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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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Am I normal? Who cares?

Anonymous asks:

Am I/is he/is she/is this/are we normal?

Am I normal? Who cares?

Am I/is he/is she/is this/are we normal?

As anyone who works in sex education or sexuality can tell you, when it comes to the questions people ask us, variations on the theme of "Am I normal?" reign supreme.

I just spent a half hour going through our advice question queue, doing a search on each page for the word "normal." At the moment, we have around 55 pages of unanswered questions. There's five to fifteen questions on each page. I found only two pages where there was not at least one question with the term "normal" in it; where the heart of the question wasn't "Am I -- or is he, she or ze -- normal?"

Some questions about normality are really about health. That's a little different. Of course, from my view, that's also less about normal and more about healthy. If, for instance, someone has delayed puberty but no health issues they need to address causing it, then it doesn't really matter if it's normal because that person is healthy and not in need of healthcare or lifestyle change

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How can we have sex if he finishes before we even get started?

snapplefact asks:

I have an amazing boyfriend. He's thoughtful, considerate and sweet - not to mention super cute - everything I've ever wanted. He likes me a lot, too, and he's always telling me how much he likes me and how beautiful I am and all that good stuff. The problem is, I think he likes me a little TOO much. We haven't had sex yet, but I don't know if we can! The problem is that he appears to be a premature ejaculator. When we mess around, he comes unbelievably quickly - and he doesn't even get hard first. He keeps telling me he's really nervous because he's never been with anyone as great as me before, which is really nice, but I'm getting REALLY frustrated. I want to have sex with him but how can I do that if I can hardly touch his penis without it going soft, or worse? I don't know what to do.

My culture insists on virginity: did I break my hymen with masturbation?

prince_12 asks:

I hope you would be able to answer my message as soon as possible. It is very urgent. I have passed through the site and decided of asking you some questions maybe you could help me. I am an Indian girl. My age is 26 and I never had ever sexual intercourse because it is against our traditions here. A girl is not allowed until she is married. I never ever masturbated using machines or finger. I never ever touched my area down before. I even never knew anything about girls and guys masturbation. Here we are not taught about sex issues. I entered accidentally one of the sex sites and most probably out of curiousity about a new thing, depression, and much free time. I started chatting dirty(no voice) with these guys and I watched some. I never did this before in my whole life really. I noticed that i gave water from under when I chatted dirty or watched a guy and I become very jelly like down there. I really never knew this is masturbation i am really ignorant about that. I did this only about two months but I chatted and masturbated several times in a day.

One Bloody Mess: Myths & Realities of Bleeding with First Intercourse

go_warriors_cc asks:

How long after a girl's first time should they bleed for and how heavy should they bleed?

From Us to You: Some Volunteer Aunties Talk Body Image

I know it's only so much consolation to you right now, but the older I get, the more I notice how much easier having a positive body image becomes. I know that's clearly not the case for all older women: after all, plenty of women my age and older are getting sliced, diced and Botoxed to within an inch of their lives. However, it's also not just me. I often notice that women I'm friends with also seem to have a good handle and perspective on their body image, despite the diversity of our bodies. Usually a much better one then they had when they were your age.

But you know, what I wish I knew then that I do know now is that most of my body image is totally up to me. Just like it is now, so it was when I was in my teens: I have control over how positive or negative it is. And that's something you'll find many older women wish they had known back when. You don't have to wait until you're in your 30's, 40's or beyond to get to a better place with yours. You can start doing that right

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How can I help my trans partner with a medical transition?

myself5 asks:

Okay, so I'm a female high school junior. There's this girl (sweet, geeky, smart, funny, the works) that I may soon be starting a sexual relationship with. She's trans and just started taking hormones. Currently she's male, but eventually, her "outie" will become an "innie," so to speak. I've heard mixed things about this surgery, and I don't know if she'll be able to feel things the same way afterward. She's very sexual, and obviously I want to be able to do stuff with her, so this is a big concern. What will the aftermath of the surgery be like? What are the risks of the procedure? What can I do to help her get through this?

Love the Glove: 10 Reasons to Use Condoms You Might Not Have Heard Yet

You've probably heard or thought some things about condom use that might be keeping you or others from using them or from using them consistently, and I'm willing to bet you haven't heard everything I'm about to say. Even if you're already using condoms and using them every single time properly, I bet you know someone -- a sibling, a friend, a sexual partner -- who could stand to hear ten great reasons to use condoms.

Why is one group of women so different than another when it comes to interest in sex?

P1990 asks:

I am a 19-year old male, and all the time I hear or read things about females that age or even younger getting into sex, including right here on Scarleteen. But just about every female around my age that I know has little to no interest in sex. What is it that makes these groups of people so different? I'm worried I might not find any partners that are interested in it. I'm not desperate to have sex, or want to base a relationship solely on it, but I do want to have a partner who enjoys it and with whom I can explore sex.

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