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choices

Risky Business: Learning to Consider Risk and Make Sound Sexual Choices

Choices about sex and intimacy will always involve some risks, and making sound choices when risks, emotions and social high stakes are involved isn't something anyone is magically expert at. How can we learn to do it well, and what are some common things that trip us up?

Like a Virgin: What Having Sex and First Time(s) Have Meant to Me

Figuring out who you are as a sexual being, and what your sexual experiences mean to you, in a world full of double standards and outdated definitions can be quite confusing. Here's my story of "losing my virginity" and finding my identity when it comes to sex.

Breaking a No Condom Habit

CuriosityCat asks:

I am 20 and sexually active. I don't have a long term partner but have had and do have various partners. I have an IUD so I'm protected against pregnancy, however I know condoms are still hugely important. My problem is that I am completely stuck for what to say to make a man put one on. At the moment, it's just getting carried away then really kicking myself later. I have to be more diligent with this, but please- do you have any advice for laying down the law? A non awkward, but still sexy way of asserting myself?

I liked masturbating, but then I felt really gross about it. What now?

Csherenow asks:

I'm 13 years old. I've had an interest in sex since I was 10. So when I heard about masturbation for women, I was all for it. When I tried it, it felt great. But afterwards, I felt sick to look at my self in the mirror. I was disgusted by what I had done. Whenever I went back to school, I felt like everyone knew what I had done. I know they don't, but it still feels like it. It felt so good, though! Should I try again or just give up for the time being?

Morning-After Misunderstandings

Labels inside every box of morning-after pills, drugs widely used to prevent pregnancy after sex, say they may work by blocking fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus. Respected medical authorities, including the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic, have said the same thing on their websites.

Such descriptions have become kindling in the fiery debate over abortion and contraception. Based on the belief that a fertilized egg is a person, some religious groups and conservative politicians say disrupting a fertilized egg's ability to attach to the uterus is abortion, "the moral equivalent of homicide," as Dr. Donna Harrison, who directs research for the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, put it. Mitt Romney recently called emergency contraceptives "abortive pills." And two former Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, have made similar statements.

But an examination by The New York Times has found tha

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Rescripting Sex

Life has scripts. Little socially-agreed plays that we enact rather than trying to figure out all our interactions from scratch every time. Many of them are very simple. There's also scripts for sex. Unfortunately, the most common script out there is terrible.

Abortion, Pregnancy Options & Scarleteen

While we're on this topic today, on this day, just a couple reminders about where we stand and what we can help with should you or someone you know become pregnant when it was not wanted or intended.

1. We are a fully pro-choice organization, resolutely supportive of everyone's -- at every age -- right (even when they legally do not currently have that right) to choose to remain pregnant or terminate a pregnancy; to choose to parent, to choose to arrange an adoption, or to choose abortion. We feel that any and all of those choices are potentially best and most positive for a given person who is pregnant, that no one is unilaterally better than the other for all people.

2. We recognize that unintended pregnancy can and does happen to anyone who can become pregnant; that it happens to those who use contraception and those who do not, that it happens to those who choose to engage in sex and those who were not given a choice, that it is not a "punishment" for anything, nor a mark of anyon

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He gets oral sex from me: what can I do to get him to give me some?

starriestknight asks:

I'm 19 and have been with my boyfriend (also 19) for a little over two years. In the last year, our relationship has progressed sexually (but both of us have decided not to have intercourse). A few months ago, he performed oral sex on me. I'd given him blowjobs before and he asked if he could reciprocate. Afterward, though, he was really quiet. I got the nerve to him about it. He admitted he didn't like it. A few months passed, and we decided to try it again, to see if his opinion changed at all. Again, he said it wasn't his cup of tea. We decided it was best not to discuss it anymore because it wasn't working out.

I appreciate he at least tried to make an effort to reciprocate, because he said he felt bad for taking more than he gave, and I know he feels really bad he doesn't like it. But at the same time, he still won't do it. It's frustrating for me because I loved the feeling of it and I haven't been fully satisfied with him just fingering me. How do I bring this up after like months without making it sound like I'm upset with him or guilting him into giving me oral sex again? Other than this, we have a very healthy relationship. I love him a lot and he loves me too.

New Study Finds Long-Acting Contraceptives Much More Effective Than Pills (Especially for Those Under 21)

We're posting this across all of our channels, because it's mondo important.

From Reuters, today (bolding, ours):

A large real-life test of birth control methods found more U.S. women got pregnant while using short-acting methods such as pills, patches and vaginal rings — and the failure rate was highest when they were used by women under 21.

In a new study published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, about 7,500 women and teens in the St. Louis area were allowed to pick from a variety of contraception methods at no cost.

Over the course of the study — more than three years for women who completed all follow-up interviews — participants had a total of 334 unintended pregnancies. For the full study, see: bit.ly/KdMCQp

“We found that participants using oral contraceptive pills, a transdermal patch or a vaginal ring had a risk of contraceptive failure that was 20 times as high as the risk among those using long-acting reversible contraception,” said the research team, l

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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?

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