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Rape is Rape: Lebanon Edition

In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut) the joke is that it is equally likely to see a woman in a mini skirt as it is to see a woman in a hijab.

In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), European tourists feel at ease that the Lebanese still speak a post-colonial French, and let Beirut be called the Paris of the Middle East.

In Lebanon (or at least, in Beirut), tourists and Lebanese alike flock to the beaches and the nightclubs, openly drinking alcohol, smoking hookahs, and belly dancing to both popular western and Arabic music, creating a strange moment that many see as cultural influence, and many others see as cultural infiltration.

Still—despite the post-colonial familiarity and acceptability of Lebanese culture—Lebanese women remain in many ways decorative objects, openly ignored, slighted or discriminated against in legislation. In Lebanon, a woman cannot pass on her Lebanese nationality to her children. In Lebanon, a woman is not protected from domestic abuse—because the law does not re

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The Clitoris, the Vagina and Orgasm: Feelings and Frameworks

lioness asks:

I'm a lesbian in my early twenties and I've heard the idea of the "vaginal orgasm" vs "clitoral orgasm" debunked here. But I'm feeling confused about how to reconcile that with my experience that orgasms when I'm stimulated in different ways feel different. Like, when just my clit is being stimulated, I come in one way, and when the walls of my vagina are being stroked, it's like a different kind of orgasm builds up--from deeper inside. The second kind tends to go on for longer, and be less "piercing" than orgasms where it's just my external clitoris being stimulated. Generally, those second ones feel more "complete" too. Both kinds feel good--I'm not knocking either one--but saying one feels more clitoral and one feels more vaginal feels like an accurate description. Do other people have this experience?

Also, I know Freud's idea about "vaginal orgasms" being more "mature" than "clitoral orgasms" is all messed up. But I've heard some older women talking about orgasms coming "more from inside" as they got older. Is there any evidence or do you have any reason to believe that this is true for many women?

I guess part of what I'm asking is, "am I imagining this difference?" When I've read that the idea of "vaginal orgasms" and "clitoral orgasms" is BS, that's seemed pretty cool and liberating. And yet, I do seem to experience these different kinds of orgasms. Can you help me understand all this? Thanks a lot.

It's a Powerful Thing

Earlier this week, in the context of another conversation, one of our users at Scarleteen mentioned that her feelings on abortion had changed to a negative when she learned that her mother's pregnancy had been unplanned, and that her mother considered abortion. She said that upset her, because she really liked existing. She did say she was still pro-choice, but her sentiment bothered me all the same. Some of why it bothered me was political, and also about the work that I do and have done. But in thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the ways it bothered me most were intensely personal.

The truth is, I envy her. A lot. I envy she was able to have a discussion in which her mother made clear she had the right to choose and she chose to remain pregnant and parent her. She wasn't forced, she wasn't pressured, she didn't do what she did because it was the only thing she could do without risking her life, her health, being locked away or hidden or committing a crime. She chose. S

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How Scarleteen and Sex Ed Saved My Life

This is a guest entry from Shanna Katz, M.Ed, as part of the month-long blogathon to help support Scarleteen!

When I was 10 or so, I discovered the wonders of the internet. It was back in the mid-90s, before most people had access, but my father was a computer scientist, and I was rocking out on Mosaic, way before IE or Eathlink or Netscape or AOL made their brands so popular. I didn’t use it for much, as there wasn’t that much info out there pertaining to me, but I did have an email, and learned how to search.

Around the late 90s, I was in my “oh em gee, want to learn everything possible about puberty and sex” and after my parents exhausted the info available at the local library, I was lucky enough to discover Scarleteen.

It was still quite young back then, but it was knowledge, and that was something I was desperately hungry for. More importantly, it was more than just information; it was interactive. I could learn from older teens, from educators, from people my age. I became obs

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My Personal Journey: Long Term Effects of Sex-Negative Teen Sex Education

This guest post is from Anita Wagner at Practical Polyamory, and is part of the month-long blogathon to help raise funds for Scarleteen!

When I was recently asked to write a blog post for the Scarleteen blogathon, I had no hesitation about agreeing. I had the pleasure of meeting and having lunch with Scarleteen founder and comprehensive teen sex ed resource Heather Corinna during a trip to the northwest in summer 2009. Let there be no doubt, Heather is one of my all time heroes for the work she does to make sure teens get comprehensive sex education information. I care about this subject very deeply, as the following story will illustrate.

I grew up in an area that is pretty much to this day an exceedingly conservative part of the United States. When I came of age, good parents zealously guarded their daughters' virtue by attempting to control the what, where, when, and most importantly, who, of their daughters' social lives. Sex ed, after a fashion, was taught in health and hyg

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(More Than) a Few Words On Being 13 and 100% Ready for Sex

vergin_13confussd asks:

Im 13 and a vigin and my boyfriend is 13 and not a vigin, and we're 100% ready 2 have sex, but the problem is that hes in south carolina and im in minnsota. Wen I lived in sc he went 2 my skool and we never talked. But there was a girl that would always say bad stuff about him, like hes slept wit every girl in the skool and hes such a bad guy, blah blah blah. so 1 day i messaged him on myspace and i gave him my number 2 txt me. i wanted 2 hear his side of the story. we got 2 no each other and we fell in love. im just worried that hes not done with his cheating ways, n that after we have sex hes gunna leave me. 1 of his ex's says that hes telling her that he doesnt love me and that he wuld cheat on me, but it depends on who. and that hes jus using me. idk wat 2 believe anymore!! i love him with all my heart and we believe were soulmates!!! ive never felt like this b4. and he says the same thing. my question is: how do ik he is gunna change and not leave me? and how do ik hes not jus tellin me wat i wanna hear? he says that im gunna b perfect in bed, but im jus so worried that im not gunna b as gudas he hopes. how do ik i'll b good? i really need 2 no!! im desperatly confused and dk wt 2 do!!!! my mom says he means wat he says 2me and that she's been threw sumthin like this. my heart says to stay with him and my gut says that stay with him but yor gunna get hurt. i jus dk. i really need help!! Thanks Heather!!!

It's Between God and Me

I used to know God was real. And I knew sex outside of marriage was wrong. Then I lost my faith, and fell in love, and everything turned upside down. One readers story of her struggles to resolve her conflict between sex and religion.

First-time sex with a friend: is that wrong?

Elizabeth asks:

Hi. I'm 18 years old (female) and I've been talking about having sex with a guy friend of mine. I'm very inexperienced and so I'm pretty nervous about this. I don't want to do it and then regret it later. So I have couple questions i was hoping you could help me out with. First of all, if it's going to be my first time but not his should i have him get a STI test(and should i get one)? I feel a bit awkward asking him to because we're not in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship - if you have any ideas on how i could bring this up to him that would be great. I don't think he has an STI or anything but obviously i can't be sure. Secondly, since I'm inexperienced in the sex department and I'm a naturally shy person anyway how can i make myself more comfortable during any kind of sex? Thirdly, am I going to bleed all over the place since it is going to be my first time? On your site you have said that the bleeding is pretty light buy I am just wondering. Lastly, is it wrong to have sex with someone you're not in a relationship with? I feel comfortable with him and I know if we had sex it would be because we both wanted to - not because anyone was feeling pressure. Thanks so much for answering my questions! I really love your site - it has such great information!

Compleat Mother

A parenting website with lots of pictures, personal stories and alternative solutions to parenting and pregnancy. Readers can submit letters, stories or photos of their own.

Born Free!

A website devoted to teaching women about the sensual, spiritual power of unassisted childbirth using personal accounts of unassisted childbirth, pictures and information.

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.