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romance

50 Shades Crappier: On Selling Abuse for Valentine's Day

I have written previously about 50 Shades of Grey, and the problems that I, and many others, have with the presentation of BDSM in the book. In short, the book purportedly explores a woman's sexual awakening in the context of consensual BDSM, but really portrays a woman's emotional abuse in the guise of kink at the hands of a controlling partner.

Which is why I was so disheartened to find out that 50 Shades would be adapted for the screen. I knew it would mean that the franchise would live on for another few years, and that we would continue to be inundated with the books/films and its characters until the screening of the final film. And as I feared, the way the film was talked about in the weeks and months leading up to its Valentine's Day release was fairly frustrating. I found it upsetting to see that the story was getting tied up with red ribbons and sold as the perfectly romantic Valentine's Day date. You could get anything from flowers to chocolate to champagne with a 50-Shades

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Is 13 the "Right" Age for Sex or Romance?

Gabbii777 asks:

I'm wondering what a good age to have a 'relationship' is? I'm 13 and I've sort of began to have stronger attractions both emotionally and physically to boys. I'm not sure if I'm ready for a relationship and I'm scared that if it doesn't work (for example, if I'm frigid or something) it will ruin our friendship. I know it's not much of a big deal but I just want some help and reassurance.

Do I need to come out as asexual?

Unchained asks:

I first learned asexuality existed around a year ago. I decided to research it simply because it was something I had never heard about and wanted to be informed.

I came across AVEN and several blogs with people telling about their own experiences with asexuality and debunking myths. After some time of reading about it and kind of forgot about the matter, kept the information I had researched as something to remember when talking to people.

Several months later, the Sunday newspaper featured an article about asexuality. Like before, I didn't think much beyond that it was good asexuality was finally seeming to get some media to talk about it.

First, But Not Last: On Finding, Navigating, and Losing First Loves

In the throes of first love? Did your first love just break up with you, or are you terrified they will? This is your article. Whatever your circumstances with your first love, let's process some of this stuff together.

She just won't stop pressuring me for sex and babies.

marshmallowthreat1 asks:

I'm in an on again-off again type relationship with my "girlfriend." We get along and everything, but on some things we don't see eye to eye. We've had sex before, and that's kind of the problem. She keeps pressuring me into having sex! You don't really hear it this way with guys, but it's the truth. She knows what she wants, and she wants it now! It's not that I don't want to have sex with her, or that I don't LIKE having sex with her, but sometimes I just enjoy romance. Or just hanging out. Sex isn't everything. And another thing: she want's a baby! She's nineteen, and I'm eighteen. I've reminded her that neither of us drive or have jobs. I just graduated high school (at the time I was still IN school) but still, I can't change her mind. So I don't really know what to say. How can i get through to her that sex isn't everything, and that we're definitely not ready for a baby?

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.

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. I'm a lot more concerned about those of you in that space than I am about my feeling occasionally ripped off of a summer vacation. 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'

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Feeling unhappy in or unsure about your relationship? Having problems you don't know how to work through, or don't even know if you should? We'll talk you through making these choices, including how-to's on conflict resolution and doing breakups better.

Am I Stupid for Loving a Guy Who Only Wants Sex?

Cede101 asks:

So there is this guy that I really really like. I don't know how to get to him without having to put myself out there. He says he cares but then when we are with our friends he won't even talk to me. When we are alone he is always by me but wants to do anything other than talk, it seems like he only wants sex. We messed around once but I don't know what to do now. Am I stupid for falling in love with him and pretty much doing anything so that he will stay closer to me?

I'm In the (Friend) Zone

Anonymous asks:

I'm a male high school student and, frankly, also a cliche. I'm the basic "friend" and I really don't want to be that. I have a lot of guy friends and a lot of girl friends, but no girlfriend. This may sound stupid, but I don't want this to be a foreshadowing of the rest of my life to come. I've never really had a girlfriend, and don't get me wrong, my friends are great. Some of the girls I can imagine going out with, but I guess I fear rejection, ruining a friendship, or one leading to another. I also fear of being in the "friend zone" (I know I made a reference to "Just Friends"). It's not as much about sex or anything, just someone to have, to hold, and to love. Love. Geez, I'm 16 and already talking about love. I'm convinced that I was born the age of 26 or something like that. I have these "crushes" (I guess that's the appropriate word) that go on and off with different girls and I'm just so confused of how to approach these situations. I made it a rule for myself not to ask anyone out until I could drive myself, which, in February I'll be able to do. Did I do this to myself? Crap. Anyways, I should wrap this up before I ramble on forever. What should I do?

Love, Growth, Fear & Other Kinds of Big-Scary-Wonderful

pixie9000 asks:

Can you explain to me what love is please? How does one feel? Can you describe the effects for me? or, is it the kind of thing you just have to know? Does it go away? Or is it something permanent? I think that I am falling in love with my boyfriend.

He is a senior, and I am a junior. Next year he is going off to college, most likely a really prestigious one far away. We have been going out for only about 4 months, but we have known each other for a few years, and in the last 4 months we have spent so much time together (pretty much every minute) it feels like it has been much longer.

We recently had sex for the first time (first time for me, not for him), and several times since the first time. I have to say, I'm not crazy about it yet, but what I am crazy about is the connection it makes me feel between the two of us. He is extremely considerate of how I feel during sex, and he wants me to figure out what I like. He is so caring and sensitive to how I feel, and we have talked about sex and our relationship a lot, and how sex will affect our relationship and emotions. I like having sex, and I love the time we spend together. We have talked about love, and how we don't really understand what it is, but agree that we definitely have a deep connection. But I'm afraid that my feelings for him are going to become too intense, and I am going to fall in love with him, and then he is going to go off to college and my heart will break (I know, that sounds cliche).

We have talked about love, and I think we both said we feel like were falling slowly, even if we don't completely understand it, like, what it really means. He says "lets fall, but not fall too hard," and I agree, I don't know if I can handle the raw emotion of love. After we have sex, I feel elated, but later, when he leaves, I feel depressed because I know that he is going to leave the city after high school, and then our relationship will be over and I wont feel this connection any more. Am I just overthinking this whole thing?

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