August McLaughlin Talks Sex and Sexuality in Girl Boner 

"It's not trendy. People are just beginning to live out loud."

August McLaughlin

Harrison Berry

August McLaughlin

During her Q&A at Rediscovered Books on Sept. 15, sex writer August McLaughlin fielded a question about the increasing visibility of LGBTQ people.

"It's not trendy," she said. "People are just beginning to live out loud."

"Living out loud" could be McLaughlin's mantra. After a bout with anorexia that nearly killed her, McLaughlin began researching sexuality, which figured prominently in her healing process. Educating on and discussing sexuality is now her mission. Today, she's one of the foremost communicators on the topic. She runs the podcast Girl Boner Radio, pens a blog and writes books.

Her most recent is Girl Boner: A Good Girl's Guide to Sexual Empowerment (Amberjack Publishing, 2018), 353 pages of straight talk about the biology, culture and psychology of sexuality. Conversations about the act itself, mental health, sexually transmitted infections and LGBTQ issues are contained therein, written about in a friendly and encouraging tone. McLaughlin designed it to undercut a culture of shame that she said hurts everyone.

"I think female sexual empowerment benefits all genders," she said. "When we shroud women's sexuality in shame, it causes a lot of devastation ... and if nobody has an understanding to communicate, people are terrified of talking about it."

Women's sexuality may be on the book's cover, but it's a keyhole issue McLaughlin uses to declaw a whole host of sometimes-thorny contemporary issues. She peppers her writing with phrases like "people with uteruses," interviews transgender people and delves into polyamory. She also dedicates a chapter to extensive discussion of LGBTQ concepts, definitions of terms and anaysis.

McLaughlin never forgets sexuality is a lived experience, and writes with an eye to people with STIs, ageing people and folks wondering why their own orgasms are so elusive. While a lot of topics were left on the editing room floor, McLaughlin wrote the book to be a trusted friend to all comers.

"If I want people to learn this information, and people didn't learn [about sexuality] much growing up, I have to really be that big sister, friend, person." she said.

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