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Love, Growth, Fear & Other Kinds of Big-Scary-Wonderful

pixie9000 asks:

Can you explain to me what love is please? How does one feel? Can you describe the effects for me? or, is it the kind of thing you just have to know? Does it go away? Or is it something permanent? I think that I am falling in love with my boyfriend.

He is a senior, and I am a junior. Next year he is going off to college, most likely a really prestigious one far away. We have been going out for only about 4 months, but we have known each other for a few years, and in the last 4 months we have spent so much time together (pretty much every minute) it feels like it has been much longer.

We recently had sex for the first time (first time for me, not for him), and several times since the first time. I have to say, I'm not crazy about it yet, but what I am crazy about is the connection it makes me feel between the two of us. He is extremely considerate of how I feel during sex, and he wants me to figure out what I like. He is so caring and sensitive to how I feel, and we have talked about sex and our relationship a lot, and how sex will affect our relationship and emotions. I like having sex, and I love the time we spend together. We have talked about love, and how we don't really understand what it is, but agree that we definitely have a deep connection. But I'm afraid that my feelings for him are going to become too intense, and I am going to fall in love with him, and then he is going to go off to college and my heart will break (I know, that sounds cliche).

We have talked about love, and I think we both said we feel like were falling slowly, even if we don't completely understand it, like, what it really means. He says "lets fall, but not fall too hard," and I agree, I don't know if I can handle the raw emotion of love. After we have sex, I feel elated, but later, when he leaves, I feel depressed because I know that he is going to leave the city after high school, and then our relationship will be over and I wont feel this connection any more. Am I just overthinking this whole thing?

My father isn't respecting my personal boundaries.

Halia asks:

My father and I don't have the best relationship but he continually forces me to give him hugs, kisses, etc. even after I say no. It really bothers me, even if it is just a kiss on the cheek. He also comes in my room a lot (without knocking) and lays down in my TWIN size bed with me and wont leave even after I tell him to get up. I don't know what to do anymore and I don't feel like I can trust him anymore because he never respects what I want to do. What should I do about this?

How can I help my trans partner with a medical transition?

myself5 asks:

Okay, so I'm a female high school junior. There's this girl (sweet, geeky, smart, funny, the works) that I may soon be starting a sexual relationship with. She's trans and just started taking hormones. Currently she's male, but eventually, her "outie" will become an "innie," so to speak. I've heard mixed things about this surgery, and I don't know if she'll be able to feel things the same way afterward. She's very sexual, and obviously I want to be able to do stuff with her, so this is a big concern. What will the aftermath of the surgery be like? What are the risks of the procedure? What can I do to help her get through this?

Pornography, Strip Clubs & Other Feminist Relationship Quandaries

sylviaplath asks:

I could really use some help on this issue. I am a feminist, and pride myself on being open-minded and trying to keep my insecurities in check. I have been with my boyfriend for years, and we have lived together for 2. Within the past few months I have been looking at his computer and seeing that he watches pornography. While I do try to understand why, I cannot help but feel hurt. It brings up issues I have with my own body and makes me feel bad and inadequate. While I am trying to come to grips with this, I have found out that his friend is getting married and they are going on a trip. I know they will be going to strip clubs, and this is making me crazy. He is not the type of guy who would cheat on me or that would probably really enjoy this, but then again I didn't think he was the type to watch porn. I feel like I have become more paranoid knowing about this porn-viewing and now I am not able to see clearly this situation. My main question is, if he gets a lap dance, this is considered cheating, right? It seems like this male tradition that for some reason is okay, and it's just this free pass. Should I talk to him about it? Do I have a right to be upset? I feel so anxious and like I'm losing my grip with him and with my own feminism. Please help me.

Love the Glove: 10 Reasons to Use Condoms You Might Not Have Heard Yet

You've probably heard or thought some things about condom use that might be keeping you or others from using them or from using them consistently, and I'm willing to bet you haven't heard everything I'm about to say. Even if you're already using condoms and using them every single time properly, I bet you know someone -- a sibling, a friend, a sexual partner -- who could stand to hear ten great reasons to use condoms.

Why is one group of women so different than another when it comes to interest in sex?

P1990 asks:

I am a 19-year old male, and all the time I hear or read things about females that age or even younger getting into sex, including right here on Scarleteen. But just about every female around my age that I know has little to no interest in sex. What is it that makes these groups of people so different? I'm worried I might not find any partners that are interested in it. I'm not desperate to have sex, or want to base a relationship solely on it, but I do want to have a partner who enjoys it and with whom I can explore sex.

How do I tell my boyfriend I don't think he's ready for sex yet?

erohwaremac asks:

My boyfriend and I have been going out for over five months now. In an emotional sense, we're a perfect couple. We love and respect each other, and get along incredibly. However, I am his first real girlfriend. I'm only the third girl he's ever kissed and done other things with. We "fool around" such as we make out, he feels me up and fingers me, and I go down on him, etc. However, I have essentially taught him everything he knows. He is a virgin. I am not. He tells me he is ready for sex, but despite the fact that I love and think the world of him, I know that he is not. Biologically he is raring to go, but emotionally he is not. I don't really know how to tell him this. I know it won't compromise the relationship, but I just don't want him to feel like I think of him any less. I just want his first time to be special and wonderful. And the only way I can let that happen is if he is totally emotionally ready. Deep down, he agrees with me, but his hormones are getting the better of him. I don't want to deny him, but at the same time I don't want to hurt him either. What do you suggest?

Love Letter

I'm writing this because someone told you that you can't understand or experience love at your age. If no one did yet, they probably will soon enough. I'm writing to tell you that if you've heard that, I just don't think it's true.

The Cutting Room Floor: On Sexting

With everyone talking about it so much lately, thought I'd reprise the topic with some questions Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon.com asked me about sexting a few months ago, and the whole of my answers. To see her finished piece, you can meander over here.

Q: Where does "sexting" -- or for that matter, taking nude self- portraits or videos that they may or may not share with a significant other, friends or a crush -- fall within teenage sexual development?

I'd lump television in with the 'net and other new media when I say that with the media presence being what it has become, the need or desire to seen -- already a typical part of young adult development as well as human existence -- has become huge. And that's not just about sex, but because sexual development and exploration is also a big part of being a teen, as well as a part of life, period, and something that's still treated as provocative, particularly when in any way public, sex enters into this.

You're asking about teens using t

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Feeling lost in a long-distance relationship

aroplane asks:

I have been in a long distance relationship for a year now. We are in love, but he is a year older than me and is going to college this year. We decided a long time ago that breaking up would be the best option in order to avoid one of us cheating or having to break up on bad terms later on. The goal is to preserve our friendship.

The problem is we are still in love and so far we have been acting the same way that we did when we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. We still say I love you and talk every day. At first we decided to label our status as "broken up", however we then decided that since we weren't acting broken up that we should not call our status anything and ignore labels and just listen to our feelings and be honest with each other all the time. That sounds good in theory but now we are in this relationship limbo that seems so fragile and hopeless.

My friend told me that the best thing to do in order not to end up getting taken over by jealousy down the line would be to stop talking to each other all together and try to get over one another. There is one big big big problem with that idea and that is that we are in love and the thought of not speaking to him tears me apart. I want to know my "boyfriend" forever one way or another. He accepts me and loves me for who I am. We have so much fun together. When I'm with him I feel safe and beautiful. Nothing compares to it.

If we HAVE to break up then I do want to be friends if that is all we can be, but I don't know how to do that when I would rather be his girlfriend. I need him in my life. He needs me in his. What is the best way to handle this situation?

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