11 Fun Facts About “Embraceable”

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

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

‚ô¶ 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.

‚ô¶ My memoir portion starts with an, um, bang‚ÄĒa literally climactic experience that changed my life.

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

‚ô¶ 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.

‚ô¶ The story contributors range in age, from 20-something to 70-plus.

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

‚ô¶ 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.)

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

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

‚ô¶ 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!

4 Things You Need To Know About Your (Beautiful) Vulva

Don’t play with her heart. Play with her vulva. It feels better.¬†

I couldn’t find a single happy vulva quote archived online. Can you believe that? Considering the mighty¬†wonder of the area,¬†it’s remarkable that vaginas get most of¬†the attention. Don’t get me wrong‚ÄĒvaginas rock!¬†¬†But what do you say we take some time to celebrate its pleasure-centric, splendiferous sister, Ms. Vulva?

vulva quote

4 Things You Need to Know About Your Vulva

1. It’s not your vagina. 

If your first thought when spotting this post was, “My vulva‚Ķ I know it’s somewhere down there, but‚Ķwhat is it again?” you’re far from alone. Many folks confuse vaginas with vulvas. Your vagina is the passageway into your body. Your vulva is everything outside of it‚ÄĒincluding your labia (lips), the mounded area over your pubic bone, your clitoris. To see medical drawings via the Cleveland Clinic, click here.

2. You shouldn’t scrub it.

The vulva secretes oils that protect its delicate skin from friction we all experience regularly. Scrub away those oils with cleansers or douche, and you’re likely to experience irritation. Keep it clean by washing it gently with warm water when you shower and letting it be. For added health and safety, avoid thongs, girdles, feminine sprays, scented tampons and rough toilet paper.

3. It’s super capable of pleasure. 

Women experience intense amounts of pleasure outside the vagina‚ÄĒwhich is one reason intercourse alone doesn’t bring most women to climax. The combo of both, however, inner and outer “down there” play paves the way for mind-blowing, intoxicating pleasure.

4. It’s beautiful as it is.

Your vulva isn’t ugly, stinky, oversized¬†or wrongly hairy. Far too¬†many women feel pressured to¬†futz with their genitals in order to feel beautiful or merely okay. Do what makes you feel most comfortable, keeping safety and well-being your top priorities. When you feel pressured to alter your gorgeous girl parts, ask yourself why. Chances are it’s societal messages that need changing‚ÄĒnot you.¬†‚ô•

For more on this topic, check out my DAME Magazine article: Stop Futzing With Your Vagina!

My Latest Product Fave!

Speaking of vulvas, I have to tell you all about my latest product crush. *drum roll* …VULVA BALM! Did you know it was a thing? Sensuous Beauty makes it, and it’s fabulous.

Vulva balm

Dab it on your gorgeous vulva to prevent chafing or manage dryness. Vulva Balm is¬†formulated¬†for menopausal women, but as a younger woman, I found it luscious and fun. (Even when we’re wet inside, some added gliding power outside is nice, IYKWIM!) You can also use it as a gentle lube. The body and eco-friendly deliciously scented balm has a smooth, decadent texture you’ll wanna slather on¬†(think Carmex, only natural + sexy. ;))‚ÄĒbut you won’t need to. A small amount¬†goes far.

Disclosure: This is an honest review for a product sold by Good Vibrations, a company I’m affiliated with. If you purchase Sensuous Beauty Vulva Balm for $12.99 – $18.50 through this link, a portion will support all-things-Girl Boner.

You can also support GB by purchasing other products. Simply click the Good Vibrations image in the sidebar (or below, if you’re reading on your phone) to shop away! The company is women-friendly, discreet and all around¬†AWESOME.

What do you love about your vulva? Did any of these facts surprise you? Think you might try Vulva Balm? Remember, there’s no shame or judgment here‚ÄĒjust¬†gratitude, love and respect.¬†

8 Surprising Facts About Female Orgasm

Happy National Orgasm Day! Nope, I didn’t make that up. Today folks across the country are celebrating the big and luscious O. Fabulous, right?

