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Girl Boner: The Good Girl's Guide to Sexual Empowerment

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  31 reviews
"What about girl boners?"

The innocent curiosity of eleven-year-old August McLaughlin set her on a path no one saw coming. She's spent much of her adult life committed to making sure these curiosities are broadly addressed or, better yet, prevented.

In a culture where female sexual empowerment is used to sell everything from sex toys to soap, most early sex ed bypasses ple
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Hardcover, First, 325 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Amberjack Publishing
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Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  81 ratings  ·  31 reviews


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Lucy Banks
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A frank, ultra-unabashed exploration into female sexuality - with plenty of pointers!

Okay, so I'll come clean. I'm one of 'those' girls. You know, the ones who giggle nervously through sex ed class, blush at the mere mention of any 'naughty' word, and basically should have been born in the Victorian era.

However, this is very at odds with my feminist outlook, and my deep-seated belief that women should fully own their sexuality and
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Stine Hopsdal
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*free copy received from netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

This was such a fun and interesting read!

I find that the trick to writing a good non-fiction book is the balance between being informative and being entertaining. Too often I read non-fiction books that are too heavy on the information without being interesting. In other words; boring. This book is not boring. At all!

Girl Boner is a book about getting to know your own body, and that basically everything is okay and normal. I wou
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Aimee
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book on female sexuality. It is open, accepting, and empowering. While this book is nonfiction on a somewhat bawdy subject that is often treated a bit irreverently, the author manages to manage the subject with the appropriate amount of humor, facts, respect, and social relevance to intrigue, entertain, and teach the reader.

Some of the basics covered:

• Human anatomy
• Dispelling myths
• Birth control basics
• Basics of arousal and desire
• Loving your body

Some of the more comple
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Amanda [Novel Addiction]
This was AWESOME. So well researched, and it was educational/academic while still being approachable. I especially loved her interviews with sex therapists of different religions to see how they see sexuality through the eyes of their religious views and values. Informative, entertaining, and highly recommended.

I'll also be checking out her companion workbook, and both are definitely going on my wish-list!
Kait
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite thing about this book is it feels like I'm chatting with a girlfriend over drinks! August blends personal stories, expert interviews, and top notch research to blow open our ideas of what's sexually normal and reduce sexual shame in the process. This book made me laugh, cringe, cry, and, yes, get a girl boner. Whether you've read ALL the sex books or it's your first, Girl Boner is a must-have for anyone looking to grow in their self-love, their sexual prowess, and to have more intima ...more
Sarah
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

What do you do when you're accused of only reading cruddy fiction books? Well first off you tell that person to mind their own business, and then you challenge yourself to read something outside your comfort zone, in this case a nonfiction book. I'm going to be cliche and say that this book completely took me by surprise, not the content itself, though it was wonderfully informative, but the writing is what really surprised me. I gen
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Jess Witkins
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a former community health educator who taught reproductive health in grade school through college classes, juvenile detention centers, and community events, I would LOVE to pass out August's book to everyone I came in contact with! It is incredibly well organized, easy to read, fun, educational and informative, and empowering. She accomplishes all of this with her affable and curious voice that you will recognize from her blog and podcast too.

As someone who worked in a reproductive health ce
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Beverly Diehl
4.5 stars. This book by the popular podcaster is mostly informational, with a small slice of autobiographical stories sprinkled in. The writing is chatty and fun, with chapters titled things like How to Slay at Solo Play (about masturbation) and The Big, Bodacious 'O.'

Disclaimer: I'm acquainted with the author via social media, and received a free copy of this work.

