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I'm a Girl, does that Mean I can't Make the First Move?

tay.s asks:

I'm an 18 year old girl and have dated plenty of people. But my family has always been the type that believes guys should pretty much do the pursuing. My mom always says, if a guy wants a girl, he will make it known and he will try to make it happen. If he doesn't, he's not the right guy for you. Because of this, I've always let the guys come to me. My problem is that sometimes I'm interested in a guy and I feel he's interested in me, but it's not always the best situation to engage in a conversation like that. Like today, I was at an event geared towards kids. I was with my son but my mom tagged along. There was a guy running a booth and I was interested and he was definitely flirting but it just wasn't good for a full out conversation. Every time we passed him, he said something to me, even engaged my son and made him laugh, but he never took it a step further and I was convinced he wasn't as interested as I thought and ended up leaving with just a "have a good one". Sometimes I wish I could slip my number or ask him out or something but I never do because of my upbringing. Consequently, I end up thinking about it the rest of the day and often come to the conclusion that he must not have been interested in me like I thought and it kind of bums me out. I'm just not sure what to do about it? Should I stick to the family philosophy or maybe step out my comfort zone and go for it a couple times? Is there any way to feel a little more confident or know a little more clearly whether or not he's really interested?

Scarleteen Confidential: In Defense of Teen Media

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

For two years, I worked in a bookstore that was aimed primarily at children and teenagers. It was a job I quite enjoyed, but I quickly discovered that when you work near books, people always want to tell you their opinions on said books. That's fine most of the time. But I noticed a pattern when parents or adults would refer to The Hunger Games series. They would express dismay over a child wanting to read the book, wondering what they saw in it, and either implicitly or explicitly stating that they thought the book was not good for youth to be reading. I would usually give a neutral response about how yes, the book is dark (for t

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Undoing Sexual Shame

Feeling ashamed about sex or sexuality? Here are some steps to help you get started on turning that around so you can learn to love, not revile, your sexual self.

Shame & Stigma: How It Makes Young Moms and Dads Feel

As a young parent, being shamed for the decisions you have made and being stigmatized for your identity makes navigating through the world -- and pregnancy and parenting -- much more difficult.

同性恋与双性恋

許多青少年有很多問題,當涉及到同性戀及雙性戀。在一個文化,往往是如此確鑿的方向和異性戀之外的性身份,許多青少年變得緊張時,他們覺得吸引到那些同性,擔心自己可能是同性戀。其他懷疑(或者甚至是非常肯定),他們是同性戀或雙性戀,但都不敢這麼說是因為他們沒有完全確定,感覺他們將品牌以某種方式,或者僅僅是因為他們害怕被拒絕,被遺棄或通過他們的朋友,家人或社區挨罵。而至少有800萬人在美國是同性戀,大約有70億人仍然認為它是一個“疾病”或“變態”。

Letters to My-Body-Of-Yesteryear and to Yours-of-Right-Now

I saw a young woman the other day who was in her late teens.

I had a moment of admiring how strong her legs looked, how able her shoulders; where she had curves and where she didn't, how kind of mixed-up and funky some of her coloring and parts were, a study in contrasts. It was a moment of appreciating what, in my eyes and perspective, her beauty was and how aesthetically beautiful I found her. As someone who's worked in art and photography, who looks at people and their details deeply and richly out of habit, I didn't think anything of it until I realized something about her was really resonating in a big way with me. I was having a hard time looking away.

Then it struck me: the things I was admiring about her and taking in so much of? Those were all ways my own body looked at her same age. It was like looking in a mirror that traveled through time.

But when I was her age, and my body and its parts looked like hers, I didn't appreciate them this way; I didn't find them so interestin

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Wild and Untamed Things: Why a Cult Classic Still Resonates After All These Years

Scarleteen volunteer Sam reflects on the significance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and how it relates to sexuality, identity, and her middle school experience.

Body and Sexuality Disconnects with Disability

evan21 asks:

Hi all! This might be a super specific question only to me, or it may help some of you out in the Interwebz, too. I am a university student with a disability called cerebral palsy. As a result, I walk on crutches. I have also been a virgin for all my 21 years. Generally I'm a romantic type of guy, but in a university environment, this tends to get me friend zoned pretty quickly. Lately I've realized I carry a lot of shame about my body and my sexuality. I can't be seen as a sexual object, because it would "ruin" my romantic image. Because of the disability, I tend to live in my head and not deal with my body as much.

Even though I'm an outgoing, positive person, anything to do with sexuality makes me feel bad and down on myself. This can be anything from meeting a girl on a night out and getting rejected, to thinking about all the fantasies and kinks I may or may not have. What should I do? How can I feel comfortable in my own body and with my own sexual nature, particularly when it doesn't look like I'll be sharing it with someone anytime soon?

Thanks so much for all the work you do on the site. I recently discovered you guys, and you all are awesome!

As a trans person, how can I navigate authentic gender expression and avoid the identity police?

catpaw asks:

I'm a 17 year old transmale and I've identified as male for about 2 years now. I am 100% confident that I am a boy, but I am also fine having breasts and a vagina. I don't think of them as female. They're just my parts! I like wearing things like dresses and skirts as well and I enjoy makeup, none of these things make me less of a boy in my eyes. However, I fear that people will not take my identity seriously because of this. Even in the LGBTQ community, I feel like people will say I'm not "really trans." Dressing the way I want to really boosts my self-esteem (and I have struggled with horrible self esteem my whole life, so I really need it) but being called "girl" and "she" really hurts. I guess my question is, how do I deal with wanting to present a certain way but hating how it makes others perceive me? I will be going off to college in a few days as well, and I know that could be a time to show how I really want to be, but I'm scared of how people will react or treat me.

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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