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Hands up if you want a richer, fuller and more pleasure-filled life? Well, health and sexuality writer August McLaughlin has released a new book, titled Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment, that aims to help with exactly that. Tackling subjects like solo play, birth control, gender identity and sexuality and religion, McLaughlin encourages women to embrace their bodies and sexuality—all on their own terms. Here, seven of her best tips.

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In a Rut? Have an Affair with Your Partner

It’s easy to just go through the motions, but a sense of newness can really shake things up (in a good way), says McLaughlin. Try thinking of your partner as someone you’ve just started an affair with and want to seduce. “To put this idea into action, plan to meet at a public or private location besides your home. Take on different personas, and role-play as though you’re going on your first date, or meeting at a club or bar.” Steamy.

Experiment with Toys

“It’s common for people to experience anxiety around toys, wondering if they’ll replace a partner or if there’s something inherently wrong with you if you feel the need for one,” writes McLaughlin. But the answer in both cases is a resounding no. And while a vibrator is usually the first sex toy that comes to mind, there are so many more to explore including couple’s toys and kink accessories. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, go to a reputable store (like Pleasure Chest) and speak to one of the knowledgeable staff. Another tip? Go for body safe toys, i.e., ones made with materials considered safe for bodily use (look for “body safe” lingo on the packaging).

Couple holding hands on bed
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Don’t Forget the Lube

“Lube is spectacular. It minimizes friction, preventing potential discomfort and adds sleek, slippery fun to so many sexual activities. In some cases, it’s darn near necessary—such as during anal sex.” McLaughlin even dubs lube as the most underrated sex accessory of all. But different lubes come with their own pros and cons (coconut oil, for example, feels great and is easily available however can stain your sheets and clothing) so find one that works for you.

Try the Pancake

Time to switch up positions. “New experiences bring a sense of novelty, which stimulates the production of feel-good brain chemicals.” It can also help address specific issues you may have, such as aches in a certain area or wanting more stimulation in another. A few positions that she recommends include yab yum (a classic Tantra configuration for heightened intimacy) and the pancake (great for those with back pain). “The more you explore, the more you know.”

Put It on Your Calendar

It may not sound sexy but scheduling in sex can actually lead to more fulfilling sex lives. How so? Because “knowing sex is coming invites anticipation and imagination.” It also implies intentionality, which communicates value. And who doesn’t like to feel valued?

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Take Foreplay Outside of the Bedroom and Into Your Daily Life

In a chapter titled “Arousing Your Life,” McLaughlin posits that foreplay isn’t just what happens in the bedroom before intercourse. Instead, it’s anything that gets you ready for passion and intimacy including “self-care and individuality.” Her tips? Pursue your passions, keep a journal and play with yourself—both sexually and sensually (think: take a bubble bath, get a massage or read erotic stories). Get excited about your body and your life and bring that excitement with you into the bedroom (or wherever). 

Remind Yourself That You’re a Sexy, Sensual Being

Because you are (duh). But if you find this difficult, McLaughlin has a host of tips that could help like using affirmations, watching erotic films and connecting with sex-positive friends.

RELATED: 8 Secrets of Married Couples with Great Sex Lives

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