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relationships

Pucker problems, or: What can I do if I don't like kissing?

Annalisa asks:

I've realized that I just don't enjoy kissing. I love to be close to the person, and I like quick pecks on the cheeks, lips, and neck, but I don't enjoy deeper kissing. I do it, but I always feel as if I'm doing it for the other person, not for me. Holding or being held by the person just does a lot more for me sexually. Is there something wrong with me? Am I abnormal? What can I say to my partner, and what can I suggest as a replacement?

Queering Sexuality in Color: Maalik

Time for another installment of our first-person profiles of queer people of color, this one from a young man who talks very candidly about being on the down-low, masculinity and race.

Again, even if you're not of color and queer, not LGB or not of color, we think it's so important to cultivate an awareness of what it means to be not just a member of one of those groups, but of both. If you are queer and of color, what we're hoping this new series can do is help illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated. That isolation hurts and can and does do very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of race tend to face even greater challenges and isolation.

No matter who you are or what your deal is, we think you'll find these profiles challenge many perceptions and may make you reconsider or refine ideas or quest

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Lying, and other kinks in relationship communication

Ashcann asks:

I caught my partner lying about his past. It was a few weeks ago and we "cleared it up" yet I still feel out of place. At first he told me that he was a virgin (I didn't really believed him since he was 24 and he told me his ex was "kinky") but as I continued to question him he said that there was penetration. I was pissed at that moment but I decided to ask him what is it to have sex to him and he told me he considered penetration sex. Yet he applied a few excuses and I can't find to believe him, could he be lying about more?

Sound Counsel: A Conversation With Lynn Ponton

Considering counseling or think you or a friend might benefit from some therapy? Here's a basic introduction and a shared conversation with adolescent therapist and author Dr. Lynn Ponton to clue you in on what to expect from the couch.

Queering Sexuality in Color: Casa

If you're gay, lesbian or bisexual (LGB) and also of color, you don't need us to tell you how challenging that can be, nor that a lot of people -- especially those who aren't of color or who aren't queer -- don't realize, see or acknowledge much of what you've gone through or what you deal with. We're rolling out a new blog series today we hope can help counter that compound invisibility.

Even if you're not of color and queer, not LGB or not of color, we think it's critically important to cultivate an awareness of what it means to be not just a member of one of those groups, but of both. If you are queer and of color, what we're hoping this new series can do is help illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated, and that isolation hurts and can do and does very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of race

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He likes it, I don't. What now?

turnwavesmile asks:

I don't feel anything at all when I touch myself. It just feels like nothing inside and doesn't arouse me at all. The only way I can masturbate is by rubbing the palm of my hand on my clit. When my boyfriend and I are together, he likes to finger me. But like I said before, I don't feel anything. It gets pretty awkward when he's just fingering me and it's not feeling like anything and it just drags on forever, while he has no idea. What should I do?!

I want to come out to my friends, but how do I make sure they'll accept me?

thatonequietgirl asks:

I'm bisexual, and I really would like to tell my friends. I mean, they seem pretty open-minded, being pro-gay rights and generally accepting. The thing is, they're being open-minded from afar. If they found out that one of their closest friends is bisexual, I'm not sure they'd be too keen on the idea of having a bisexual girl friend. One even has said that she wouldn't want to have sleepovers at a girl's house if she liked girls. I'm honestly not attracted to her or any other one of my friends (well, maybe one a little, but I'd never make her uncomfortable or anything) but they don't get that. I don't know how to tell them that I like girls but that doesn't mean I like all girls. I'm not sure they'd believe me. Help, please?

The Importance of Consent in Everyday Situations

Yesterday, I had my hair cut.

As the stylist called my name, she asked if I would like a shampoo. I politely declined. She then noticed how thick my hair is and she said she was going to take me back to the sink to wet it. And being incredibly used to this, I readily agreed and followed.

But just as she had finished wetting my hair and I expected her to turn the water off, she started squirting stuff on my head.

I froze. I’m not great with confrontation, especially with strangers, and have difficultly forming exactly what I want to say in just a short moment. She kept rubbing my head, then squirting some more, rubbing and squirting, rubbing and squirting.

The salon smell was all around me, and finally when she’d finished rinsing, only to squirt yet more stuff on my head, I blurted out “so what’s all this stuff you’re putting on my head?”

“You don’t use conditioner?” she asked incredulously.

Once she’d finished lecturing me on why I should use conditioner, I opened my mouth again to sa

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