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I thought the "First Time" was supposed to suck!

I researched sex before diving in. Nearly every article and website felt like it carried another warning. Besides worrying me about STIs and pregnancy, my research was showing me that my first time was likely to be painful. I like to mentally prepare myself for things like this and I thought I knew what sex would be like. But, I'm very glad to say that my story is different. It's good. No, it's amazing.

Building Bridges: Sexual Orientation Shifts

Time for another installment of Building Bridges, where we facilitate, then publish a conversation between two people in different life stages who have something with gender, sexuality and/or relationships in common. This time, our intergenerational pair is two women who have had their sexual orientation and identity shift for them during the course of their lives.

Amy & Candice: Shifting Sexual Orientation

Amy, 24: I came out as a lesbian at 14 and was, as I call it, "a Professional Gay" for a long time. I interned for activist organizations, ran the GSA at my high school, got a scholarship from a local LGBT organization for my activism and went on to a women's college where I eventually became co-chair of the LGBT organization on campus. I was, as a friend once said "her definition of gay."

Looking back, I struggled with liking guys for a long time, which sounds so backwards in the way that people think of sexual orientation transitions. I felt a strong connection and loyalty to th

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Building Bridges: Childhood Sexual Abuse

We hear a lot about generational divides. What we hear much less about are the bridges: how people of different generations can and do connect; how we can support and help one another and each offer the other things of great value. Just as often as a given experience, or even life as a whole, is different for people of one generation and those of another, there are also some things that are or have been the same, and all have our own wisdom to share, whatever our age may be.

People of different generations are not incapable of connecting or understanding each other, despite the way so much media can often make it sound that way, or the despite day-to-day frustrations and challenges we have probably all experienced with one another when trying to connect.

Often I am asked to explain things about one generation to another, illustrating differences as well as common ground to each. I often find myself telling people of one age group how to try and better understand the other; making app

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New Series: Would Love Your Help!

I'd like to start a new series at Scarleteen to address some unique first-person experiences while also looking at generational differences and similarities, divides and bridges. All too often, people with shared experiences but of different ages talk past or over each other; have a hard time connecting and seeing where they connect, where they don't and landing in a place where we can all respect each other's experiences, no matter how different we may be.

Ideally, how I'd like this to go is to get two people of different generations -- one under 25, one over 40 -- for each of the following themes/experiences in the list below. Rather than myself or other staff asking the questions or leading the topic, I'd like each of those two people to write out five questions for the other, then each answer the questions they were asked, adding more if needed during that back-and-forth conversation, and we'll edit it all together into something polished and cohesive.

What's the point? First to

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Queering Sexuality in Color: Dharshi

Today we have one more another installment of our first-person profiles of queer people of color. If you're queer and of color, we're hoping this series can illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated. That isolation hurts and can and does do very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of race tend to face even greater challenges and isolation.

No matter who you are or what your deal is, we think you'll find these profiles challenge many perceptions and may make you reconsider or refine ideas or questions about orientation and race. It can also help you and others grow your compassion and your care, better understanding that every kind of marginalization and oppression both does very real harm and always has the capacity to do so, especially if it goes unseen and unheard.

Dharshi, 25

Color/race you are/id

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My boyfriend has boundaries and responses to sex I don't know how to deal with.

cookie127 asks:

My boyfriend has a problem with sex, I know him very well and I know he's not just being a guy. He likes to play around a lot but he's very iffy about me touching him I don't know how to help this or what to do... he did have a really terrible experience when he was younger but he's had long term relationships and he has slept with other women but only 2. He wants to have sex we've tried it once but he got too nervous about it and pulled away I don't know how to handle this situation?

Queering Sexuality in Color: Corinne

Here's another installment of our first-person profiles of queer people of color. If you're queer and of color, we're hoping this series can illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated. That isolation hurts and can and does do very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of race tend to face even greater challenges and isolation.

No matter who you are or what your deal is, we think you'll find these profiles challenge many perceptions and may make you reconsider or refine ideas or questions about orientation and race. It can also help you and others grow your compassion and your care, better understanding that every kind of marginalization and oppression both does very real harm and always has the capacity to do so, especially if it goes unseen and unheard.

Corinne, 25

Color/race you are/identify with: Bla

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Queering Sexuality in Color: Ellaris

Time for another installment of our first-person profiles of queer people of color. This one is from someone older than the age group we serve at Scarleteen, but who came into hir sexual identity at 20. I think it's valuable to have a look at someone with more years to process all of these issues than our readers have usually had.

Again, even if you're not of color and queer, not LGB or not of color, we think it's vital to cultivate an awareness of what it means to be not just a member of one of those groups, but of both. If you are queer and of color, what we're hoping this new series can do is help illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated. That isolation hurts and can and does do very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of race tend to face even greater challenges and isolation.

No matter who you

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Queering Sexuality in Color: Maalik

Time for another installment of our first-person profiles of queer people of color, this one from a young man who talks very candidly about being on the down-low, masculinity and race.

Again, even if you're not of color and queer, not LGB or not of color, we think it's so important to cultivate an awareness of what it means to be not just a member of one of those groups, but of both. If you are queer and of color, what we're hoping this new series can do is help illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated. That isolation hurts and can and does do very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of race tend to face even greater challenges and isolation.

No matter who you are or what your deal is, we think you'll find these profiles challenge many perceptions and may make you reconsider or refine ideas or quest

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