I am very proud to introduce you to August McLaughlin today. For those who don’t know August McLaughlin yet, please read her bio. She’s an extraordinary personality and I’m honored and grateful to know her.
August McLaughlin is an award-winning, nationally recognized health and sexuality writer, radio personality and host and creator of Girl Boner®. Her work appears in DAME Magazine, the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and more. Kirkus Reviews called her first novel, In Her Shadow, “an engaging story with an inventive structure and an intriguing focus on body-image issues.” Her latest book, Embraceable: Empowering Facts and True Stories About Women’s Sexuality (available December, 2015/January, 2016 on Amazon and iTunes), is a celebration of women’s sensuality. Each week on Girl Boner® Radio, she interviews relationship experts, celebs and more, exploring women’s lives and sexuality “like no one else.” Known for melding personal passion, artistry and activism, August uses her skills as a public speaker and journalist to inspire other women to embrace their bodies and selves, making way for fuller, more authentic lives.
For the planned interview I was able to choose the questions I’d like to ask. And I picked a few sexual myths circling. Would you help me finding the answers?
- First-time sexual intercourse for a woman ALWAYS hurts. I personally have never met a woman who actually enjoyed her first time without pain. How is reality?
There’s a common belief that the “first time” is extremely pleasurable or extremely painful for women—across the board. In reality, it usually falls somewhere in between. Unfortunately, so many of us have little clue as to how it all actually works (beyond the very basics), so some awkwardness is normal—as is some pain, especially if you aren’t well lubricated first. Emotional shame can also make physical intimacy painful, and does, for many women.
- It is heard that the males’ semen tastes different, depending on what the man eats or drinks. Is this really true?
It sure is! Foods and drinks can absolutely affect semen flavor—though most of the research is anecdotal. Fruits, vegetables and juices are believed to improve semen taste (and taste and scent of all genders), whereas a meat-rich diet and cigarettes have the opposite effect. Apparently vegetarians taste and smell better than meat eaters.
- It is generally said, men have wet dreams, is it true that women are excluded from fun like this?
Not at all! Girls and women experience wet dreams, too. (I wish we’d learned that in sex ed!) Ever since I wrote about what I call “sleep-gasms” on my blog and covered them on my show, I hear routinely from women who experience wet dreams. Whether we have them or not, it’s perfectly normal.
- Is watching porn truly a mainly male form of entertainment? Not one woman I know enjoys watching porn (or at least says so). What does reality tell us?
I know women who enjoy porn, and women who don’t. Women are just as “visual” as men (that we aren’t is another common myth), but watching mainstream porn is more likely to trigger a sense of shame in women for all sorts of reasons—cultural ideals being one of them.
Most mainstream porn is also geared toward a straight male audience, which makes it less appealing to many gals. Some features violence toward women, which is, in my opinion, an atrocity. (I’m not talking about kink/BDSM, but abuse; there’s a huge difference.)
Recent studies show that more and more women are enjoying porn, and that many women prefer lesbian porn. I think that’s because it’s less degrading and more focused on women’s pleasure. I really appreciate the feminist porn genre, which celebrates all shapes, sizes, ages and genders. It’s a relatively small, but mighty, genre I hope keeps growing!
I also love Cindy Gallop’s work, with Make Love, Not Porn. She educates folks on the differences between porn and real sex—understanding the differences is so important.
- Is the clitoris really the center of female sexual pleasure?
The clitoris has this reputation for good reason. It has some 7,000+ nerve endings—which is more than any other body part. Many women reach climax through clitoral stimulation, but we’re all different. We should all seek and explore our own bodies and what feels good.
- Is it true that a woman’s vagina and/or its associated parts can alter by having regular sexual intercourse with an exceptionally large penis?
Large penises can cause tearing and discomfort, but it’s usually not permanent. Lots of lubrication, foreplay and other types of sexual expression, such as oral, can help minimize these issues. Kait Scalisi, MPH wrote a great blog post on this topic: Is His Penis Too Big? Here Are Seven Ways to Deal With It.
- It is said that older people don’t have sex anymore. Some even say a woman after completing menopause does not get aroused anymore. Can this be true?
Hormonal shifts associated with menopause can cause decline in libido and related symptoms, such as vaginal dryness—but they’re all manageable. Recent studies show that women who value sex into their “golden years” can have increasingly pleasurable sexual experiences. I think some of this has to do with stronger confidence, experience and emotional growth. If a woman notices dramatic changes in her sex drive or sexual health, she should talk to a professional, such as a physician or sex therapist.
- We know, there’s one pill to increase a man’s erectile function. But that’s’ not the only pill on the market. Can a pill or exercise really enlarge a man’s penis?
There’s no pill known to increase a man’s penis size. Lifestyle steps can help ensure normal circulation and arousal, however, which are super important for sexual function. Regular exercise, an overall healthy diet, getting enough sleep, managing stress and not smoking can all help tremendously. I explored this article for DUREX®: The Truth About Penis Size.
To learn more about women’s sexuality, buy August’s new book!
Embraceable: Empowering Facts and True Stories About Women’s Sexuality
A provocative blend of memoir, anthology and inspiration, Embraceable is a celebration of women’s sexual empowerment. Learn how August McLaughlin, creator and host of Girl Boner®, found her way out of the sexual repression to which too many girls and women are prone. She then weaves research and inspiring facts around stories contributed by women who’ve cultivated sexual empowerment in their own lives—on topics ranging from asexuality, kink and burlesque dancing to religion, “slut”-shaming and surviving sexual assault. Learn what girls do (and don’t) learn in sex ed, the truth behind widespread damaging messages, the role body image plays in embracing our sexual selves and more.