#BOAW2015 Owning Sexual Empowerment #GirlBoner Style

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Empowerment. It’s such a powerful word, right? In any aspect of life, it’s an important part of personal growth. When it comes to women and their sexuality, it’s critical and all too often denied or ignored.

Some may remember my Sacred Sexuality contribution from last year where I explored my thoughts on religion, history, and their impact on body image and sex. This year I’ll be taking it a step further and exploring owning our growth and development, sexually speaking.

Historically speaking the world, especially in western civilization, we’ve been predominantly a patriarchal society. What that has meant is that men pretty much controlled power, purse strings, and the overall quality of life that women could expect to have.

For the most part, we’ve come a long way from being traded as chattel to better enhance familial, social, and political standing. Virginity is not really currency anymore. Well, okay. There are still some places in the world where these archaic views are upheld, but overall…. you get what I’m saying. We’ve moved forward.

But have we really moved that far?

It wasn’t very long ago when I was involved in a conversation with several female friends when one friend confessed that she had never achieved orgasm. Because she was in a long term relationship, most of the women there were quick to blame her guy for not “giving” her one. But was it really his fault? I’m not saying selfish lovers don’t exist, but to have never had an orgasm before speaks to more than a lover’s prowess, doesn’t it?

Here’s my take on feminine sexual empowerment….

It’s all about ownership. Of herself. Her body. Her wants and needs. Does it mean she has to be the aggressor? Only if she wants to be. But it does mean that she’s responsible to communicate. To explore her own body and discover what feels good.

Because here’s the reality. Despite the über Doms and alpha males we read or fantasize about… You know, the psychic ones who instinctively read a woman’s mind, body, and soul and know exactly what to do to give her thigh shaking, body quaking orgasms… Most real life men require guidance. Hints. Directions. And if she doesn’t know what feels good? Or she’s unwilling or unable to communicate with them when they touch her body in ways that curls her toes (or even in ways that might turn her off), how can they ever hope to make her body sing? Or improve what skills they may already have in giving her pleasure?

Honest communication is key. So is taking responsibility for her actions. Faking an orgasm? That deprives her partner of the chance to find out what really pleases her, and her from exploring what works for them both. Saying the words candidly may be difficult at first, but the rewards far outweigh the negatives.

It all starts with trust…. And responsibility.

Because we women have gotten really good at not only holding men accountable for whether or not we experience orgasms, but more often than not, we’ve also placed the onus of making sure we’re protected on them, too. Granted, many are a little bit responsible via birth control pills and patches, but with the many variations of STDs these days that are transmitted through fluids, condoms are also necessary, especially for one time liaisons or short termed relationship.

So why is it that prophylactics often are predominantly a male responsibility? Why is it, if sex is initiated, it’s assumed that the male should come prepared? And how often do we really have the responsible health history talk before we head in that direction despite all the things we learned in health class?

Kudos to Tiffany Gaines and the young ladies from Lovability, Inc. for not only noticing the problem, but deciding to be proactive and do something about it! That’s responsible, empowered sexuality! Check out not only how they’ve owned their sexual responsibility, but how they’re working to help other women do the same!

So what about you? What things do you do to help you own your sexual empowerment? Do you struggle with it? Why do you think you do (or don’t)? Communication is key and I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts, and please check out the other Beauty of a Woman 2015 posts of female empowerment! I promise, you won’t regret it.

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@LoniFlowers Reveals The Best I Never Had

One of the cool things about having author friends is getting to share in their excitement as something new comes out. So, when my friend and fellow author, Loni Flower, reached out to me to ask if I’d share her cover release on her newest book…. I jumped at the chance to lend a hand. That’s one of the coolest parts about the writing community.

So, without further ado, check out this awesome cover for her newest book! I love the colors, the grapes, the hottie on the cover…..

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So here’s a bit more about the book:

THE BEST I NEVER HAD (DeVine Winery #1)

New job, new town, new people— new life.

