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My Personal Journey: Long Term Effects of Sex-Negative Teen Sex Education

This guest post is from Anita Wagner at Practical Polyamory, and is part of the month-long blogathon to help raise funds for Scarleteen!

When I was recently asked to write a blog post for the Scarleteen blogathon, I had no hesitation about agreeing. I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with Scarleteen founder and comprehensive teen sex ed resource Heather Corinna during a trip to the northwest in summer 2009. Let there be no doubt, Heather is one of my all time heroes for the work she does to make sure teens get comprehensive sex education information. I care about this subject very deeply, as the following story will illustrate.

I grew up in an area that is pretty much to this day an exceedingly conservative part of the United States. When I came of age, good parents zealously guarded their daughters' virtue by attempting to control the what, where, when, and most importantly, who, of their daughters' social lives. Sex ed, after a fashion, was taught in health and hyg

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No, you CAN'T touch my hair.

I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis Missouri in a mostly white neighborhood. One of the first things I noticed was that my hair was different.

My fellow students would run their hands through their hair, flip it from side to side or pull it back into ponytails. Their hair moved... my hair didn’t move. If I pulled it back in a ponytail it stayed in a ponytail even after I removed the hair clip. I wore my hair in braids – no flipping or fluffing for me. Sometimes I wore Afro puffs, but my usual style was two braids that came together in the back.

In grade school folks used to tease me about my hair just because it was different. I was the only black girl in class and my peers considered being different a bad thing – they teased me about my dark skin and full lips and made fun of my Afro puffs. I grew to resent the things that made me different and hated my hair. Girls would ask if they could touch my Afro puffs and it felt as if I were some sort of exotic animal at the zoo they want

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Who's Calling Who Compulsive? Calling Out a Common Rape Survivor Stereotype

I was one of several guests on a radio show in Baltimore on Friday. The topic of the show was apparently going to be about sex education and social justice, but turned out to be more like fear-mongering and a whole lot of projections around teen sexuality mixed with focus on parents and teen sexuality. I got the impression all four of us who were asked to take part, despite some of our disagreements, were very frustrated with the show and the host clearly asking questions he didn't want factual answers to, despite purportedly asking us to take part to provide just that.

At one point, he asked one of the guests to talk about rape victims and survivors. She said she did not do any work with rape or survivors, but instead of deferring to any of us who had, or just saying "I don't know," she went ahead and did some postulating and guesswork. There were several things she said in a rush of words that bothered me, but one of the most troubling was a statement that rape survivors "compulsive

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I feel like my body is wrong, but my parents say my feelings are wrong.

LondonIsABurningFire asks:

I'm a girl, but I've always felt like I'm in the wrong body. Every time I picture myself, I see a boy. I want to get a sex change, but I know how much it can cost. My parents are also Catholic, and are already angry about me not being religious, and every time I try to bring up the subject, they get angry and tell me that I was "made a girl", so I should only feel like one, and that everything else I feel is wrong. But my friends are very supportive, and I even have a guy friend who wants to be a girl. Who do I listen to?

Disability Dharma: What Including & Learning From Disability Can Teach (Everyone) About Sex

Being inclusive of disabled people in sex education and sexuality as a whole benefits those of us who are disabled and is something we strongly need. But it also can benefit everybody, in ways you might not expect.

Sound Counsel: A Conversation With Lynn Ponton

Considering counseling or think you or a friend might benefit from some therapy? Here's a basic introduction and a shared conversation with adolescent therapist and author Dr. Lynn Ponton to clue you in on what to expect from the couch.

When the Big O is a No-Show

Brandyf817 asks:

I am having a problem orgasming, like most women. I am 24 years old. I have tried masturbating myself thinking it will be more relaxing and easier, but its not. The problem I am having is I get so close, but I can't get all the way. I start to feel pleasure, then I feel my muscles start to tense up and spaz a little, but then it gets PAINFUL that I jerk away and can't make it to the orgasm. I don't know how to get past this painfulness or if it's normal. I have tried so hard to get through the pain, but its too much. This is starting to ruin my relationship with my boyfriend. Please help me.

How can we have sex if he finishes before we even get started?

snapplefact asks:

I have an amazing boyfriend. He's thoughtful, considerate and sweet - not to mention super cute - everything I've ever wanted. He likes me a lot, too, and he's always telling me how much he likes me and how beautiful I am and all that good stuff. The problem is, I think he likes me a little TOO much. We haven't had sex yet, but I don't know if we can! The problem is that he appears to be a premature ejaculator. When we mess around, he comes unbelievably quickly - and he doesn't even get hard first. He keeps telling me he's really nervous because he's never been with anyone as great as me before, which is really nice, but I'm getting REALLY frustrated. I want to have sex with him but how can I do that if I can hardly touch his penis without it going soft, or worse? I don't know what to do.

How can I trust that someone else will like my body when I hate it so much?

porte asks:

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...

I don't feel safe with him: how can I change my feelings?

Becca asks:

I'm in my late teens and have been dating my first boyfriend for one and a half years. Early on in the relationship he broke my trust and later on has done a few things that have made me really uncomfortable: touching me where I've told him not to before, being very rough, and the worst, making a negative comment about my body. I've talked to him about all of this and it hasn't happened since but it's destroyed my trust in him, and my libido has disappeared. I now dread having sex with him because I'm always thinking about how he must hate my body and not respect me. Is there anything I can do to get me to believe he actually likes my body (like he claims to) or to learn to trust him again (and to be okay with him treating me rougher than I like?). I really love him but I can't stand the thought of him touching me at the moment because I just feel used.

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