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Sexuality: WTF Is It, Anyway?

The term "sexuality" can be used a lot like the word "sex." They're both terms we say and hear a lot, but which often aren't clearly defined. We take for granted everyone knows what sexuality means, a heck of an assumption to make with something that covers so many important things and can feel as murky as Lake Erie. So: what's it all about?

Driver's Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent

Most of us understand being in transit means there's a possibility of getting hurt, hurting others, having a good time turn into a bad one or just not getting to where we intended, and to try and prevent those outcomes, we need to follow basic rules of the road like being attentive to and actively giving clear signs and signals. Just like it's important on the road, it's important between the sheets.

From Emily, Who Really Gets It.

Scarleteen's users are diverse, as are the reasons they find us, and the issues they bring to us. For some, the needs are as basic as needing to know how and when to use a condom or a hormonal contraceptive, or learning the names and functions of body parts. Some want help figuring out if sex with another person is something they want or not, or are ready for; some need help learning to negotiate or assert their sexual or interpersonal wants and needs. Many just need to know, from especially from someone who doesn't want anything from them, that it's okay for them to have sexual feelings and a sexuality. Many users like these have access to sexual healthcare, supportive and caring families or communities, and haven't experienced great sexual or interpersonal traumas. For those users, we're often something they need, but not something they can't manage without. We're a valuable helper, but not the only help they've got to draw on.

Some of our users come to Scarleteen just once or twic

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Can you help us meet our match?

As you may know, we started our major fundraising drive for the year this month.  Our goal, for the year, is to raise just over $40,000 from new donors in order to best sustain, support and grow our organization.

Since we began the drive on the 13th, you've helped us raise just over $5,000. If the donors who chose to give monthly all keep that up for the year, that will get us to $8,500 of the total funds we need. Hooray!

We're still a long way off from raising what we need, though.

Here to help save the day, longtime Scarleteen donor, supporter and superhero (and also kickass science author) Stephen Luntz has offered a $2,000 match for funds we can raise from today at 9AM PST, through Thursday, February 28th, at 9 AM PST. 

That's just $2,000 we need your help generating in the next 48 hours in order to grab those matching funds.

(We won't actually grab them. We'll take them only when offered and then say thank you politely.)

Check out this new infographic from Jacob, a volunteer at S

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Young people need our help and support. We need yours.

As we begin our 15th year, we need help to keep Scarleteen up and thriving. Find out how just $20 a month can improve the lives of young people around the world.

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

You were so tired you literally fell asleep in the middle of sex, leaving your partner all, "Umm? Hello?" You tried to do something sexual you thought was super-sexy but the other person thought was weird, silly or downright gross. You were pretty sure you were rubbing someone's clitoris until they mentioned, and only afterward, that you were nowhere near when you thought you were right on target. 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. Your idea of what your own sexy is doesn't match up to someone else's. Your earnest sexuality right now is someone else's tired sexual cliche, or a phase in their own sexuality they're now past.

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. Despite how cru

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Can I Start Dating When I Have a Mental Illness?

Steelflower asks:

I'm a seventeen-year-old girl and ten months ago, I was diagnosed with a light form of pseudologica fantasia, usually known as mythomania. The basis of this illness is an addiction to telling lies. I'm seeing a therapist for this and she's a very kind and competent woman, but she has warned me that this illness is usually hard to cure and there are few known cases where the therapy was actually able to get rid of the problem. I'm doing a better job at keeping it under control than I used to but the urge is still there. I just keep it under wraps and tackle the illness on my own, with the support of my nuclear family. The thing is, one of my friends has recently expressed a romantic interest in me, and I would very much like to get involved in a relationship with him, but this would mean disclosing my problem to him, because of course I'm not going to enter a relationship without telling the other person involved about this first.

Why Does Friendship Matter to a Sex Ed Organization?

It struck me today that folks might sometimes wonder why, with an organization focused on sexuality, sexual health, and sexual relationships, we spend quite a bit of time talking about friendship. We do it in articles and blogs, and we talk with users often in our direct services about their friendships.

What's that got to do with what we do?

A lot. Perhaps far more than you'd think.

For starters, we strongly feel that friendship is at the core of any and every excellent, happy, healthy relationship, whether we're talking about a friendship that doesn't have any romance or sex in it at all, or we're talking about romantic relationships, sexual relationships or both. We think a sound friendship also has an awful lot to do with healthy family relationships, mentorships, and pretty much any ongoing human interaction we could possibly have.

Our relationships with people will also tend to be fluid through our lives. Friends can become lovers, lovers can become friends or family. Our super

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My boyfriend got so angry at me when my first time hurt. Will lube fix it?

coco23 asks:

I am 24. I am a virgin. I tried to have sex with my boyfriend. We didn't use condoms. He tried to put it inside of me. I was in pain. He went in a little. I was feeling uncomfortable. He was so angry. I told him, I wasn't ready. He was very angry. He told me to get over it. He is so frustrated. Is there way to get over the pain? Does lube work?

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.