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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.
You've probably seen all kinds of adults writing about teens and sex. Some of that writing is well-researched and thoughtful. Some --- most, sadly -- is hysterical and full of fearmongering and shoddy (or no) research. I was lucky enough to interview an author who belongs solidly in the first category.
Dr Karen Rayne has spent the past ten years actively and thoughtfully supporting parents and teens in their conversations about sex and sexuality, and she's released a new book called Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Tips for Talking to Teenagers about Sex, which we think is accessible, compassionate, and incredibly useful. Keeping with theRead more...
I am 23 and I am getting married this fall. I have never had sex before because I have been waiting for marriage. My fiance is not a virgin. We have different views on the purpose of sex. His goals are intimacy and pleasure. I have a lifelong history of feeling guilty about any kind of physical pleasure and therefore trying to avoid it altogether. I really do not care whether I ever have an orgasm. I actually do not know what I think the point of sex is. How can we start a sexual relationship when our goals for sex are so different?
I want to find out if I'm alone. I know I'm not, but I feel that I need proof that shows I'm not the only one dealing with this. I have anxiety, OCD, and phobias, and I'm also very emotionally sensitive. That doesn't sound like much, but it actually is a big deal. I am terrified of romantic relationships. Before I knew I had this fear, I went to the movies with a guy and he wanted to hold my hand. I'm not capable of saying no, so I said yes. When I got home, I started to spasm and shake. I didn't know why but I know now that it was because I am scared of anything romantic. I also am really sensitive when it comes to friendships. I am the kind of person that thinks my friend doesn't like me anymore if they haven't texted me in a month or even a week (my friend lives halfway across the country). I always assume that my friend(s) don't/doesn't care about me and I realized that I need constant physical reminders that they do, such as a text or a phone call.
Ever since puberty, I found my body to be a site of shame, something I desperately wanted to escape.
A transplant to predominantly white Catholic schools on Long Island, I was immediately deemed ugly. I had an older sister, but we were close enough in age that we were navigating puberty around the same time. As second-generation daughters of immigrant parents, we were on our own as far as navigating the personal and social meanings of our bodies.
A lot of hurdles were awkward for me. I grew flustered and self-conscious when relatives felt no qualms about making unsolicited comments about my body.
“You’ve got boobs now,” an aunt told me bluntly when I came over with my mother once. How could she mention them? I was mortified.
I could avoid it for a while by wearing starchy undershirts under my school blouses, but soon, I couldn’t hide my growing breasts anymore. I crossed my arms over my chest in an attempt to hide my nipples as they showed through my shirt, but I might as well have beRead more...