healthy

Summering Safe and Sound

Here in the hemisphere I live in, we're into the swing of summer. Ah, summer, my personal favorite season. I love the sun, the warmth, everything blooming, the energy, the spirit of the season.

It's also the time of year when we tend to see the most new users coming to us because they're in a crisis or a panic, or are just really, really feeling down in the dumps. We know that the idea of summer as a happy, carefree time for all young people doesn't square with the reality that for plenty, it's not, whether that's about tough stuff happening, or about having experiences that aren't negative, but are just super-challenging. With that in mind, here are a few tips and things to think about as you get into (or grapple with) your summer groove:

I worry that because I'm a man, I am going to sexually abuse someone.

aplanacanalpanama
asks:
My mom was a victim of incest as a girl and has used it to invalidate my emotions. I blame the incest, not my mom, but it still hurts. But I can't help but feel like I, as a man, am dirty to be sexual. I can't draw a line in my head between good sex and bad sex. I am a virgin because when I get close to sex, the girl will start reminding me of my mom or my sister....

What Is Healthy Sexual Development?

Depending on your view, the answer to that question might seem really obvious or very tricky and hazy.

At a recent conference I was part of in London, Alan McKee presented Healthy sexual development: a multidisciplinary framework for research. What McKee and his colleagues determined to be the core parts of healthy sexual development had me jumping up and down in my seat with joy (literally: I may have disturbed my fellow attendees with my bouncing). It summed up the things we try to support, encourage and inform our users with and keep core at Scarleteen so well, and so much of what I think -- after many years of thinking hard about and working with these issues, and being fully and broadly immersed in them with a very diverse population -- truly is central to healthy sexual development.

I'm delighted to have permission to excerpt and reprint this framework here.

How to See Coercion Clearly Through Love Glasses

helovesme31
asks:
I have a boyfriend been dating for about a year next week. We are deeply and truly in love even though we're not even 16. People say you can't really be in love at our age, but I believe you can be. Recently, I said no to sex, so I guess I pushed all the wrong buttons and this is what he said: "I'm so [f-word]ing tired, I don't want to climb a ladder....

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Feeling unhappy in or unsure about your relationship? Having problems you don't know how to work through, or don't even know if you should? We'll talk you through making these choices, including how-to's on conflict resolution and doing breakups better.

Am I Stupid for Loving a Guy Who Only Wants Sex?

Cede101
asks:
So there is this guy that I really really like. I don't know how to get to him without having to put myself out there. He says he cares but then when we are with our friends he won't even talk to me. When we are alone he is always by me but wants to do anything other than talk, it seems like he only wants sex. We messed around once but I don't know what to do now....

Feeling pain or feeling nothing at all = my experience of sex.

yougivemefever
asks:
I seem to not be able to feel any sort of pleasure from anything sexual. I'm 17 and have never been able to achieve an orgasm. It hurts being fingered. I've never been able to masturbate, because I could not keep focus or it started hurting. It also feels too awkward. When my boyfriend tried doing it, it hurt. He tried giving me oral sex, but that was painful....