Kourtney began her career as a sex writer at California State University, Chico. She revived the defunct sex column for the award-winning weekly student newspaper, The Orion, and during that time was named one of the Top-40 College Columnists in America by Elle magazine’s advice guru, E. Jean Carroll. She spent the next three years in NYC working for Seventeen and TWIST magazines, where she dished PG-rated dating advice to tweens and teens. Now Jason works as a senior writer for Life2PointOh.com and also contributes sex and relationship advice to MensHealth.com. She lives in Sacramento, California.
Before we get into our interview with Kourtney, let's take a quick look at The Naughty Bucket List:
Are you ready for the most erotic and sensual adventure of your life? With The Naughty Bucket List as your trusty guide, you’ll be ready for the ultimate carnal challenge—conquering this list of 369 sexual suggestions to break you from your normal routine. From mild to wild, these naughty and imaginative ideas will encourage you to experience the thrill of something, someplace, or even someone new. Turn to any page and become instantly inspired to embrace life, get more intimate with your partner, and sample endless possibilities for sexual pleasure. “We all lead insanely busy lives these days, making us more prone to getting stuck in a sex rut,” says author Kourtney Jason. “But it’s just as easy to pull yourself out of that rut as it is to fall in it.” The Naughty Bucket List is your ultimate dirty to-do list. It will satisfy desires you didn’t even know you had and leave you with lifelong memories and stories of thrilling sexual escapades. There is no good excuse for boring sex.
And now, without further ado, let's sit down for a chat with the lovely Kourtney Jason!
♥ For those who may be new to your writing, and who haven't yet checked out The Naughty Bucket List, please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Kourtney Jason, I’m 25 and I just published my first book “The Naughty Bucket List.” As a typical 20-something, I do adore Carrie Bradshaw (and her creator Candace Bushnell), and while I absolutely love the comparisons, I don’t think I’ve ever said, “I want to be the modern day Carrie Bradshaw.” I would love to have a column in a newspaper, but I’m happy being Kourtney Jason and seeing what I can do with my career. This career path was more of a path that I stumbled into, and once I saw it was in front of me, I continued to follow it. New opportunities presented themselves, but it was usually after another door had already closed.
In 2007, I revived the defunct sex column for my university’s student newspaper, and from that, I got to meet Dr. Drew Pinsky at a conference for student journalists and I was featured on the personal website of E. Jean Carroll, the long-time advice columnist for Elle magazine. She’s really the person I credit the most with jumpstarting this career path for me, whether she knows it or not. She included me as one of the top 40 college columnists in the country and that’s really what gave me the confidence to really showcase the unique writing voice I have.
As a writer, I know publishing a book is quite an accomplishment, and it was something I hoped I would do at some point in my life, I just never expected it to happen so early. So I guess my new goal has to be publishing more books in the future.
♥ The journey from 'aspiring' to 'accomplished' can be a long one, but never quite as odd as when you're working your way through journalism. What originally possessed you to write a weekly sex advice column, and how has that early experience influenced your career?
It’s funny you mention the trials and tribulations of the journalism lifestyle. I have been told “No” more times than I can count. And while I hate to give those people credit, it gave me strength and motivation to push harder and make my dreams a reality. Doors close and that’s a bummer, but you don’t want to miss the other doors that are opening. And that’s how much of my career has been. Ups and downs, go figure. Somethings don’t turn out the way I thought I wanted, but if I keep a positive outlook, something better has always come along soon after.
When I decided to bring the sex column back to the student newspaper The Orion, it was partly due to the fact that I wasn’t selected as the managing editor that semester (which was my last semester before graduating). I was pretty bummed, but I also knew I wouldn’t be happy if I chose to not accept a position of staff because I didn’t get what I want. Now I know if I had been selected for that position, I wouldn’t be where I am now. And I couldn’t be more thankful for that. I knew it was important to keep writing during my last semester so I pitched the sex column idea to the student who was selected as managing editor.
She OK’d it, and so for 15 weeks, my column was the talk of the campus. And then getting so much national recognition helped me realize this was the path of writing that was right for me. I still have no idea how E. Jean Carroll found me or my column, but I’m glad it came up in whatever Google search she did. At the time, it was something that really helped me stand out among my competition for internships and jobs. It was quite the resume booster!
♥ After your 'sexual' experiences at The Orion, you moved on to more mainstream work with the likes of Seventeen Magazine and TWIST magazine. What was it that brought you back to the sexy side of things, and how long did you have the idea for The Naughty Bucket List before you decided to tackle it?
I have always had an affinity for the experiences teenaged girls go through. I have inherited my mother’s magazine addiction, and as a teenager, I subscribed to 7 magazines. All of which helped me deal with my teen girl drama. However, Seventeen is the only one of those seven still in print. All the others have folded, unfortunately. So since I knew I wanted to write for a magazine, I figured I should start with teen magazines since those years and experiences were still semi-fresh in my mind. I felt I could still relate to the rollercoaster of emotions where everything just seems like the end of the world. I pulled from my own experiences to help me brainstorm story ideas. Plus, I have a celebrity obsession, and having the chance to meet Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers as a 20-something woman certainly fulfilled the dreams of 10-year-old Kourtney wanting to meet Jonathon Taylor Thomas.
