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Scarleteen Suggestion Box

Love something? Hate something? Want something here you can't find? Feel like a piece here gave you less information than you wanted or too much? Feel like you or your experiences aren't being represented or addressed well? Found a mistake or error or a page in need of an update? Think we overlooked or misstated something important, or missed the boat? Have an issue with or questions about any of our policies? Feel like something -- an article, an answer, the functionality of the site -- serves you well, but could serve you even better with an addition or a change? We want to know!

Our model at Scarleteen right from the start has been to provide information and content based primarily on what you ask us for and what you express you want and need.

That remains the way we like to do things around here, and we depend on you to keep us filled in and in-touch. So, what you think is not only important to us, it's critical so we can do a good job providing information that's relevant to you. Like any other service, organization or collective, there are some things we can't do or where we just aren't the right people to do it. We do have limitations, either because of funding or time, the limits of the media we use or the limits of our own expertise, experience or education. But even in cases where something just can't be done, it's always good to ask and always good for us to think about it, and more times than not, we can provide what our users ask for. If and when we can't provide something, we also can usually give you a referral to someone else who can.

We are most interested in comments and suggestions from the population that we aim and are created to serve: from young people under the age of 25.

If you're over 25, we welcome your suggestions, however we often find that what older people think is best for younger people is in conflict with what our younger users are asking for themselves. Over-25s need to understand that their opinions will always come second here, as responses to them often will, and ask you please put and consider the younger people here first yourself.

Have a suggestion for us? You can either:

We ask suggestions NOT be sent via our Twitter account. It's too tough to talk about anything in any depth or with clarity in 140 characters on the fly. While sometimes it's fine to leave suggestions on our message boards and to discuss these issues there, we prefer the options listed above and find they work better for everyone. That's mostly because when we're working the boards, our primary aim is to take care of users in immediate need of help or information with their lives or their health. We prefer to tend to general or content suggestions in spaces and at times when users in need are not left hanging and when we're not in the thick of counseling someone. Thanks!

Just like with the guidelines for the rest of the site and our services, comments left here or elsewhere that are not constructive, which are spam or any kind of threat, personal attack or harassment will not be published or provided a response.

However you get in touch with us, we'll get back in touch with you soon. However you provide a suggestion, we may have some questions for you to be sure we understand what you're asking for, so do check back into your email, this page, your phone or Facebook again after you've posted so we can follow up!

We appreciate your input and participation, and as always, thank all our readers for the essential part they play in helping us to create content and services that young people around the world can use and find useful.

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Thanks

Fri, 2010-07-30 04:45
Toxxic Babe

I'm so glad i stumbled upon this site. i have wondered for a long time about why my body works the way it works, wondering if there was something wrong with me. it makes me very happy that this site is out there for all the girls looking for answers. Keep on keeping on.

Much love <3

Thanx for kind work...

Sat, 2010-08-14 14:14
ravi.singhkol

I am very thankful to the site manager for the knowledge they supply with accuracy..It is truly excellent.Keep on the good work to help persons like us who are new in this field....

Iming

Mon, 2010-10-11 01:23
tortot555

I think there should be an online chat section where people can talk like a conversation and exchange questions and answers.

IMs/chat

Tue, 2010-10-12 08:50
Heather Corinna

tortot555: This has come up in the past, however it is not likely something we will be adding any time soon. Sorry about that.

The message boards are very conversational, particularly since when we have exchanges there, the wait time between responses is often very minimal, almost to the point of being in real-time. Our message boards also appear to have long been the format for this our users like most and feel most comfortable with. They're incredibly busy.

We also have the text service that is very much conversational. The Sexpert Advice section is yet another for questions and answers.

Because we have all three of those ways to have discussions/get unique, individual answers already, and because both staffing and funding those is a challenge as it is, we really can't add a chat section soon. We don't feel we need it, and users rarely ask for it, but to even seriously consider it, we'd have to have the funds and the staff to support it, which we don't.

immidiate help

Wed, 2010-10-20 22:12
sarabby.

i thiink there should be an instant help messaging system. i'm not sure how anyone could possibly do that, but i think somewhere and somehow in this world there should be one without talking on the phone with someone- because if your like me, i'm shy and i cant stand talkinng on the phone with someone i don't know, and i get nerrvous.... i think there should be another way of having a 'hotline' thing. sorry for the wrong words, but i'm not sure what else to call it.

