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responsibility

Driver's Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent

Most of us understand being in transit means there's a possibility of getting hurt, hurting others, having a good time turn into a bad one or just not getting to where we intended, and to try and prevent those outcomes, we need to follow basic rules of the road like being attentive to and actively giving clear signs and signals. Just like it's important on the road, it's important between the sheets.

Dealing With Doctors: Taking Control of Your Health Care Destiny

Taking charge of our own healthcare can be a daunting task, especially if you don't know how to navigate healthcare systems or work with providers. We're demystifying some of that for you, providing a toolbox to help you make sound decisions and get the best care possible.

Of forgotten condoms. And days without pants.

It occurs to me that the "we both forgot to use condoms" thing that comes up often enough is a bit like suggesting that a person forgot to wear pants.

For a whole day.

And didn't notice.

At all.

They got home, and after hours of being out in the cold or the sun, at work, getting lunch, taking the bus back and forth, only when they saw their pants laying on the bed did they go, "Whoah! I haven't had pants on ALL DAY! I had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER!"

Just think about it. Seriously. Think about it. If in doubt, try The Great Pantsless Experiment and see how long you go without noticing.

Here's a thing to know: chances are AWFULLY good that at least one person in that situation, and certainly the person who would be WEARING the condom realizes they're not wearing a condom. Probably right from the start, but if not then pretty darn shortly thereafter.

That person is highly unlikely not to feel any difference at all, because even though various kinds of sex can feel just as awesome with condoms

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The Testing Diaries: Robin

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're doing this series at Scarleteen. In it, some of our volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

Ten years ago, I knew about using lube, about making first-time intercourse comfortable, and about pregnancy prevention options, but it seems I didn’t know much about sexually transmitted infections.

My partner at

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Fear of pregnancy? Ready for sex?

Hannahcarissa95 asks:

I am almost 18. My long distance boyfriend is 22. I have decided he is the man I want to lose my virginity to. Seeing as he is 1500 miles away means that he is not going to be doing it anytime soon. However, I am going to where he lives for Thanksgiving and we are planning on doing it then. He is a very spiritual guy and has a strong feeling that I might get pregnant on the first time that we have sex. He thinks this due to the fact that I really want a baby and I always have. But I want one when I am married and able to support it and a family. I told him that the best that we can do is be safe and smart about sex and protection and if it happens it happens but I need some advice on what else to tell him. Could you help me? I also was wondering if you have any suggestions about what would be the best plan of action if I were to get pregnant? In my mind abortion is not an option for me. I asked him what we would do and he said that he would obviously support me with multiple jobs. we would get our own place. But we all know that things never go exactly how you plan them. What do I do to ease his worries and my own?

Off the Beaten Path

When I was growing up, I often turned to my mother for relationship advice. We had our differences, but we were close, and I valued her opinions. However, I also found myself grappling with many of the things she said, because in all of it one thing was clear: for her, the only kind of acceptable sexual relationships are monogamous, heterosexual, long-term commitments.

We first started having these conversations when I was around 14 years old, which was also when I first started to question my sexuality. From the start, I had some questions about this concept. What if I did not want to sleep with men at all? What if I did not feel interested in the marriage-and-kids thing?

A few years later, after two failed relationships (with the same wonderful person) and a lot of angst, I was fairly certain about two things: 1. I was pretty darn queer and 2. I wasn't cut out for monogamous, long-term relationships at the time. I did not feel comfortable within a relationship, no matter how awesom

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He gets oral sex from me: what can I do to get him to give me some?

starriestknight asks:

I'm 19 and have been with my boyfriend (also 19) for a little over two years. In the last year, our relationship has progressed sexually (but both of us have decided not to have intercourse). A few months ago, he performed oral sex on me. I'd given him blowjobs before and he asked if he could reciprocate. Afterward, though, he was really quiet. I got the nerve to him about it. He admitted he didn't like it. A few months passed, and we decided to try it again, to see if his opinion changed at all. Again, he said it wasn't his cup of tea. We decided it was best not to discuss it anymore because it wasn't working out.

I appreciate he at least tried to make an effort to reciprocate, because he said he felt bad for taking more than he gave, and I know he feels really bad he doesn't like it. But at the same time, he still won't do it. It's frustrating for me because I loved the feeling of it and I haven't been fully satisfied with him just fingering me. How do I bring this up after like months without making it sound like I'm upset with him or guilting him into giving me oral sex again? Other than this, we have a very healthy relationship. I love him a lot and he loves me too.

How do I tell my Mom I might be pregnant?

bxtinej asks:

My partner and I have been together for about 6 months now. He's 17 and I'm 16. We have unprotected sex sometimes, and I think I might have gotten pregnant. I won't be able to tell until next week, but I'm kind of crampy and bloated already. I don't know if those signs are too early to be pregnancy symptoms or not, but I have no clue how to tell my mom I am pregnant if I am. What are ways to tell her that will be easier on me and my boyfriend?

Because yes, it really DOES happen: A thank you to SlutWalks

I want to tell you something very personal about me. Not because I want to. I really don't want to. But I'm going to do it anyway.

It's one of those things where even though it's incredibly uncomfortable for me, I feel like sharing despite my discomfort might be able to make a positive difference. And since this has to do with something where I believe others have been making a positive difference in a way I, myself, have not also been able to, it seems the least I can do. I've been largely silent around the Slutwalks. There are a few reasons for that, but the biggest one of all is that what inspired them simply struck me much, much to close to home. So, my silence has not been about nonsupport of the walks. In more ways than one, it's been about my stepping out of the way of them in part based on my own limitations.

If you're triggered by candid stories about sexual or other forms of assault, this may be triggering for you. I know it still is for me, very much so. Telling this sto

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I worry that because I'm a man, I am going to sexually abuse someone.

aplanacanalpanama asks:

My mom was a victim of incest as a girl and has used it to invalidate my emotions. I blame the incest, not my mom, but it still hurts. But I can't help but feel like I, as a man, am dirty to be sexual. I can't draw a line in my head between good sex and bad sex. I am a virgin because when I get close to sex, the girl will start reminding me of my mom or my sister. I'm afraid if I don't lose my virginity soon I will develop a sexual frustration that will eventually cause me to hurt someone. I know that I'm just a troubled, caring guy. But I can't help but hate myself sexually. I don't know what to do.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.