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Risky Business: Learning to Consider Risk and Make Sound Sexual Choices

Choices about sex and intimacy will always involve some risks, and making sound choices when risks, emotions and social high stakes are involved isn't something anyone is magically expert at. How can we learn to do it well, and what are some common things that trip us up?

Rescripting Sex

Life has scripts. Little socially-agreed plays that we enact rather than trying to figure out all our interactions from scratch every time. Many of them are very simple. There's also scripts for sex. Unfortunately, the most common script out there is terrible.

I grew up told sex like I just had was absolutely off-limits: what now?

smf asks:

Hey! I'm 19, and from a very conservative background-Republic, Christian, the whole shebang. I'm a freshman at a pretty liberal college now, and I admit that I've gone the tiniest bit nuts with my newfound freedom. Before coming to college, I'd only made out with three guys - all of whom were Christian, all of whom I was dating at the time. But last weekend, I went home with a guy I didn't know, and I gave him a blow job and he fingered me. I was very adamant about NOT having sex, because I know I want that to be with someone I love.

I'm feeling pretty guilty now, though. Everyone would be so disappointed back home, because it was made clear to me that EVERYTHING is off limits till marriage. It felt great at the time, but do you think it's bad because I didn't know him at all?

I think I might be pregnant, and might have to choose an abortion.

MadsHatter asks:

My boyfriend and I have had unprotected sex and my last period was 2 months ago (in 10 more days). I've had a two week delay on my period before, and I'm pretty volatile and feeling cramps every now and then but still....no blood. I'm scared to death I may be pregnant but I absolutely CAN NOT tell my mom. I'd be disowned, without a doubt. So....please help me!! I'm getting desperate enough as to seriously consider an abortion because my body can barely support myself, never mind a baby. I heard Vitamin C helps induce a self-inflicted abortion, too. I'm saving up for a test at Planned Parenthood, but I'm still nervous and scared as all heck. Words of advice??

Safer Sex: Do Women Sleeping with Women Need It?

absolutelyapple asks:

My girlfriend and I (I'm a chick) are both virgins. Is there any point in us using a dental dam when/if we have oral sex?

He (mostly) seems nice online: should I meet him in person?

simonewheat asks:

I'm 13 and I really need some help. I have been talking to this guy for ages on my phone and texting him. We have Skyped, and I know he might be 'one of those older people who have random children acting for them and they have voice filters' etc, but he has Facebook and I know loads of people who know him, but I just haven't met him. He is really nice and we both wanna meet each other... We decided we were gonna meet and I'm really excited. He says he wants to finger me, and he want me to give him head, that's fine because I have done it before so all's cool. Then when he asked if I wanted to have sex with him, I got creeped. Just need someone to say if I'm doing the right thing or not.

So, About That Sex You're Having While You're Saving Sex for Marriage...

As a sex educator, I don't define sex as only being about penis-in-vagina intercourse, for a whole lot of reasons.

For one, I know that a lot of people (including myself sometimes!) have or have had satisfying, full sexual lives without intercourse, either because they're not at intercourse yet in life or a given relationship, it's off the table for a while for some reason, or because they're in relationships where penis-in-vagina sex just isn't an option or possibility in the first place. I also know, as a sex educator, that some or all of the physical and emotional things that can happen with penis-in-vagina intercourse can and typically do happen with other kinds of sex, whether we're talking about emotional feelings or experiences, the human sexual response cycle, the expression of sexuality in general or possible outcomes like STIs or pregnancy. The way I define sex as a sex educator is like so:

If we say someone is having sex, or doing something sexual, we mean they are acting

Read more...

Lions and Tigers and Orgasms, Oh My! When Orgasm Seems Scary.

jelsova asks:

I'm a girl and I've been with my boyfriend for 8 months. I'm 18 and he's my first boyfriend. We've never had sex (he has had it before) but we've done other things. I have a problem though, I'm really scared to orgasm. Like we'll be doing something that feels so good and I know that if we just continued a bit longer I would get there (I feel the muscles contracting, the heart pumping, the intensity building and all that) but then I chicken out and make him stop. He's fine with it and very supportive and respects that I'm so scared, but it bothers me. Why can't I just let myself get there? It's the same deal if I um, "pleasure myself." Is there any way I can or he can help myself get over this fear of the unknown?

How (and why) to Root for Team Awkward

JanFirst2011 asks:

I am 15 years old and I have only made out once. I do not know the person I made out with, and I don't exactly remember what it was like. I want to make out with more people, but I am afraid I will not be good at it, I also don't want to embarrass myself with the person I do make out with. Another thing is, what if the person I do make out with tries to do more with me than I am ready? What should I do and how do you recommend getting over these fears of mine? Thank you!

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?

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.