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love

Does Your Relationship Need a Checkup?

Does your relationship need a basic checkup to be sure it's healthy and well? Here's a list for doing just that.

Q is for Questioning

What's it mean to be questioning, why would you or someone else identify that way, how do you deal in the process and how might you answer the question?

Unpacking Cultural Myths and Biases About Women's Bodies & Sex

rheashah5 asks:

When a woman has sex for the first time her hymen breaks. How is it possible to differentiate between a virgin female and not a virgin except for the hymen concept? How can one say that the girl is not a virgin on the face of it?

Hello, Sailor! How to Build, Board and Navigate a Healthy Relationship

You probably hear the term "healthy relationship" a lot. But what does that mean, and how do you create -- and keep building -- one of those?

Love, Growth, Fear & Other Kinds of Big-Scary-Wonderful

pixie9000 asks:

Can you explain to me what love is please? How does one feel? Can you describe the effects for me? or, is it the kind of thing you just have to know? Does it go away? Or is it something permanent? I think that I am falling in love with my boyfriend.

He is a senior, and I am a junior. Next year he is going off to college, most likely a really prestigious one far away. We have been going out for only about 4 months, but we have known each other for a few years, and in the last 4 months we have spent so much time together (pretty much every minute) it feels like it has been much longer.

We recently had sex for the first time (first time for me, not for him), and several times since the first time. I have to say, I'm not crazy about it yet, but what I am crazy about is the connection it makes me feel between the two of us. He is extremely considerate of how I feel during sex, and he wants me to figure out what I like. He is so caring and sensitive to how I feel, and we have talked about sex and our relationship a lot, and how sex will affect our relationship and emotions. I like having sex, and I love the time we spend together. We have talked about love, and how we don't really understand what it is, but agree that we definitely have a deep connection. But I'm afraid that my feelings for him are going to become too intense, and I am going to fall in love with him, and then he is going to go off to college and my heart will break (I know, that sounds cliche).

We have talked about love, and I think we both said we feel like were falling slowly, even if we don't completely understand it, like, what it really means. He says "lets fall, but not fall too hard," and I agree, I don't know if I can handle the raw emotion of love. After we have sex, I feel elated, but later, when he leaves, I feel depressed because I know that he is going to leave the city after high school, and then our relationship will be over and I wont feel this connection any more. Am I just overthinking this whole thing?

How can I trust that someone else will like my body when I hate it so much?

porte asks:

I am 15 years old and about 5'10 and weigh more than 200lbs. I am currently in a long distance relationship and have been for almost 11 months. See, the thing is, I know I'm pretty, but I hate my body. The only thing that I like about it is my boobs. I am very self-conscious about it and I can't seem to lose weight.

My boyfriend and I share everything together. He doesn't lie to me, he comforts me and he tells me I'm beautiful. He loves me a lot. He shares everything with me. He really means a lot to me and would never pressure me to do something I don't want to do. He wants to see me. Or rather, see me below my chest. It doesn't mean like naked or something (but he probably wouldn't mind), but he just wants to see what I look like. Sounds simple enough right? I know what he looks like but...

I don't feel safe with him: how can I change my feelings?

Becca asks:

I'm in my late teens and have been dating my first boyfriend for one and a half years. Early on in the relationship he broke my trust and later on has done a few things that have made me really uncomfortable: touching me where I've told him not to before, being very rough, and the worst, making a negative comment about my body. I've talked to him about all of this and it hasn't happened since but it's destroyed my trust in him, and my libido has disappeared. I now dread having sex with him because I'm always thinking about how he must hate my body and not respect me. Is there anything I can do to get me to believe he actually likes my body (like he claims to) or to learn to trust him again (and to be okay with him treating me rougher than I like?). I really love him but I can't stand the thought of him touching me at the moment because I just feel used.

How can I help my trans partner with a medical transition?

myself5 asks:

Okay, so I'm a female high school junior. There's this girl (sweet, geeky, smart, funny, the works) that I may soon be starting a sexual relationship with. She's trans and just started taking hormones. Currently she's male, but eventually, her "outie" will become an "innie," so to speak. I've heard mixed things about this surgery, and I don't know if she'll be able to feel things the same way afterward. She's very sexual, and obviously I want to be able to do stuff with her, so this is a big concern. What will the aftermath of the surgery be like? What are the risks of the procedure? What can I do to help her get through this?

Birthmotherhood

When I gave birth, options were discussed with me regarding what to do about the baby. For me, there seemed no choice but adoption. I was now 17. The thought of raising a child was an impossibility. I wanted to finish high school. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to hang out with my friends. I just wanted to continue to be a teenager.

Pornography, Strip Clubs & Other Feminist Relationship Quandaries

sylviaplath asks:

I could really use some help on this issue. I am a feminist, and pride myself on being open-minded and trying to keep my insecurities in check. I have been with my boyfriend for years, and we have lived together for 2. Within the past few months I have been looking at his computer and seeing that he watches pornography. While I do try to understand why, I cannot help but feel hurt. It brings up issues I have with my own body and makes me feel bad and inadequate. While I am trying to come to grips with this, I have found out that his friend is getting married and they are going on a trip. I know they will be going to strip clubs, and this is making me crazy. He is not the type of guy who would cheat on me or that would probably really enjoy this, but then again I didn't think he was the type to watch porn. I feel like I have become more paranoid knowing about this porn-viewing and now I am not able to see clearly this situation. My main question is, if he gets a lap dance, this is considered cheating, right? It seems like this male tradition that for some reason is okay, and it's just this free pass. Should I talk to him about it? Do I have a right to be upset? I feel so anxious and like I'm losing my grip with him and with my own feminism. Please help me.

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