Your sexuality IS embraceable! A book trailer

Hello beauties!

I’m thrilled to share with you the Embraceable trailer, featuring me and eight of the book’s contributing authors. It was a blast to make, and well worth the learning curve. (I’ve never done anything quite like this!)

Special thanks to Gabe at Global Voice Broadcasting for making it shine. :D

Stay tuned for news on the paperback and virtual release party—coming soon! Wishing you a fabulous weekend. ♥

August

Reassurance for Anyone Opting Out of Botox

Trust me, I get it. In a photo of yourself, you notice lines where there used to be smoothness, or deep crevices in place of faint lines. (“When did that happen?!?”) Meanwhile, continually more women are opting to freeze their facial muscles with Botox—and similar procedures—and regarding every crease that appears, society seems to scream, “Erase!” 

Now in my late 30s, I’ve lived in some of the most looks-centric places in the world, worked extensively in fashion and film and struggled with a severe eating disorder I’ve thankfully moved past. I now spend most of my time in the field of women’s empowerment. While my path hasn’t made me immune to “anti-aging” pressure, it has given me some helpful tools and perspective.

There's beauty and depth in aging.

There’s beauty and depth in aging.

First, an important point: I am not out to shun anyone who chooses cosmetic procedures. I promise. Whatever a woman decides to do to her body or appearance is 1000% her decision, and deserving of respect. This post is for women who, like me, have needed reassurance for their decision not to go under the needle. While there are countless examples, headlines, advertisements and articles to advocate for Botox, too few support women’s decision to opt out. If you relate to the latter, read on.

Whether you want to embrace your aging face as-is for social reasons (how sad is it that not getting Botox practically makes one an activist?), to save funds, to avoid unnecessary chemicals or just because, your decision is a worthy one.

The following facts have reassured me on rainy (read aesthetically self-critical) days.

Botox isn’t risk-free.  

While Botox is considered relatively safe short-term, the treatment has only been used for wrinkles since the late 1990s. It’s too soon to know of any long-term complications. That it’s made from a toxin that causes the life-threatening form of food poisoning known as botulism isn’t exactly appealing. Physician Dr. Jennifer Hanes advises folks to take caution when considering Botox, and says it’s possible that the treatment could make you look older over time. By paralyzing the muscles repeatedly, they may atrophy. Only time will tell.

There are more important and enlivening ways to invest your money. 

Botox treatments average around $525 per treatment, according to numerous sources, and regulars have three to four treatments per year—totaling $1575 – $2100 annually. Imagine how many starving children you could feed or animals you could save with that cash. If you were to smartly save or invest those funds, they’d really add up—which is important, considering the gender inequality in retirement funds. Women generally make and save less money, and live longer, than men. You could also invest those funds into building your dream business or pursuing a passion. All of these options seem more valuable to me than minimizing wrinkles.

Expressiveness is beautiful. 

Chances are, you don’t stand in front of the mirror and express yourself. If you’ve considered Botox, you’ve probably paused to stare and analyze, frowning or perma-grinning in seek of “flaws,” but we seldom catch ourselves in the act of expressing—which is often when we’re at our loveliest. Research (and likely all of our experience) shows that we’re attracted to radiant expressions, such as genuine smiles. Genuine is a key word here, because, in some cases, procedures like Botox detract from perceived authenticity. Those lines around our eyes? They show realness. Trustworthiness. Beauty. Life.

You aren’t ugly. Societal messaging is.

Imagine if we lived in a culture that celebrated aging, rather than shunned it. What if women were considered distinguished, the way men often are, for aging? Might we see beauty in the lines “anti-aging” procedures lessen? I sure think so. We can only change societal messaging from the ground up—starting in our own lives. Girls are getting Botox as early as age 13 now, according to ABC News. That is horrifying to me. If they didn’t see it in adults, they wouldn’t even be tempted.

If you decide against Botox, express yourself boldly, letting lines appear where they will, knowing that intentional or not, you’ll likely have a positive impact on others. While you’re at it, invest your time and energy into whatever matters more to you. I can almost guarantee it’ll be worth it.

