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When Sex "Just Happened" (And How to Make It Happen Instead)

Has sex felt like it's "just happening" to you, rather than something where you're an active participant? Here's how to change that.

Of Bums and Bellies: When Body Image is Down and Out, Should Sex Be Up and Running?

Vee17 asks:

My boyfriend and I have recently discussed trying anal for the first time together. I'm perfectly happy to try it apart from a few concerns, most of which I've found answers and explanations to in response to questions already asked by other users. But there's one issue I've not come across: it's quite personal and frankly I've never spoken to anyone about it, ever, not even my partner. I know that pubic hair grows to quite far down past the vagina, but I seem to have quite a lot of hair around my anus. It's something I've tried getting rid of by shaving but I can't reach it all. I've never waxed, but I'm considering it because I wouldn't want to have a hairy bum while trying anal. I don't know if anyone else has this or if it's even safe to wax around there, but I'd really like a solution because then I think I'd be more comfortable not only about anal sex but also about my body image anyway.

Of forgotten condoms. And days without pants.

It occurs to me that the "we both forgot to use condoms" thing that comes up often enough is a bit like suggesting that a person forgot to wear pants.

For a whole day.

And didn't notice.

At all.

They got home, and after hours of being out in the cold or the sun, at work, getting lunch, taking the bus back and forth, only when they saw their pants laying on the bed did they go, "Whoah! I haven't had pants on ALL DAY! I had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER!"

Just think about it. Seriously. Think about it. If in doubt, try The Great Pantsless Experiment and see how long you go without noticing.

Here's a thing to know: chances are AWFULLY good that at least one person in that situation, and certainly the person who would be WEARING the condom realizes they're not wearing a condom. Probably right from the start, but if not then pretty darn shortly thereafter.

That person is highly unlikely not to feel any difference at all, because even though various kinds of sex can feel just as awesome with condoms

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Oral sex doesn't affect me. Is this normal?

Fairydomain asks:

When my boyfriend preforms oral sex on me and "eats me out" it's like it has no affect on me. Is this normal? I mean, he's down THERE... using his mouth... shouldn't that affect me? It's almost as if I just don't feel it either. Sometimes I exaggerate my motives a bit when he does just to make him feel a bit better. It's not that I don't WANT him to. And I don't want him to stop. I just... don't feel like it's anything. And it makes me feel bad.

Quick Hits: Yet More Kinds of No

Sevensinz asks:

I was wondering, can a doctor tell if you've masturbated? And in the case they can, is it possible to mistake it for being sexually active? I'm asking because I have a lot of health problems and I have to see an OB/GYN soon, which means that there's a chance the doctor will check to see if my vagina looks right. And I'm really scared because I don't want them to think that I'm sexually active, which with my health, would probably cause them to talk to my parents. And I'm just to shy to stick up for myself, so I really don't want that to happen. Thanks in advance for your answer.

Our sexual partners can't read our minds. The good news is, they don't have to.

XmimiX asks:

I've been with my boyfriend for around 7 months now, and I love him to bits! We get on so well, but when it comes to sex, I'm really let down. I lost my virginity to him when we first started going out. Being new to it, I was learning and exploring, but after months of the same thing I'm really dismayed. He always comes really soon - not prematurely - but soon enough its over before I've realised its begun! He only can go for a while if he moves slow, which is boring. Also, like most girls I can't orgasm through actual penetration easily, so I'd have to rely on oral sex for stimulation, but he never makes the effort... I always go down on him and hope he returns the favour but he never does. He does care and tries to make sex good, but when I tell him I can "come in other ways" he never takes the hint and never goes down on me. I don't like to ask him directly as I'm self conscious of the situation, and I don't want to offend. I love him so much but please help! It's really putting me off sex :(

I have a strong hormonal cycle and it's affecting my relationship.

jessie09642 asks:

Thanks so much for such a useful and honest site, it's a big help figuring this stuff out. I am 19 and in my first serious relationship. I seem to have a strong hormonal cycle, my body changes a lot from week to week. I have tried my best to explain this to my boyfriend, but he doesn't understand how things that feel good to me one day might not feel like anything, or hurt me, the next. For instance, he likes to squeeze and massage my breasts - sometimes I love this, but sometimes (usually before my period is due) it hurts so much I have to ask him to stop. Also, I'm usually really wet, but for a week or so after my period sometimes I don't really get wet no matter how turned on I am. He thinks I'm confused about what I like, or that if I say something hurts or I don't get wet it means he's doing something wrong or I'm not actually turned on or enjoying myself even when I am. It frustrates him that he has to ask if something feels good every time we do stuff together. Is there anything I can get him to read that might explain why this happens better than I can or in a way that he'll understand? Also, some women in my family have had problems with combined birth control pills and my doctor says I shouldn't take them, but if I took the mini pill would this stop happening so much?

Should I tell potential partners that I am inexperienced?

StellaCadente asks:

I am 19 years old and a junior in college. I've never been kissed or had any sort of sexual experience other than masturbation. I know the time will come, someday, for me to start dating someone, and the odds are that this someone will be 19 or older and have a lot more experience than me. Neither my virginity or the other's experience is an issue for me, really, what is an issue is how I would be treated if I were to admit my lack of experience. I'm afraid I will stop being seen as desirable if they find out they are the first to ever want to kiss me (which is not necessarily true but is what one assumes). Even if they still find me desirable, I'm afraid I'll be treated like an immature person only because I haven't had that sort of experience... I want to believe that my life, so far, has been worth living, even if it didn't include smooching, and that I've grown as a person even lacking kisses. But I am afraid the person I trust with my first kiss won't think the same as I do and I'll be given a hard time for this. In short, should I talk about my lack of experience with future sexual partners?

How can I masturbate without my parents knowing?

saraflyy97 asks:

This may sound silly but I'm a 15 year old girl I want to masturbate without my parents knowing. The only opportunity I get is at night in my room, but I'm afraid because I don't want my parents to hear me or anything. Hopefully I won't make noise. Also, I'm worried that if I ejaculate (I think females can) it will stain my sheets or something, and I can't have my parents see that. Will ejaculation fluid stain permanently? What can I do to be able to masturbate, but keep my parents from finding out? I feel that masturbation should be private and not a family matter, so I just need to know how to keep it to myself. Thanks!

The Testing Diaries: Robin

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're doing this series at Scarleteen. In it, some of our volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

Ten years ago, I knew about using lube, about making first-time intercourse comfortable, and about pregnancy prevention options, but it seems I didn’t know much about sexually transmitted infections.

My partner at

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