Category Archives: Empowerment

I Do Not Regret Sharing My Story of Sexual Assault With My Children

Originally published by Thought Catalog at

When I was 8 years old a teenage boy who I didn’t know approached me while I was playing outside on the sidewalk in front of my home. He explained his bike was stuck in the mud in the river and he asked me if I’d help him get it out. I remember feeling hesitant, but at 8 years old not only did I feel coerced and intimidated by an older boy, but I simply thought you helped people who asked. Soon after our interaction I began a several block walk away from my home and into the depths of a cemetery where the river was located.

But there was no bike stuck in the mud, and it wasn’t long after I realized this fact that I was lying on my back on top of a grave site, sobbing uncontrollably, with my pants and underwear pulled down while he forcefully thrust his penis against my vagina. Any innocence I had prior was lost in that moment.

On April 1, 2015, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring April 2015 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Based on the official White House press release, one of the goals is to work together to prevent sexual assaults.

Most of the work is on us, starting within our own homes. How many parents talk candidly about sex with their children, first of all, and then second of all, address the scary reality of sexual assault?

I started talking to my children about sex as soon as they could participate in a conversation. Our conversations have been open, fluid, ongoing, casual and evolving. It’s naive to believe children aren’t exposed to sex from an early age. It’s in the media, and in all their everyday interactions, as well as we are all born sexual beings (how do you think they got here?).

Sexual discussions begin as simple as using the proper names for reproductive parts. But I also tell my children no one touches you or removes your clothing except for mom or dad, or a physician, and a physician is only allowed to do so if mom or dad are with you. I tell them some people hurt children. I tell them I don’t know why, but they do.

Often our conversations about sex start because they ask a question, and I answer honestly, allowing them to continue to ask questions so they direct the conversation. If we see a sex scene on TV, I remind them sex isn’t the same in real life, and ask them if they have any questions about anything they saw. We talk about how sex is healthy and good, and that someday they will enjoy it, and that I hope they do.

But while some of our discussions are about the healthy, good side of sex, when my son reached age 8, the same age I was when my rape occurred, and an age when he started to want more independence, to play outside by himself, I told him my rape story. I used gentler terms, but I painted a clear picture of the reality that someone can take him from his home. It happens all the time. It happened to me, his mom. My children know my rape story, and often nonchalantly recount it, saying, “A boy took you once, mom.” or “It’s good he let you go, mom, because we wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t.” They seem to understand the dangers some people pose to them; hopefully better than I did.

I have no regrets about sharing my story with my children. I think it makes them more aware of the protection provided in staying close to home or with their parents, and proceeding carefully with strangers. They seem much less accommodating to strangers than I was; being nice is how I became a victim.

I think telling them my story helped them to understand why I’m protective. Sexual assault is not always a “stranger danger” issue (in fact, it’s rarely a stranger). So I keep them a little closer, and they don’t spend the night with or have large amounts of time alone with very many people.

Years later I feel fortunate to be alive, to be able to share my story, and maybe even help someone. There are stories across the country of children who weren’t so lucky. In 2012 the Evansdale, Iowa cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey were abducted while riding their bikes. Their bodies were discovered in December of the same year. While I endured an assault and the resulting emotional scars which changed my life forever, I was still tucked in my own bed that very same night.

I don’t know if I can do enough talking with my children or take enough safeguards to protect my children from a sexual assault, or an abduction, or any serious crime. But I’m going to try.


When It Is and Is Not Okay to Sleep With a Guy on the First Date

I wrote an article titled I Just Said What Every Other Woman Is Thinking. Thought Catalog published it. Negative comments ensued. Not only against me/my article, with comments about sleeping with him too soon (even though the article makes no mention of sleeping with the dude), but also against another woman who commented about first date sex, calling her “the whore who sleeps with all the guys on the first date.”

These are some of the other comments that were made in relation to first date sex:

“And maybe don’t give it up on the first date. (So sad and whorey) Get some self esteem, girl.”