That’s what Olivia Langston needed. At twenty eight, she was given a rare opportunity at an internship in the rolling valleys of Crystal Falls in California wine country, far away from her small town roots in North Carolina. It was an unexpected journey she desperately needed after her ex-husband crushed her.

At DeVine Winery, she expected a fresh start in a new environment to help let go of her past. Instead, she found Daniel Black and a hell of a lot of sexual tension she wasn’t prepared for. He was gorgeous, modestly wealthy, irresistible, and just happened to be part owner of DeVine, one of the largest vineyards in the country.

If only she knew that before she kissed him her first night in town.

 

Follow Loni at:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLoniFlowers

Twitter:  @loniflowers

Website:  www.loniflowers.com

It’s Just a Hallmark Holiday, Right?

Image courtesy of cuteimage at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cuteimage at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve grown to wonder something.

When exactly did love become a noun? Isn’t it supposed to be a verb? An action verb, at that? And if I’ve learned nothing in my years on this earth, I’ve also learned that there are two things that are not for wimps. Long termed relationships and aging. And sometimes I think aging might be easier because there’s really nothing that can be done about the passing of time except maybe make healthy choices to make that passage a bit easier.

Love, the lasting kind, takes a lot of work. It’s not all roses, hot bodies, and rampant sex despite how much I adore the books and movies that tout this message. Is some of that a part of it? Absolutely! Would they be so popular otherwise? I may not be a therapist, but here’s my take on the impact of these things:

  • Roses, candies, cards, and romantic gestures- They let your partner know that you’re thinking of them. That they’re a priority to you and that (especially if you’ve been together for longer periods of time) you aren’t taking their presence in your life for granted.
  • Hot bodies- Okay, so more often than not, this isn’t always your own or your partner’s, but rather the viewing of others for the purpose of fantasies (hopefully shared and communicated with one another to keep your relationship fresh and interesting). But if it is yours, even better! The message your sending is that you care to keep yourself in tip top shape so your partner can admire and enjoy your physique for years to come….and that you want to make sure you live a nice long life so that you can spend as much time with the people you love as humanly possible.
  • Rampant sex- So over time this may slow down from 3-5 times a day to several times a week/month. The thing about sex, though, is that it’s hugely important so that you maintain the physical and emotional connection with your partner. Listen, that hot and heavy, can’t-take-my-hands-off-of-you passion can be cyclical. But that doesn’t mean that shared comfort and vulnerability is anything to turn your nose at. That vulnerability and connection is a form of communication, too. It is a type of comfort, release, and a way of sharing your most intimate self.

Think for a second about a parent/child relationship.  When a child screws up, does a parent just walk away because it’s too hard? Do they quit caring? Do they find another child that might be “easier” to deal with? But isn’t that what we do all too often in relationships when the going gets tough?

How many times have you heard someone talk about a marriage and end with a shrug and “if it doesn’t work out, we can always get divorced?” Is that really giving a relationship a fair shake?

My heart has been aching for a few friends who’ve recently come to me, speaking about their relationships in terms of ending them. And don’t get me wrong… I’m well aware that there are plenty of things that can happen to permanently destroy a relationship. And I’ll always support my friends, regardless. But there’s so much damage done to a person’s spirit when relationships end and the connection, the trust, and the partnership are severed.

I’m lucky. My guy and I have been through ups and downs…22 years worth. Regardless of all that life has thrown at us, he’s always been my very best friend. When I’m hurting, he’s the first one to open his arms and ask if I need a hug. He cheers me on, and I do the same thing for him. He understands who I am and accepts me unconditionally, even when he doesn’t always agree with the decisions I make. But he’s always in my corner, cheering me on in the good times. Building me back up through my failures. He listens to me. Believes in my dreams. And I do the same for him.

