#GirlBoner Growing Up: 5 Surprising Facts

At my recent gig in Brooklyn, I sang a song by K’s Choice called Breakfast. It tells a sweet story about a young brother and sister who find their parents entangled on the kitchen floor and think, “There must be an easier way to make breakfast!”

Funny, right? People tend to chuckle when they hear the tune, probably partly because it’s so darn relatable. We all misunderstand certain sex-related things early on. Most of us learn relatively little about sex overall until we’re—well, having it.

Yep! Pretty much sums up what I knew beforehand.

Pretty much sums up what I knew beforehand…

I don’t know about you, but I wish I’d known these sexy tidbits much earlier on:

1. A blowjob involves no blowing. Okay, maybe that didn’t surprise any of you. But when I first heard that a blowjob was something a woman did with her mouth to a man’s penis, I assumed it involved some sort of air expulsion. (Hello. Why don’t we call it a suck-job? A suck-gift? Suck-hobby? Hmm…) Unless there’s some technique I’m unaware of, no blowing is involved—for anyone who’s actually wondering.

2. Like guys, many pubescent girls orgasm in their sleep. This little known fact is one parents should consider discussing with their adolescent daughters, says sex and relationship expert, Laura Berman, PhD. Girls should know that nocturnal climaxing is normal if or when it happens, and that exploring related feelings through masturbation a natural, potentially wonderful thing.

3. Women have wet dreams, too. Even into adulthood, sexy dreams produce physiological reactions. While whether you’ve had a wet dream may seem like a no brainer, female hard-ons and ejaculates are a lot less obvious than men’s. So ladies, if you’ve ever woken from an erotic dream, there’s a reasonable chance that your pussy really purred during the night! If you haven’t already, take note next time. When you find yourself seemingly postcoital, why not turn your dream into reality? (Just a thought! Better than coffee, IMHO.)

4. Females really do get boners—and not merely in the overall sense we celebrate here. The clitoris—aka, the pleasure button—starts out identical to the penis at birth and contains erectile tissue. When we’re aroused, it fills with blood, swelling up, protruding and becoming even more sensitive to touch. (No wonder it feels so good.) Unlike the penis, clitoral erections linger for a while after orgasm.

5. Girls pressure guys to have sex, and guys don’t always want it. The stereotypes about guys always desiring sex and girls rarely wanting it run so rampant that many young males feel ashamed if they don’t want sex. Similarly, many girls who desire sex more so than their male counterparts feel that there’s something wrong with them. Each case is different, say many sexuality experts, and matters like individual maturity, education and self-esteem tend to play far bigger roles than gender when it comes to sexual desire. The same applies in adulthood. What’s important is that we forge relationships with our bodies, our sexuality and our partners by which we feel healthy and satisfied.

For more on the importance of discussing sexuality with kidlets, check out my latest post for the National Eating Disorders Association: 

Click to photo to read on...

(To read on, click the photo.)

I’d love to hear from you! What facts about sex surprised you? Any funny stories to share? Or questions you’re still wondering about? All respectful comments are welcome. For more GB chit chat, join me on Twitter (#GirlBoner) and the Girl Boner Facebook page.

The Highly Sensitive Clitoris

I adore my clitoris, now that I know what and where it is.

Here, clitoris clitoris... I know you're in here somewhere!

Here, clitoris clitoris… I know you’re in there somewhere!

Professor Olga Rockenstein stood before the Psychology of Female Sexuality, staring at us with bulldog-intense eyes. “Women know too little about their bodies,” she said. “Do you know how many don’t even know where their clitoris is?”

As her gaze caught mine, my expression read: “You’re kidding me!” What I really thought: My what?

The word sounded familiar, but I was 20, and too much time had passed since high school health class. When she called it the “pleasure button,” I assumed it was the area inside the vagina that lights up and explodes, triggering uncontrollable delight and making the entire world disappear, during orgasm. (Sigh…)

Clitoris

I wasn’t even close. When I learned its actual location, between the inner folds of the vulva, at the top of the labia (diagram here), I wondered if mine was broken. When I or my boyfriend touched mine, I felt…ticklish. Really ticklish, as in it nearly hurt.

