relationships

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.

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).

What's it called when you're a straight girl who finds other women beautiful?

Thyromanes asks:

What do you call it when you're sexually attracted to men (I'm a girl), but you can also appreciate female beauty? I'm straight and would not want a woman as a sexual partner. However, it's not unusual when I see a beautiful woman to think "damn, she's smokin'" the same way I might think "wow, he's a hunk" when I see an attractive guy. I also realize I have the capacity for 'girl crushes'--usually when I find another women admirable, not even in a sexual way or anything. I might admire her for her skill, personality, or expertise, as well as her physical beauty. What's up with that?

How Can a Lesbian Have Sex With a Dyke? (Or, How Good Consent & Communication is the Answer to Everything for Everyone)

Sun11 asks:

I'm a 19 year old lesbian ("Lipstick") and my girl friend is a "Dyke" and I know she has had previous partners and well so have I but never a Dyke. I'm scared of what may happen when we actually do have sex. What if I do something she's not comfortable with? Matter of fact what do I do if I do? I'm scared that I'll completely blow it and ruin our sexual relationship.

Some basic gay-tiquette

Capturetheworld asks:

My best friend just came out to me and I came out to him... now he wants to have sexual relations, what do I do?

It all happened a week ago. He told me he was bi, I told him that I am gay. After an awkward conversation he told me that he wanted to have sex with me minus an actual relationship and he told me that he prefers women but likes men as well. This is all troubling to me because I don't have any interest in him as a partner and telling me that he likes women is a big turn off. But the guy has never had a relationship with a man or woman. I kind of feel bad for him, he has had a lonely life. I have had several relationships both platonic and sexual. I would like to find a way to tell him that I am not his guy without hurting his feelings. We have been friends for 6 years now and the only reason why I haven't told him that I was gay before this point is because of his families very conservative views.

On a side note, What is the best way to tell girls who are infatuated with you that you are gay without offending them? For whatever reason, people have a hard time actually believing that I am gay. Thank you for your help!

Whoa, There! How to Slow Down When You're Moving Too Fast

Is your sex life or sexual relationship feeling like someone pressed the fast-forward button and now it's spinning out of control? Evaluate whether things are moving too fast for you or a partner, and then get some help on pulling back the reins and slowing things down to a more comfortable pace.