The Complex Reality of BDSM: Cleis Press Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel Featured on the Myths and Misinformation of Submission

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Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of The Big Book of Submission (Cleis Press 2014), revealed the differences in the way Fifty Shades of Grey portrays BDSM and real-life kinksters.

The Big Book of Submission, by Rachel Kramer Bussel

"Stellar, explicit collection."—Violet Blue, editor of Best Women's Erotica

Rachel Kramer Bussel, who edited The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales, was interviewed on the "real deal" with BDSM on EcoSalon.

Bussel, who is well-versed in kinky fiction, gave an insider look at real-life BDSM, including tips on how to safely engage in submission. She advises readers to "agree on a safeword, which means if one of you wants to call things off or pause, you can say the word and automatically halt the action." She also explores the appeal of power play, positing that "BDSM can show you sides of yourself you’d never considered before."

She dismantles the myth, perpetuated by Christian Grey in Fifty Shades, that people who like BDSM are damaged; "the idea that everyone who practices BDSM is automatically suspect is a problem."

For people just getting to BDSM, Bussel recommends attending a "munch," a local gathering of like-minded people who can introduce newbies to the community and help them meet new partners. Cleis Press also has a comprehensive collection of BDSM books.

Meet Rachel in person at these upcoming events:

9/6, 3pm: Reading at the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, Seattle WA
9/9, 7pm: Erotica writing workshop at the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, Seattle WA
9/10, 7pm: Reading at She Bop the Shop, Portland OR
9/15, 7:30pm: Reading at the Booksmith, San Francisco CA
9/18, 6pm: Workshop at the Q Center, Portland OR
9/28: Erotica writing workshop at Early to Bed, Chicago IL
9/30, 8:30pm: Erotica writing workshop at Tool Shed Toys, Milwaukee WI

Rachel Kramer Bussel regularly writes for and appears in Salon, Jezebel, Bust, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and more. Based in New York City, she is a prolific erotica author and editor, and her titles include The Big Book of Orgasms, Best Bondage Erotica 2014, Twice the Pleasure, and Cheeky Spanking Stories. Visit her at and

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Brenda Knight
since: 08/2009
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