If you relate to this, I suggest not Googling “sensitive clitoris,” unless you want nightmares and psychosomatic symptoms and of a clitoris-clobbering disease. Chances are, there’s nothing wrong with you. (If you suspect an illness, though, definitely consult your doctor.) Regardless, all clitorises are sensitive, and as lovely as the flowers they’re named after:

CLITORIS! flower Girl Boner

Behold, the CLITORIS!

Fab Facts About Clitoral Sensitivity

♥ A highly sensitive clitoris is usually just that—an organ so sensitive that mild touch can cause sensation overload. It’s more common among people with increased overall sensitivity, from what I’ve gathered, and in women prone to G-spot orgasms.

♥ You know how penises get incredibly sensitive post-ejaculation? Well, the clitoris is comparable to the head of the penis, only it’s smaller and has many more nerve endings—about 7,000. (So guys, imagine that sensation, multiplied by about 200.)

♥ If your clitoris has typical sensitivity, touching, kissing, licking and sucking probably feel DAMN good, and make way for climax. Clitoral orgasm is the most common and easiest to achieve, according to sexuality expert, Dr. Laura Berman.

♥ If yours is highly sensitive, you probably prefer gentler touching or pressure, on or around your clitoris. Vaginal (aka, G-spot) orgasms are likely to be your numero uno. In blended orgasms, we come in both places—YEE HA!

**It’s important to note that one type of orgasm is not superior or ideal. Our sexuality is unique, and we should all feel great about our personal style and preferences.

There’s also no “right” way to engage or enjoy our joy buttons. The key is knowing how our own works, and communicating with our partners, as needed.

Learn more about the clitoris on Girl Boner® Radio here: The Highly Sensitive Clitoris

#ClitParty: A Pleasure Button Clit-ebration!

Earlier this month, Clitoraid, a Las Vegas-based group namely devoted to helping victims of female genital mutilation, hosted the first ever International Clitoris Awareness Week. When a few of my sassy, Girl Boner-loving friends, and I learned of it, we decided to throw a party. And guess what. You’re all invited! Actually, you’re already here. 🙂 SURPRISE!

I know—a rather clinical party piece, but I happen to LOVE chatting about clitoral quirks at parties. Consider this segment the #GirlBoner geek in the room, and check out the following blogs later today, some of which will be slightly more steamy:

You can also join us today on Twitter, using the hashtag #ClitParty. For a chance to WIN an erotic book from Go Deeper Press or a 30-minute clairvoyant reading with Goddess Isis Oracle (via Skype or phone), Tweet us about your clitoris: What you love about it, what you’d say to it, your nickname for it—whatever!—using the hashtag #ClitParty. For even MORE fun, join me on the Girl Boner Facebook page.

Prizes will be awarded for the most retweets and/or favorites, with extra points given for creativity. (Pssst! Guys can enter, too! Talk about a romantic gesture—tweeting about your sweetheart’s clit.;))

Will you be partying with us today? What have you learned about your clitoris? Is yours hypersensitive? I just LOVE your respectful thoughts.

Girl Boner Physiology: The Female Body, Turned ON

As soon as a woman starts thinking with interest about sex, her vagina begins to moisten. 

This, according to Dr. David Delvin, GP and psychotherapist Christine Webber, is the physiological equivalent of a male erection.

“Is that a drink in your panties, or are you just happy to see me?”

(Okay, maybe not THAT wet, but since when do male erections look precisely like guns?)

Wetness may be a predominant sign of female sexual arousal, but there is so much more to Girl Boners…

To me, the term I’ve trademarked and used for years, encompasses all aspects of women’s sexual arousal, including physical and emotional factors. In case you missed last week’s post, Girl Boner is also my way of contributing to the progression toward a world in which women’s sexuality and sexual pleasure are embraced, celebrated and understood. Toward that end, let’s dip into some body-licious specifics.

What did my first sex ed teacher leave out? What actually happens when we’re aroused?

As many of you know, a whole heck of a lot.

