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Of SlutWalks, Perfect Storms and Getting Out of the Way

From SlutWalk Manchester by Man Alive!From SlutWalk Manchester by Man Alive!On Monday, I talked about some of my own life, and the central, very personal, issue which kept me from attending one of the SlutWalks, an issue which also central to the walks themselves. On Tuesday, I brought up what appears to be a clear misrepresentation by the media, especially visually, of the walks. In both pieces, I expressed unwavering support for the walks.

While I did not agree with a good deal of it, I appreciated Rebecca Traister writing in the New York Times magazine last week.

But at a moment when questions of sex and power, blame and credibility, and gender and justice are so ubiquitous and so urgent, I have mostly felt irritation that stripping down to skivvies and calling ourselves sluts is passing for keen retort.

To object to these ugly characterizations is right and righteous. But to do so while dressed in what look like sexy stewardess Halloween costumes seems less like victory than capitulation (linguistic and sartorial)

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It's a Powerful Thing

Earlier this week, in the context of another conversation, one of our users at Scarleteen mentioned that her feelings on abortion had changed to a negative when she learned that her mother's pregnancy had been unplanned, and that her mother considered abortion. She said that upset her, because she really liked existing. She did say she was still pro-choice, but her sentiment bothered me all the same. Some of why it bothered me was political, and also about the work that I do and have done. But in thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the ways it bothered me most were intensely personal.

The truth is, I envy her. A lot. I envy she was able to have a discussion in which her mother made clear she had the right to choose and she chose to remain pregnant and parent her. She wasn't forced, she wasn't pressured, she didn't do what she did because it was the only thing she could do without risking her life, her health, being locked away or hidden or committing a crime. She chose. S

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Does Your Relationship Need a Checkup?

Does your relationship need a basic checkup to be sure it's healthy and well? Here's a list for doing just that.

When the Big O is a No-Show

Brandyf817 asks:

I am having a problem orgasming, like most women. I am 24 years old. I have tried masturbating myself thinking it will be more relaxing and easier, but its not. The problem I am having is I get so close, but I can't get all the way. I start to feel pleasure, then I feel my muscles start to tense up and spaz a little, but then it gets PAINFUL that I jerk away and can't make it to the orgasm. I don't know how to get past this painfulness or if it's normal. I have tried so hard to get through the pain, but its too much. This is starting to ruin my relationship with my boyfriend. Please help me.

Are we addicted to sex?

cfishhyy2694 asks:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 7 months. We had sex after the 1st month because we felt that special connection with each other. Ever since the first time with him, I keep wanting more. I think I'm addicted to sex with him. That is all I think about constantly. He is the same way but for my sake (he doesn't want to be a father yet, if you get what I mean) he tries to control himself as much as possible. He can't always though. To be safe I've asked him to buy condoms but since we both realized we are doing it too much, he says we aren't going to do it anyway so why have them. Well then he comes over and we wind up doing it without a condom. It was a close call one time where he almost ejaculated inside of me, but pulled it out just in time. Do you have any suggestions on how we can overcome out sex addiction and try and be safer? I'm not allowed to go on the pill and my boyfriend and I have a lot of time to be alone together. We are just teenagers. Thank you for the advice.

Dear HHS: How about you consult YOUR conscience?

September 25th is the last day to submit public comment on the proposed HHS regulations which are not only superfluous, but more importantly, would further limit access to reproductive healthcare (and other healthcare) services in the U.S., particularly for those who already have the greatest limitations to care, which certainly includes teens.

It's so important to have public comment on this, so if you have not done so yet, take a few minutes tonight and be sure to get something in.

* * *

I am writing to urge you to stop efforts to block women's access to basic reproductive health services.

I understand that the proposed regulations that the Department of Health and Human Services released on August 21, 2008 expand existing law to allow more health care providers and institutions to refuse to provide needed care.

As written, the regulations could allow institutions and individuals -- based on religious beliefs -- to deny women access to birth control and permit individuals to refuse

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What Would Maria Do? One Sex Educator's Ever-Evolving Manifesto

One of the things that has a great influence in both how I enact sexuality education and how I conceptualized my approach from the get-go is my background with teaching in the Montessori Method.

Overall, the primary way Montessori works is this: as educators, we observe our students, and based on our observations of what their self-directed interests, skills and questions are -- basically, what they're drawn to in terms of what activities they choose for themselves and what activities and areas they express interest in -- we choose what materials to make or find and to present to them. In doing this, we're also trying to help students learn to be observers, as well as working to empower them when it comes to trusting their own interests and instincts and to be self-motivated and self-directed, rather than reliant on -- or vulnerable to -- others to give them directives. Montessori teachers see ourselves more as helpers, as guides, than as directors or founts of knowledge. We see

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