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The STI Files: Syphilis

Syphilis has been called "the great imitator" because many of its signs look like other diseases. It is also difficult to know if someone has syphilis because a person might not have any symptoms at all.

The STI Files: Gonorrhea

In the United States, approximately 75% of all reported gonorrhea is found in people age 15 to 29.

First Intercourse 101

If you're thinking about sexual (vaginal) intercourse with an opposite sex partner, and you've got everything you feel you need: materially, in terms of your relationship, and emotionally, you might want to know HOW to make it all work your first time. The bulk of questions we get asked about first intercourse are: Will it hurt? Will I bleed? Will I hate it? I'm so scared, what do I do? Why isn't my boyfriend talking to me now that we've had sex? Why didn't I orgasm? Why didn't it feel like anything?

FBI Files: Vasocongestion, AKA: Blue Balls

Am I blue? Find out what "blue balls" are really all about: the facts may surprise you.

From OW! to WOW! Demystifying Painful Intercourse

At least once every couple of days, someone posts or writes into Scarleteen reporting that vaginal entry -- usually intercourse or manual vaginal sex, and usually (but not always) with male partners -- is painful, uncomfortable, or unfulfilling for them. Whatever sort of vaginal entry we're talking about -- with fingers, a penis or a dildo, with partners of any gender -- not only doesn't have to be painful, it really shouldn't be. More than that, any kind of sex shouldn't be about a lack of pain, but about the presence of pleasure.

Yield for Pleasure

There's a reason for taking things slowly, for putting off intercourse, or taking it away from center stage that often gets overlooked. I'm not talking about slowing things down for religious or moral ideals or social pressures. Not slowing things down to prevent STIs and pregnancy. Not even slowing things down for legal reasons or because of your age. I'm not talking about Just Say No, and I'm not talking about not having sex at all. I'm talking about PLEASURE.

The STI Files: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV is a virus that destroys the immune system and thus weakens the body's ability to fight disease and infection, even common infections like flus and colds. HIV usually progresses to AIDS. This makes HIV the most dangerous sexually transmitted infection today. It is the fifth leading cause of death for the young under 40 in the United States. At this time, no one has been cured of HIV or AIDS.

Sexual Response & Orgasm: A Users Guide

There are certain physical, hormonal and psychological mechanics that come into play when it comes to human sexual response, and understanding those is essential to lay the foundation for understanding how sex works for ourselves and for our partners. Once we understand how our bodies work when it comes to sexual response, we've won half the battle of learning how to enjoy that and incorporate it as a healthy part of our lives, both alone and with others.

Dealing With Rape

If you have NOT gladly and freely consented to and participated in sexual activity -- if you have not in some way said a big yes and wanted to keep saying a big yes -- and someone else had sex with you anyway, that is rape. No matter what ANYONE tells you, it is not your fault. There certainly is fault, but it lies with the rapist, not the victim.

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.