The GirlBoner Goddess, August McLaughlin!

 

August M headshot

Hey everyone! August McLaughlin has been one of my very dear friends for quite some time now. We met through blogging and found very quickly that we had a shared passion for female emotional and sexual empowerment. We need strong, sexual, sensual women! Too often sex has been wrapped up as a weapon or as something bad or negative, and through our own experiences, we’ve found our voices to help.

Girl Boner cover uvSo, of course, when I found out that my girl was putting out a book made for the women we love to embrace and empower, I had to show her some love. As always, she graciously accepted the opportunity to share on my blog. (BTW, you’re going to want to read to the end as there may be an opportunity for YOU there.)

Me: Welcome to theinnerwildkat, August! So glad you could join me! I’m just going to dive in and pick your beautiful brain, ok? Tell us how the GirlBoner brand came to be…(How did you get the inspiration? Where did the name come from?)

August: Like many people, I learned very little about sex and sexuality during my youth. In sex ed, I remember learning a little bit about male sexual pleasure—at least that it existed—and zilch about anything positive for gals. So as soon as I learned what “boner” meant I literally wondered, What about Girl Boners?
Years later, embracing my sexuality helped me heal from a severe eating disorder. Once I’d built a writing career, it felt natural to use my platform to shed light on the type of sexual empowerment that helped save my life and that so many people still stand to gain.

Me: What of the subjects you covered in your book were most eye opening to you?

August: One of the biggest involved the (creepy) history of masturbation—or, rather, how solo play has been viewed and, no pun intended, handled. I want someone to write a thriller about that history one day. It would make an excellent movie! 

Me: We may have to dig deeper into that subject at a later time if you’re willing. But for now, let’s keep going. What did you find most entertaining? Maybe even funny? (Heck, sex can be both amazing and funny, right?) 

August: Heck, yes! Some of my favorite kicks and giggles came from my editor’s notes. I remember one clearly: “Did you mean to say ‘ring around the peenie?’” (I guess you had to be there!) (Also, yes, I did.)

GBR logo 2018Me: What about creating your brand—between your books, your radio show, your blog, BOAW—wowed YOU most?

August: I was stunned to find that I enjoyed blogging. My then agent had suggested it, and I was like, “Write more?” I was already writing articles nearly full-time and working on another novel. But I loved blogging straight away, and far more so when I started breaking the “rules” and focusing on material I felt compelled to explore with the goal of having fun or helping others.
Another biggie was realizing how important connection is to me. Talking with people and sharing others’ stories has become a major passion of mine, and fills in emotional gaps when I’m spending a lot of time in the writing cave.

Me: Looking back, is there anything you might have done differently?

August: There are some technical things I wish I’d done differently, like starting a mailing list straight away. I also went through a rough patch in 2016 and wish I had gotten support sooner. Let both of those be a lesson to anyone reading this: If you have a brand or product, start your list! And always, always take care of you.

Me: You have so many diverse guests on your radio show. Who has been your most memorable interview?

August: Some of the most memorable are the ghost hunter who I interviewed because I wanted to know if ghosts have sex, Tika Thornton, an incredible woman who survived sex trafficking, and my mom, who I never imagined with join me in the Girl Boner studio, but I’m so grateful she has – twice!

Me: I LOVE your mom. I was thrilled when she friended me on Facebook, and I love the bag she made that I won during one of the Beauty Of A Woman events, which leads in quite nicely to my next question. What has been your biggest life lesson through this whole process?

August: Probably that your mission is your reward. I wrote about this on my blog recently, but in short, I initially thought my Girl Boner book would release within a year or two once I launched the blog series—which was many proposals, two agents, multiple rejections and plenty of life ago.
In that time, though, Girl Boner has taken me in directions I hadn’t anticipated and allowed me to learn so much about myself, sexuality and my audience. I’m not sure we writers can write an impactful book without knowing who we’re speaking to on a deep level, especially when it comes to nonfiction.

Me: How has this experience changed YOU?

