For 2013: More, Not Less.

I don't celebrate most holidays, but I've always been a fan of New Year's. New Year's Day, actually, more than New Year's Eve. I relish fresh starts and new beginnings.

Young Sexuality Activists: Patsy Niklas

Patsy Niklas is someone I consider myself privileged to know in person. Until recently, she worked as the program manager for YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) in Melbourne, coordinating volunteer training and taking care of the organisation's social media.

Now she works with the Foundation for Young Australians on their Young People Without Borders project, helping young Australians get involved in volunteering and activism. In addition to all that, she hosts a weekly show about sex and relationships on Melbourne's youth-run radio station, SYN.

Your Right to Be Lousy in Bed (After All, No One Has to Have Sex with You)

You tried to do something sexual you thought was super-sexy but the other person thought was weird, silly or downright gross. Something one partner of yours thought was the hottest thing ever turned out to be something that, when you tried it with another person, bored the pants not even off of them, but right back onto them. Your biggest turn-on is someone else's buzzkill.

In any of these situations or many others like them, you might feel like you were bad in bed or someone else might think that about you. Here's the biggest thing to know about that, before I say anything else at all: When sex is consensual, we all have the right to be our own idea or someone else's idea of who or what is "bad" in bed. Sometimes; anytime. That's because we're human.

The Testing Diaries: Jacob

I was going to be taking my STI test with a friend today, with the idea we would both get tested and I could've written in the style of a comedy bromance movie like "Dude. Where's My Car?" except with less sexism and more conversations about male STI testing anxiety and our feelings.

Alas, he has made other arrangements and I'll be going solo to the testing clinic.

This clinic focuses on reducing HIV in the MSM (men who have sex with men) demographic, but is open to anyone, and so I'm here in the city centre where it is based. They test for HIV, chlamydia & gonorrhea and I've opted for all three.


…was the major overall theme yesterday in our anonymous texting service’s inbox here at Scarleteen! 

The Testing Diaries: Robin

Ten years ago, I knew about using lube, about making first-time intercourse comfortable, and about pregnancy prevention options, but it seems I didn’t know much about sexually transmitted infections.

My partner at the time — I’m still with him — offered to get tested for STIs before our first meeting in person.

I turned him down.

I think I must have decided that he didn't have an STI.

Someone told me once that I was more powerful than electricity. If that is true, which I highly doubt it is, I must be truly powerful indeed, to conduct blood and urine analyses over the phone or Internet, and with no scientific or medical training at that!

Life Lessons from TV: Dawson's Creek on How to Know You are Ready for Sex

One of my favorite TV shows when I was a teenager was the series "Dawson's Creek." The series centered around best friends Joey and Dawson and portrayed their experiences from high school and into college as they made and lost friends, entered and left relationships, and grew up. The show was aired from 1998 to 2003 and was one of the most popular drama series of its time.

The Testing Diaries: Véro

This summer, I went to my clinic to see a general practitioner (GP) for an annual check-up.

Officially I’m a certain GP’s patient, but I see the residents that she supervises whenever I go. When I made the appointment, I did not have any particular concerns, but I wanted to get a pap smear and STI testing.

In the past, I have made some unsafe decisions, and I have also been in situations where a partner has not respected my condom-use wishes. Since then, I have had several clear results from pap smears and STI tests, but I have been going at least once a year as a precaution.

Off the Beaten Path

When I was growing up, I often turned to my mother for relationship advice. We had our differences, but we were close, and I valued her opinions. However, I also found myself grappling with many of the things she said, because in all of it one thing was clear: for her, the only kind of acceptable sexual relationships are monogamous, heterosexual, long-term commitments.

From the start, I had some questions about this concept. What if I did not want to sleep with men at all? What if I did not feel interested in the marriage-and-kids thing?