“From my own perspective, if I go out with you and you sleep with me on the first night, I won’t stop it; however this will be a huge red flag – basically tells me you have little self control, and if you’d sleep with me this easy, then there have been others who it was just as easy for, and will be in the future. We might still talk, but in that moment it’s already been decided that you are not girlfriend or wife material; men like a CHALLENGE and dropping your panties as soon as you get wet basically lets us know there’s nothing to work for here, and we’d be better off investing time and energy elsewhere.”

“Marrying someone who has sex impulsively is not a great strategy either.”

“From a guys perspective, if you have sex with him that easily, you’ve had sex with lots of other guys that easily. So that is a big red flag you lack judgement and morals. Lots of guys will sleep with you, but few will stick around longterm. Just the way it is.”

Here’s the article I wrote in response to address the issue of whether men and women can or should sleep together on the first date.

Originally published by Thought Catalog at

Can OR should a woman sleep with a man on the first date? Will it affect the development of a committed relationship?

James Michael Sama is a fairly well-known dating and relationship blogger these days whose work regularly appears on sites like The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Thought Catalog. He says, “I think if you’ve got a true connection with someone – there is really no reason to wait.”

Yet Patti Stranger (aka the Millionaire Matchmaker), another well known relationship expert, lists the no-sex rule in her dating commandments, saying there should be “no sex before monogamy.”

Sex can complicate a relationship, particularly when each participant is looking for drastically different things (i.e. one wants a hookup, the other wants a relationship). The FWB concept is a trendy phenomenon in our culture, but how well does it work for most people? It usually meets a line where it either has to stop or move forward into a relationship. Sometimes sex brings out a natural intimacy the two people aren’t prepared for, and they don’t really know what to do with it. Feelings are hurt, and friendships dissolve.

From personal experience I know turning down sex when proposed in a friendship relationship MAY offer some benefits. I say “may” because I’ll never know what would have happened had we made the opposite choice.

One of my closest friends is a married male. When our friendship was just forming, his wife and him were experimenting with an open relationship. He asked me if I’d be open to having a sexual relationship with him. I turned him down for various reasons, one of the top reasons was my fear of how it could affect our friendship.

Turns out I may have made the right choice. About a year later, he told me he would never sleep with me now because he knows it would ruin the friendship we have, and he’s glad we never did. We now own a business together and have a solid close friendship.

Our sleeping together may have changed the course of our relationship.

Several psychologists chimed in on a Medical Daily article about first date sex. Dr. Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist, agrees first date sex definitely influences the development of a long-term relationship. She says, “It’s because strong healthy long-lasting relationships are built on good communication, ethics, mutual value system, character, and shared interests. Without taking the required necessary time to get to know the other person, this relationship becomes foundationally built on sex instead of the other important values. Shared values don’t go up and down. They are ever-present constant.”

Our modern, what seems to be sexually liberal, society still harshly judges women who have sex quickly, as made clear from the comments made in response to my initial article. In the Medical Daily article, Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, says, “If a woman agrees to have sex on the first date because she wants to, her partner may make unfair attributions about her (even after asking for sex) that she is not relationship material and may be of suboptimal moral character,”

Studies present a mixed bag of truth, but there is at least one study which points to the fact having sex early on in the relationship negatively affects the relationship. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Sex Research surveyed approximately 11,000 unmarried people in steady relationships. The study seemed to find that the people who had sex early on in the relationship had lower levels of relationship satisfaction, communication and stability compared with those couples who waited longer to have sex. Is that an accurate representation of people who fornicate earlier vs those who wait?

All of this leads to some mixed messages for both men and women. One of the problems may be we don’t usually know what we want. We may be open to a relationship, but not actively seeking one out. We may be opposed to a relationship, but realize we really want one when we meet someone. This is where it gets particularly difficult to determine if having sex will affect a developing relationship.

The consensus may be if you are looking for a relationship, it can help to build the relationship if you wait. But men and women are equally harming the formation of a relationship, if that’s the case; men aren’t off the hook here.

I Just Said What Every Other Woman Is Thinking

Originally published by Thought Catalog at

I had a great date with a man who is handsome, charming, educated, sensual and a gentleman. We drank wine and ate wonderful, expensive food. The date ended with a passionate kiss…and more.

