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perspective

Letters to My-Body-Of-Yesteryear and to Yours-of-Right-Now

I saw a young woman the other day who was in her late teens.

I had a moment of admiring how strong her legs looked, how able her shoulders; where she had curves and where she didn't, how kind of mixed-up and funky some of her coloring and parts were, a study in contrasts. It was a moment of appreciating what, in my eyes and perspective, her beauty was and how aesthetically beautiful I found her. As someone who's worked in art and photography, who looks at people and their details deeply and richly out of habit, I didn't think anything of it until I realized something about her was really resonating in a big way with me. I was having a hard time looking away.

Then it struck me: the things I was admiring about her and taking in so much of? Those were all ways my own body looked at her same age. It was like looking in a mirror that traveled through time.

But when I was her age, and my body and its parts looked like hers, I didn't appreciate them this way; I didn't find them so interestin

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He's Giving Me 8 Weeks to be Ready for Intercourse... Help!

confused@19 asks:

I've been seeing this guy from school for a couple months: three to be exact. From the moment we've met he's been interested in having sex, especially after he found out that I am a virgin and now he wants to be my first. He's pressuring me for pictures and oral sex, which we did but now he's pressuring me more for full on sex. We're not dating or in a relationship, all he says is that we're connected, which I don't understand. A couple days ago he said that he would give me 8 weeks to decide if I am gonna have sex, which will be in March.

He's the first guy to give me any sort of sexual attention, any attention more like it, I've always felt unsure of myself because I'm not a size six. I want to have sex, but with him I feel as if giving into finally have sex will just end up becoming sex and then the door. I don't want my first time to be a one night stand affair, he's assured me that it wouldn't be that way, but he's a guy looking for some. I'm real confused about what I should do with him. I want more than just sex, but I feel as if I wait it out long enough a relationship will grow. Please give me some help.

(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!!!

You should wait for sex, but if you can't....

This is one of a long line of common phrases in sex education and sexuality messaging people, including people I think of us allies, use that I deeply dislike, like "preventing teen pregnancy." Let me explain why, working backwards.

"You should wait for sex, but if you can't..."

That's usually followed by "then you should have sex using safer sex and contraception." Or -- and usually addressing both those things -- "then you should at least be responsible."

In some respect, that's fine. Now, not everyone needs contraception, either because they don't have a partner with a radically different reproductive system than them or they're not having the kinds of sex that can create a pregnancy, so that doesn't always make sense. But for people choosing to have any kind of sex, we're 100% on board with the sentiment that all of us -- no matter our age -- should be engaging in sexual practices supportive of safeguarding everyone's best health, and in alignment with whether we do or don't want

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