We have two ways that you can

Thu, 2010-10-21 06:22
Heather Corinna

We have two ways that you can get that kind of help without a phone call.

There are our message boards, where often posts get answered within an hour or so, sometimes even less, and where we stay in conversation with our users there for as long as they need, from hours to days, to weeks to even months. Those are here: http://www.scarleteen.com/cgi-bin/forum/ultimatebb.cgi

There is also our text-in service, where you can get help/we can have a conversation via text message. Information on that is here: http://www.scarleteen.com/text_scarleteen

Friends with benefits.

Thu, 2010-10-28 17:27
zag94

It would be nice to have more on how relationships work. I recently separated with my girl friend, but we are still really good friends and like eachother alot. We started off as best friends, and now we are that again, but still have "benefits" here and there. We are planning on having sex soon, and i'm wondering, is it a good idea to lose your virginity to your best friend?

zag94: It sounds like you're

Fri, 2010-10-29 03:21
Heather Corinna

zag94: It sounds like you're looking for something fairly specific. Might these pieces help you out?

Supermodel: Creating & Nurturing Your Own Best Relationship Models
Hello, Sailor! How to Build, Board and Navigate a Healthy Relationship
Safer Sex...for Your Heart
Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist
Would friends-with-benefits work for me?

If not, you can put this question into the queue for Sexpert Advice, or come on over to the message boards, and we can talk with you about this there!

You should make it clear

Fri, 2010-12-17 16:43
Compidonkiwonk (not verified)

You should make it clear where your website is based. I thought maybe it's in the U.S.A. but I'm not sure and there seems to be nothing to even indicate where it's located - which means if someone is from the UK and it's actually a US website and they need advice, most of the advice may be completely useless (e.g. "phone [insert US number]")

We list our address (which is

Mon, 2010-12-20 10:32
Heather Corinna

We list our address (which is in Seattle, in the US) on our about page.

However, we are an internationally-serving website (with international staff), so do tend to make clear when something is based in a given country, be it this one or any other. If you ever see a spot where that was murky, or we didn't please let us know where that was, and we'll be sure to correct it. By all means, I've no doubt we've made an error and done that sometimes.

In our direct services, if and when a user lets us know where we are, we make a point to refer them to services they want and need which are local to them. As well, most of the information given on the site, on the whole, is not location or population-specific, but again, if you or any other readers find something that seems to be without making clear that it is, please let us know!

Thank you for putting this

Sun, 2011-01-16 14:19
Melena Morgan (not verified)

Thank you for putting this site out there, having answers for everything!!! Its helped me with alot, id recommend it to everyone.

Text Messaging

Mon, 2011-01-24 07:06
Mae_94

Currently you say that the text messaging is only available in the US... However I'm sure a lot of users like myself are not located in the US and would also like to use this way of communication. Will you be making this available in other countries? If so, will it be any time soon?

Mae: it's the technology of

Wed, 2011-01-26 09:55
Heather Corinna

Mae: it's the technology of mobile services that currently limits us from expanding the service, to my understanding. In other words, we would love the service to serve as many nations as possible, but when I have asked around about this (my knowledge of mobile tech and how it works is very limited), the answer I've gotten is that the technology simply wouldn't allow that yet.

You can be sure that if and when we get a different answer to that question, and so long as funding isn't an issue, we'll expand the service!

Could we have an article on

Mon, 2011-02-21 20:02
AnonymousUK2011 (not verified)

Could we have an article on anal sex please?

I see lots of girls on forums asking about anal sex when they obviously don't really want it but do it for their boyfriends, nothing new there, but considering anal sex can be so painful and risky (slightly higher risk than other sex acts, but also lots of people seem to think you don't need to use condoms etc. with anal sex) if they are going to do it then it'd be good to have a teen-friendly article to point them to discussing how to avoid pain, pleasure from anal sex, how to stay safe, how to prepare etc. Can you help us out, please?

