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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


When the Time Comes

It's hard to say when things finally changed for me. All the pieces were there for a long time, waiting to fall into place, but I just wasn't ready to let go and watch them tumble down. The idea of having to put it all behind me scared me. The idea of losing such a close relationship. Of losing something so familiar.

When the Time Comes

It's hard to say when things finally changed for me. All the pieces were there for a long time, waiting to fall into place, but I just wasn't ready to let go and watch them tumble down. The idea of having to put it all behind me scared me. The idea of losing such a close relationship. Of losing something so familiar.

Risky Business: Learning to Consider Risk and Make Sound Sexual Choices

Choices about sex and intimacy will always involve some risks, and making sound choices when risks, emotions and social high stakes are involved isn't something anyone is magically expert at. How can we learn to do it well, and what are some common things that trip us up?

I grew up told sex like I just had was absolutely off-limits: what now?

smf asks:

Hey! I'm 19, and from a very conservative background-Republic, Christian, the whole shebang. I'm a freshman at a pretty liberal college now, and I admit that I've gone the tiniest bit nuts with my newfound freedom. Before coming to college, I'd only made out with three guys - all of whom were Christian, all of whom I was dating at the time. But last weekend, I went home with a guy I didn't know, and I gave him a blow job and he fingered me. I was very adamant about NOT having sex, because I know I want that to be with someone I love.

I'm feeling pretty guilty now, though. Everyone would be so disappointed back home, because it was made clear to me that EVERYTHING is off limits till marriage. It felt great at the time, but do you think it's bad because I didn't know him at all?

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


Am I right to feel like a slag?

BellBrand asks:

Heya: so I have always had really strong principles when it comes to sex and relationships. I always envisioned myself with a nice, steady boyfriend before I would do any more than just kissing. About a month ago I was at a party and out of pure curiosity (not drunkeness) I made the decision to let a boy finger me, but I didn't really know him very well. At Christmas I let another boy finger me who I didn't know (again this was a conscious decision I wasn't drunk). But now I just feel sooo slaggy because it is against what I believe in and I feel so awful in myself. Am I right to feel like this, where should I go from here?

Lions and Tigers and Orgasms, Oh My! When Orgasm Seems Scary.

jelsova asks:

I'm a girl and I've been with my boyfriend for 8 months. I'm 18 and he's my first boyfriend. We've never had sex (he has had it before) but we've done other things. I have a problem though, I'm really scared to orgasm. Like we'll be doing something that feels so good and I know that if we just continued a bit longer I would get there (I feel the muscles contracting, the heart pumping, the intensity building and all that) but then I chicken out and make him stop. He's fine with it and very supportive and respects that I'm so scared, but it bothers me. Why can't I just let myself get there? It's the same deal if I um, "pleasure myself." Is there any way I can or he can help myself get over this fear of the unknown?

Scarleteen By The Numbers: The Results of Our Demographics Survey

Every day, around 20,000 to 30,000 people come to Scarleteen online. We already know some basics about who our users are via backend site logs, Alexa, Google Analytics, the direct ways we engage with users daily and some demographics from years ago. This summer, we created a new demographics survey as part of a potential partnership with a fellow organization, and to get an additional, fresh source of information for ourselves.

Many of users mentioned they'd be curious about the survey results, one reason why we're sharing them with you here. Our supporters and potential supporters also often ask us about who our users are. In addition, we wanted to see these results too, to help us keep doing the best job we can. I'd like to share, then talk about some of the results with that aim.

We decided to limit our survey to 2,000 participants who completed it, a number that was manageable but also statistically significant. So, we cut the survey off once we had that number. We recruited for


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.