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I decided not to continue an LDR, but now I'm not so sure.

zombiess asks:

I have been in a long distance relationship for about 7 months. We were never official, but all the feelings were there between the two of us. Neither of us wanted it to end but we did so anyways, because of money and distance.

Now I regret it, and he's just doing what he thinks is right, not what he wants. We have so much in common and we both agreed when we are with each other it makes it all worth it. HELP! What do I do? How do I move on? He wants me to be the one he runs to, and he wants to be the one I run to. He also still wants to fly me out there and still see me. And we both say the two of us never kissing is hard to deal with. I'm at a loss.

Five Things I Learned Dating a Girl

Dating this wonderful person pushed me to think about some things in new and challenging ways. Here are some of my favorite lessons that I learned when I dated a woman.

“What’s Your Preferred Gender Pronoun?”

Here’s something that happened to me last month: I got asked my preferred gender pronoun.

For those who aren’t familiar, this is a thing that tends to happen a lot at queer-positive conferences and gatherings these days. When you go around the room at the beginning of a session, you’ll say your name, something about yourself, maybe answer an ice-breaker question, and state your preferred gender pronoun.

It can be he/him, she/her, they/their, or one of the newer invented substitutes like ze or hir. Or, you can say you’d prefer to be referred to by your name.

I first encountered this tradition in 2011, I think. Maybe 2010. Most likely it was at a United States Student Association conference. The not-so-radical-anymore idea behind it is that respecting people’s gender identity is important, and volunteering your identity can be awkward, and misgendering someone is hurtful. So rather than guessing, or asking individual people to speak up if their preferences are non-standard or non-obvio

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Meet Our New Volunteer Assistant Director!

I'm excited to introduce and welcome Robin Mandell as our new volunteer Assistant Director!

Robin came to Scarleteen as an intern in early fall of 2011. After completing her internship, she immediately came on board as a volunteer, primarily focusing on copyediting (or, as she calls it, tidying our "stacks"), content development and our direct services. Robin's kindness, great attention to detail, and dedication to doing all she can to help sustain and grow Scarleteen and support holistic, humane sex education and caring support have blown all of us here away right from the start.

In her new position as AD, Robin will continue with the work she has already been doing, and will also bring her fantastic people skills to volunteer management and, unsurprisingly, will be...well, assisting the director, including with aspects of Scarleteen I've mostly or entirely managed alone for our getting-close-to-15-years tenure.

If you contact us and hear back from Robin, it'll probably be because

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Bothered by being "hot and bothered"

Jackieson9d8 asks:

I'm 14 and am constantly hot and bothered and have constant erections. I've been like this for as long as I can remember even when I was little. I find I have to masturbate every 4 to 7 days or I will start to ache when I get a erection. I'm a little worried but I can't exactly discuss this with family or friends because it's embarrassing. I want to know if this is something to see a doctor about or if its fine as it is but any way it would really help if you could give me a reply.

I grew up told sex like I just had was absolutely off-limits: what now?

smf asks:

Hey! I'm 19, and from a very conservative background-Republic, Christian, the whole shebang. I'm a freshman at a pretty liberal college now, and I admit that I've gone the tiniest bit nuts with my newfound freedom. Before coming to college, I'd only made out with three guys - all of whom were Christian, all of whom I was dating at the time. But last weekend, I went home with a guy I didn't know, and I gave him a blow job and he fingered me. I was very adamant about NOT having sex, because I know I want that to be with someone I love.

I'm feeling pretty guilty now, though. Everyone would be so disappointed back home, because it was made clear to me that EVERYTHING is off limits till marriage. It felt great at the time, but do you think it's bad because I didn't know him at all?

Scarleteen By The Numbers: What's Gotten Better? What Has Not?

I want to focus this entry on the second of the optional questions in the demographics survey. Of the 2,000 participants who completed the survey, this question was answered by 1,530. The question was this: Since using Scarleteen, which of any of the following has changed for you, and by how much?

We saw a couple comments at the end of the survey, from statistics-focused folks, concerned that our aim was to state that whatever improvements users reported were solely because of Scarleteen. That was never the intent.

The intent in asking this questions was primarily to get a picture of what, if any, improvements relevant to what we address here our users were experiencing which may have been due to using our services or may not have been. What we most wanted to see was not the areas where we may have done a good job or where our users already felt things were going very well for them, but areas where it would seem sound to say we currently are not having the impact we'd like to with po

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Intercourse & Pleasure With a Spinal Cord Injury

abs1993 asks:

I'm seventeen and partially paralyzed from the waist down. I injured myself and got a spinal cord injury about a year and a half ago. I can move my legs, but not all of my muscles work. I've been going out with my incredible boyfriend for a while now and we have started having vaginal sex. One of the downsides of a spinal cord injury is that everything from the waist down has a little less feeling than normal. It's really hard for me to get anywhere past feeling turned on, and I think it has something to do with my numbness. I make sure my boyfriend is really careful to not hurt me and communicate with him pretty well. Are there any lubricants or other products that I could use to make sex a little more pleasurable for me? It usually doesn't hurt, but I have a hard time feeling anything. I see commercials for stuff, but I don't really know if they work. Thanks!

Finding Elmo: Getting My Kid & Myself Out Of Domestic Violence

I was in an abusive relationship. Here's what finally got me to leave and the story of my journey in getting myself, my child and my heart and head out for good.

It's a Powerful Thing

Earlier this week, in the context of another conversation, one of our users at Scarleteen mentioned that her feelings on abortion had changed to a negative when she learned that her mother's pregnancy had been unplanned, and that her mother considered abortion. She said that upset her, because she really liked existing. She did say she was still pro-choice, but her sentiment bothered me all the same. Some of why it bothered me was political, and also about the work that I do and have done. But in thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the ways it bothered me most were intensely personal.

The truth is, I envy her. A lot. I envy she was able to have a discussion in which her mother made clear she had the right to choose and she chose to remain pregnant and parent her. She wasn't forced, she wasn't pressured, she didn't do what she did because it was the only thing she could do without risking her life, her health, being locked away or hidden or committing a crime. She chose. S

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