(To learn much more about female sexual arousal, listen to August on Girl Boner® Radio!)

Girl Boner Basics: Sexual Arousal Signs in Healthy Women’s Bodies

  • When sexual desire strikes, our brains signal the release of moisture to lubricate the vagina for sex. (I suddenly have the urge to make that kitty RARRR! noise.)
  • At the same time, the clitoris, our most erotically sensitive part, and our labias, the vaginal “lips,” swell up. This creates an opening and room for the possible entry of a penis.
  • Our breasts also swell somewhat, while our nipples grow more pronounced.
  • We start breathing harder and faster, potentially to the point of gasping.
  • Our eyes glaze over. Our pupils may widen.
  • Those of us with fair skin may experience a full-body blush—the result of adrenaline causing our blood vessels to dilate, in order to improve blood and oxygen flow to our genital. For the same reasons, our veins may visibly throb.
  • We might lick our lips, cock our heads and arch our backs, overwhelmed by feel-good brain chemicals and an overall sense of WANT… Mmm…

All of this can happen without any sexual activity at all. In fact, I’d venture to guess that some of you who are really taking these words in are experiencing some of it right now. (If you need to take an, um, break, go right ahead.)

Franco: “Dare I say, your breast look sharp in cold weather.”
Yvette: “I’m not cold, dah-ling. I call these nipple boners.”

Many of us have heard that men are more sexual than women, become aroused far faster and have “sex on the brain” (or penises as brains) 24/7. In Girl Boner-land, we see things differently…

Before the early-mid 2000s, studies regarding sexual arousal in women utilized invasive probes and electrodes, comparable to uncomfortable mechanical tampons. Yes, you read that right. (No wonder men’s pleasure scores came out higher…) In 2006, researchers at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada, chose a more accurate method known as thermal imagining, which allowed them to measure blood flow and heat to the genitals—tell-tale arousal signs.

Guess what they discovered? After extensive study, the researchers determined that men and women shown erotic images are aroused equally quickly.

Other factors can douse the sexual engine, of course, or rev us up faster or slower. But in ideal, or even reasonable, circumstances, healthy folks get turned on FAST. In other words, all of the above listed symptoms can magnify with the shwing of a penis.

On that exciting note, I’ll pass the mic to you. Were you surprised to learn that healthy men and women tend to have equally quick arousal time? Have you considered the numerous physical changes involved with female turn-on? Did you know that our breasts enlarge?!? Any exceptions or signs to add? (We all tick a little differently, regardless of gender.) As long as you’re respectful, TMI does not apply here.

Speaking of gender, I want thank Natalie Hartford’s husband for starting a compelling conversation about helicopters. To learn more, and because I think we gals should consider Girl Boner ‘copter-ing, check out Natalie’s post: Urban Word Wednesday: Helicopter. It’s at TRIP! 😉

If you have a question or topic you’d like addressed privately, feel free to contact me: @AugstMcLaughlin or Facebook.

*Girl Boner is sponsored by Nourish Literary, Inc.

#GirlBoner: An Introduction

I’ve been contemplating girl boners for years.

Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

It all started in 1990. My family had moved from a very diverse St. Paul area to the safer, if eerily homogenous, suburbs. On my first day of school, I wondered if my mostly Scandinavian could-be-my-siblings classmates derived from Stepford parents, which made my own existence much more interesting.

Before that school year started, I was confident of three things (four if you include my Stepford hypothesis): Paula Abdul rocked. The strict teacher I’d been cursed with didn’t. And soon my classmates and I would learn all about S…E…X.

Little did I know then where that class would lead. Based on my memory, here’s what happened:

I was sitting amidst a sea of students, some pale and fidgeting, others pink-cheeked and snickering, when Ms. Cloke,* aka Cruella Deville, started the projector.

“Welcome to sexual education…” Her frog-tone words blurred like the teacher’s voice on Charlie Brown in my horrified brain. “Wah-WA-wah-WA-wah…” Here I’d been hoping to learn the truth behind soap opera steam and all things hush-hush-adult. But Ms. Cloke’s voice was so…teachery.