We can help out, as we

Fri, 2011-02-25 10:59
Heather Corinna

Finally comfortable with myself!

Sun, 2011-02-27 23:43
NatureLover (not verified)

Oh my goodness, for so long I've been wanting to ask so many questions about my body and I'm so appreciated that there are some pretty amazing girls out there even courageous enough to ask them because with out them I wouldn't have found this site. And I most definitly wouldn't have been comfortable with myself without this site! I just want to say I am so happy to finally say I am happy with my body. I am on birth control and I don't plan on having sex for a while we've known each other since grade 7 and started dating a year ago we've only been out and official with the relationship for six months now and we are more then happy. And I am happy now because I found this amazing site to guide me! I am SO thankful for it and it's help!

I just want to say thank you

Sat, 2011-05-28 19:47
anonn (not verified)

I just want to say thank you so much for what an amazing, informative website. I love scarleteen and I am so happy about the fact that I can get reliable, intelligent, and correct information. Thank you for all you do, I really can't even describe how much you have helped me. <3

Search box

Fri, 2011-07-15 10:03
mudpuddles

I have just been on this site for one day and I am just captivated by its valuable and very entertaining messages and advice. I have already spent a few hours looking at it! However, just one annoying point I found about this site, its that there is no "search box". It is quite hard for me to find things. The index "Get around" does help me quite a bit but it is very vague. I want to find specific things and I think that a search box would be just the thing for this website! It is convenient for users and they can search up the specific things that they are searching for! This way it would also reduce the amount of questions that come from users asking for types of articles, e.g. AnonymousUK2011 who asked for an article of anal sex, which u already had! Anyways, thanks for reading this suggestion and for your time. :D

So sorry you had such a hard

Tue, 2011-07-19 17:01
Heather Corinna

So sorry you had such a hard time finding it! There is one, on the lower left corner of every page, and there's also a link to the search on the left hand sidebar.

However, we've been working on some design changes for the future, and they include moving the search box up to the top center of the page, which I think is going to make it a lot easier to find. :)

Perhaps a mini-search bar?

Thu, 2011-07-28 03:55
Leigh-Bee (not verified)

I know that you guys do a lot and this kind of stuff is probably difficult, but I just went through 40 + pages of questions you guys get, and I still didn't find what I was looking for. I didn't want to just ask you guys, in case you had already answered that.
Anyway, I was thinking, would it be too much to ask for a mini search bar for the questions? Or maybe some categories or something?

Did you try using the tags to

Fri, 2011-07-29 11:59
Heather Corinna

Did you try using the tags to narrow down what you were looking for? Or, going to the topics in the blue bar on the top right, use the index of questions and answers and blog posts sorted by topic that show up on the right hand size of the article indexes?

If you did, and that still didn't work for you, nor did using the search function, can you perhaps be a little more specific about why those three ways of searching didn't work out? That could help us figure out what's missing and potentially how to refine all of this.

Thanks!

Messages

Fri, 2011-08-05 18:14
Landa84

I find navigating to actually post a question extremely difficult, every thing i clicked opened someone elses post , no where could i find how to ask you a question

Landa: on what part of the

Fri, 2011-08-05 20:49
Heather Corinna

Landa: on what part of the site are you trying to post a question? The message boards, or the sexpert advice section?

That Heather is one hell of

Wed, 2011-09-28 23:43
James987655 (not verified)

That Heather is one hell of an idiot. I just got done reading some responses from her and to waste less of my time I'll mention one: she claims all men who don't want to have analplay have reasons that all boil down to homophobia. She continues on about men being homophobic. What clucks of an ignorant hen, I myself am straight and open to those ideas, but it is just something that is uncomfortable/painful and stressing emotionally, I am not a homophobe nor do I (nor anyone I've ever heard of/met in my life) thinks that can turn you gay as she honestly seemed to believe people think. This site is pretty much a joke, there are much better sources on the web.