We continued to talk after our date (via text), and I felt excited about seeing him again. I desired to know him better.

Before meeting in person (we’d connected over Tinder) we talked every day, and he mentioned different dates he’d like to take me on…to the movies, restaurants, etc. He seemed anxious and excited to meet me. He attempted scheduling one date that was canceled after he suffered a knee injury during a soccer game. But we quickly agreed to meet for our date another day, just a few days later. He was making every effort to see me, and I too was interested in meeting him.

After the date, while we continued to talk, his texts quickly became more infrequent. While I proposed two different times I could be available to see him again, he didn’t make an effort to commit to either date. In fact, he never even hinted at a desire to want to see me again.

I’ve been on dates in which men seemed excited to be out with me (either by verbalizing it or even just in how they fondly looked at me), so much so that they were planning our next date practically the minute our date ended. I’ve been on dates that were more lukewarm. Maybe the actual date seemed to go fine, but afterwards I hardly heard from the man again. This is that kind of date. I thought the date went great. And I think this man would be willing to go out with me again. Once he was bored, or desired some companionship for a night, he’d probably ask me out again, but he wasn’t excited about me.

His lack of communication, and his unwillingness to at least say “I want to see you again” were all the proof I needed. In this dating world, I don’t want lukewarm.

I sent him a text and told him we want different things. I want to get to know someone. I won’t contact him any longer.

He shot back with what seemed an irritated response explaining he was in the middle of a party and he didn’t have time for this. He said he’d been working long hours, and he’d been busy. He probably was busy. We’re all busy. But when you are excited about dating someone, you make time. I’m sure when he received my message he felt pressured, and as though it was too soon for me to be making such claims. We’d just met each other. And he is right. But if he were to take a serious look at his interest in me, I think even he’d have to agree “he’s just not that into me.”

I shared this story with a close friend who is also dating. She shared she too has a similar situation with someone who seems lukewarm about her. When I told her what I told my date, she said, “You said everything I’m thinking, but that I’m too afraid to say.” She said wouldn’t it be easier just to never respond to him again if he does text me.

Every other woman thinks the very same things I was, but they don’t want to say it. They’re worried they’ll seem crazy if they express their emotions. They also don’t want to say what they are thinking because they want to hold on to the hope that maybe the guy will come around. Or they make excuses for why he doesn’t seem interested at the time….he’s busy, he’s sick, etc. They don’t want to close the door, just in case.

But haven’t you ever been told when one door closes, another opens?

In this age of Tinder and other online dating applications, we seem to spread ourselves thin, talking to too many people at one time, and not focusing on getting to know just one, or even just a few. When you think back to some of your earlier relationships, the kind you had in school, you spent every day with those people, and those relationships were nurtured and grew because you did talk everyday and even saw each other everyday. We struggle to create the same types of relationships as adults, but we have find ways to make it happen.

We all seem to want those lukewarm people hanging around, just to fill the time or have someone to call if we get lonely. Someone to hook up with, or go out on a date with. But are you wasting your time by putting energy into someone who is never going to work out to be anything but a shallow, casual relationship? It seems your time and energy would be better spent on doing things for yourself, or exploring new ways which allow you to grow, or finding new people to date who may actually be interested in you.

After I told him what I was feeling it was though a weight had been lifted off of me. I was free to focus on somebody else who might be more excited to get to know me. I don’t want to wait around, and hope he might eventually become more interested. I don’t want to hope I might hear from him again, or he might ask me out again.

If a man is excited about getting to know you, you will know. If you are questioning their interest, they just aren’t that into you.

Why Calling Mo’Ne Davis a Slut Is and Isn’t an Equality Issue

Originally published by Thought Catalog at

Earlier this week Joey Casselberry, a Bloomsburg University baseball player, faced some heat when he publicly (via Twitter) called Mo’Ne Davis, a 13-year-old Little League player, a slut. Apparently what inspired his Twitter tirade was the fact Disney is making a movie about the remarkable young, female Little League player.

Wait! What? A slut? She’s 13 for god’s sake, is what most people are saying.