“Wah-WA-wah-WA-wah,” she continued. “…erect penis.”

Huh? Muter mechanism, off. Now she had my attention. My eyes must’ve widened at the scientific drawing of a naked man on the screen, his penis pointing upward in firm salute.

It looks painful, I thought, keeping my view peripheral.

“It actually feels quite good,” said Cruella.

Jesus! Could she hear my thoughts?!? I stared at the floor, resisting the urge to scope the joint. Was that hidden in all the boys’ pants? This was sex ed, after all. Our bodies were changing…

Don’t look, don’t look! I scolded myself, my brain conjuring images of boys’ bulging crotches beneath neighboring desks. I shot a glance toward one. No bulge.

As I reviewed Ms. Cloke’s explanation, my nervous self-coaching took pause. If men had erections… What felt “quite good” for ladies?

Calmed by curiosity, I honed in on the lecture: More about erections, the triggers in boys and men, what men do with their standing penises during intercourse and something about women’s vaginas. That part, I’d heard.

Thank goodness we were on to vaginas. Surely Ms. Cloke would answer my pleasure question soon. So I waited. And waited. And…waited.

“When women begin adolescence…” she began.

Here it comes! Another click. A new slide, featuring—

Maxi pads. Tampons. Discussion of womb-shedding, bleeding, swelling and cramps. A week every MONTH?!? Fantastic. One quarter of the rest of my life would consist of bloody pain.

Class ended, leaving me in a state of crestfallen confusion. Not once throughout sex ex did Ms. Cloke mention female sexual pleasure. Not that I was longing for it then. I just deemed the whole thing unfair. Guys gained fun special effects. Gals? We bled. (Was that what drove my girl Paula to sing Cold-Hearted Snake?!?) The one takeaway I’d hold onto for years: Never wear white pants. Ever.

Seriously?!?

Not bold enough to pose my questions to anyone, particularly Ms. loved-to-punish-kids Cloke, my curiosity accompanied me through puberty. While men all around the world had bulging, feel-good genitals, I bulged with curiosity constipation. Anytime someone spoke of sex at school, in public or on TV, I listened—not in a sick way. I just wanted to know, without being deemed crazy, idiotic or un-Christian for wondering. The first time I heard an erection called a boner, I wondered, “What about girl boners?”

It would be years before I had an answer. Since then, girl boners have gone from perplexing puzzles to a passion, and not just for me personally. I want every woman to experience, embrace and celebrate her sexuality, and feel deserving and confident about doing so.

The truth is, there is no broadly used term specific to female arousal. (Think how many we have for guys. My slang thesaurus lists 22 synonyms for the male boner alone.) Multiple websites and thesaurus searches for ‘female sexual arousal’ draws up Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome, as in a disorder, as a top hit.

On some level, I understand why there isn’t a universal word for female turn-on. It’s not as though women experience one primary or obvious change. But words hold power. Giving a positive term to female sexual arousal and pleasure makes both more probable, making the whole world a better place, IMO.

I believe that women would experience less depression, better body image, a lessening of relationship strife and greater personal security if we were taught to cherish our girl boners. While we’ve come a long way in these regards as a society, significant work remains.

I could go on and on (and on…) about girl boners and my journey from sex ed to the present, which is why I’ve not only decided to trademark the term, but make it an ongoing series on my blog. I’m committed to keeping the tone and information upbeat, and hope you’ll all engage in equally fun and respectful discussion. And yes, guys and gals are equally welcome.

I should also mention for any newbies that I’m not a sex therapist or doctor—simply an empowered woman who embraces her sexuality and uses her professional health writing and researching skills to dig deep and relay what she learns. I’m also quite fond of blurting everything out sharing, so more personal stories will follow. (Fear not, exes. I’ll change your identifying details as I did Ms. Cloke’s.*)

I hope you’ll join me next week as we discuss girl boner physiology: what actually happens when we get turned on. Until then, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. Do you remember your first sex ed class? Any funny or interesting stories to share? Are you as stoked about girl boners as I am?!?

**If you’d like to share this post without the #GirlBoner hash tag, feel free to omit it or use an alternate.