I thought I’d celebrate by sharing some tantalizing facts about Girl Boner-gasms. Check them out, then let me know what you think! I LOVE hearing from you.¬†‚ô•

IMG_1262

1. You could have one without realizing it. Don’t believe me? Listen to my episode on brain-gasms and my orgasm MRI. In short, some women mistake the feel-good sensations of climax with simply feeling good or, sadly, experience so much shame around sexuality that they don’t allow themselves to recognize or embrace what’s happening.

2. They’re POWERFUL! Unlike guys’ orgasms, which are also groovy, she-gasms¬†send¬†shimmery pleasure and elation throughout the whole body‚ÄĒfrom our heads to the tips of our toes. No wonder they help everything from pain and tension to low moods.

3. And¬†contagious.¬†Now there is something worth catching‚ÄĒyum.¬†Our partners may¬†literally get-off on our getting off. This is one reason men delight in facilitating¬†orgasm meditation‚ÄĒthe slow stimulation of a woman’s clit with the fingers alone.

4. Self-stimulation rocks!¬†Did you know¬†that self-sexy-TLC is¬†the easiest way for most women to climax? It’s also a beautiful way to learn more about your body and connect more deeply with your partner, if you have one. I’m also a big fan of couple masturbation. Sharing in each other’s pleasure side-by-side or face-to-face without going¬†pelvis-to-pelvis can be hot on multiple levels.

5. Some women¬†climax¬†through breath or thoughts alone.¬†If a sexy dream has ever sent you over the edge physically, you’ve done so.¬†You can also experience breath-gasms through tantric exercises, as I explored with Dawn Beck on Girl Boner¬ģ Radio¬†this week.

6. Our attitudes count. Women who embrace their bodies and sexuality tend to have more frequent and stronger orgasms. This is one reason so many of us experiences greater intensity and fulfillment in the bedroom as we age. (Yes, that we peak in our 30s is a myth.)

7. It’s okay to desire or experience them more than your guy. As Dr. Megan said on my show recently, guys shouldn’t be expected to be superheroes in the bedroom. Similarly, we gals shouldn’t criticize ourselves if we desire sex more than our¬†partner.

To learn more about females having¬†higher sex drive, check out my latest column for The Good Men Project: When You Want Sex More Than He Does – What’s a Girl to Do?

8. There’s no right or best way to have¬†one. Whether you climax frequently or some of the time, namely on the outside of your gorgeous body or deeper within, engage your G-spot or not or reach orgasm quickly or over time, you’re a-okay in that department. Our orgasms are as unique as we are, and 1000% embraceable.

**Another fab way to celebrate! Click the Good Vibrations ad in my sidebar and purchase a sexy product or two. A portion of your purchase will go to all-things-Girl Boner. Thanks so much for any support.

Which fact struck you most? What’s your favorite thing about she-gasms? How will you celebrate this glorious day?

The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest III: #GirlBoner Edition

True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and with passing years only grows!” ‚ÄĒ Sam Levenson, “The Beauty of a Woman”

BOAW GB edition 14

Welcome to our premiere Beauty of a Woman BlogFest Girl Boner Edition! I’ve perused contributors’ stories, and WOW, are you in for a treat. To say that I’m honored to share my bl0g-living room with such insightful, witty, bold and inspiring writers is a tremendous understatement. Whether you’re participating as a blogger, reader or both, please know that your support means a great deal to all of us!

How to participate and potentially win fun prizes:

Click on the links below to read participants’ stories between Monday, February 24th and Thursday, February 27th.¬†Prizes will be awarded by way of a drawing next week.