James: in the future, please

Sat, 2011-10-01 12:52
Heather Corinna

James: in the future, please avoid name-calling here, either of me or of anyone. I always want to respond to critical suggestions and comments, but it's very hard to do that when someone leads with ad-hominem attacks. I'm glad to engage critique respectfully, but think it's fair to ask they be made in the same way. I also take real issue with what appear to be false claims being made about myself or my work.

What you are claiming you found here is quite a surprise to me: that anyone who doesn't want to engage their anus must be homophobic nor that engaging in anal sex or being homophobic can "make someone gay" (WHAT?). I'd very much like to see where you have seen those claims made by me or where you have interpreted pieces that way. Were there anywhere here in which statements were made about anything "making" someone a given orientation, or in nonsupport of the myriad -- and always valid, no matter what they are -- reasons someone might not want to do something sexual, we would be very concerned, because those are both things we have always long protested and which I, personally, most certainly do not think.

Here are some links that typify how I, specifically, have talked here and elsewhere about these issues, and how we tend to here at Scarleteen:
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/meet_your_prostate
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/why_is_anal_sex_so_wrong
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/with_pleasure_a_view_of_whole_sex...
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/gaydar/the_bees_and_the_bees_a_homosex...
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/should_i_be_concerned_about_his...
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/three_on_getting_to_the_bottom_...
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/im_a_guy_interested_in_receptiv...
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/lets_get_metaphysical_the_etiquet...

Again, if you have seen otherwise, and what you are claiming has been said is indeed here and written by myself or any staff, please do share those links. Thank you.

(If you might also, or instead, be saying, you do not believe anyone has homophobic feelings about or responses to the idea of men having anal-receptive sex, I'm not going to argue with you about hat you yourself have experienced, obviously. That said, many people have voiced or encountered people with those beliefs, and you can probably recognize that as someone who is not gay or who takes part in receptive anal sex yourself, you might not be in the position to hear them as much as others in one or both of those groups. As well, each of our own peer groups are rarely representative of the world at large.)

