communication

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. The question was this: Since using Scarleteen, which of any of the following has changed for you, and by how much?

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 positive changes. In other words, this question seemed likely to be most useful in identifying our potential weak spots, rather than our strengths, and could give us a clearer sense on how and where we should look most to improve our content and approaches.

How (and why) to Root for Team Awkward

JanFirst2011
asks:
I am 15 years old and I have only made out once. I do not know the person I made out with, and I don't exactly remember what it was like. I want to make out with more people, but I am afraid I will not be good at it, I also don't want to embarrass myself with the person I do make out with. Another thing is, what if the person I do make out with tries to do more with me than I am ready?...

Male Bodies Vs. Female Bodies: Why Go There?

r89
asks:
I don't mean to ask a silly question, but is there anything that makes being female good in terms of sex? It seems to me men have all the biological luck - they are aroused more easily, they orgasm more frequently, they can orgasm regularly from both oral/manipulative sex and intercourse, their is more square inches of erectile tissue to play around with, etc....

Four Daughters, Four Moms, Four Sex Talks

happy_active_loved_17
asks:
I'm 18, and I've been sexually active for about three years. I met my current boyfriend in August of 2010 and we've been inseparable since. He just celebrated his 21st birthday. My problem is, my mom seems to think I'm her angelic, virginal teenager. (I'm one of five kids) She doesn't know I'm dating or that I'm not a virgin. Before I go away to college, I'd like to come clean to her....

Off Script: Some Sex Stuff that Isn't Talked About

PlaygroundPushover
asks:
I'm a virgin, a girl and on the pill. I have a boyfriend and we're ready to have sex. We've been talking about it for months and we both feel we are finally ready. I honestly cannot wait to have sex with him, (I wouldn't say I'm the girl in the classic script), we both want it. We're very comfortable around each other and have done everything except vaginal sex....

What Is Healthy Sexual Development?

Depending on your view, the answer to that question might seem really obvious or very tricky and hazy.

At a recent conference I was part of in London, Alan McKee presented Healthy sexual development: a multidisciplinary framework for research. What McKee and his colleagues determined to be the core parts of healthy sexual development had me jumping up and down in my seat with joy (literally: I may have disturbed my fellow attendees with my bouncing). It summed up the things we try to support, encourage and inform our users with and keep core at Scarleteen so well, and so much of what I think -- after many years of thinking hard about and working with these issues, and being fully and broadly immersed in them with a very diverse population -- truly is central to healthy sexual development.

I'm delighted to have permission to excerpt and reprint this framework here.

Prior to Periods

Laura
asks:
I'm 13 and i just want to know out of curiosity if you can have sex if you haven't ever had your periods AT ALL? Does it make any difference if you've had them before or if you haven't?...

I feel dirty and irresponsible because of genital herpes

fairies
asks:
I'm 20 and have been with my partner for about two and a half years. We have a great relationship and are happy together. However, two years ago, when we first started sleeping together, I contracted genital herpes, even though we used condoms. I was a virgin before I slept with him so I knew it had come from him....

How Can a Lesbian Have Sex With a Dyke? (Or, How Good Consent & Communication is the Answer to Everything for Everyone)

Sun11
asks:
I'm a 19 year old lesbian ("Lipstick") and my girl friend is a "Dyke" and I know she has had previous partners and well so have I but never a Dyke. I'm scared of what may happen when we actually do have sex. What if I do something she's not comfortable with? Matter of fact what do I do if I do? I'm scared that I'll completely blow it and ruin our sexual relationship. ...