To have your name added to the prize drawing**:

  • Post a comment below this post, based on the prompts at the end = 1 entry
  • Tweet this post, tagging me @AugstMcLaughlin = 1 entry
  • Share this post on Facebook, tagging me or the Girl Boner Facebook page = 1 entry
  • Participate as a blogger = 5 entries
  • Read and post a comment on¬†all of the posts below, then let me know you did so in a comment on this post or via Twitter¬†= 10 entries¬†

PRIZES: Winners from the drawing for each fest category will¬†receive¬†Starbucks and Amazon gift cards, valuing $5 to $50.¬†I’ll also select two BOAW Girl Boner posts to read on Girl Boner Radio!¬†

Bloggers: If you signed up for this category and your name and post are missing below, I haven’t yet received your link (or somehow missed it!). Please send it to me via¬†email¬†or¬†Twitter¬†and I’ll add it promptly. Thanks!

**For more stories and chances for prizes, check out the original fest here, running from February 27th – March 2nd! I’ll conduct two drawings; one for each category.

1. Susan Lee Miller: The Beauty of an “Older” Woman Is‚Ķ

2. Ginger: ~Daydream for a Succubus~ (BOAW 3) 

3. Petite Esclave: Beauty

4. Kitt Crescendo: Sacred Sexuality #BOAW3 #GirlBoner

5. Dani Walker: My Sexuality Is Not an Inferior Trait: Embracing Womanhood. Embracing Female Sexuality.

6. Raani York: Revenge of the Ugly Beast

7. Inion N. Mathair: The Era of…Women**

8. Jean Franzblau: A Love Letter to My Clit

9. Susie Lindau: The Boob Report – Sex and Yes! Sex!

10. Beth Teliho: Lexicon of Lust

11. August McLaughlin:  The Orgasm That Changed My Life*

*I read my entry on Girl Boner Radio. If you’d like to leave a comment by way of a review, click the button that allows you to open the show in iTunes. While I appreciate the support, reviews aren’t required for the prize drawing. **Because Inion’s post is on a Tumblr site, comments aren’t required there either.

What do you find most beautiful about your sexuality? What steps have you taken, or will you take, to further embrace it? What most struck you about participants’ stories?

Thanks for festing with us! I hope you’ll join us again later this week, from Thursday to Sunday, for posts in the original Beauty of a Woman category and MORE chances to win prizes. I’ll announce gift card winners and read two of the above stories on Girl Boner Radio next week!¬†‚ô•

#GirlBoner Radio Sneak Peek! And a Chance to Make a Cameo Appearance

Wowzers! Girl Boner Radio officially kicks off next Monday, January 13th! I wish I could accurately express my excitement. Let’s just say my soul has a Girl Boner of the insatiable variety. ūüėČ

August McLaughlin Girl Boner Radio

Actually, both! I was happy to see Dr. Lisa when I appeared on her show in November, but my latest GB excitement, as many of you know, is my podcast series/radio show that derived from that experience.

While I’m fortunate to have a super groovy production team, the show’s content is largely up to me. Guess what that means? It’s also up to you.

This show wouldn’t have come about without the support and loyalty of you fabulous readers, and I’d LOVE to involve you in the program as much as possible. For starters, here’s how you can make a cameo appearance in my very first episode!

Make a Cameo Apperance on Girl Boner Radio’s Premiere Episode!

Record a short audio clip (1 minute or less) of you answering one of these questions:

What is a Girl Boner?

What do you remember about your earliest sex education?

Be as serious or goofy as you wish! If chosen to air, your identity won’t be revealed unless you somehow work your name into the clip. Email me the clip (august at augustmclaughlin dot com) preferably as an Mp3, by this Friday, January 10th with Girl Boner in the subject line so I don’t miss it. I’ll consider clips as they appear until I have enough, so the sooner you record and send, the better!

Smart phones make recording audio easy, but feel free to use a fancier method if you have the chops! The clips need not be perfect, but your words should be clear. If you’d rather type and email or tweet me your answers (@AugstMcLaughlin), feel free. I may read a few responses on the air as well. Keep in mind that by submitting a clip, you’re agreeing to allow its on-air use.

Where can you listen?

