Break the Rules Like ... August McLaughlin
Not all Wonder Women wear capes, and not all Unladylike role models need to sit in the C-suite to spark change. Each week, we're introducing y'all to rad women and nonbinary folks we admire. They'll offer up pointers on how we all can #breaktheruleslike they do and help them make the world a better place. If you have a role model to shout out, send hot tips to email@example.com.
1. Introduce yourself: Who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
Hello! I'm August McLaughlin, a health and sexuality writer, podcast host and creator of Girl Boner®. I was born and raised in Minnesota but now live in Los Angeles. I write, speak and interview folks about sexuality, with a focus on women's sexuality and pleasure.
2. When did you first realize this was the right path for you?
I realized I was a writer — not, "Oh, maybe I'll write something someday," but "I AM A WRITER!!!" — when I was working as an actress. I'd written a screenplay to keep myself busy and appear in during a slow season, and it struck me that writing was my true passion. I haven't turned back. By then, I was already pretty passionate about gender issues, body image and sexuality. So once I had a blog, launching Girl Boner there felt really natural. That was about seven years ago.
3. What’s unladylike about you and what you do?
I talk about boners a lot! And pleasure and sex, especially for people who identify as female, and learned that goodness and sex don't pair well for gals.
4. Which of your heroes or role models would you immortalize in bronze?
Maya Angelou, Malala Yousafzai, Virginia Johnson, Oprah ...
5. What was your feminist aha moment?
I was sitting in a college class between treatment sessions for an eating disorder. The professor prompted a discussion about sex, and I realized I'd never really talked about sex. That set me on a path of self-discovery, which allowed me to move past the illness and, I believe, helped save my life. It eventually led to all-things-Girl Boner.
6. What’s bringing you joy right now — or at least keeping you sane?
At this exact moment? She's staring at me.
These past weeks and months have been extremely intense, as I've moved toward the release of my first Girl Boner book (which just released, hooray!). And then there's the never ending political chaos. I look at my pit bull, Via, nearly every day and thank her for being my consistency. She keeps things real, keeps me grounded, and makes sure I take breaks to sit in the sun and play.
7. Aside from keys/wallet/phone, what do you never leave home without?
Sunglasses and a pen, preferably with blue, glide-y ink. *sigh*
8. How can unladies help you and/or your mission?
You can buy my book, Girl Boner: The Good Girl's Guide to Sexual Empowerment! And listen to my podcast, Girl Boner Radio. I know I'm biased, but I really believe that embracing our sexuality can better the world. We can also have a ton of fun in the process.
More from August + Girl Boner
Listen: Girl Boner Radio
More about getting comfy with sexuality
- Are you orgasming without even knowing it? (Cosmopolitan)
- I didn't start masturbating until I turned 30 — and it completely changed my life (Health)
- Survey of female sexual pleasure reveals what women really want (Forbes)
- Women's sexual health: Talking about your sexual needs (Mayo)
- The sex goddess blues: Overcoming sexual shame (Scarleteen)
- Sex positivity: Educate, empower, self-define! (Feminist Campus)