How do you feel about Botox? If you’ve considered (or tried) it, then opted out, what was your reason? What steps do you take to embrace aging in general?

What 4.5 Years and 1 Million Views of Blogging Have Taught Me

About four and a half years ago, I asked my then agent what I could do to better my odds of success as an author, other than writing and writing some more. Among his chief suggestions? Start a blog.

Write for free in the spare time I don’t exactly have? It sounded like dreadful homework, but like many writers, I was eager to do whatever it took to move forward. That “whatever” turned out to be one of the most important professional decisions I’ve made.

Over the weekend, my blog reached 1 million views. While numbers are by far not the most important thing and all relative, this felt pretty awesome—especially considering I recall very well a time I nearly pleaded people to check it out. (Uh, that’s not a suggestion.)

PLEASE? I'll do anything!

PLEASE? I’ll do anything!

Some writers might hear “a million views” and think, “Yeah, but it was all for FREE!” Heck, if if I’d received a penny for every hit, I’d be $10,000 richer. But I can assure you, I’ve received much more than that.

Blogging has helped me build a readership before my first book even released, introduced me to wonderful friends and given me a platform to share and connect with others in ways I hadn’t imagined possible. It’s led to speaking and writing gigs, including my highest paying magazine assignment, some groovy awards and, three years ago, facilitated the launch of Girl Boner®—which led to Girl Boner® Radio. It continues to fill the emotional gaps between writing for others, this writing that is fully mine—no rules or hard deadlines, no editor’s sharp eye or endless rewrites—only me, my soul and my fingers, typing to my heart’s desire, very often letting whatever’s on my mind spill out on the page. In that vulnerability lies strength and even healing.

Blogging isn’t for everyone, but if you’re the least bit curious about what it might bring or allow for you, I highly recommend giving it a try. If you do, or if you’re currently blogging and it does feel like annoying homework, here are some of my favorite strategies:

Write what you’re compelled to write, no matter how seemingly “big” or “small.” When I speak about blogging, I’m nearly always asked what one should write about. The answer is, whatever you wish. Your content doesn’t have to tie in to a particular theme or product. (Yes, Girl Boner® is my brand now, but you’ll also find me reminiscing about whatever and writing about my dog.) It simply has to matter to you.

Be consistent, but not rigid, schedule-wise. When I first started blogging, I’d read that three posts per week is ideal. Holy way-too-much-for-me. I tried it, then quickly realized that I needed to make time for stuff like sleep. If super frequent posting works for you, great! I find that about once per week suits me. Find a rhythm that works for you, and if you need a break, take it.

Set aside fear of what others might think. Yes, it’s important to consider your audience and loved ones when blogging, but there’s a huge difference between consideration and fear. Don’t let fear of others’ judgment hold you back; that’s stifling in all life areas.

Prioritize authenticity, not popularity. When I started Girl Boner®, a few told me I’d definitely gain readers, because “sex sells!” Everyone wants to read about sex, right? Yes and no. There are gazillions of sex blogs and articles, so joining that genre was a bit like becoming a drop in an ocean, versus a kiddie pool. My most popular posts aren’t my most explicit or seemingly “marketable” posts. They’re the ones I feel most compelled to write.

And remember, building takes time. Here’s how my blog’s growth looks visually:

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Don’t over-strategize. Hey, isn’t this a list of strategies? Yup. But I’m talking about not becoming an over-strategizing-numbers-likes-shares/trendy-topic-obsessed monster. My favorite people to read and follow online are those who are *gasp* human. They share to share or because they feel (that word again!) compelled to, not for a particular reaction. That authenticity shows in their writing, their brands and their worlds. And you know what? They’re going far. Gentle strategies here and there, groovy. Fixating on acclaim, not fun or helpful.

Lastly, dive into the community. Seek and explore other blogs. Follow, comment on and share those you dig. Mix and mingle with Kristen Lamb’s brainchild, the #MyWANA community. Check out BlogHer—the best conference on anything I’ve been to, and much more. Spend even 10 minutes a day scoping things out through WordPress, Twitter or Facebook. Chances are, you’ll find your tribe. That is the beginning of awesome.