The best way to hear the show will be via iTunes, where you’ll be able to download and subscribe to the podcasts for free. I’ll share links here and throughout social media as I have them starting next week. Huge thanks to all of you who’ve inquired! I so appreciate your interest and support.¬†‚ô•

Girl Boner Radio with August McLaughlin

Think you’ll participate by submitting a clip? What other topics would you like to see featured on Girl Boner Radio? As always, I welcome your thoughts.¬†‚ô•

#GirlBoner Gusto: Talking Sex with Dr. Jane Greer

‚ÄúConversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ¬†Marquis de Sade

Let's Talk Sex - Chalkboard

Last week I had the privilege¬†of chatting about Girl Boner with Dr. Jane Greer, a nationally renowned therapist, relationship expert, former Redbook¬†editor and author of What About Me?: Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Marriage¬†on her wonderful radio series, Let’s Talk Sex. The timing was perfect, in my opinion, as¬†Girl Boner turns ONE this week! (That’s right‚ÄĒwe have been aroused together for 12 months! Hotness‚Ķ)

I can’t think of a better way to commemorate this anniversary than discussing sexuality¬†with a host as dynamic as Dr. Greer.¬†Have I always been so candid about sex-talk? How are sexuality and body image linked? What’s the word on the street about couples’ mismatched sex drive? We explored these topics and more…

For more information about Dr. Greer, visit DrJaneGreer.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter: @DrJaneGreer. To download the MP3 of our interview, visit the HealthyLife.Net archives.

LIVE TODAY: To join me in a live chat on sexuality, body image and psychological thrillers with self-publishing teacher, author and host of INDIE AUTHORS on Google+ Jason Matthews and Marla Miller of Marketing the Muse, visit Indie Authors #66 on Google+. We go live at 6pm PST!

What did you think of my chat with Dr. Greer? Isn’t she fantastic? What questions would you like to ask or have explored in an upcoming post? Any suggestions for additional ways to celebrate Girl Boner’s big 01? ūüėČ I always delight in your thoughts.¬†‚ô•

Sex and the Single Girl: Permission to Want

If you’d asked me what I wished for before moving to Los Angeles, I would’ve rattled off numerous dreams. Never did I imagine that sex-as-a-single-girl would become one of them.

I was in my mid-20s and had moved to the film mecca from Miami, where I’d transitioned from full-time model to model/actress and from married/lonely to single/fulfilled. Prior to that, I’d been a serial monogamist, dating serious boyfriend after serious boyfriend since high school. More recently, I’d overcome a severe eating disorder. A confidence comes from stepping into yourself and feeling passionately connected to your path after years of murky grey. Acting had felt like the reward for hardships overcome, fulfilling me in a way nothing previously had. I no longer needed therapy, vices or, I’d decided, men.

“I won’t marry again until I’m at least 40,” I told friends, not desiring a relationship for what seemed like the first time ever. I could do single, I thought. And adore it. But while passionate career and creative pursuits provide a lot, they don’t supply everything. (Take sex, for example…)

My enthusiasm paired with luck landed me a meeting with a mega theatrical agency within days of my arrival to Tinsel Town. They took me on and invited me to a dinner party‚ÄĒ10 celebrities, an esteemed screenwriter, two agents and little ‘ol barely-had-a-headshot me.

The party I attended just before moving to LA was a far cry from Hollywood glam. (I wanted to use photos from that night but my GB supervisor said no. Blah!)

The entire evening seemed surreal, from wining and dining with Hollywood elite to talking shop with actors who’d “made it” as we hopped from one hot spot to the next. Cassie,* a woman I met that night, remains a dear friend today. “What do you mean you went home after? You know you could’ve had any one of them, right?” she asked during a phone chat the next day.

Huh? Had them, as in…sex? Sleeping with virtual strangers, much less their interest in the notion, hadn’t crossed my mind. I laughed Cassie’s question off, but didn’t forget it.

