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What I Really, Really Want for My 40th Birthday

You probably already know I'm the founder and executive director of Scarleteen. (If not, hello! Lovely meeting you.) You might not know that on Sunday I'm turning 40.

I don't normally ask the internet for birthday prezzies, but 40 is a big freaking birthday. When I was the age of most of the young people I counsel now, I had it in my head I wouldn't live past 36. I've become the adult I didn't even think I would be around to be. When someone asked me what I wanted last week for my birthday, what I felt I really wanted, in my heart of hearts, was the kind of world I'd truly prefer to live in and want for young people, particularly around sexuality, their bodies and their relationships. I want the world I've been working very hard to try and create. Big birthdays deserve big gifts, right?

Of course, no one can just snap their fingers and give that to me. But there is something small each of you can do to plant some seeds for it, and I'm going to go ahead and be a noodge and ask you for

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Does Your Relationship Need a Checkup?

Does your relationship need a basic checkup to be sure it's healthy and well? Here's a list for doing just that.

He said he'd wait, but he won't stop asking.

Staying_Pure asks:

I'm a 17 year old girl and have been dating this guy for a year and a half. I love him and know he loves me. For about the past six months I've been giving him handjobs. We started out slowly. (Through his pants, though his boxers, and then of course through nothing.) Well, recently he has been trying to convince me to let him fingering me. I told him "no" and he was pretty respectful of that. Each time we do something though, he asks for it. When I say no, he keeps saying 'okay, I'll wait for you" When he kept asking, I said wait till I'm in college and we'll see. Then, he said okay again. Once he asked me why I wasn't ready and I said because I was scared. When I couldn't explain why I was scared he got a little frustrated. He still keeps asking me for fingering and as I say no, he says "It's okay I'll wait for you." I just want to know though, how I can get him to stop asking, it kind of feels like he is pressuring me. I've tried to find a reason for my fears, but I can't place my finger on it other than I'm not ready. (It doesn't help that an old of crush of his- who is both of our friend- is telling him about how her boyfriend gave her first orgasm through fingering.)

Working It Out When Hooking Up Isn't Working

zebrastripes111 asks:

I'm 16. I've gone through 8 sexual partners in the last year. And 5 of them only in these past 3 months. I've only had one boyfriend in my life. I cheated on him. Twice.

I feel like I'm easy, maybe I am. I will tell myself that I won't have sex with a guy, and then I end up doing it anyways. In that moment I truly do want nothing more than to get it on. I am juggling two 'sex buddies' one of whom is a friend and the other is more of a stranger I sleep with. I suppose it wouldn't be such a bad thing except I only get sex when they want it. Frankly I'm a little fed up with this routine. I get horny too, but apparently that doesn't count. I enjoy sex, and I'm not afraid to say that. I can achieve an orgasm almost every time I have sex. But as soon as were finished I feel like shit. I don't really know why this is. I have inquired that maybe I use sex as a tool to make myself feel wanted and cared for. Or that I'm guilty to have maybe abused sex. Or simply that I am fucking... and not making love. I don't know what to do or what this is about. I don't know if you can console me, but any efforts and advice would be appreciated.

Hello, Sailor! How to Build, Board and Navigate a Healthy Relationship

You probably hear the term "healthy relationship" a lot. But what does that mean, and how do you create -- and keep building -- one of those?

So, About That Video...

I tried several times to leave a comment at the National Campaign's blog on this, but alas, it wouldn't let me. I'm pretty savvy with web forms, so it's probably just some kind of temporary technical snag over there. Since it wouldn't let me do so there, I'm doing it here.

After hearing complaints about the video at sex::tech from audience members at one of my own panels, a video I had not seen myself, then getting an email the following morning with some of those complaints CC'd to me, I had a private conversation with Larry Swiader, in his role there as a representative of the NC, about the reactions the video got (which I did look at before our conversation, and was not a fan of myself). This was a conversation where I was primarily trying to help support someone new in the field facing an intense swell of reactivity, however valid. I know how challenging working in sex education can be, especially when you're new to it, and I also know how overwhelming it can be to face en-mass

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Will He Expect Me to Have Sex With Him?

LadyShadowlight asks:

I've been dating my boyfriend for about four months. I just found out yesterday that his ex-girlfriend, who I've never met, was his first sex. It made me feel a little bit awkward, since not only did I not know that about him, but I hadn't even considered having sex yet. Even though he told me he's not looking for that and he doesn't mind if I don't want to do it, I feel pressured to "outsex" her, since I've been rather jealous of her ever since I first heard about her. I'm pretty sure he would do it if I asked him, but my parents are very overprotective and they don't want me having sex this young (16), so I don't know where or when we'd do it. Since it would be my first time, I'm also a little worried that I wouldn't do it right, or that he would break up with me because I'm not experienced. I'm really not sure what to do in this situation, since I don't want to force our relationship too fast, but I really want to show that I love him just as much as she every did.

Girlfriend putting pressure on herself to lose virginity

nimpup asks:

My fiance and I are trying to have intercourse. But she can't do it, she's still a virgin and has her hymen. It's too painful for her. The most I can get in is about three inches and she has told me that's about how deep her hymen is. She really wants to give her virginity to me and I really want to be able to please her like that. We don't know why it's so painful for her but she reacts like she's being stabbed in the stomach with a sword. She told me that it feels like I'm killing her when I try to push past that three inches. I asked my older brother about this and he said that maybe that's just how deep she is and after that three inches I'm hitting her cervix.

I feel stuck! I'm 20, living at home with no job and no car.

iamlost asks:

Hello. I’m feeling very lost lately and need some help. I am 20 and got my bachelors degree in economics in the fall. I really want to be a make-up artist though and went to night school while at college and have a qualification and a small portfolio. I am now living back home in a real small town where I can’t even find a part-time job and I have no car to travel out of town to work. My dad won’t help me out and I spent hundreds of dollars on lessons but he won’t let me behind the wheel or even let me pay for insurance on his car. So I send my portfolio out but rarely get any work and if I do it’s unpaid! I stay in bed until noon and feel like such an embarrassment to my folks. I then get up to eat and pretty much go back to bed. All I want to do is snuggle up to my pillow where I feel warm and safe (almost loved as strange as it sounds) and cry.

I am a shy girl and find it hard to make friends, when I do I can’t keep them. I can’t understand why they’d find me interesting and won’t agree to go out partying in case I’d be a bore so my college friends all drifted away and I’m not in contact with anyone I went to high school with. I am alone with my folks in the house and never have anyone my own age to socialize with. Couple that with my shyness and I’m lonely. I’ve also never had a boyfriend for the same reasons, although no boy ever hit on me either so the opportunity never arose. I would love to have sex and find myself thinking about it all the time and masturbating twice a day, I’d also just love some affection/cuddles or to have someone to talk to.

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