So again, it was a door closing that brought me back to writing about the sexier topics. I lost my job at TWIST after more than two years there, and then just a few weeks later I was signing a book deal. Kelly Reed, an editor I had worked under at The Orion, had gone into book publishing, and her job at Ulysses Press is to acquire authors for the books they want to publish. She knew I had lost my job, so I credit her for giving me something to focus on as I dealt with my “quarter-life crisis.” Since I had already had a small taste of success with my sex column, she knew that could help when she pitched me as an author to her bosses. They requested some writing samples, so we went back and forth for about a week or two going over the different ways I could write the book. Once we figured out the direction and tone of voice, they offered me a book deal! I can still perfectly remember getting the call from Kelly that she was mailing me a contract to sign.
♥ When you began writing the book, what was your primary goal, and did that change at all by the time you were done?
At first, I was just brainstorming anything and everything, but I would second guess my ideas. That doesn’t make the writing process very easy. With the guidance of my editor, he told me not to edit myself and to write down whatever I thought of and then we could edit it later. That really helped me open the floodgates and just let the ideas pour into Microsoft Word. I started the process with just coming up the ideas, and then once I had 450+ ideas, I started writing them out as to why you should do this. That’s when I discovered the encouraging tone of the book. Sure, some of the dares in the book are a tad impractical, but so many of them are there to be inspiring and encouraging.
♥ I have to ask, of the 369 Sexy Dares in your book, how many have you accomplished?
Surprisingly not many, but I can’t give you a specific number because I haven’t even counted. I know people are going to assume I’ve done more of the dares than I have, but that comes with the territory of writing about a topic many people can’t even talk about.
♥ Do you have a favourite dare that you haven't quite gotten to yet?
I think the two dares I like the most are Dirty Word Scrabble (because I know I’d win) and Movie Sex Scene. I’m not sure what movie sex scene I’d pick to reenact, but I will say I saw Titanic an embarrassing number of times when it was in the theaters, and if you were to reenact the car sex scene between Leo and Kate where she leaves her hand print on the foggy window, you could probably cross off quite a few dares at once (on a boat, in a car, in the ocean, etc.). It’s certainly a way to multitask!
♥ Is there one particular dare that makes you blush, or that you can't quite believe you ever put into print?
I don’t think so, because I like to think of it as there is a dare in the book for everyone, whether you’re more conservative and shy or whether you’re willing to try anything. Some dares are more outlandish than others, but even those that are nearly impossible and could have you possibly breaking the law are still going to make you laugh. I guarantee you will think about and consider that idea for at least a second!
♥ What is the strangest or most surprising reaction to your work that you've ever encountered from the public?
I’ve heard from 70 year old women who have asked “Is it too late for me to get started on The Naughty Bucket List?” And I say “Absolutely not!” I admire these women looking to keep the spice alive in their relationship.
♥ What's the reaction been from your family and friends? Do you have the kind of relationship where they fully expected something like The Naughty Bucket List to come from your pen, or was it a complete shock?
I’ve gotten support from the people who matter the most to me. My mom loves it and my step-dad has been extremely supportive as well, though he has joked that I should have used a pen name, but I like the attention and I’m proud to have my name on the front cover. And my friends, of course, they love it! I can’t say it’s helped my dating life, but I think that when I meet a guy I really like, I probably won’t bring it up right away as there is a bit of a stigma attached to being a sex writer.
♥ Do you see the book as more of a solitary read, or are you hoping it's something that women can explore with their boyfriends/husbands?
Oh I think it’s absolutely something for couples to explore together. I think women should buy the book, flip through it and mark the ones they’d like to try. And then leave it out on the counter for your partner to notice. At least, that’s the more passive way to get what you want. I know it’s not always easy for people to say what they want, so I hope the book can say it for them. But you also don’t have to be in a relationship to buy it. If you’re a single gal (like I am!), keep the book on hand so when you do meet someone worthy, you’ll be prepared with a list of fun and frisky adventures to try.
♥ Just for fun, who would you single out as your number one celebrity crush, and which of the 369 Sexy Dares would you most like to explore with them?
Oh, I don’t have just one celebrity crush. I have a top 5. But for the question, I will say Ryan Gosling is at the top of my list, followed by (in no particular order): Ryan Reynolds, Kellan Lutz, Ian Somerhalder and Chris Pine. I could probably make it a top 10, but we’ll save that for another day. And as for a dare? Hmm….I mean, I would probably pick one of the more romantic dares for Ryan Gosling. Like in a meadow or vacation sex, because then that would mean I’m on vacation with him and what woman hasn’t fantasize about that?!
♥ Finally, what can we look forward to from you next? Is there a project on the horizon that you're really excited about?
Kourtney: I am heavily involved in the development of the recently launched website Life2PointOh.com. It’s for 20-something women navigating the quarter-life crisis, something my friends and I know all too well. Before the site was created, there was no guide or magazine out there telling us 20-somethings how to be adults and how to get through the problems we face in the work force, with money, with our friends, with our families, etc. So this site is the one-stop-shop for all that advice you need.
The idea for the website came from two of my editors at Seventeen (Lauren Metz and Julie Miller, who have since left the magazine for new jobs). I had stayed in touch with both of them since working for them in 2008, and so I was honored when they thought to contact me during the planning stages. I started as writer for the site, got promoted to senior writer in May or June and now I’m the senior managing editor. I write about 10-15 articles a month, ranging in topics from dating advice (the bulk of my writing), career advice, friendship issues, traveling, etc. And I edit some pieces from the other writers.
I also do a bunch of freelancing, so I’m busier than I’ve ever been. But I’m also enjoying all my adventures and looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Thank you so much for the questions!!
Thanks so much to Kourtney for stopping by! You can check her out on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/kourtneyjason, or on life2pointoh.com.