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You Don't Need Your Moms' Permission to Have Sex.

Juliaaa8 asks:

I'm 18 years old and have been with my boyfriend for a little over 4 years. We're best friends and were so in love. The first time we had sex I was 16 and my mom found out and I was grounded and unable to see him for about a month and a half. We're both in college now and still together and he's coming down soon to visit me! We haven't had sex since that one time and since then my mom has made me ask her if I feel like I'm ready but every time I seem to ask her she shuts it down and makes me feel bad for wanting it. I really want to have sex with him when he comes down to see me and I'm scared to ask my mom. But I really want to explore my sexuality more and figure myself out more with him. How should I deal with this?

Scarleteen Confidential: Ten Questions with Dr. Karen Rayne about Parenting, Sex, and Communication

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

You've probably seen all kinds of adults writing about teens and sex. Some of that writing is well-researched and thoughtful. Some --- most, sadly -- is hysterical and full of fearmongering and shoddy (or no) research. I was lucky enough to interview an author who belongs solidly in the first category.

Dr Karen Rayne has spent the past ten years actively and thoughtfully supporting parents and teens in their conversations about sex and sexuality, and she's released a new book called Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Tips for Talking to Teenagers about Sex, which we think is accessible, compassionate, and incredibly useful. Keeping with the

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Scarleteen Confidential: Quick Hits

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

Welcome to Scarleteen Confidential quick hits! In this series, we cover topics that are important, but that aren't long enough for a full post of their own.

Ways to connect with the teens in your life

We talk a lot about allowing teens the space to explore and pursue their own interests. And while that's important, we still hear from teens who want to stay connected with their parents, even as they create lives that are more and more their own. So what can you do to stay connected without becoming the main component of their social lives?

  • Keep it Regular, or, as regular as you can manage. Something like cooking a meal together on a sp
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Scarleteen Confidential: In Defense of Teen Media

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

For two years, I worked in a bookstore that was aimed primarily at children and teenagers. It was a job I quite enjoyed, but I quickly discovered that when you work near books, people always want to tell you their opinions on said books. That's fine most of the time. But I noticed a pattern when parents or adults would refer to The Hunger Games series. They would express dismay over a child wanting to read the book, wondering what they saw in it, and either implicitly or explicitly stating that they thought the book was not good for youth to be reading. I would usually give a neutral response about how yes, the book is dark (for t

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You Can't Test for Virginity

Tammyluvgurl asks:

Hello I'm 13 and don't plan on having sex but my mother says that when I'm 16-18 she is going to get me checked to see if I'm still a virgin because I'm religious and we believe in no sex till marriage. Even though I don't plan on having sex, does masturbation affect the test the doctors going to take? And how do they take this test? Because I don't want to masturbate and find out the doctor says I'm not a virgin. Is there even a way for the doctors to test it (because my mom could be bluffing)?

P.S. me and my moms relationship is good so she would trust me if I told her I didn't have sex plus if I did she would be understanding.

Scarleteen Confidential: (Better) BC Invitations

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

"How could i tell my mom in the best possible way i wanna be on birth control? help me plzzzz!!!! I need help with this badly."

"i want to start using birth control but who do i consult with first my parents or my doctor and if my parents (specifically my mom) how do i tell her with out saying the wrong things?"

"I want to talk to my mom about starting birth control, but I'm not sure how...she told me when my bf, Nat, and I started dating (over 7 months ago) that I could come to her and talk to her, but I haven't really seen any of that openness since, and I'm scared about how she'll react. I really want this for myself though, the bc

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Scarleteen Confidential: Teens and Body Image

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

Our societies are chock full of norms and ideals of beauty, and we all run up against them eventually. These norms and expectations often have a hand in shaping how we feel about our own bodies. When you're a teen and trying to sort out how to feel comfortable in your changing body, these messages can be very potent indeed. Sadly, what is defined as desirable, fit, or beautiful is often based on a very narrow ideal of the human body, rather than on the diverse and wonderful reality of human appearance.

Adolescence involves dramatic changes to your appearance (boobs! hair in new places! acne in places you didn't even know you had!)

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Scarleteen Confidential: When You Don't Like Their Partner

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

It's a perennial cliché in nearly every coming of age movie, book, and sitcom. An adolescent or emerging adult character brings home a new boyfriend or girlfriend, who is met with dismay or disapproval by parents. Perhaps there is a joke (because threats of violence are apparently hilarious) made about shotguns if the daughter has brought home a boyfriend. Often, the scenario is played for laughs, or for soap opera levels of drama.

In real life, it's not unusual for parents to not immediately like the partner of their teen, or to feel wary or cautious when it comes to supporting their romantic or sexual relationship. But that situation

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Scarleteen Confidential: Supporting a Teen after Sexual Assault

How do you support a teen as they recover from sexual assault?

Parental Controls

Noodle asks:

I have been in a monogamous relationship with someone my age for two years. We have been sexually active for a year now. My parents are religious and conservative, and believe strongly that there is no place for sex outside of marriage and I shouldn't be committed to my boyfriend until I have graduated college, which I am attending now. I have a very close relationship with my parents and didn't want to have to keep up a facade of chastity, so I told my mom that my boyfriend and I have been having sex. She was very upset and it launched a 3 month ordeal of restructuring boundaries for my boyfriend and I and reestablishing trust with me. My parents insist they still like my boyfriend as a person, but they no longer want us to have anything to do with one another. My boyfriend and I go to different schools and are apart for months at a time. We were originally planning to visit one another, but my mother says that if he visits it will permanently damage their relationship with him and my relationship with them. Over winter break, we were not allowed to ride in the same car together unless there was an adult chaperoning us, and my parents made sure we spent just as much time with them as with his family. It was horrible, and my mental health really suffered. I want to be able to go back to having a free, adult relationship with my boyfriend, but I also want my parents to approve of him again. I am dreading going home, but I really want to be able to see my love again. Any advice would be very welcome.

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.