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This site is were I learnt almost everything! And the live site help is fab! Thanks scarleteen!
Laci Green. She's awesomesauce. If you haven't watched her Sex+ series on YouTube, I highly recommend it.
My best friend, who hsppens to be a guy, told me most of how guys masturbation works and he also told me how girls masterbate. we "experimented" a bit together :)
My best friend, a girl about two years older than me. I didn't learn specifics from her, but I think what I did learn from her was just as important. She turned sex into something that exists, rather than something swept under the rug and shuddered at. When I was about twelve or thirteen, she was fourteen or fifteen and caught me reading an erotic novel I found lying around. I jumped and hid it, but not quickly enough. I had an instinctive idea that this is a bad book. This is not what I should be reading.
To my shock, she sat down and goes "oh, I read that one too. Isn't it funny? It's so stupid, everyone just falls right into bed, and the way they talk is ridiculous." Well, in one quick move, she reassured me that I'm normal and allowed to read this, pointed out that the kind of sex in those books is horribly unrealistic, and just...turned sex into something normal. My school and town and family...the area I grew up in kept sex taboo. My friend un-taboo'ed it.
Although there were some other factors...high school sex ed was amazingly comprehensive, and I think one reason I got so much out of that class is because I'd already read through a few grown-up books by then and wasn't busy giggling and blushing when the teacher was talking. Scarleteen has been awesome, and I plan to direct all of my younger cousins here, as the oldest in a big family tree.
Your site. You're doing a fab job!
So, my dad's girlfriend, who he's been with since I was about 14 (4 years) is a mixture of a best friend and a guardian. There's nothing "off limits" for me to talk to her about, so she's my go-to when I have a sex/relationship/drugs/alcohol/other things i'm afraid to talk to my parents specifically about. She's actually the one that showed me this site!
So, I know most people aren't as lucky as me, but I can say one thing. Friends are fantastic, but what's best is someone who has the experience, and cares about you enough to give you the truth. Parents are kick ass if their not going to kick your ass for having sex, but I'd imagine maybe a close relative like a older cousin or an aunt/uncle?
When I was a young teen (12-13 or so) I became very interested in sex. I didn't want to ask my parents questions, because I was afraid they'd keep talking after my question was answered. What I did instead was go to the library and check out about every book I could get my hands on that involved or was about sex or sexuality. I read many many books and because I did that, I got an exceptional education- reading lots of different books helped me learn what was common knowledge, and what wasn't common, lots of things. So in the poll I said I learned most from a sex writer. But in reality, it was many, many writers.
To be honest, I learnt some from friends, family and school, but the majority I learnt from the internet! It really helped to explain what I was feeling and why and has helped a lot in my knowledge of contraception also.
Echoing what everyone else has said, it's been a tremendous combination of my Gender and Women's Studies classes, and the readings that go with them, a lot of library books, and a lot of internet writing. The most common sources have been Scarleteen, Yes Means Yes/Jaclyn Friedman, some of Clarisse Thorn, Therese Schecter, Hanne Blank, Lunapads, and the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. But definitely NOT parents, public school system, health care providers, etc. I've done lots of reading on my own and have fortunately found a few friends that offer excellent discussion.
After years of Women's Studies courses (and courses in other departments related to human sexuality), reading books and articles and blogs on human sexualities/sexual behaviors/sexual identities/sexual performative categories/etc. and years of following/utilizing Scarleteen, I can't pin down any one source from which I learned the most. I can definitely say that it would NOT be a parent/guardian nor my (pre-college) school system nor my peers. Sexuality education in this country/state is awful and the most we ever got about any sort of sexual or romantic relationship ethics was a poorly-executed assembly about date rape/acquaintance rape.
The sex-positive blogosphere (this site included!). Without it, I never would have even thought about things like heteronormativity, privilege, or enthusiastic consent. Just watching people like Heather Corinna, Kitty Stryker, Dr. Charlie Glickman, or Greta Christina navigate their spaces opened up the ways that I'm able to think and talk about sex.
myself, doing research. no one ever game me decent information.
Not to be all Ayn Randian about this or anything, but seriously. Public school gave me zilch, and my public school peers whose parents didn't deign to give them even the basics learned 'em from me (I remember being surrounded on the playground in the 4th grade by other ten year olds eager to get that basic info, filtered though it was through my incomplete understanding and the limited effectiveness of my "boy eraser" & "girl eraser" demonstrations), so i wasn't getting much new info peer-to-peer for sure. My Ma gave me the basics and the understanding that my sex life is about my sexual pleasure and health, and is an integral part of most romantic relationships I'll have, and I took it from there beginning with wretched sources of misinformation like Cosmo and first loves and continuing to this day through various personal explorations, lovers, books, articles, zines, and websites including this one, of course!
You're right, we really should have put "myself" in there!
At the same time, if we're reading a site like this one or a book about sex, the person or people educating us are the people or is the person who wrote/published/etc. that stuff, right? So, "myself" is a bit tricky in that context.
It seems to me that "myself," when that's what we mean would be more about the things we learn or have learned from our own feelings and interpretations of our thoughts and experiences when it comes to sex.
But all the same, yes, big space-cadet on this one. We should have put "myself" as a choice, and I'm glad to see people including it. :)
Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col
Learned more from books and the internet than I ever did from a person.
But! People write books, they don't write themselves. :) (If only!) Same goes for the internet: the content at the net is something people make.
Honestly, for me, Scarleteen has been my most important source of information. You really helped me work through a lot of difficulty with dealing my sexuality, a mild sexual assault, and coming to accept my own sex life as an amazing and empowering thing instead of something shameful and painful. Thank you!
A sex writer or educator. Namely, Heather Corinna. Thank you, Heather, and everyone else at Scarleteen. You are the best! :*
So happy to be of service. :)
Here's hoping that the new year brings you more sources of learning than me, though! Our hope always is that we're here for our readers and users when they need us, but that they can get the kind of information and support we give from far more than one place.
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