What has blogging taught you? If you’re thinking of starting, what’s holding you back? Any questions you’d love thoughts on? I love hearing from you all—and am so grateful for the time you’ve taken to read any of my work. It means so much. ♥

5 Things a #GirlBoner Isn’t

As y’all know, I spend a lot of time exploring what Girl Boners are and why they matter. I discuss them here and on my show, in articles and at events and have even asked strangers in LA what they think a Girl Boner is. (For a recap of that adventure, listen to my first Girl Boner® Radio episode or watch this video.)

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Yes, I adore all-things-Girl Boners! Today I thought I’d clarify a few things a Girl Boner isn’t.

1. An invitation. As with all genders, being aroused doesn’t necessarily mean a gal wants or deems it wise to act on it sexually. If you want to know if a woman is turned on and sex-ready—a question I hear often—feel the situation out. Pay attention to her words and body language. When in doubt, ask her what’s she’s up for. Don’t assume.

*Related: check out this awesome video: Consent and Tea.

2. A flaw. Sexual shame is pretty universally common, but women are particularly prone to it for all sorts of reasons, from religious influences to societal messaging. And that shame hurts everyone. There is nothing shameful about your sexuality. 

3. Only, or mostly, for others. I hear routinely from women who were taught early on that sex is something we give men. What year is this again?

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Our sexuality is our own, first and foremost. If we decide to share it with another/others of any gender, great. If not, great.

4. Necessary. Yes, I LOVE Girl Boners with a passion—but I also realize that how often or intensely one experiences them has no bearing on her worth. If you’re asexual, for example, you’re just as valuable and embraceable as anyone else.

5. One-size-fits-all. Like our bodies, Girl Boners come in a whole range of—beautiful—shapes, sizes and styles. All folks experience turn-on uniquely, physically and emotionally. That is a seriously groovy thing.

Now THAT's better.

Now THAT’s better.

***Stay tuned for details about Embraceable‘s virtual release festivities, taking place the first week of February! ♥

5 Empowering Questions to Ask Yourself Daily for a Groovier, More Impactful Life

Happy New Year, beauties! I hope you all had wonderful, soul-nourishing holidays. I had a blast visiting family, chilling out and looking back and forward—as we tend to do around New Year’s.

Before that, I had the pleasure of celebrating 100 episodes of Girl Boner® Radio with my gal pal and stylist extraordinaire, Rayne Parvis, of Style By Rayne—such fun! To hear Rayne interview me about Embraceable, all-things-Girl Boner® and more, click here.

To start the year here, I thought I’d share a handful of practices I’m committed to leading my life by. Rather than keep a to-do list, I check in with myself routinely, posing the below questions.

Sure, there are days I skimp on one and max out on another—but the goal isn’t “perfection.” By aiming to live well and fiercely, we can all be and do more without going bonkers. We’ll even have a blast doing it.

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♥ Have you hustled?

I’m not talking about the swindling definition of hustle. I mean working with gusto toward your goals and dreams. To me, hustling means making the most of your time and energy while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone—if even for 20 minutes a day. Examples could include making challenging phone calls, asking for help, saying YES to a butterfly-sy opportunity or concocting one of your own. We’re never too old or inexperienced to dream huge, delicious dreams, so do it!

♥ Did you play?

It’s easy to let play fall to the wayside, but it’s important. “We don’t lose the need for novelty and pleasure as we grow up,” says Scott G. Eberle, Ph.D, editor of the American Journal of Play and vice president of play studies at The Strong. Psychiatrist Stuart Brown, MD, compares play to oxygen. Through decades of researching the power of play, he found that a lack is just as influential as other factors that contribute to criminal behavior, and that playing together rekindles couples’ intimacy—not to mention makes life sweeter. So, play! Paint. Dance. Color. Make love. Make music. Make both.

♥ Were you generous?

Giving is a superpower, especially when we give to give, versus for a particular reaction. Countless studies have linked generosity to physical and emotional health—revealing perks such as lower blood pressure, sharper memories skills and less anxiety and depression. Regardless, it’s the kind thing to do. Volunteer your time and energy to a good cause. Donate to your favorite charity. Kick up your kindness to loved ones or strangers.

