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Words Mean Things. Specific things.

Just a brief request from us to the world-at-large, primarily with the aim of making our users lives a little easier. Secondarily, it'd also make the lives of those of us who work to help them daily in these areas easier, too, which would sure be nice.

Please do us and everyone else a favor and stop using certain words with very specific meanings as general shorthand.

Often some of these words and frameworks just really aren't shorthand for what you mean, and they confuse the heck out of people and make something even less clear that's already confusing enough. We do have clear, specific language we can use for many of the things people tend to use vague language or shorthand for, and when it comes to something as complex as sexuality and sexual and reproductive health, it really helps people out most when we use the right words to express what we mean.

In other words, this isn't about us or others being nitpicky jerks about semantics. Rather, it's us -- and usually others when they a

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I liked masturbating, but then I felt really gross about it. What now?

Csherenow asks:

I'm 13 years old. I've had an interest in sex since I was 10. So when I heard about masturbation for women, I was all for it. When I tried it, it felt great. But afterwards, I felt sick to look at my self in the mirror. I was disgusted by what I had done. Whenever I went back to school, I felt like everyone knew what I had done. I know they don't, but it still feels like it. It felt so good, though! Should I try again or just give up for the time being?

He says what I wear is slutty: what should I do?

c10el asks:

My boyfriend sometimes tells me what I wear is "slutty." I've tried to explain to him that I find this possessive, sexist and objectifying but he can't understand why. When I give up on that argument and try to just tell him that the only thing that should matter to him is that I feel good wearing it, he responds that he doesn't understand why I need to dress "slutty" to feel good. How can I articulate my feelings to him in a clearer way? Should I just compromise and not wear the offending articles (it really is only one or two things in my closet).

Why did I wind up in dating abuse?

Sauce asks:

I am from a country where dating is taboo. I was not in a relationship till my early twenties. The following may be hard to understand but I need to talk about it and know why I let this happen to me. It was my first relationship and I had little idea what to expect. Things were fine till my bf learned another man was interested in me and I might be interested in him too. That was the first time he told me he loved me and wanted to marry me. A torrent of emotional abuse followed. He started to tell me things like I was fat (I was not...I was 5'3 and 113 pounds) and not as pretty as his exes. He tried to tell me what to do with my life and how I was not that intelligent. I tried to break up but he wouldn't let me.

The Simple and Underrated Art of Washing Your Hands

Handwashing, seriously? Yep, handwashing. Seriously. (Well, mostly seriously.) Here's how to do it and why it's so important to do.

On a Boyfriend's Porn, Anger, Healing & Finding the Way to the Healthy & Whole

dragonflyy asks:

This may get a bit vivid. Be warned. I have a twisted sexual history. After being molested at age 5 and again at 14 I somehow allowed myself to get taken advantage of and used in regards to sex. It took me many years to heal and much pain to get to where I am now and I can have a healthy sexual experience with my current boyfriend. I stayed at his house when he was renting a room out of a bachelors pad and I understood and accepted that Playboy magazines were on every toilet and the toilet seats were always up. One day he came to the kitchen with a boner kissing on me and whatnot, a short while after I went up to the bathroom where he had been showering and found a Playboy open. Are you kidding me? How dare he have the audacity to come to me with a boner he got from a slut in a magazine? It was talked about and made clear I am not comfortable with that whatsoever, he should be loyal to me mind body and soul, and I should be enough for him; as it is likewise.

It's been months since then. I found some porn videos on his phone yesterday and it really repulsed me. I get dressed up for him, I go down on him, I put out frequently. We do get kinky. Now the reason this video offended me so much is I do let him [ejaculate] on my [breasts]: its a thrill for him. In this porn video there's a girl who looks like me, disturbing enough as is, and shes giving a guy a blowjob till he [ejaculates] on her [breasts], then she turns to the next guy and does it again. Screen changes and she's [having intercourse] from behind and he [ejaculates] in her, then she crawls forward and starts giving another guy head as yet another comes up to [have sex with her] from behind as well. TOO FAR. It's not your basic porn scene, and it bothers me that its a twisted repulsive obscene image of something him and I share intimately. We've just moved in together and I can't imagine ever letting him see me naked again. I feel like he twisted our passionate and beautiful sex into some perverted expression of his twisted fantasies.

Lions and Tigers and Orgasms, Oh My! When Orgasm Seems Scary.

jelsova asks:

I'm a girl and I've been with my boyfriend for 8 months. I'm 18 and he's my first boyfriend. We've never had sex (he has had it before) but we've done other things. I have a problem though, I'm really scared to orgasm. Like we'll be doing something that feels so good and I know that if we just continued a bit longer I would get there (I feel the muscles contracting, the heart pumping, the intensity building and all that) but then I chicken out and make him stop. He's fine with it and very supportive and respects that I'm so scared, but it bothers me. Why can't I just let myself get there? It's the same deal if I um, "pleasure myself." Is there any way I can or he can help myself get over this fear of the unknown?

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. I'm afraid if I don't lose my virginity soon I will develop a sexual frustration that will eventually cause me to hurt someone. I know that I'm just a troubled, caring guy. But I can't help but hate myself sexually. I don't know what to do.

Whose Vagina Is It, Anyway?

Anonymous asks:

I'm a 32 year old woman being driven up the wall by my fiance always telling me he can tell I'm playing with my toys when he's at work because I'm loose that day. I swear to him up and down that I haven't and even tell him the last time that I have done something like that. But he doesn't want to hear it. He always says I'm lying about it all. Why somedays is my vagina tighter than another day? Is there a position during sex that would make my vagina tighter? I already do those "pee exercises." Please HELP!!! I'm sick of being accused of something I'm not even doing.

Sex Education Is A Political Act.

This guest post from Arvan at SexGenderBody is part of a blog carnival to raise awareness and funding for Scarleteen.

In terms of group politics - there are large groups of people who are fighting to prevent you from learning any facts about sex. Facts that can effect your health, income, present, future, career, happiness, ability to have or enjoy sex, choice of sex partners and even the ability to have sex.

People get elected using by using sex to scare voters - queer sex, teen sex, unmarried sex, kinky sex, fun sex, sex of any kind. Cultural practices and commonly held beliefs about sex punish or shame people for even discussing sex, much less teaching it to a classroom.

Organized religions and self-appointed 'holy men' claim to speak for their god in calling sex a sin. Sex is a fact of mammalian evolution and humans are mammals. That undisputable, proven fact is a direct challenge to the notion of sin and therefore a challenge to any religious or secular institution that bel

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