consent

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?...

I'm 14 and sure my boyfriend wants sex: but is now the right time?

Hannah0035
asks:
Hi I am 14 years old and me and my boyfriend have been dating for 2 months on the 20th... we're mostly all teenagers here and young adults and can tell that guys want more than just make-outs, hugs and kisses they want sex... I wouldn't have a problem having sex with him....

I survived sexual assault, then got stuck in a relationship I don't feel good about.

antigone68
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I’m a woman in my early twenties and identify as a feminist. Last November I was raped by someone I had previously considered to be a close friend. However, the assault itself isn’t what I am writing about. I’ve read many of Scarleteen’s wonderful articles on sexual assault and I am quite comfortable with the idea that what happened to me isn’t my fault....

She just won't stop pressuring me for sex and babies.

marshmallowthreat1
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I'm in an on again-off again type relationship with my "girlfriend." We get along and everything, but on some things we don't see eye to eye. We've had sex before, and that's kind of the problem. She keeps pressuring me into having sex! You don't really hear it this way with guys, but it's the truth. She knows what she wants, and she wants it now!...

Four Daughters, Four Moms, Four Sex Talks

happy_active_loved_17
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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....

Summering Safe and Sound

Here in the hemisphere I live in, we're into the swing of summer. Ah, summer, my personal favorite season. I love the sun, the warmth, everything blooming, the energy, the spirit of the season.

It's also the time of year when we tend to see the most new users coming to us because they're in a crisis or a panic, or are just really, really feeling down in the dumps. We know that the idea of summer as a happy, carefree time for all young people doesn't square with the reality that for plenty, it's not, whether that's about tough stuff happening, or about having experiences that aren't negative, but are just super-challenging. With that in mind, here are a few tips and things to think about as you get into (or grapple with) your summer groove:

I worry that because I'm a man, I am going to sexually abuse someone.

aplanacanalpanama
asks:
My mom was a victim of incest as a girl and has used it to invalidate my emotions. I blame the incest, not my mom, but it still hurts. But I can't help but feel like I, as a man, am dirty to be sexual. I can't draw a line in my head between good sex and bad sex. I am a virgin because when I get close to sex, the girl will start reminding me of my mom or my sister....

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 a talk which included a piece published in the International Journal of Sexual Health (2010, 22(1), 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.