♥ Did you practice self-care?

That generosity sure as heck better extend to yourself! The adage is true: We have to put our oxygen masks on before helping others don theirs. If you find yourself tending to everyone but you, stop and remind yourself how selfish that actually is. Provide a good role model for others by nourishing yourself first and foremost. We only have as much to give as we’ve already nurtured within ourselves.

♥ Were you mindful?

John Lennon was one wise dude. Life really can happen while we’re busy making other plans—but it doesn’t have to. Learning to cultivate mindfulness has been one of the most powerful steps (journeys, really) I’ve taken. Mindfulness boosts overall wellness while increasing connection with ourselves—all vital for living bold, fulfilling, empowered lives. Spend time in nature. Pay attention to food as you eat it. Listen more to others. If you’re looking for a simple meditation aid, I highly recommend Simply Being, which you can purchase for $1.99 on iTunes.

What do you think of these questions? Do you abide by any or all of them? If not, what would make your list? I love hearing from you!

Psst! I’m planning official release events for Embraceable, starting February 1st. Stay tuned for more info!

Stealing Jesus

With the holidays upon us, I thought I’d share a post from my first year of blogging, detailing a Christmas memory that rather stands out. ;) May joy find you this holiday season!

Regardless of how we spend them, the holidays draw up memories—some wonderful, some we’d rather forget and some that just keep getting funnier…

Santa/snow traffic jam in my parents' backyard

Santa’s cryogenic facelift

I don’t recall many details about the day I stole Jesus. But since I was in high school, it was probably like most winter days. I awoke to the sound of my mother’s voice, munched on toast in a fog then slipped on the ice en route to catch the bus. *winces from phantom butt ache* Come dusk, after more fogginess known as classes, I went to my friend Andrea’s house to meet with my Odyssey of the Mind team. (If you’re unfamiliar with O.M., think math team for creatives.) There, I woke up.

Beck’s “I’m a loser baby…” hummed from the stereo while we dined on doughnuts and M&Ms in preparation for the evening’s events. Tonight we would do a scavenger hunt, Andrea explained. In O.M., making practice activities as difficult as possible was key, particularly since our sights were set on state competition and beyond. Toward this end, Baby Jesus appeared on my search list.

Numerous of my teammates were atheists, the equivalent of devil worship in the eyes of my strict, Baptist grandparents. I’d spent the summer organizing benefit concerts to raise awareness about child abuse, for which I was made co-recipient of the Minnesota Peace Prize. In other words, I was a goody-goody supreme, not someone predictably comfy with Jesus-nabbing.

To worsen matters, I couldn’t yet drive and the only Jesus in the neighborhood was real, and not in a Second Coming type way. Mary and Joseph’s breath made frozen white puffs in the air and the little tyke in the manger wasn’t plastic.

Definitely out of the question.

Crap, I thought, unable to even think cuss words yet, much less state them. Then I had an idea. I’d call a friend, hitch a ride to my house and borrow the plastic, light-up Jesus from the nativity scene in the yard. My family was asleep, I figured; no one would miss him for a few hours. And besides, couldn’t the little dude use some respite? As far as I knew, he hadn’t even rested on a Sunday.

The call, ride and borrow went smoothly. With the mission accomplished, I returned to Andrea’s house. The gang fell speechless as I presented every item on my list, including the almighty savior. Sure, I’d found a creative solution—one of the O.M. pillars. But far more remarkable was the fact that I, Ms. Goody Two Shoes, stole him, presumably from a stranger’s yard. And seemed not only fine with it, but pleased.

Hours later, exhausted and high from sugar, creative tricks and camaraderie, we called it a night and a teammate drove me home.

The next morning I woke to sounds best suited to nightmares. Muffled crying. Serious voices. Something terribly wrong. I jolted upright: Cora? Listening closer, I had no doubt. My youngest sister was upset. Really upset. Before I could rush downstairs to soothe her, she said something I’ll never forget: “But Mom, why would someone steal Baby Jesus?”

The word crap no longer seemed strong enough. @$%#! I forgot Jesus! 

