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When Sex is Just a @#*&!ing Bummer

Sometimes sex is amazing. Other times, it's nice. Then there are the times it sucks. How do you deal, and what's the hidden value in not-at-all-awesome sex?

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.

Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist

Thinking about partnered sex? Do yourself a favor and look through our checklist to get a good idea about the readiness of you and your partner -- it's more complicated and demanding than many people think, and knowing what you need to get ready can help assure that your sexual experiences with a partner will be as great for both of you as possible.

Scarleteen Confidential: Ten Questions with Dr. Karen Rayne about Parenting, Sex, and Communication

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at

You've probably seen all kinds of adults writing about teens and sex. Some of that writing is well-researched and thoughtful. Some --- most, sadly -- is hysterical and full of fearmongering and shoddy (or no) research. I was lucky enough to interview an author who belongs solidly in the first category.

Dr Karen Rayne has spent the past ten years actively and thoughtfully supporting parents and teens in their conversations about sex and sexuality, and she's released a new book called Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Tips for Talking to Teenagers about Sex, which we think is accessible, compassionate, and incredibly useful. Keeping with the


I'm a Girl, does that Mean I can't Make the First Move?

tay.s asks:

I'm an 18 year old girl and have dated plenty of people. But my family has always been the type that believes guys should pretty much do the pursuing. My mom always says, if a guy wants a girl, he will make it known and he will try to make it happen. If he doesn't, he's not the right guy for you. Because of this, I've always let the guys come to me. My problem is that sometimes I'm interested in a guy and I feel he's interested in me, but it's not always the best situation to engage in a conversation like that. Like today, I was at an event geared towards kids. I was with my son but my mom tagged along. There was a guy running a booth and I was interested and he was definitely flirting but it just wasn't good for a full out conversation. Every time we passed him, he said something to me, even engaged my son and made him laugh, but he never took it a step further and I was convinced he wasn't as interested as I thought and ended up leaving with just a "have a good one". Sometimes I wish I could slip my number or ask him out or something but I never do because of my upbringing. Consequently, I end up thinking about it the rest of the day and often come to the conclusion that he must not have been interested in me like I thought and it kind of bums me out. I'm just not sure what to do about it? Should I stick to the family philosophy or maybe step out my comfort zone and go for it a couple times? Is there any way to feel a little more confident or know a little more clearly whether or not he's really interested?

Hours of Intercourse? Nope. (And also: Ow.)

kayla17 asks:

Me and my boyfriend are both 17. Today we started sex but it only lasts 3 minutes. How can we make it last 1 or 2 hours?

Help! My Friend is Dating a Creepy Dude.

themathgirl asks:

There’s a guy I see frequently (We're in a small major together in school, we live in the same dorm) who has sexually harassed a number of girls in my group of friends. And now recently one of my friends told me that he raped her a year ago(the statute of limitations has passed.)
I don't trust him. Most of my friends and I do what we can to avoid him. However, my roommate/close friend started dating him four months ago. She knows about his bad behavior towards her friends. She knew about it when she started dating him. Maybe she doesn't believe it. Maybe she doesn't care. She refuses to listen to their claims that she's dating an asshole.
Knowing about this guy's general creepiness and having seen this friend disappear almost completely from our social circle to spend all her free time alone with him makes me worry he is abusing/manipulating/being an asshole to her. I've been told that often people put up with abusive relationships because they feel they have no social support outside the abuser. So the very last thing we, her friends, should do is let her disappear. In case she is being emotionally manipulated/abused/whatever, I want to show her that she has a network of friends other than him who care about her and support her. She won't spend time with friends without him though, and none of us (especially not the people he has harassed and abused) want to be around him. What do you recommend I do?

Scarleteen Confidential: In Defense of Teen Media

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at

For two years, I worked in a bookstore that was aimed primarily at children and teenagers. It was a job I quite enjoyed, but I quickly discovered that when you work near books, people always want to tell you their opinions on said books. That's fine most of the time. But I noticed a pattern when parents or adults would refer to The Hunger Games series. They would express dismay over a child wanting to read the book, wondering what they saw in it, and either implicitly or explicitly stating that they thought the book was not good for youth to be reading. I would usually give a neutral response about how yes, the book is dark (for t


You Can't Test for Virginity

Tammyluvgurl asks:

Hello I'm 13 and don't plan on having sex but my mother says that when I'm 16-18 she is going to get me checked to see if I'm still a virgin because I'm religious and we believe in no sex till marriage. Even though I don't plan on having sex, does masturbation affect the test the doctors going to take? And how do they take this test? Because I don't want to masturbate and find out the doctor says I'm not a virgin. Is there even a way for the doctors to test it (because my mom could be bluffing)?

P.S. me and my moms relationship is good so she would trust me if I told her I didn't have sex plus if I did she would be understanding.

My Friends Think It's Gross When I Talk About Sex

Freckle Face asks:

I"m 17 and I need some advice about my friends. We've known each other for years, one since toddler hood and the other two since middle school. They all talk about losing their virginity (or just having sex in general) all the time. When we go to college next year, when her boyfriend comes home for the summer, and on and on. However, whenever I say anything regarding something like that, they act like it's the grossest thing they've ever heard. It's like I don't get to have sexual thoughts like other people. All my other friends are perfectly fine with me commenting on those kinds of things, but my "best" friends aren't. Is that normal or do they not want me to talk about that for some reason?

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