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empowerment

For 2013: More, Not Less.

I don't celebrate most holidays, but I've always been a fan of New Year's. New Year's Day, actually, more than New Year's Eve. I relish fresh starts and new beginnings.

I even like New Year's resolutions. I know, they're cliche, and that much of the time, when we make them, we don't stick with them or know where that list is come February. But even just the practice of taking stock of where we've been and where we're at, thinking about what we want for ourselves and our lives in a new year; thinking out or writing down ideas or mantras to help support us in living the life we want? I'm a big fan of that kind of self-evaluation, meditation and positive affirmation.

However, so much of the time, the leading words in resolution lists look a whole lot like these:

  • Quit...
  • Stop...
  • Lose...
  • Get rid of...
  • Renounce...
  • Dump...
  • Ditch...
  • No more...
  • Don't be...

Obviously, none of that's exactly the language of shiny beginnings. They're negatives, rather than positives. But even more so, those are

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Sp[ace] Exploration: What Sexual People Can Learn from Asexual Communities

Asexuality saved my sex life. No, seriously -- I mean that. I will declare it from the middle of a courtroom, with one hand on Our Bodies, Ourselves. Asexuality, as much as sex-positive feminism and far more than any amount of "hon, you just need to get laid already," helped me to access a confident, positive, and excited relationship with my sexual self.

As a sexual abuse survivor, can I only connect to people sexually?

LOVE22 asks:

I was sexually abused, so I was wondering will I only want to find someone who I'm going to stay with for sex?

How Can Sex Ed Prevent Rape?

I was watching a debate about sex education today, one rife with a lot of ludicrous statements, but the statement that quality sex education could not possibly help prevent sexual abuse stuck with me. It was all the more infuriating as someone who knows too well that a lack of knowledge about bodies and sex, and a lack of information about sexual consent and autonomy are some of the hugest reasons why sexual abuse is so prevalent.

Now, this is hardly a new form of cluelessness (nor is it exclusive to Canada: we've all but made an art form of it stateside). I've addressed this issue before, at Scarleteen and in some talks and interviews I have given over the years, and also in a piece a little while back for the Guardian in the United Kingdom.

Hopefully it's obvious the reason I, as a sexuality educator and activist, and Scarleteen, as an organization, provide sex education isn't just about preventing unwanted or negative outcomes, like unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infecti

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day 2010!

The Fourteenth of February is a day that can conjure up various feelings, depending on the person and the context. Often people fall into two V-Day camps: those who delight in the sweet celebration and those who wish it were February 14th that happens only once every four years.

However, for all the Hallmark-Holiday haters and loathsome lonely-hearts, I love Valentine’s Day in all its kitschy, cuddly, glittery glory. I don’t see it as a day reserved for couples, clichés and commercialization; instead I see it as a celebration of love for family, friends, pets, partners, and… ourselves. After all, as empowered drag queen diva RuPaul says so well himself on his reality show: “If you don't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

Of course, Scarleteen’s here to give you some love in the form of information whether you’re flying solo, dancing a pas de deux or ballin' with your buds today. So, hand me a virtual pink-iced cupcake, gene

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Sisters Are (or should be) Doin' It for Themselves.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. (Well, short for me anyway.)

Why are so many of you kickass, take-charge gals leaving the buying, having and using of condoms only up to the men? I gotta tell you, it confounds my mind.

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Two new articles!

If you’re a regular at the main site, you may have already seen these two new articles: An Immodest Proposal by Heather Corinna and Let's Get Metaphysical: The Etiquette of Entry by CJ Turett and Heather Corinna. But if you haven’t gotten a chance to check them out yet, there’s a brief introduction to both.

Once upon a time, revisited and revamped.

Heather Corinna’s article, An Immodest Proposal by Heather Corinna, excerpted from the 2008 anthology, Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape, is a modern-day fractured fairy tale about first-time sex-- revisited and revamped!

If Heather were to moonlight as a song lyricist, instead of saying a half-hearted “Oops!”, pop princess Britney Spears would be singing, “Yea, I did it again… and can’t wait to do it again and again!” In her Proposal, Heather conjures up an ideal sexual world that is not just free of rape and violence against women, but one where women and girls are free to express desire and initiate

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Why I Deeply Dislike Your Older Boyfriend

There doesn't seem to be a week that passes at Scarleteen where we're not helping a user who is in some kind of crisis -- and often a whopper -- with an older male partner: pressured sex or a sexual abuse, a pregnancy scare (usually due to the guy having any and every reason why other guys can use condoms, but he's the great exception to every rule), a newly-acquired STI (again with the condom refusals, sometimes paired with lies about testing and sexual history), an abusive relationship (and often combined with a pregnancy scare, pregnancy or STI), isolation from friends or family (often beca

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Why I Deeply Dislike Your Older Boyfriend

He may be older but he's not wiser, and he's not acting like a grownup. He doesn't want to grow up, which is part of why he's dating people he perceives as not grownup themselves. He also doesn't have the bad stuff that happens to you because of him happen to him to make him want to change: if he was in your shoes, he'd ditch him in a heartbeat.

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