As time passed, history began to repeat itself. I sensed a void, a longing for companionship. But I didn’t want a boyfriend… Did I? Closing my eyes, I imagined what I actually wanted. If I could wave a magic wand, I would... Cassie’s words resurfaced: “You know you could’ve had any of of them…”

Woah.

I wanted SEX.

A virtual room-full of lightbulbs flashed on, illuminating my track record of relationships gone by: the accountant I had to be tipsy to have fun with, the chain-smoking rocker with opposite-me values, the man I barely knew, yet had married. I’d met a variety of men during times of longing, and ended up in lackluster relationships. Being the good girl I’d perceived myself to be, sex had always required a relationship.

What would happen if I prioritized pleasure and self-honesty over being “good?” I decided to find out. (For those of you wondering about the M-word, stay tuned for another post.)

A short time later, I arrived to a casual lunch date with sex on the brain. I found myself sitting up taller, flirting uncontrollably with my eyes, imagining what I hoped would unfold. Within hours, it did. He took me to his hotel room and…took me in a way I’d never experienced. The intoxicating unfamiliarity and our mutual passion inspired overwhelming physical want and play. We were friends fulfilling each other’s needs, caught up in the now, giving and receiving without expectations of more. I left feeling whole again, enlivened and surprisingly relieved.

That marked the beginning of an empowering, pleasure-filled single time. Giving myself permission to enjoy sex minus emotional ties or commitment changed everything socially. The slightest glance or verbal exchange could send my Girl Boner reeling. Subtle touches, alluring cologne, strong arms, soulful eyes and choice conversations became aphrodisiacs paving the way to foreplay. For the first time I understood what it must feel like to be a young man, expected‚ÄĒarguably encouraged‚ÄĒto see breasts, butts and opportunities more prominently than souls, spirits or relationship potential. I also learned the importance of moderation and that even in a sex-driven climate like Los Angeles nightlife, feelings can be hurt‚ÄĒmen’s, too.

While I don’t believe that sexually explorative single time is important for all women, I’m grateful for the experience and what it taught me:

  • When we’re secure in our bodies and happy in our lives, sexual desire and confidence are practically inevitable.
  • Sexual pleasure‚ÄĒderived from safe behavior‚ÄĒis an important aspect of physical and emotional health, whether we’re single or not.
  • Our bodies are capable of insanely awesome, gratifying and intoxicating experiences.
  • Adventurousness and curiosity enhance sex if we let them.
  • Assuming we’re healthy, it’s perfectly fine to desire sex however we prefer it, as seldom or frequent as we see fit.
  • Encouraging ourselves to desire and enjoy sexual pleasure is a beautiful, empowering gift.

‚ÄúThe pursuit of pleasure is the central force that motivates sexual behavior,” says Terri Conley, a researcher and assistant professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan. She came to this conclusion after analyzing recent studies on sexuality and gender, which also showed that men and women are equally likely to desire and engage in casual sex, given the opportunity.

Similarly, if we aren’t comfortable pursuing or savoring sexual pleasure, we won’t be motivated to seek it. When it becomes available, a disinterest in pleasure can keep us from growing aroused. Think about that for a moment: a disinterest in pleasure. The fact that humans are made to want to experience sexual pleasure goes to show how intensely negative emotions, beliefs and attitudes can function as barriers.

As we near Thanksgiving, I’m intensely grateful for Girl Boners. (Shocker, I know. ;)) I’m also grateful for everyone who embraces them, and for the freedom to discuss them openly here. We are blessed to live in a day and culture in which female sexuality can be accepted and celebrated. The more we take advantage of these gifts, the more abundant they’ll become. If sexual freedom or all-things-Girl Boner make your “I’m grateful for…” feast proclamation this year, I’d love to hear about it.

If this is your first time visiting my Girl Boner series, feel free to check out Girl Boner: An Introduction and Girl Boner: The Female Body, Turned ON for more details.

I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. Have you enjoyed sexually explorative single time? Or learned similar lessons I did another way? What sex-related experience or advice are you most thankful for? All respectful thoughts and beliefs are welcome. ‚ô•