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.

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. 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's not, whether that's about tough stuff happening, or about having experiences that aren't negative, but are just super-challenging. With that in mind, here are a few tips and things to think about as you get into (or grapple with) your summer groove:

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....

What Is Healthy Sexual Development?

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

At a recent conference I was part of in London, Alan McKee presented Healthy sexual development: a multidisciplinary framework for research. What McKee and his colleagues determined to be the core parts of healthy sexual development had me jumping up and down in my seat with joy (literally: I may have disturbed my fellow attendees with my bouncing). It summed up the things we try to support, encourage and inform our users with and keep core at Scarleteen so well, and so much of what I think -- after many years of thinking hard about and working with these issues, and being fully and broadly immersed in them with a very diverse population -- truly is central to healthy sexual development.

I'm delighted to have permission to excerpt and reprint this framework here.

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....

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.