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Happy 15th Birthday, Scarleteen!

We are 15 years old today. FIFTEEN! (In internet years, that's like being 500.)

We debuted online on December 15th, 1998 and here we are, still rolling, and wanting to keep on rolling some more, in 2013.

I can't thank our donors and supporters, all our volunteers past and present, and the tens of millions of users who have been the heart and soul of what we do, with them and for them, enough for being part of this grand experiment in sexuality education and emerging technologies. So much of Scarleteen is a community, and we have been blessed with a large, deeply diverse and incredible group over the years, one which has challenged, inspired, moved and motivated all of us, myself very much included. As the founder and executive director of Scarleteen, all of you have benefitted my own life, and been part of something I gladly consider the core of my life's work.

We intend to keep at what we do for at least another fifteen years if we can, experimenting and innovating, exploring and d

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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?

Feeling lost in a long-distance relationship

aroplane asks:

I have been in a long distance relationship for a year now. We are in love, but he is a year older than me and is going to college this year. We decided a long time ago that breaking up would be the best option in order to avoid one of us cheating or having to break up on bad terms later on. The goal is to preserve our friendship.

The problem is we are still in love and so far we have been acting the same way that we did when we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. We still say I love you and talk every day. At first we decided to label our status as "broken up", however we then decided that since we weren't acting broken up that we should not call our status anything and ignore labels and just listen to our feelings and be honest with each other all the time. That sounds good in theory but now we are in this relationship limbo that seems so fragile and hopeless.

My friend told me that the best thing to do in order not to end up getting taken over by jealousy down the line would be to stop talking to each other all together and try to get over one another. There is one big big big problem with that idea and that is that we are in love and the thought of not speaking to him tears me apart. I want to know my "boyfriend" forever one way or another. He accepts me and loves me for who I am. We have so much fun together. When I'm with him I feel safe and beautiful. Nothing compares to it.

If we HAVE to break up then I do want to be friends if that is all we can be, but I don't know how to do that when I would rather be his girlfriend. I need him in my life. He needs me in his. What is the best way to handle this situation?

Can my girlfriend really love me if she lost her virginity to someone else?

Ronnie asks:

I'm afraid my girlfriend may still be loving her ex-boyfriend who broke her virginity. She has always proved that she loves me but I'm not convinced, even though she says she doesn't have feelings for him anymore. Is it true that ladies always have permanent feelings for men they first had sex with?

Why can't I let go of his past?

Audrey asks:

I am 21 years old and have been with my boyfriend for eight months. This is the first relationship I have ever been in; we had sex only a couple of days after we met and I have been with him since. Obviously I trust him and love him and we have a very healthy relationship, but I have known for a while now that prior to meeting me, he slept with 15 other girls. I have a history of depression and ever since he has told me I have started to feel really horrible about it all - I never thought it was something that would ever bother me, as I have friends both male and female who are promiscuous, but I feel so much differently about it now that he has told me. I feel that it upsets me a lot and I don't know why and I can't understand it. I have tried to talk to him about it a lot but he won't open up to me and I don't know what else I can do.

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