Women’s rights advocates are screaming, “You would never use such a term for a man,” and “No female should be called a slut.”

On the side of the equality war, we’re trying to fight against shaming women for their sexuality, and slut should be a word banned from our vocabulary. This makes it an equality issue because clearly he wouldn’t use such a term towards a male player, and if he did it would likely be a term of endearment because men are often praised for being sluts.

So yes, it’s a hit towards equality in some ways.

But what it really boils down is a humanistic issue. A bad decision on his part. We should all support empowering women, but it really isn’t about what he called her. It’s that he called another human being any word. Male or female. My guess is this guy doesn’t respect women highly because he used such a term, and I’m glad he received the backlash he did because I’m sure it was a humiliating experience to the young girl. At her young age she shouldn’t be dealing with such bullying. At his core I’m also sure this guy has many redeeming qualities (hopefully) and I hope this is a harsh lesson he’ll use to encourage some personal growth. Maybe it will not only make him rethink how he talks about another human being (especially publicly), but maybe he will also reconsider how he talks about women in general.

Sidenote: Shortly after the incident, and after Casselberry was kicked off his team because of the offensive tweet, Davis showed just what a remarkable young lady she is by asking the Bloomsburg University baseball team to consider re-instating Casselberry, saying, “Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone deserves a second chance. I know right now he’s really hurt, and I know how hard he’s worked just to get to where he is right now.” Classy move on her part, and hopefully everyone will go out and support her Disney movie when it comes out. This may just be the publicity she needs (and deserves)!


Thank You Patricia Arquette! & #AskHerMore

In case you missed the 2015 Oscars (as I did), you missed out on a small score for women. HuffPost claims women only made up 19% of all non-acting nominees and 94% of Academy voters are white, while 77% are male. OUCH!

BUT Patricia Arquette stole the night (as I’m told, and as evidenced by YouTube)!

Here’s her acceptance speech when she won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Boyhood,”: “To every woman who ever gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation: We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America!”

WOW! Thank you Patricia Arquette!

It takes a strong, brave women to speak out for an entire gender in a moment when most (and understandably so) would have spent more time thanking God, and their mom, and their neighbor, and their dog, and……

But, hell no, Patricia stood up strong and basically said, “This win is for all women” and, “Let’s praise all women, and show them praise by treating them with equality.”  It was really cool to see Jennifer Lopez and Meryl Streep in the audience cheering her on. There’s a good example of women uniting!

Reese Witherspoon also deserves great recognition for encouraging reporters to #AskHerMore. The #AskHerMore campaign was originally created in February 2014 to bring acceptance to the reality that reporters at the Oscars focus more on a woman’s appearance than her achievements. So how cool was it for Reese to continue the campaign by talking about #AskHerMore on Instagram, including some questions she’d love if one of the reporters would ask her. For example: What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken that you feel has paid off?” or “What accomplishment are you most proud of?”

Check out the video of Patricia! Gives me goosebumps every time I watch it!


Photo credit, Ingrid Richter

Why I’m Skipping Seeing Fifty Shades of Grey

As hordes of people flock to see Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters, I’ll be skipping it.

I haven’t read the books either nor do I plan to.

As a woman who writes about encouraging healthy sexuality and wants to make the discussion more mainstream, you might be surprised. You might think I’d celebrate the introduction of more sexuality into the mainstream media and marketplaces. Hell, Fifty Shades themed toys are now sold at Target!

Fifty Shades is definitely opening up the conversation about sex and I do applaud it for that. It is making some of the discussions about sex more socially acceptable. That’s awesome!

But otherwise it’s a horrible representation of real world sex. So unfortunately is  most porn. What is also unfortunate is the amount of people, particularly men, who receive sex education in the form of porn. Real world sex is messy, fun, healthy and wonderful, but there is still a great deal of shame and little discussion around healthy, real sex. The choices are porn or nothing for most.

As with a lot of porn you’ll find on the Internet, Fifty Shades is abusive. Today’s porn focuses on male pleasure primarily, domination of women and horribly demeaning, abusive acts. Cum on her face. Choke her. Stuff multiple dicks or objects into all of her orifices. Most women don’t enjoy that.



