Judging from the number of users I see experiencing pregnancy scares on the Scarleteen message boards, particularly from situations besides genital intercourse, you’d think sperm cells were some magical weapon of mass fertilization, powerfully wiggling their way through clothes/towels/fabric, and leaping off hands to impregnate every person around them within a 50 mile radius. Look out for scary sperm! Get outta the way! They're coming right for you! (pun intended)
As a volunteer for Scarleteen, I'm here to tell you none of this is physically possible. It just isn't. As a former laboratory technician at a fertility clinic, having worked directly with sperm and semen (and without having ever gotten pregnant doing so, no less!), I want to tell you why.
Before I continue, a few things I'd like to clarify:
Help! I'm in a relationship with a man (I identify as a straight woman) who identifies as queer. He's mostly had sex with men in the past (there might have been 1 woman), but this is first heterosexual relationship. It's also my first relationship with a queer man. I really care for him, but I am struggling with checking my own heteronormative attitudes. For example, I don't know how to get over the fact that he enjoys watching gay porn, and mostly gets off to men. We still have great sex together and I know he is attracted to me, and I try to remind myself of this when I find myself getting bothered by what turns him on. I'm learning to love, not accept, that he is queer and that he has made me shift my thinking about relationships and sexuality so much. However, I still don't know how to get myself out of these moments, sometimes ongoing, of insecurity.
I've been with my boyfriend for around 7 months now, and I love him to bits! We get on so well, but when it comes to sex, I'm really let down. I lost my virginity to him when we first started going out. Being new to it, I was learning and exploring, but after months of the same thing I'm really dismayed. He always comes really soon - not prematurely - but soon enough its over before I've realised its begun! He only can go for a while if he moves slow, which is boring. Also, like most girls I can't orgasm through actual penetration easily, so I'd have to rely on oral sex for stimulation, but he never makes the effort... I always go down on him and hope he returns the favour but he never does. He does care and tries to make sex good, but when I tell him I can "come in other ways" he never takes the hint and never goes down on me. I don't like to ask him directly as I'm self conscious of the situation, and I don't want to offend. I love him so much but please help! It's really putting me off sex :(
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.
My partner atRead more...
When I was growing up, I often turned to my mother for relationship advice. We had our differences, but we were close, and I valued her opinions. However, I also found myself grappling with many of the things she said, because in all of it one thing was clear: for her, the only kind of acceptable sexual relationships are monogamous, heterosexual, long-term commitments.
We first started having these conversations when I was around 14 years old, which was also when I first started to question my sexuality. From the start, I had some questions about this concept. What if I did not want to sleep with men at all? What if I did not feel interested in the marriage-and-kids thing?
A few years later, after two failed relationships (with the same wonderful person) and a lot of angst, I was fairly certain about two things: 1. I was pretty darn queer and 2. I wasn't cut out for monogamous, long-term relationships at the time. I did not feel comfortable within a relationship, no matter how awesomRead more...
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.
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.
My boyfriend sometimes tells me what I wear is "slutty." I've tried to explain to him that I find this possessive, sexist and objectifying but he can't understand why. When I give up on that argument and try to just tell him that the only thing that should matter to him is that I feel good wearing it, he responds that he doesn't understand why I need to dress "slutty" to feel good. How can I articulate my feelings to him in a clearer way? Should I just compromise and not wear the offending articles (it really is only one or two things in my closet).