Stereotyping by Gender

Mon, 2012-04-16 05:02
Tsn2

Hi, I'm 18, heterosexual, and gender and sex male. I first want to say thank you, your website has been the single most helpful part of my sex education (aside from talking with my partner). I am particularly impressed by how it seems that the breaking down of gender or sexuality based stereotypes and false perception of gender or sexuality are hugely important to you. What I'd like to talk to you about is definitely a one off, and it's possible that I'm reading too much into it or have overreacted. However, I'm sure you can take a bit of discussion, so I thought I'd bring it up. I felt offended the other day, reading one of your answers in the question and answer section. I decided to leave it and come back to it today (no reason why you should get complaints, just because I was in a bad mood one day) but having reread it, I am still offended. The problem is, I'm not offended by the content of the answer, just by the nuance of it, and I realise that's pretty subjective, and perhaps I'm just barking up the wrong tree. If that's the case, I'm sorry for bringing it up, but let me try to explain why I felt offended. The answer was to the question "Can I give her an abortion with tablets". I was fairly shocked by the question, where a male individual seems to feel he has a right to control his partner's reproductive choices, and am aware that this controlling attitude of entitlement is not entirely uncommon. Consequently, I thought the first 2 paragraphs of the answer given by Heather Corinna were very useful, clear, blunt, and to the point. However, the last paragraph, starting "for future reference?" was, I felt, glib and unhelpful. (Incidentally, I've read about 100 articles or answers by Heather Corinna, all of which have been massively useful and helpful, this is the first time I've seen one that I've found partially problematic).
Ok, so why was I offended? Well, the law surrounding abortion is always going to cause an inequality. Only one person can make the final decision about whether or not the female partner has an abortion, and thus, of course it makes complete sense for that partner to be the female partner. It would be impossible and ridiculous to have a system where the male partner has any legal rights as to the decision of whether or not the female partner get an abortion. Condoms have a 98% success rate with perfect use, vasectomies can reverse themselves, so in strict legal terms, the paragraph is correct. There is nothing a male partner can do, beyond refuse to have any sex involving his genitals (as the accidental transfer of sperm by hands or however else, while very unlikely is still possible) to be 100% sure of not being forced to have a child or be forced to have a foetus he helped create be aborted, (depending on the individual, either of these may seem equally horrific). Therefore there is no factual inaccuracy in the answer. My problem is with the nuance and way the answer is phrased. Firstly, the restriction on the autonomy of the male partner by the law concerning abortion is necessary to allow the autonomy of the female partner, but sad, as is any restriction on autonomy, however necessary it may be. Therefore, while obviously it is true, perhaps it would be possible to treat the matter with a little more respect all round? For male individuals, who feel strongly about avoiding pregnancy, and therefore use condoms at all times, when a condom breaks, and they find themselves in a situation where they suddenly have no choice in the matter (which as I've said is obviously the only way things can work, don't get me wrong) this article will read like a ridiculing, a message perceived as saying "you idiot, you should not have been having sex because you weren't prepared to have a child", particularly given this is a message many receive on a regular basis anyway. Now, as an openly pro-choice site, I assume that's not the message you're trying to impart, especially as this would be completely out of line with the rest of your website, which seems to view sex practiced safely as a good thing. In fact, I've seen on a variety of occasions, you've advised heterosexual male individuals that if they are sexually ready and inclined to be safe, then sex is a good idea. Here you've pretty clearly stated that unless a male individual has no strong feelings either away about what should occur if their partner became pregnant (which, other than in very specific sets of circumstances, would incidentally require them to be pretty emotionally dead) they should not be practising vaginal intercourse. Which of these statements do you stand for? Furthermore, as I know you are aware (have read many good articles by you on the matter) a number of vicious stereotypes concerning male individuals exist- men think about sex all the time, men couldn't possibly not wish to have a sexual relationship, men are emotionally dead, men don't care about their partners, which range from absurd in the extreme, to true in some cases, but by no means all, and are all hurtful and damaging. I think one of the most important things, given the law on abortion, is to actively destroy the stereotype that male individuals don't care about a) making their partner pregnant b) whether or not a pregnancy is terminated or c)don't have feelings about the actual termination itself. The paragraph in question feels like it's addressed to a male stereotype, to the man who doesn't care about anything and has no emotions, as limited consideration appears to have been given to how it will be perceived by a young man who genuinely cares strongly about his partner's well being. While it is true in some cases that male individuals don't care, and will for example have unprotected sex and then decide afterwards that actually they have a strong moral problem with abortion and feel they should have a right to make their partner's decisions for them, this should not be enshrined as a generalisable image of males. Yes it seems the question asker falls into that category of individuals with that sort of misconception of whose choice it is, but at the same time, your answer is also relevant to those male individuals who care. Because, quite frankly, for a male individual in a relationship with a female partner, for both of whom equality and trust are the most important thing, the situation really (and perhaps not unexpectedly) just isn't "that simple". Take the example of a heterosexual couple who have a sexual relationship and who use a condom with care every time they are involved in vaginal intercourse. They have discussed what they would do if pregnancy occurred and have agreed that they would both want to terminate it. Now the condom breaks and the female partner becomes pregnant (not having taken the morning after pill for whatever reason). Realising she's pregnant is not going to be particularly pleasant, and she might suddenly change her mind (for any reason, perhaps her parents, who are strongly, conservatively religious find out and persuade her not to get an abortion, or maybe she lied to the male partner originally feeling under pressure to tell him what he wanted to hear and would never have considered abortion an option). This situation is pretty nasty, and, while unlikely not impossible. I'm not for a minute suggesting that the female partner should be forced to decide one way or another based on what she had previously told her partner, of course not, but consider the position of the male partner. Now according to your answer, we should see the position of the male as "well, it's his fault he's in this position because he shouldn't have been having sex", this seems bizarrely offensive, particularly to any individual who has found themselves in this or a similar position. I'm sure it was not your intention to cause offence or upset, and I'm sorry this got so long, but I hope that this feedback can be considered constructive or useful for you. Thank you again for your excellent site, and I would be hugely grateful to hear back from you on this and see whether you think I'm being delusional or if there might be something in what I've said.

