My current partner recently got a vasectomy. Because we're also monogamous, well-past six months of monogamy and barrier use, and both are current with our STI testing -- the combination of things and time period I know massively reduces our STI risks -- that means we're not using condoms right now.
This is very unusual for me: in around 25 years of sexual experiences and many partnerships, the vast majority of the times I have had male partners, including long-term partners, there have been condoms. As someone who wants to be able to enjoy her sex life as much as possible, who knows preventing infection is part of that, and also as someone who can't use most other methods of birth control, condoms have been my BFFs.
I've never found them to be the drag some people frame them as. Rather, I often find myself perplexed by folks who frame them that way, even though I know as a sex educator that more often than not, the folks who do frame them that way either a) haven't even used them o...Read more...
This morning, I picked up my mother's copy of “Brigitte”, a German woman's magazine geared at women between 30 an 50. I often borrow the magazine from her, because it tends to have pretty interesting articles. More recently, I've declared myself an out-and-out fan after Brigitte became the first magazine to stop using professional models for their photo spreads. Instead, they now use women they simply approach on the street, and supplement the pictures with information about the woman's life (this particular issue -06/2010- features a 41-year-old woman covered in piercings and tattoos, who has been working as a wrestler and a programmer of computer games).
However, what caught my eye today was one of the titles on the cover: “The sex I didn't want – Confessions from a Gray Area”. In my mind, I immediately flashed to the infamous Cosmopolitan article by Laura Sessions Stepp ( A New Kind of Date Rape ). With a funny feeling in my stomach, I flipped to the article. And lo! - the concep...Read more...
I am 15 years old and about 5'10 and weigh more than 200lbs. I am currently in a long distance relationship and have been for almost 11 months. See, the thing is, I know I'm pretty, but I hate my body. The only thing that I like about it is my boobs. I am very self-conscious about it and I can't seem to lose weight.
My boyfriend and I share everything together. He doesn't lie to me, he comforts me and he tells me I'm beautiful. He loves me a lot. He shares everything with me. He really means a lot to me and would never pressure me to do something I don't want to do. He wants to see me. Or rather, see me below my chest. It doesn't mean like naked or something (but he probably wouldn't mind), but he just wants to see what I look like. Sounds simple enough right? I know what he looks like but...
Originally written for The Guardian, condensed version can be seen there.
In 2008, over 5,000 UK women under the age of 20 had an abortion that was not their first. As was made clear by the alarmist headlines following the publication of those numbers, this is a big concern for the public.
A woman’s reproductive life often spans 30+ years. Around 1/2 of all pregnancies in the US and UK are unplanned. Contraception isn’t used or used properly. It fails sometimes even in perfect use. Female fertility peaks between the ages of 19 and 24: the reason we tend to see the most abortions (and pregnancies) in that group is because it is the most fertile group having the most sex. (Piccinino, LJ, Mosher, WD. Trends in contraceptive method use in the United States: 1982-1994. 1998. Family Planning Perspectives. Vol. 30(1): 4-10 & 6, Table 1) The UK teen pregnancy rate is the highest in Western Europe: six times higher than the Netherlands, nearly three times higher than France and more than twice...Read more...
I hate, hate, hate that phrase. Nearly everywhere I go or look as a young adult sexuality educator anymore, I run into it incessantly.
Let me be clear: I don't hate doing all that we can, to help people of every age to avoid pregnancies or parenting they do not want or do not feel ready for. I'm so glad to do that, and it's a big part of my job at Scarleteen and elsewhere when I work as a sexuality and contraception educator and activist.... Read more...
I've been with my girlfriend for nearly six months now. I've always had a bit of a problem having sex with people (keeping it up) but this problem has never occurred between me and her. However, lately I've begun to feel very guilty about the physical action of having sex. The act of penetration is a great experience physically, but when I think about what I'm doing I feel like I'm stabbing her, or performing some kind of violent act on her. We haven't had sex yet since I started REALLY feeling like this (which was a little more than three weeks ago) but if we are making out and begin to have dry sex I often start to cry from the idea of what I am doing to her. She's very compassionate and understanding, and I have told her all of this, but I want it to stop. I need to know how to make myself stop feeling like I am abusing her when we have sex because considering the times we've had sex before I had this mindset, it's been an incredible experience of expressing our love to each other, and I'd really like to have that back.
I've been reading Scarleteen since I was at least 16, and the vital knowledge has kept me safe thus far... UNFORTUNATELY after getting through high school and college completely unscathed and mostly responsible, I finally dropped my guard for a nice, geeky, Christian boy who'd never kissed a girl EVER. And now I have oral herpes. I'm pissed. Really, really pissed. One day he greeted me with a kiss and when he pulled back I noticed his lips were a bit on the gross side. When he said, "Oh, I just have a cold sore," I completely freaked. Apparently his whole family caught it from his parents and they never made it clear to them that A) Cold sores/Fever blisters ARE Herpes and B) they can be spread to others. They act like it's completely normal. The last time I went to his house I saw a BULK sized bottle of Lysine on the kitchen sink. When my boyfriend asked his mom about why they never warned him, she replied that I was simply overreacting and that I should get over it.
I want to know how I can get through this without hating him and his generally very nice family. He's a great guy, and he didn't do it on purpose (I've never met anyone who has), but I'm just so pissed at him and at myself. I feel dirty, ashamed, and like I should have known better.
Newly Blistered Sister
I feel like at my age (16), it is so young to have sex. If I were to be dating someone right now, so many things would scare me, that I would choose not to have sex. The chance of an STI, pregnancy, not being good enough for my partner, having my parents find out, and so many more things. I'm scared that during sex, that I wont know what to do and I'm just not comfortable with my body. Most of my friends are having sex and they say they like it, but the fact is, that I'm terrified. Everything about sex scares me. I'm worried about my body, what my partner will tell his friends, the rumors that will get around school, being inexperienced, and I'm scared it will hurt for the first time. I don't want to be seen as up tight for not wanting to have sex, and I know I don't mind having sex before marriage, but I was just wondering about moving past my fears and letting go. So, if you have any ideas, I would love to hear back from you.