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Shame & Stigma: How It Makes Young Moms and Dads Feel

As a young parent, being shamed for the decisions you have made and being stigmatized for your identity makes navigating through the world -- and pregnancy and parenting -- much more difficult.

Connecting with WOC and Sexuality

Ever since puberty, I found my body to be a site of shame, something I desperately wanted to escape.

A transplant to predominantly white Catholic schools on Long Island, I was immediately deemed ugly. I had an older sister, but we were close enough in age that we were navigating puberty around the same time. As second-generation daughters of immigrant parents, we were on our own as far as navigating the personal and social meanings of our bodies.

A lot of hurdles were awkward for me. I grew flustered and self-conscious when relatives felt no qualms about making unsolicited comments about my body.

“You’ve got boobs now,” an aunt told me bluntly when I came over with my mother once. How could she mention them? I was mortified.

I could avoid it for a while by wearing starchy undershirts under my school blouses, but soon, I couldn’t hide my growing breasts anymore. I crossed my arms over my chest in an attempt to hide my nipples as they showed through my shirt, but I might as well have be

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Wild and Untamed Things: Why a Cult Classic Still Resonates After All These Years

Scarleteen volunteer Sam reflects on the significance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and how it relates to sexuality, identity, and her middle school experience.

I like fantasizing about it: would I like it for real?

Prozac4490 asks:

I like to fantasize about being spanked when I masturbate, and I'm wondering if I would like it in real life sex play, too. Trouble is, I'm a little nervous about the idea of actually trying it out, and I'm too embarrassed to ask my boyfriend if he'd be cool with that! What should I do?

Decoding Sex in the Media: There are No Blurred Lines When it Comes to Consent

For many young people, Robin Thicke’s hit single "Blurred Lines" has become the anthem of the summer. Recently topping the Billboard Hot 100 list and rising to the position of most-downloaded song on iTunes, “Blurred Lines” seems to be thumping out of every stereo speaker on the planet. And for good reason -- it’s a very catchy song, with a strong beat and ostensibly fun lyrics. It also comes along with a controversial video full of naked women, which has no doubt amped up its notoriety. Like many artists before him, Thicke sings about a complex topic -- sex -- but he makes the mistake of ignoring a crucial underlying issue: consent.

Throughout the song, Thicke addresses a woman he perceives as a potential sex partner, continuously making assumptions about her sexual intentions. He sings that he’s “gon’ take [have sex with]” her, repeatedly insisting, “I know you want it”. (He also calls said woman a bitch, an animal, and refers to himself as pimping.)

In the middle of the chorus, Th

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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'm scared to touch my own vagina: why?

birthdaycake123 asks:

Hey. I'm 14 and I've never fingered myself. I've done other things, but the thought of fingering myself just seems gross. A couple times, I've tried to, but then I get to thinking about how gross vaginas are, and I chicken out. I know this is irrational, but do you have any advice on getting over this? Thanks.

Why Does Masturbation Feel Weird?

simplysarah asks:

I'm 16 years old and a virgin and I'm not exactly sure how to masturbate? That might sound weird but I'm just not sure how I'm supposed to do it. I've tried fingering myself but it always kind of freaks me out and I stop and it never felt that good anyway. The thought of my fingers being inside myself just weirds me out, even though I know it's not weird but it is for me. I guess what I'm wondering is, is this normal? And how am I "supposed" to masturbate if it all seems weird to me?

I want to have sex. He doesn't. Why not? And what do I do now?

beccaboo71 asks:

I've been dating my current boyfriend for 5 months now, and I really am ready and willing to have sex. But, he's not. He wants to, and he's curious but he feels that he shouldn't? I don't know what to do, I don't understand why he's feeling this way about it. Is there something wrong with me? Something he's afraid to say? Or is he just really scared himself? Help!

Parents: worried about sending simplistic messages about sex to teens? Then don't.

margaret asks:

My 15 year old son has a first girlfriend who is a year older. My concern is that she lives with her dad only and quite often is home alone. My son has been there twice already and one time I made him leave because the dad was not home. I am besides myself about how to handle this. He said that he is not going to have sex with her but you know how that goes. I know what I was doing at 15. Do I make condoms available? But that would be condoning it. I will have a talk with the girl about not hanging at her house. They are always welcome at mine and I will try to speak to her dad about it.

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