I snuck into my parents’ room and phoned Andrea then held my breath as she searched to no avail: Jesus wasn’t there. @#$@#$#&$#@$!!! 

I sat paralyzed in my room, scrambling for what to do. My parents’ angst-filled voices echoed through the hallway, their disappointment surely due more to Cora’s heartache than the missing figure. What my team didn’t know was that amidst my recent good-doings, I’d been picked up by the cops (for skipping class with a friend, leading our parents to believe we’d been abducted—long story) and gotten in trouble for other…*clears throat* …things. Seeing my sisters’ sad faces as the cop car pulled into the driveway that day had been too much. I couldn’t disappoint Cor, or any of them, again.

I spent the day working up the courage to confess while the term “finding Christ” took on a whole new meaning.

That night, still Jesus-less and lost for an alternate plan, I heard my mom and Cora praying for the bad person who took him.

Tomorrow, I decided. I would spill everything tomorrow.

I woke the next morning to brighter sounds. Sing song chatter. Laughter. Cora’s voice, now chipper: “It’s a Christmas miracle!”

Tears filled my eyes once I realized what had happened. The teammate who’d driven me home from Andrea’s had tucked baby Jesus back in his bed. My sister’s joy almost made the ordeal worthwhile.

Deeming my shame and frustration punishment enough, and not wishing to taint my sister’s “miracle” or opinion of me, I kept the truth to myself until last year when my dear husband outed me. I’m glad he did, as the laughter it’s brought up since is a near holiday in itself.

That Christmas, plug-in Jesus shed light on a few things. While the truth may set us free, happy outcomes sometimes pan out regardless. Pausing to think/panic may enhance those results. And perhaps the ‘good’ in Goody Two Shoes speaks solely of her intentions, and her walk isn’t pristine, but creative.

What’s your funniest holiday memory? Have you ever semi-accidently stolen a religious icon?

#GirlBoner Funniness and EMBRACEABLE’s Release!

Sometimes your mouth isn’t the only thing that blurts

When I woke up to learn that Embraceable had officially hit Kindle shelves (woot!), a hilarious memory from Girl Boner® Radio came to mind.

I was sitting at the mic across from a very classy and prestigious guest. She wore the most designer clothes I’ve seen since my modeling in NYC days. Every detail of her appearance, energy and persona said chic. She’s an award-winning, celebrated pro, the daughter of a celebrity and has appeared on many major media outlets, most of which—such as Showtime and HBO—are far larger than GB.

Partway into our chat, I’d planned to share the trailer from a documentary about sex workers. When I hit play, something…else hit the airwaves. Soft…groaning sounds?

Odd, I thought. I don’t recall that part.

Though really, some sex noises would’ve made sense. I awaited the voice over describing the film. It never came, but, well, someone did.

The sounds quickly escalated to loud moaning then full-on YES, YES, YES! explosive orgasms. I leapt at the mute button.

“Hmmm…Wrong clip!” I smiled at my guest. “Gabe can fix that later.”

(The beauty of recording, rather than streaming, live.)

We jumped right back into our conversation. Later I’d confirm that we hadn’t been listening to the trailer at all, or even parts of the movie, but to people actually having sexwild sex. The wrong clip had somehow been pulled, and we’d been ears deep in the hot and heavy. Had we continued listening, the sounds would’ve grown wilder.

It struck me later that I hadn’t been embarrassed about the fact I’d accidentally played sex sounds. Granted, my show is called Girl Boner®,and my guest was extremely sex-positive and open. But mainly, I hadn’t wanted her to deem anything about my work amateur or me as unprepared. My old acting instincts had kicked in: When mistakes happen, improvise. The show must go on.

Orgasm sounds? NO BIGGIE!

Orgasm sounds? NO BIGGIE!

I imagine this memory surfaced now because for the first twenty years of my life, the word “orgasm” never escaped my lips. That I could hear orgasms while recording live for an audience and not feel any sense of guilt, humiliation or shame (as funny as the ordeal was) made my heart happy. To be able to speak and write freely about women’s sexuality is a gift I’m perpetually grateful for. It’s much of what Embraceable is all about.

