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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


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?

Fear of pregnancy? Ready for sex?

Hannahcarissa95 asks:

I am almost 18. My long distance boyfriend is 22. I have decided he is the man I want to lose my virginity to. Seeing as he is 1500 miles away means that he is not going to be doing it anytime soon. However, I am going to where he lives for Thanksgiving and we are planning on doing it then. He is a very spiritual guy and has a strong feeling that I might get pregnant on the first time that we have sex. He thinks this due to the fact that I really want a baby and I always have. But I want one when I am married and able to support it and a family. I told him that the best that we can do is be safe and smart about sex and protection and if it happens it happens but I need some advice on what else to tell him. Could you help me? I also was wondering if you have any suggestions about what would be the best plan of action if I were to get pregnant? In my mind abortion is not an option for me. I asked him what we would do and he said that he would obviously support me with multiple jobs. we would get our own place. But we all know that things never go exactly how you plan them. What do I do to ease his worries and my own?

Bothered by being "hot and bothered"

Jackieson9d8 asks:

I'm 14 and am constantly hot and bothered and have constant erections. I've been like this for as long as I can remember even when I was little. I find I have to masturbate every 4 to 7 days or I will start to ache when I get a erection. I'm a little worried but I can't exactly discuss this with family or friends because it's embarrassing. I want to know if this is something to see a doctor about or if its fine as it is but any way it would really help if you could give me a reply.

Breaking a No Condom Habit

CuriosityCat asks:

I am 20 and sexually active. I don't have a long term partner but have had and do have various partners. I have an IUD so I'm protected against pregnancy, however I know condoms are still hugely important. My problem is that I am completely stuck for what to say to make a man put one on. At the moment, it's just getting carried away then really kicking myself later. I have to be more diligent with this, but please- do you have any advice for laying down the law? A non awkward, but still sexy way of asserting myself?

He gets oral sex from me: what can I do to get him to give me some?

starriestknight asks:

I'm 19 and have been with my boyfriend (also 19) for a little over two years. In the last year, our relationship has progressed sexually (but both of us have decided not to have intercourse). A few months ago, he performed oral sex on me. I'd given him blowjobs before and he asked if he could reciprocate. Afterward, though, he was really quiet. I got the nerve to him about it. He admitted he didn't like it. A few months passed, and we decided to try it again, to see if his opinion changed at all. Again, he said it wasn't his cup of tea. We decided it was best not to discuss it anymore because it wasn't working out.

I appreciate he at least tried to make an effort to reciprocate, because he said he felt bad for taking more than he gave, and I know he feels really bad he doesn't like it. But at the same time, he still won't do it. It's frustrating for me because I loved the feeling of it and I haven't been fully satisfied with him just fingering me. How do I bring this up after like months without making it sound like I'm upset with him or guilting him into giving me oral sex again? Other than this, we have a very healthy relationship. I love him a lot and he loves me too.

I think I might be pregnant, and might have to choose an abortion.

MadsHatter asks:

My boyfriend and I have had unprotected sex and my last period was 2 months ago (in 10 more days). I've had a two week delay on my period before, and I'm pretty volatile and feeling cramps every now and then but blood. I'm scared to death I may be pregnant but I absolutely CAN NOT tell my mom. I'd be disowned, without a doubt. So....please help me!! I'm getting desperate enough as to seriously consider an abortion because my body can barely support myself, never mind a baby. I heard Vitamin C helps induce a self-inflicted abortion, too. I'm saving up for a test at Planned Parenthood, but I'm still nervous and scared as all heck. Words of advice??

So, About That Sex You're Having While You're Saving Sex for Marriage...

As a sex educator, I don't define sex as only being about penis-in-vagina intercourse, for a whole lot of reasons.

For one, I know that a lot of people (including myself sometimes!) have or have had satisfying, full sexual lives without intercourse, either because they're not at intercourse yet in life or a given relationship, it's off the table for a while for some reason, or because they're in relationships where penis-in-vagina sex just isn't an option or possibility in the first place. I also know, as a sex educator, that some or all of the physical and emotional things that can happen with penis-in-vagina intercourse can and typically do happen with other kinds of sex, whether we're talking about emotional feelings or experiences, the human sexual response cycle, the expression of sexuality in general or possible outcomes like STIs or pregnancy. The way I define sex as a sex educator is like so:

If we say someone is having sex, or doing something sexual, we mean they are acting


Got an Infection? Some Take-Care Basics.

Over the last few weeks, I have been sicker than sicker than sick. I managed to pick up whooping cough, which, combined with other health issues I already have, made my blood pressure dip to a very scary place, to boot. I had already been having some flare-ups from those other issues, so they made the whooping cough worse, it made them worse. Like plenty of uninsured people do, I tried to hold off on healthcare for as long as I could, but eventually had to cave and suck up the big bill so I could get the big meds and also be sure I wasn't, you know, dying or anything.

This combo of illnesses made it impossible for me to do nearly anything, including most work. When you mostly work from home, you can usually work through almost anything, so when you can't even do that, you know it's bad. They've also put some big cramps in my life. For a week or so, the deepest conversations I had with anyone were something to the effect of "More. Tea. Blanket. Ugh," and the most passionate embrace I


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