August: I’ve learned to be a better listener and how important listening is. It’s also given me a profound sense of purpose. It’s so cliché, but Girl Boner really does get me up in the morning most days. I love people so much and it means so much to me to be able to connect with so many wonderful ones and to write and speak about issues so near to my heart.
It’s also forced me to learn patience. My favorite type is the kind we don’t even realize we’re practicing (LOL). When you continue to create content and put forth effort, including efforts to take care of yourself, you don’t feel like you’re waiting around for any particular thing. You can stay hopeful, but also rest easy, knowing you’re doing the thing already.

Me: What’s next for you?

August: I’m kicking of a book launch tour with readings, live Girl Boner Radio recordings and more in Minneapolis, LA, NYC, Las Vegas and hopefully other cities, starting August 11th. I’m really looking forward to mixing and mingling with folks across the country. Between trips, I’ll be working on other-things-Girl Boner from home, with my animal coworkers.

Me: Would you like to share something about the book? (Excerpt, quote, anything?)

August: One of my favorite quotes in the companion book releasing the same day, Girl Boner Journal, came from a random tweet I posted a couple of years ago. I like it because it feels so true and so GB: 



“You know what lowers many women’s libido? Inequality. Repression. Damaging myths. When women rise, so do Girl Boners.”

Me: Well said! And with that, how can we get our hands on one of your hot new books?

August: The book is available for pre-order on amazon HERE. I’m running a little sweepstakes with The Pleasure Chest for anyone who preorders, which people can enter HERE! Thanks so much for having me, Kitt. You’re spectacular. 

Me: August, you’re welcome here anytime! Congratulations and good luck! Also, thanks so much for mentioning me in the book! Sooo HONORED!

Now, it’s time for you guys! What do you think? Any questions for me? August? Feel free! Also, you should really follow this woman. She’s got a ton of amazing knowledge to share if you’re interested. 

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Sexual Assault Does Not Negate Happy-Ever-After

As many of you know by now, sex positive discussions is intensely important to me. So many people have their sexual growth and understanding inhibited due to upbringing, religion, and worse, traumatic sexual experiences. Being closed away from one’s sexuality due to whatever reason stifles and inhibits personal, emotional growth and well being and can destroy otherwise healthy personal relationships.

Recently, when I discovered my pal, Jessi Gage, had launched her first ever holiday book, I reached out and asked if I could help her pimp it. I was thrilled when she mentioned that there was a sensitive topic of a sexual nature she’d wanted to address and thought my blog would be the perfect forum. When she gave me the specifics, I was honored. This subject is near and dear to so many hearts. (Don’t believe me? Check out my other pal, Bridget Blackwood’s post.)

Take it away, Jessi! (And please, guys, as always….share your stories, thoughts, and/or experiences because we’d love to hear from you!)

sexual assault

Thank you, Kitt, for hosting me today. I’m a huge fan of you as a person and as a blogger. You are one of my favorite advocates for women’s sexuality. Your voice and the voices of August McLaughlin and Ande Lyons are desperately needed and greatly appreciated by many.

I thought your blog would be a good place to confess my insecurity over a recent first for me. I’ve got a new release out, Cole in My Stocking. It’s my first holiday romance, and it’s the first time I’ve tackled sexual assault in a book. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about this.

In a romance, you want conflict and tension, yes, but you don’t want to disturb the readers, at least I don’t. That’s not my thing as a writer. I like to leave readers with a serious case of the warm-fuzzies. If people put down my book with a happy sigh, that’s my idea of success. So I wasn’t sure how to handle it when my heroine, Mandy, insisted she had survived a very traumatic situation in her past, a situation in which all her control was taken away: a sexual assault.

Fortunately, Mandy assured me her trauma was well past. It doesn’t appear on the pages of Cole in My Stocking other than as brief flashes of memory that still haunt her. But Mandy needed to spend time in this book working through issues that resulted from her assault. And Cole needed to be the man to help her do it.

