Kayla Lords is the creator of Masturbation Monday, a wildly popular meme that has made Monday the best day of the week! The taboo-conquering meme is a showcase for sexy stories to get you hot and bothered any day of the week! Kayla took time out of her schedule (Masturbation Monday is only one of a myriad of projects she is working on!) to tell us how she got started, about her commitment to community and about embracing our desires.

F. Leonora Solomon: What inspired you to start Masturbation Monday? Why was focusing on masturbation so important to you?

Kayla Lords: Masturbation is where I got my blogging start. At 32, I had never had a real orgasm, I'd never really masturbated, and a guy I liked a lot dumped me because I couldn't let myself relax when we had sex. (Not that I'm shedding over any tears over being dumped by him.) I'd blogged in the vanilla world about my divorce the year before and at the same time discovered sex blogs. I'd seen, first hand, the power of shared experiences and a shared story, and I knew that masturbation was so taboo that I would either be ignored or I'd find people who understood. (Thankfully, it was the latter, and not the former.)

For me, masturbation was the beginning of the end of my own self-created sexual repression. In my late teens and early 20s, I was a girl on fire when it came to sex. I loved sex ... until I didn't. Through masturbation, I found that part of myself again, but because I'd also broken through some of my own sexual insecurities (good girls don't touch themselves and all the BS we're taught at too young of an age), I felt freer and more alive. I was braver and willing to try new things. It helped that I'd ended a bad marriage and was discovering that I really wasn't a troll who should live under a bridge. I was and am a desirable, sexual woman. Without masturbation, I wouldn't have realized any of that.

Masturbation Monday came after I saw an image that used the phrase. When a Google search came up empty for it, I figured it was mine for the taking. I'd realized very early on in my sex blogging life that masturbation is a topic that pulls people in - either for the smut or the perceived taboo nature of the topic. Labeling my erotic pieces (either about masturbation or so hot they make you want to masturbate) with "Masturbation Monday" was something I did to gain readers. I never imagined it would be so big. Once I realized it had the potential for popularity, I knew I had to get other authors and sex bloggers in on the fun. Plenty of writers create excellent smut and (clearly) plenty of people are hungry for it. So a weekly meme was born. Full disclosure: I modeled my weekly meme on Molly Moore's work with Sinful Sunday and Marie Rebel's Wicked Wednesday. And I'm grateful they were there to mimic.

FLS: It must be hard picking the images for Masturbation Monday every week! Describe your process.

KL: It's probably my favorite thing of the entire month. Yes, I choose the prompts a month at a time, and have them ready to go on a schedule so no one has to miss out on a steamy image/gif or their opportunity to share their smut with the world.

Picking images is both simple and complex. My first taste of BDSM and kink and how it affected me was through the images I found on Tumblr. Once I found the courage to create my own account, I was hooked, reblogging dozens of images a day. I've slowed down now, but I'm always looking for something that turns me on.

This is how I pick the image prompt. It has to meet certain "criteria:"

Is someone touching themselves or another in a sensual way?

Does it make my mouth (and other parts of my body) water?

I try to alternate between men and women, gay and straight, and I'm always on the lookout for people of color, LGBTQ, and everything that falls under the realm of sexuality. I know it's out there, but I haven't found much of it yet. Tumblr's search feature isn't great.

FSL: You really foster the idea of community in all of your projects. Can you describe some of the other things that you are working on and why community is so important to you?

KL: Let me start with that last part. Community is important to me because none of us is alone. It's easy to believe that we're the only freaks alive, especially when you're at work or surrounded by a very vanilla family. We're not alone. We all have sex - although the flavors vary. We all have sexual thoughts - although what we do with them is completely different. I would not be where I am today as a blogger without the community I found before I even began my blog. They were so supportive of me in the beginning, giving me the confidence to continue and letting me know, through their own shared stories, that I wasn't alone.

That's all I ever want to do - remind people that they aren't alone. Not in discovering their sexuality in their 30s through masturbation (I know I'm not alone in that one). Not in kink and BDSM - a scary endeavor if you don't have anyone reminding you that you're completely normal even if you are turned on by things others would consider "abnormal." Community is everything.

We've already got closed-minded people who want sex to always be between a man and a woman who happen to be married to one another. I don't believe I have the power to change those particular minds. But I do have the ability to support others who are trying to find their own sexual truth in this world.

At the same time, I know what it means to be a struggling author practically begging for book sales. The other part of my community is the erotic author world. I see really great writers struggle with the marketing, struggle with blogging (ironic to me, since we're writers), and struggle with the competition. I want them to be part of my community so they can see we're not in competition with one another. We're in this together.

So...yeah, community is a big deal.

As for what I'm working on, well, I've always got ideas. I started a group on Google+ for kinksters who want to get fit and not have to hide their kinky side. That one I did for purely selfish reasons. I needed the motivation for myself and prefer to be in my kinky "Kayla Lords" space as much as possible. As for the future, who knows? I'm open to anything that comes my way that fits my vision of sexual positivity, kink and inclusion.

FLS: What are your plans for the future with Masturbation Monday?

KL: Well, I want to see how big it can grow. Right now, we're averaging 15-20 writers each week. I'd love to see that double (says the woman who reads EVERY post on Monday nights, yikes!). We also get a few hundred views a day except on Monday when it jumps to 750 - 1000. I'd love to see that double, too.

What I love is when someone who doesn't have a blog but always wanted to write uses their enjoyment of Masturbation Monday to start their blog or when someone who's new to writing joins in because they loved what they read. That's huge. I want to do that for more writers (bloggers or authors). I want to give them a place to try a story they might not have written otherwise or to share their personal story with a wider audience. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps!

I finally got my act together for Masturbation Month this year and worked out giveaways for each week. Next year? I don't know. Maybe bigger prizes, a giveaway a day, who knows? But more sex toys for people who want to get off is always a good thing in my book.

FLS: What is your favorite way to masturbate?

KL: Ha! I love this. Well, it depends on my mood.

If I really just want to get off so I can sleep or relax, I'll get out the Hitachi. Five minutes later, I'm completely drained and practically snoring.

If I want it to hurt real good, I'll bring out the Hitachi and play a little longer. (I loooooooove my Hitachi.)

When I need to reconnect with myself, I use my hand. It's how I began this whole journey and it's still one of the most intimate ways I know.

But as a submissive woman with a Dominant partner, my favorite way is when he's in charge and we do it in whatever way he wants. Thankfully, he's a creative man who loves to watch me orgasm, so I never have to wait long.

Thankfully, I receive toys from time to time to test out and, while nothing has completely replaced my beloved Hitachi or my hand, I've almost always got some new thing to try and have a little orgasmic fun with.

FSL: Anything else that you would like to add?

KL: I would love to tell the woman out there - the one who is terrified to touch herself even though she's found what turns her on - that you're not alone. Let go of the fear. Close your eyes, leap and just go for it. You never know what will happen simply by embracing your own sexuality.

I'd love to find the person who's terrified of their own desires, no matter how kinky or vanilla, and tell them that as long as it's legal and consensual, it's OK. And someone out in this great, big world shares those desires. Be brave.

I wish I could gather up all the new writers who think they're supposed to write this way or blog that way and find "success" (whatever that is) that what they really need to do is be true to themselves. Yes, you can write about masturbation and people will read it (too many writers think they're not "allowed" to write about it). You can write about kink. You can write about the craziest, wildest, wettest orgasm in the world and someone will read it and jack off to it.

As someone who loves to write smutty things and turn people on, that's the greatest reward - knowing my little story (whether real or fiction) made someone touch themselves in a sexual way.