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Decoding Sex in the Media: There are No Blurred Lines When it Comes to Consent

For many young people, Robin Thicke’s hit single "Blurred Lines" has become the anthem of the summer. Recently topping the Billboard Hot 100 list and rising to the position of most-downloaded song on iTunes, “Blurred Lines” seems to be thumping out of every stereo speaker on the planet. And for good reason -- it’s a very catchy song, with a strong beat and ostensibly fun lyrics. It also comes along with a controversial video full of naked women, which has no doubt amped up its notoriety. Like many artists before him, Thicke sings about a complex topic -- sex -- but he makes the mistake of ignoring a crucial underlying issue: consent.

Throughout the song, Thicke addresses a woman he perceives as a potential sex partner, continuously making assumptions about her sexual intentions. He sings that he’s “gon’ take [have sex with]” her, repeatedly insisting, “I know you want it”. (He also calls said woman a bitch, an animal, and refers to himself as pimping.)

In the middle of the chorus, Th

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How Do I Let Go of Feeling Sexually Unattractive?

Porphyria asks:

I had sex for the first time shortly after turning 20 (about a year ago), but I wish I had done it sooner. I know I had been ready and willing at age 16 or so -- the problem was just that no one was interested in me that way, but in the other girls around me. It still hurts, in a bizarre and surprising way. I feel like being a virgin for so long was not my choice; I feel like the decision was made for me by other people who decided I wasn't attractive enough to be with. To this day I still wonder if I'm intensely sexually unattractive, and if the occurrence at age 20 was just a fluke that will not repeat itself. How can I let go of this? How can I cope with late loss of virginity and stop seeing it as a personal failure to pass muster in terms of attractiveness?

He Doesn't Want to Have Sex Anymore: How Can I Change His Mind?

cupcakewars77 asks:

My boyfriend for about two years now told me he doesn't feel like having sex. I told him I still do. He says all we ever do is have sex. That's not true. It's frustrating but I want sex and he doesn't. He is going to college this year and I won't see him as much because he will be so far way. Whenever we are to "fool around" he gets all serous and say I don't feel like having sex or no it doesn't feel right even though I am on the pill and we always use perfection. Always. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to even get him to have sex with me? I am confused and stressed out. It's been months and I feel like he is pulling away. Help!

How do I keep him from going in the wrong hole?

totallyconfused19 asks:

I am 23, so this will probably sound silly and foolish but I don't have anyone else to ask these things so here goes: First off, how do you know it's in the right hole? My boyfriend and I were getting involved last night for the first time, and at first it hurt horribly like I was being ripped apart.

He re-adjusted and it still hurt a little but nothing like before, it was mostly just a lot of pressure. Was he in the wrong hole before? How do I keep that from happening? Also his penis is BIG and my vagina is not. How far in should he go? Can he cause damage by going too far? Thanks for the advice.

Dealing With Doctors: Taking Control of Your Health Care Destiny

Taking charge of our own healthcare can be a daunting task, especially if you don't know how to navigate healthcare systems or work with providers. We're demystifying some of that for you, providing a toolbox to help you make sound decisions and get the best care possible.

I was friendzoned by a girl I like; what do I do now?

Angelscar asks:

I was friendzoned and things are kinda awkward. I have known this girl for 4 years now, and I am in love with her for about 16 months or so. I found the courage to tell her how I feel about her but she said she sees me as a friend. I can't stop thinking of her. I know it's hard to get out of that friend zone thing, but I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks.

Did abortion make me unable to orgasm?

poonamdeshmukh asks:

I had to go through an abortion at the age of 18 of a 20 week fetus. I had experienced orgasm just once in my life before the abortion. I have not experienced orgasm after my abortion through any sexual activity or masturbation. Have the abortion made me unorgasmic? I am getting married soon and I'm worried whether I'd be able to satisfy my partner, since I m doubtful whether my partner would have the same experience he used to have before abortion and whether I'd ever reach climax. Kindly help.

It's My Birthday: What I Want Is For You To Tell the Truth

Today is my birthday.

If you've been a reader here for more than a year or two, you might have noticed that some years, I ask for something for my birthday here, and not usually something that's a thing, like a pony, a fire hoop, a scooter with a sidecar for my little dog, or a life-sized Fozzie Bear I could tell bad jokes to while going wokka-wokka (though I'd oh-so-gladly accept all of those things, for the record).

If and when I have a birthday where I blow out candles, the wish I make when I do is usually something around positive social change, and often positive social change in regard to sexuality. In a word, what I usually really, really want for my birthday is for people to have happier, healthier sexual lives, to feel better about sex and whatever their sexualities are, and to be more accepting and supportive of the diverse sexualities of all people.

One of the very biggest problems we have in most of our cultures and communities around sex and sexuality is silence, secrecy

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My girlfriend says she loves me, but doesn't want to be sexual with me now that I'm transitioning.

praying-for-a-miracle asks:

I'm transgender. My girlfriend has supported me from the time we got together, celebrating my "transliness", even finding tips to help me transition easier. When I got my packer, she laughed at it and asked me to take it off. I felt humiliated, but did so. Ever since then, she begs me to take it off if we start to become intimate. (The term there is "if"; our intimacy has been on a steady decline ever since then.) Now that I'm on testosterone, she's shying away even more. It seems that being able to afford a decent quality binder has really halted anything. She's even refusing to kiss me more than once or lay against me. A few nights ago she said that something was bothering her and to not get offended. She admitted that she is a lesbian, and only got with me originally because I was female bodied. She says that she's fallen completely in love with me, but is no longer sexually attracted to me unless I take my packer and/or binder off. She coaxes the binder off by offering a back massage. (Seeing as I have pulled every muscle in my back and slipped 2 discs, I can't refuse.) I have absolutely no idea what to do. I'm humiliated. She says that she will always love me, but is sexually frustrated. She doesn't want to leave me because she loves me, but would rather have sex with a girl. Any advice or..?

Left Foot, Red, Right Hand, Green: The Deal on Sex Positions

What positions are there for sex? How do you do them? Which is the best one? And why does everyone seem to think positioning is so complicated when it's really not?

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.