If you’d like to read Embraceable: Empowering Facts and True Stories About Women’s Sexuality, hop over to Amazon (CLICK HERE) to grab your Kindle copy. All of the proceeds benefit my work and advocacy to inspire women to embrace their bodies, sexuality and selves. Additional formats will be available soon!

Embraceable book cover redTo learn more about the book, check out my interview on Go Deeper Press. It’s a fun one!

Thanks so, so much for the ongoing support. I’m mighty grateful for all of you. ♥

11 Fun Facts About “Embraceable”

At least I find them fun. I’m only slightly biased. ;)

Embraceable is currently being formatted for publishing. (Woo hoo!) I thought I’d celebrate by sharing some tid bits/teasers about the book.

♦ Susan Harper, PhD, who penned the foreword, is an educator, writer, activist and advocate for a variety of groovy causes, including LGBTQ equality, gender equality, partner and sexual violence prevention and healthcare equality.

♦ My memoir portion starts with an, um, bang—a literally climactic experience that changed my life.

♦ You’ll then read my “Does Dirt Have Calories” and sex ed stories, fleshed out (no pun intended) and in context.

♦ Numerous of the story contributors have uniquely spiffy jobs, including professional cuddling and sex work.

♦ Several authors (and their stories) are religious. Another wrote about escaping a cult.

♦ The story contributors range in age, from 20-something to 70-plus.

♦ Several women who either contributed a story or agreed to an interview with me requested anonymity for safety reasons, privacy or both.

♦ One of the contributors was married to one of the world’s best-selling authors of all time. (And that’s only one of many fascinating things about her.)

♦ Editing the stories (before passing them off to the awesome Mike Sirota for final edits) was challenging and rewarding. It was an honor—and, admittedly, nerve-racking—to hold women’s deeply intimate, personal stories in my hands, making changes I hoped would make them shine even brighter.

♦ A couple of the stories made me laugh out loud. Many are heart-wrenching. All of them inspire me.

♦ 100 percent of the proceeds will go to my work and advocacy to empower girls and women to embrace their sexuality, bodies and selves.

Embraceable book cover red

Embraceable will be available via Amazon and iTunes soon!

Sexy DIY Gifts to Spice Up the Holidays

“A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.” — Thomas á Kempis

Last week I took a poll, asking Girl Boner® fans to share their favorite sexy or sensual gift they’d ever received. I was happily surprised when every response described a DIY gift.

The moral of the story? Set concerns over pricey purchases aside and focus on creative thoughtfulness this year, keeping your partner’s wants and needs in mind. Consider the following ideas, or come up with your own. Chances are, you’ll arouse the whole holiday season for you both.

Fun and Sexy DIY Gifts

A handmade satin blindfold

This idea comes from Dawn, who called this gift “delicious and used often.” Put your sewing skills to work by stitching a simple blindfold to conceal his or her eyes during sexy play. If sewing isn’t your thing, purchase a silky sleep mask to decorate with rhinestones or your lover’s name.

Sexy photos

This is one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever given, the experience of which ended up being a gift to myself as well. (Isn’t that how sexy gifts work?) Have sensual photos taken by a trusted photographer, or snap some erotic selfies to organize in an album or picture frame. If you’re concerned about privacy issues, check out my chat with Dr. Megan Fleming in part two of this Girl Boner® Radio episode for awesome tips!

Love oils and a massage

Several people told me massages top their sensual gift list. Prepare a sexy gift basket containing oil such as Good Clean Love®’s Indian Spice Love Oil. The natural, aphrodisiac-infused oil has a sweet and spicy aroma and is safe to kiss! Include a handmade coupon for a massage, and a pretty candle for ambiance.

A velvet bathrobe

Did you know that body temperature plays a major role in arousal? Rather than wait for foreplay to warm you up this winter, set the stage by keeping your lover warm from the get-go. A velvety bathrobe is “easy to put on, to take off and, umm…yeah, easy access,” said Silver. Talk about a triple win!

A sexy mix CD or playlist

In a study conducted by Spotify involving thousands of adults—about half women, half men—music was 40 percent more sexually enticing than touch. Wow, right? Indeed, tunes turn us on. Create a compilation for your partner, adding a handmade CD cover or song list.