Girl Boner is a term the author uses for girls and women's sexual DESIRE - you know, that thing that too many people in Western cult
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Nicole Westen
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was super informative and factual. It was also incredibly inclusive in regards to identity and orientation. The one thing that made me a little sad is that while McLaughlin included so many interviews from so many different points of views, trans, homosexual, single, married, abuse survivors, sex workers, she didn't include anyone who wasn't neurotypical, hence 4 stars instead of 5. Women on the spectrum need a lot of factual information, which isn't always out there. Which is part of why I ...more
Jo
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
#GirlBoner #NetGalley

This is not a scientific book but it can be used for educational purposes for 101 Sex Ed for young adults. August collects information about different subjects like anatomy, conceptual meaning, birth controls methods and more. Also, she added a personal flavor by adding her personal experiences. She did an amazing work!
Sara
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Would recommend to any and all womxn, not just self-described "good girls." I appreciated the author's gender inclusivity, the scope of sexual wellness topics covered, and her personal anecdotes. This was a joy to read and really felt like having a heart-to-heart with funny, sincere friend over a glass of wine. Thanks for this, August.
Leonard
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a rather unusual book, but certainly one worthwhile reading. The author, at a young age, wonders why the messages given boys and girls, men and women, about sex differ. It initiated a concern which she has had for some time. Her book is about helping girls and women become sexually empowered. The subtitle calls it the "good girl's guide," but boys and men should read it too. I didn't read all of it. I read the first 8 chapters, then skipped 9-12 and started reading again at chapter 13 wh ...more
Heidi Mastrogiovanni
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Where was this fabulous book when I was in my 20s or 30s or 40s or 50s? Rhetorical question... I'm just VERY glad and grateful that it's here now! And women of a certain age, as I am, will know that I am bestowing the highest praise I can think of when I say that this fabulous book is the "Our Bodies, Ourselves" for the new millennium and beyond. August McLaughlin has created a wonderful gift for all of us. She has covered every topic and more... She has given women so many joyous thoughts on ho ...more
Mary Ellen
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever had a "am I normal? Is it just my body?" when it comes to wellness down below the belt, then this is the book for you. I think there are a few really important things about this book:

1. The statistics are mindblowing when it comes to sexual wellness and sexual education.
2. She not only talks the talk, but she also walks the walk. She has a lot of statistics to back up everything she is writing about, but she's also been personally involved in a few too. She has a few chapters ab
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BCR 88
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Girl Boner by August McLaughlin is a valuable resource because it speaks to the heart and mind. Sexual empowerment is a subject with no shortage of annotation and commentary, but this work is communicative on this matter because her voice is genuine, her quoted contributors are respected, and the book is well researched. McLaughlin's narrative makes us aware of important aspects of sexual empowerment. Yet, Girl Boner is an easy read. I would recommend anyone interested in this subject area, incl ...more
Soubhi
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminist, true-dat
I received a free copy from LibraryThing and the publisher for the Early Reviewer’s Program.

This book is fun to read, which isn’t a thing I often feel about non fiction. I love the way the author started each chapter with a true story to help the reader relate to the content, and the journal questions offered at the end of each chapter as well.

Girl Boner touches on sensitive subjects (pun intended) such as anatomy, discrimination, abuse, as well as empowering one’s such as how your body might
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RobinLeigh Morgan
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-own-books
I received a hardcover edition of this book from the author’s publisher through a giveaway they had on LibraryThing, and the following is my honest opinion.

Now Ladies, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word “boner?” Isn’t it the erection of a man’s normally limp penis? Erection is the involuntary indication that a guy has become totally aroused sexually and ready to insert his boner into woman’s clit [clitoris] for even more sexual gratification. Perhaps that’s wh
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Ylva
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I can find no other word to describe this book except for weird. Not because it was very feminist and what is called progressive, because I know about these theories. But the author seems to be obsessed with masturbation and sex. Masturbation was presented as a magical cure that (alongside therapy) helps with anxiety and other mental problems and also seems to be necessary for a healthy sex life. Almost every chapter contained a remark about how wonderful masturbation helps with the topic of the ...more
The Amusing Muse
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I met August McLaughlin in 2014 in San Jose, CA, at the 2014 BlogHer convention. What I can tell you is that August has written one of THE BEST sex-positive and educational books I've ever read. In college I was a student liaison for health services, giving sex ed talks at frats/sororities, handing out condoms, etc., and I learned all KINDS of new and important and topical information from her book.