Photo credit, Mike Mozart

Why Do Many of My “Squirting” Book Sales Come From the UK?

The first sale of my book, Squirting: It’s Easier Than You Think, came from the UK, and subsequently every few days I see sales trickle in from the UK. It is my second largest buyer, the US being the first. The other sales coming from Canada and Brazil.

I’m located in the US so it would make sense my book sales would be concentrated there. But I’ve done no marketing in the UK (that I’m mindfully aware of at least). Yet a large concentration of my book sales have come from the UK.

Squirting was banned from the UK in December 2014. Interestingly enough, the same month my book was published.

OK, so squirting itself wasn’t banned from the UK, but it’s depiction in porn was. UK residents can still squirt in the privacy of their own homes, but they can’t enjoy pornography depicting such a heinous sexual act (notice the sarcasm).

Maybe my sales are UK-based because if you take something away, you make them want it more?

Banning squirting from porn makes no sense to me, as well as to anyone I’ve seen comment or write articles about the ban. Banning bestiality porn makes sense. Banning teenage/child porn makes sense. Even banning BDSM makes sense to me…. yes, every 50 Shades lover is going to hate me, hell BDSM lovers will hate me too, for that matter. Removing abusive, illegal sex from porn makes sense because abusive porn can encourage abusive sex. But squirting is a fluid which is normal, and naturally comes out of a woman’s body. If that’s the case, porn showing semen coming out of a dick should be banned too.

On another note, don’t the ladies in the picture above look content and happy? That’s how many women feel after squirting. Let’s not take the enjoyment of that away from them by banning or labeling squirting as shameful.


Photo credit, Ted Van Pelt

Why I’m Having Less Sex Than Ever After Writing a Sexuality Book

You’d think a “professional squirter” would have lots of sex. And yes, I was given that title! From the lovely, funny folks at the Peter Pinho Radio Network (PPRN) when they interviewed me about my book, Squirting: It’s Easier Than You Think. Although I will admit I don’t have any plans to allow myself to be pigeonholed into such a title. My writing is about so much more, and you’ll see that in the months to come as I release more of my writing, and more of my books.

But I digress…

Yea I could have sex if I wanted. I could easily score a Tinder date or bring someone home from a bar. But sex is much more complex than we often admit.

I CRAVE intimacy.

I met someone recently who gave me a taste of intimacy. Someone who I connected with, someone who gave me the feeling of probably the closest thing I’ve experienced to “love at first sight.” I’m generally pessimistic about love, but I have to admit, this person felt like home to me. Our interactions were loving and kind and….intimate. Exactly what I’ve been missing out on.

It made me see how unfulfilling all my other interactions with men had been for some time.

I’ve been fortunate in the dating world. I’ve attracted a wide range of physically attractive men who are  fun and doing extraordinary things in their lives.

I tend to seek out the unique and I’ve had no problem finding it.

I’ve dated rock stars, artists, and most recently I went through a spurt of dating only athletes and personal trainers.

The rock stars were fun. Seeing them on stage gives them extra sex appeal, especially knowing every woman wants them, yet most of them can’t have them.

Artists are soulful, passionate. They feed a piece of your intimacy needs, but yet if the full connection isn’t there something is lacking.

As an artist myself, I have nothing in common with the athletes. I don’t even really like sports. Yet physically they are Grade A top choice meat….ok that’s more of a joke from an Adam Sandler movie than a serious commentary, but still they look yummy!

I want to find “home.” Dating is fun and exhilarating, as well as exhausting. I can’t deny I’ve enjoyed it, and still probably will at times (especially if I go through a LONG dry spell). Until, that is, I find the right one.

Human beings are hardwired to desire intimate relationships. We want to share knowledge, concern, interdependence, mutuality, trust and commitment with another human being. Relationships affect our sense of well-being, helping us to feel connected and to boost our feelings of self-worth.

I would give up all the dating in a second for the boring, mundane of just having someone to love, care for, grow old with. What is life without someone beside you? Someone to weather the hard times with? Even just someone to carry you to bed when you get a little too drunk (again a reference to an Adam Sandler movie..sorry).