Fantasies, come true

Whether you’re in a new relationship or have been with your partner for decades, acting on your fantasies can increase fun and connectedness. Joe’s favorite gift? A 50th birthday threesome, “because f*ck midlife crises!” Kass’s husband surprised her with a new sex position she’d been dying to try. If you’re not sure what your partner desires, learn how to start the conversation in my chat with tantra educators Dawn Beck and Gerard Gatz.

More ideas:

  • Write an erotic letter or poem.
  • Read erotica out loud together.
  • Take a sudsy bath together, by candlelight.
  • Make sexy cookies!

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For more ideas, read #GirlBoner Gifts: Super Sexy Stocking Stuffers.

For even MORE, listen to the latest on Girl Boner® Radio: Kinky Compassion + Sexy Holiday Gifts.

A sweet deal!

Thanks to Girl Boner®’s resident sex-pert, Dr. Megan Fleming, Trystology—makers of fabulous love and passion products—is offering you all a discount! Through the holidays, shop at Trystology.com, entering GIRLBONER as the promo code to receive 15% off your purchase.

What’s the sexiest gift you’ve ever given or received? Which of these ideas appeals most to you? I love hearing your thoughts! ♥

The Book Idea That Took Over My Life

When I revealed the cover for Embraceable last week, Facebook reminded me that my cover reveal for my first novel, In Her Shadow, took place exactly three years before that.

Kinda trippy.

Most everything else, however, was different in my professional life back then. There was no Girl Boner® blog, brand or radio show to speak of. I was focused on my first book release, with my second thriller-in-progress on the back burner.

“I’m going to write a novel per year!” I’d exclaimed numerous times, to which my then agent said, “Great plan!”

In order to build a lasting career, he and others told me my best bet was writing and publishing the next thriller, then the next, then the next.

My heart had other plans.

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As the giddy euphoria and hectic-ness of my novel release settled, I honed in on finishing the sequel. I forced myself to plug along, feeling as though I were writing under water—which is quite an awful feeling for a hydra-phobe like me.

I kept recalling an epiphany I’d had several years earlier after an intensely erotic experience (which you can read about in Embraceable) that prompted me to think seriously about sexual empowerment—and, more specifically, my historical and other folks’ lack thereof.

Girl Boner… Girl Boner… Girl Boner…

Long one of my favorite terms used for inside jokes and flirtations, Girl Boner kept bouncing around in my thoughts. (Is anyone else digging that visual???) I had to do something about that term and all it stood for in my mind.

Here’s one of my favorite things about being a deeply sensitive person—as most artists are: We have a low tolerance for angst. What others might be able to brush aside as “no biggie,” we ache over. Cry over. Lose sleep over. Hopefully, at some point, we act. How else would we survive, much less thrive?

So act I did.

One morning I woke up, sat down to work on my novel and screamed at the top of my lungs said, “NO MORE.” That manuscript wasn’t the best place for my energy, I sensed, at least not then. If our hearts aren’t in our work, the work suffers, and so do we. My whole body seemed to exhale as my mind, soul and pen found synchronicity.

I would write a book called Girl Boner, I decided—a good girl’s guide to sexual empowerment. In effort to build a platform to hopefully attract publisher interest, I applied to trademark the term (holy difficult, but worthwhile process), then launched my blog series.

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Since then, I’ve switched agents, written several book proposals, gotten praise and rejections from publishers, launched my show, began speaking publicly about all-things-Girl Boner® and decided to publish my first sexuality book (the soon-to-release Embraceable) myself. While I still have lots of growth to cultivate and work to do, I’ve never felt more authentic.

During what’s been an incredibly tumultuous time in the world, it’s easy to feel helpless. I sure have. But I also know at my core that we’re not. We can all make a positive difference by staying true to our paths and asking the right questions of ourselves to ensure we stay on it. This is a practice and a journey for me, something I’m not sure one can ever fully master to a point that the work is no longer necessary. Luckily, the work itself is an awesome reward.

When have you gone with your gut instead of listening to others’ advice? How did it pan out?

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