See, Mandy has not been able to have a physical relationship with anyone since her assault. She has PTSD. As a counselor, she knows this about herself, but clinical knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate into being able to overcome the emotional scars of her past.

Fortunately for Mandy, Cole is up to the challenge of helping her tackle her physical and psychological issues. He does it by loving her, showing her he is trustworthy, and most of all, through his unwavering patience with her physical limitations.

To get this dynamic right (I hope I got it right!), I consulted my beautiful and generous sister-in-law, Kate, who has a counseling degree and has a heart for helping people. She helped me shape Mandy’s memories and reactions and encouraged me not to hold back when naming the horror that happened to her: rape.

Mandy’s story has a happy ending—of course, since I will never write anything that doesn’t end happily. But it might be a painful read for a woman who has experienced anything like what Mandy experienced. Then again, it might be helpful. Early reviews are indicating that Mandy’s journey is touching and realistic.

Excerpt from a 5-star review by Becca Moree of Breathless Ink:

Learning about what sweet Mandy has been through was tough. It was emotional, and for anyone that has been in a situation where their control, their power, their self worth has been stripped from them…just know that this book can be extremely difficult to read. Mandy’s reactions to what happened and how she handles intimacy after were very realistic. I’m not sure what Jessi Gage did to write this type of story in such a believable manner, but what I can say is that I appreciate the way she wrote this story. It means a lot to me that she managed to write a sweet love story (which I will talk about in a bit) while fitting in details that may help people who have never dealt with assault understand. I felt that it was written in a way that shed light on the way victims of assault think. The way they deal with what others see as a simple situation.

Reviews like this certainly help me feel less nervous about Mandy’s story. I’m so glad I wrote it and I hope lots of people find some holiday hope and cheer in it. I want to leave you with some words from Kate and some resources on sexual assault. Here’s Kate:

Sexual assault is an almost scientific term for a vomit-inducing nightmare. Alas, we are forced to contend with the term, so let’s be clear on its definition. According to the Justice Department’s website, sexual assault is defined as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient… forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.”

http://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault 

Recent government-funded studies have brought to light some shocking statistics about sexual assault and rape specifically:

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/219181.pdf  :

Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped.

Only 16% of all rapes are reported to authorities.

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv13.pdf

35% of all sexual assaults are reported to authorities.

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf

Teens aged 16-19 are 3.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than the general population.

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_executive_summary-a.pdf : 90% of rape victims know their rapist.

50% of victims are raped by their intimate partner.

There are a ton of implications in these stats, but I’ll highlight just a couple. What strikes me most about these stats is that rape is so common. We encounter women who have survived sexual assault every day. Eighteen percent of US women have gone through this. You are friends with rape victims. You are family of rape victims. Let that sink in for a minute.

Next, most rape is being done by guys we know. That is actually a pretty scary statistic. Think about it. Women are more likely to get raped by a man they know than by that ominous lurking predator in black, looming in the dark behind that bush. And to top it off, rapes are underreported. In other words, the bad guy is getting off way more often than not.

Sexual assault clearly affects our culture and us personally more than we realize, because it is happening all the time. I encourage you to ask questions and have conversations. Educate yourself on why and how sexual assault is so prevalent in our society. (I’ll give you a hint: It’s not because men are uncontrollable animals.)

Learn about victim blaming:

rape culture

consent:

and ways you can help the women (and men) in your own life who need support after sexual assault.

Here are some resources for you or a loved one needing immediate help after sexual assault:

Resources:

National directory of rape crisis centers: via RAINN website or call 1-800-656-4673

Online sexual assault support group: AfterSilence

Advice for loved ones of assault victims: RAINN website support

Bandbacktogether Blog

Thank you for reading! Please forward this post at will since you never know who might need the resources Kate shares above.

Thanks again, Kitt, for having me! It’s always a pleasure to blog with you!

