” yourself to audiences in many media and genres.  Do you find you reveal more about yourself in your fiction or nonfiction writing?

RKB: I’ve always written both erotic fiction and nonfiction about my sex life, and each serve different purposes and roles in my life. There are some ways I can be more honest and open in fiction, especially if I’m writing something based on a real relationship or encounter. You don’t have the same parameters and can also disguise people and work in fictional elements to go along with the “real” story, while in non-fiction you have to stick to the facts. Sometimes that comes off more stilted, though I can offer certain insights in that format, such as in my Secrets of a Sex Writer column at, that I couldn’t in erotica. I like being able to capture my erotic world in both ways.

Photo by Celeste Smith

You seem very comfortable in front of the camera.  Did you always feel that way or was it a growth experience?

I definitely have not always been comfortable in front of the camera and there are many horrible photos of me as a teenager and into college to prove that. I’ve gotten more comfortable in front of it both as I got more comfortable in my body as well as finding good photographers to work with. So much of it for me is having a positive working relationship with them, and that chemistry is something you can’t plan or force.

Photo by Laura Boyd

Is making a video/book trailer any different from still photographs?

It’s totally different, though for me one aspect that is similar is that neither is my forte (I know almost nothing about photography and nothing about how to shoot video) and that I have to give up control to those who do know better. The way I work with my videographer, who’s made the trailers for Spanked, Do Not Disturb, Peep Show and Please, Sir, is we select a location, get props and invite friends and acquaintances and then shoot as much footage as she thinks she needs. I and others do voiceovers reading from the anthologies and then I give her basic guidelines, sometimes music (or she chooses), and let her work her magic.

I think of my trailers as little movies that give some insight into the particular topic, whether that’s spanking, hotel sex, exhibitionism and voyeurism or BDSM, as well as hopefully enticing people into wanting to read the book. I get to play both myself and “characters” and while it’s somewhat of a tool to sell books (though I’m not sure how successful it is as such since there’s no way to track that) it’s also a component to my online persona that I think adds to my appeal to editors and publishers. It’s also a way for first-time visitors to my site to get a taste of who I am and what my books are about.

Photo by DA Photography

Do you feel that your work as an editor reveals parts of you that your other literary endeavors do not?

I don’t necessarily think my editing reveals something about me beyond the topics I choose to work on with my books. For me as a creative endeavor it’s a huge relief from the pressure of writing and such an educational experience. I love putting a call for submissions out into the world and seeing what authors do with it; their work is so fresh and creative and breathes new life into my simple ideas. I liken editing anthologies to running my reading series In The Flesh, which I hope you’ll attend before we close in December 2010, because it’s an opportunity to collaborate with others and a case where the whole is so much greater than simply the sum of its parts. I think editing is a very social thing, even if it’s all done via email, whereas writing is quite solitary.

Thanks so much for exposing yourself with us at F-Stop, Rachel!

Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New York-based author, editor, blogger and reading series host. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, wrote the Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice, and hosts the monthly In The Flesh Reading Series, where she’s booked everyone from Susie Bright to Zane. She has written for Cosmopolitan, The Daily Beast,, Gothamist, Mediabistro, Newsday, New York Post, Penthouse, Playgirl, Time Out New York, and other publications. Her writing has been published in over 100 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, the Best Women’s Erotica Series, Zane’s Succulent: Chocolate Flava II and Purple Panties, and others. Rachel has a fondness for spanking, rough sex, hotels and general naughtiness…when she can tear herself away from her computer and iPhone. She also has an unbridled passion for cupcakes which she blogs about frequently at her popular group blog Cupcakes Take the Cake.