I want THAT!

What do you crave? Tell me. ~Raine

Photo credit, Ina Centaur

Want to Sleep With (or Date) An Older Woman? Here’s How!

I wrote this article awhile ago for Elite Daily because, yes, I do primarily date younger men. At the butt of my friends’ jokes at times, it’s hard to deny what I am attracted to. I live a young lifestyle, and connect with younger men, as well as find them visually appealing. Yet, I find few of those men make it past the first date.

I’m constantly surprised by the amount of men who seem to prefer to date an older woman. I have an unlimited supply in my dating pool.

But I’m worried their interest in an older woman may only be a novelty?

Few of them have figured out how to treat an older woman, and most encounters between a younger man and an older woman are unlikely to turn into a committed relationship.

If you are one of those younger men interested in pursuing a relationship, or even a casual encounter, with an older woman, I offer you this advice in my Elite Daily article The 5 Ways To Ensure An Older Woman Will Want To Sleep With You. ~Raine

Photo credit, Eleonora Pollina

#LikeAGirl & Despising Women

Originally published by Thought Catalog at

I’ve despised other women. Hated them. Been jealous of them. I’ve wanted them (and a few times have even warned them) to stay away from my boyfriends, my husband, or any romantic interest. I’ve been suspicious of their actions, distrustful of them in general. I’ve felt disrespect for them and I’ve thought less of them than their male counterparts.

I have female friends (and always have), but I have always preferred male attention over female. I was never the girl with a large group of female friends. Many of my female friendships occurred because the female pursued a friendship with me, and I suppose because humans need companionship, eventually I allowed them in, but not without a level of distrust always present, at least initially. I have female friends who I’ve been friends with for many years who I do trust now. That trust has been built over time, and to me they are different than the average female. I rarely meet a female and really make much attempt to be friends with them.

THIS phenomenon, unfortunately, is not all that uncommon. For whatever reason, women often feel threatened and jealous of other women. We love each other, yet we hate each other. We forge less-than-genuine friendships with each other. We automatically make negative assumptions about other women, and see them as rivals. We are competitive and catty. Often we gossip about each other. We hate pretty women just because they are pretty. We hate women who are smart, confident and successful, just because they are. Yet men don’t react to other men this way, instead forming “bromances” with each other. It’s not uncommon to hear a woman (myself included) say she can’t relate to other women and she gets along better with men. When a woman says this she is essentially saying being a girl is bad, while being a guy is good. When men insult other men, they may say “stop being a pussy or a bitch” or “get some balls.” We call each other sluts and whores. Why wouldn’t women prefer to be men when both women and men seem to agree there is something wrong with being a girl?

My feelings about women, and female relationships didn’t start to change drastically until just recently when I wrote Squirting: It’s Easier Than You Think. I wrote the book for women. If you only read the title, and have not actually read the book, you probably don’t understand the book is about nurturing women and empowering women. While the change in how I treat myself as well as others has been gradually changing, as I started writing the sexuality book, I felt a intense desire to help women. My next book, which should be completed soon, is about my struggles in leaving an abusive relationship. AGAIN, I wrote it for women. I want to help women and empower them.

When I saw the #LikeAGirl commercial last night, it was a lightbulb moment. Watching the commercial, and thinking about the way we view females made me realize my past disdain towards women was because I hated myself. I AM a woman. If I hate woman, it’s hate directed towards myself. I’ve seen such a stark transformation in myself over the last few years as I’ve become more empowered, more confident, stronger. My self-love has grown. With self-love, my love for others has grown, and I’m starting to see myself react to others with love and understanding, and to stop condemning.

The hate towards women, the disrespect towards women has to stop. We’ve come so far as a society with acceptance. Why are we still treating women as the lesser sex? How can we ever expect men to respect women if we don’t even respect each other? There’s a strange thought among women that if a woman is smarter, prettier or more successful, she must have a great, almost perfect, life. But in reality she experiences heartbreak, depression, feelings of low self-worth and all the other struggles everyone else does. It’s time as women to start opening our eyes and hearts to each other. ~Raine