For more information about Cole in My Stocking and Jessi Gage’s other books, visit her at:

Website | Blog | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

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Cole Blurb and Buy Links

Mandy never planned to return to Newburgh, New Hampshire, the hometown that unfairly branded her a slut, but she has no choice. Her father has died, and she’ll be spending Christmas settling his affairs. She hopes to get in and out of town without attracting the looks of disgust that drove her away, but when a certain Oakley-wearing, Harley-riding cop starts hanging around, an old crush is revived and the rumor mill restarts with a vengeance.

Cole has always been attracted to Mandy, but he has never acted on it. Besides being sixteen years older than her, he was friends with her father. The rumors people in town spread about her were bad enough without an inappropriate relationship adding fuel to the fire. But when Mandy returns to Newburgh fully adult and looking more gorgeous than ever, he can’t keep his distance, especially when an old secret of her father’s surfaces and puts her in danger. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her, but convincing her to stay in Newburgh, with him, will take a Christmas miracle.

Reader Advisory: Contains references to a past sexual assault 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | All Romance | Goodreads

Highlight:

He cupped her chin and made her look at him, even if they couldn’t see each other in the dark. “What did he do after?”

“What do you mean?”

“When you freaked out. What did your boyfriend do after that?”

Tension straightened her shoulders. “What any decent guy would do. We stopped. He stopped. He was a perfect gentleman.”

He scoffed.

“What? He was. I was a total spaz and he was cool about it.”

“He was cool about it?”

“What? What’s that superior tone for?” She was getting angry. He loved that about her. She’d stood up to Tooley a few days ago. She was standing up to him now. If she didn’t like something, she let you know about it. Now that was a characteristic he could believe she’d gotten from Gripper.

“You said you freaked like always when things get to a certain point, that you always blow it. You think you blew it with that guy because a single attempt at second base went poorly. I meant what happened afterwards? Was there a conversation? A second attempt after you had some time to process what happened? A third?”

“What guy would want to try again after something like that?”

“This guy would.”

Jessi Gage

Jessi Gage

 

Jessi Gage bio:
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries…you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she’s sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now). The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

Playtime: What Goes in the Box…

Vibe

Many moons ago I bought my first vibrator. It was exciting. It was taboo. It was hidden in a brown bag so no one would know what I’d purchased. After a quick trip to the store to pick up some batteries (let’s be real, first timer…didn’t want to run out and didn’t know what to expect) I rushed home, excited to play.

Alone in my room, I freed the teal gel cylinder from the wrapping, washed it, and slid the batteries the hard plastic handle piece. I toyed with the various settings against my hand to get a feel for how it operated, then disrobed and moved to the bed.

This was going to be awesome, right? So much easier and fun than my own fingers?

Not exactly.

It wasn’t so much the going in. Lubrication (both self and purchased) helped with that. It was more the uncomfortable, burning feeling.  And the feeling like the only way to rid myself of that uncomfortable burn was to pee.

I knew that the lady at the pleasure party said that they were considered “novelty” items, but it was explained that this had more to do with the rules of other countries about exporting things that were used for sex. That’s why there were things like rabbit ears or hummingbirds or dolphins on the clitoral stimulator….or so I understood back then.

It never occurred to me that pleasure items were not held to any health or safety standard. That they could be toxic. In the end, I gave up on that particular toy figuring it must be an allergic reaction. Heck, I’ve been known to have a sensitivity to latex condoms, so I just chalked it up to that! And then I did a bit more research.

Did you know that many of the older toys were made with toxic products? That they were safer to be used in conjunction with a condom? Or that the type of lubricant you use can actually dry you out? In fact, check out the article I wrote for Sexual Wellness News on exactly this topic this week! It’s all about how to shop for great non-toxic toys. And if you have any doubts that not all lubes are created equal? Check out this blog post from my favorite lube company. It’s from a nurse’s perspective on why their stuff is head and shoulders above the rest.

Don’t get me wrong, this has NOT stopped me from enjoying pleasure enhancers. It’s just made me much more careful in my choices. Heck, ya’ll know I’ve always been pretty vocal about sharing what I like….and reading materials to help you get there.

