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The Importance of Consent in Everyday Situations

Yesterday, I had my hair cut.

As the stylist called my name, she asked if I would like a shampoo. I politely declined. She then noticed how thick my hair is and she said she was going to take me back to the sink to wet it. And being incredibly used to this, I readily agreed and followed.

But just as she had finished wetting my hair and I expected her to turn the water off, she started squirting stuff on my head.

I froze. I’m not great with confrontation, especially with strangers, and have difficultly forming exactly what I want to say in just a short moment. She kept rubbing my head, then squirting some more, rubbing and squirting, rubbing and squirting.

The salon smell was all around me, and finally when she’d finished rinsing, only to squirt yet more stuff on my head, I blurted out “so what’s all this stuff you’re putting on my head?”

“You don’t use conditioner?” she asked incredulously.

Once she’d finished lecturing me on why I should use conditioner, I opened my mouth again to sa

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The Road Back From Whatever

While out of town this weekend, between two plane trips and a couple late evenings up reading, I started and polished off Elliott Currie's The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence in very short order.

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A Correction, an Apology and a Hard Object Lesson on CPCs

In an advice answer on Crisis Pregnancy Centers here at Scarleteen, and also reprinted for my column at RH Reality Check, I originally included a link to a hotline -- the American Pregnancy Helpline -- as one option for women looking for support with a pregnancy they wanted to sustain rather going than to a CPC.

I unfortunately, and very unintentionally, proved my own point in the piece too well.

The point is how easy it can be to be fooled by CPCs, even when you're pretty savvy, aware of practices CPCs typically employ and even when you're writing an article in protest of them. I -- and others -- appear to have been duped into thinking a site and organization was respectful of women's right to choose, when, in fact, it was itself a CPC and a funnel to other CPCs.

I gave the link because when women choosing to continue a pregnancy are seeking help, they deserve to find it, and I thought some might be found there. I -- as I made clear in that article -- would never want to send a wo

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The Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre’s Youth Website

This website provides information for survivors, as well as ways to contact local shelters, legal help, and counselors. Most of the information is for residents of the Ottawa, Ontario region, but there is also information for other Canadian provinces.

My best friend was raped: what can I do for her?

Suze asks:

First off, thank you for this site. It's wonderful. Now, I'm a just-graduated senior, and my best friend went with a big group to Florida for their senior trip. She called me wasted and crying, upset and saying that this guy I'll call E wanted to have sex with her, she told him no, and he did it anyway. His side of the story was that she didn't protest. Sounds like rape, right? But she's known for teasing guys, and people might not believe her. And they liked each other a while back--E never displayed any signs of being likely to take advantage of someone.

I have no idea how to handle this situation because there's so much gray area. How can I help my best friend?

My girlfriend is pregnant, I'm not ready.

Mark asks:

My gf is pregnant, I am not ready, what do I do?

Silent, like the mind never could be

How do you feel about and process a date rape and unpleasant sex after it happens? How do you deal with collective ideas about "grey" rape and the value of virginity when it's actual, not just abstract concepts? How will you talk to a new partner about those experiences? A corageous Scarleteen reader tries to work out very raw and painfully honest feelings on the page.

San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI)

San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) is a free information and referral switchboard providing anonymous, accurate, non-judgmental information about sex.

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