And we talk. Even when it’s not the easiest conversation. Or when the truth hurts. We still talk. And when one of us screws up, we apologize and mean it. If one of us is still holding on to hurt or anger, we share that, too, until we’re finally able to let things go. There have been times when we’ve both fought with each other and for each other, though as we’ve grown together, the “with each other” doesn’t happen as much.

And for those of you who have wondered how he handles the racy stories I write? He grins and shrugs. Does he read them? Bits and pieces every now and then. The girl on girl action scene in Four One Night? Yeah…. LOL! His response? Low key, like him. He just nodded and said it was hot.

He’s the other part of my heart and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s work. Constant work. Worthwhile work. And the reward of him being such a core part of my life? Worth every sacrifice. I’ve told him that when I imagined my “dream man,” I never pictured him, but I thank God every day that he sent me everything I didn’t know I wanted and needed. Things I never dreamed of asking for past the superficial stuff.

Aren’t I lucky?

Now it’s your turn…. Share your thoughts on love. (By the way, you don’t have to agree with me or my thoughts. I’d still like to hear from you.)

I’m Not Laughing

Ever have one of those moments where someone you consider a friend says something, adds a LMAO or a Haha to the end of it and you find yourself scratching your head wondering if it’s pure ignorance, poor taste, or if they realize how they’re coming across or if maybe they’re not the person you thought they were?

So what triggered this outrage in the normally quirky, laid back Kitt?

A couple of days ago, an old friend (father to a young girl whom he adores with his whole heart) posted on his feed…. “LMAO! Ask Siri what holiday it is today. You’ll thank me later.” I wondered for a moment what holiday he was talking about until I saw this in his feed…

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I couldn’t understand the humor.  Maybe he hadn’t heard of the plight of young girls, usually between the ages of 5 and 10, and mostly in Africa? Did he think it was some sort of joke? But the responses that were coming in had that same “LOL” style answer, too….and my blood started to boil.

Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in other countries. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of an activist for women and a sex positive message, but I knew what happened to these young girls and it was more than I could take to watch all the laughter without saying something about the plight of these mutilated children. So I said something. Do I know if it sunk in? No. I don’t. But I did what I could there to educate, then brought up my frustration on my Facebook page.

The cool thing is, it got an open dialogue started.

For those who don’t know, Female Genital Mutilation is where young girls, usually between the ages of 5 and 10 are held down by several village women and their external privates, clit hood, clit, labia, and often the tissue at they entry of the vagina are cut off by the local midwife using an unsterilized blade and without anesthesia.

This is funny?

And the “whys” for this are even less humorous. As it turns out, one of my Facebook friends lived for an extended amount of time in Botswana, so she shared some of what she’d witnessed while she was there. The primary purpose of such brutality (and this, I already knew) is to prevent feelings of sexual arousal in their women. But it’s also more than that. They are under the misguided belief that destroying a woman’s privates will make her more desirable for marriage. That she’ll be more faithful. That it will maintain her virginity.

But my friend, Shabby, had more to share. She stated that she’d gotten to know several young ladies while living in Botswana with her husband for business, and the pain and brutality didn’t end with the mutilation. According to what she’d learned, no woman was safe from rape. The biggest targets were usually between the ages of 13-14, and that she’d seen 15 year olds pregnant. They were often beaten, left pregnant, with no alimony.

Their struggle was not what we consider a struggle here. No job, no car…. Their struggle was the rape the night before, the possibility that they now had AIDS, that their third child was on the way and they didn’t have enough money to get past the week. They had no marital prospects because maybe they weren’t deemed “desirable” enough or their last boyfriend left them the night before with no money and no way to fend for themselves, or they were robbed of their last five pula (their currency).

In fact, she said that her maid walked 5 miles to and from work daily and was robbed at least once a month and that all the women she’d gotten to know died before the age of 35. She cried every time. My heart ached.

Here my friends were, joking about something I’m pretty sure they didn’t even think truly existed because  it didn’t directly touch their lives or anyone they loved, yet on this very same planet are women hurting. Most of you know I’m all about empowerment and a sex positive message, but this goes so far beyond that! This is simple human kindness and decency.