What about you guys? Any sex toy nightmares to share? Any tips you’ve learned along the way? Caring is Sharing, afterall!

Celebrating World Sexual Health Day and August McLaughlin

August McLaughlin (aka the GirlBoner woman)

August McLaughlin (aka the GirlBoner woman)

As many of you know, a great passion of mine is helping to spread a sex positive message and to aid in building people and their self esteems up. So when I stumbled across August McLaughlin’s blog about two years ago, an instant connection happened. And when she decided to introduce #GirlBoner, I was cheering loud and hard.

August has quite the compelling personal story, and she’s touched my heart. As we became friends, it was clear that she is someone to be admired and respected because she is a woman of both word and action. She celebrates life in general, and her fellow womankind in particular, by hosting such events as Beauty of a Woman (which I was honored to participate in this last year). But she doesn’t stop there. She’s got her own GirlBoner Radio show. If you haven’t tuned in and listened to her shows, you’re missing out. And as if that’s not enough, she was also one of BlogHer 2014’s Voices of the Year.

Yes…. August is one beautiful, busy woman….and tomorrow she’ll be a panelist and Emcee for World Sexual Health Day. What a well deserved honor for her, and what a fabulous cause! The really cool part is that we can participate online because the event will be streaming live! And if you want to be part of it via Facebook or Twitter, you can do that, too!

On top of all this, she’s an author and she sings! In fact, we’ve decided that the first time we meet face to face, we’ll be singing together, so we’re thinking karaoke party…. Who’s in and what songs are a must sing at a karaoke party to you?

And on a more serious note, how will you be celebrating your sexual health this September 4th?

Common Household Items Making Playtime FUN!

I’ve been thinking about this long and hard since I did my last post about sex toys… Yes, it was all tongue in cheek and humorous, but it got me thinking. There are actually a lot of people out there who are not comfortable going to sex shops….or even speaking frankly about sex. There are still people who find the subject of adult toys or sexual enhancements as something to never be discussed.

Well, I don’t think it’s fair that these folks suffer simply because they’re a bit skittish, so I started thinking about all the common household items that can double as adult toys. Of course. Hey, if I were normal, half of you guys wouldn’t be hanging out here with me, am I right? LOL!

So we’ll start with with a few simple things that won’t surprise anyone. Food play, of course! And no, I’m not talking insertion. I don’t want to come over to your house, look down at my salad and wonder if the cucumbers or carrots have been pre-used. I’m talking about things like whipped cream or hot fudge or ice! A little tip…when talking whipped cream, don’t go for cool whip. To me there’s nothing sexy about ladling out a spoonful of that stuff, then plopping it on the body. What you want is something that allows you and/or your partner to get decorative and playful!

Ally Larter's whipped cream bikini in Varsity Blues

Ally Larter’s whipped cream bikini in Varsity Blues

Hot fudge is great to drizzle along a partner’s body, then lick it up. If you’ve never tried it, you’re truly missing out…and it’s fantastic for the chocoholics out there. Ice cubes are also great fun…especially when used on women. Let’s be real for a moment. When we get hot…we get hot EVERYWHERE! Sensation play is fun for a reason. Let your body be cooled down just a smidge with an ice cube… Hey, it’s just water, afterall. Inserting that into the vajayjay while you’re steaming hot? ::shudders:: Yeah, the hot and cool make for very powerful sensations.

Minty Treats

Minty Treats

While we’re talking about body play, it would be wrong of me not to mention the benefits of Altoids, menthol cough drops or toothpaste. Here’s the deal… Some guys can tell you from experience, receiving a blowjob while a woman has a mentholated cough drop or Altoid in her mouth creates this awesome hot and cold sensation. Well, it goes the same for us! When a guy sucks on one of those bad boys while giving us oral, the minty mingles with the hot to explosive results. Now the toothpaste thing can be tricky. A little minty toothpaste can do the same thing to a man, but use too much and it can make him feel like his dick is burning….and whatever you do, don’t put this on the head. Yikes!