I wish I had this resource when I was a teen. Thanks

Mon, 2012-12-10 09:47
spectroscopist

Hi,

I am too old for this website, sadly. Amusingly, my two boys will be appropriate age in about a decade. I would enthusiastically suggest this website (or the like) to them when they come of age. I suggest the same to any person age 10-30!

I include a large swatch of ages because at age 10ish you are just learning to masturbate. This site teaches you to accept yourself and to be open minded. This is the best start to one's early explorations. But when you start to have sex at 15-25, you are probably not very good. I was terrible. I suspect we all are bad, and get better. So at 20-30, the key thing remains to be open and accepting and adventurous - but now with another person. A partner. This is not easy and it is not obvious what to do. Lots of social inputs are not helpful.

But the openness here is a great thing. I feel like I have wasted much of my sexual life with shame and self hatred. Now, I am trying to outgrow that. I want to teach my sons to never have the shame and self hatred I had from age 10-40. I think the writing here has helped me, and I hope it will help the young people for whom it is intended.

One comment in addition to the encouragement. Please do try to be more sensitive and inclusive of heterosexual males. Just because of "The Patriarchy", it does not mean that life is easy for us or that we have no feelings, fears, insecurities, and such. In my case they were quite intense - thankfully I have realized life is to short for self-hatred regardless of one's social experiences.

ASCs and sexuality

Thu, 2013-12-05 00:11
Lady Ashmire (not verified)

Technically I am too old for this site, however for reasons likely related to my being autistic, my sex drive did not develop at a normal pace( I actually thought I was asexual through most of my teens---which may have been just as well), as well as the fact that I was kind of left to slowly figure things out that other people would find intuitive, so I am still finding a great deal of useful information here that others my age would know about (I've only had one sexual relationship and have since learned enough to know it was not a very healthy one in many ways). I was wondering if you might at some point consider developing some more autism-spectrum-specific resources. I know of one blog that covers this to some degree, but I also know that yours is a well-respected site with a lot more reach than that, and I also know that there are a lot of autistic young people who are more sexually interested than I was yet just as socially naive, and with the percentage of autistic females who have experienced a sexual assault believed to be at over 90%( males on the spectrum are also more vulnerable to this than the norm), it could be a lot of help.

Age of sexual consent

Wed, 2014-04-16 18:10
Anonymous726382 (not verified)

Hi there.
I have a quick comment regarding the 'is THAT all there is?' article regarding your own first time. I see you may not be watching this feed any more but hey ho.
You state in your advice..."Barring legal issues like age of consent laws -- which it is important to pay attention to, your boyfriend ending up a registered sex offender is the sort of serious negative which could make the scenario life-changing in the worst way"...which is extremely wrong and misleading in context. You clearly say in the first paragraph that you, a 16 year old girl, were having sex with a 15 year old boy. You broke the age of consent laws, not he. Your statement implies women can not be at fault when it comes to issues regarding age of consent and that is simply sexist and not true. Sure, we still have an outdated and sexist law saying that if two 15 year olds have consensual sex the male is a 'rapist' and the female a 'victim'. But in that instance you were in the wrong. This is a site here to inform people about sex, and misleading info regarding the law has no place on it.
Otherwise, thanks for the site,
Anon.

We personally do not view

Thu, 2014-04-17 13:05
Heather Corinna

We personally do not view people around the same age engaging in sex as rape. We do, however, recognize that legally, this can occur and can be the view, thus our warning here. And while we chose one gender to address this with as an example, that was not with the intention of implying these laws are only an issue for that gender, they are not. However, we would be glad to edit that passage to make it gender-neutral.

On a personal note, I assure you that in the state I was living in at the time (and in that state still, were someone 15 and someone 16 to be engaging in sex today), that a one-year-difference in that age range did not involve myself or anyone else breaking the age of consent laws as both of us were under the AOC at the time.

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