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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.

Yay, I'm Bisexual! How Can I Block Out All the Negative Messages & Stereotypes I Hear About It?

bifabulous asks:

I recently acknowledged to myself that I've liked girls as well as boys for a while now. I often find myself frustrated when people assume that my romantic interests in other women "don't matter" because women get romantic feelings for each other all the time, that girls don't count when it comes to sex and kissing, that because I say I'm bisexual I'm secretly straight and will end up with a guy in the end. I'm afraid of being fetishized. I hear men laughing about how hot Asian women are, how much they'd want a threesome with lesbian Asian women, and it just makes me so angry that I don't know what to do. I want my love to be for me, and I want other people -- my peers, family, friends -- to recognize and respect that, but I know that I live in an imperfect world where the ideal isn't always reality. I don't want to be a angry, bitter person all the time. How can I make sure that the relationships I pursue are for me and my partner only, when I feel frustrated by all the stereotypes that surround bisexual women, particularly Asian women and their supposedly submissive nature?

How Can I Navigate a Sexual Relationship in a Dorm Without Alarming My Neighbors?

MissBear asks:

I'm almost 18 years old and I've been in a very happy, healthy relationship with a boy my same age. For the past year, we've been experimenting with spanking - it has been a fantasy of mine for my whole life. We've taken things slow, with lots of communication before and after we try new things, and all the necessary safety measures. This has been a wonderful addition to our relationship, for both of us. But next year, we'll both be going off to college. If we stay together, I'm worried about how to conduct that part of our relationship in a college setting, where dorm rooms are close together and walls are thin. It's not a very quiet activity, and I'm worried about people overhearing and misreading the situation. However, I also don't want to go without it for the next 4 years! Do you have any advice?

Recovering from Sexual Shame

123throwme asks:

When I was younger, I was caught "experimenting" with oral sex by my parents. They reprimanded me severely. Ever since then I've had a hard time coming to terms with my sexuality. It took me a long time to get over my feelings of how "sex is bad," but now I'm in a healthy, sexually active relationship. My problem is that, although I want to be intimate with my boyfriend, there's a part of me that still feels the shame of my younger self. It's led to me being uncomfortable with myself, and especially uncomfortable with oral sex (giving, but mostly just receiving). My sex life is fine, but I can tell that my partner doesn't really understand where I'm coming from. I haven't told him any of this, and I'd rather not. What can I do to get over this feeling?

I Feel Guilty for Wanting Sex

weelittlehedgie asks:

I've been wanting sex again with my partner for a long time but I'm having problems. Because of our age gap I'm sort of the stereotypical hormone-raging teenager. I feel guilty for thinking about having sex so often and bothering my partner by trying to initiate sex. I feel uncomfortable even thinking about trying to talk about sex and express my need for it more often unless it's after we've had sex. The past few times we've tried to have sex, my partner's sleeping medication has made them tired before I believe either of us are satisfied. And when I really really want to have sex it is either on a school night (which we previously agreed was off-limits for sex) or there's a friend sleeping in the same room. It's making me frustrated. I don't know how to bring it up because I feel guilty and needy or that I might be cornering them into decisions they're not comfortable with. What am I supposed to do that won't have me constantly apologizing?

I like fantasizing about it: would I like it for real?

Prozac4490 asks:

I like to fantasize about being spanked when I masturbate, and I'm wondering if I would like it in real life sex play, too. Trouble is, I'm a little nervous about the idea of actually trying it out, and I'm too embarrassed to ask my boyfriend if he'd be cool with that! What should I do?

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.

Consent (and other social conundrums) When Clubbing

Dylan19 asks:

I am a 19 year old guy and I have a question both about club etiquette and general advice. I have gone to nightclubs/pubs a few times with my friends and on the dance floor sometimes girls seem to stand very close to me and seem to be "inviting me" or waiting for me to make some kind of move (everyone tells me, and I suspect its true). Occasionally they even rub up against me with their bum and such. I usually try to escape or pretend it didn't happen because I just get TOO nervous. Later, I kick myself because half the time it's a girl I find attractive and would be interested in either getting to know or having some kind of frisky contact with on the dance floor. One of the things is I am terrified of moving badly or out of rhythm, of doing something awkward. My friends are all kinda fed up with me as I ask them about their encounters and seem to pass up any potential encounter I could have out of nerves or fear. They think I'm kinda 'living through them' by not doing anything myself. I'm also wondering about consent. If a girl dances up to me and rubs against me, that shows interest but isn't 100% consent, so how can I put my arms around her or dance close to her but ask? It's hard to ask because of loud music, maybe running away as I do is the best option.

50 Shades of BS - How to tell the Difference Between Kink and Abuse

Most of us who work or volunteer here at Scarleteen are bookworms, and are also really interested in following popular culture to see what's happening, especially in terms of frank conversations about sex, sexuality, desire and fantasies. When a lot of people started talking about 50 Shades of Grey, we started paying attention. And when a bunch of media outlets started falling over each other to either hail the book for making BDSM mainstream and celebrating female sexuality or condemn it for those same reasons, we got curious.

As a woman who often enjoys being sexually submissive and as someone who has moved in kink circles, I set out many times to start reading the book, but shied away from it again and again. BDSM, in all its variations and manifestations, has a pretty bad rep: a lot of the time when we meet characters in books or on TV who engage in BDSM, they are either leather-clad outsiders (who are also often involved in sex work - think Lady Heather from CSI Las Vegas), or de

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