For those of you who are a little more daring… No dildo but curious to try? Here’s an option for you…

roundhairbrushNo, I’m not talking about the bristly part…what kind of freak do you think I am? LOL! The handle, however, could be utilized. When selecting a hairbrush for insertion purposes, there are a few thing you want to take into account. Will it be comfortable? This is why the rounded handles tend to better suit these needs. Also, how sanitary can I keep this item? This is why my personal tastes shy away from the ones with those squishy silicone sides or rubberized grips. I also tend to shy away from wood because things like splinters, etc pop into my head. If you choose to use this, remember, it’s important to select something where the bristles at the top of the brush aren’t uncomfortable in your hand. After each use, always remember to wash it with soap and water.

Multipurpose Brush/Toy

Multipurpose Brush/Toy

Now this one can be used for 2 things. One is what we just discussed above. The second? Well, if you’re willing to try erotic spankings, I recommend first using your partner’s hand. See how it works for you. If you want to try something a little more, this baby has a nice, flat surface on the back that makes for a decent paddle. Another item that can be used in this manner is a wooden spoon. Do not use the hard plastic or metal ones unless you know what you’re doing. Those things can be more painful than you think and there isn’t much give to them. The short handle on this one makes for better control and shorter swings, limiting the chance of hurting your partner. (Yes, some people even graduate to leather belts, but it’s not for everyone.)

Wooden Clothes Pin

Wooden Clothes Pin

For those of you curious about nipple clamps, here’s a potential alternative. Whatever you do, don’t try the plastic ones until you have an idea of where your pleasure/pain balance or threshold is. There is absolutely no give to a plastic one. Wooden ones, however, have a little give. Make sure your nipples are good and hard before you decide to pinch them between this device. Also, it helps blend the pain and pleasure the first time if you’re also being stimulated elsewhere. My personal recommendation is simultaneous stimulation to the clitoral area, which leads quite nicely into my next toy.

Personal Massager

Personal Massager

Curious about clitoral stimulators? Yes, they have little finger ones that you can buy in the condom aisle at your local grocery or drugstore these days, but if you’re shy even talking about personal toys, chances are you’re not ready to announce to your local grocery store that you masturbate (regardless of the fact that it’s perfectly normal). Here is an alternate option. Even Walmart and Target carries some variation of this bad boy. Again, remember the importance of cleaning when you’re done. (By the way, there are all sorts of use for KY Jelly, so hopefully you don’t feel shy about getting lubricant. If so, send your partner.)

For those of you wanting to play with some light bondage? Here’s what I’ll say…use scarves (no, we’re not talking the winter scarf variety, more the decorative types) as a blind fold. Other common household items commonly used for light bondage?

Pantyhose

Pantyhose

What can I say, ladies…if you’ve got a run in one, you might as well repurpose them! Use them to tie your partner up…or let them tie you.

My personal favorite

My personal favorite

If I’m going to be tied up, I like men’s ties. I find them sexy around a man’s neck…it stands to reason I’d find it equally sexy around his wrists…or mine if the mood takes me there. Here are a few warnings to consider with bondage, though. First, talk together and come up with a “safe word”. This will allow you to know when it’s not fun anymore and to stop. Also, if you are someone who struggles hard, don’t use silk or nylon items…they get tighter the more you struggle. This can do very bad things for your circulation and make them more difficult to remove. Having said that, have scissors or a knife handy in case this does happen so you can quickly cut them off. More importantly, pay attention to your partner’s body language so it doesn’t get to that point.

As you can tell, I take my fun seriously. I believe sexual fun and exploration with your partner is hugely important to the maintenance of any relationship. Communication is key. If you’re wanting to experiment, you don’t have to look very far to find new and exciting ways to spice up your lifestyle. You just have to open your eyes and look around! Now I’m sure there are a few household appliances that I forgot to mention. Were there any items on my list that surprised you? Have you tried any of these tricks? How did it go? If you have something to add, please do! If you have questions, feel free to ask.