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After Contraception or Commitment, Why You Still Gotta Rock Safer Sex

We sometimes deal with a tough situation in direct service: a user comes in, and reports having contracted an STI; a user who also isn't a first-time user of our site or services, and who, in a previous conversation with us about pregnancy risks, blew off also talking about STIs and safer sex and turned down help we offered to them to reduce their STI risks, not just pregnancy risks.

When this happens, a person like this will usually be very upset about having contracted an STI, often angry, and even mystified about how this happened to them. Of course, we're rarely mystified and also are not usually surprised this happened, since we already identified risks of STIs when we were talking with them in the past, which is why we brought the importance of safer sex up with them in the first place.

This is one of those things where there's no joy or pride in being right: it stinks to be right about someone getting any kind of illness and being unhappy. Even though the majority of STIs are t

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SHine SA (Sexual Health Information Networking & Education South Australia)

SHine SA is the lead sexual health agency in South Australia. We work in partnership with government, health, education and community agencies and communities to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of South Australians.

Young people need our help and support. We need yours.

As we begin our 15th year, we need help to keep Scarleteen up and thriving. Find out how just $20 a month can improve the lives of young people around the world.

Oral sex doesn't affect me. Is this normal?

Fairydomain asks:

When my boyfriend preforms oral sex on me and "eats me out" it's like it has no affect on me. Is this normal? I mean, he's down THERE... using his mouth... shouldn't that affect me? It's almost as if I just don't feel it either. Sometimes I exaggerate my motives a bit when he does just to make him feel a bit better. It's not that I don't WANT him to. And I don't want him to stop. I just... don't feel like it's anything. And it makes me feel bad.

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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Do Yoga With Me

Free online yoga classes, for healthier bodies and healthier minds! Besides increasing strength and flexibility, yoga has proven itself as a great stress-reduction tool. Do Yoga With Me has videos for all levels of experience and fitness- all you need is some comfy pants and a clear spot on the floor.

The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone

Everyone has a sexual orientation and a sexual identity. Here are some basics and not-so-basics about what orientation is, some of the ways we can talk about it, how to figure yours out, and finding support.

The Testing Diaries: Jacob

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're doing this series at Scarleteen. In it, some of our volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

7:10pm Before the Test:

I was going to be taking my STI test with a friend today, with the idea we would both get tested and I could've written in the style of a comedy bromance movie like "Dude. Where's My Car?"

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The Testing Diaries: Robin

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're doing this series at Scarleteen. In it, some of our volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

Ten years ago, I knew about using lube, about making first-time intercourse comfortable, and about pregnancy prevention options, but it seems I didn’t know much about sexually transmitted infections.

My partner at

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I want to change up my sexual routine with my partner. Where do I start?

Chantelle asks:

My boyfriend are "sexually active" but it's always short, boring, and quiet. If I make a sound he'll think that he's hurting me which makes me have to contain everything. I want to try more positions with him, we've done normal, and doggy, how can I make things more interesting with out making it awkward? And how can I make sex longer?

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.