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May Day 2014: Scarleteen Strikes (Or, With Your Help, We Don't.)


UPDATE! We -- and you! -- did it!  WE SO TOTALLY DID IT! We met the minimum goal we needed to to avoid a strike and having to shut down any of our services.  We can't thank the 1,000+ of you enough who have helped us do this, and who have made it possible for all the young people who need and use our services to keep on using them without interruption.

Better still? A generous donor who wants Scarleteen to have more than the minimum to work with, and do what they can to get us past surviving and into thriving has offered up a $10,000 match for all donations given from April 15th to May 1st! So, anything you give now through May 1st will be matched, dollar for dollar, for up to $10,000 worth. If we can meet that whole match, that would shuttle us well out of our current crisis and into a better position financially than we have ever been.  Thanks so much to everone who has already given to support us; thanks to you in advance for your gift, too!



Use condoms and lube? Through May 1st,

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Let's Dial Down Some (Maybe) Ovulation Freakouts

"AND OMFG I WAS OVULATING, TOO!!!!!!!" This sentence is becoming familiar to us.

We have had some new readers coming in freaking out about a possible pregnancy, often having decided doom is certainly upon them because an app told them they were ovulating the same day they were doing whatever sex-thing they were doing, often things which were non-risks in the first place.

More young people seem to be developing some new knowledge about fertility cycles. I think that's great. Well, kind of great. Thing is, lots of the information you're getting, or think you have, is often dodgy, only half the picture, or just flat-out wrong.

For instance, people have expressed that they think anytime they have thinner vaginal discharge, or a discharge they've not noticed before, it must be ovulation, thinking ovulation happens for everyone on day 14, or smack in the middle of a cycle, or that an app that only tracks periods can give truly accurate estimates of their fertile times. We're also having

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You're Not Pregnant. Why Do You Think You Are?

Some people struggle with strong pregnancy fears when there isn't a pregnancy or hasn't even been any real risk of pregnancy. What's that really about, and how can you move forward?

Resources for Parents & Families of Trans/Gender-Variant Youth

Recently, I attended the Gender Spectrum Family Conference, which focuses on helping parents and caregivers understand and meet the needs of their transgender and gender-variant children.

One of the things that can be hard, when choosing to come out to parents, is the fact that you might feel like you have to educate them about gender issues, both on a general level and in terms of your own identity; this can make a process that might already feel overwhelming or stressful even harder to manage. Letting an organization that's dedicated to this sort of education do some of the work for you can take some of that weight off of your shoulders.

Also, it's helpful for parents to have their own source of support in handling a child's gender identity or transition. Of course, you're going to be the best expert in your own identity and what support you specifically need from your family and loved ones, but it might be a big help for everyone involved if you can connect them to some of these

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How do you avoid getting pregnant after giving a handjob or oral sex?

AprilBeatriz18 asks:

Assuming you are a woman, (and if you are not please ask one to answer this) what did you do when you were a teen to avoid getting pregnant after giving a handjob or giving oral? What steps did you take?

I wash my hands a lot before using the restroom since I know I'll be wiping myself down there and I don't want there to be any sperm on the toilet paper or I don't want to accidentally touch my vagina while I'm down there.

But the thing is that when I washed them I realized that there could be sperm still living on the soap or living in the water on the container that holds the soap (forgot what it was called) or on the towel if I didn't get them all off the last time I washed them if I washed my hands just a little while ago due to the same reason.

Meet Our New Volunteer Assistant Director!

I'm excited to introduce and welcome Robin Mandell as our new volunteer Assistant Director!

Robin came to Scarleteen as an intern in early fall of 2011. After completing her internship, she immediately came on board as a volunteer, primarily focusing on copyediting (or, as she calls it, tidying our "stacks"), content development and our direct services. Robin's kindness, great attention to detail, and dedication to doing all she can to help sustain and grow Scarleteen and support holistic, humane sex education and caring support have blown all of us here away right from the start.

In her new position as AD, Robin will continue with the work she has already been doing, and will also bring her fantastic people skills to volunteer management and, unsurprisingly, will be...well, assisting the director, including with aspects of Scarleteen I've mostly or entirely managed alone for our getting-close-to-15-years tenure.

If you contact us and hear back from Robin, it'll probably be because

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Abortion, Pregnancy Options & Scarleteen

While we're on this topic today, on this day, just a couple reminders about where we stand and what we can help with should you or someone you know become pregnant when it was not wanted or intended.

1. We are a fully pro-choice organization, resolutely supportive of everyone's -- at every age -- right (even when they legally do not currently have that right) to choose to remain pregnant or terminate a pregnancy; to choose to parent, to choose to arrange an adoption, or to choose abortion. We feel that any and all of those choices are potentially best and most positive for a given person who is pregnant, that no one is unilaterally better than the other for all people.

2. We recognize that unintended pregnancy can and does happen to anyone who can become pregnant; that it happens to those who use contraception and those who do not, that it happens to those who choose to engage in sex and those who were not given a choice, that it is not a "punishment" for anything, nor a mark of anyon

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A Faking Farewell

Confused Teen asks:

I've been in a relationship with my current boyfriend for a year now, and we've been having sexual intercourse for around 8 months. Throughout this time, I have NEVER reached an orgasm through sex, but because I thought I was the weird abnormal one, and was afraid of how my boyfriend may react, I since have faked it every single time which we have had sex. Sex is alright, but I now just want to tell him. But how do I explain to him that this isn't his fault without him being hurt and upset? Please help me because I really don't know what to do!

How to get birth control privately when you're a teen & keep condoms from breaking

kassidur asks:

Me and my boyfriend want to get me birth control pills, as we've had the condom break three times on us already, and we're really fearful of pregnancy. I've already seen on this site a question on how to get birth control, but I have more questions than were answered. I'm 16, as is my boyfriend. Neither of us are able to drive yet because we didn't get our permits at the correct time (though we can take a cab to get somewhere), my mom would be highly unsupportive of the fact me and him are having sex (and even more unsupportive of me being pregnant), but we don't want to stop or anything, we just want more ways to protect ourselves against pregnancy. So, I need a way to get birth control without my mom's know. In the question I've read, you guys said that the doctor would ask for my name, address, phone number, and social security number. By giving them any of these things, would my mom be able to know I had seen the doctor? One of my main fears of getting birth control is my mom finding out somehow. Also, I don’t know where my mom keeps my social security card, and I haven’t memorized the number, so how can I find it out? Can I not have to tell the doctor?

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