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safer sex

Is it really illegal to sell me condoms?

ADistantPlanet asks:

This may be a bit of a strange question, but my attempts at researching this question have yielded very few results. I'm 16 years old, and the other day, I went into a gas station near my home in Michigan to buy some condoms. I'm on the Pill, but I use condoms every time with my boyfriend due to my paranoia of pregnancy. When I brought the condoms to the counter, the woman behind it informed me that there is a law that forbids the selling of condoms to those under 18. This didn't really sound plausible to me, considering that the age of consent in Michigan is 16 and it would be rather counterproductive to ban condoms for 2 years, however, the woman vehemently refused to sell them to me. Is there any sort of law (in Michigan or a national law) that forbids stores from selling condoms (or pregnancy tests, etc.) to minors?

You're Not Superman, You Know

It's amazing how well my generation - those in their late teens and early 20's - can distance themselves from topics that have everything to do with us. For example, driving fatalities and alcohol abuse. It's staggering the number of teens who die from car accidents related to substance abuse, as well as those who spend their high school and college years with a beer bottle in hand.

It's even scarier to look at how many teenagers don't know BASIC FACTS about sex and sexuality. This is something I've known for a long time as a Scarleteen staff member, but it doesn't change reality.


Say Yes, Yes, YES to Safer Sex and Win Body Shop Goodies!

MTV's Staying Alive Foundation and The Body Shop have joined forces for a newcampaign to help educate younger people about safer sex practices and how to prevent the spread of HIV. And The Body Shop would like to offer a Scarleteen reader a little something special to celebrate!

So, here's the deal:


The luck (or not) of the draw

lisasucks asks:

I'm 19 and my boyfriend is 28. We've been having sex for a year now and we have not been very careful at all. We never use condoms! It's weird though cause I have not gotten pregnant. He usually doesn't ejaculate in me LOL but still. . . . I always joke and tell him he's sterile but now I'm really thinking he is. Since I haven't gotten pregnant does this mean there is something wrong with my boyfriend or me? Or does it just mean I'm lucky?

Is it safe for him to taste my menstrual blood?

theredmarker asks:

I know having your partner finger you during your period is perfectly safe (while a little messy), but I do have another concern: my boyfriend often puts that finger in his mouth to taste the fluid after he's done fingering. So I was wondering, is it safe to do that while on your period? Like, are there any health risks involved with ingesting the blood? Now I do realize this would be a very small amount of blood, but I'm just curious.

About That "Talk" with Your Parents...

Talking with your parents about sex can be really hard – even if your parents are really open and start the conversation themselves rather than you starting it – or even if your parents are totally supportive of your boyfriend or girlfriend and your sexual activities. Here are some tips and helps to make it easier on both of you.

Chlamydia on the Rise, Particularly for People of Color

From the Kaiser Health Disparities Report: A Weekly Look At Race, Ethnicity And Health:

Blacks were disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infection rates in 2007, including chlamydia rates that reached a record high and syphilis rates that increased for the seventh consecutive year, according to a CDC report released on Tuesday, Reuters Health reports (Dunham, Reuters Health, 1/13).


FDA Panel Unanimously Approves the FC2 Female Condom

An FDA advisory panel unanimously approved the FC2 female condom. The FC2 is very similar to the current version of the female condom and is in fact intended to replace it. The primary difference is the FC2 is made of nitrile instead of polyurethane, making it cheaper to manufacture. As that one of the primary barriers preventing women from using female condoms is cost, this is excellent news.


Girl2girl provides safer sex information to lesbians, bisexual women and women who have sex with women. The site includes information on: * what is safer sex and why bother having it; * how to stay safe emotionally before, during and after sex; * how to use latex barriers for safer sex; * how to reduce the risk of Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs) without using latex; * what STIs you can catch, how you can catch them, and how to get rid of them; and * frequently asked questions.

What's an ectopic pregnancy?

Anna asks:

What is ectopic pregnancy? I saw it listed as one of the possible risks with Plan B.

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.