I can also tell you that her book is written in a highly conversational tone, and being lucky enou
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Tiegan Ziegler
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
There was a lot of good material in this book. However, I did start to feel lost through chapters 11-14. While August did say that not all sections would apply to every person, these chapters felt a bit lecture-y to me and less about helping anyone who identifies with femininity to feel empowered. These chapters came across kind of text-book, to me, and felt more like readers are getting more definitions on shame, gender identity, shame (again, but more on the religion aspect, I guess?), and the ...more
Elizabeth
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Girl Boner: The Good Girl's Guide to Sexual Empowerment (Hardcover)
by August McLaughlin




Contents: Foreword / by Megan Fleming, PhD -- Introduction -- The orgasm that changed my life -- What about girl boners? -- Girl boner anatomy -- Arousal and desire -- The big, bodacious 'O' -- How to slay at solo play -- All about oral sex -- Loving your body, for real -- Stress, anxiety, and depression, oh my -- Birth control basics -- Safer sex and STIs -- Gender identity and sexual orientation -- Oh my go
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Sherman Bastarache
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Being male, I have read several books on female sexuality. August Mclaughlin has really nailed every topic in complete overall content. She writes in a friendly, understandable manner that most books lack. The writing, thus reading, was smooth, concise, and importantly, non-judgemental. This work is need for females to understand their own sexual issues. It is even more needed for males to understand female sexual issues. Every man interested in the sexual health and happiness of his female coun ...more
Bekki Fahrer
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
This was way better than I anticipated. It is a kind and thoughtful book. Not only is the author open about her personal trauma, she also make space for people to identify where they are and what they need. This book has journal questions, ideas to ponder, helps the reader have tools to handle many issues that they may face. This is not a shaming book, rather a tool for helping women own their needs, wants, and pleasure. It is nuanced and has practical hints for dealing with trauma, navigating t ...more
Amy Noe
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-copy
I thought this was a really comprehensive and thought provoking book on sexual empowerment that I wish I had had access to 10-15 years ago. It covered such a huge array of topics around sex, loving yourself, mental health, spirituality, body positivity, and more. While I didn't agree with every single thing the author had to say, I feel so much more knowledgeable and open about certain topics than I did before reading. I highly recommend for all women to read, but would be particularly useful to ...more
Bella
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I applaud such a book with a deliciously salacious title/concept. I have learnt a couple of techniques and enjoyed the book overall. Having said that, I skipped a few sections, not for any other reason than a mere lack of interest in the topics, and it doesn’t speak to the topics’ lack of appeal. I don’t find that the style in which the book is written encourages me to explore those chapters in spite of a flagged interest in them.
Katrina
Dec 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
I know, I'm in the minority of readers who didn't enjoy this book. I really wanted to join and admire McLaughlin's work, but I couldn't. Now I did find some passages funny and painfully honest, which was refreshing, but I couldn't relate to it. Ultimately it boils down to what you are looking for when it comes to women discussing human sexuality.
Harley
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a journey I went on with this book. August McLaughlin covers sexual empowerment through a wide array of lenses, including religious upbringing, pregnancy, disability, sex work, being transgender, and so on. Completing the journal exercises in it helped immensely with working through my own ingrained beliefs, too.
Sneha Nair
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
McLaughlin, writes as if she discovered sex, and she really wants to share the news. Her book is terrifically encouraging, if not exactly filled with surprises. Masturbation, good! Fat-shaming, bad! “Embracing our sexuality and capacity for pleasure can be as crucial to living a full, healthy life as eating a balanced diet, breathing well and getting sufficient nightly sleep.” True words, those.
Kate Ringer
This book was a recommendation. As someone who is already pretty sexually empowered, there was a lot in here that I had read or learned before. It was certainly written in an approachable way, and it would be something I'd recommend to young girls... Probably 13 and up, but going younger wouldn't hurt.
Desiree
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The chapter that I think I will take the most from is the one regarding non binary genders. It just helped my build more compassion. But every chapter was empowering with stories and knowledge.
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August McLaughlin is a nationally recognized health and sexuality writer, media personality and host and creator of Girl Boner® and Girl Boner Radio. Her articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, DAME Magazine, HuffPost and more.

Publishers Weekly called her book, Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment “equally fun, risqué, and informative” and “a welcome additi
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