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I survived sexual assault, then got stuck in a relationship I don't feel good about.

antigone68 asks:

I’m a woman in my early twenties and identify as a feminist. Last November I was raped by someone I had previously considered to be a close friend. However, the assault itself isn’t what I am writing about. I’ve read many of Scarleteen’s wonderful articles on sexual assault and I am quite comfortable with the idea that what happened to me isn’t my fault.

Shortly after the assault, I started up a relationship with a man (which includes sex). I realise that it’s not ideal to start a sexual relationship soon after experiencing sexual assault. I don’t regret entering into the relationship, though, as it has (overall) made me very happy and has provided me with support to deal with my assault. My partner knows about my sexual assault.

A few months into the relationship, my desire for sex (intercourse) started to drop.

Quick Hits: We Already Got You Covered Edition

Landa84 asks:

My boyfriend and I had anal sex and then after went on to normal intercourse, can this cause infections?

Male Bodies Vs. Female Bodies: Why Go There?

r89 asks:

I don't mean to ask a silly question, but is there anything that makes being female good in terms of sex? It seems to me men have all the biological luck - they are aroused more easily, they orgasm more frequently, they can orgasm regularly from both oral/manipulative sex and intercourse, their is more square inches of erectile tissue to play around with, etc. I often listen to my guy friends talk, and lately it has been making me feel very inferior. Is there anything going for us?

Summering Safe and Sound

Here in the hemisphere I live in, we're into the swing of summer. Ah, summer, my personal favorite season. I love the sun, the warmth, everything blooming, the energy, the spirit of the season. As an alternative educator all my life, though, I miss out on that thing where teachers get summers off (though I've also known few teachers in the public sector who could afford to take the summer off, anyway), and as the Executive Director and lead educator at Scarleteen, I really don't get downtime. Summer is and has always been our busiest season. Eh, so it goes.

It's also the time of year when we tend to see the most new users coming to us because they're in a crisis or a panic, or are just really, really feeling down in the dumps. I'm a lot more concerned about those of you in that space than I am about my feeling occasionally ripped off of a summer vacation. We know that the idea of summer as a happy, carefree time for all young people doesn't square with the reality that for plenty, it'

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Letting Go of the Wrong Stuff to Get a Hold on the Right Stuff

Kyra asks:

I am 22 years old and have been with my one and only boyfriend for over 2 1/2 years now. I love him very much and we get along well, but our sexual life has always had problems. These are the main issues: 1) I cannot orgasm except through the use of a vibrator, 2) I'm often not interested in sex/don't really feel anything enjoyable from sex, and 3) I never initiate anything, which makes my boyfriend very frustrated. We've been having sex for about 2 years now, and these issues are as much of a problem as they were when we first started. Regarding the problem #1 (no orgasm except with vibrator), my boyfriend has tried everything. He will pleasure me for long periods of time, try to make me feel sexy, but NOTHING happens--I don't even come close to orgasming (in fact, I usually just get sore from the contact). I've tried to pleasure myself, but this is even worse--I hate the feeling of masturbating and don't derive any pleasure from it. When we discovered that I CAN orgasm via a vibrator, we were both thrilled; however, it usually takes me a good 15-25 minutes to orgasm from the vibrator (on the highest setting), and the orgasm usually lasts only a few seconds--it just feels like a lot of work for barely any result to me. Because I'm not interested in sex very often and I cannot orgasm via penetration or manual stimulation, my boyfriend believes I'm not sexually attracted to him and is quite upset. I don't know what to do and it is ruining our relationship. I am religious and come from a home schooled background where sex was not talked about much, and so I often feel awkward when my boyfriend tries to discuss it with me (and going to a sex therapist is out of the question).

Three on Getting to the Bottom of Things

Ariana11 asks:

So my boyfriend of 9 months was asking me about anal sex. We only ever done oral sex, so when he brought up anal I was a little scared. We both decided to at least see if it could work. We were at his house and I got on my knees and he slowly went in. At first if hurt then it didn't. All in all we only did this for about 7 seconds then we stopped. We were never intending to do anal for longer than 15 seconds. We were just going to do long enough to see what it would be like. After we stopped we sat on the bed and I asked him if this counted as sex. He said that it didn't. (We are both virgins by the way...or maybe not?) I'm not sure if it counted. If it did then did I just lose my virginity?

What Is Healthy Sexual Development?

Depending on your view, the answer to that question might seem really obvious or very tricky and hazy.

This is a subject that's talked about all the time, however, when it is, there's often little to no clear definition about what healthy sexual development is. Many easy assumptions get made, and ideas about what's healthy for all people are often based in or around personal agendas, ideas and personal experiences of sexuality, rather than being based in broader viewpoints, truly informed and comprehensive ideas about all that human sexuality and development involves and real awareness of possible personal or cultural bias.

We think this question is very, very tricky and that the answers aren't at all obvious or easy: sexuality is incredibly complex, especially given its incredible diversity, not just among a global population, but even within any one person's lifetime. Our cultures also are often sexually unhealthy in many ways, and so ideas about healthy sexual development, deeply i

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Sorting Maybe from Can't-Be: Reality Checking Partnered Sex Wants & Ideals

Is what you want from sex with a partner realistic, or is it impossible, unlikely or out-to-lunch? Take a trip with us to go visit our pal reality.

How to Become an Expatriate of Owville

PaulaKristine asks:

I am a 20 year old female. I have been sexually active since I was 17. Every time I have sex whether I was in a relationship with them or not having sex hurt. When we first start to have sex it feels good, but after a few minutes it starts to hurt, feeling like the penis is hitting a wall. I can't last for more than around 5 minutes or the sex feels like intense pain. Also I have never has an orgasm while having sex, I just do not feel aroused in the same way while having sex, like I do when my clit is being played with. People tell me I just do not have sex often enough so I am not "stretched out" or "used to it" but it does not feel good to me at all, except for the first minute or 2. I don't understand why I don't enjoy sex like the rest of the human population.

Hooking Up Can Be Awkward - Until It's Great

Hello! I’ve been a big fan of Scarleteen for a while now. I’ll be fully honest: I love Scarleteen!

So, it’s truly an honor, thrill, and excitement to get to call Scarleteen a new home for my writing. Hey, they say home is where the heart is! While here, I’ll be mostly writing about that magnificent phenomenon we call consent. And I can’t wait to share with, hear from, and learn with you!

In my experience, getting to the heart of consent has usually involved paying close attention to detail. For example, I host consent workshops professionally, and at one point during past workshops, when the audience is generally settled and feeling comfortable opening up, I have asked, “Who here has ever had something silly and awkward happen during a hookup? Even slightly awkward.” (When I say hooking up, I'm referring to sexual activity.) Hands have shot straight up and we all ended up getting a good laugh out of it. It just goes to show how awkward connecting with sex can be, whether you're in be

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