The reality is, overall, we’re spoiled here in the States and thank God for it. But that doesn’t mean we can turn a blind eye to other people’s suffering. Or that we shouldn’t try to make the world a better place by opening ourselves up to understanding some of the hardships the rest of the world battles.

And by the way, this is impacting us here in the States, too! One of my nurse friends chimed in to tell me that the percentage of young girls in this country that this happens to is also climbing. She said that there are many Somali women who come to the hospital having been in this condition most of their lives, and when they get pregnant with baby girls, the pediatricians often know that these women are going to send their daughters out of the country to have the process done to their children. Because in their culture, this is a thing to be desired. They truly believe it’s the only way to guarantee the purity and desirability for marriage of their little ones.

Again, where is the humor in any of this?

As I was thinking about what to say, I found that lack of knowledge on the subject is actually not that uncommon….

So I guess that’s where we start, right? Educate? Share? Open the lines of communication up? From there, there are several charities and advocacy groups where one can choose to take their dedication a step or few further.

So tell me… Are you one of those people who didn’t know about this? Now that you do, what are you going to do with that knowledge?

#SharetheLove With Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust Love

share the love hop

My pal, Anna Cade, of Herding Cats and Burning Soup came up with the terrific idea of sharing a little love with a well deserving/favorite blog or author. I thought it was a terrific idea, so I signed up.

My biggest problem? I have so many awesome author and blogger friends. That meant I had to really dig down and think.

As I started considering things, I realized something…. It wasn’t a tough choice at all!

Let me tell you a little bit about the awesome lady I’ve chosen to share with you guys today.

I met Stephanie a couple years ago at an Authors After Dark event in Savannah. At that time I was still working on my manuscripts, so I was there strictly as a fan girl and to meet all the awesome authors and bloggers I’d been following/getting to know on Facebook and Twitter.

We were at an author party when we struck up a conversation. We found ourselves at the same table when we headed down for one of the balls held at the event, so we got to know each other better. When we got back to our homes, me to Florida, her to Maine (in the same area my best friend used to live), we found each other on Facebook and Twitter and kept in touch!

I already followed her blog, so I was thrilled when she began to follow mine back. Even more so when I put out my first book and mentioned that if anyone wanted to share their blog with me for a spot or two, that I’d be honored.

She reached out immediately!

She offered me a guest post spot on her blog! Me! This may not sound like a huge deal to you, but it was to me. Why? Because in my preferred genre there had been (at that time, and unfortunately still are) plagiarists claiming to be self published authors who had been outed for stealing the works of some very popular authors. Most of the book blogging community became very gun shy about unknown commodities, and who could blame them?

But she took a chance on me.

In fact, she was headed down to Florida and we met up for coffee to catch up and talk about what sort of post she thought might be appealing to her audience, helpful to readers, and maybe a smidge outside of her comfort zone yet right up my alley.

Well, we found it. With her approval, my alternative lifestyle post/readers glossary was born.

But her generosity didn’t stop there! She also read my books and did a review of Four One Night on her blog. I hadn’t even asked her to do it! I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.

The thing about Stephanie is she truly is a supporter of authors! ALL KINDS of authors! She doesn’t limit herself to one style or genre. She’ll do audiobooks, ebooks, physical books…. She truly does have a passion for books and it shows in her thoughtful, well written posts! She’s honest about what she likes and doesn’t like in books, and it doesn’t matter who the author is. It’s always her personal, unbiased opinion. I respect the heck out of that!

So, because she’s just amazing in general, and gives great feedback about so many subjects in particular, I’m telling you to get to know this wonderful lady!

And if who she is isn’t incentive enough? I’ve got a couple of giveaways for ya! Click on
a Rafflecopter giveaway and earn a chance to win the following.

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And, if my giveaway has simply whetted your appetite for winning? There are lots of other blogs sharing the love and giving away. Click the blue button below to see who else is participating!